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If not Landis, who else? Teddy Roosevelt good? (if earlier)

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  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    Looking through this thread, it looks odd to me that on hand people are talking about integrating baseball earlier than 1947 (which is probably a huge pipe-dream at best) and on the other they are talking about southerners as commissioner, or owners like Connie Mack who never seemed to have any inclanation to integrate.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    My Candidates for Commissioner:

    1. Branch Rickey, 1881-1965
    2. Connie Mack, 1862-1956
    3. Taylor Spink, 1888-1962
    4. Grantland Rice, 1880-1954
    5. Francis Richter, 1854-1926
    6. John B. Foster, 1863-1941
    7. Sam Crane, 1854-1925
    8. Louis Mencken, 1880-1956
    9. Monte Ward, 1860-1925
    10. Ferdinand C. Lane, 1885-1984

    The main things I look for are a sterling integrity and common sense.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-25-2006, 10:32 AM.

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  • DTF955
    replied
    Probably a writer would be better than a player, and e made too many enemies, but Monte Ward still came within one vote of being named N.L. President once.

    WIthout the Players' League and the animosity that caused, maybe - if he was put in in the time before Landis so he had time to work, say in 1910 or so. Then, upon his death in 1925 someone like Spink.

    Again, though, he'd have to make a few different decisions during his playing days. Very good lawyer afterward, though, from what I've read.

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  • Williamsburg2599
    replied
    Originally posted by [email protected]
    Who indeed? Most morally qualified candidates were occupied helping life in a larger context, and barely knew baseball. Some names come to mind, if we could have gotten them.

    Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, led India to independence from Great Britain via non-violence demonstrations.

    Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German Jew, theories on physics changed his field.

    Albert Schweitzer, 1875-65, German Christian philosopher, physician, humanitarian, missionary, musician.

    Nikolai Tesla, 1856-1943, Yugoslavian inventor whose ideas underlaid all modern machines.

    Henry Louis Mencken, 1880-1956, The most prominent newspaperman, book reviewer, and political commentator of his day, Henry Louis Mencken was a libertarian before the word came into usage.

    Lots of luck in securing any of their services. Although race is, of course, an imperative issue, there are more issues than that, and a candidate must be grounded in principles in general.

    Bill Burgess
    haha Ghandi as comish? that be interesting. I think he might be against allowing collisions at home plate. Einstien would be interesting too.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Another good candidate would have been Grantland Rice. A Southern, genteel, kindly, courteous, courtly, gracious gentleman.

    Bill Burgess

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Originally posted by DTF955
    For instituting a lot of the awards, all star games, etc., a good man to have might be Taylor Spink, who built the Sporting News so much.
    Wonderful, spectacular choice. I had forgotten about him.

    Four others are Francis Richter, John B. Foster, Sam Crane, Ferdinand C. Lane
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Introducing Frances Charles Richter

    Born: January 26, 1854, Philadelphia, PA
    Died: February 12, 1926, Philadelphia, PA, age, 72

    Philadelphia sports writer, 46 yrs., 1872-1926;
    Was Editor-in-Chief of Reach Official American League Base Ball Guide (1902-1926, Feb. 12, death); In those days, being a Guide editor was a position of enormous prestige/importance.

    Mr. Richter was a noted amateur player in Philadelphia. In 1872, he started writing sports with the Philadelphia Day, eventually rising to managing editor. He moved to the Sunday World and Public Ledger in 1880, when The Day folded. He instituted the US's 1st full-fledged sports departments in the Phil. Public Ledger.

    In 1876, the NL expelled the Phil. Athletics from the league. Consequently, Mr. Richter supported the the formation of the rival American Association (AA) in 1882. Mr. Richter founded the weekly Sporting Life in 1883, 3 years prior to the Spink Brothers founding The Sporting News, in 1886, in St. Louis, MO.

    In 1883, Mr. Richter assisted organizing the Phillies as the NL came back to Philadelphia. He supported the Player's League in 1890, with his Sporting Life.

    He wrote, "I have no very great cause to love the National League. What has it ever done for The Sporting Lie ... All the League ever did for The Sporting Life because it chose to act independently was to try and crush it."

    When the AA folded in 1891, Mr. Richter was involved in several tries to break the monopoly of the NL. In 1894, he allied with Al Bckenberger, Fred Pfeffer & Billie Barnie in a failed try to revive the AA. Again in early 1900, he allied with Chris Von Der Ahe, Cap Anson & John McGraw to reform a new AA.

    In 1901, he was named Editor-In-Chief of Reach Guide for 1902, which covered the AL. He continued in this role until he died.

    In 1880, he started the 1st sports dept. ever in a newspaper, The Public Ledger.

    Drew up National Agreement (1883),
    Helped place Phil Club in AA (1882),
    Helped place Phil club in NL (1883),
    Helped assimilate AA into NL (1891),
    Drew up Millenium Plan which ended BB war.

    Mr. Richter was offered the Presidency of the National League in 1907. He declined due to his obligations to the AL Reach Guide & his own Sporting Life.

