Baseball’s Bans and Blacklists

Fixed game, September 27, 1865

Fixed game, September 27, 1865

Players, managers, umpires, and executives have been banned from baseball ever since the first game-fixing incident in 1865. Prior to the onset of the Commissioner system in 1920, major league players were banned for a variety of offenses. The threat of blacklist was used as a cudgel to suppress player movement, to tamp down salary demand­­s, and to punish players for drunkenness, insubordination, abuse of umpires, game fixing, obs­­­­cenity, and unsavory associations. The first game fixing scandal and ensuing permanent expulsion (ultimately lifted in the case of each of the three New York Mutuals players banned: Ed Duffy, William Wansley, and Thomas Devyr) date to 1865, eleven years before the launch of what we today term Major League Baseball.

Allegations of game fixing were rampant in the so-called amateur era and in the National Association, the professional circuit that in 1871–1875 preceded the National League. Bill Craver, later to be banished by the National League, was expelled by his Troy club for throwing games in 1871; however, he was signed by Baltimore.  In 1874 John Radcliffe was expelled by the Philadelphia Athletics but nonetheless was picked up by the notoriously corrupt New York Mutuals. Two other players expelled in this year, Bill Boyd and Bill Stearns, were likewise “rehabilitated” for play with other clubs. This scenario played itself out similarly in the cases of Dick Higham, George Zettlein, and Fred Treacey in 1875, as each player was booted from one club only to land on his feet with another. In short, club suspensions or bans held no force in a climate of weak league control.

George Bechtel

George Bechtel

The first National League player (and thus the first in MLB history) to be expelled was George Bechtel in 1876; banned by Louisville for game fixing, he too continued as an active player with the New York Mutuals for a few games until the NL stepped in. A game-fixing scandal in the following year nearly spelled the demise of the league and resulted in four players expelled for life not only by their club but by the league (Jim Devlin, George Hall, Bill Craver, and Al Nichols, all of Louisville). NL President William Hulbert declared the ban and never lifted it despite appeals for reinstatement by some of the players and their supporters. These men were compelled to play in leagues not connected with the NL, sometimes under false names (a pattern continued by banned players in the 20th century).

In the years that followed many players were blacklisted or suspended indefinitely, either by their clubs or by a committee of the league’s owners. In 1881–1882 the NL blacklisted ten players for a variety of offenses (mostly “lushing”) yet when a new rival major league, the American Association, declined to honor the NL bans and proceeded to woo the affected players, the blacklist was removed. In March 1882, the AA set a maximum penalty for drunkenness, insubordination, dishonorable or disreputable conduct: suspension for the balance of the season, plus the entire following season. Other offenses, however, might result in permanent ineligibility.

A full list of players banned in the period before 1920 may not be possible but the list compiled for this study (below) represents the most complete effort to date.

In the years leading up to the introduction of the Commissioner System in 1920 with the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, indefinite suspensions, overt and covert blacklists, and definitive expulsions were common—more so in the years before the peace agreement of 1903 (the “National Agreement”) than before. In that year baseball established a three-person National Commission (American League president, National League president, and a chairperson) to deal with issues affecting both major leagues, including the enactment and enforcement of fines and suspensions. Ban Johnson represented the AL during this time, while five NL presidents served. Garry Herrmann, president of the Cincinnati Reds and a lifelong friend of Johnson, was the chairperson for all 17 years of the National Commission’s operation; critics thus accused Johnson of undue control over the game.

Johnson’s failure to prevail in the Carl Mays case, in which the New York Yankees overturned his ruling in the courts, spelled the end of the National Commission. Also beset by troubling rumors concerning the 1919 World Series, the owners, seeking a single firm hand to guide the game through a rough patch, disbanded the National Commission and hired Landis, a seated Federal judge.

Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Kenesaw Mountain Landis

The men receiving lifetime bans during Judge Landis’s reign and afterward are listed below, with brief discussion of each case. The phrase “permanently ineligible” may have had its origin in a Landis ruling of 1926 in the Cobb-Speaker-Wood case, in which pitcher Hub Leonard had accused the three of conspiring to fix a regular-season series between Boston and Detroit in late 1919. Landis offered these guidelines for punishments going forward, clearly looking to disassociate his term in office from the myriad messes of yore. Much of this language is reflected in MLB’s current Rule 21.

One—A statute of limitations with respect to alleged baseball offenses, as in our state and national statutes with regard to criminal offenses. 

Two—Ineligibility for one year for offering or giving any gift or reward by the players or management of one club to the players or management of another club for services rendered or supposed to be have been rendered, in defeating a competing club. 

Three—Ineligibility for one year for betting any sum whatsoever upon any ball game in connection with which the bettor had no duty to perform. 

Four—Permanent ineligibility for betting any sum whatsoever upon any ball game in connection with which the bettor has any duty to perform. 

As stated, the great majority of baseball’s miscreants were expelled from the game long before the Baseball Hall of Fame opened its doors. The past twenty-five years, however, have produced a conflation of Major League Baseball’s need to assure the integrity of the game with the Hall’s wish to insure the sanctity of its induction process. Notably with the case of Pete Rose, but also to a lesser degree Joe Jackson and other “Black Sox,” the baseball public has come to believe that MLB enforces its verdicts on players even after their death while the Hall merely follows in step. MLB, however, derives no practical benefit from maintaining deceased players on an ineligible list.

On February 8, 1991, the board of directors of the Hall of Fame, in an attempt to preempt the baseball writers from even considering Rose’s induction, voted 12-0 to amend the institution’s by-laws so that anyone deemed ineligible to work in Major League Baseball would be similarly ineligible for the Hall of Fame. All the same, in 1992 Rose received 41 write-in votes. These votes were thrown out. After he received 14 votes in 1993 and 19 in 1994, his name was formally excluded from the balloting process.

Hal Chase, Cincinnati

Hal Chase, Cincinnati

Interestingly, in the very first Hall of Fame balloting, in 1936—long before a linkage between MLB’s ineligibility list and Hall of Fame policy–Joe Jackson received two votes. This low total reflected the electors’ perception that he had disqualified himself through his actions. (Perhaps the electors might once again be trusted to vote sensibly, without special instructions.) Jackson also received two votes in 1946; besides Rose, the only other banned player to receive votes was Hal Chase, with 11 in 1936 and 18 in the following year.

The two lists below point up the history of permanent banishments, their frequent commutations, and their sometimes whimsical enforcement. The list of banished players prior to the appointment of Judge Landis is long indeed; it has never appeared in print or on the web, and may help to form the “permanently ineligible list” that, despite its citation in MLB Rule 21, may have existed only as a figure of speech.

LIFETIME BANS SINCE 1920

Joe Jackson (“Black Sox”; this story is too well known to bear repetition here)

Buck Weaver (“Black Sox”)

Eddie Cicotte (“Black Sox”)

Lefty Williams (“Black Sox”)

Happy Felsch (“Black Sox”)

Fred McMullin (“Black Sox”)

Swede Risberg (“Black Sox”)

Chick Gandil (“Black Sox”)

Joe Gedeon Second baseman of the St. Louis Browns who, like Weaver, sat in on a meeting with gamblers, had “guilty knowledge,” and failed to share it with authorities.

Gene Paulette, banished by Landis for his association with St. Louis gamblers in 1919, even though he had played a complete 1920 season.

Benny Kauff, arrested for auto theft but acquitted at trial, was banned anyway as, in Landis’s words, “no longer a fit companion for other ballplayers.”

Lee Magee had been released by Chicago, then—after questioning at a trial over his disputed back salary elicited evidence of his gambling involvements—banned by Landis

Heinie Zimmerman was banned in 1921 for encouraging his teammates to fix games; he had been blacklisted since 1919.  As with Hal Chase (see section below on pre-Landis bans), Landis’s declaration after the Black Sox trial is seen as formalizing Zimmerman’s blacklist as a permanent banishment.

