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Picture of the Day: November 12

Posted By HistoryNet Staff On 6/12/2006 @ 8:03 pm In Picture of the Day | No Comments

Baseball's First Commissioner

On November 12, 1920, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, pictured here throwing out the first ball, became the first commissioner of baseball, a position he held until his death in 1944. Replacing the powerless three-man National Baseball Commission, Landis was given almost dictatorial powers and charged by the owners with cleaning up the game, which had been rocked by scandal when eight Chicago White Sox players were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series. The players' 1921 conspiracy trial ended with acquittal for lack of hard evidence, but Landis needed to reassure fans of baseball's integrity. The eight White Sox, including 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson and Oscar 'Happy' Felsh, were barred from baseball for life.

Photo: Library of Congress

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