Tag: Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first Major League Baseball Commissioner, dies of a heart attack

1944 – Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first Major League Baseball Commissioner, dies of a heart attack at age 78 in Chicago. Landis had ruled over baseball since November 1920 in the wake of the Black Sox scandal, and wielded authority perhaps unparalleled in any other industry. Landis had entered the hospital on October 2nd. He will elected to the Hall of Fame on December 9th in a special ballot.

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Commissioner Landis suspends William Cox indefinitely after the Phillies owner acknowledges making some “sentimental” bets on his team, not knowing it was against the rules. The gambling allegations first surfaced in July when the club’s recently fired manager, Bucky Harris, revealed he had evidence that his former boss was wagering on games played by Philadelphia.

Commissioner Landis suspends William Cox indefinitely after the Phillies owner acknowledges making some “sentimental” bets on his team, not knowing it was against the rules. The gambling allegations first surfaced in July when the club’s recently fired manager, Bucky Harris, revealed he had evidence that his former boss was wagering on games played by Philadelphia.

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Major league teams adopt several resolutions. The National League allows the Cincinnati Reds to play their season opener one day before other teams, as a way of honoring the 100th anniversary of baseball and of the 1869 Red Stockings being the first professional team. In other news, Will Harridge is re-elected as American League president and given a 10-year term. The AL permits the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Athletics to play night games. Finally, the major leagues agree on a standard ball but disagree on increasing rosters from 23 to 25 players. Judge Landis will eventually decide on 25.

1938 – Major league teams adopt several resolutions. The National League allows the Cincinnati Reds to play their season opener one day before other teams, as a way of honoring the 100th anniversary of baseball and of the 1869 Red Stockings being the first professional team. In other news, Will Harridge is re-elected as American League president and given a 10-year term. The AL permits the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Athletics to play night games. Finally, the major leagues agree on a standard ball but disagree on increasing rosters from 23 to 25 players. Judge Landis will eventually decide on 25.

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Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis grants free agency to a group of nine Cardinal minor leaguers that includes Pete Reiser

Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, not a fan of Branch Rickey’s farm system, grants free agency to a group of nine Cardinal minor leaguers that includes Pete Reiser. A reported gentlemen’s agreement that has Brooklyn signing and hiding the 19 year-old outfielder in the low minors to be traded back to St. Louis at a later date, doesn’t work when Brooklyn manager Leo Durocher disobeys orders, allowing the phenom to display his incredible ability in spring training exhibition games.

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 Commissioner Landis frees 74 St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, among them Pete Reiser, in yet another attempt to halt the farm system cover-up. Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Larry MacPhail makes a pact with his St. Louis counterpart, Branch Rickey, to take the as-yet unknown Reiser and swap him back in the future, but the young outfielder’s ability is too great to hide.

1938 – Commissioner Landis frees 74 St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, among them Pete Reiser, in yet another attempt to halt the farm system cover-up. Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Larry MacPhail makes a pact with his St. Louis counterpart, Branch Rickey, to take the as-yet unknown Reiser and swap him back in the future, but the young outfielder’s ability is too great to hide.

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Landis rules -Feller to stay with Indians

1936 – Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announces his ruling on the Bob Feller case. Feller joined Cleveland in July and Des Moines (Western League) protested, claiming the pitcher for themselves. Landis let Feller stay with Cleveland, pending his final ruling, which is announced today in favor of the Indians.

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Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announces that he is cutting his salary by 40 percent. Landis’s action is a sign of the times during the Great Depression; most players will have their salaries reduced for the coming season.

Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announces that he is cutting his salary by 40 percent. Landis’s action is a sign of the times during the Great Depression; most players will have their salaries reduced for the coming season.

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 Commissioner Landis bans boxing for all players following the brief boxing career of Chicago White Sox first baseman Art Shires. His challenge to slugger Hack Wilson purportedly prompts the ban. Shires fought several suspected bouts that resulted in his being suspended by the boxing commissions of 32 states but loses a desultory five-rounder to Chicago Bears center George “The Brute” Trafton. Shires did win a punch-out with Sox manager Lena Blackburne and two hotel detectives late last season.

1930 – Commissioner Landis bans boxing for all players following the brief boxing career of Chicago White Sox first baseman Art Shires. His challenge to slugger Hack Wilson purportedly prompts the ban. Shires fought several suspected bouts that resulted in his being suspended by the boxing commissions of 32 states but loses a desultory five-rounder to Chicago Bears center George “The Brute” Trafton. Shires did win a punch-out with Sox manager Lena Blackburne and two hotel detectives late last season.

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Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis issues a lengthy decision clearing Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker of any game-fixing charges

Citing accuser Dutch Leonard’s refusal to appear at the hearings of January 5th, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis issues a lengthy decision clearing Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker of any game-fixing charges. Landis orders the Philadelphia Athletics to reinstate Cobb and the Washington Senators to restore Speaker. Both are then made free agents. Philadelphia owner Connie Mack will sign Cobb on February 8th, and Speaker will sign with Washington on January 31st for a reported $35,000.

