This tape contains the continuation 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.
01:09Copy video clip URL Kuhn is sitting in his law firm’s board room. He begins to address his time spent as MLB Commissioner by talking about the public relations aspect of the job. He admits he didn’t use the media to his advantage effectively. However, Kuhn partially blames the media for his becoming labeled a “stuffed shirt.” Producer Tom Weinberg then interjects that Kuhn perpetuated the myth of being a “stuffed shirt.” Kuhn disagrees and states that the “stuffed shirt” image was perpetuated because he went to Princeton and worked at a Wall Street law firm.
06:49Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Kuhn why it matters whether Kuhn is a “stuffed shirt.” Kuhn begins to talk about former President Herbert Hoover, his humanitarian efforts, and being viewed as a “stuffed shirt.” Weinberg then makes a point about how Kuhn’s image clashes with the fun, laid-back image of baseball. Kuhn compares himself to former commissioners and says that there were special circumstances that may or may not have been accounted for by the media during their time in the MLB. Kuhn goes on to say, “In my time as Commissioner, I probably stepped on the sensitive toes of owners more than any other Commissioner including [Kenesaw Mountain] Landis.” (Landis was the first MLB Commissioner). Kuhn then talks about a baseball owner’s use of the media to retaliate against the Commissioner.
11:27Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Kuhn about his family. Kuhn’s son wants to attend Princeton’s law school.
12:21Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Kuhn to say a few words about baseball personalities. Kuhn talks about Walter O’Malley, former owner of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. “Walter was probably the brightest, cleverest fellow I’ve ever run into… Walter had unlimited ability.”
12:45Copy video clip URL Kuhn talks about New York/San Francisco Giants owner Horace Stoneham and states that he had an amazing ability to develop great talent and was loved by everyone in baseball.
13:16Copy video clip URL Kuhn sounds off on MLB executives Lee MacPhail and Ted Turner. Kuhn labels Turner as a “curiously difficult and likable man in combination. […] I’ve never seen such a combination of likability and trouble.”
14:42Copy video clip URL Kuhn thinks that Bill Veeck had no talent for the modern game. Kuhn goes on to compare Calvin Griffith to Horace Stoneham, and to talk about being raised in Washington D.C. and his relationship to Washington baseball. Kuhn then begins to talk about the possibility of reestablishing the Washington Senators baseball team.
19:12Copy video clip URL Tape ends.