Eight Men Out and Judge Kenesaw Landis

Today’s film was an interesting and historically accurate look at the times when baseball was in it’s infancy and corruptible.  Bad behavior of owners created player revolts and the temptation to take bribes was the result.

The owners brought in one of the toughest judges in America to clean up their sport after the Black Sox Scandal.

In 1920, Judge Landis was a leading candidate when American League and National League team owners, embarrassed by the Black Sox scandal and other instances of players throwing games, sought someone to rule over baseball. Landis was given full power to act in the sport’s best interest, and used that power extensively over the next quarter-century. Landis was widely praised for cleaning up the game, although some of his decisions in the Black Sox matter remain controversial: supporters of “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and Buck Weaver contend that he was overly harsh with those players. Others blame Landis for, in their view, delaying the racial integration of baseball. Landis was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by a special vote shortly after he died in 1944.

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