Heinie Groh was banned after rejecting Cincinnati’s salary offer; Landis’s condition for reinstatement was that he could return to play for the Reds only; two days after the ban, Groh did.

Ray Fisher declined a Reds’ pay cut, and sat out the season until hired by the University of Michigan to coach its baseball team. Landis banned him from Organized Baseball for violating the reserve clause but Fisher never returned. The ban was overturned by Bowie Kuhn in 1980.

Dickie Kerr, a “Clean Sox” hero of the 1919 World Series, was banned after he played in an outlaw league in 1922 rather than accept the Chisox pay offer. Thus violating the reserve clause, Kerr was banned. Landis reinstated him in 1925, and he pitched for Chicago again.

Jim “Hippo” Vaughn played a semipro game under an assumed name while under contract to the Cubs in 1921. His case was referred to Landis, who banned Vaughn for the rest of the season. When he signed a three-year contract with the Beloit Fairies, a semipro team out of Beloit, Wisconsin (backed by the Fairbanks-Morse Company), his status as a contract jumper was solidified. Although Landis permitted his reinstatement in 1931, Vaughn failed in his attempt to make the Cubs’ squad.

Shufflin’ Phil Douglas of the Giants, angry with John McGraw, got drunk and sent a letter to a friend on the Cardinals suggesting that he would “disappear” when the club came to St. Louis. Landis banned him for life.

Jimmy O’Connell, a second-year player with the Giants in 1924, offered a bribe to Heinie Sand of the Phils; perhaps he was the naive victim of a joke perpetrated by Giants coach Cozy Dolan. Landis banned both. John McGraw’s involvement has long been surmised but never proven.

Cletus Elwood “Boots” Poffenberger was suspended by Landis at the request of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939, after he declined to report to Montreal. He then was reinstated at Brooklyn’s request in early 1940 so that his contract could be sold to Nashville of the Southern Association, for whom he won 26 games. He pitched for several other clubs in the minors but never returned to the majors.

William Cox, Phils’ owner, was banned for betting on baseball games and forced to sell his franchise. Occurring in 1943, this was Landis’s last banishment. (In 1953, St. Louis owner Fred Saigh was forced to divest his control of the Cardinals when he began a fifteen-month sentence for tax evasion; that paved the way for Saigh’s sale of the team to Anheuser-Busch. Saigh was not formally banned, however.)

Sal Maglie, Max Lanier, Ace Adams, Danny Gardella, Luis Olmo, and others were banned for five years after jumping to the Mexican League in 1946. Happy Chandler rescinded many of these bans, however, in settlement of lawsuits.

Ferguson Jenkins, after being arrested in Toronto for possessing cocaine in August 1980, was banned two weeks later by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. An arbitrator overturned the ban in September.

Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were banned by Kuhn in 1983 because they worked as greeters at an Atlantic City casino. Commissioner Peter Ueberroth reinstated both in 1985.

Pete Rose was banned by Commissioner Bart Giamatti in 1989. Several appeals have been unsuccessful, most recently in 2015.

George Steinbrenner was banned by Commissioner Fay Vincent in 1990, who reinstated him two years later.

Steve Howe, after six prior drug suspensions, was banned on the same day that Vincent reinstated Steinbrenner. The ban was overturned by an arbitrator in November 1992.

Marge Schott, Cincinnati Reds owner, was banned by Bud Selig in 1996 for bringing Major League Baseball into disrepute by repeatedly uttering racial, ethnic, and homophobic slurs. She was reinstated in 1998.

Jenrry Mejia, Mets pitcher, received a permanent suspension from Organized Baseball on February 12, 2016, following a third failed drug test.

BANNED PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE PLAYERS (1871-1920)

Note that many of these bans or indefinite suspensions, for a variety of offenses, were later lifted by club or league resolve. Bans by minor leagues are not included, nor are suspensions levied for stated durations. Bans not marked as “[permanent”] below were ultimately truncated or rescinded, but when they were levied, an affected player would not know when or if he might return to good graces. Some players were subject to “lifetime” bans more than once; several Hall of Famers are on this list.

