When Miller, who died last year at age 95, became the union's executive director in 1966, players were underpaid and bound to their teams for life. By the time he left in 1982, the reserve clause was dead, the MLBPA had become one of the strongest unions in the country, and the landscape of professional sports labor had been transformed.
It didn't come easy. Miller was vilified by owners and coaches—those who stood to lose something if players ever realized their value. When Indians manager Birdie Tebbetts called a team meeting to repeatedly denounce Miller as a "communist" and urged players not to vote for him, it was an echo of an older witch-hunt that had set its sights on Miller just after the war.
We've obtained Miller's FBI file through a Freedom of Information Act request. You can read the entire thing below, 82 pages of information gleaned from Miller's co-workers and friends, from FBI informants, from the trash of someone Miller may or may not have even known. All of this was done with the goal of determining if Marvin Miller was working toward the overthrow of the American government. Spoiler alert: He was not.
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