The 24 people banned from MLB
MLB, like any other league, has a strict set of rules that must be followed. This is because the league wants to promote sportsmanship and integrity in sport. In the history of Major League Baseball, we have seen several players and personnel face punishments such as suspensions and fines. These mostly stem from unsportsmanlike conduct, including engaging in fights, making inappropriate comments, disruptions, obstructions and much more.
Although suspensions and fines are quite common, it is unusual to see figures banned from the league, but it does happen. To show that the league does not tolerate immoral acts such as gambling, theft, doping and hacking, the league has historically given lifetime bans to several players and personnel. For this piece, let’s take a look at the 24 people banned by MLB.
Banned MLB people
24.-17. The Black Sox Scandal
Game-fixing and gambling have no place in sports. As a result, eight players from the Chicago White Sox including Shoeless Joe Jackson, Claude Lefty Williams, Charles Risberg, Eddie Cicotte, Arnold Gandil, George Weaver, Oscar Felsch and Fred McMullin. Based on reports, players received at least $70,000 for losing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. The newly installed baseball commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, would have none of it and eventually banned the players for life.
16. Joe Gedeon
Although he did not play directly in the series, the St. Louis Browns second baseman was also linked to the 1919 World Series scandal. According to sources, he confessed to White Sox owner Charles Comiskey that the series would be fixed. He also mentioned that the gamblers involved were from his community in St. Louis.
As a player, Gedeon played seven years in the MLB. Before joining the Browns, he had stints with the Washington Senators and New York Yankees. Gedeon’s final season with the Browns saw him lead the league in plate appearances with 713. Furthermore, he also had a .292 batting average and 61 RBI.
15. Gene Paulette
Paulette was also involved in the Black Sox scandal, actually becoming the first player to be banned from baseball. Based on reports, Paulette became associated with the gamblers behind the game-fixing crime after allegedly receiving gifts from them.
The suspension ended his six-year career that saw him stop with the New York Giants, St. Louis Browns, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. Paulette finished her career with a .269 batting average, two home runs and 165 RBI.
14.-13. Jack O’Connor and Harry Howell
While the Black Sox scandal was a major black eye in baseball history, there was already an attempt to fix the game nine years earlier. Behind the brains of Jack O’Conner and Harry Howell, who served as manager and coach respectively of the St. Louis Browns, tried to bribe the official scorer to give Nap Lajoie an advantage over Ty Cobb.
12.-11. Jimmy O’Connell and Cozy Dolan
Paying your opponent to go easy on you is under bribery. And in any respectable sport like baseball, there is no place for that. Jimmy O’Connell and Cozy Dolan attempted to pay $500 to their opponent, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Heinie Sand to give them an advantage. Under Judge Landis’ watch, both O’Connell and Dolan were banned from the league permanently.
10. William Cox
Even if you bet on your team, it’s still gambling. And for Judge Landis, that is unacceptable. William Cox, who owned the Philadelphia Phillies, was the first non-player to be banned by said commissioner in 1943. To give him the benefit of the doubt, Cox had no knowledge that this was against the rules.
When he bought the Phillies, Cox became the youngest baseball team owner of his era. He saved the organization from bankruptcy and bought the team for $850,000. Unfortunately for him, an investigation discovered that he had bet on his team for at least 15 games, which did not sit well with the iron-fisted commissioner. After the ban, Cox sold the Philadelphia Phillies to Bob Carpenter.
9. Pete Rose
Like William Cox, Pete Rose was also found guilty of betting on his own team. In his case, Pete Rose managed the Cincinnati Reds. On August 24, 1989, Commissioner Bartlett Giamatti decided to punish Rose with a lifetime ban from the league.
Fortunately for him, Rose can still appeal to overturn the ban. The former Cincinnati Reds owner has already written his letter of appeal to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. This comes with Rose’s hope that he may one day enter the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 24 years in the major leagues, Rose achieved several milestones, including 17 All-Star appearances, three World Series titles, two Golden Glove Awards, one NL MVP trophy and one World Series MVP. He was also a 3-time NL Batting Champion.