AA = American Association

UA = Union Association

PL = Players’ League 

Bill Craver, 1871

Scott Hastings, 1872

George Hall, 1872

Candy Cummings, 1873

Bill Boyd, 1874

Bill Stearns, 1874

John Radcliffe, 1874

Dick Higham, 1875

George Zettlein, 1875

Fred Treacey, 1875

George Latham, 1875

Billy Geer, 1875

Henry Luff, 1875

George Bechtel, 1876 [permanent]

Tommy Bond, 1876

Joe Battin, 1877 [permanent]

Joe Blong, 1877 [permanent]

Jim Devlin, 1877 [permanent]

Bill Craver, 1877 [permanent]

George Hall, 1877 [permanent]

Al Nichols, 1877 [permanent]

Lew Brown, 1880

Charley Jones, 1880

Mike Dorgan, 1881

Lipman Pike, 1881

Sadie Houck‚ 1881

Lou Dickerson‚ 1881

Mike Dorgan‚ 1881

Bill Crowley‚ 1881

John Fox‚ 1881

Emil Gross‚ 1881

Ed “The Only” Nolan‚ 1881

Ed Caskins, 1881

John Clapp, 1881

Morrie Critchley, 1882 [permanent]

Hoss Radbourn, 1882 [expelled from AA only]

Sam Wise [expelled from AA only]

Bill Holbert [expelled from AA only]

Jerry Denny, 1882 [expelled from AA only]

Art Whitney, 1882 [expelled from AA only]

Pud Galvin, 1882 [expelled from AA only]

Charlie Bennett, 1882 [expelled from AA only]

John Bergh, 1882 [expelled from AA only]

Ned Williamson, 1882 [expelled from AA only]

Fred Lewis, 1882

Herman Doscher, 1882 [permanent]

Dick Higham, umpire, 1882 [permanent]

Phil Baker, 1883

Joe Gerhardt, 1883

Frank “Gid” Gardner, 1883

Tom Deasley, 1883

Jack Leary, 1883

John Milligan, 1883

Billy Taylor‚ 1883

John Sweeney, 1883 [permanent]

Frank Larkin, 1883

J.J. Smith, 1883

Harry Luff, 1883

Mike Mansell‚ 1883

George Creamer, 1883

Al Atkinson, 1883

Joe Sommer, 1883

Bill Traffley, 1883

Phil Powers, 1883

Charles Sweeney, 1884

Tommy Bond, 1884

Frank Gardner, 1884

Tony Mullane, 1884

Jack Brennan, umpire, 1884

Lew Dickerson, 1884

Chappy Lane, 1884

Tom Gunning, 1884 [expelled from UA only]

Ed Colgan, 1884 [expelled from UA only]

Frank Meinke, 1884 [expelled from UA only]

Steve Behel, 1884 [expelled from UA only]

James Hillery, 1884 [expelled from UA only]

P.F. Sullivan, 1884 [expelled from UA only]

Jack Farrell, 1885

Dave Rowe, 1885

George Gore, 1885

Jim Mutrie, 1885 [expelled from AA only]

Sam Barkley, 1886

Pete Browning, 1886

Jack Gleason, 1886

Jerry Denny, 1886

Toad Ramsey, 1887

Chief Roseman, 1887

Toad Ramsey, 1888

John “Phenomenal” Smith, 1888

Lady Baldwin, 1888

Yank Robinson, 1889

Jack Glasscock, 1889 [expelled from PL only]

Jack Clements, 1889 [expelled from PL only]

John Clarkson, 1889 [expelled from PL only]

Marr Phillips, 1890

Denny Lyons, 1890

Denny Lyons, 1891

Jack Stivetts, 1891

Bones Ely, 1891

John Dolan, 1891 [expelled from AA only]

Bert Inks, 1891 [expelled from AA only]

Frank Knauss, 1891 [expelled from AA only]

John Reilly, 1891 [expelled from AA only]

