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Thursday, May 20, 2021

Benny Kauff, baseball’s flashiest trash talker

Kauff was sent to the Giants farm club in Toronto, with the expectation that they would bring him back in 1921, likely when everything blew over, but the case was still not solved by the end of the season. With rumors of other fixes swirling around baseball in the wake of the Black Sox scandal, Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis certainly didn’t like this new wrinkle. He blamed Kauff for the delay in the case—though how this was his fault is still unclear—and he was suspended at the start of the 1921 season pending the results of his court case.

When the case finally wrapped up in May, the jury deliberated for less than an hour before finding Kauff not guilty. Now, you would think that meant Kauff could return to the sport, but Landis disagreed. He didn’t like the company that Kauff kept and thought that Kauff’s presence in a big league lineup would “inevitably burden patrons of the game with grave apprehension as to its integrity.”

That was it: Kauff and his hyperbolic quotes were banned from baseball. Kauff wanted to get back into the game, even countersuing Landis to plead his case. No amount of lawsuits or begging could get Landis to change his mind. Kauff was out at the age of 30 years old.

He hung around the game that didn’t want him, though. Kauff remained a scout for the next 22 years before finally, and perhaps fittingly given his outlandish outfits, becoming a clothing salesman. We’ll always have to wonder what may have come of the “Ty Cobb of the Federal League,” though.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2021 at 10:38 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gambling, kenesaw mountain landis

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Accent Shallow only believes what it believes Posted: May 21, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6020061)
An interesting story that I was somehow not aware of.
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 21, 2021 at 01:33 PM (#6020081)
That'll teach him to be Jewish!
   3. Itchy Row Posted: May 21, 2021 at 01:54 PM (#6020089)
If it didn't really happen, you'd assume it's fiction.
Can't argue with that.

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