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Connie Mack Newsbeat

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-2-2015

Pittsburgh Press, July 2, 1915:

Persistent rumors to the effect that Connie Mack’s holdings in the Athletics were for sale and that he had named his price to a syndicate which has the approval of Ban Johnson, president of the American league, were emphatically denied by the manager of the Mackmen.
...
[Mack:] “My interest in the Athletics is not for sale at any price, but any time my partners are dissatisfied with the way I’m running my ball club, or the American league does not like what I’m doing and want to drive me out of the city, they can do it easy enough. But it will be a care of driving me out, for I don’t intend to quit. I’m here to stay, and I’ll win just as sure as I’ve won before.

Yep, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. Mack won back-to-back world championships in 1929 and 1930 and only sold the team because he didn’t have enough money to make it through the 1955 season.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: July 02, 2015 at 09:47 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, history

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-23-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 23, 1915:

If J. Franklin Baker goes through with his determination to play with the Upland [Pennsylvania] team of the Delaware County league it will in all probability mean that he will never be permitted to play in organized baseball again.

“Baker can’t make a fool out of me,” said [Connie] Mack, “and if he thinks that he can have a little jaunt in the Delaware County league and then at his pleasure report to me and expect to find a place on my team, he has made the mistake of his life.
...
“Baker made a solemn statement to the public in which he said he was quitting baseball because he didn’t like traveling. Yet, in the face of this, he signs a contract with Upland. He will return to Trappe [Maryland] after playing his game with Upland, I have read.

“I went from Philadelphia to Trappe once, and I want to tell you that it was the hardest, weariest trip I ever took. I would much prefer to take a ride to St. Louis than to Trappe.

I get the impression that Baker was lying when he said traveling was the problem. Seems to me he probably saw how terrible the Athletics were going to be for the next few years, didn’t want to deal with it, had enough money to walk away, and didn’t want to embarrass Mack in the process.

As for the Trappe to Upland jaunt, it’s nearly two hours by car in 2015, so I can’t imagine how long the drive would have taken in 1915. 4-5 hours maybe? Mack’s right; that would not have been a fun commute.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-17-2015

Washington Times, February 17, 1915:

Fans [in Philadelphia] stand amazed at the official announcement from Connie Mack that J. Franklin Baker, the famous home run slugger, hero of every world’s series he has played in except the last, has quit baseball.
...
[Connie Mack says] “There has been no disagreement over salary terms with Baker. He has just simply decided to quit, that’s all.”
...
Baker’s real reason for quitting baseball is that he prefers to remain on his big farm at Trappe, Md. Mrs. Baker, particularly since the death of their children, has been urging him to stay home with her, instead of traveling around the country with the Athletics.

Most sources, including SABR, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and contemporary newspapers, suggest that Mack is stretching the truth here. According to those reports, Baker wanted to renegotiate his contract as a result of Mack selling off most of the team, Mack declined to do so, and neither was willing to budge.

After the 1915 season, under pressure from Ban Johnson to get one of the American League’s star players back on the field, Mack sold Baker to the Yankees.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: February 17, 2015 at 08:42 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, history, home run baker

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-7-2015

Grand Forks Daily Herald, January 7, 1915:

It is an open secret that Connie Mack felt compelled to rid the Athletics of Eddie Collins to restore some measure of harmony to the team. And it is generally understood that the discord which Connie seeks to alleviate was caused by Eddie Collins’ ill-advised newspaper articles, in which he disclosed team secrets, and thus, in the opinion of his fellow-players, put them under a handicap.
...
The authorities of the American league recognized the evil and sought to suppress it, but evidently Mr. Collins held himself above authority and proceeded with his labors as an author.

Looks like the team-instigated hatchet job is at least 100 years old today.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: January 07, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, eddie collins, history

 

 

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