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Dugout Newsbeat

Monday, March 25, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-25-2019

Pittsburgh Press, March 25, 1919:

“I see,” remarks Pat Moran, “that Bud Weiser, the outfielder, is again on the ineligible list of the Philadelphia club. Weiser is one of the few ballplayers who get set down through their conversational propensities.
Weiser says things forcefully, and somehow or other, he seems to generally select President Baker of the Philadelphia club to say them to. I distinctly remember one occasion when Mr. Baker criticized some play Weiser made and Weiser requested the president to go to the place where it is always tropical; he also commented on Mr. Baker’s appearance, ancestry, habits, and even his style of clothing.

I’m just impressed that Baker didn’t lose his temper and pound some Bud Weiser.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 25, 2019 at 10:19 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, pound that budweiser

Friday, March 22, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-22-2019

Chicago Eagle, March 22, 1919:

France, the country that went through the fightingest war in history without batting an eye, will never adopt baseball as a national pastime because the game is “too rough.”

This was learned from no less an authority than Capt. Christoper Mathewson, who has just arrived from France.
“Their infield work is rotten,” said Christy, “They can run bases all right, but they get little opportunity because they can’t bat…No, the Frenchman will never take to baseball in a big way. He prefers something more gentle, such as football and dueling.”

Elsewhere on the same page…

[Braves catcher] Hank Gowdy has written Manager George Stallings of the Boston Braves that he hopes to bring back with him from France a French soldier haved Flore Andris, who is, according to Gowdy, a real wonder as a ball player, and fit for a trial as a major leaguer.”

The French can’t play baseball. Also, this French guy is really good at baseball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-20-2019

Pittsburgh Press, March 20, 1919:

Cy Williams, once one of the popular outfielders on the Cub team, has decided to retire from baseball. He owns a farm in Northern Wisconsin, and has learned that tilling the soil is more profitable than traveling around the National league circuit with the Phillies.
“I am sure Williams will not play ball with the Phillies this year,” said Mike Prendergast, Phillie twirler, who is responsible for the report that Cy has retired from the national pastime…“He had a wonderful potato crop last fall that convinced him he could do better on the farm than by playing ball.”

As Dave Bresnahan showed us, there’s no need to choose between baseball and potatoes.

Also in the Pittsburgh Press 100 years ago, Edward E. Burt, of Turtle Creek, would like to join a strong semi-professional baseball club. He can be addressed in care of the sporting editor of the Press.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:02 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, farm system, history

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-19-2019

Memphis News Scimitar, March 19, 1919:

Charles W. Murphy, former president of the Chicago club of the National league, who recently purchased five shares of stock in the organization, has filed a petition in the circuit court for a writ of mandamus to compel officials of the club to allow him to examine its books and records.

The action is directed against Fred L. Mitchell, president, and John O. Seyes, secretary, who, Murphy alleges, refused his request that he and his attorney be permitted to examine the club’s records.

Seems like a reasonable enough request, but makes me wonder what in the world he was doing buying a chunk of a business without seeing the books first.

Speaking of reasonable requests, Babe Ruth’s holdout continues. He’s asking for $10,000, which is half of Ty Cobb’s salary. Boston owner Harry Frazee has no interest in paying Ruth that kind of money.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 19, 2019 at 09:42 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, March 18, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-18-2019

Red Sox owner Harry Frazee gives an update on his contract negotiations with Babe Ruth, Pittsburgh Press, March 18, 1919:

“As far as Ruth is concerned, I have done everything possible to talk him into a reasonable frame of mind. Yet he remains obdurate and demands a contract that is absolutely out of the question. If I cannot come to terms with Ruth then I will get ready and see what other clubs will offer in the way of a trade…If Ruth doesn’t want to work for the Redsox at the handsome salary offered him, maybe we can make an advantageous trade for him with some other club.

Narrator: “They couldn’t.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 18, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history

Friday, March 15, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-15-2019

The Fairmont West Virginian weighs in on the future of air travel in baseball, March 15, 1919:

Traveling by planes instead of railroad trains will have its advantages. There would be no necessity of open dates in the schedules as the long jumps could be made in hours less time than it takes to make them by train. World series could be played on alternate days even if the participating teams were as far apart as New York and Chicago. Circuits could be widened to take in greater territory than at present.

