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Hamlet at the Bat [12 Dec 2006|09:18pm]

Here is part of a parody of Hamelt's soliloquy written in 1893.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the whole poem, but here's what I have found*: 

Hamlet at the Bat

To sacrifice, or not to sacrifice, that is the question.
Whether 'tis better in the average to suffer
The absence and lack of base hits,
Or take chances against a lot of fielders
And by slugging make them.  To find--to fan
No more, and by a drive, to say we end
The strike outs, and the thousand natural slips
This flesh is heir to; 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished.  To find--to fan--
To fan! perchance to touch--ay, there's the rub...

*Found in Harold Seymour's Baseball: The Early Years, 1989 edition, p. 357.
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...and pray for rain. [08 Nov 2006|11:32am]

First we'll use Spahn
then we'll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

- Boston Post, 9/14/48, on the otherwise thin starting pitching of the (eventual) 1948 NL champ Boston Braves.

Johnny Sain, of "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain" fame, great pitcher and better pitching coach, mentor to Leo Mazzone, has passed away at age 89. R.I.P.

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[28 Feb 2006|07:25pm]


my dad recently obtained a 8mm silent baseball film titled 'Safe At Home'
It features Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris at the training camp in Florida.
It's still in the packaging, and it's in great shape.

anyone have and idea how much it's worth? I found someone online trying to sell it between $50-$70... And then someone else trying to sell it for about $5.

I guess my best bet would be to take it to a collectors shop, but I don't trust those guys. I always feel like I'm going to have a gem, and they're going to tell me it's worth no-so-much and try to get me to sell it to them or something. CARD SHARKS?! WHAT?! Haha

Anyway. Yeah. Give me your input.
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MONTREAL EXPOS [16 Jan 2006|09:32am]

Hi there!
I'm a third year film student attempting to make a documentary on people who were fans of the Montreal Expos and how they felt when the team was moved to washington. It can include stories, memories, gripings, etc etc.

Also if anyone knows a good place to find archival footage of the expos, games, merchandise (on film) that would be helpful as well.
The commentary is much more important though.
Either comment here or email me at bluejaysfanforlife@yahoo.ca
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[02 Jan 1998|07:47pm]

im trying to find some kind of article about a hispanic man that was denied the right to be in the latino hall of fame because they thought he was black. or something. please, if you know ANYTHING about this, please respond to this. thankyou!!!
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Personalities [31 May 2005|11:31pm]

Ban Johnson

Byron Bancroft

The American League is Johnson's gift to baseball. Others were present at the creation, but it was Johnson's driving force, shrewd business sense, rigorous standards, and lively imagination that made the league a success.

He gave form and definition to the emerging role of baseball executive. After studying law but falling short of a degree at Marietta (Ohio) College, he became sports editor for the Cincinnati Commercial-Gazette. After Johnson 's friend Charlie Comiskey was fired as Reds manager after the 1894 season, they took over the faltering Western League, with Ban as president. It soon became known as the best-run circuit in baseball. A name change (to the American League) in 1900, combined with a series of swift, opportunistic maneuvers, outflanked the established NL, and by 1901 Johnson's league claimed major status. After some fine-tuning of franchises, the AL achieved the structure it held until 1954. In 1903 the NL was forced to accept its parity and agree to a World Series between league champions.

As boss, Johnson found no task too large or too small to merit his attention. He located millionaires to bankroll his teams, came down hard on rowdies and roughhousing on the field, appointed managers, arranged trades, and apportioned players. He arranged schedules to spread travel costs equitably, interpreted rules, levied fines and suspensions, issued statistics, and even recruited William Howard Taft as the first president to throw out an Opening Day ball. One of his most important contributions was to enforce respect for umpires as symbols of baseball's integrity.

He did it all with little grace and no humor. Johnson was hot-tempered, bullheaded, imperious, and uncompromising, not unlike many other tycoons of his time. But he was successful. His owners voted him $25,000 a year and his presidency for life.

During his term on the National Commission (the triumvirate, including the AL and NL presidents, that ruled ML baseball from 1903 until 1920), he was thought of as baseball's czar, but his downfall was inevitable. New AL owners were less willing to accept his high-handed decisions affecting their investments. Old friends were angered. Comiskey had once said, "Ban Johnson IS the American League!" But when he lost pitcher Jack Quinn to the Yankees on a Johnson ruling, the White Sox owner thundered: "I made you, and by God I'll break you!"

