by Madelyn Augustine and Madisyn Pannier
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was the first commissioner of baseball. A former federal judge, Landis was put in place after the Black Sox Scandal, in which the White Sox were accused of intentionally throwing the 1919 World Series. Landis was dedicated to getting shady characters out of the baseball scene, and ended up banning about 18 players from baseball during his time as commissioner. Though he was revered for these reasons, he was highly controversial for other reasons. He was a known racist, and set back the integration of baseball several years. He was also known to be a picky, ruthless character, who tolerated very little. This mainly comes into play when his relationship with the Spinks is examined. JG Taylor Spink and Landis worked very closely to publish a baseball guidebook to be entitled “Judge Landis and 25 Years of Baseball.” However, Landis took offense to some of (or the lack of) commentary on his person, and elected to pull out of publishing alongside Taylor Spink in order to publish his own book. For this he received much public criticism, and more than that Taylor Spink’s guidebook went on to garner much fame and many positive reviews. Landis passed in 1944, and shortly after was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Though their relationship was rocky, JG Taylor Spink commented after his death that, “Kenesaw Mountain Landis put the fear of God into weak characters who might otherwise have been inclined to violate their trust. And for that, I, as a lifelong lover of baseball, am eternally grateful.”
Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr., was an American politician from Corydon, Kentucky. He served Kentucky as a U.S. Senator and also as its 44th and 49th governor. Aside from his political positions, he also played a huge role for the baseball world as the second Commissioner of Baseball from 1945 to 1951. Chandler was a favored candidate for the position due to the idea of keeping the player in the league still playing ball during World War II. “Happy” was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 for his work as the Commissioner. Chandler served just a one 6-year term as the commissioner but accomplished a lot during his time. “
Happy” was commissioner during Jackie Robinson's time in the league and was known for supporting him. Jackie Robinson was historic for breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Chandler was well known as the “players commissioner” for all of his hard work on the pension program that the players of today will benefit from.
Overall Happy Chandler was a well liked man in the political and baseball world for his hard work and ambition for working towards a better future for all.