Well done, 1919 people, though players do still occasionally need a day off. There’s a limit to what greenies can accomplish.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 15, 2019 at 10:12 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-14-2019

El Paso Herald, March 14, 1919:

[Connie] Mack has come forth now with the announcement that he is through—absolutely through—selling star players. He is going to keep his stars henceforth, he says, and he means to give Philadelphia fans the best brands of baseball they have seen since the days of the old champions—as soon as he can. Mack has a lot of promising young players and a few old-timers, and his club as it shapes up today is not to be sneezed at.

The 1919 Phiadelphia Athletics went 36-104. Sneeze away.

Connie indeed dismantled a dynasty and sold his star players again, in December 1933. After Mack sold Lefty Grove and Mickey Cochrane, the Athletics went 36 years and two relocations before finishing less than ten games out of first.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-13-2019

Washington Times, March 13, 1919:

Fred Harveycutter, a Washington fan, accompanies the Griffmen to Augusta [for Spring Training]. Fred is a great buttermilk fiend and admits that Augusta provides the best buttermilk in the United States. When not loading up on his favorite article of liquid food, he will advise the athletes at Sally Park.

1919 was truly a different time. This seemed like a typesetter playing a joke on an unwitting public, but I think it’s true. There really was a Fred Harveycutter living in DC around this time. He appears to have had a serious accident in 1916 but recovered well enough to chug buttermilk and watch baseball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 13, 2019 at 09:44 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-12-2019

El Paso Herald, March 12, 1919:

Earl seems to be a favorite name for ball players nowadays, though the name once was coupled with boys who wore long yellow curls and all that. Pittsburg has Earl Hamilton, the Browns Earl Smith. The Giants also have an Earl Smith and the Yankees have Earl Baldwin. The White Sox have Earl Kiser and Cincennati [sic] has Earl Neale.

I couldn’t think of a recent Earl, so I looked it up. The most recent big league Earl was Earl Snyder, a corner infielder who had a cup of coffee with the Indians in 2002 and four AB with the ‘04 Red Sox.

The most recent Earl to play 100+ MLB games was Earl Williams, who played from 1970-1977. Earl Wilson (1959-1970) and Earl Stephenson (1971-1978, 54 career games) are the most recent Earl pitchers.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 12, 2019 at 10:00 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, March 08, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-8-2019

El Paso Herald, March 8, 1919:

The meat packing trade has been quite active of late years in financing baseball and has poured a lot of money into various clubs. Now these same packers are going to take something out of the game. Paddy Driscoll and George Halas, according to Chicago report, have been signed by the Armour company for positions in South America, where the Armours have big interests…Halas is the youngster signed by the New York Yankees…Umpire Billy Evans has declared him to be the best baseball prospect he has seen in years.

If things had worked out a bit differently, George Halas may have been a packer and not a Bear.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 08, 2019 at 10:05 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-7-2019

Toledo News-Bee, March 7, 1919:

Bunny Fabrique, Toledo’s shortstop, got back in the majors on Thursday night. But it was in bowling and not in baseball. He rolled in Toledo’s major tenpin league, the All-Star, with the Navarre Hotels.

Bunny rolled in his street shoes and with an alley ball. He hit for games of 146, 156 and 153.

I guess that makes two sports in which he’s no Mookie Betts.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 07, 2019 at 10:12 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-6-2019

Pittsburgh Press, March 6, 1919:

[John] McGraw has received and is considering an invitation from J.P. Davies of the Curtiss Aeroplane Corporation, in which the Giants leader is urged to fly to Philadelphia, with his team mates for the opening game there on April 23. McGraw has indicated his desire to accept the invitation.

On one hand, that seems like an awfully short trip for an airplane. On the other hand, I have absolutely no idea what kind of range passenger planes would have had in 1919.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 06, 2019 at 09:46 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-5-2019

Pittsburgh Press, March 5, 1919:

Charley Herzog recently was delivering an address on baseball. When he concluded, a bright youth arose and said: “Mr. Herzog, I have been a baseball fan for years, but I think the world’s series may have been ‘fixed.’ Do you know of any series having been ‘fixed?’”

Herzog came back quickly with the following: “No, my friends, there never was a world’s series ‘fixed.’ I have been in four world’s series, and in two interleague series in my major league baseball career, and have been on the losing side every time. Now if the world’s series were fixable, do you think I’d let them ‘cold deck’ me four times in a row. Not C. Lincoln Herzog.”