Indirectly, he did. The Black Sox scandal caused the abolition of the National Commission and the establishment of Judge Landis as Commissioner of Baseball. Johnson's era had ended. He remained AL president, but Landis limited his duties, curtailed his power, and ultimately humiliated him. After promoting an investigation concerning charges that Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker had been involved in gambling fixes in 1919, he was persuaded to resign on October 17, 1927.

[source: BaseballLibrary.com]
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hi there [20 May 2005|10:24pm]

just wanted to greet everyone and say i was glad i found what seems to be a pretty neat baseball community. reading back over the posts y'all seem to be very knowledgeable indeed, so i intend to stick around. i do, however, also have an alterior motive in making this post---i want to get the word around about a community i just created for enthusiasts of pitching, and especially knuckleballers, (hence the name) <lj user=knuckleballers). thanks for your time.
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[12 Apr 2005|08:35pm]

Does anyone here know where I could find a 1906 baseball uniform for sale?

Or one around that time period?

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Question [05 Apr 2005|11:04pm]

Is it just me, or does the Washington Nationals sound like a dead-ball era name?
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what was.... [14 Sep 2004|04:44am]

[ mood | bouncy ]

the most exciting world series you ever watched or read about?

For me, it was the 1991 series, beloved Braves losing to dastardly jack (off) morris and the twinnings...wasnt it something like 5 games settled by one run and 4 in extra innings???

o i have it all on VHS...it is like TORTURE...

but I feel worse for Phil Niekro, who (if my memory serves me right) never appeared in the Fall Classic, even tho he labored for 20 years with the Braves, who cast him off as too old, went to the Yanks, where he promptly won 16 games two years in a row, then to the Indians, where he threw his no hitter, then maybe a year back with the Braves...I dunno...

I grew up listening on the radio to Knucksie pitch for the anemic Braves of the 70s...except he did throw a n.hitter vs the padres, I think! sorry, I know I am way off target, but golly, I love Phil Niekro and knucklers in general; the Rangers had a similar one in Charlie Hough, but I wont even start...

meanwhile, on JULY 4 1984 at Arlington Stadium I saw NYY Phil Niekro blank the Rangers for 8 innings and collect his 3000th KO, except he threw a knuckler and it was a passed ball and Larry Parish reached first--apropos.

OH OH OH, I almost forgot, I got Phil's autograph that night, July 4, 1984!!!! {{{swoon}}}}

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You want uniforms? [04 Aug 2004|11:07pm]

This site is ridiculous. A subset of The National Baseball Hall of Fame, this site contains a catalog of uniform styles for every team and every year...I have yet to find a hole somewhere. The database is staggering. Check it out.
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1919 Black Sox Scandal (the website) [04 Aug 2004|10:43pm]

I just found an awesome website for anyone interested in the Black Sox scandal of 1919.

1919 Black Sox.com

One cool part: downloadable windows wallpaper! (I wish I could connect from home to get it on my desktop)
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The 100th World Series [02 Aug 2004|11:10pm]

Is Major League Baseball run by a bunch of idiots?

I have been reading a bunch of articles on Major League Baseball's website about the "100th Anniversary of the World Series, which coincidently, is this year, this upcoming world series. Except the articles were written in 2003, about the upcoming 2003 series (that the Marlins won). Oops. Last year was the 100th Anniversary, but due to two seasons in which the World Series was not played (1904 and 1994) the 100th World Series is this year. So all the pomp was effectivelty wasted on the 99th World Series that just happened to fall 100 years after the first one was held.

Two scenarios are being played out in my mind: First is that Major League Baseball is hoping everyone forgets John McGraw's refusal to have the New York Giants play in the 1904 fall classic and the strike which ended the 1994 season early, two stains on Major League Baseball's record; the Second is that being run by a bunch of idiots, led by the chief idiot, Bud Selig.

Either scenario is plausible.

You can even count for yourself at this page which lists the results of each World Series, 1903-2003, even the two that weren't played, marked as "N/A".

