Raw footage of an interview with former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn (1926-2007), shot for the 1986 television special "Once A Star."
00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars and tone.
00:58Copy video clip URL Shots of the New York City skyline, including pans and close-ups of Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other buildings.
03:40Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of former MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, seated at the head of a table in a board room of his law firm. Kuhn talks about returning to the law firm — his “first home” — and life after baseball. Kuhn mainly works in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, but is also an expert witness for the NBA (which was involved in some litigation at his firm). He talks about writing a book and involvement in philanthropic activities.
08:41Copy video clip URL Producer Tom Weinberg quotes Jack Brickhouse saying that baseball looked a lot better after Bowie Kuhn left the sport. Kuhn responds, “When you have been the commissioner… you go through a lot of thick and thin. I think particularly if you are a person that tends to do the job in a way that emphasizes what you think is the sort of core right solution for baseball without being particularly concerned about your own personal image […] I think a lot of people failed to understand what you were up to, how it worked, what your motivations were.” He then talks about problems he had with Oakland Athletics owner Charlie O’Finley; Kuhn was accused of blocking two of Finley’s sales based solely on the fact that he didn’t like him. Kuhn argues his point stating that if owners had been allowed to sell off their best players without trying to sign them back, it would have been bad for baseball.
12:51Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Kuhn whose interests are the best interests for baseball, and Kuhn answers that the interests can be interpreted differently, citing the case of baseball manager Connie Mack selling off top players during the Depression. He compares it to his time in baseball, emphasizing that different circumstances will lead to different outcomes. Kuhn then talks about Ted Turner’s lack of experience in baseball saying that he “made a joke of baseball.”
16:51Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Kuhn whether a lawyer has any business being baseball commissioner. Kuhn responds that lawyers are logical people, and that a commissioner acts as a Chief Judicial Officer. Kuhn believes it to be an advantage.
18:53Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Kuhn about television and how it has affected the MLB, but unfortunately Weinberg’s question is cut off by the end of the tape.
19:20Copy video clip URL Tape ends.