Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis was an American jurist who served as a federal judge from 1905 to 1922. He was the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920 until his death. He is remembered for his handling of the Black Sox scandal, in which he expelled eight members of the Chicago White Sox from organized baseball for conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series. Landis’ given name was a spelling variation of the site of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.
About Kenesaw Mountain Landis in brief
Kenesaw Mountain Landis was an American jurist who served as a federal judge from 1905 to 1922. He was the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920 until his death. He is remembered for his handling of the Black Sox scandal, in which he expelled eight members of the Chicago White Sox from organized baseball for conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series. His firm actions and iron rule over baseball in the near quarter-century of his commissionership are generally credited with restoring public confidence in the game. Landis’ given name was a spelling variation of the site of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, a major battle of the American Civil War in which his father had been wounded. The Landises descended from Swiss Mennonites who had emigrated to Alsace before coming to the U.S. In his spare time, he became a bicycle racer and managed a professional baseball team. He turned down a contract to play as a professional ballplayer, stating that he preferred to serve as a court reporter. He died in 1944 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by a special vote shortly after he died. He left school at 15 after an unsuccessful attempt to master algebra; he then worked at the local general store. He then worked for the Logansport Journal, the Cass County Circuit Court, and then became an official court reporter for Cass County, Indiana, in 1883. In 1883, he was dismissed as a brakeman, but was laughingly dismissed as too small. In 1886, he turned down an offer to play professional baseball for a professional team, the Chicago Cubs.
He later became a lawyer and personal secretary to Walter Q. Gresham, the new United States Secretary of State, in 1893. He returned to private practice after G Resham died in office. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Landis as a judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 1905. He received national attention in 1907 when he fined Standard Oil of Indiana more than USD 29 million for violating federal laws forbidding rebates on railroad freight tariffs. In the course of time, the spelling of his name became the accepted spelling of the battle site. As he grew, he did an increasing share of the farm work, later stating, “I did my share—and it was a substantial share—in taking care of the 13 acres … I do not remember that I particularly liked to get up at 3: 30 in the morning…. I do pride myself on having been a real reporter, nor a judge, nor an official official, but I do take great pride in being a real baseball official, and a real judge” He was married to Mary Kumler Landis, who was a country physician and mother of two sons, Charles Beary Landis and Frederick Landis. In 1920, Landis became a leading candidate when American League and National League team owners, embarrassed by the Black White Sox scandal and other instances of players throwing games, sought someone to rule over Baseball.