So just to let you allknow that this year is the 100th World Series. Good night.
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[01 Aug 2004|03:13pm]

Does anyone else here think that Gil Hodges should have a plaque in Cooperstown?
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Bob Gibson [01 Aug 2004|01:54pm]


Bob Gibson

b. November 9, 1935

RHP, St. Louis Cardinals, 1959-75.

There have been few pitchers more intimidating or more dominating than Bob Gibson. His great physical stamina and tremendous concentration gave him an enormous edge enhanced by his willingness to pitch inside and sometimes hit batters. His 1968 season is one of the very best ever turned in by a pitcher, and his stellar World Series performances made him the toughest pitcher in the Fall Classic since Whitey Ford and brought him Hall of Fame election in 1981. With a blazing fastball, darting slider, good curve, and pinpoint control, from 1963 to 1972 Gibson averaged better than 19 wins per season. He struck out more than 200 batters nine times and led the NL four times in shutouts. In 1971 he no-hit the Pirates.

Two aspects of Gibson's career demand special mention. In 1968 he pitched 13 shutouts on his way to a 1.12 ERA, the second-lowest since 1893 in 300 innings. During one stretch Gibson allowed only two runs over 92 innings. His strikeouts to innings ratio approached 1.0, while he walked only 62 batters all season. At one point he won fifteen games in succession.

The second area in which Gibson proved phenomenal was World Series play. He won seven consecutive games and pitched eight straight complete games in World Series competition. Only Whitey Ford owns more World Series victories than Gibson, who is also second all-time in WS strikeouts. In the opening match of the 1968 classic, Gibson beat 30-game winner Denny McLain 4-0 and set a Series record by fanning 17 Tigers. His 35 total strikeouts in the 1968 WS were also a record. He won Game Four 10-1, but lost Game Seven 4-1, on two days' rest, to Mickey Lolich. Gibson lost a shutout in the seventh inning when Curt Flood uncharacteristically misjudged a routine fly ball.

Gibson won the clinchers in both the 1964 and 1967 Series. In Game Two of the 1964 Series against the Yankees, he lost 8-3 but kept it close until he was knocked out in the ninth inning. He won Game Five 5-2 in ten innings, taking a shutout into the ninth. Coming back on two days' rest for Game Seven, he won 7-5. In 27 innings, he had 31 strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA. In 1967 he beat Boston's Jose Santiago in the opener, 2-1, and in Game Four, 6-0, and bested Jim Lonborg 7-2 in the finale.

A sickly child who almost died, Gibson was found to have a heart murmur but went on to excel in basketball and baseball in high school. He accepted a basketball scholarship to Creighton University and was the first person inducted into the school's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1957 Bob agreed to sign with the Cardinals for $4,000 and reported to the Omaha farm club. After the baseball campaign was complete, he joined the Harlem Globetrotters for a season. His Omaha manager, Johnny Keane, had great confidence in him, but two trials with the Cardinals had produced a 6-11 record and not much of an impression on the St. Louis manager, Solly Hemus. However, when Keane replaced Hemus in 1961, he put Gibson in the starting rotation to stay. Gibson blossomed in 1963, going 18-9, as the Cardinals contended following the acquisition of fine-fielding shortstop Dick Groat.

Gibson retired as the winningest pitcher in Cardinals history. He became the second pitcher in history to fan 3,000 batters and also hurled 56 shutouts. His incredible career was accomplished despite a fractured leg (1962), a severely strained elbow (1966), a broken leg (1967), and badly torn ligaments and knee surgery (1973). After struggling through the 1975 campaign on bad legs, Gibson decided in early September that it was time to retire when light-hitting Pete LaCock powered a grand-slam home run off him.

Gibson proved quickly and repeatedly there simply wasn't an element of the game he hadn't mastered. From 1965 to 1973 he won nine consecutive Gold Gloves for fielding excellence. He often helped his cause with the bat, laying down a successful bunt or hitting up the middle. He had 24 regular-season home runs plus a pair in World Series play. In 1970 he batted .303 and was occasionally employed as a pinch hitter.

After serving as former teammate Joe Torre's pitching coach with the Mets and Braves, Gibson returned to St. Louis as a baseball radio commentator and sports show host.