8. Horace Fogel
Although this was not a case of gambling, he publicly accused National League officials of giving the New York Giants an advantage. With the accusation, Judge William Brennan retaliated by giving Fogel a libel.
Unfortunately, after several hearings, Fogel was banned from the league after he was found guilty of five charges. When Fogel’s suspension was announced, Brennan also dropped his libel charge against him, announcing that he was already satisfied with the punishment given to the opposing party.
After he was removed from the league, Fogel stayed close to the sport as a baseball writer. In fact, he made $10,000 for it. As a writer, Fogel continued to voice his criticism of the game.
7. Lee Magee
After the Black Sox scandal, about a year later, Lee Magee confessed to team president William Veeck and National League president John Heydler to tipping against his team. As a result, Magee was released by the Chicago Cubs. Instead of keeping the scandal a secret, Magee sued the Cubs for immediate termination of the contract that prevented him from receiving his salary. The trial exposed his cardinal sin and would go on to be banned for life by Judge Landis.
In nine seasons, Magee batted .276, to go along with 467 runs, 12 home runs and 277 RBI.
6. Ray Fisher
While he played in the controversial 1919 World Series, his suspension did not stem from match-fixing. Instead, Fisher was handed a lifetime ban due to a contract dispute. Upset after taking a deal that forced him to take a pay cut, Fisher applied for a head coaching job at the University of Michigan for their baseball team after Del Pratt’s departure.
For that, Judge Landis gave him the most extreme punishment in baseball history. This came without any consultation or explanation. Fortunately for Fisher, he kept the coaching job at Michigan and stayed there for 38 years.
5. Phil Douglas
In 1922, the New York Giants pitcher was banned for life for the letter he wrote to his friend from the opposing team, Leslie Mann. The letter contained Douglas’ willingness to leave his club in exchange for something worthwhile.
Douglas ended his nine-year MLB career. He accumulated a 2.80 earned run average and 683 strikeouts. Aside from playing for the Giants, he also had stints with the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Robins and Chicago Cubs.
4. Jerry Mejia
Steroids are performance-enhancing drugs frowned upon by respected professional sports organizations, including MLB. Given that it is a form of cheating, Jenrry Mejia found himself banned for life after failing the doping test three times in one year.
In his five-year career, Mejia played in 14 games. Mejia accumulated a 3.68 earned run average, 162 strikeouts and 28 saves.
3. John Coppolella
Breaking international signing rules is also a cardinal sin in MLB’s eyes. Braves GM John Coppolella tried to cheat around MLB rules regarding signing international prospects over three years. League commissioner Rob Manfred punished him with a lifetime ban.
Furthermore, the Braves also faced penalties for signing international players. On top of that, the 13 players, including top Venezuelan prospect Kevin Maitan, signed by them during the period were immediately unrestricted free agents.
2. Bennie Kauff
Bennie Kauff found himself in a difficult situation when he was arrested for car theft. Although the New York court acquitted him, Judge Landis did not care and granted him the ban anyway. An unfortunate turn of events for the New York Giants outfielder, who had the tools to become an All-Star.
This forced Kauff to end his baseball career. In eight seasons, he appeared in 859 games. Kauff had a .311 batting average, 49 home runs and 455 RBI.
1. Chris Correa
Chris Correa has worked as director of scouting for the Cardinals since 2009, and was discovered to be responsible for hacking into the Houston Astros’ database following an FBI investigation. Not only was Correa banned from MLB, but he was also sentenced to 46 months in prison.
Based on reports, Correa pleaded guilty to five criminal charges related to his hacking activities against the Houston Astros. Aside from Correa’s punishment, the St. Louis Cardinals were not spared by MLB as the team was fined $2 million and forced to give up two draft picks.