Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with James Hegan, May 15, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:11 - Hegan's entrance into professional baseball and early career

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Partial Transcript: Well, when I was in high school I, I uh, was fortunate enough to be on a pretty good high school baseball team...

Segment Synopsis: Hegan tells how he was scouted and signed as a result of his high school baseball career. He also talks about his time in the Minor Leagues and in the Coast Guard.

Keywords: Cleveland Indians; Coast Guard; High school; High school baseball; High school sports; Scouting; Scouts

Subjects: Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Hegan, Jim; Minor league baseball.

00:03:04 - Hegan's experience of spring training

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Partial Transcript: Marshall: What was Spring Training is 1946 like? I mean you had a lot of returning serviceman, and you'd been playing on a team, I guess you'd played, what was it, two seasons with the team.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Bob Feller; Mel Harder; baseball during World War II; spring training; world war

Subjects: Baseball; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.

00:04:50 - The 1946 and 1948 Cleveland Indians teams / Bill Veeck's promotion of the Indians

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Partial Transcript: What kind of team did the Cleveland Indians have in 1946?

Segment Synopsis: Hegan briefly recalls the 1946 and 1948 Cleveland Indians teams. He also talks in detail about Bill Veeck's creative promotions of the Cleveland Indians.

Keywords: Cleveland Indians; Fireworks; Promotions

Subjects: Baseball; Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Veeck, Bill

00:08:49 - Lou Boudreau as a manager

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Partial Transcript: Lou Boudreau was your manager. He was also your shortstop...

Segment Synopsis: Hegan recalls Boudreau as a manager. He talks at length about Boudreau's decision to remove Hegan as catcher and play the position himself.

Keywords: Managers

Subjects: Baseball managers; Baseball players; Boudreau, Lou, 1917-2001; Catchers (Baseball); Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team)

00:11:31 - Player representatives and Mel Harder

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Partial Transcript: Mel Harder, uh, was one of baseball's first player representatives.

Segment Synopsis: Hegan gives a brief opinion on the importance of player representatives, and on Mel Harder as a representative.

Keywords: Player representatives; Reggie Jackson; Unions

Subjects: Baseball players; Baseball players--Salaries, etc.--United States; Harder, Mel

00:13:00 - Barnstorming / Satchel Paige's pitching technique and ability

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Partial Transcript: In, um, 1947, I believe it was in the fall after the regular season was over...

Segment Synopsis: Hegan talks about his experiences playing traveling, off-season baseball, which is called barnstorming, in 1946 and 1947. He describes the grueling schedule, as well as Satchel Paige's pitching, and his experiences catching for him.

Keywords: Barnstorming; pitching

Subjects: Baseball; Catchers (Baseball); Feller, Bob, 1918-2010; Hegan, Jim; Paige, Satchel, 1906-1982; Pitchers (Baseball)

00:18:01 - Barnstorming scheduling and payment

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Partial Transcript: Getting back to the, the barnstorming, which we talked about briefly...

Segment Synopsis: Hegan recalls more of his experiences of barnstorming in the baseball off-season. He briefly speculates on scheduling, organizing, and salaries.

Keywords: Barnstorming; Frankie Hayes; Off-season employment; Organization; Rollie Hemsley; Salaries; Winter

Subjects: Baseball players; Baseball players--Salaries, etc.--United States; Feller, Bob, 1918-2010; Major League Baseball (Organization)

00:19:54 - Bob Feller's business ventures

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Partial Transcript: A lot was made out of, um, um, Bob Feller, as far as his business ventures were concerned...

Segment Synopsis: Hegan talks about the Cleveland Indians' management and owners' concern about Bob Feller's outside business ventures. He also briefly discusses Feller's 1948 season.

Keywords: Bob Feller; Business; Business deals; Endorsements

Subjects: Baseball players; Feller, Bob, 1918-2010

00:21:54 - The Cleveland Indians' 1948 season / fans' reactions to baseball players

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Partial Transcript: Let's go to the 1948 season. Um, it was sort of a crazy season. It was an up and down season...

Segment Synopsis: Hegan talks about the 1948 Indians roster and their pennant race. He also discuss fans' reactions to the players, including their booing of players who made errors or were in hitting slumps. He talks briefly about why he feels that fans get frustrated with baseball teams.

Keywords: Baseball fans; Baseball teams; Fans; Infield; Pennant; Pennant race; Philadelphia (Pa.); Playoffs

Subjects: Baseball players; Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Infielders (Baseball)

00:25:31 - The benefits of players traveling by rail / Larry Doby's career with the Cleveland Indians

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Partial Transcript: And the travel was probably a little more difficult because lots of it was rail.

Segment Synopsis: Hegan discusses what he feels were the benefits of baseball players traveling by rail instead of air. He discusses Doby's talent as a baseball player and his personal attributes. He also describes players' reactions to his (Doby's) presence on the team. He talks about the segregated hotel accommodations in the South, and fans' reactions to African American players.

Keywords: Airplanes; Baseball fans; Fans; Integration; Locomotives; Racial integration; Racial segregation; Spring training; Trains; Travel

Subjects: African American baseball players; Baseball players; Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Doby, Larry; Integration; Railroads; Segregation

00:31:28 - Bob Lemon's 1948 no-hitter / the 1948 postseason

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Partial Transcript: In that '48 season you caught Bob Lemon's no-hitter. Do you recall that game?

Segment Synopsis: Hegan recalls catching Bob Lemon's 1948 no-hitter. He describes the postseason that year and recalls it as probably being boring for the fans. He also gives some information on how postseason bonuses worked.

Keywords: Baseball games; Bob Lemon; No-hitters; Pennant; Pennant race; Postseason bonuses

Subjects: Baseball players; Baseball players--Salaries, etc.--United States; Boston Braves (Baseball Team); Boston Red Sox (Baseball Team); Catchers (Baseball); Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Lemon, Robert; Pitchers (Baseball)

00:34:37 - Commissioner Chandler / baseball contracts and changes since the 1940's

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Partial Transcript: Commissioner Chandler, uh, the commissioner during the period, was thought of by some as a ballplayer's commissioner.

Segment Synopsis: Hegan discusses his, the owners', and the players' perceptions of Baseball Commissioner Chandler. He also talks about how contracts have changed how the players feel about playing baseball. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Contracts

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