Career Notes:

Innings Pitched: 3,885
Win/Loss Record: 251-174
Earned Run Average: 2.91

World Series Stats
Innings Pitched: 81
Win/Loss Record: 7-2
Earned Run Average: 1.89

-All-Star in 1962, 1965-70, 1972
-Lead League in Wins, 1970
-Lead League in Earned Run Average, 1968
-Lead League in Strikeouts, 1968
-Most Valuable Player Award, 1968
-Gold Glove Award, 1965-73
-Elected to Hall of Fame in 1981

(Taken from baseballLibrary.com)
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Connie Mack [31 Jul 2004|01:05pm]


Connie Mack

b. December 22, 1862
d. February 8, 1956

Mack was involved in major league baseball, as a player, manager, and owner, for far longer than anyone else in the sport's history. He joined the NL's Washington team as a catcher at the end of the 1886 season and remained through 1889, then jumped to Buffalo in the Players' League in 1890.

The league folded after just one season and Mack went to the Pittsburgh NL team. He was named Pittsburgh's manager late in the 1894 season and remained through 1896, when he was fired. That was also his last season as a player. The 6-foot-1, 150-pound Mack was a good defensive catcher but not much of a hitter. He had a career average of .251 in 723 major league games.

In 1897, Mack began managing the Milwaukee team in the minor Western League, which was presided over by Ban Johnson. Johnson turned it into the American League in 1901 and gave Mack a 25 percent interest in the league's new Philadelphia franchise.

At a time when most managers were tough, brawling, profane men, Mack was a distinct exception. He didn't smoke, drink, or use profanity, and he wore a business suit, necktie and hat while managing from the dugout. Because he didn't wear the standard uniform, Mack was not allowed to step onto the playing field.

The Athletics won a pennant in 1902, a year before the World Series began. They were also pennant winners in 1910, 1911, 1913, and 1914, and they took the World Series every year except 1913. Despite that success, however, the franchise had financial problems and Mack had to sell off his best players to raise cash.

After seven straight last-place finishes, Philadelphia got back into the first division in 1925 and won three consecutive pennants, from 1929 through 1931, capturing the World Series in 1929 and 1930. Because of the depression, the franchise was again losing money. Mack sold four future Hall of Famers, Mickey Cochrane, Jimmy Foxx, Lefty Grove, and Al Simmons, to pay off $500,000 in debts.

Until 1940, Ben Shibe was the team's majority owner and Mack was the manager. After Shibe's death, Mack bought enough stock from his widow to become majority owner, with 58 percent of the team. He continued managing through 1950, when he was honored with a ticker tape parade in New York and an invitation to the White House.

Mack then retired, giving control of the team to his three sons. In 1954, he sold the franchise to Arnold Johnson, who moved it to Kansas City. Mack's record as a manager reflects the fact that the Athletics had more hard times than good times during his tenure: He won 3,731 games and lost 3,948, a winning percentage of .486.
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Score! [29 Jul 2004|11:17am]

[ mood | sleepy ]

I wandered into a used bookstore today, and found a hardback copy of Ken Burns' Baseball: An Illustrated History for $11!

::does happy dance::

I've been wanting this book for ages.

Random quote from the book:

I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I toss one that ain't been seen by this generation. Satchel Paige

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Cap Anson [28 Jul 2004|11:19pm]


Cap Anson

b. April 17, 1852
d. April 14, 1922

Anson not only batted over .300 in 24 of his record 27 major league seasons, he managed the Chicago NL team to five pennants. He was also the first player to collect 3,000 hits and the first baseball player to write his autobiography.

After attending Notre Dame for a year, Anson joined the Rockford team in the National Association in 1871, the first year of its existence, then spent the next four seasons with the association's Philadelphia Athletics.

When the National League was formed in 1876, Anson joined its Chicago team. Originally used primarily as a catcher and outfielder, he moved to first base in 1879 and stayed at that his position for the rest of his career. He also became the team's captain, the equivalent of playing manager, in 1879, earning the nickname "Cap." As he continued playing well into his forties, he became known as "Pop."

A poor fielder with little mobility, Anson was an outstanding hitter and an innovative manager. He led the Nl in hitting with a .399 average in 1881 and a .344 average in 1888, and was the RBI leader from 1880 through 1882, 1884 through 1886, and in 1888 and 1891.