Everybody relax. Buck Herzog says it’s impossible to fix the World Series. (Also, did he just say he’d fix the World Series if he could?)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 05, 2019 at 11:00 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, March 04, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-4-2019

Pittsburgh Press, March 4, 1919:

Clarence Rowland, now in charge of the Milwaukee club, has ordered a new office and a new telephone. The office was in room 1300 of a downtown building, the ‘phone was “Grand 13,” and Rowland couldn’t stand the combination. Ill luck has clung to Milwaukee players and leaders ever since that combination was acquired. Dan McGann, captain of the club, committed suicide. Danny Shay, manager of the team, was arrested and tried on a charge of murder. Ned Egan, signed as manager to succeed Shay, committed suicide. Charlie Havenor, owner of the club, died suddenly a few days ago.

I can’t speak to the other incidents, but Danny Shay was arrested and tried on a charge of murder after he shot and killed a waiter because Shay was upset about the amount of sugar in a bowl. That’s not bad luck, that’s being an awful person.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 04, 2019 at 09:53 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-28-2019

El Paso Herald, February 28, 1919:

Manager John McGraw got nothing encouraging as to the state of Ferd Schupp’s arm. A winter’s rest did not seem to do it any good. McGraw told Schupp to go to some health resort at an early date and see if drinking water wouldn’t take the rheumatism out of it.

Narrator: “It didn’t.”

Ferdie Schupp is obscure now, and rightfully so given his career 5.0 WAR. But he was virtually unhittable in 1916-1917, with a 1.59 ERA (158 ERA+), 0.94 WHIP, and 6.1 H/9 in 412.1 innings. Schupp blew out his shoulder at Spring Training 1918 and was never the same after that. His best post-injury season was 1920, when he put up an 87 ERA+ in 250 innings and led the league in walks allowed.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2019

Pittsburgh Press, February 27, 1919:

Ed Barrow has spoken, and it looks as if Babe Ruth is not to be granted his wish of becoming one of the Redsox’ regular outfielders and playing every day. The world’s champion’s manager says he plans to use Ruth solely on the slab and as a pinch hitter.

“Of one thing I am convinced,” said Barrow, “Ruth will play only one position. He will not be switched from first to left field and then back to the box. He will not be worked that way again…Right now it looks as if we needed him in the box. He is our best left-hander, and one of the best in the business. The American League’s most dangerous batters are left-handers. Then it is a good idea to have him there in the box.

It’s tough to blame Barrow for wanting to keep one of the best pitchers in the league on the mound. As it turned out, Ruth started 15 games as a pitcher in 1919 and 106 games as a left fielder.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:25 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-26-2019

Seattle Star, February 26, 1919:

The American and National leagues, it is said, have abandoned any idea of organizing independent minor leagues to take care of their surplus players. Some of the major magnates favored it, but the majority thought it inadvisable to antagonize the National Association leagues and elected to make disposition of the surplus by other means.

Presumably, they also realized it would be extremely expensive to build new leagues from the ground up.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 26, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, February 25, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-25-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, February 25, 1919:


Lou Litschi will play no more baseball. The former Vernon third baseman, who has been wearing a Dallas uniform for the past two seasons, says it is an ill wind that blows no good.

His family for years held stock in a coffin factory. The stock paid no dividends until a short time ago. But with the influenza epidemic, the demand for coffins became greater than ever before.

Well, that’s certainly morbid. Anyway, Litschi probably wasn’t ever going to make it to the big leagues; he hit .192 and slugged .258 in the Texas League as a 31-year-old in 1918.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 25, 2019 at 09:56 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, February 22, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-22-2019

Pittsburgh Press, February 22, 1919:

Under Charley Herzog and Christy Mathewson, the Cincinnati Reds used the “hit and run” system of play extensively, even though it failed to bring results.
Now comes Pat Moran, who says that he does not care very much for the play, and who will use it only when it is plain that it should not be set aside. Pat says it’s a great play when you have the men you can make it, but when you haven’t that kind of players, what’s the use?

