Following one of the most imposing figures in baseball history wouldn’t have been easy for most men. But, when Happy Chandler became the second Commissioner of baseball after the death of Kenesaw Mountain Landis, he had already been Governor of the state of Kentucky and a United States Senator. Not one to be easily intimidated, he immediately set about running baseball with as much control as his predecessor, something that never sat well with the owners and led to his only serving a single term. In his six years he proved to be a strong supporter of the players and better labor conditions, including opening the legal door to challenges of the Reserve Clause. He is most famous for supporting Branch Rickey’s hiring of Jackie Robinson, thus ending the Color Line. After the owner’s ousted him, he again ran for Governor and won.
Chandler hit a grand slam while playing for the Lexington Reds in 1923, a team from the class D Blue Grass League.
August 17, 2011