He's often credited with inventing the hit and run play; he certainly used it frequently. In 1885, Anson became one of the first managers to take a team south for spring training, and he was a tough disciplinarian who fined players for being overweight, for drinking, and for missing curfews at a time when players weren't often disciplined.

While Anson is sometimes blamed for the banning of black players from organized baseball, it's unlikely that he was that powerful. He was a bigot who protested vehemently when the Newark Little Giants wanted to start a black pitcher, Harry Stovey, in an 1887 exhibition game against Chicago; as a result, Stovey was held out of the game. Given the temper of the times, however, blacks probably would have been banned even without Anson's outburst. A short time before, the minor International League had formally voted to prohibit black players.

Anson guided Chicago to pennants from 1880 through 1882 and in 1885 and 1886. He was fired by a new owner after the 1897 season, then went to New York to manage the Giants, but he lasted less than a season there.

In 22 seasons as a major league player, Anson batted .329 with 2,995 hits, including 528 doubles, 124 triples, and 97 home runs. He scored 1,719 runs and drove in 1,879. As a manager, he had a 1,296-947 record for a .578 winning percentage.

(copied/pasted from Hickok Sports)
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Kenesaw Mountain Landis [28 Jul 2004|11:18pm]


Kenesaw Mountain Landis

b. November 20, 1866
d. November 26, 1944

Baseball's first commissioner, the flinty, colorful, and often arbitrary Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, took control of the game when its integrity was in question. When he died nearly a quarter of a century later, baseball's name had long since been restored.

Landis was the son of Dr. Abraham Landis, who had lost the use of his leg in the Civil War battle of Kennesaw Mountain in northwest Georgia. At his son's birth, Dr. Landis suggested they call him "Kenesaw Mountain." The name and the misspelling stuck.

Landis's early career gave little indication of the heights he would later reach. A high school dropout, Landis's first ambition was to be a brakeman on the Vandalia and Southern Railroad, but the company's officials rejected his application. The diminutive Landis won some fame as a bicycle racer at various Indiana fairgrounds and operated a roller skating rink before moving over to journalism. While covering court cases for the Logansport (Indiana) Journal, he decided to become a lawyer and enrolled in the Y.M.C.A. Law School of Cincinnati. In 1891 Landis obtained his degree from Chicago's Union Law School, now a part of Northwestern University.

Two of his brothers, Charles and Frederick Landis, became Indiana congressmen. While still in his 20s Kenesaw sat in on State Department cabinet meetings. Appointed to the federal judiciary by Theodore Roosevelt, Landis quickly earned a reputation for quirky but newsworthy justice.

His record $29,240,000 fining of Standard Oil, the Ryan baby case, and the jailing of 94 Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) members and Socialist Congressman Victor Berger for antiwar activities during World War I all placed him squarely in the public eye, even though his decisions were often overturned.

In one fiery wartime speech Landis demanded that Kaiser Wilhelm II, his six sons, and 5,000 German militarists be "lined up against a wall and shot down in justice to the world and to Germany." Many thought him a mere grandstander. "His career typifies the heights to which dramatic talent may carry a man in America if only he has the foresight not to go on the stage," said Heywood Broun.

But Organized Baseball (OB) had a high opinion of Landis. During the Federal League war Landis had done the baseball establishment a great service. The existing major leagues had faced a stiff challenge from the Federal League both on the field and in the courts as the upstart circuit sought to overturn Baseball's reserve clause. Landis heard the case within a month, and Baseball held its breath.

But then Landis firmly sat on the case. Months passed, and the Judge issued no decision. It was obvious he didn't want to issue one, because he knew what a flimsy legal structure baseball was built upon. "Both sides must understand that any blows at this thing called baseball would be regarded by this court as a blow to a national institution," Landis had warned from the bench.

Finally, the Federal League threw in the towel, getting the best deal they could from OB. Landis's inaction had been the key. "Many persons felt that Landis had saved baseball in 1915," wrote The Sporting News' J. G. Taylor Spink. "Had he ruled Organized Baseball to be a gigantic trust, the Federal League contention, he could have thrown the whole game into chaos. There would have been no sanctity of baseball territory. Had he decided against the legality of the reserve and 10-day clauses, the effect would have been free agencies for all the great players of the time…."

