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Alexander Sandy Hadden

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“Uncle Sandy's warmth and humor were some of the traits that made his nieces and nephews love him. ”
1 of 1 | Posted by: Julie Robbins - New York, NY


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Alexander (Sandy) Hawthorne Hadden passed away in his home in Grafton, Vermont, on November 4, 2010. Sandy was well known for his intelligence tempered with a tenderness that everyone felt came from the heart of a true gentleman. Sandy's sense of humor was well known to all his friends and family. In Grafton he was a founding member of O.I.N.K., The Order of International Noble Knoshers (a club of like-minded local foodies,) and one of the founders of Grafton cross-country ski-a-thons(during which time he often got fellow skiers lost in the woods.) After a meal he could be often found out under the stars enjoying the Fresh Vermont Air, his term for a good cigar. Sandy was born in Cleveland on December 23, 1924 to Marianne Millikin Hadden & John Alexander Hadden, Sr. He attended Hawken School and graduated from Milton Academy in 1942. He matriculated at Yale University in June of 1942, but his schooling was interrupted by the draft in 1943. During World War II, Sandy served as an Army infantryman in France and Germany. He was caught behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge and spent his 21st birthday attempting to locate his infantry company. Sandy took charge of the situation and led five men to safety, an act for which he was issued a Certificate of Bravery by the US Military. He finished out the War in Berlin serving on a detail protecting Truman's Little White House during the Potsdam Conference. However, after oversleeping twice in the deep feather beds of the Little White House, he was reassigned to the Berlin Provost Marshall's office where he served as head of the Berlin Transportation District. He was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant having received several field promotions during his service. Sandy's interest in WWII was life-long, and he traveled to France with his family in 1990 to revisit some of the sites of his war experiences. In 1999 he wrote and published a memoir entitled Not Me: The World War II Memoir of a Reluctant Rifleman, a wry account of his experiences during the war. After emerging in one piece from the war, Sandy returned to Yale and then attended Case Western Reserve Law School, graduating in 1951 and joining the Cleveland law firm of Baker Hostetler. His work there included a trip to Pakistan where he played a key role in determining the cause of the infamous 1950 explosion of a shipment of mines and dynamite in Perth Amboy, NJ. Sandy later specialized in trial and appellate practice, during which time he argued two cases in front of the United States Supreme Court. While a partner in the firm he served from 1964 to 1970 as General Counsel to the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs. He also served as President of the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club and was a member of Cleveland Tavern Club. In 1970, Sandy moved to New York to become Secretary-Treasurer and General Council to Major League Baseball under Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, thus uniting his professional career with his life-long sports interest. During his tenure with Commissioner Kuhn, Sandy participated in several landmark decisions including the 1970 Flood v. Kuhn case, the beginning of free agency, and negotiating broadcast TV rights in Japan. In 1985 he was named Deputy Commissioner of Baseball by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth. Sandy retired in 1986 and lived in the Grafton, Vermont and Sugarloaf Key, Florida. Sandy is survived by wife Susan Heiser Hadden and their daughter Kate Hadden, children John and David Hadden and Jane Geisse by first wife Shirley O'Brien Morgan, sister Elizabeth Alexander, and grandchildren Jesse, Erica, Ali, Boo, Taylor and Emma. He was predeceased by his daughter Betsy, and his brother John A. Hadden, Jr. He is also survived by his cat Louise, who slept with him every night. A private service will be held for family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Grafton Rescue Squad at: Grafton Rescue Squad Attn. Anne Craven PO Box 54 Grafton, VT 05146 BROWN-FORWARD SERVICE 216 752 1200

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