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Dugout Newsbeat

Monday, September 23, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-23-2019

Pittsburgh Press, September 23, 1919:

It is believed that Sunday’s Superba-Red game established a major record for brevity. The full nine innings were played, including the last half of the ninth, as the Reds were behind and had to finish that inning. The exact time was 55 minutes. The world’s record for brevity in a nine-inning game is 32 minutes, made by the Mobile and Atlanta clubs at Atlanta on September 17, 1910. It was the last game of the season and the players agreed to make it as short as possible, running in and out from their positions at full speed and hustling in every way to save time.

Unless something happened recently and I missed it, the longest inning in baseball history came on May 8, 2004, when the Tigers and Rangers took 68 minutes to play the fifth inning.

In the length of time that single Rangers-Tigers inning took to play, you could play the entire Atlanta-Mobile game, take five minutes to let new teams take the field (we’re hurrying, after all), and play more than half of the September 21, 1919 Brooklyn-Cincinnati game.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 23, 2019 at 10:10 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 20, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-20-2019

Bridgeport Times, September 20, 1919:

WHITE SOX WILL DEMAND BIG INCREASES NEXT YEAR

When Skipper Gleason of the good ship White Sox starts marshaling his crew for a cruise on the 1920 pennant seas, he faces a task that will make his efforts in landing the 1919 American League pennant pale into insignificance. Almost unanimous will be the demands of his otherwise orderly mates for salary increases commensurate with their efforts in bringing the 1919 pennant to the Windy City.
...
“We’ve given Comiskey and the White Sox our best efforts all season, and some of us suffered a cut in salary over the previous season,” said one of the members of the team, “but there must be a substantial increase in my pay check, and I know I speak for the other fellows, before we’ll play on the South Side again. Players who do not compare in ability with men at the same positions on the Sox are drawing down more money a year than we are, and this must not be.”

Uh-oh.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 20, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-19-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 19, 1919:

Schreiber, the recruit who has been playing third base while Groh is out of the lineup with an injured finger, refused to put on a uniform in the game with the Dodgers [yesterday], because he was not allotted a full share of the world’s series receipts. At a meeting of the Cincinnati players this morning, it was stated that every man on the team should have a full share except Duncan, Schreiber and See, who have been with the team only about a month. These three were voted half a share each.

With Groh injured and Schreiber having a tantrum, Sherry Magee made his one and only career appearance at third base. He had one assist, no putouts, and no errors.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hank Schreiber played his final game in a Reds uniform about a week later. His MLB career consisted of 36 games spread over five seasons, with a .198/.207/.253 batting line. The combination of not being able to hit and refusing to play tends to be difficult to overcome.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, tantrums

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-18-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 18, 1919:

Gamblers Hurting Big Leagues

The alleged scandals involving certain baseball players and probably engendered by the vicious gambling which has been allowed in big league ball parks this year, took a wild and ridiculous trend yesterday when some person, probably a gambler, brought Al Mamaux’ name into the discussion.

Mamaux was primed to work against [Pittsburgh] yesterday, but Manager Robinson decided to switch to a lefthander…Somebody voiced the silly remark that Mamaux was to “throw” the game in the sixth inning, if he had worked. If the “tip” were not an injustice to the pitcher’s name it would be funny. In the first place Mamaux would not attempt such an action for financial remuneration and in the second place it is quite a trick to “throw” a game without other members of the team and the public being “wise.”

Public gambling has reached an acute stage in baseball. The habit cannot harm the purity of the great game, but it may work injury to its professional aspects if it is not curbed.

Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about gambling. It can’t hurt the purity of our game. (Weirdly, there’s a cartoon about Eddie Cicotte immediately above the linked article.)

With regard to Mamaux, it would be weird if he were a dishonest player. His parents were millionaires, so I can’t imagine he’d need to sell his self-respect for a few bucks. Maybe he did it, but I sure don’t see a motive.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2019 at 10:18 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-17-2019

Essex County [Vermont] Herald, September 17, 1919:

Way back in ‘89 Cincinnati was playing one afternoon with Chris Von Der Ahe’s St. Louis aggregation on the St. Louis grounds.
...
Cliff Carroll was playing center field for the St. Louis nine. The Cincinnati batter hit a slow grounder to center, and Carroll ran up to gather it in…Just before it reached him the ball hit a clump of dirt and bounded high. Carroll grabbed for it with both hands, just as it hit him in the chest. Somehow in the struggle the ball was wedged into the pocket of Carroll’s uniform shirt. It got in there, and Cliff had a terrible time trying to get it out.
...
The result was that the [batter] got home safely and Cincinnati won the game. Von Der Ahe almost had a fit. He fined Carroll fifty for putting the ball in his pocket and made a rule that thereafter no pockets of any kind should be allowed in the uniforms of his team.

It’s a neat story that gets repeated a lot, but I can’t find any contemporary accounts of it actually happening. The Red Stockings hit one inside-the-park home run against the Browns in 1889, by George Tebeau in Cincinnati on July 18, 1889. There’s absolutely no mention of Carroll losing the ball in his pocket in the next week’s issue of The Sporting Life, and no reports in the Library of Congress newspaper archive site. I’ll stop short of saying this didn’t happen; I haven’t done anywhere near enough research to state that unequivocally. I’ll just say that if it happened, either it wasn’t ruled a home run (which it sounds like it should have been) or it didn’t happen the way it’s described here.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:49 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, September 16, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-16-2019

Pittsburgh Press, September 16, 1919:

John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants, has conceded the National league pennant to the Cincinnati club, according to a message received last night by club officials here. The message stated that McGraw was returning here and had appointed Coach Christy Mathewson temporary manager.

