By: C.G. Morelli
Landis was the son of a Civil War hero, a Union soldier named Abraham who lost part of his leg in the battle of
. Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia
Whatever the case, old Kenesaw Mountain Landis worked his way to the judge’s bench in 1905 after serving as court prosecutor in
for 14 years. Being a self proclaimed man of action, he was determined to make his impact felt. Chicago
After just two years on the bench, Landis dropped a $30 million fine on the Standard Oil Company for snaking rebates off the rail and shipping companies. The decision was eventually overturned by higher courts, but the incident cemented an image of Landis as a hard-nosed maverick of the court systems.
Without so much as blinking, he banned for life all eight White Sox players who were involved in the scandal, including the great Shoeless Joe Jackson. He did so without giving any credence to a federal jury who’d found all eight players not guilty of any charges just a few weeks prior. And then he issued a statement that came to define his iron-fisted style of rule from the commissioner’s office.
“Regardless of the outcome of juries,” he said, “No player that throws a ball game, no man that entertains proposals or promises to throw a game, no player that sits in a conference with a bunch of crooked players where the ways and means of throwing games are discussed, and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever again play professional baseball.”