Landis had saved OB's hide, and the owners knew it. When the 1919 World Series fix became public knowledge in September 1920, OB needed someone to restore confidence in the badly shaken institution. Landis was an obvious choice. On November 12, 1920, every major league owner except the intransigent Phil Ball of the Browns paid a visit to Landis's Chicago court. They stood in the rear of the room while Landis continued hearing cases. When he finished, Landis called them into his chambers. There, they offered him chairmanship of a new three-member "Board of Control" over Major League Baseball. Landis demanded absolute power and got it.

"At their request and in accordance with my own earnest wishes I am to remain on the bench and continue my work here," announced Landis. "The opportunities for real service are limitless. I have been devoted for nearly 40 years. On the question of policy, all I have to say is this: 'The only thing in anybody's mind now is to make and keep baseball what the millions of fans throughout the United States want it to be.'"

Will Rogers once remarked, "The game needed a touch of class and distinction, and somebody said, 'Get that old guy who sits behind first base all the time. He's out here everyday anyway.' So they offered him a season pass and he grabbed it."

In the summer of 1921 the accused "Black Sox" were acquitted under highly questionable circumstances. Long used to having his decisions overturned by higher courts, Landis, now commissioner of baseball, returned the favor and reversed the jury's decision. "Regardless of the outcome of juries," he said, "no player that throws a ball game, no player that entertains proposals or promises to throw a game, no player that sits in a conference with a bunch of crooked players where the ways and means of throwing games are discussed, and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever again play professional baseball."

Old and new scandals continued to plague baseball for the first few years of Landis's tenure. Youthful Giants outfielder Jimmy O'Connell and Giants Coach Cozy Dolan were banned from the game following a failed bribe attempt. Frankie Frisch, Ross Youngs, and George Kelly were implicated but cleared by Landis. "Shufflin' Phil" Douglas was also banned after offering to throw a game. Outfielder Benny Kauff was blacklisted for implication in an auto-theft ring. As in the Black Sox scandal, Landis ignored the verdict of a jury, this time with what many critics felt was far less justification.

Landis was a headstrong, autocratic czar. Current Biography termed him "the only successful dictator in United States history." But Organized Baseball already had a dictator in American League President Ban Johnson. Johnson was by no means ready to relinquish the hold he had on the game. Throughout the early 1920s Landis consolidated power at the expense of his rival. The proud Johnson was left humiliated and stripped of real authority.

The last great scandal of Landis's tenure involved the biggest names in baseball, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker. In 1926 pitcher Dutch Leonard accused the two stars of conspiring to fix the last game of the 1919 season. Leonard also accused Smoky Joe Wood of placing bets on the contest for Cobb and Speaker. Landis's verdict exonerating the accused trio has come under heavy criticism from some historians.

Landis was a staunch opponent of Branch Rickey's minor league farm system and fought it tooth and nail. "It will be the ruination of the individual minor league club owners," he declared. Landis liberated numerous minor league players during his tenure. In one 1938 case, Landis freed 91 Cardinal farmhands, including Pete Reiser and James "Skeeter" Webb. In January 1940 he hit the Detroit system, freeing scores of players and costing the Tigers an estimated $500,000.

One of Landis's most important personnel decisions came on December 10, 1936, when he awarded young Bob Feller's contract to Cleveland. Another significant decision involved the freeing of Tommy Henrich from the Indians system in April 1937. Henrich was able to sign with the Yankees for a $25,000 bonus.

Landis's assumption of control over all World Series decisions, his well-publicized disciplining and suspension of Babe Ruth after the 1921 Fall Classic, and his removal of Cardinal outfielder Joe Medwick from the field in the riotous seventh game of the 1934 World Series all created headlines.

World War II threatened to interrupt Major League Baseball, but Landis indirectly obtained President Franklin Roosevelt's green light to continue the national pastime. Landis's last major move was in 1943 when he banned Phils owner William D. Cox from the game for gambling.

It was not until Landis died that Major League Baseball club owners finally integrated their teams. Many have contended that this was no coincidence. Nonetheless, just before Landis died in November 1944, his contract was extended to January 1953, when he would have been 86 years old. Such was the hold of Landis on baseball that even as frail as he was, no one dared oppose him.

