Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Major League Baseball's first commissioner, gave baseball a black eye in his 24-year run in that office.
"For 24 years, Judge Landis wouldn't let a black man play. I had his records, and I read them, and for 24 years Landis consistently blocked any attempts to put blacks and whites together on a big league field," once said Happy Chandler, Landis' successor.
One month after his death in 1944 at age 78, Landis was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
CALL FOR REMOVAL
Since then, MLB's most valuable player trophies bear Landis' name " a quiet but constant reminder of the bigotry and shame he brought to the game. Awarding a black player the Landis trophy is a bit like naming a Holocaust memorial after Adolf Hitler.
Simply put, the man should not be in the Hall of Fame. His presence there is an embarrassment to baseball, and more importantly, it's a slap in the face of every black player who was denied his civil rights for so many years.
They say you can't change history, but baseball has an opportunity to partially mend 24 years worth of racism and hatred.
Removing Landis from the Hall of Fame would be a giant step in that direction. "Jay C. Upchurch