Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Martin W. Marion, May 19, 1978

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Mr. Marty Marion for the A.B. Chandler Oral History Project of the University of Kentucky Library.

Segment Synopsis: This is the introduction to an interview with Marty Marion.

Subjects: Marion, Marty, 1916-2011

00:00:56 - Baseball in 1945 / the St. Louis Cardinals / the Mexican League

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Partial Transcript: You um, uh, were playing with the Cardinals in 1945, weren't you?

Segment Synopsis: Marion recalls the end of World War II, the baseball players who returned from military service, and the Mexican League.

Keywords: Mexican League

Subjects: Baseball players; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Liga Mexicana de Beisbol Profesional; Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team); World War, 1939-1945

00:03:42 - Recollections of Happy Chandler

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Partial Transcript: Um, had you heard of Happy Chandler, uh, when he became commissioner? Had you heard of him before? This was April 1945.

Segment Synopsis: Marion talks about Happy Chandler at the beginning of his career as baseball commissioner. He gives his thoughts on why he became commissioner.

Keywords: Memories

Subjects: Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Major League Baseball (Organization)--History

00:04:19 - Marion's 1945 teammates and team

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Partial Transcript: Um, what I would like to have done but I don't think I'll go into, but I would have liked to go over some of the personalities...

Segment Synopsis: Marion speaks fondly of his 1945 Cardinals teammates, providing background on them.

Keywords: Columbus Redbirds; Teammates; Walker Cooper

Subjects: Baseball players; Brooklyn Dodgers (Baseball Team); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

00:09:15 - Sam Breadon / player/owner relations

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Partial Transcript: What do you remember about Sam Breadon, your owner?

Segment Synopsis: Marion discusses Sam Breadon, who was the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals. He also talks about relations between the players and the owners, and the Mexican League.

Keywords: Jorge Pasquel; Mexican League

Subjects: Breadon, Sam, 1876-1949; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Liga Mexicana de Beisbol Profesional; Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

00:10:31 - Robert Murphy / the players' guild / the St. Louis Cardinals

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Partial Transcript: Um. Kay. Let me move onto something that's gonna even be a little closer to home...

Segment Synopsis: Marion shares his impressions of Robert Murphy and the players' guild, and its impact on St. Louis.

Keywords: Mexican League; Players' guild; Robert Murphy

Subjects: Baseball players; Labor unions; Liga Mexicana de Beisbol Profesional; Pittsburgh Pirates (Baseball Team); St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

00:13:45 - Being chosen as player representative / meetings with the other player representatives

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Partial Transcript: Let me move then to, to player representation, and the pension plan, and so on.

Segment Synopsis: Marion discusses how he came to be appointed to the committee that Commissioner Chandler put together. This committee was created to meet with the team owners about the baseball player pension plan. He also talks about some of the work that he did as a player representative.

Keywords: Billy Herman; Meetings; Pension plans; Player representatives; Short stops

Subjects: Baseball players; Baseball team owners; Breadon, Sam, 1876-1949; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Harder, Mel; MacPhail, Larry, 1890-1975; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; National League (Major League Baseball); Pensions.; Walker, Dixie, 1910-1982; Wrigley, Philip K. (Philip Knight), 1894-1977

00:17:37 - Origins of the player pension plan / Larry MacPhail

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Partial Transcript: I know you, you worked on the pension plan. That's why I'm asking. How did you get the pension plan?

Segment Synopsis: Marion talks about how he and other Cardinals players first began to come up with their requests for the player pension plan. He also briefly mentions Larry MacPhail's role in the approval of the plan.

Keywords: Doc Weaver; Pension plans; Player pension plan; Rained out games; Ted Moore

Subjects: Baseball players; Baseball team owners; Breadon, Sam, 1876-1949; MacPhail, Larry, 1890-1975; Major League Baseball (Organization); St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team); Wrigley, Philip K. (Philip Knight), 1894-1977

00:20:45 - World Series radio rights and funding the pension plan

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Partial Transcript: In the World Series in 1946 in Boston, the Red Sox had decided among themselves that they would not, did not want to give up the...

Segment Synopsis: Marion talks about how the radio rights from the World Series games were originally meant to fund the player pension fund, and how he had to convince several teams to pay their fair share.

Keywords: Baseball teams; Granny Hamner; Meetings; Money; Pension plans; Player pension plan; Radio rights; Robert Roberts; Tommy Hendrix

Subjects: Baseball players; Boston Red Sox (Baseball Team); Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; New York Yankees (Baseball Team); Pensions.; Philadelphia Phillies (Baseball Team); St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

00:24:52 - Inter-league competition and the pension plan

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Partial Transcript: One of the things that came up, up out of the players' meetings, and I'm still not at the steering committee meeting...

Segment Synopsis: Marion discusses the viability of inter-league play as a way of financing the pension plan.

Keywords: Baseball games; Pension plans; Player pension plans

Subjects: All-Star Baseball Game.; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; Pensions.

00:25:45 - Meeting with the team owners about the pension plan and reserve clause

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Partial Transcript: Okay, let me move onto August Fifth, when you did meet...

Segment Synopsis: Marion discusses how he and others met with the team owners to negotiate the proposed player pension plan.

