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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Jimmy Sheckard

Eligible in 1919.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:06 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:18 PM (#2311210)
Sheckard was discussed in these threads:

1919 Ballot Discussion

1930 Ballot Discussion

Left Fielder Positional Thread

There are others, but if you know of another thread(s) where Sheckard was extensively covered, please let me know.
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: March 13, 2007 at 02:36 PM (#2311254)
I once put Jimmy Sheckard into my PHoM, then realized I had too many players in there. He's never made it back in.

Ditto Vic Willis.
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 13, 2007 at 02:39 PM (#2311260)
Was Sheckard an Amishman, or was he simply from an Amish area?
   4. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: March 13, 2007 at 03:32 PM (#2311288)
Win Shares has him as one of the greatest defensive corner OF's evar. 5.29 fielding WS per 162 defensive games. Clemente was just 4.15.
   5. DanG Posted: March 13, 2007 at 03:44 PM (#2311302)
Was Sheckard an Amishman, or was he simply from an Amish area?

Here is Jimmy Sheckard at the SABR Bioproject.
   6. OCF Posted: March 13, 2007 at 05:07 PM (#2311351)
I assume the Amish are and always have been a minority even in Lancaster County. More to the point: naming a child for an American politician doesn't sound like anything an Amish family would ever do. The article refers to him as a rare example of a Pennsylvania Dutch baseball player. I've never been entirely sure what the boundaries of the phrase "Pennsylvania Dutch" are. Does my mother's family - mixture of English and German ancestors, from near Bedford - qualify, or is that too far west? Or from even further west (Pittsburgh, approximately), Honus Wagner was German and from Pennsylvania - what does that make him?
   7. DavidFoss Posted: March 13, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2311381)
The article refers to him as a rare example of a Pennsylvania Dutch baseball player. I've never been entirely sure what the boundaries of the phrase "Pennsylvania Dutch" are. Does my mother's family - mixture of English and German ancestors, from near Bedford - qualify, or is that too far west? Or from even further west (Pittsburgh, approximately), Honus Wagner was German and from Pennsylvania - what does that make him?

"Pennsylvania Dutch" was/is a language... or a variety/dialect of a form of German that survived in America for a couple hundred years. (Lots of qualifying statements there because I'm not a linguist :-)). I think the Pennsylvania Dutch people are people speak this language or are descended from people who spoke it.

I'm not sure about Wagner. His parents emigrated from Bavaria to Pittsburgh in the mid-1800s. The Pennsylvania Dutch emigrated from Germany before the American Revolution. I would say it was unlikely he was Pennsylvania Dutch, but you never know.
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: March 13, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2311457)
>I once put Jimmy Sheckard into my PHoM, then realized I had too many players in there. He's never made it back in.

PS. The following year I changed my mind and put Sherry Magee in ahead of Sheckard. How weird that their threads end up back to back.
   9. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 13, 2007 at 08:09 PM (#2311465)
Having read the bio, I realize there's probably zero chance that Jimmy Sheckard was a wide-brim/hook-n-eye wearing, buggy driving Amishman, before baseball or during. The bio uses the word heritage, and that's probably the most accurate summation. As OCF notes, he was named for a political figure, and the Amish are resolutely apolitical in those sorts of ways due to their preference for separation from mainline culture.

It's not unlikely that an Amish child of the era might have played a sport like baseball, but it's unlikely he would have been given the opportunity to mix with oustiders so that his talent was discovered, EXCEPT during the "wild-oat" period that the Amish give their young people. However, given the political name, it seems really unlikely that Sheckard jumped the farm for the glory of baseball. Unlike Kingpin, there's just no way that he was a practicing Amishman in the big leagues, so one way or the other he'd got out before that; I guess it was likely he was always Amish by heritage and not practice. I think his family had perhaps been Amish prior to his birth or prior to his father's or mother's.
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: March 13, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2311515)
"Dutch," FYI, is often an Anglicization of "Deutsch," and so refers to Germans and Germany, not to people or things from Holland.

OTOH you sometimes hear about the New York Dutch. They really were Dutch. E.g. upstate New York, especially Albany and on down the Mohawk Valley (later the Erie Canal) to Syracuse. (New York was originally called New Amsterdam.) The real Dutch names almost always have the prefix Van--Van Arsdale, Van Alstine, Van Valkenburg, etc. etc. The so-called Dutch Reformed Church was a branch of Protestantism that finally seems to have died out in the 20th century because there weren't that many real Dutch, and once they scattered out of New York and into the middle west, they became pretty much mixed in with the Germans--i.e. the Looterans.
   11. OCF Posted: March 13, 2007 at 09:32 PM (#2311528)
I guess it was likely he was always Amish by heritage and not practice. I think his family had perhaps been Amish prior to his birth or prior to his father's or mother's.

Where is there any evidence of any ancestor being Amish? "Pennsylvania Dutch" implies German ancestry, but more likely mainstream Protestant religion, and not separatist. Hex symbols on barns, eating scrapple, a cultural reputation for frugality - that sort of thing.
   12. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 13, 2007 at 09:32 PM (#2311529)
Wow, so Jimmy Sheckard was Pennsylvania Dutch? Weird, as I am as well and had never heard such a thing, I know that Tom Herr, Bruce Sutter, and Gene Garber were from my area, but nothing about a guy as good as Sheckard.

