Ray Grebey, led MLB during 1981 strike, dead at 85

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A total of 713 games were canceled by the time the season resumed with the All-Star game at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium on Aug. 9.

“He had a very difficult task but performed it professionally and with courtesy,” said former players’ association head Donald Fehr, who became Miller’s top lawyer in 1977.

“In the years since, I spoke to him from time to time and we often shared memories of that time,” Fehr said Wednesday.

Despite the bitter talks, Grebey in 2009 urged the Hall of Fame to induct Miller.

“No other individual played a more prominent role in creating the structure and process within which today’s game is played,” he wrote in a December 2009 letter to the Hall’s board. “History will not ignore Miller’s role in reshaping the game of baseball.”

Grebey’s letter was dated two days after Miller fell two votes shy of the nine needed for election by the Hall’s Veterans Committee for Executives and Pioneers. Miller finished one vote short in December 2010 and died last November at age 95. He is eligible for the ballot again this December.

Clarence Raymond Grebey Jr. was born in Chicago on March 10, 1928. He was graduated by Kenyon College, received an MBA degree from the University of Chicago and served in the U.S. Army in Korea.

Grebey left baseball in 1982 and was replaced by MacPhail as MLB’s labor negotiator, and Grebey was hired as a vice president with Pan American World Airways. In a 1985 interview with The Associated Press, he called the baseball talks a “living hell” but said he missed the sport.

He left Pan Am in 1989 to become a founding executive of the Trump Shuttle and stayed on when it was partially acquired by US Airways Group Inc. in 1992. He left when US Air completed the acquisition in 1997.

Grebey was hired as chief labor negotiator for the City of Stamford and appointed to the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marilyn Isett Grebey; his son; and daughters Nancy Grebey and Chris Grebey.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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