This day in baseball: Kenesaw Mountain Landis is hired

U.S. District Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis accepted the offer to become baseball’s first commissioner on November 12, 1920.  The decision to hire a commissioner came in the wake of the 1919 World Series scandal, which involved eight White Sox players who were paid off by gamblers to throw the Series against Cincinnati.  Landis would officially begin his new role in January 1921.

Landis_portrait-restored


Baseball at the Met

Yesterday I happened across a tidbit stating that one of the largest baseball card collections resides at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  I’ve never been a card collector, so I suppose this might already be common knowledge and I’ve just been out of the loop.  I did want to check it out all the same, so I poked around and discovered that the Met is in the process of cataloging the cards, all part of the Jefferson R. Burdick collection, online.  You can find the collection here.

Just minutes of exploring has revealed some gems, such as this collection of cartooned baseball stars from 1943:

Burdick 324(2)

Metropolitan Museum of Art

And these old school pennants from 1933.

1933 baseball pennants.PNG

Metropolitan Museum of Art

And there are, of course, a myriad of traditional baseball cards:

Jimmy Foxx 1935 baseball card

Metropolitan Museum of Art

I have to say, this is my type of card collection.  A variety of cards, and yet virtual so that they don’t actually take up a bunch of physical space.  Happy exploring!


Quote of the day

I’ve fallen in love with baseball.

~Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas baseball

fanpop


“Baseball,” by Whit Howland

I came across this piece last night, and I love the sensory details it provides, even in such a concise poem.  The author is right — sometimes all it takes are a few words to have an impact.

*

even for
the non aficionado

when you say
such trite things as

step up to the plate

knock it out of the park

they can still feel
the solid oak of the bat

smell the oiled
leather of the glove

and hear the crack

as the ball soars
higher into the sky

past the cheap seats
and beyond

and I wonder

how could I
have dismissed

these words
and turns of phrases

so raw
golden
sweet and bardic


“Batter Up,” by Brand New

Here’s a song that isn’t really about baseball, though it has some baseball allusions in it.  I see this as a song about taking chances, though I have found some other interpretations about it, too.  The tune is rather melancholy, but I also find it quite calming.


This day in baseball: Mr. Cub is MVP again

Ernie Banks won his second consecutive MVP award on November 4, 1959.  Mr. Cub finished the season with a .304 batting average and 143 RBIs, including 45 home runs.  Banks collected ten of the writers’ 21 first-place votes, with Eddie Mathews (5) and Hank Aaron (2) of the Braves and Dodger Wally Moon (4) dividing the rest of the first-place votes.

Ernie_Banks_1955_Bowman_card


Quote of the day

I can have fun anywhere, as long as I’m with good people. But in the offseason, I like to go somewhere warm, a nice spot in the Caribbean.

~Derek Jeter

derek jeter

Getty Images