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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

MLB MVPs say time to pull Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ name off plaques

Something still bothers Barry Larkin about his Most Valuable Player award.

The other name engraved on the trophy: Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

“Why is it on there?” said Larkin, the Black shortstop voted National League MVP in 1995 with the Cincinnati Reds.

“I was always aware of his name and what that meant to slowing the color line in Major League Baseball, of the racial injustice and inequality that Black players had to go through,” the Hall of Famer said this week.

Hired in 1920 as the sport’s first commissioner to help clean up rampant gambling, Landis and his legacy are “always a complicated story” that includes “documented racism,” official MLB historian John Thorn said.

This much is true, in black and white, about the son of a Union Army doctor wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia during the Civil War: No Blacks played in the majors during his quarter-century tenure; Jackie Robinson broke the barrier in April 1947, about 2 ½ years after Landis died.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 30, 2020 at 03:59 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: kenesaw mountain landis

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   1. caspian88 Posted: June 30, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5960482)
They're right.
   2. Cblau Posted: June 30, 2020 at 09:47 PM (#5960498)
They are not right. Several blacks played in the major leagues during his tenure, such as Bobby Estalella and Tomas De La Cruz.
   3. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 30, 2020 at 10:18 PM (#5960502)
What are the odds this happens? 80%? 90%?
   4. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 30, 2020 at 10:40 PM (#5960503)
I'd like to think north of 90. Had no idea his name was even on the award.
   5. Boxkutter Posted: June 30, 2020 at 11:33 PM (#5960506)
They are not right. Several blacks played in the major leagues during his tenure, such as Bobby Estalella and Tomas De La Cruz.

Only under the guise that they were Cuban and not black.
   6. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: July 01, 2020 at 12:29 AM (#5960508)
They are not right. Several blacks played in the major leagues during his tenure, such as Bobby Estalella and Tomas De La Cruz.

Who's not right about what?

If some players passed as non-black, Regardless of their ancestry, that doesn't mean blacks were allowed to play during his tenure. I'm sure Derek Jeter could have played in 1940, as long as his father's identity was on the DL. He's not black, for this purpose, if no one thinks he's black.

Now, educate me.
   7. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 01, 2020 at 12:39 AM (#5960509)
Or when Dizzy Gillespie, as the story goes, wrapped a hotel towel around his head and got into a club that didn't allow blacks by being "African."
   8. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 01, 2020 at 07:09 AM (#5960518)
Larkin can just hire a bunch of Lilliputians to pull his MVP trophy down.
   9. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 01, 2020 at 08:10 AM (#5960523)
Something I read on Jim Crow many years ago claimed (sarcastically) that the number of "Portuguese" people in America reached record highs in the 1920s and 30s.
   10. Rally Posted: July 01, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5960528)
This is the first I've ever heard of Landis' name connected with the MVP trophy. Probably since I never won the award.

As for the pitcher award, what's Cy Young's record on race? Do we need to rename that one the Satchel Paige award? Actually, would not have the slightest objection to that. Cy Young was great but he didn't get big league hitters out when he was 59 years old.
   11. asinwreck Posted: July 01, 2020 at 12:52 PM (#5960552)
Renaming the pitcher's award after Bob Gibson right now, while he's still alive, would be cool.
   12. Ron J Posted: July 01, 2020 at 01:06 PM (#5960554)
#10 Young was anything but a typical guy for his time. He certainly has nothing positive on the subject of race relations but equally nothing remotely disqualifying.

Just a superstar who was probably the hardest working, most responsible player off the field. And a craftsman on it.
   13. donlock Posted: July 01, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5960555)
What about all the boys who were named Kennesaw Mountain after the commissioner? Are they supposed to change their names now, too?
   14. The Mighty Quintana Posted: July 01, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5960556)
I would think re-naming it the Hank Aaron award would be objectionable to no one in the game.

Yeah, I know, there's already some award named that for the best hitter. Maybe that can be renamed to the Brett award or something. Or Bonds!
   15. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2020 at 01:12 PM (#5960557)
As for the pitcher award, what's Cy Young's record on race? Do we need to rename that one the Satchel Paige award?


I think we should draw a line between those that were racist (which is like everyone) and those that actively and proudly labored for racist outcomes.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: July 01, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5960559)
I think we should draw a line between those that were racist (which is like everyone) and those that actively and proudly labored for racist outcomes.


Agreed.

   17. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 01, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5960565)
If we're going there about the Cy Young Award, the first winner of the award was Don Newcombe in 1955. He also was the first black pitcher to win Rookie of the Year, and the first black pitcher to be named MVP. He also was the first person in history to be an MVP, ROY, and CYA winner during their career.

