Interview with Frederick M. Saigh, May 16, 1978

Project: A. B. "Happy" Chandler: Desegregation of Major League Baseball Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Fred Saigh was a lawyer and a former owner of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. In this interview, he discusses his purchase of the St. Louis Cardinals from Sam Breadon, his partnership with Bob Hannigan, the Internal Revenue Service's investigation of him (Saigh), and the role of the baseball commissioner's office. He describes his early relationship with Commissioner Chandler, also discussing Chandler as a baseball commissioner, Chandler's ties with the American Broadcasting Company, negotiations for the Lanier-Martin case in New York, Chandler's use of former FBI agents for investigative purposes, his (Saigh's) disagreement with Chandler regarding Sunday night baseball, Branch Rickey, and the absence of black players for the St. Louis Cardinals. He talks about the Cardinals players threatening to strike, salary negotiations with Stan Musial, Marty Marion as National League player representative, the player pension plan, contract negotiations with players, the experiences of Max Lanier in the Mexican League, and the status of the baseball commissioner's office after Judge Kennesaw Landis. He describes Chandler's preferential treatment of various owners, the owners' poll about ending the Mexican League suspensions, Chandler's and the team owners' role in instituting the players' pension plan, Chandler's treatment of owners who voted against renewing his contract as baseball commissioner, and dealing with Chandler before the contract vote. He discusses the team owners' meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida in December of 1950 regarding Chandler's status as baseball commissioner, as well as how the owners voted on it, Chandler's reaction to the vote, his lobbying for reinstatement, his investigations of various owners, including Saigh, and Saigh's own investigation of Chandler. Other topics include the March 1951 team owners' meeting, Chandler's reaction to the final vote, Frick and Harridges' relationship with Chandler, the 1951 commissioner's dinner for team owners, Chandler and the Paul Pettit case, and general reflections on Chandler as baseball commissioner.

Interview Accession

1978oh039_chan045

Interviewee Name

Frederick M. Saigh

Interviewer Name

William J. Marshall

Interview Date

1978-05-16

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Saigh, Frederick M. Interview by William J. Marshall. 16 May. 1978. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Saigh, F.M. (1978, May 16). Interview by W. J. Marshall. A. B. "Happy" Chandler: Desegregation of Major League Baseball Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Saigh, Frederick M., interview by William J. Marshall. May 16, 1978, A. B. "Happy" Chandler: Desegregation of Major League Baseball Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt70rx93958m