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Judge Landis begins a three-day public hearing to investigate the allegation the Detroit Tigers threw a four-game series to the Chicago White Sox in 1917

1927 – Judge Landis begins a three-day public hearing to investigate the allegation the Detroit Tigers threw a four-game series to the Chicago White Sox in 1917. The White Sox, Swede Risberg contends, returned the favor for two games in 1919. Near the end of the 1917 season, some Chicago players contributed about $45 each to reward Detroit pitchers for winning their last series against the Boston Red Sox, helping Chicago clinch the pennant. No witnesses confirm any part of the story, although Tigers pitcher Bill James denies ever receiving any money, and the others named deny all charges. A week after the hearing opens, Landis clears all the accused, ruling lack of evidence of anything except the practice of players paying another team for winning.

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Chicago Tribune breaks a story that the Detroit Tigers have thrown a four-game series to the Chicago White Sox in 1917

1926 – The Chicago Tribune breaks a story that the Detroit Tigers have thrown a four-game series to the Chicago White Sox in 1917 to help Chicago win the pennant. Responding to the publicity, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis convenes a hearing on the matter, but dismisses all charges. Landis can find no witnesses to confirm any part of Swede Risberg’s claim.

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Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis allows former New York Giants pitcher Rube Benton to return to the National League. Benton had admitted prior knowledge of the 1919 World Series fix, but remained active, winning 22 games for St. Paul (American Association). NL President John Heydler disagrees with Landis, calling Benton undesirable, but does not stop the Cincinnati Reds from signing him. Benton, at age 35, will be 14-10 for the second-place Reds.

1923 – Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis allows former New York Giants pitcher Rube Benton to return to the National League. Benton had admitted prior knowledge of the 1919 World Series fix, but remained active, winning 22 games for St. Paul (American Association). NL President John Heydler disagrees with Landis, calling Benton undesirable, but does not stop the Cincinnati Reds from signing him. Benton, at age 35, will be 14-10 for the second-place Reds.

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Joe Harris, formerly with the Cleveland Indians, is reinstated by Judge Landis 

1922 – Joe Harris, formerly with the Cleveland Indians, is reinstated by Judge Landis because of his good World War I record. Harris had been on the ineligible list for having played with and against ineligible players in independent games. “His service in France, where he was gassed after bitter fighting, caused him to do things he might not have done,” says Judge Landis in reinstating him. Last December, Harris was traded by Cleveland along with “Tioga” George Burns and Elmer Smith to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Stuffy McInnis.

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Benny Kauff’s suit for an injunction to restrain the decision to keep him out of baseball is rejected by the appellate court

1922 – Benny Kauff’s suit for an injunction to restrain the decision to keep him out of baseball is rejected by the appellate court. Kauff was acquitted of auto theft in 1921, but Commissioner Landis still barred him from baseball, stating, “That acquittal was one of the worst miscarriages of justice that ever came under my observation.”

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Owners unanimously elect Kenesaw Mountain Landis for seven years

1920 – Owners unanimously elect Kenesaw Mountain Landis chairman for seven years. The owners’ action comes in direct response to the Black Sox Scandal, which threatens the integrity of the game. Landis accepts, but only as sole Commissioner with final authority over the players and owners, while remaining a federal judge (with his $7,500 federal salary deducted from the baseball salary of $50,000).

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At a meeting to depose Ban Johnson as the American League president, a new 12-team National League is proposed

1920 – At a meeting to depose Ban Johnson as the American League president, a new 12-team National League, made up of the dissenting 11 teams plus one of the five teams loyal to Johnson, is agreed to. John Heydler will be its president and federal judge Kenesaw Landis the proposed chairman of the new commission. This revolutionary plan for a new senior circuit will be discarded a few days later, after four of the five American League clubs still backing Johnson agree to a joint meeting on November 12th in Chicago, IL.

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The Federal League’s year-old suit charging antitrust violations by organized baseball is dismissed by mutual consent in U.S. District Court in Chicago by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis

1916 – The Federal League’s year-old suit charging antitrust violations by organized baseball is dismissed by mutual consent in U.S. District Court in Chicago by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. No appellate decision is written and it will not be until 1922 when the courts rule on antitrust, in another suit stemming from the Federal League.

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a list of 123 Federal League free agents is released by the National Association.

Under the terms of the peace agreement, a list of 123 Federal League free agents is released by the National Association. Next month, the upstart league’s year-old suit charging organized baseball of antitrust violations will be dismissed by mutual consent in the U.S. District Court by Judge Kenesaw M. Landis, who will become the game’s first commissioner in 1920.

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