Ueberroth was Commissioner of Baseball from after the 1984 season until before the
1989 season. The millionaire California travel agent became a public figure for his
leadership organizing the 1984 Olympics, which turned a $215
by exploiting corporate sponsorships and media contracts. As Commissioner of Baseball,
he successfully increased owners' revenues through his television contract negotiations
and marketing schemes that encouraged big-dollar promotional support from large corporations.
The blot on Ueberroth's tenure was the owners' proven collusion against free agency
by players. This highly visible restraint of trade left the owners with substantial
contingent liabilities which survived Ueberroth's departure. Until final damages
are awarded, the profit picture for his reign is incomplete.
came down heavily on players who used cocaine, largely on the grounds that they were
being poor role models. Several big names, including Dwight Gooden and Lonnie Smith,
served drug-related suspensions while Ueberroth was in office. In 1989, Ueberroth
turned over the Commissioner's reins to former NL president A. Bartlett Giamatti.