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Interview Summary

Robert "Bob" Broeg was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a sportswriter and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Baseball Hall of Fame. In this interview, he discusses his covering the press conference that announced A.B. "Happy" Chandler's appointment as baseball commissioner in 1945, his early work for the Post-Dispatch before full-time employment, his early aspirations to be a baseball writer, and the 1946 season, including the playoffs and the World Series. He talks about the 1945 World Series, Mickey Owen, Max Lanier, Fred Martin, and Lou Klein's jump to the Mexican League in 1946, St. Louis team owner Sam Breadon's trip to Mexico and his fining by Chandler, the Pasquel brothers' offer to Stan Musial to play in the Mexican League, and meeting with Chandler with Walter Mulbry and Muddy Ruel in 1946. He describes the players' demands on the team owners, the development of the players' pension plan and his newspaper coverage of it, inventions by Harrison Weaver, the 1946 St. Louis Cardinals team, the relationship between Sam Breadon and Branch Rickey, and Rickey's release in 1942. He talks about players who were sold by Breadon, Eddie Dyer, Rickey's role in the success of the Cardinals, Vern Stephens' return from the Mexican League, Luke Sewell, Ray Gillespie's role in signing players for the Mexican League, and the players' reaction to Chandler's suspending the Mexican League jumpers. He describes the threatened Pittsburgh Pirates strike in 1946, the reaction of the Cardinals and St. Louis Browns management to Robert Murphy's attempt to unionize the players, Judge Kennesaw Landis' views on gambling, "beanball" incidents between the Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers, and Muddy Ruel's role in the commissioner's office. He discusses Chandler's suspension of Leo Durocher in 1947, the threatened Cardinals strike against the Dodgers, the reason for the lack of black players on the Cardinals team in the 1940s, and black players for the St. Louis Browns. He describes Breadon's motivation to sell the Cardinals, Fred Saigh and Robert Hannigan's purchase of the Cardinals in 1947, Saigh and Chandler's disagreement over Sunday night baseball, Chandler's treatment of the team owners, Chandler's role in Saigh's trouble with the Internal Revenue Service, and the 1946 threat by the Boston Red Sox to withhold pension money. Other topics include the December 1950 team owners' meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida, Chandler's request for a vote of confidence at that meeting, Chandler's image as baseball commissioner, Chandler's role in the integration of major league baseball, Ford Frick and Chandler as baseball commissioner, the role of the commissioner, and the financial troubles of the Browns.

Interview Accession

1978oh038_chan044

Interviewee Name

Robert W. Broeg

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

Broeg, R.W. (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.

Broeg, Robert W., 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/xt7crj48r931