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Take Landis Name off the MVP Award

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#21 nicksaviking

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 02:22 PM

 

question, don't mean to be argumentative, but haven't people been creating statues for almost all of history? I think the oldest statue is 30,000-40,000 years old.

 

Sure. Back in those days they erected statues to revere or fend of deities. Later many statues were created of conquerors, liberators and kings, but these were quite often put up as bragging rights and to make sure the subjugated people knew their place and prosperous people knew where their loyalties were supposed to be paid.

 

During the Renaissance most statues were created to as a means of creating an abstract cultural ethos or as a Biblical interpretation. The shift to these forms of art was not an accident, they intentionally stopped immortalizing contemporary men and instead embraced the intangible. It was a cultural shift and there was quite a bit of push back from what would probably be a similar crowd that we see are pushing back today.

 

No one is asking to have The Statue of Liberty or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier removed because they are an abstract idea, they represent a cultural ethos. Art is much more meaningful when it's representative of an idea, not just meant to deify one single man.

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#22 Tomj14

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 02:31 PM

 

No one is advocating from removing his name from MLB, only to remove his name from the award.The point of having his name on the award was to honor him.I do not understand where you read the advocacy of removing any mention of him when talking about the history of baseball.You can talk and learn about history without honoring certain people in history for what they did.Talk about Landis and what he did, good and bad, but do not honor his name making black players have to see it every time they look at an award that they should be proud to have earned.

As I said in my first post, remove his name, don't care, didn't know it was there.

 

Honest question, is he a racist because baseball wasn't integrated? I can't find anything online that says he created rules against it or wouldn't let owners do it? I have seen people say he wouldn't let owners sign black players, but I also seen a quote of his "That is the business of the manager and the club owners. The business of the Commissioner is to interpret the rules and enforce them"

 

Not defending him at all, but doing limited research I am not finding a smoking gun?

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#23 AceWrigley

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 03:06 PM

 

No one is advocating from removing his name from MLB, only to remove his name from the award.The point of having his name on the award was to honor him.I do not understand where you read the advocacy of removing any mention of him when talking about the history of baseball.You can talk and learn about history without honoring certain people in history for what they did.Talk about Landis and what he did, good and bad, but do not honor his name making black players have to see it every time they look at an award that they should be proud to have earned.

Has anyone who has won the award expressed any "problems" with the named award when they received it? I agree that it should be an award that all who receive it should be proud. Barry Larkin won it 25 years ago. Did he have a problem then? I'm not trying to be adversarial here; everybody has had some really good comments. It seems to me it should be up to the players to ask the BBWAA to change it, if anybody. Meanwhile, back to baseball. Go Twins!!


#24 ashbury

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 03:15 PM

 

As I said in my first post, remove his name, don't care, didn't know it was there.

 

Honest question, is he a racist because baseball wasn't integrated? I can't find anything online that says he created rules against it or wouldn't let owners do it? I have seen people say he wouldn't let owners sign black players, but I also seen a quote of his "That is the business of the manager and the club owners. The business of the Commissioner is to interpret the rules and enforce them"

 

Not defending him at all, but doing limited research I am not finding a smoking gun?

It's pretty well accepted that Bill Veeck tried to buy the Phillies around 1942 with the plan to stock the team with stars from the Negro Leagues. And also that Landis put a stop to that and had the NL step in and buy the ailing franchise out from under him. Of course, language was surely coded. But Landis's opinions were well known. Baseball could have been integrated a good half a decade sooner than it was - and that is from Veeck being willing to go behind Landis, maybe it could have been done in the 1930s with some cooperation and foresight by a different commish.

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#25 nicksaviking

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 03:50 PM

 

As I said in my first post, remove his name, don't care, didn't know it was there.

