MLB stars say it's time to pull Landis name off MVP plaques

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MLB players are calling out the removal of Kenesaw Mountain Landis name from the MVP trophy that is engraved in large letters. Landis was baseball's first commissioner and there were no Black players in the majors during his reign from 1920 until his death in 1944.

In this April 8, 2017, file photo, Atlanta Braves bench coach Terry Pendleton sits in the dugout before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Baseball's MVP trophy is engraved with the name of Kenesaw Mountain Landis in large letters. Landis was baseball's first commissioner and there were no Black players in the majors during his reign from 1920 until his death in 1944. “I’ve always thought about that, why is that still on there?” Pendleton said.

This much is true, in black and white: No Blacks played in the majors during his quarter-century tenure. Jackie Robinson broke the barrier in April 1947, about 2 1/2 years after Landis died. “Looking back to baseball in the early 1900s, this was the norm. It doesn't make it right, though,” said the Hall of Famer, who is white. “Removing his name from the MVP trophy would expose the injustice of that era. I'd gladly replace the engraving on my trophies.”

Many hallowed baseball trophies are graced by the names of the greats: Robinson, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Cy Young, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and more.A federal judge in Chicago, Landis quickly established his powerful authority as commissioner, banning Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox for throwing the 1919 World Series.


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