Korr, Charles P(aul) 1939-

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KORR, Charles P(aul) 1939-

(Charles Korr)


Born July 31, 1939, in Philadelphia, PA; son of Louis M. (in sales) and Helen (Gimpel) Korr; married Anne Elizabeth Storer (a social worker), August 26, 1963. Education: University of CaliforniaLos Angeles, B.A., 1961, M.A., 1965, Ph.D., 1969; attended University of London, 1966-67. Politics: Democrat.


Home—104 West Pine Pl., St. Louis, MO 63108-2112. Office—Department of History, University of Missouri, 8001 Natural Bridge Rd., St. Louis, MO 63121. E-mail[email protected].


University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA, instructor in history, 1965-66; Stanford University, Stanford, CA, instructor in history, 1967-70; University of Missouri, St. Louis, assistant professor, 1970-74, associate professor of history, 1974-86, professor of history, 1986—, chair, department of history, 1992-95, director, center of humanities, 1995-97; research associate at Center for International Studies, 1975—. Special assistant for international programs to mayor of St. Louis, 1977-81; Leadership St. Louis, member, 1980; Wilton Park Conferences, Sussex, England, participant, 1977, 1983, 1988; University of Western Cape, South Africa, visiting professor, 1993.


International Association for the History of Sport and Physical Education, International Association for the Study of Sports, North American Society for Sport History (member of editorial board), Center for the Study of European Culture, Cromwell Association, Australian Society for Sport History, Conference on British Studies, American Historical Association, Historical Association (England), Royal Historical Society (fellow, 1976).


Grants from Penrose Fund, 1971, American Council of Learned Societies, 1973, and American Philosophical Society, 1976; Excellence in Service award, University of Missouri, 1990; Batts Happy Lecture, 1998.


Cromwell and the New Model Foreign Policy: England's Policy toward France, 1649-1658, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1975.

More Than a Game: West Ham United, the Making of a Football Club, Duckworth, 1984, published under name Charles Korr as West Ham United: The Making of a Football Club, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1986.

The End of Baseball as We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81, foreword by Bob Costas, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 2002.

Contributor to history journals and magazines, including St. Louis.


Charles P. Korr once told CA: "When I decided in 1973 to do my research and writing on the subject of the relationship between sport and society in the twentieth century, it represented a complete break with my past work. Until then, all of my research and writing had been concerned with seventeenth-century England. My work on West Ham United, the most important soccer club in East London, has given me the opportunity to understand just how much sports mean to people and has enabled me to get involved in a community unlike any here in the United States."

"It has taken quite a while for other academics to see that sport is an important part of modern society and is worthy of scholarly attention. There has also been the danger of turning sport into a subject that ignores the passions and uncertainties involved in it. I think my work, as well as that of other colleagues, has gained academic respectability without losing the essence of sports. I feel that I have been very fortunate to be able to combine a lifelong interest in sports with my research. It has given me new insights into so many activities that I have taken for granted. I have discovered that my students see their world in a very different way when they use sports as the telescope through which to look at politics and economics. It has not always been easy to be part of a new discipline—sports history—but the results have been worth the time and effort."

Being an historian whose interest lies in sports, Korr decided to take on the issue of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) in The End of Baseball as We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81. MLBPA, the union for major league baseball, did not always exist, and in his book Korr unearths the series of events that lead to the development of the union. "Korr's reporting is heavily slanted toward the players' side, and he often paints a disturbing picture of the owners as mustachio-twirling villains, but it is hard to ignore the sheer volume of foot-in-mouth statements by baseball management figures that are part of the public," wrote John Nettles on the PopMatters Web site. Nettles stated that Korr's book describes how the MLBPA "brought the players out of the Dark Ages and into the position of professionals with a measure of control over their own careers." Nettles continued, "Korr's book recalls the fiery rhetoric, monumental egos, and down-and-dirty fighting that went on at the time and continues to resound today."

Some of The End of Baseball as We Knew It focuses on Marvin Miller, who represented the MLBPA. People did not think highly of Miller, and Miller infuriated anyone who would spar with him simply due to his calm demeanor and tactful negotiating skills. Library Journal contributor R. C. Cottrell wrote, "Korr challenges many assumptions about the labor leader. Rather than manipulating the players, Miller frequently felt compelled to respond to their greater militancy." It was Miller's steadfast spirit that gave players the right to relocate for a new team, rather than being stuck with the team they originated with, as well as the right to ask to be compensated for their talents. Korr points out that many fans do not realize that, although these players are participating in a game they love, it is still a job. Korr goes further to point out that like any other job, players should have the rights that were not granted to them for many years before the MLBPA was in place.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Harry Levins explained, "Readers should be aware that The End of Baseball as We Knew It focuses on the labor-management rivalry, not on the game itself." He continued, "it goes past baseball as a game to look at baseball as a business." Levins believed that Korr "downplays the money and praises the players for standing up for the principle of control over their own fate." That is difficult for many fans to comprehend, knowing the current over-the-top salaries of average players. Korr's book was written "with an academic's heavy touch." stated Levins. Booklist contributor Wes Lukowsky described the book as "an engagingly written, carefully researched study of the forces that have shaped the National Pastime into the game it has become today."



American Historical Review, October, 1989, review of West Ham United: The Making of a Football Club, p. 1101.

Booklist, September 1, 2002, Wes Lukowsky, review of The End of Baseball as We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81, p. 41.

English Historical Review, January, 1990, review of West Ham United, p. 254.

Library Journal, August, 2002, R. C. Cottrell, review of The End of Baseball as We Knew It, pp. 106-107.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 28, 2002, Harry Levins, review of The End of Baseball as We Knew It, p. E1.

Times Literary Supplement, January 30, 1987, review of West Ham United, p. 106.


PopMatters Web site,http://www.popmatters.com/ (September 16, 2002), John Nettles, "Strikes and Sheer Balls," review of The End of Baseball as We Knew It.*