    For many years, he was one of the official scorers for the World's Series games, sharing the honor with JG Taylor Spink, publisher of the Sporting News.

    He founded Sporting Life in 1883, a weekly baseball paper, which became a great force in BB until he disposed of it in 1917, during the War. The motto of his publication, "Devoted to the Baseball Men and Measures, With Malice Toward None and Charity for All," sums up the character of Mr. Richter.

    He was a columnist for Sporting News from Dec. 8, 1921 - Sept., 1925. His column, Casual Comment was often addressed to administrative matters. He was always at the top of the BB world, albeit behind the scenes, working for the betterment of the game he loved so much.

    For a long lifetime of service to BB at its highest levels, I nominate him for the Taylor Spink Award. His every waking moment was happily devoted to BB. In April, 1946, he & 11 others were elected to BB Hall of Fame as sports writers (Honor Rolls).
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Introducing John B. Foster

    Born: July 16, 1863, Norwalk, OH
    Died: September 29, 1941, Washington, DC, age 78

    Sports writer, 54 yrs. (Cleveland, 1887 - 1896), (New York, 1896 - 1941)
    Credited with promoting Army Navy game at the Polo Grounds into national interest.

    Years on BB 's rules committee. Considered an authority on BB law, rules, admin. Credited with answering 500,000 questions on BB rules, laws, and various phases of BB. Wrote digest of rules for the French. Was named official authority for rules for Japan.

    In 1910, he was suggested as President of the National League. Mentioned frequently between 1910 - '19, for that position.

    Official scorer at Polo Grounds almost all his career. Couldn't attend games after 1932, due to right side paralyzed. Followed BB via radio, newspapers.

    NY Giants' Secretary & business manager (Jan. 6, 1913 - Dec. 4, 1919);

    When Henry Chadwick died in 1908, John succeeded him as Editor-in-Chief of Spalding Official NL Base Ball Guide (1908-1941) and held it until he died.

    Foster was a close second to his dear friend Frances Richter in the baseball accomplishments he was able to achieve in a long BB lifetime. Like Richter, a must for Spink Award.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Introducing Sam Newhall Crane

    Born: January 2, 1854, Springfield, MA
    Died: June 26, 1925, Bronx, NY
    NY Press, 1890-1898, New York Journal, 1898-1925, sports writer, sports writer, 35 yrs.

    ML 2B, 1883-1890; NY spwr. 37 yrs., 1888-1925; Atlantic League president, 1895. Minor league manager, amateur player, 1875-82. Considered best fielding 2B for his time. Famous for how loved he was by all. (NY Journal, 1898-1925, at time, this paper had over 1m readers, largest daily in US.)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Introducing Ferdinand Cole Lane

    Born: October 25, 1885, near Moorehead, MN
    Died: April 20, 1984, Hyannis, Cape Cod, MA
    Baseball Magazine editor-in-chief, 27 yrs., 1910-1937; Wrote tons of articulate, technical articles, and winter articles with stars at their home.

    Editor-in-Chief of Baseball Magazine (Boston,1910-12), (1912-38, NYC). Wrote probably close to 1,000 excellent detailed articles on baseball's technical side as well as interviews w/stars at home in winter. Hall of Fame must. After retiring in 1937 from the editor's chair, he returned to Cape Cod for his long life. Headed Piedmont College's Hist. Dept.(1941-43) at Demorest, GA. Established journalism program there. He traveled extensively with wife Emma, whom he married in June, 1914. Together they made many overseas voyages,circling globe 6 times. Wrote several books on geography & nature for adults & youths, 1940's-50's. Published his poems in 1958 (On Old Cape Cod). Lived their final yrs. in Cape Cod nursing home, she died 10 months after him.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The above 6 BB men, spent virtually their entire lives immersed in the National Pastime. They all so lived the game that their peers were all amazed that they could do one activity for so long without outside diversions. Richter/Foster started BB sections in many newspapers, which helped popularized the game across the country. Obscure now, very famous then.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-18-2006, 06:11 PM.

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  • DTF955
    replied
    For instituting a lot of the awards, all star games, etc., a good man to have might be Taylor Spink, who built the Sporting News so much. Now, I don't thik he really came to prominence till after WW I, but he would be well respected perhaps as a person who could market the game well against the advances of TV, and probably would do well for interests of Pacific baseball, too, getting us expansion earlier.

    But, was Spink well-liked enough to take over after someone like Mack stepped down in, say, the 1940s?

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Maybe the most enlightened, progressive people available were Mack/Rickey. Rickey might have been a baseball visionary, but he sure wasn't a sharp tack at business.

    If he had been, he would never have allowed a bookkeeper like Walter O'Malley to outmaneuver / outsmart him, and forced him out of the Dodger's organization.

    But both men were morally qualified, and might have served baseball with distinction.

    Still another issue would have been instituting an early pension system, all star games, dealing with Mexican L. raids, night ball, establishing a formula, whereby a player receives 1/3 of a sale price. Another innovation would have been to supervise a player's association, to serve as counter-balance to owner's rights.

