This day in baseball: Return of fan balloting

On March 28, 1970, baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn announced the re-institution of fan balloting for the MLB All-Star Game.  It would be the first time since 1957 that fans would get to vote on the eight position players, a practice that had been revoked after years of ballot stuffing.  To prevent the problem from happening again, 26 million ballots were evenly distributed to 75,000 retail outlets and 150 minor and major league stadiums.  Kuhn also announced that a special panel would determine whether ballot stuffing occurred in the voting.


Bowie Kuhn, 1970 (Sports Illustrated)

This day in baseball: Ueberroth elected

On March 3, 1984, Peter Ueberroth was elected the MLB’s sixth commissioner, replacing Bowie Kuhn.  Ueberroth was also the president of the 1984 Olympic Committee, when the Olympics were held in Los Angeles.  As a condition of his hiring, Ueberroth increased the commissioner’s fining ability from $5,000 to $250,000, and his salary was raised to $450,000, nearly double what Kuhn was paid.

Peter Ueberroth

Peter Ueberroth (ABC News)

Quote of the day

I believe in the Rip Van Winkle theory—that a man from 1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for seventy years, walk into a ballpark, and understand baseball perfectly.

~Bowie Kuhn