Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Robert Holbrook, May 9, 1977

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - First impressions of Happy Chandler / Chandler's popularity with the press

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Partial Transcript: When, uh, was the first time that you met Happy Chandler?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook shares his first impressions of Happy Chandler, also discussing Chandler's relationship with the press. He describes Chandler as being a great commissioner.

Keywords: Media; Press; Sportswriters; Umpires

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Holbrook, Robert; Providence Journal

00:06:21 - Umpire Ernie Stewart

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Partial Transcript: Was there something that-- you talked about the umpires, Ernie Stewart, do you remember that?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook is questioned about an incident with umpire Ernie Stewart, but cannot recall him.

Keywords: Ernie Stewart; Umpires

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991

00:07:40 - Commissioner Chandler and Jackie Robinson / the desegregation of baseball

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Partial Transcript: Um, what, what sort of a commissioner did the writers...

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook recalls Chandler's attitude towards Jackie Robinson and talks about the desegregation of baseball and other racial issues.

Keywords: Desegregation; Race; Umpires; World Series (1947)

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; New York Yankees (Baseball Team); Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972; Segregation

00:14:59 - Desegregation and threats to strike / the Mexican League

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Partial Transcript: Um, ok. Um, Bob, do you know anything about the St. Louis players' strike or the threat of the strike...

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook discusses the threat of strikes, such as the St. Louis players' strike, as well as the general state of race relations in baseball at the time. He describes Chandler's role in and take on several of these issues. Problems involving the Mexican League are also discussed.

Keywords: All star game (1946); Desegregation; Mexican League; Race; St. Louis players strike; Strikes

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball Commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Liga Mexicana de Beisbol Profesional; Race relations; Segregation; Strikes and lockouts; Walker, Dixie, 1910-1982

00:21:15 - Chandler's negative relationship with the New York press

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Partial Transcript: He had a little trouble with the New York writers. Why was that?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook briefly discusses Chandler's negative relationship with the New York sportswriters.

Keywords: Journalism; Sportswriters; Writers

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Journalism; New York (N.Y.)

00:22:18 - Race relations within a team

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Partial Transcript: Um, which club did you travel with?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook discusses race relations between one of the first African American baseball players in the Major Leagues and his teammates.

Keywords: Umpires; desegregation

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Major League Baseball (Organization); Minor league baseball.; Negro National League; Negro leagues.; Race relations; Segregation

00:27:53 - Major figures of the American League

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Partial Transcript: It has been said that Del Webb had possibly more courage. Instead of the American League, bought up...

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook discusses his relationships with some of the major figures of the American League, as well as their personality traits. Their relationship with Commissioner Chandler is also discussed.

Keywords: Cancer; Construction; Press; Umpires

Subjects: American League (Major League Baseball); Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Boston Braves (Baseball Team); Boston Red Sox (Baseball Team); Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; DeWitt, William O.; Webb, Del E., 1899-1974

00:38:32 - Public opinions of Durocher's suspension

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember covering anything in relation to Boston baseball, and Chandler of interest...

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook expresses his opinion and the opinion of the general public on Chandler's choice to suspend Leo Durocher. He expresses that he disagreed with the decision, but states that it proved Chandler's strength as commissioner. Chandler's contract is also briefly discussed. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Contracts; Press; Sportswriters; Suspensions

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Durocher, Leo, 1906-1991.