Two tragic figures: Billy Martin and Benny Kauff

I have two new articles out today, and while I didn’t plan the scheduling, they correspond a little. I wrote about two of the more tragic figures in baseball history, even if the tragedy in each case might have been partly of their doing.

First, for Sporting News, I wrote about Billy Martin’s Hall of Fame case. It’s been 26 years since Martin died in a friend’s drunk driving accident, and I explored if his Hall of Fame window might be closing. The thought: Martin, who’s been a candidate at least six times, might still have a shot, but he’s going to have competition yet again this fall with Jim Leyland newly eligible.

Then for The National Pastime Museum, I wrote about Benny Kauff. Many baseball history fans might know the story of Kauff’s banning, how Kenesaw Mountain Landis made an example of him after his 1921 acquittal for allegedly participating in a car theft ring. What might not be as well known: Kauff’s life after banning, which included numerous arrests, a short playing career, and, finally, redemption. I had fun researching this one.

As always, thanks for reading.

2 Replies to “Two tragic figures: Billy Martin and Benny Kauff”

  1. The Hall of Fame is just being too hard-And maybe to biased-There must be 20 players and managers the need to be put into the Hall of Fame right now===Billy Martin is one of them—If I owned a team today I would certainly have him as my manager—-Ok he Drank–yes too much—There was even talk when he was in Oakland that he hurt his young pitchers by using them too much—Im sure he would have adjusted to todays times—How about Gene Mauch? Who some also consider one of the best—–Won and Lost records dont say it all—Billy Martin is a Hall of Fame manager—There should be no argument against that

  2. Graham, great article on Kauff. Well written and very informative. I really enjoy reading about the players from baseball’s past. Keep up the good work!

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