Judge Landis

Birthdate 11/20/1866
Death Date 11/25/1944
Debut Year 1921
Year of Induction 1944
Teams MLB
Position Commissioner

Kenesaw Mountain Landis was baseball’s first commissioner and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame shortly after he died in 1944.

Be sure to visit our page on Facebook.

Leave a comment

In the collection:

Judge Landis writes about Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, and Mordecai Brown

Judge Landis writes about Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, and Mordecai Brown

Elected as Baseball’s first commissioner on January 12, 1921, Kenesaw Mountain Landis wrote this letter less than three months into his 23-year tenure as the game’s chief. Landis mentions two of the first five men inducted into Cooperstown and Cubs legend and Hall of Famer Mordecai ̶
Handwritten letter from Jude Landis predating his time in baseball

Handwritten letter from Jude Landis predating his time in baseball

Before he became commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis was a federal judge. Appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt, Landis was on the bench from 1905-1922. In the collection is a letter from March 4, 1911 written in Landis’ hand and signed at the bottom. Landis would serve as M

3 responses to “Judge Landis”

  1. Howard Warren says:

    Though Judge Landis is credited with cleaning up professional baseball after the “Black Sox” scandal, he was responsible for keeping baseball a segregated game. His denials for this are legendary, however, his decisions and deeds on the matter speak more loudly than his proclamations. Besides being a horrible Federal Judge (read about his decisions being overturned by appellate courts) he was a malevolent first Commisioner of Major League Baseball. If ever there were a case to remove a man from the Baseball HOF, it should be reserved for this man. I realize that it would be easier to move Kennesaw Mountain than it would be to remove Judge Landis from the Hall.

  2. Kevin J Marquez says:

    I agree. When you are in a position that can make a difference, such as clarifying right from wrong, you have to take a stand. You will receive negative feedback but that’s to be expected because the people of close-minded ignorance will want to be heard. They don’t know any other way but to be confrontational. (Similar to Ernest T. Bass. He chose the rock with a note through the window method. No matter how many times he was asked not to break windows, Ernest T. got results when he did.)
    Maybe Landis didn’t want to be bothered with the confrontation. But with change comes the need for clarification. You have to persist.
    He chose not to do anything. Integration was not necessary. The African Americans had their own league.
    Integration was someone else headache.

  3. Judge Landis didn’t see any reason to integrate. The African Americans had their own league.
    He just did what he could to keep them in their league.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954