    If we want to go further back in this nice little exercise, a commissioner could have tackled abolishing the pitching cheating that was allowed to go on pre-1920. That was ridiculous. He could have also been helpful in seeing to it that the military draft exempted ballplayers. Men in uniform like to read about their heroes, while their off in foreign lands.

    Bill Burgess
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-18-2006, 05:01 PM.

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  • DTF955
    replied
    Okay, thanks; it was earlier than I thought.

    So, if that got blown further out of proportion for some reason, it and Pullian's death could have really shaken the game enough to need a commissioner.

    I read a great book on that 1908 pennant race a few years ago, but I'd forgotten about the game fixing scandal.

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  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    there was a game-fixing scandal in the '08 pennant race - one of mcgraw's guys as usual

    pulliam killed himself in july 1909

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  • DTF955
    replied
    Agreed, and that might actually help in another way if we get Connie Mack in there. If he then had to transfer control of his club to someone else, we might have been spared his big selloff in the early 1930s. Hard to avoid the one in 1914 unless there's a really early commissioner, but it's doable. Maybe that in conjunction with a scandal happening in 1910 or 1911 with Chase that makes them see the need for one.

    Actually, a gambling scandal in 1909 that's big enough might do it on the hels of the 1908 pennant race, maybe the league president would feel best without having all the pressure of deciding how to handle something like that. (Didn't he commit suicide a few years later after that decision on the "playoff" in New York, or am I thinking wrong?)

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  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Originally posted by 64Cards
    Branch Rickey would have made an excellent commisioner. In 1920 he hadn't really made his reputation, but MLB should have put him in to replace Landis after his death.
    anyone would have made a better commish than landis after his initial round of expulsions - the owners would not have hired a crazy ass liberal or a communist so those ideas are out the window - mack and griffith were well liked and respected - they were conservative but they were reasonable, intelligent men and more business oriented - which to me says they would have been much more progressive than landis given the right advisors

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  • johnny
    replied
    Originally posted by 64Cards
    This is straying a bit off the subject matter, but the reserve clause was a good thing for the owners. I can see why the players hated it. From a fans perspective, I think the game was more fun when it was there, because of the trade possibilities. If MLB had put it revenue sharing among franchises, they may have been able to justify a reserve clause, on the basis that a player was employed by MLB and could be traded to another franchise, just as if you worked for GM or American Airlines, you might be transferred around the country.

    As for the minors, Rickey was a genius, putting in the Cards system that developed great ballplayers, did a similar job with the Dodgers. I know there are some who would have preferred the minors remaining completely independent, but I don't think there would have been nearly as many franchises without a parent team to help support those clubs.

    Rickey was a man of vision and perhaps he would have been able to start bringing in some kind of orderly expansion and franchise relocation after WW2, when MLB could clearly support more than 16 teams and the population of the country had spread across the continent.
    especially with the inclusions of blacks and the international players.

    Leave a comment:


  • 64Cards
    replied
    Originally posted by [email protected]
    I quite agree that Rickey would have been a better commissioner than Landis.

    But he would not have done the same about the enslavement of the minors, nor I fear about the accursed Reserve Clause. Guess you can't have everything in one guy.

    BB
    This is straying a bit off the subject matter, but the reserve clause was a good thing for the owners. I can see why the players hated it. From a fans perspective, I think the game was more fun when it was there, because of the trade possibilities. If MLB had put it revenue sharing among franchises, they may have been able to justify a reserve clause, on the basis that a player was employed by MLB and could be traded to another franchise, just as if you worked for GM or American Airlines, you might be transferred around the country.

    As for the minors, Rickey was a genius, putting in the Cards system that developed great ballplayers, did a similar job with the Dodgers. I know there are some who would have preferred the minors remaining completely independent, but I don't think there would have been nearly as many franchises without a parent team to help support those clubs.

    Rickey was a man of vision and perhaps he would have been able to start bringing in some kind of orderly expansion and franchise relocation after WW2, when MLB could clearly support more than 16 teams and the population of the country had spread across the continent.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnny
    replied
    Originally posted by [email protected]
    Now you've caught the spirit. Breaking the Color Ban is only the first order of the day. What do you do for lunch? Hmm. You could shatter the Reserve Clause at lunch, and for dinner, find a legal way to stop Jake Ruppert from transplanting the BoSox to the Big Apple.

    And maybe then see about keeping the minors free from ML enslavement. Of course, there you might see the Indian Mahatma scuffling with the Baseball Mahatma!

    Nice wit. Kudos to your insightful verbal cartoon. Me's likes it swell.

    Old fart
    When Mahatma's collide...

    If we give that Tesla fellow a little support, after he gets the lighting figured out so regular joes can go to the game we might be able to get some solid work in on retractable roofs such as Safeco which would obviate the need for that abomination of a thing called the 'Kingdome'. I literally lived within walking distance of that place for five years and could only stomach a handful of games.

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