Silver King, 1891 [expelled from AA only]

Hoss Radbourn, 1891 [expelled from AA only]

Rowdy Jack O’Connor, 1891

Al Buckenberger (manager), 1891

Bill Barnie (manager), 1891

Fred Pfeffer (manager), 1891

Red Ehret, 1891 [expelled from AA only]

Harry Raymond, 1891 [expelled from AA only]

Jocko Halligan, 1892

Patsy Tebeau, 1896

Fred Pfeffer, 1896

Jack Taylor, 1897

Ducky Holmes, 1898

Jack Taylor, 1899

Burt Hart, 1901

Hugh Duffy, 1901

Jimmy Jones, 1902

Joseph Creamer, trainer, 1908

Jack O’Connor and Harry Howell, manager and coach of the St. Louis Browns, were banned in 1910 for attempting to fix the outcome of the 1910 American League batting title for the beloved Nap Lajoie against the reviled Ty Cobb. O’Connor gave his third baseman, Red Corriden, an odd order: to go stand in shallow left field whenever Lajoie came up to bat. With no one covering third base, Lajoie got seven hits in the day’s doubleheader, six of them bunts, and slipped past Cobb for the batting title.

Horace Fogel, club owner, 1912

Joe “Moon” Harris of the Cleveland Indians was banned for life in 1920 (before Landis’s appointment) for violating the reserve clause in his contract, after he chose to play for an independent team rather than the Cleveland Indians. He was reinstated by Landis in 1922 due, in part, to his creditable service during World War I.

Hal Chase, never formally banned but blacklisted in February 1920 from the National League after hearings showed evidence of game fixing with Cincinnati in 1916 and, certainly, before and after; his crowning swindle was to bring gamblers and fixers together to throw the 1919 World Series. Today, Landis’s declaration after the Black Sox trial that no one who bet on baseball would ever be allowed to play is recognized as formalizing Chase’s blacklisting.  He continued to play in outlaw leagues in the West.

 

19 Comments

Good work, John. I think you are right about the “Ineligible List” being a figure of speech. After the 1991 HOF ruling, the Commissioner’s Office called me up (at the Hall), asking if I could locate such a list, and if not, who should be on it? To my knowledge, Rose appealed his ban only twice: to Bud Selig in 1997, which Selig never ruled on, and then to Manfred last year. Rose continued to get write-in votes after 1994, but they were not publicized (except in *Total Baseball*). — BD

On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 8:53 AM, Our Game wrote:

> John Thorn posted: ” Players, managers, umpires, and executives have been > banned from baseball ever since the first game-fixing incident in 1865. > Prior to the onset of the Commissioner system in 1920, major league players > were banned for a variety of offenses. The threat ” >

Add Cletus Elwood “Boots” Poffenberger to your list of banned players. Poffenberger, who had a history of disappearing, refused to report to Montreal when Brooklyn sent him out as a disciplinary measure for jumping the Dodgers while in Cincinnati in May of 1939. GM Larry MacPhail actually asked Commissioner Landis to place Boots on the list of banned players; however, in early 1940, when MacPhail realized that Boots still had value, he petitioned Landis to have Poffenberger reinstated and promptly sold him to Nashville of the Southern Association. Boots won 26 regular season games for the Vols in 1940, and three more in the playoffs, but never pitched in the major leagues again.

Thanks for this, which will require a bit of digging on my part to confirm that Poffenberger was indeed formally banished. If so, I’ll add him.

Good job John. I have never seen such a list. I never realized the commissioner could ban players who violated the reserve clause. I thought it was a club decision.

