Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Robert Lemon, May 15, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:09 - Lemon's baseball career / Happy Chandler

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Partial Transcript: Well I was playing high school baseball in, in uh, 1938...

Segment Synopsis: Lemon describes his baseball career briefly and talks about his acquaintance with Happy Chandler.

Keywords: Baltimore (Md.); George Daniel Susce; Joe Gordon; Mel Harder; New Orleans (La.); Oswego (N.Y.); Springfield (Ohio); dinners; high school baseball; outfield; pension plans; scouts; service ball; shortstops; social events; third base

Subjects: Baseball; Baseball players; Baseball scouts.; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); DiMaggio, Joe, 1914-1999; Feller, Bob, 1918-2010; Military service, Voluntary.; Pesky, Johnny, 1919-2012; Pitchers (Baseball); United States. Navy.; Versailles (Ky.); Williams, Ted, 1918-2002

00:02:56 - Barn storming

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Partial Transcript: Uh, tell me a little bit about barn storming...

Segment Synopsis: Lemon talks about the practice of barn storming and describes some of the tours that he went on as a part of that.

Keywords: All Stars; Charlie Keller; Dutch Leonard; Flying Tiger DC-3; Joe Gordon; Mexico; Rollie Hemsley; airplanes; barn storming; contracts; fans; planes; touring; traveling; weather

Subjects: Hegan, Jim; Paige, Satchel, 1906-1982; Veeck, Bill

00:06:16 - Lou Boudreau / Larry Doby / the '48 season

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back again to Commissioner Chandler just a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Lemon briefly discusses Lou Boudreau's term as manager. He also talks about Larry Doby and the discrimination that he faced as an African American player, also mentioning the 1948 season.

Keywords: Bill McKechnie; Boston; Cleveland; Dale Mitchell; Detroit; Muddy Ruel; New York; Steve O'Neill; baseball games; discrimination; harassment; racism; ties

Subjects: African American baseball players; African Americans.; Baseball commissioners; Boudreau, Lou, 1917-2001; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Doby, Larry; Kell, George; Race discrimination

00:10:41 - The 1948 World Series

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Partial Transcript: Um, then you had a play-off game then the Series, and there were some writers...

Segment Synopsis: Lemon talks about the 1948 World Series and some of the players who were a part of it.

Keywords: World Series; barn storming; baseball fans; booing; fans; pennant race; starters

Subjects: Baseball players; Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Feller, Bob, 1918-2010; Paige, Satchel, 1906-1982; Pitchers (Baseball); Seerey, Pat, 1923-1986; World Series (Baseball)

00:13:39 - Players for the Cleveland Indians

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Partial Transcript: I think if I might go over just a couple of the players that you had on, on the team...

Segment Synopsis: Lemon comments on many of his teammates and contemporaries.

Keywords: "BB Eyes"; "Joe E. Brown"; Dale Mitchell; Don Black; Eddie Robinson; Hank Edwards; Joe Gordon; Kenny Keltner; Sam Zoldak; Thurman Tucker; Walt Judnich; curveballs; fastballs; leftfielders; operations; third basemen; tumors

Subjects: Baseball players; Bearden, Gene, 1920-2004; Catchers (Baseball); Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Feller, Bob, 1918-2010; Harder, Mel; Hegan, Jim; Military service, Voluntary.; Pitchers (Baseball); Steve Gromek; Williams, Ted, 1918-2002

00:19:34 - The reward for winning the World Series / changes in baseball

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Partial Transcript: Um, the winner's share in the `48 World Series was something like 6,772 dollars.

Segment Synopsis: Lemon discusses the amount of money that he received for winning the World Series and shares what he spent it on. He also gives his views on how the culture and commercialism of baseball have changed since he was a player in the 1950's.

Keywords: "Joe Early Night"; "Ladies Day"; Long Beach (Calif.); camaraderie; club houses; commercialism; family; fireworks; flying; friends; houses; inflation; leisure time; money; promotions; roommates; scheduling; social events; ticket prices; tickets; traveling

Subjects: Baseball; Veeck, Bill; World Series (baseball)

00:24:10 - Happy Chandler / baseball contracts

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Partial Transcript: Um, Commissioner Chandler wasn't, uh, his contract was not renewed in 1950, and `51 was... he left in July of 1951.

Segment Synopsis: Lemon briefly discusses Chandler's character and why he was not selected for another term as baseball commissioner. He also talks about bargaining practices and the unfair payment of players. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Ellis Ryan; Ray Narleski; bargaining; contracts; general managers; money; negotiations; salaries; wealth

Subjects: Baseball commissioners; Baseball players; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Greenberg, Hank; Veeck, Bill