I was really excited to get this picture of Jim Landis in the mail today. I had been looking for a good photo of this two-time All Star and five-time Gold Glove winner. This photo from Baseball Monthly turned up on Ebay so I jumped on it. I love the sepia-tone color of the image and the framing of the shot. Mr. Landis was nice enough to sign it with a nice inscription to Cameron. It reads:
“Cameron – Keep your eye on the ball! Your friend – Jim Landis”
Landis played for six teams in his 11 year career and is considered one of the best defensive center fielders in major league history. He was the first American League baseball player to win 4 consecutive Gold Glove Awards and one of his proudest achievements is the fact that he averaged only 1 error per season in his career. Landis batted .247 with 93 home runs and 467 RBIs during his career. He played in the 1959 World Series and was voted by fans to Chicago’s 27-player “Team of the Century” in 2000.
An interesting bit of information I found on him in this outstanding interview, Landis was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1952. He spent two years in the minors before being called to military service in 1954 and was stationed in Alaska where in addition to his regularly assigned duties, his other “job” was to pick up volcanic rocks from the baseball fields. Alaska has a lot of volcanoes and apparently they spew rocks out into the sky which then fall onto the baseball fields.
This piece will be a cherished addition to Cameron’s collection. Mr. Landis has always been not only a generous through-the-mail signer for his fans, but very involved in the lives of those around him. He is a true gentleman, U.S. Serviceman, and exemplary sportsman.