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Dugout Newsbeat

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2014

Virginia [Minnesota] Enterprise, August 21, 1914:

Los Angeles writers of the ancient pastime of baseball are wondering over much that a home-run, game-winning swat was recently made out there by a player whose first name is Clarence.

There is nothing in this name thing. “Cactus” Cravath’s first name is Clifford, and the toughest bank blower we ever knew sailed under the label Cyril. Percy Brush was about as explosive a bunch of dynamite as ever tore through an opposing line in the football thing.

In sporting affairs, the Clarences, Cliffords, Percies and Fauntleroys are apt to be tough birds, while the Pats, Georges, Johns, Marmadukes and Hannibals are apt to wear stovepipe model straw hats, smoke Egyptian cigaretts [sic], wear white silk hosiery and have a fondness for grand opera, caviar, Keats and other forms of calm and pacific pastimes.

Heh. Like there could ever be great players with first names like Melvin, Gaylord, Ferguson, or Lynn.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 21, 2014 at 09:41 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2014

New York Evening World, August 20, 1914:

The attention of fans the country over appears to be pretty nearly evenly divided between watching the war bulletins and observing how the Giants and Braves make out each day. The Boston Climbers have cut down still another game from the fifteen-game lead the Champions had on them a few weeks ago.

On July 4, 1914, the Braves were in last place at 26-40, fifteen games behind the first-place Giants. If you include the World Series, Boston went 72-19 over the rest of 1914.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-19-2014

Washington Times, August 19, 1914:

Russell Ford, famous spitball artist and leading pitcher of the Federal League, may be permanently lost to baseball, owing to an injury to his spine. Bonesetter Reese has been unable to help Ford, and an operation may be undertaken later.

The injury to Ford’s spine was caused by diving into shallow water at Long Beach, California, in 1912. Recent pitching by Ford has irritated the old injury to such an extent that he has been unable to work through an entire game.

I haven’t been able to find out if the injury happened before or after the 1912 season, but Ford was a legitimately great pitcher through the end of 1911. 48-17, 1.99 ERA, 156 ERA+, 55 complete games in 66 career starts.

From 1912-1915, Ford was pretty pedestrian; he led the league in losses once, earned runs allowed once, and home runs allowed three years in a row, while putting up a Federal League-inflated 111 ERA+. He was out of the big leagues for good by August 1915.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2014 at 08:18 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, russ ford

Monday, August 18, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-18-2014

[New York] Evening World, August 18, 1914:

After yesterday’s accident it is likely that spectators will stop the very dangerous practice of throwing balls from the stand directly to the plate. Some one threw a ball from the stand during the latter part of the second game that struck Catcher Nunamaker on the head, while his back was turned, and knocked him senseless. The ball was thrown with great force too. It is believed that the shot was intended for Umpire Chill, who had the fans “on him” all afternoon.

Alas, fans still throw baseballs onto the field from time to time.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 18, 2014 at 07:59 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, les nunamaker, ollie chill

Friday, August 15, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-15-2014

...in which either the record books have a phantom player, or someone’s fibbing.

Chicago Eagle, August 15, 1914:

J.A. Brown, Jr., a Union Stockyards meat expert, holds the world’s record with the shortest professional baseball career of any player who has yet broken into the major leagues, writes I.E. Sanborn in Chicago Tribune.
...
Encountering Acting Secretary Grabiner at the Sox offices, our hero asked for Comiskey, saying “My name’s Brown,” and offering the letter of introduction. Without glancing at the document, Grabiner extended his hand and was so glad to see Brown that he took him right out and introduced him to the Sox pilot.

“So you’re Brown, eh?” was Callahan’s greeting. “Welcome to our midst. Here, Buck, give Brown a home uniform right away.”
...
Out trotted the meat expert, resplendent in his clean white suit, and—struck out on three wild pitches, even before the annunciator could finish his spiel, “Brown now batting for Jasper.”
...
[After the game, Grabiner] informed the scribes that Browns first name was Delos and that he was a swell young player who had been going to school at Decatur…

Officially, Delos Brown had one career plate appearance, pinch hitting for Hi Jasper on June 12, 1914 and striking out.

I’m not confident that Delos Brown was the guy who struck out that day.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 08:28 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: delos brown, dugout, history, phantom players

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-14-2014

Kenna [New Mexico] Record, August 14, 1914:

Claude Rossman, once a Nap, once a Tiger and now a Miller in the American association, won a game the other day for Minneapolis in the American association.

