January 30, 2007 - On this day in history in the NCSHOF, former major league baseball star Max Lanier died at the age of 91. Born in Denton, North Carolina, Lanier spent 14 seasons in the big leagues, mostly with the St. Louis Cardinals, and won 108 games during his pitching career. He won the 1942 and 1944 world series with the Cardinals. Of his 108 wins, 21 were shutouts and 91 complete games.
Lanier, along with a dozen other major leaguers, defected to the Mexican League in 1946 after being offered a salary nearly double what he was making with the Cardinals. Disappointed by poor playing conditions and allegedly broken contract promises, he tried to return to the Cardinals in 1948, but was barred by an order from commissioner Happy Chandler, imposing a five-year suspension on all players who had jumped to the Mexican League. In response, Lanier and teammate Fred Martin, as well as Danny Gardella of the New York Giants, successfully sued Major League Baseball in federal court, challenging baseball's reserve clause as a violation of U.S. antitrust law.
He joined the NCSHOF in 2001.
Tag(s): On This Date