Kuhn died at St. Luke's Hospital following a short illness, his spokesman, Bob Wirz said.In 1977, even though Kuhn was opposed to it, free agency became commonplace in baseball. Another interesting caveat: he once suspended George Steinbrenner for contributing to Richard Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign illegally. He also froze out Micky Mantle and Willy Mays from getting jobs in baseball after their association with a casino.
Kuhn's tenure, from 1969-84, was the most tumultuous economically in Major League history. His name will be forever linked with Marvin Miller, the first full-time executive director of the MLB Players Association, which came to prominence during the 1970s.
Kuhn, at 44 years old, was the youngest man ever to be elected Commissioner.
According to Kuhn's Wikipedia entry, he came up with the idea for the famed POW lifetime baseball passes.
In 1980, during the Iranian hostage crisis, Kuhn sat at a baseball game with Jeremiah Denton, a Navy admiral and former POW in Vietnam. Recalling the event to The Washington Post, Kuhn believed that "that afternoon...the idea of a lifetime baseball pass was discussed," and upon their return from Iran, each of the 52 hostages was given one of these unique passes.R.I.P. Bowie, R.I.P.