It’s only natural that Carew Tower had a giant baseball player on its eastern façade for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Two baseball giants once called the place home.
A.B. “Happy” Chandler, Major League Baseball’s commissioner from 1946 to 1951, established his main office in Cincinnati’s tallest building after World War II. National League President Warren Giles maintained his office there in the 1950s and ’60s.
Chandler leased the downtown space because Cincinnati was the closest major-league city to his home in Kentucky, said Addison Lanier II, grandson of Carew Tower developer John J. Emery.
“His office was not large,” Lanier said. “It was just for Commissioner Chandler and a secretary. The office was, however, one of the fanciest in the Carew Tower. It had an elaborate plaster ceiling with recessed cove lighting. Happy Chandler was, apparently, something of a showman, and the office must have suited him well.”
Warren Giles ran the league from Carew Tower for 18 years, starting in 1951, said Katy Feeney, senior vice president for scheduling and club relations for Major League Baseball.
“Prior to being elected league president by all the owners, he was with the Cincinnati Reds,” she said, “so he kept an office there — moved from the ball park to the Carew Tower.”
It was typical for league presidents to stay on their home turf at the time, said Feeney, whose father, Charles “Chub” Feeney, succeeded Giles as league president in 1969. Giles was general manager of the Reds for 15 years before taking the league post. His leadership of the National League included two expansions that brought the New York Mets, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres into the league.
Giles’ Cincinnati office had three executives and secretaries who assigned umpires, made sure the rules were followed and disciplined players and umpires.