Ban Johnson

League President
  • Card series: Diamond Heads '15
  • League: American League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Byron Bancroft Johnson (1865-1931) was a big man who embodied bigger ambitions. He built the Western League into competitive shape in the 1890s and virtually forced the NL to accept his new creation as an equal. He presided over the new AL for the first two decades of the 20th century. In the aftermath of the Black Sox scandal, Judge Landis became the new czar. By 1927 Johnson was out. But what a legacy he left! His unstinting zeal for cleaning up the rowdiness of that era did not prevent him from shameless opportunism and subterfuge as he methodically put the pieces in place to rival the senior circuit. By dint of his larger-than-life persona, Johnson revolutionized the game: umpires became the true arbiters on the field, rioting players and fans no longer held ballparks hostage to violence, and the pernicious effects of gambling were largely curtailed.

  • Charted the new league with his pal Comiskey but bringing on Connie Mack was a key move
  • The 1903 World Series stood as the emblem of victory for the upstart AL and Ban Johnson
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1937

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