Happy Chandler was born on July 14, 1898, and started serving as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball on April 24, 1945. Seven years later his reign as commissioner ended. Baseball Almanac is pleased to present our Commissioner Happy Chandler biography.
Happy Chandler Autograph on a 2010 Panini (#07/34)
A Definitive Record
Albert B. Chandler
Happy or The Ballplayer's Commissioner
Pisgah Presbyterian Cemetery, Versailles, Kentucky
Also a career politician, Albert Chandler held the offices of State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, Governor and United States Senator. Born near Corydon, Kentucky, his biggest contribution as an elected official was the establishment of the University of Kentucky Medical Center that was later renamed in his honor. After his appointment as Commissioner of Major League Baseball , Chandler worked very hard to appease the public and make amends for the injustices of his predecessor.
In 1947, he approved the contract making Jackie Robinson first modern black major league player. For this Chandler, like Landis, became both loved and hated in the fan community. For his courage in the face of racial adversity, he was repeatedly honored and continued to hold influential positions in the world of sports. In 1957, he was named to the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame and in 1965, he became the acting commissioner of the Continental Professional Football League. In addition, he was also a trustee of the Ty Cobb Foundation, the University of Kentucky , and Transylvania College. He was later elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and finished his career as a semi-successful Democratic National Committeeman from Kentucky.
Did you know that Baseball Almanac has a comprehensive biography on file for every Commissioner of Major League Baseball ? Take a moment, review each biography, and learn more about the men who have actually been called the "Second Most Powerful Men in America".
Many fans did not know that Happy Chandler actually replaced an interim Commissioner! When Judge Landis died his aide, Leslie O'Connor served as interim commissioner and worked in that position until Chandler took over sixteen days after War War II ended in Europe.
Commissioner Chandler, who briefly played Class D baseball with the Lexington Reos, was earning $10,000 annually as a United States Senator. When he became Commissioner of Baseball in 1947 his salary was increased a bit to $50,000 annually.