He died Nov. 4 at his home in Grafton, daughter Kate Hadden told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Hadden was the commissioner’s top aide from 1970 until Peter Ueberroth replaced him in 1985. Hadden was involved in the increasingly important national television contracts as baseball switched to night World Series games.
Under his watch, baseball expanded its national coverage, adding ABC in 1976 to its existing partnership with NBC. ABC started televising a national Monday night game in addition to NBC’s Saturday game of the week.
While not directly responsible for labor relations, Hadden assisted the commissioner during baseball’s early labor wars, including Curt Flood’s lawsuit, which baseball won when the Supreme Court reaffirmed its decades-old view that the sport was not interstate commerce. Players then went on to gain free agency in 1975 in the Andy Messersmith-Dave McNally arbitration case.
Commissioner Bud Selig said he last saw Hadden at Kuhn’s funeral in 2007. He said Hadden was a “vital member of the commissioner’s staff and helped lead our game through an important period in the game’s history.”
In addition to Kate Hadden, he is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter Jane Geisse; and sons John and David Hadden.
A private memorial is planned.
(This version CORRECTS name to McNally instead of Marshall)