Claude won it in the third inning of a contest with Cleveland and the winning was sweet because—

“Hey, you big boob, back to the Old Soldiers’ home.”
“Whenja see Elmer Flick last?”
“You’as a good hitter back in 1906,” were only a part—a very small part—of the remarks flung at him…

And the people heckling him on that summer day in 1914? Julio Franco and Jamie Moyer.

Now you know…the rest of the story.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 09:52 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: claude rossman, dugout, history

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-13-2014

Dakota County [Nebraska] Herald, August 13, 1914:

Buck Weaver of the White Sox is engaged in gathering together a collection of assorted bats so valuable that it couldn’t be purchased for money, marbles, or chalk. This aggregation of clout rods will consist of bats once grasped by the stalwart hands of Cobb, Speaker, Jackson, Baker and other man [sic] who have helped make the base hit famous. Each bat will be autographed by the man who used it for swatting. Weaver is gathering these for the express purpose of presenting them to Ed. R. Maier, president of the Venice club.

DO WANT.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:17 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: buck weaver, dugout, history

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-12-2014

El Paso Herald, August 12, 1914:

If John McGraw isn’t careful he’ll wake up some morning to find that “Big Jeff” Tesreau has jumped the Giants and taken a job in the “White Hope” league.
...
But fate so far has ruled against Tesreau becoming a pugilist and it seems that fate will continue so to rule, assisted by Mrs. Tesreau, who is very much opposed to “Jeff’s” pugilistic ideas.

“Jeff” yearns to bring back to the white race the crown that Jack Johnson snatched from Jeffries.

He didn’t, obviously. After a couple of poor seasons in 1916 and 1917, Tesreau left the Giants in the middle of the 1918 season to take a wartime job at Bethlehem Steel. He became a coach at Dartmouth College in 1919 and stayed there the rest of his life. (Hat tip to Tesreau’s SABR Bio, written by R.J. Lesch.)

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 06:49 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jeff tesreau

Monday, August 11, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-11-2014

Toledo News-Bee, August 11, 1914:

SEMI-PRO FLINGER HAS GREAT RECORD

Rube Foster, the Christy Mathewson of colored baseball stars, has pitched 23 games for the American Giants, a colored semi-professional team, and won them all, according to the team’s official record. These games include contests with the Portland, Ore., and Spokane team of the Northwestern league.

And he’s only a semi-pro? Man, someone should really sign him.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 11, 2014 at 07:51 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rube foster

Friday, August 08, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-8-2014

Pittsburgh Press, August 8, 1914:

“Dolly” Grey [sic], a catcher, was more or less forcibly taken from his home in Hastings [Michigan] and brought to Kalamazoo to catch for the local South Michigan club yesterday. Kalamazoo was without a catcher, and Grey did not want to come. He was rushed [to Kalamazoo] by an auto and consented to catch.

Pretty sure it’s illegal to kidnap catchers, even when you really need one.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-7-2014

Toledo News-Bee, August 7, 1914:

[Albert] Davidson, of the Baltimore Internationals, set what is probably a world’s record the other day, by passing 20 men in eight innings. A wild pitch and throw which hit Catcher McAvoy in the neck and knocked him out were other features of Davidson’s wildness. In three innings Davidson forced in four runs. Buffalo won, 7 to 4, on three hits, against thirteen for the visitors.

“Juuuuuuuuuuust a bit outside.” Davidson walked 133 men and allowed 89 runs in 117 innings for the 1914 Orioles and then vanishes from the historical record, as you might expect.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:18 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-6-2014

Pittsburgh Press, August 6, 1914:

The Chippewa Indian baseball team recently lost a game to the American Giants in Chicago and blamed the music of the band for their defeat.

Which recalls the story of the protest filed by a German team in Cincinnati years ago. The Germans were playing the Popular Stars, a team that began with O’Ryan and ended with Grady—and a band was out.

The Irish team won, 12 to 4, and the Germans protested. They claimed the band played “The Wearing of the Green” every time the Irish team got runners on the bases and played “The Marseilles” [sic] when the Germans were likely to score.

Das ist nicht höflich.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 06, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-5-2014

Toledo News-Bee, August 5, 1914:

The British censorship has been extended to the baseball scores sent to London for publication there. The cable officials have been notified that the scores will not be accepted. It is presumed that the military censor believes they might be code messages intended for Germany.