 

Honest question, is he a racist because baseball wasn't integrated? I can't find anything online that says he created rules against it or wouldn't let owners do it? I have seen people say he wouldn't let owners sign black players, but I also seen a quote of his "That is the business of the manager and the club owners. The business of the Commissioner is to interpret the rules and enforce them"

 

Not defending him at all, but doing limited research I am not finding a smoking gun?

 

Yeah, this had been news to me, and I always loved reading baseball history. Ash laid out the most damning evidence with Bill Veek, but since this came out I've been looking for more stories. I guess Leo Durocher also publicly stated that he wanted to integrate the Dodgers but Landis would not let them. After a call into the commissioners office Durocher said he had to stop talking about it. Of course the Dodgers then integrated a year after Landis died.

 

It's not hard to believe though, Landis ruled baseball almost as a dictator, I don't think there has been a sports commissioner before or since that as wielded as much authority as he did. If he wanted integration, he would have had at least half the owners kneeling before him saying "As you wish".

 

It does bum me out though as I did have a soft spot for him. Landis was a big cog in Roosevelt's trust-busting machine. His iron-fisted cracking of Standard Oil was a big win for our country.

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#26 SQUIRREL

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 05:01 PM

I'm curious ... how many of you knew the award had Landis' name on it?

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#27 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 06:12 PM

 

It's pretty well accepted that Bill Veeck tried to buy the Phillies around 1942 with the plan to stock the team with stars from the Negro Leagues. And also that Landis put a stop to that and had the NL step in and buy the ailing franchise out from under him. Of course, language was surely coded. But Landis's opinions were well known. Baseball could have been integrated a good half a decade sooner than it was - and that is from Veeck being willing to go behind Landis, maybe it could have been done in the 1930s with some cooperation and foresight by a different commish.

 

It does sound like Landis held what are, by 2020 standards, racist views.Yet he should be judged by his contemporaries and the time in which he lived--my guess is that Landis was barely more racist, if at all, than the average person in the 1920's to 1940's.We could also easily state that with a different commish, integration could have come in the 1950's or 1960's.If the motivation for removing Landis' name is that he no longer represents baseball based solely on one aspect of his life, then we need to be ready to remove anyone else's name on the same flimsy threshold.If the award is named the Jackie Robinson awar, and it turns out Jackie Robinson didn't like gay people very much, we'll have to get rid of his name.Historical figures must not be judged by non-historical standards.

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#28 ashbury

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 08:10 PM

Yet he should be judged by his contemporaries and the time in which he lived

I found an interesting quote:

 

For twenty-four years Judge Landis wouldn’t let a black man play. I had his records, and I read them, and for twenty-four years Landis consistently blocked any attempts to put blacks and whites together on a big league field. He even refused to let them play exhibition games. ... For twenty-four years, the record will show that my predecessor said, 'if you're black, you can't play.' Why? Because that's what the owners wanted him to do.

 

I was named the commissioner in April 1945, and just as soon as I was elected commissioner, two black writers from the Pittsburgh Courier, Wendell Smith and Ric Roberts, came down to Washington to see me. They asked me where I stood, and I shook their hands and said, “I’m for the Four Freedoms, and if a black boy can make it in Okinawa and go to Guadalcanal, he can make it in baseball. My quote was printed in the Pittsburgh Courier, and when [Branch] Rickey saw that, he started making plans.

 

Would you accept a man's successor as his "contemporary"? The author of the above quote was baseball commissioner Happy Chandler, as reported in "Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers" by Peter Golenbock.
 

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#29 Monkeypaws

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 09:11 PM

Pretty much every trophy in the NHL has a name attached to it: Stanley, Ross, Hart, Richard, Selke, etc. 

 

I know nothing about Lord Stanley or Con Smythe or the others, but will be interesting to see anything similar happens there. I mean, it is about the whitest sport ever.