Despite his faults, Kenesaw Mountain Landis was passionately devoted to baseball and to preserving its integrity. "Baseball is something more than a game to an American boy," he declared. "It is his training field for life work. Destroy his faith in its squareness and honesty and you have destroyed something more; you have planted suspicion of all things in his heart."

(copied/pasted from En el Punto -yet surprising in English, though the website is out of the Dominican Republic)

There is also a good one-page bio on the Eastland Memorial Society's Website. The direct link to the exact article here.
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Ty Cobb [28 Jul 2004|08:20pm]


Cobb, Tyrus R.

b. Dec. 18, 1886, Narrows, GA
d. July 17, 1961

Some consider Cobb the greatest baseball player ever. He was certainly the most feared and most disliked. He played as if driven by demons. Hughie Jennings, who managed him for several years, said of Cobb, "When he was in his prime, he had half the American League scared stiff." Rube Bressler, who played against him, described Cobb as "the most feared man in the history of baseball."

Cobb once announced, "I would cut the heart out of my best friend if he ever tried to block the road." His apparent hatred for the world and almost everyone in it probably stemmed, at least in part, from his father's tragic death in 1905. Suspecting his wife of infidelity, W. H. Cobb climbed a ladder to look into her bedroom window one night and Mrs. Cobb shot and killed him. She was tried for voluntary manslaughter but won acquittal, testifying that she had mistaken her husband for an intruder. Cobb, who was very close to his father, saw his mother only occasionally after that and didn't attend her funeral.

On August 30 of that year, Cobb joined the AL's Detroit Tigers. From the beginning, he refused to room with anyone, ate his meals alone, and rarely spoke to any of his teammates off the field. But even the opponents who feared him soon had to respect his skills as a hitter and base-runner.

After batting only .240 in his first season, Cobb hit .316 in 1906, the first of a record 23 seasons in which he had a batting average over .300. He won a record 10 batting titles, hitting .350 in 1907, .324 in 1908, .377 in 1909, .420 in 1911, .409 in 1912, .390 in 1913, .369 in 1915, .383 in 1917, .382 in 1918, and .384 in 1919. Cobb also batted .401 in 1922 but lost the batting title to George Sisler, who hit .407 that season.

He also led in stolen bases with 49 in 1907, 76 in 1909, 83 in 1911, 96 in 1915, 68 in 1916, and 55 in 1917; in runs scored with 116 in 1909, 106 in 1910, 147 in 1911, 144 in 1915, and 113 in 1916; in hits with 212 in 1907, 188 in 1908, 216 in 1909, 248 in 1911, 226 in 1912, 208 in 1915, 225 in 1917, and 191 in 1919; in doubles with 36 in 1908, 47 in 1911, and 44 in 1917; in triples with 20 in 1908, 24 in 1911, 24 in 1917, and 14 in 1918; and in RBI with 119 in 1907, 108 in 1908, 107 in 1909, and 127 in 1911.

For good measure, Cobb was the league leader in home runs with 9 in 1909, becoming the second player in AL history and the fourth in major league history to win the triple crown.

Cobb helped lead the Tigers to three consecutive pennants, 1906 through 1908. However, they lost the World Series all three years. Cobb hit .368 in the 1907 Series, but only .200 in 1906 and .231 in 1908.

Despite the impressive numbers he compiled over the next seventeen seasons in Detroit, the Tigers never won another pennant while he was there. Cobb became the team's playing manager in 1921, a move that surprised the baseball world because of the way even his teammates felt about him.

As a manager, he had moderate success, guiding the Tigers to a second-place finish in 1923 and two third-place finishes in six seasons. After the 1926 season, Detroit abruptly released him. It transpired that Ban Johnson, the league president, had been given two letters, one written by Cobb, that seemed to indicate he had been involved with Tris Speaker in fixing a 1919 game between Detroit and Cleveland.

Johnson declared that Cobb and Speaker would never play in the American League again, but Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis cleared both players of the charges and Johnson resigned shortly afterward.

Cobb went to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1927, hitting .357, and he retired after batting .323 in 95 games the following year. Wise investments, especially in the Coca-Cola Company, had made him a wealthy man and he spent the rest of his life in lonesome retirement. Twice divorced, he was estranged from his six children. His autobiography, My Life in Baseball, consists largely of tirades against former teammates and opponents.

(copied/pasted from Hickok Sports)
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