Former MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn passed Thursday night. Kuhn was MLB commish for 15 years, ending in 1984, and did battle with Curt Flood in a landmark anti-trust case, and was in office when arbitration — and the beginning of today’s free agency — started to come into being. Ken Rosenthal parses Kuhn’s enduring influence on the game, and Thomas Boswell provides a nicely turned memorial for Kuhn in today’s Washington Post.
Baseball fans who remember Kuhn’s starchy demeanor as commissioner will be surprised to read about Kuhn crossing his eyes, cracking jokes, and generally mugging it up in Boswell’s piece, in which he emerges as a gentle, awkward character. His tenure as commish was before my time, pretty much, but I do recall Kuhn fondly as a stiff, if good-natured, old dude who always threw out the first pitch at my hometown’s Little League Baseball Parade when I was a kid.