Kenesaw Mountain Landis

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Landis, Kenesaw Mountain

Landis, Kenesaw Mountain (kĕnˈəsôˌ), 1866–1944, American jurist and commissioner of baseball (1921–44), b. Millville, Butler co., Ohio, grad. Union College of Law (now Northwestern Univ. law school), 1891. He practiced law in Chicago after 1891, the year he was admitted to the bar, and later served (1905–22) as a U.S. district judge in N Illinois. In 1907 he imposed a $29,240,000 fine on the Standard Oil Company of Indiana in a rebate case. Though it was reversed by a higher court, the decision won him wide acclaim. In 1917 he sentenced William D. Haywood, American labor leader, to a 20-year prison term, and although the decision was later reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, Landis sentenced Victor Berger and six other Socialists for sedition (impeding the war effort). After organized baseball was confronted (1920) with the “Black Sox” scandal, a committee of baseball executives appointed (1921) Landis—who had presided at the case in which the newly organized Federal League brought suit against the National and American leagues for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act—to the new post of baseball commissioner. Landis immediately barred from organized baseball the eight Chicago White Sox players charged with bribery in the 1919 world series. The strict discipline he imposed on players and managements did much to restore public faith in professional baseball.


See biography by J. G. T. Spink (1947).

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Landis, Kenesaw Mountain

(1866–1944) judge, baseball commissioner; born in Millville, Ohio. A lawyer appointed federal district judge in Chicago in 1905, Landis gained attention for his dramatic $30-million ruling against Standard Oil (later reversed) and for patriotic cases connected with the Espionage Act of 1917. As baseball's autocratic first commissioner (1920–44), he banned for life eight players who had previously been acquitted in the "Black Sox" scandal of 1919. He earned his reputation for integrity and for reestablishing the reputation and integrity of baseball, but his insistence on excluding African-Americans from organized baseball prevented their participation in the national pastime until after his death. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
National and American League presidents John Heydler and Ban Johnson, National Commission chair August Herrmann, and baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis all levied their disciplinary power in ways that reflected their desires to both protect the game's growing popularity and to maximize revenue.
The voice of conventional wisdom whispered, "We can't concern ourselves with a frivolous game while our boys are all over the world getting shot at and killed." The Major League Baseball commissioner with the monumental name Kenesaw Mountain Landis told President Franklin Roosevelt in early 1942 that he would defer to the White House on whether the nation's ballyards should be closed up for the war's duration.
In 1944, baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis died at age 78.
A long and contentious trial before Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who wouldn't permit the defense to show movies of Pan cars actually being built in the factory, resulted in acquittal for everyone but Pandolfo, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $4,000 fine.
As has been well documented, shortly after the United States entered World War II, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis penned a letter to President Franklin D.
In his excellent biography of Bill Veeck, author Paul Dickson tackles the controversy over whether National League president Ford Frick and/or Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis blocked Veeck's attempt to buy the Phillies in 1942 and field a team of players from the Negro Leagues, as Veeck alleges in his 1962 book, Veeck--as in Wreck.
There have been nine men who have served as MLB commissioner since the post was created in 1920 with Kenesaw Mountain Landis, whose 25 years (1920-1944) in that position are the longest.
Kenesaw Mountain Landis, commissioner of baseball from 1920 to 1944, said that integrating baseball too soon might "start another Civil War." Imagine that you're Branch Rickey, president of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The show also features a reading of original MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis's judgment against the "eight men out," read by MLB players Josh Hamilton, Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez, journalists DeFord and Sugar, and MLB Network's Barry Larkin and Al Leiter.
A court acquitted them of conspiring to defraud the public, but baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned them for life.
7 attack on Pearl Harbor--received a letter from baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who asked Roosevelt if the 1942 baseball season should be canceled because of World War II.
Jamison served on a commission that elected Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first commissioner of baseball in 1920.