“Tell Kluck and Bülow to turn south when the Yankees beat the Red Sox 7-6.”

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 05, 2014 at 07:55 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 04, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-4-2014

Logan [Utah] Republican, August 4, 1914:

We hereby issue a challenge to the Mendon baseball team to play a game of baseball on the B.Y. campus at once, the sooner the better, for $100 a side and winner to take all gate receipts.

We have understood that the Mendon team is crowing that it can defeat the team compused of the Kidmans’ [sic] of the valley. Now put up or shut up as the Kidman boys are ready.

LYMAN KIDMAN,
Manager Kidman Team

I really like the idea of family-only ballclubs roaming the early 20th century Utah frontiers, picking up odd jobs and playing each other in winner-take-all baseball games.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 04, 2014 at 08:39 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 01, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-1-2014

Chicago Eagle, August 1, 1914:

One of the luckiest home runs on record was registered at Newark recently when Deininger was given credit for one on a fly ball that was actually caught by an outfielder and held…Willie Zimmermann [sic] backed up against the low left field fence to take a drive from Deininger. As he froze onto the ball he fell over the fence. He held on to the ball though rendered unconscious, but the umpire couldn’t see it, and permitted the home run.

I imagine that would have precipitated one heck of an argument.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 01, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: bill zimmerman, dugout, history, pep deininger

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-31-2014

Virginia [MN] Enterprise, July 31, 1914:

ENGLAND WANTS BASEBALL

Writing on the subject a well known American athlete now abroad states there is evidence that cricket is loosing [sic] some of its popularity among English sports devotees.
...
“...the English appreciated the speed of our game as compared to cricket; that they marveled at the accurate throwing and catching and liked the idea of the game being completed in one afternoon instead of three days as cricket does. I am told that cricket is loosing [sic] its hold on the people, that baseball clubs have already been formed and that many have given up cricket for tennis.

If the Englishmen of 1914 thought cricket was long, drawn out, and an unnecessary waste of time that’s mostly spent accomplishing absolutely nothing, they hadn’t seen anything yet. The next four years would make a test match seem positively zippy.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 31, 2014 at 09:24 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cricket, dugout, history, international

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2014

Milwaukee Journal, July 30, 1914:

If eight hours is made a legal working day in California, J. Cal Ewing, the boss of the San Francisco Seals, says he is going to get a legal day’s work out of his ball players. The most that any of them work now is five hours. Three hours of this is in the game in the afternoon, a couple in morning practice.

In the rest of the time, Ewing says he can find work for them cutting grass in the park, sweeping the stands, and marking the foul lines. If the law says eight hours is a day’s work, Cal declares he will see to it that the law is obeyed.

Jeffrey Loria: the early years.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 06:44 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-29-2014

Pittsburgh Press, July 29, 1914:

Manager Clark Griffith, of Washington, blames his team’s failure to be higher up in the race on the fact that no less than six of his players are inveterate cigaret smokers and inhalers.
...
The Nationals’ manager argues that it is impossible for a ball player to do himself justice when he takes liberties with cigarets, and he called all his smokers to task and gave them to understand that the habit must cease if they expect to be of any service to their team.

Smoking annoys me too, Clark, but your team’s failure is probably more a result of your starting catcher hitting .169/.274/.226 and your starting shortstop hitting .203/.274/.243.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:48 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: clark griffith, dugout, history

Monday, July 28, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2014

Tacoma Times, July 28, 1914:

Tacoma has a new pitcher.
...
The “Mysterious Pitcher” will warm up today. He will warm up tomorrow also. And he will pitch against Ballard either Thursday or Friday afternoon.

But the man of mystery will wear a mask over his face during every game. He will be escorted from the field in a closed taxicab. There are not more than five persons who know his identity, not even the players having the slightest idea of who he is.

Looks like the “mysterious pitcher” never actually appeared in a game. It turned out to the telegraph operator from the press box.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:41 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 25, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-25-2014

Bennington [Vermont] Evening Banner, July 25, 1914:

The management of the Athletics, the American League baseball club, has forbidden the further operation by newspapers or other news distributing agencies of baseball score boards on which the games in [Philadelphia] are reproduced on the street play by play. The management takes the ground that the boards are responsible for the loss of more than $1,000 a day in attendance at the ball park.
...
[Athletics president Ben Shibe:] “It is just as if everything that was taking place in theatres should be reported free to a crowd outside the house. I don’t see why the newspapers want to supply such news. Why don’t they give their papers away free? It would be just as reasonable.”