#30 Tomj14

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:22 AM

 

It's pretty well accepted that Bill Veeck tried to buy the Phillies around 1942 with the plan to stock the team with stars from the Negro Leagues. And also that Landis put a stop to that and had the NL step in and buy the ailing franchise out from under him. Of course, language was surely coded. But Landis's opinions were well known. Baseball could have been integrated a good half a decade sooner than it was - and that is from Veeck being willing to go behind Landis, maybe it could have been done in the 1930s with some cooperation and foresight by a different commish.

So the link you added, explained Veeck's story, but also had this tidbt - "Subsequently, the article was strongly challenged by historian Jules Tygiel, who refuted it point-by-point in an article in the 2006 issue of SABR's"

 

I think my definition of pretty well accepted might differ from yours. Again not saying he wasn't a racist, but people seem to be looking real hard to prove he was and overlooking he saved baseball.

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#31 SQUIRREL

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 07:03 AM

So the link you added, explained Veeck's story, but also had this tidbt - "Subsequently, the article was strongly challenged by historian Jules Tygiel, who refuted it point-by-point in an article in the 2006 issue of SABR's"

I think my definition of pretty well accepted might differ from yours. Again not saying he wasn't a racist, but people seem to be looking real hard to prove he was and overlooking he saved baseball.


So, you think his name should remain on the MVP award?
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#32 Trov

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 07:48 AM

 

As I said in my first post, remove his name, don't care, didn't know it was there.

 

Honest question, is he a racist because baseball wasn't integrated? I can't find anything online that says he created rules against it or wouldn't let owners do it? I have seen people say he wouldn't let owners sign black players, but I also seen a quote of his "That is the business of the manager and the club owners. The business of the Commissioner is to interpret the rules and enforce them"

 

Not defending him at all, but doing limited research I am not finding a smoking gun?

Although no overt statements that say, "I will not let a black player play," or something like that, it was stated for very long time that he had great influence over the owners and would behind the scenes help keep the owners to the unwritten rule of no blacks.There was never a rule on the books, it was the understanding by all owners that was the rule, and Landis would keep the owners in line with that rule.There are many stories that state Landis was behind much of the color barrier, but being a smart judge he knew not to come out and say it.There is a story of him blocking purchase of a team that had intentions to hire many black players.There is not coincidence that shortly after his death a black player was signed and then made the majors.  

 

So no smoking gun, he was too smart for that.He knew how to keep the oppression hidden from the public. 


#33 Trov

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 07:54 AM

 

Has anyone who has won the award expressed any "problems" with the named award when they received it? I agree that it should be an award that all who receive it should be proud. Barry Larkin won it 25 years ago. Did he have a problem then? I'm not trying to be adversarial here; everybody has had some really good comments. It seems to me it should be up to the players to ask the BBWAA to change it, if anybody. Meanwhile, back to baseball. Go Twins!!

I do not know how many, if any, players spoke out at the time they won it.I bet if Barry Larkin spoke out 25 years ago about it he would not have received the same level of support he is now.Players to speak out when they are playing, in what they believe may be an oppressive league could have resulted in loss of job and black balling by owners.Maybe some did speak out, but fell on deaf ears or in the lack of social media days when you are at the mercy of the media to spread the word, things were different.I will agree that since it is the baseball writers that named the award and give it out, they should be ones that change it, still does not change the fact that is should be changed. 

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#34 Tomj14

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 07:58 AM

 

So, you think his name should remain on the MVP award?

about 10 posts up I typed

As I said in my first post, remove his name, don't care, didn't know it was there.

 

I mean honoring a guy that saved baseball (which they obviously didn't do a good job of since very few people know he is even on the trophy) from the black sox scandaland gambling or not honoring a guy because 100 years ago baseball was not integrated?

The players that were able to win a MVP award and now are offended by the guy on the trophy, should also be educated that without this man there might not be MLB around for them to play.

 

I think the writers need to do some research (since it is their award) present their findings and suggestions to the players union and figure this out.

 

At the end of the day if removing him, makes feel good and better about themselves than that is what should be done.


