Better Know a Commissioner: Ford Frick

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​Before Rob Manfred, before Bud Selig, there were lots of other aggravating, power-hungry men leading up Major League Baseball. This series exists to discuss the history of every commissioner MLB has had, with particular focus, where applicable, on their interactions and relationship with labor, the players. The rest of the series can be found through this link.

Following Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ habit of terrifying everyone around him and doing whatever he wanted to, and Happy Chandler doing what the players and fans — but not the owners — wanted him to do, Major League Baseball’s owners went in a different direction for the third commissioner. Ford Frick spent 14 years as MLB commish, starting in late-1951, and his bio at Society for American Baseball Research gets right to the point of his appeal:

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Better Know a Commissioner: Happy Chandler

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.

​Before Rob Manfred, before Bud Selig, there were lots of other aggravating, power-hungry men leading up Major League Baseball. This series exists to discuss the history of every commissioner MLB has had, with particular focus, where applicable, on their interactions and relationship with labor, the players. The rest of the series can be found through this link.

You will never catch me saying that any commissioner of Major League Baseball is “good” without some major caveats, like “good for the owners” or “good for profits” or “good at being a monster,” but Happy Chandler certainly gets pretty close. What else can you say about a guy who served one term because he made fans and players happy, which in turn made the owners dislike him? Getting fired by the owners for not being enough like the last iron-fisted (and racist) demon of a commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, is something you can be proud to put on your résumé, really.

Continue reading “Better Know a Commissioner: Happy Chandler”

Better Know a Commissioner: Kenesaw Mountain Landis

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

​Before Rob Manfred, before Bud Selig, there were lots of other aggravating, power-hungry men leading up Major League Baseball. This series exists to discuss the history of every commissioner MLB has had, with particular focus, where applicable, on their interactions and relationship with labor, the players. The rest of the series can be found through this link.

Kenesaw Mountain Landis was known as the man who saved professional baseball even before he became MLB’s first commissioner. What’s curious about this is that he didn’t actually do anything to save it: he didn’t even give an actual decision on the antitrust suit he was presiding over, and yet, he got the credit, anyway.

Landis was the judge in the Federal League’s antitrust suit against Organized Baseball, way back in 1915:

Continue reading “Better Know a Commissioner: Kenesaw Mountain Landis”