Bowie Kuhn career timeline

Updated: March 15, 2007, 6:37 PM ET
ESPN.com

Bowie Kuhn, who served as Major League Baseball's commissioner for 15 tumultuous years, died Thursday at age 80 after a brief illness. His career highlights -- and lowlights:

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• 1969 -- Named commissioner before the season (position was vacant following firing of General Eckert in 1968); four new teams (Royals, Pilots, Expos and Padres) added; denies Curt Flood's request to overturn the reserve clause; elected by owners for a seven-year term as commissioner.

• 1970 -- Pilots move to Milwaukee and become the Brewers; suspends Denny McLain (three months) for his involvement in a bookkeeping operation; reprimands Jim Bouton in a private meeting for writing "Ball Four."

• 1971 -- Signs MLB to a $72 million TV contract with NBC; first World Series night game.

• 1972 -- Washington Senators move to Arlington, Texas, and become the Rangers; players strike during spring training.

• 1974 -- Orders Hank Aaron to start at least two of the three season-opening games in Cincinnati; suspends George Steinbrenner for two years for making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon and others.

• 1975 -- Re-elected to a seven-year term

• 1976 -- Forces the owners to abandon the idea of a preseason lockout; voids the A's sales of Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue and Joe Rudi due to it not being in the "best interests of baseball."

• 1977 -- Arbitrator rules in favor of free agency, abolishing the reserve clause; two new teams (Mariners and Blue Jays) added; suspends Ted Turner for one year for tampering charges in the signing of OF Gary Matthews.

• 1979 -- Issues a notice saying that all reporters, regardless of sex, be treated equally in terms of locker room access; informs then part-time Mets coach Willie Mays that he must disassociate with baseball after accepting a position with the owner of several casinos (later reinstated by Peter Uerberroth).

• 1980 -- Stalls a players' strike; suspends Fergie Jenkins following his drug arrest in Toronto (later overturned by arbitrator).

• 1981 -- Players strike (50 days, 171 games)

• 1982 -- Owners vote not to renew his contract.

• 1983 -- Suspends Royals Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens and Jerry Martin and Dodger Steve Howe for one season for alleged use of illegal drugs (later shortened by arbitrator); suspends Mickey Mantle from baseball after he took the job as director of sports promotion for a hotel in Atlantic City (reinstated by Peter Ueberroth).

• 1984 -- Peter Ueberroth elected as new commissioner, to take over Oct. 1

• 2003 -- Receives 20 out of a possible 79 votes from the Veterans Committee for the Hall of Fame

Other notes:

• Attendance tripled from 1968-1980.

• Revenue grew more than $10 million in same era MLB expanded from 20 to 26 teams.

• Baseball offices were moved to a permanent location in New York City.

• He was MLB's youngest (44), tallest (6-foot-5) and heaviest (240 pounds) commissioner.

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