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Happy Chandler, new commissioner of baseball, 1945

Posted on August 25, 2014 | in Uncategorized | by
Above, the Lexington Co-Operative Club held a testimonial dinner to U.S. Sen. A.B. (Happy) Chandler in April 1945 at the Lafayette Hotel. Chandler was being honored as the newly appointed commissioner of major league baseball. Chandler is seated at the center of the table, turning his head to speak to a man standing behind him. Seated at right, next to Chandler, is Adolph Abraham, president of the Co-Operative Club. Standing, from center to left, are William E. Benswanger, president of the Pittsburgh Pirates; William DeWitt, general manager of the St. Louis Browns; and Earl Hilligan, representing Will Harridge, president of the American League. The identities of the other men in the photo are unknown.Chandler was twice governor of Kentucky and served in the U.S. Senate. He resigned his Senate seat to become the second commissioner of baseball. During his tenure, from 1945 to 1951, he approved Jackie Robinson’s contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, helping to integrate baseball, and he established the first pension fund for players. Owners became upset with Chandler and did not renew his contract.

Above, the Lexington Co-Operative Club held a testimonial dinner to U.S. Sen. A.B. (Happy) Chandler in April 1945 at the Lafayette Hotel. Chandler was being honored as the newly appointed commissioner of major league baseball. Chandler is seated at the center of the table, turning his head to speak to a man standing behind him. Seated at right, next to Chandler, is Adolph Abraham, president of the Co-Operative Club. Standing, from center to left, are William E. Benswanger, president of the Pittsburgh Pirates; William DeWitt, general manager of the St. Louis Browns; and Earl Hilligan, representing Will Harridge, president of the American League. The identities of the other men in the photo are unknown. Chandler was twice governor of Kentucky and served in the U.S. Senate. He resigned his Senate seat to become the second commissioner of baseball. During his tenure, from 1945 to 1951, he approved Jackie Robinson’s contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, helping to integrate baseball, and he established the first pension fund for players. Owners became upset with Chandler and did not renew his contract.

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