On This Day

Kenesaw Mountain Landis

1st MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Profession: 1st MLB Commissioner

United States of America

Why Famous: Kenesaw Mountain Landis was a United States federal judge from 1905 to 1922 and was the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920 until his death in 1944.

His iron rule over the sport is credited with restoring public confidence in baseball after the Black Sox scandal in which he expelled 8 members of the Chicago White Sox for allegedly conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series.

Landis has been blamed for delaying the racial integration of baseball but major positives during his time were the crackdown in gambling, the development of the farm system and the annual All-Star game. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by a special vote shortly after his death.

Born: November 20, 1866
Birthplace: Millville, Ohio, USA
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: November 25, 1944 (aged 78)
Cause of Death: Heart failure

Historical Events

  • 1920-11-12 Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis elected 1st baseball commissioner
  • 1921-12-20 AL votes to return to best-of-7 World Series, while NL votes best-of-9 Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis casts deciding vote for best-of-7
  • 1922-02-18 Kenesaw Mountain Landis resigns his federal judgeship to give full attention to job as Major League Baseball Commissioner
  • 1922-05-20 Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel, previously suspended by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, return to the NY lineup and go hitless
  • 1926-12-16 Kenesaw Mountain Landis renewed 7-years as baseball commissioner
  • 1934-01-19 MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis denies Joe Jackson's appeal for reinstatement
  • 1938-03-23 Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis frees 74 St Louis Cardinals minor league players
  • 1938-07-31 MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspends New York Yankees outfielder Jake Powell after he said on Chicago radio he kept in shape by "cracking" African Americans over the head with his nightstick

Biographies and Sources

Famous Baseball Players