Coincidentally (or not), the 1919 Reds won 96 games and the World Series.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:13 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-21-2019

New York Sun, February 21, 1919:

Sweden wants baseball. In fact, the Swedes want baseball so badly that in the invitation they extended the American soccer players to visit Sweden next June they inserted the proviso that every player brought along must also be able to play baseball. Hence the American soccer invasion of Sweden next summer turns into a baseball invasion as well.

The number of Swedish-born players to make it to the major leagues in the last 100 years is…zero. They must not have wanted baseball that badly.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago today, it’s our first Tubby Spencer sighting in a while. Everyone’s favorite highly eccentric recovering alcoholic backup catcher has signed with Salt Lake in the Pacific Coast League. Tubby hit .322 with a bit of gap power, but this was the PCL in 1919. Everyone was hitting .322 with a bit of gap power. He never made it back to the big leagues.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-20-2019

Pittsburgh Press, February 20, 1919:

Babe Ruth, the big, hard-hitting pitcher-outfielder of the Boston Americans, announces that he is really in earnest about becoming a professional boxer. Ruth announced designs on the heavyweight championship when he saw that Jack Dempsey had been promised at least $27,500 for fighting Jess Willard and that the champion had been assured $100,000. Ruth likes money just two points more than he likes a home run, and that is the last word in liking.

In addition, Ruth is not the most modest of men and he really believes that if he took one healthy swing at the jaw of Jess, the Kansas behemoth would hit the canvas.

Willard was indeed ripe for the picking in 1919, but I can’t imagine the Babe would have been a great boxer. He wasn’t exactly the most disciplined athlete in the world.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 20, 2019 at 09:40 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, February 18, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-18-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, February 18, 1919:

Capt. Christy Mathewson, the former Giant pitcher and at one time the country’s greatest baseball idol, returned from France today on the troopship Rotterdam. Big Six looks bigger and stronger than ever, and says he feels so good that he could go in and pitch a winning game at a day’s notice.

I know that the commonly told story is that Mathewson was gassed in France and never really recovered, but it sure sounds like he was fine at this point.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:02 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, February 15, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-15-2019

Washington Times, February 15, 1919:

Joe Jackson and “Swede” Risberg for Bobby Veach, Donie Bush and Harry Heilman is the latest heard in “the Loop.”

Bush, according to the story, is dissatisfied with conditions in Detroit, and welcomes a change. Furthermore, the Tigers’ shortstop is a veteran, and Hughey Jennings has taken quite a fancy to Risberg.

Jackson has not communicated with the Chicago club. He has taken sadly to heart the columns of criticism hurled at him all around the country, and will hardly care to play [in Chicago] again.

Joe, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The bad news is that you’re going to be a White Sock for the rest of your career. The good news is that you won’t be have to be a White Sock for very long.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 15, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-14-2019

Pittsburgh Press, February 14, 1919:

Clark Griffith of the Senators says he would have “Babe” Ruth on first base every day in the week if “Babe” were with the Washington club, writing to a baseball friend [in Boston]. Griffith declares that he can’t see Ruth at all as a pitcher or as an outfielder.
“As a pitcher, Ruth is a joke. I know all about his record, too, when I say this. I could go up and get two hits off him in every game he pitched against me; that’s what I think of his pitching. As an outfielder, Ruth is not good. As a hitter—oh, lady, lady, he’s a wonder.

Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

Elsewhere on the same page of the Press, umpire Billy Evans talks about Yankees outfielder George Halas: He’s fast and has a great arm. That article is mostly illegible, but Halas seems like the sort of guy who might be good at football.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 14, 2019 at 09:47 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-13-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, February 13, 1919:

The $900,000 damage suit which was brought against organized baseball several seasons ago by the Baltimore Federal League club has again bobbed up, and President John A. Heydler of the National League…announced that the case would be heard on March 10. The action is brought under the Sherman anti-trust law.
Not only the major leagues are defendants in the action, but also the Wards of Brooklyn, Harry Sinclair, who owned the Newark Club in the outlaw league, and Edward W. Gwinner of Pittsburgh. In the settlement of the baseball war these three club owners were compensated, while Phil Ball…became the owner of the St. Louis Browns, and Charles F. W. Weeghman and his Chicago associates bought the Chicago Cubs. All those men are also defendants in the action.

In completely unrelated news, quite a few major league owners are beginning to think about having a one-man National Commission.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 13, 2019 at 09:57 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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