• 86 Years Ago Today, Landis Exonerates Cobb & Speaker

    Posted by on January 27th, 2013 · Comments (2)

    On January 27, 1927, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker were both exonerated of charges of wrongdoing by Commissioner Landis. Both had been accused, by Dutch Leonard, of conspiracy to throw a game in 1919.

    Cobb Speaker Headline

    It was headline news in 1927. But, today, do many baseball fans even know the story? And, has it tarnished the legacy of either of these players? For sure, it didn’t keep them out of the Hall of Fame.

    Comments on 86 Years Ago Today, Landis Exonerates Cobb & Speaker

    1. Evan3457
      January 27th, 2013 | 9:28 pm

      The player who charged them with fixing games would not testify at Landis’ hearing about the matter. He had no choice but to consider his story unsubstantiated, and exonerate. They were both stripped of their manager’s jobs, though.

    2. January 27th, 2013 | 10:25 pm

      I’ve always thought that they got off because Cobb was willing to go Canseco and blow the lid off the game.

      Via ESPN:

      Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker were permitted by Ban Johnson to resign from baseball near the end of the 1926 season after former pitcher Dutch Leonard charged that Cobb, Speaker and Smoky Joe Wood had joined him just before the 1919 World Series in betting on a game they all knew was fixed. Leonard presented letters and other documents to Johnson, and Johnson thought they would be so potentially damaging to baseball in the wake of the Black Sox scandal that he paid Leonard $20,000 to have them suppressed. Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis exposed the cover-up and the eventual fallout forced Johnson out his job as president of the league he had created. Cobb and Speaker vehemently denied any wrongdoing, Cobb saying that “There has never been a baseball game in my life that I played in that I knew was fixed,? and that the only games he ever bet on were two series games in 1919, when he lost $150 on games thrown by the Sox. He claimed his letters to Leonard had been misunderstood, that he was merely speaking of business investments. Landis took the case under advisement and eventually let both players remain in baseball because they had not been found guilty of fixing any game themselves. It was after this case, though, that Landis instituted the rule mandating that any player found guilty of betting on baseball would be suspended for a year and that any player found to have bet on his own team would be barred for life. Cobb later claimed that the attorneys representing him and Speaker had brokered their reinstatement by threatening to expose further scandal in baseball if the two were not cleared.


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