Nov 30, 2009, 9:00 PM EDT
Not the way its given out or anything. Just its name. Blogger Tom Tango asks the question:
Well, the writers DO have an official name for the MVP, and if wikipedia is to be trusted, it is named Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award.
For those not big on history, Landis was MLB’s first commissioner, a
former federal judge brought in to clean up the game after the Black
Sox scandal. But, he was also a racist . . . It’s not that Landis was a racist like Ty Cobb. He was a racist that
actually prevented the best players in the game from playing. That
brings it to a whole new level.
I wasn’t sure if I could believe Wikipedia in this case actually, but some Googling does show that the MVP plaques do say “Kennesaw Mountain Landis Award” right on them, and they have since at least 1944. And there’s no mistaking the fact that Landis was the prime mover between baseball remaining segregated until the 1947.
But should we care? Even I — a guy who takes every opportunity he can to advocate for the removal of Chief Wahoo from Indians’ uniforms and merchandise — am having a hard time caring about this. Did any of you even know that the award was named for Landis? I didn’t. I think the reason we didn’t is that, unlike Cy Young, no one ever felt any gusto about popularizing the award’s official name in this case, probably for the specific reason that Landis was a sonofabitch. Pointing out the name of the award and getting worked up over it is like pointing out a lone racist standing alongside the road. Even if we knew his sort existed, no one ever noticed him and no one gave a damn about him until someone took the time to tell us he was there.
Officially, sure, the BBWAA or Major League Baseball or whoever sanctions the pressing of the plaques should probably take his name off it, in the interests of eliminating superfluity if nothing else. But I see little cause to get worked up over it.
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