If you think that awards like this should be named after all-timers, I'mnot sure Newcombe quite meets that standard on the field. But he is obviously a player of historic importance, and at his peak, he was considered one of the best players in baseball...
   18. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: July 01, 2020 at 02:14 PM (#5960567)
What about all the boys who were named Kennesaw Mountain after the commissioner? Are they supposed to change their names now, too?


When I was covering the courts in Little Rock, one older lawyer (a former judge, I think) went by Kay Matthews -- full name Kennesaw Mountain Matthews.
   19. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: July 01, 2020 at 02:28 PM (#5960571)
What would be the most awkward civil war battle given name? Without putting too much thought into it, I'll go with The Wilderness. "Meet my son, The Wilderness Jones."
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 01, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5960574)
The challenge is going to be tracking down all the former winners (or their descendants) and getting them to send their plaques back for re-engraving.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2020 at 02:47 PM (#5960578)
That problem will solve itself: Soros will just send Antifa after them.
   22. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 01, 2020 at 02:52 PM (#5960580)
This is hardly related to the topic of the thread, but since a broader point was raised:

If only the public could be relied upon to exercise such nuance.

Of course, the goalposts keep moving. In the early part of the 20th century, being against segregation was something to remark on. By the later part, it had become pretty much as presumable in polite society as being against rape and murder, which is what we call progress. But now, in the 21st century, Wikipedia tells us that "colorblindness" is racist (it may indeed be naive and simplistic under some circumstances, but that's a far cry). In the past, we've had good-natured debates on, for example, affirmative action on this site. At that time, it was acknowledged that a person might believe in a fair marketplace for all citizens to sell their labor without approving of the observable socioeconomic disparities that lead reasonable people to support that particular proposed approach to combating them. Those of us on the "nay" side preferred prioritizing education equality and recruitment, among other positive forms of empowerment. Some argued for class-based, rather than race-based, policies.

Will it become a dangerous social liability to have ever spoken or written against the policy of race-based affirmative action? Has it already become one? Obviously, it's very different from anything talked about here, but I have seen the view expressed, by supposedly intelligent people, that anyone who opposes race-based affirmative action is a you-know-what (amazingly enough, a poster here recently accused me of that for saying something like "everyone who lives in the world actually experiences emotions"). Those of us with such liabilities in our past must determine whether we can continue to have and express our philosophies, on those rare occasions when doing so is relevant or called for, while participating in mainstream society, or whether we need to make the tough decision to either lie through our teeth about having "changed our minds" or retreat to an opposition position outside the public sphere while still attempting to do our best to work toward education, opportunity, respect, and dignity for all.

(I've never been called on to make a political statement in class, or even in conversation with professional colleagues, and I've never done so. I hope never to do so, in no small part because I don't consider politics relevant to my field of study. Morality is, of course, because it's relevant to everything, but to me, the difference between equal opportunity and the proposed mechanism for achieving it is precisely the difference betewen morality and politics.)
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 01, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5960582)
That problem will solve itself: Soros will just send Antifa after them.
For some, sure, but a lot of the older winners were from before Bill Gates started implanting the tracking chips.
   24. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 01, 2020 at 03:57 PM (#5960595)
What would be the most awkward civil war battle given name? Without putting too much thought into it, I'll go with The Wilderness. "Meet my son, The Wilderness Jones."
From the list of Civil Wat battles at Wikipedia (the ones rated by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission), and deciding that both possessives (Elkin's Ferry) and "and" names (Garnett's & Golding's Farm) are OK, some other contenders:

Hatteras Inlet Batteries
Island Number Ten
Island Mound
Middle Boggy Depot
Deep Bottom
The Crater

Personally I'd rather be Deep Bottom McGunnigle or Hatteras Inlet Batteries McGunnigle or even The Crater McGunnigle than Middle Boggy Depot McGunnigle.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 01, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5960598)
What would be the most awkward civil war battle given name?
Not technically a battle, but this is definitely Appomattox Courthouse, from an episode of Growing Pains that has not aged well at all.
   26. phredbird Posted: July 01, 2020 at 05:06 PM (#5960620)

Renaming the pitcher's award after Bob Gibson right now, while he's still alive, would be cool.


seconded!
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: July 01, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5960621)
Personally I'd rather be Deep Bottom McGunnigle or Hatteras Inlet Batteries McGunnigle or even The Crater McGunnigle than Middle Boggy Depot McGunnigle.


I think Second Battle of Bull Run Unacceptable would be unfortunate, particularly since all my southern friends would be calling me Battle of Second Manassas Unacceptable.

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