Hi John: Just wanted to drop you a line with my compliments on this morning’s Our Game post. A complete and authoritative list of banned/blacklisted players is something that I have often looked for, and I appreciate your putting this together. I have already downloaded the post and will keep it handy for ready reference in future. I also have an addition and a small correction to offer.
As an addition to the banned roster, I submit New York Mets manager James Mutrie, banned by the American Association in Spring 1885 for his role in the events that precipitated the signing of Mets stars Tim Keefe and Dude Esterbrook to contracts with the National League New York Gothams/Giants. Mutrie was expelled from the AA at an AA owners meeting, but to no effect, as he had already been assigned to the Gothams/Giants manager’s post for the 1885 season by John B. Day, principal shareholder of the corporation that owned both New York clubs.
My proposed correction focuses on the following passage in the post regarding the Cobb-Speaker-Wood case: “… pitcher Hub Leonard had accused the three of conspiring to fix a regular-season series between Boston and Detroit in late 1917.” As I understand it, Leonard’s accusation centered on an alleged scheme to fix and bet on the Boston-Detroit game of September 25, 1919, the final game of the 1919 season. Leonard made his charges years after the fact in 1926. Commissioner Landis subsequently conducted an inquiry into the matter but dismissed the charges after Cobb and Speaker vehemently denied them, and Leonard failed to appear before the Commissioner to substantiate his allegations.
About the same time, Landis conducted a public hearing into a Swede Risberg allegation that the Chicago White Sox had bribed members of the Detroit Tigers into dumping games played between the clubs on September 2-3, 1917. Risberg further charged that the White Sox had reciprocated in 1919, laying off in late-September games to help Detroit gain third-place money. Risberg and Chick Gandil appeared before Landis to back up these charges, but everyone else on the Chicago and Detroit clubs denied them. In the end, Landis concluded that Chicago had passed money to Detroit in September 1917, but that same constituted a token of thanks for Detroit victories over Boston, not a bribe for Detroit to lose games to the White Sox. The Risberg allegations about 1919 were deemed unproven by the Commissioner and rejected.
Hope 2016 is off to a good start and look forward to seeing you in Cooperstown this April. Till then, best wishes. Bill Lamb

Thanks for this, Bill. You did get the Cobb-Speaker-Wood-Leonard story straightened out, and I will alter the passage above to reflect your thoughts. And thanks for the addition of Jim Mutrie, an old favorite of mine (and yours, I expect). My list is a large one but in the attempt to be comprehensive on a scale heretofore not attempted I will inevitably have made errors and/or omissions. Corrections are most welcome!

Great article, and blog.

I have another name I think would apply–Hippo Vaughn. He was suspended for jumping the Chicago Cubs in mid-1921, a few months after his father-in-law stabbed him because Vaughn and his wife were involved in a marital dispute, Vaughn played semi-pro ball where he was making more than he had in the majors, but applied for reinstatement in 1930 when he decided he wanted to make a comeback with the Cubs. Landis made him sit out another year, where he was not to play anywhere. He complied, was reinstated, but failed to make the Cubs in 1931 and spent the rest of his career in semi-pro, pitching into his late forties.

There was also a big scandal in the PCL at the same time then Black Sox were going on, that caught up several players who attempted to fix the 1919 pennant race. Tom Seaton was blacklisted, as was Gene Dale. Harl Maggert and Babe Borton were banned, and Bill Rumler was given a five-year suspension. The instigators were the gambler Nate Raymond–who traveled in circles with Arnold Rothstein, and Hal Chase, with Borton the ringleader among the players. Rumler was reinstated in 1929.

Like the Black Sox, these players went to trial and were acquitted because there was no law against throwing games, but were banned anyway by the National Association. That action may have provided Landis a precedent for banning the Black Sox after their acquittal at trial.

Also, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Julio Bonetti was given a lifetime ban in 1941 after being caught taking money from a known gambler. He was finally reinstated in 1949, but never played again.

Was Claude Hendrix also banned for life in 1920?

Addressing the last named, first: Hendrix found himself in a world of trouble and never returned to MLB after 1920 but Landis never banned him. The minor-league players you list would be among many I did not consider for this story, in which I confined myself to banishments of active major leaguers, not former ones. The Hippo Vaughn story is of interest, though; at first he was suspended by the Cubs, the he had his case referred to Landis, who suspended him for the duration of the 1921 season. Then he signed a three-year contract to play with the semipro Beloit Fairies (Fairbanks-Morse team). Landis placed him on the permanently ineligible list but, as you wrote, at age 42 Vaughn applied for reinstatement. I will add Vaughn to the list. Thanks, Dennis!