Keywords: Pension plans; Player pension plans; Reserve clauses

Subjects: Baseball team owners; Breadon, Sam, 1876-1949; MacPhail, Larry, 1890-1975; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; Pensions.; Walker, Dixie, 1910-1982; Wrigley, Philip K. (Philip Knight), 1894-1977

00:28:36 - Reaction to the owners-only meeting about the pension plan

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Partial Transcript: Did uh, um, the players want to attend the, the following meeting that the owners had...

Segment Synopsis: Marion discusses the players' negotiations with the team owners. He also reacts to the owners' meeting to discuss the player pension plan, which players were unable to attend. He talks specifically about the report that resulted from that meeting.

Keywords: "Murphy money"; Johnny Murphy; Mexican League; Player representatives; Player-team owner relationships; Players' guild

Subjects: Baseball players; Baseball team owners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Liga Mexicana de Beisbol Profesional; MacPhail, Larry, 1890-1975; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History

00:44:41 - Being a player representative

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Partial Transcript: Let me move on a little bit and, and get a few, if you can spare the time a little bit longer, so, um, you say that...

Segment Synopsis: Marion discusses his time as a player representative and how he served other baseball players in that capacity, including his role in saving the pension plan.

Keywords: Freddie Hutchinson; Pension plans; Player pension plans; Player representation; Player representatives

Subjects: All-Star Baseball Game.; Baseball players; Breadon, Sam, 1876-1949; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; Pensions.; Versailles (Ky.)

00:49:03 - Impressions of Happy Chandler

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Partial Transcript: Um. Do you recall the first time that you dealt with the commissioner, uh, I, I saw some-- a story, I think it was written by...

Segment Synopsis: Marion shares his impressions of Baseball Commissioner Chandler, and talks about his dealings with him.

Keywords: Articles; J. Roy Stockton; News articles; St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Subjects: Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History

00:50:05 - The Cardinals' 1946 season

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Partial Transcript: Let me,um, go on to, just... let me, um, go onto, just, while... there's, there's one incident I'd like to talk to you a little bit about the 1946 season if I could.

Segment Synopsis: Marion recalls the 1946 season for the St. Louis Cardinals, and Commissioner Chandler's getting involved in "squabbles" at that time.

Keywords: 1946 season; Bean balls

Subjects: Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

00:52:11 - Leo Durocher

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Partial Transcript: Um, what was it like to play against Leo Durocher?

Segment Synopsis: Marion recalls Leo Durocher as both a teammate and a manager.

Keywords: Managers

Subjects: Baseball managers; Baseball players; Baseball--Management; Durocher, Leo, 1906-1991.; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

00:52:55 - The integration of Major League baseball in 1947 / Jackie Robinson / Leo Durocher's suspension

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Partial Transcript: Um, let me go on down to a couple of things that happened in 1947...

Segment Synopsis: Marion recalls several key events of 1947, including Jackie Robinson's Major League debut and the impact that this had on the Cardinals.

Keywords: Integration

Subjects: Breadon, Sam, 1876-1949; Brooklyn Dodgers (Baseball Team); Durocher, Leo, 1906-1991.; Gambling; Major League Baseball (Organization); Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972; Segregation; St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

00:55:41 - The sale of the St. Louis Cardinals / Bob Hannegan and Fred Saigh / managing for the St. Louis Browns

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Partial Transcript: Late in November of 1947, Bob Hannegan and Fred Saigh took over the ball club...

Segment Synopsis: Marion talks about Sam Breadon's selling the St. Louis Cardinals to Bob Hannegan and Fred Saigh, and shares his impressions of the two owners. He also talks about how he came to be the manager of the St. Louis Browns.

Keywords: Baseball teams; Bob Hannegan; Contracts; Eddie Dyer; Firing; Fred Saigh; Health; Losing streaks; Meetings; Money; Pennant; Politicians; Salaries; Spring training; Terry Moore

Subjects: Baseball managers; Baseball team owners; Baseball--Management; Breadon, Sam, 1876-1949; Saint Louis (Mo.).; St. Louis Browns (Baseball Team); St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team); Veeck, Bill

01:00:11 - The end of Commissioner Chandler's tenure / Chandler's commissionership

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Partial Transcript: Okay. Um, I just have a couple more and we'll...

Segment Synopsis: Marion talks about the end of Chandler's commission and how this event affected baseball. [There are several breaks in the tape]

Keywords: Fred Saigh; Freddie Hutchinson; Mexican League; Pension plans; Player pension plan; Player-club relations; Players' guild

Subjects: Baseball commissioners; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Kiner, Ralph; Liga Mexicana de Beisbol Profesional; Major League Baseball (Organization); Major League Baseball (Organization)--History; Pensions.; Rickey, Branch, 1881-1965; St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

01:03:59 - Enjoyment of being a player representative / antagonism with Branch Rickey

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Partial Transcript: Are there any anecdotes, or anything that, during this six year period, let's say 195-- '45 to 1951...

Segment Synopsis: Marion talks about his enjoyment of representing his fellow players. He also talks about the antagonism that developed between himself and Branch Rickey when he (Marion) played for the Cardinals. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Astroturf; Batting averages; Contracts; Daughters; Friends; Grandchildren; Gratitude; Hockey; Johnny Echols; Memories; Payment; Player representation; Player representatives; Raises; Records; Release clauses; Short stops; Soccer; Spring training

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball managers; Baseball players; Baseball--Management; Landis, Kenesaw Mountain, 1866-1944; Minor league baseball.; National League (Major League Baseball); Rickey, Branch, 1881-1965; St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)