Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Bowie Kuhn, May 12, 1977

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:55 - Kuhn's relationship with Happy Chandler

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Partial Transcript: Your acquaintance with the former commissioner of baseball, Happy Chandler, uh, has been fairly recent has it not?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Bowie Kuhn talks about his impressions of and relationship with Happy Chandler. He discusses how he met Chandler, and his relationship with him as the major league baseball commissioner.

Keywords: Impressions; Relationships

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Kuhn, Bowie, 1926-2007; Major League Baseball (Organization)

00:03:12 - Comparison in leadership between Commissioners Chandler and Kuhn

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Partial Transcript: Did you, uh, since taking office ever get a chance to sort of compare notes with Commissioner Chandler of the two eras...

Segment Synopsis: Kuhn compares the role of baseball commissioner in Chandler's era to his own current (1977) role as commissioner. He discusses the team owners, the role of society, players' unions, the complexities of broadcasting, and how the overall structure of baseball has changed.

Keywords: Leadership; Organization structure; Team owners

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Baseball players; Baseball team owners; Broadcasting.; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Kuhn, Bowie, 1926-2007; Labor unions

00:08:10 - The baseball commissioner's responsibility regarding minor league teams

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Partial Transcript: Of course there's another, another big difference, really the commissioner is expected to provide leadership for all of professional baseball.

Segment Synopsis: Kuhn talks about the role of the baseball commissioner as a leader for the minor league clubs, and for amateur baseball.

Keywords: Amateur baseball; Leadership; Professional baseball agreements; Recreation

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball commissioners; Major League Baseball (Organization); Minor league baseball.

00:10:33 - The role of baseball commissioner

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Partial Transcript: Let me get into some more areas a little more specific if we might.

Segment Synopsis: Kuhn discusses the authority and role of the commissioner of baseball in relation to the teams and team owners. This includes an analysis of the change in power roles over time, from the post-war era to the present (1977). He also discusses how he sees himself as commissioner.

Keywords: Authority; Challenges to authority; Team owners

Subjects: Baseball commissioners; Baseball team owners; Baseball--Management; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Finley, Charles Oscar, 1918-1996

00:18:15 - The push for the expansion of the major leagues

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Partial Transcript: Uh, again during this time, uh, '45 to '51, there was a move, on the Pacific Coast League for a third major league...

Segment Synopsis: Kuhn briefly discusses the addition of other baseball clubs to the league, and what is necessary for those clubs to be accepted.

Keywords: Baseball clubs; Baseball teams; Expansion; Pacific Coast League

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball--Management; Major League Baseball (Organization)

00:20:14 - A live recording of a baseball game

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Partial Transcript: [This segment is a recording of a baseball game.] "Willie McCovie grounds out to Rod Curue..."

Segment Synopsis: This is a recording of a baseball game. It may have been the 1970 or 1971 World Series.

Keywords: Baseball announcers; Recorded sports; Tiger Stadium (Detroit, Mich.); World Series (1971)

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball players; Baseball--United States

00:24:50 - Recording of a Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds game

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Partial Transcript: ...1970's player of the year...

Segment Synopsis: This is a recording of a game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati Reds. The Orioles win.

[there is static near the end of the segment that lasts for nearly a minute]

Keywords: Baltimore Orioles; Baseball games

Subjects: Baseball; Cincinnati Reds (Baseball Team); Radio broadcasting of sports

00:31:57 - A player's perspective of being in an all-star game

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Partial Transcript: It's a privilege to be, be picked by all your people around the country.

Segment Synopsis: This segment includes a short recording from the 1972 all-star game. It includes some historical perspectives.

Keywords: "Dixie" (song); 1972 all-star game; Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta (Ga.); Baseball game; Dodge Dart commerical

Subjects: Baseball; Commercials

00:35:42 - A history of baseball player performances

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Partial Transcript: Henry Aaron is challenging Babe Ruth's all-time home run record...

Segment Synopsis: This is another recording about all-star baseball players.

Keywords: Baseball history; Henry Aaron; Memorable games

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball players

00:40:22 - A memorable all-star game

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Partial Transcript: Probably the all star game that stands out in my mind is, uh, the one that was in St. Louis, it was 104 degrees.

Segment Synopsis: An unidentified male speaker shares some memories of an all-star game in St. Louis. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: All-star games; Baseball games; Memorable games; St. Louis (Mo.)

Subjects: Baseball

00:40:22 - Someone Talks About a Memorable All Star Game.

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Partial Transcript: Probably the all star game that stands out in my mind was in St. Louis, it was 104 degrees.

Segment Synopsis: Recording of Baseball Game Memories.

Keywords: Memorable Games

Subjects: Baseball