100 years later, baseball fans can use pocket devices to get free live pitch-by-pitch updates of dozens of MLB and MiLB games every day, not to mention free content from newspapers.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 25, 2014 at 07:55 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-24-2014

Washington Times, July 24, 1914:

Eppa Jephtha Absolom Rixey, jr., [sic] former Virginia varsity twirler, was sadly bumped again yesterday by the Cubs. Rixey insisted on remaining at college until June this season and has been of no use to the Phillies at all. He has yet to win a ball game and may be released.

This is the second day in a row that a newspaper suggested that a guy who’d go on to become the winningest pitcher in franchise history would be released. Yesterday it was the Phils’ eventual all-time wins leader, today the Reds.

Rixey went 2-11 and allowed 73 runs (50 earned) in 103 innings in 1914, but the Phillies didn’t release him. They kept him long enough for him to pitch brilliantly for a few years and lead the league in losses twice (the Phillies were terrible for most of his time there). Eventually they traded him to Cincinnati for a Hall of Famer, but unfortunately it was a Pro Football Hall of Famer: Greasy Neale. They also got league-average innings eater Jimmy Ring in the Rixey deal.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:44 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, eppa rixey, history

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-23-2014

The [Missoula, MT] Daily Missoulian, July 23, 1914:

Grover Cleveland Alexander, a bear with the Phillies only two seasons back, has taken a hurry-up drop. In view of his poor work last season and this year his release by the Phillies had been anticipated, but it was thought he would go to a class AA organization. Instead he has been consigned to Syracuse in the New York State league

Yeah, Ol’ Pete had a really rough 1914. He only led the league in wins, innings pitched, complete games, and batters faced.

I have absolutely no idea what the author of this blurb was thinking, but Alexander didn’t pitch in the minor leagues again until 1930, when he was a washed up 43-year-old.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:38 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, grover cleveland alexander, history

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2014

Pittsburgh Press, July 22, 1914:

Pain and thoughts of injury disappeared when Guy Copeland, 22 years old, who had been injured in a ball game at Fifteenth st. [sic] and the Paseo, awoke from a semi-conscious condition and found himself in an undertaking shop, where he had been taken for treatment.
...
Copeland sprang from the table. It was too far to the door, and he plunged through a window, taking screen and all with him…Copeland forgot his aching head; he just kept on running…He finally was caught and the wound, which was not serious, was treated. “I thought they’d made a mistake and thought I was dead,” gasped Copeland.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 22, 2014 at 06:36 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 21, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-21-2014

Milwaukee Journal, July 21, 1914:

President Frank E. Murphy of the Green Bay club, in a letter to President Frank R. Weeks of the W-I League on Monday, demanded that punishment be meted out to Catcher Snow of the Oshkosh club for throwing chewing tobacco into the grandstand during Saturday’s game.
...
In the affidavit it is declared the tobacco hit several women in the stand.

I guess it’s better than getting hit by a flying chair.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 21, 2014 at 06:33 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 18, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-18-2014

An account of the game of the year from the Pittsburgh Press, July 18, 1914:

In the sixth inning, Wagner singled, after Mowrey had been retired, and took third of [sic] Viox’s drive to center. Bescher pegged to Stock, but when the Giant third-sacker tried to locate the ball it was missing. Wagner jumped up and started for home, and as he ran the sphere dropped from his clothing…Umpire Byron called Wagner out for interference.
...
The decision caused a mighty howl, which was participated in by many of the players and by Manager Fred Clarke, who applied a flow of profanity to the umpire, which was anything but pleasing to the disgusted spectators who were forced to listen to it or leave the grounds. Mr. Clarke’s language on this occasion, or any other, will not win ball games. It is doing things - and doing them right - that counts in the records.

The whole article is worth a read if you have a couple minutes.

New York won the game 3-1 in 21 innings, a classic that included complete games from Rube Marquard and Babe Adams, Adams going 21 innings without issuing a walk, Mike Mowrey costing the Pirates a win by not running out a ground ball, and the goofy play mentioned in the excerpt.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 08:40 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, honus wagner

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