Wednesday, August 22

Baseball, infanticide, pop songs, and Judge Landis

As I write this, the Texas Rangers are leading the Baltimore Orioles 30-3 in the 9th inning. Holy crap. UPDATE: It's over.

Of all the individuals who have served on the federal judiciary, none had as cool a job after leaving the bench as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Sure, former federal judges have been presidents, senators, or members of the cabinet. Landis, however, resigned his judgeship in 1922 to begin a 20+ year stint as the first commissioner of baseball. He is widely credited with saving the game after the 1919 Black Sox scandal. The Chicago judge banned eight White Sox players from the game after they threw the World Series. Among them was "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, the team's star and still considered one of baseball's great talents.

As folk/rock artist Jonathan Coulton sees it, Landis banning Jackson was just the tip of the iceberg. Although the historical record is relatively silent on the point, it seems Landis was virtually The Punisher while Jackson either ate babies or cut some pop songs a while back. Or both. Scandalous indeed.

Jonathan Coulton - Kenesaw Mountain Landis

That may be a better piece of fiction than Field of Dreams. For more on Jonathan Coulton check out his website.


Blogger John said...

even worse that the 30-3 shellacking... wes littleton picked up a save in that game. and people say holds are arbitrary....

10:50 PM

Blogger Rich said...

Ha! That is absolutely ridiculous.

12:14 AM

Blogger rachael m. said...

I'm very much related to KM Landis (not sure how exactly, but it's my mom's maiden name). He's named after THE Kennesaw Mountain just north of Atlanta, where his father lost some limb in the Civil War battle there. My dad (big big baseball fan) totally geeked out at my mom's family when he found this out. My grandfather even looks a little like him (full head of white hair, etc), but that could be just coincidence.

9:29 AM

Blogger Rich said...

R, that is too cool.

"his father lost some limb"

It was a leg. And what an odd thing to name your son after where you got a limb involuntarily removed. Glad that didn't catch on. I can just imagine Antietam Jones and Gettysburg Williams running around.

9:41 AM


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