Interview with Martin W. "Marty" Marion, May 19, 1978
Project: A. B. "Happy" Chandler: Desegregation of Major League Baseball Oral History Project
Interview SummaryBorn in Richburg, South Carolina, Marty Marion is a former Major League baseball player and manager. In this interview, he discusses the 1946 Major League season, the Mexican League's raid on the St. Louis Cardinals, his early impressions of Baseball Commissioner Chandler, and Cardinal pitchers Ted Wilks, Murry Dickson, Howard Pollet, Johnny Beazley, Harry Brecheen, and Al Brazle. He talks about the origin of his nickname "Slats", Red Schoendienst, Stan Musial, the 1946 playoff against the Brooklyn Dodgers, Harry Walker, Enos Slaughter, Joe Garagiola, and Del Rice. He weighs in on the Walker-Cooper trade, St. Louis Cardinals owner Sam Breadon, Robert Murphy's attempt to unionize the Pittsburgh Pirates and the effect this had on the Cardinals, his (Marion's) being chosen as player representative, Dixie Walker and Billy Herman being chosen as player representatives, meeting with American League player representatives, the development of the player pension plan during a rain-out in New York, Doc Weaver and Larry MacPhail's roles in the development of the players' pension plan, the reaction the team owners had to it, and the threats that the Boston Red Sox (in 1946) and the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies (in 1950) made to withhold pension plan funds. He discusses inter-league competition as a way of financing the pension plan, the player representatives' meeting with team owners, Ford Frick, Philip Wrigley, Larry MacPhail, Will Harridge, Tom Yawkey, his (Marion's) scouting of the Equitable Company with Dixie Walker, players' support of the reserve clause, the role the media and Commissioner Chandler had in supporting the player pension plan, and the motivation the team owners had to settle. He talks about "Murphy Money", promotional activities, players' public appearances, the physical condition of players, Major League salaries in the 1940s and 1950s, barnstorming, the relationship that Cardinals' player representatives had with team owner Sam Breadon, Commissioner Chandler's role in securing radio-television revenue for the pension plan, a visit Marion and Fred Hutchinson made to Chandler's home to discuss radio-television revenues, and Chandler's negotiations with Mutual Broadcasting and Gillette. He describes the role player representatives had after the establishment of the pension plan, "beanball wars" in baseball, competing against Leo Durocher and Jackie Robinson, the attitude Cardinals players had towards Jackie Robinson, the rumors that the Cardinals would strike against the Brooklyn Dodgers, the reaction the players had to Chandler's suspension of Leo Durocher in 1947, the reaction the players had to Fred Saigh and Robert Hannigan's purchase of the Cardinals in 1947, Marion's impressions of Hannigan, and his relationship with Fred Saigh. Other topics include Marion's being hired by Bill Veeck to manage the St. Louis Browns in 1952, the relationship between Fred Saigh and Commissioner Chandler, the players' reaction to Chandler's dismissal as baseball commissioner; Fred Hutchinson as a player representative, the decline of the players' negotiation power in the 1950s, and Chandler's reputation as being a "players' commissioner".
Interview LC SubjectBaseball--United States Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991 Marion, Martin W. Marion, Martin W.--Interviews
Interview RightsAll 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 UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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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Marion, Martin W. Interview by William J. Marshall. 19 May. 1978. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Marion, M.W. (1978, May 19). 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.
Marion, Martin W., interview by William J. Marshall. May 19, 1978, A. B. "Happy" Chandler: Desegregation of Major League Baseball Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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