#35 nicksaviking

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 09:29 AM

 

about 10 posts up I typed

As I said in my first post, remove his name, don't care, didn't know it was there.

 

I mean honoring a guy that saved baseball 

 

He didn't save baseball, he just saved the MLB. Or rather, he saved the MLB owners from having to pay players much money. 

 

He was a judge before he was a commissioner. He had no problem calling Standard Oil a monopoly and busting up the company but only a couple of years later a new baseball league (The Federal League) was trying to compete with the AL and NL, and sued on the basis that the Reserve Clause was illegal. Of course the AL and NL wanted to claim the rights to the players for eternity even though the Federal League was offering the star players more money. Landis basically told The Federal League to screw off, and don't mess with my favorite sport. He was particularly upset that the Federal League team in Chicago, the Whales, was encroaching on the Cubs and White Sox territory. 

 

So not only did he prohibit integration, but he also set the precedent that players would never have control of their destiny for the next SIXTY years. Yeah, this was the guy who ensured there would be no free agency until 1975.

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#36 nicksaviking

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 11:00 AM

 

WOW, Very disappointed in you Nick, you took what I said, quoted half of it as some sort of statement I made, sad.

 

I was only disputing your assertion that he somehow saved baseball which appeared to be the crux of your argument as to why his name shouldn't be removed from the trophy.


#37 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 11:20 AM

 

I found an interesting quote:

 

 

Would you accept a man's successor as his "contemporary"? The author of the above quote was baseball commissioner Happy Chandler, as reported in "Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers" by Peter Golenbock.
 

 

I would agree that Harry Chandler is Landis' contemporary, but being as Harry Chandler is only one person, he is not Landis' contemporaries.I imagine that no matter how heinous a person's worldview is, there is at least one other person in agreement; therefore, one person believing a certain ethos is not an accurate representation of zeitgeist.

 

Chandler's admirable views on integration are less an indictment of Landis than an approbation of Chandler.

 

Now, if contemporary polling exists that demonstrates a majority of Americans in the 1920's to 1940's shared Chandler's views, that would change my thinking.Without any knowledge, and having done no investigation, I am doubtful that a majority of first-half-of-the-20th-century Americans held current-ish views on race, given that this time period predates the Civil Rights Movement.If so many people held favorable views on racial equality, why was a years-long effort needed to enshrine those views in law?

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#38 Tomj14

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 11:23 AM

 

I was only disputing your assertion that he somehow saved baseball which appeared to be the crux of your argument as to why his name shouldn't be removed from the trophy.

So you are disputing he was brought in as commissioner to save baseball (MLB) from the Black Sox Scandal and rampant gambling? I didn't know that was up for debate, it seems every site that talks about him says that even ESPN in their article about removing him.

 

Wasn't he the first person to suspend a professional athlete for racism?

 

I have said in at least three posts I am fine with removing him from the MVP award, what I was pointing out the he did some good and probably some bad, and others need to decide which is most important.

If he didn't restore trust in MLB, there might not be MLB now, which means no MN Twins and no Twins Daily website to discuss MLB baseball. Now one could argue that letting MLB crash and burn might have turned out a better product, but that would be pure speculation.

 

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#39 SQUIRREL

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 11:35 AM

I still want to know who here knew the MVP award was named for Landis prior to this discussion?

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#40 Tomj14

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 11:55 AM

 

I still want to know who here knew the MVP award was named for Landis prior to this discussion?

I have read though this whole thread, and I don't see one person saying he should be on the trophy. There are some on here pointing out history, culture and things he did, but not justify why he should be on the trophy or that he was even an OK person. There are others trying to prove they are be more righteous then the rest because of their wokeness.

And because nobody is arguing he should stay it turned into a conversation about the first Commissioner of baseball and the culture around that time which I believe is a good thing, isn't learning about the good and bad history of the sport/league we talk about on this site help beneficial to understanding the game today?