Dale Murphy: I Support Removing Landis’ Name From MVP Award

Several former MLB MVPs would like Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ name removed from the MVP plaque 

Tiki and Tierney
July 03, 2020 - 6:03 pm

Mike Schmidt and Barry Larkin, among other former MLB MVPs, would like Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ name removed from the MVP award. Landis, who was baseball’s first commissioner, opposed integration.

Two-time NL MVP Dale Murphy agrees with Schmidt, Larkin and others who have spoken up: Landis’ name should be removed from the plaque.

“I'm obviously in favor of this,” Murphy said on Tiki & Tierney. “Think how long it's been bothering Joe Morgan and Barry Larkin. We can learn a good lesson from this small example.”

If people disagree or think these former MVPs are overreacting, well, Murphy would encourage them to pause and listen. 

“You got to listen to the crowd,” he said. “I got to listen to what Barry Larkin is saying. You got to listen. What I'm doing is I’m listening and I've learned a little bit. From what I’ve learned from MLB historian John Thorn, there were definitely some periods of racism [in the game]. So I’m [trying to learn]. I’m asking myself why does this offend Barry and why did it bother Joe Morgan? I got to listen. And the little bit that I know, I don't feel like the crowd is wrong. I put myself in Joe Morgan’s spot. That’s what empathy is.”

Instead of Landis, who served as commissioner from 1921 to 1944, Murphy believes Frank Robinson’s name should be on the plaque. Robinson won NL MVP for the Reds in 1961 and AL MVP for the Orioles in 1966.

“I think we’re in a situation to listen,” Murphy said. “I’m in favor of changing it. I think Frank Robinson would be perfect – the only guy to ever win the MVP in both leagues.”

Murphy, who won back-to-back MVPs with the Braves in 1982-83, supports the social activism that is unfolding around the country.

“I believe that society can rebound from this coronavirus pandemic and also the Black Lives Matter [movement] and the racial injustices that we’re facing,” Murphy said. “What it’s created is an opportunity to speak up, and it’s created an opportunity for most of us to listen differently. That’s why so many people were involved in these protests because we’ve been sitting around being humbled. That’s what happens sometimes. When you’re humbled, you start to listen.”