And you are pretty much correct, David, in your summation of what it means to be PA dutch. I would say that anyone living too far west of Harrisburg or two far north of Reading doesn't really count. I woudl say Susquehanna Valley (Lancaster, Berks, Dauphin, Adams, Cumberland counties and a few others). And yes, the Amish are a severe minority, though I do get asked a lot of I am Amish (I am not) here in NY.

BTW, my Grandpa can speak the language (who knew that a man with only an 8th grade education would be bilingual and his grandson that is hopefully pursuing a PhD has not yet reached that plateau?) and my family moved here in 1728. In fact, I am not too sure that the area was english speaking until about the middle of the 19th century, if not later.

I know nobody cares about this stuff, but it is pretty cool to me.
   13. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 13, 2007 at 09:34 PM (#2311534)
The majority have Mennonite roots, not Amish.
   14. DavidFoss Posted: March 13, 2007 at 09:49 PM (#2311548)
The majority have Mennonite roots, not Amish.

Yes. Today, its with the Amish that the "Pennsylvania Dutch" language has survived but from the colonial days up until around WWII, it was a spoken by larger group of people. My baseless, knee-jerk, think-out-loud opinion is that mass media (radio/TV/etc) has done a lot to standardize dialects across america and has eliminated small linguistic groups like this.
   15. DavidFoss Posted: March 13, 2007 at 10:06 PM (#2311558)
OTOH you sometimes hear about the New York Dutch. They really were Dutch. E.g. upstate New York, especially Albany and on down the Mohawk Valley (later the Erie Canal) to Syracuse. (New York was originally called New Amsterdam.)

Yup. Went to school there at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Took me until junior year to figure out how to spell "Rensselaer" ("R.P.I" is much easier to spell :-)).

Yes, the Dutch owned NY at first and it was originally New Netherlands/New Amsterdam. That only lasted for about 40 years or so but for a long time afterwards the Hudson river valley was domimated by Dutch landowners called Patroons. The CBA team in Albany used to be called the Patroons before they sold out the nickname rights to GM and switched to the Pontiacs. Not sure if they have a CBA team up there anymore.

Lots of Dutch place names in the area. Stephen van Rensselaer was a Patroon and the county is named after him. The Roosevelt family is based along the Hudson. I'm not sure which is harder to spell, the Dutch names or the Indian names. Lots of "kill"'s... Catskill, Peekskill, Wynantskill. Its funny that there's an homage to Ancient Greece amongst some of the placenames as well (Troy, Albany, Ithaca, Syracuse, etc).

...oops major tangent... Jimmy Sheckard was a great player :-).
   16. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 13, 2007 at 10:06 PM (#2311559)
OCF,

PA Dutch is, I think, really a synonym for Amish heritage. Mark S(c)hirk may agree or disagree. The very wording of Sheckard's bio strongly suggests Amish since it bothers to make the point in the first place. If he was just another Mennonite, why would the biographer bother? The Amish connection is interesting due to its very unlikeliness as a result of their separation policy.

Pursuant to nothing at all: WHen you think about it the Amish didn't really become a seriously different people until around Sheckard's time.

Mark S, my Amsih family came over sometime around there too. Orendorf's our name. I think we were in upper Maryland, however, near the PA borderlands. My mom's mom's dad left the order to marry a Weslyan. ROmantic, huh?
   17. DavidFoss Posted: March 13, 2007 at 10:21 PM (#2311565)
The very wording of Sheckard's bio strongly suggests Amish since it bothers to make the point in the first place. If he was just another Mennonite, why would the biographer bother?

Eisenhower's family was Mennonite and Pennsylvania Dutch.

You're right though. The huge cultural differences we see today were much less stark in the 18th & 19th centuries. To use a pop-culture reference, Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867, just 11 years older than Jimmy Sheckard. Much of small town america was likely very "amish-like" in the late 1800s.
   18. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: March 13, 2007 at 10:55 PM (#2311577)
Here is what Ethnologue has to say about Pennsylvania German (Dutch):

http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=pdc

There are about 100,000 speakers in the USA and Canada in a number of states/provinces, some Amish and some not. The Amish version is a dialect within the language.

I can't figure out how to post links properly any more.
   19. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 14, 2007 at 02:11 PM (#2311763)
Actually Eric, it's was Schurch I believe (with the two dots above the 'u'), but you get the idea. So yeah, my surname didn't mean laziness and procrastination until it was fully anglicized in the late 19th/early 20th century. I also have done a family history for a class back in college, so I can confirm that I do not have Amish roots, or at least if I do they are very minor (like my great 6x grandpa married an amish woman and she converted, or something like that). But my Grandpa is Pa Dutch through and through.

The Upper Maryland thing also makes sense, I myself grew up only 45 minutes from the border.

Sheckard may have had Amish roots (the Amish are generally amazing slow pitch softball players, BTW) but Pa Dutch does not in and of itself signify Amish. Amish, I would say, are just a prominent minority of Pa Dutch. Again, most are Mennonite, but there are many Mennonites that I went to high school with that would look Amish to most that didn't grow up in the area. They had hair pieces and always wore long, homemade dresses and had last names like Martin and Stotlzfus. But they didn't dress in black, drove cars (as opposed to ride in them)and if you went to a public school you weren't Amish.

Aren't these Central Pa threads just sooooo much fun? ;-)

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