Over the past week, several former Major League Baseball MVP’s have come forward with the same recommendation.
They all want former MLB commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ named removed from the award. MLB historian John Thorn pointed out Landis’ troubled history as the league’s commissioner.
“Landis and his legacy are ‘always a complicated story’ that includes ‘documented racism,'” Thorn said via ESPN. No black players stepped foot in the majors during his tenure.
Two years after he died, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the league. “Why is it on there?” said Barry Larkin, the Black shortstop voted National League MVP in 1995 with the Cincinnati Reds, said of Landis’ name.
Here’s more of what he said, via ESPN:
“I was always aware of his name and what that meant to slowing the color line in Major League Baseball, of the racial injustice and inequality that Black players had to go through.”
Larkin isn’t alone.
“If you’re looking to expose individuals in baseball’s history who promoted racism by continuing to close baseball’s doors to men of color, Kenesaw Landis would be a candidate,” three-time NL MVP Mike Schmidt of Philadelphia said.
“Looking back to baseball in the early 1900s, this was the norm. It doesn’t make it right, though,” the Hall of Famer said. “Removing his name from the MVP trophy would expose the injustice of that era. I’d gladly replace the engraving on my trophies.”
We’ll have to wait and see how the MLB handles the situation.