Hi Mr. Thorn,

How did the guys throw games? Did they drop balls, pitch poorly, go 0-5, that type of stuff?

I imagine the bets were simple bets on a team winning, so a player would take some money and perform poorly. Is that right?

Is there a great book or article detailing the mechanism of betting and bribing in baseball?

Happy 2016 Baseball!

Thanks,

Steve

Steve Hermanos http://www.SteveHermanos.com 415-497-4480

>

Steve, fixing can be subtle, as with short-legging after a fly ball int the gap, or blatant, as in the eleven-run inning of the 1865 game. I Think Dan Ginsburg’s book is the place to go first: http://www.amazon.com/Fix-History-Baseball-Gambling-Scandals/dp/0786419202/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454974195&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=dan+ginsburg+fix

“On February 8, 1991, the board of directors of the Hall of Fame, in an attempt to preempt the baseball writers from even considering Rose’s induction, voted 12-0 to amend the institution’s by-laws so that anyone deemed ineligible to work in Major League Baseball would be similarly ineligible for the Hall of Fame.” Interesting, because taken literally this would mean that no one no longer living would be eligible for induction to the Hall. After all, being dead is the ultimate in “ineligible”. Enjoy your posts. Thank you.

John, I have a newspaper article about the life of Paddy Smith, who played two games with the Red Sox in 1920. It was done by a local reporter when Smith was living in a retirement home in nearby Hanover, NH circa 1986. In the article, Smith claims Landis called him on the carpet for barnstorming and he was banished. BTW, Smith was a longtime player with the Brooklyn Bushwicks, was an NHL referee, and made more money than he ever would have in baseball by owning a construction company specializing in airports.
Wayne L. McElreavy

This has seemed to me a shaky claim, Wayne, for which I can find no contemporary evidence, Smith bounced around from one semipro club to another, and found himself an emergency catcher for the Red Sox on two successive days in July. Why Landis would have bothered to banish him as a contract jumper is a reasonable question. I am open to evidence, though.

John and Wayne–I ran across two articles regarding Paddy Smith being suspended and reinstated by Landis. However, they are from 1922 and seem to indicate he was suspended for not reporting to a minor league team in 1921. It also appears he did not know he was suspended until Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel were going to play some exhibition games with his semi-pro team and were warned against it because of Smith’s status. Smith then appealed to Landis and was removed from the suspended list. (Pelham NY Sun April 28 and May 19, 1922.)

http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2018/Pelham%20NY%20Sun/Pelham%20NY%20Sun%201922/Pelham%20NY%20Sun%201922%20-%200142.pdf

Thanks, Dennis. Thus Paddy Smith does not make the list above.

Joseph Creamer was not only banned from baseball but was banned from entering any major or minor ballparks of teams that were part of organized baseball.
I wonder how many of the others on John’s list suffered so extensive a ban.

Hi Mr Thorn,
Great article with some interesting names that I never knew were banished even if it was for a short time. I found it funny that both Sweeney’s, Charles and John were permanently banished in the 1880’s. Do you know the reasons for their banishment? I saw that Charles was not the model citizen and he was charged with manslaughter but not sure if that was the reason for his banishment.
Thanks for the article and information.

Brian Sweeney

July 22, 1884 Providence star Charles Sweeney is suspended without pay after he refuses to move from the mound to RF in the 9th inning with a safe lead over Philadelphia. Sweeney is lifted and Providence plays the 9th with just 8 men because of the rule that specifies no subs unless there is an injury. Sweeney quits the Grays and jumps to St. Louis (UA).

After 1883 season, John Sweeney suspended by Baltimore for drunkenness, not reinstated.

It is so interesting to see that egos and drinking have been a part of baseball for a very long time! Thank you for the reply.

Brian Sweeney

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