The Reds can clinch first place by defeating the Giants today. As New York is assured of second place, McGraw intends to go to Texas from New York, to look after business interests.

“Screw you guys, I’m goin’ home.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:05 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 13, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-13-2019

Pittsburgh Press, September 13, 1919:

Gene McCann, scout of the Cincinnati Reds and one of Baseball’s wise men, believes that the whole weight of the coming world’s series rests upon the shoulders of Eddie Cicotte, the Whitesox shine ball pitcher.

“Cicotte will go in for the first game against the Reds,” says McCann. “If he wins, the Sox, a great ball club, and full of nerve, must be given an even chance against the Reds. But if the Reds thrash Cicotte in that opening contest, the stuff is off—the Reds can be set down as future champions of the world.”

That was so much more true than McCann could know.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 13, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-12-2019

Washington Times, September 12, 1919:

If Ban Johnson, American League president, has any sense whatsoever of the fitness—or the unfitness—of things he’ll quit his job, was the opinion expressed today by Col. Jacob Ruppert, part owner of the New York Yankees.

Johnson’s throne is about to topple, anyway, according to Ruppert, and abdication now would be a timely act.

The legal action started by the Yankee owners to prevent Ban from interfering with Pitcher Carl Mays ended yesterday with a hearing before Referee George Gillespie. The testimony is now in the hands of Supreme Court Justice Wagner. The final hearing brought a statement from Johnson that he had owned stock in the Boston team, as well as in the Cleveland club.

Jeez, Col. Ruppert. Tell us how you really feel.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 12, 2019 at 10:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-11-2019

New York Tribune, September 11, 1919:

Ray Caldwell, the prodigal of the American League, only recently kicked out of the Boston Red Sox, came back yesterday and pitched a no-hit game for the Cleveland Indians against the Yankees at the Polo Grounds.
...
Caldwell, the erratic, the temperamental, the undependable, shut out “Murderers’ Row,” the hardest sluggers in the league, with the might of the arm that they said had gone bad, and with the steel of the nerve that they said he had lost.
...
The crowd was with Caldwell, the prodigal, despite the fact that he was working for Ban Johnson’s team, the Indians, for the prodigal always was a likeable wastrel. Even after he had driven managers to desperation he could win them back with that compelling grin of his.

A couple weeks earlier, Caldwell was hit by lightning while on the mound but finished the game. Things were never dull when Ray Caldwell was around.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 11, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-10-2019

Toledo News-Bee, September 10, 1919:

Rev. Frederick N. McMillin, Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church, asked all loyal fans on Tuesday to join him in prayer for a pennant for the Reds.

To that end he has written prayer in which the Lord is asked to grant “speed, control and deceptive curves” to the pitchers; frequent and timely hits to the batters; blessings to Pat Moran, manager and good health and safety from accident to tall the players.

Rev. McMillin was the third baseman on the University of Wooster team in 1894, and still occasionally practices with the Reds.

That’s not now this works. That’s not how any of this works.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:47 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, September 09, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-9-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 9, 1919:

Boston defeated New York in both sections of a double header here [yesterday], the scores being 3 to 1 and 3 to 0.

In the eighth inning of the first game, Ruth hit a home run in the right field for his twenty-sixth home run of the year, breaking the established major league record. Freeman of the Washington National League club, had held the record for years when he hit 25 home runs in 1899.

Clearly a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. It’s tough to imagine anyone hitting more than 26 or 27 home runs in a season.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 09, 2019 at 10:34 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Friday, September 06, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-6-2019

Toledo News-Bee, September 6, 1919:

Babe Ruth, Boston slugger, on Friday equalled the major league home run record made by Buck Freeman, who set the record with Washington in 1899. Ruth’s drive came in the second inning of the game with Philadelphia. The Red Sox won the contest, 15 to 7. When he equalled the record Babe was shown a movie contract, which he signed.

Ned Williamson hit 27 home runs in a season and never got a movie contract.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:08 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, forgot about ned, history

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-5-2019

Pittsburgh Press, September 5, 1919:

Some critics are questioning the home run record of Ed Williamson, of the old Chicago Colts, made back in 1884, when he knocked out 27 homers. The Philadelphia Bulletin says in this connection:

“It is claimed that Ed Williamson, of Chicago, in 1883, collected 27 home runs. This record seems questionable, as old-timers do not recall Williamson as a long-distance hitter.

“The only way in which past figures can be substantiated is through a search of the official scores that possibly may be stored in National League headquarters, and to unearth them would be a herculean task.”

While the above is in part true, yet Williamson’s record is bona fide, according to Al Munro Elias, although he says it was made in 1884, not 1883, as claimed.

Elias recently came into possession of a complete set of the files of Sporting Life, a baseball publication which has now gone out of existence, but which contained the box score of every game played in the major leagues. He immediately investigated the files of 1884, and found Williamson’s record.”

If ever there were a home run record that deserved an asterisk, it was Williamson in 1884. Before that season, exactly one person had hit more than ten home runs in a season. Four members of the ‘84 White Stockings hit more than 20 home runs that season. Of his 27 home runs, Williamson hit 25 of them at home.

Lakefront Park was 180 feet down the left field line and 196 down the right field line. The power alleys were 280 feet and 252 feet.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 05, 2019 at 10:27 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-3-2019

Honus Wagner on how to break out of a slump, quoted in the Pittsburgh Press, September 3, 1919:

When I was going bad and simply couldn’t hit anything safe, I would find myself the biggest, heaviest bat imaginable—some huge piece of timber that you’d never think of using under ordinary circumstances. I’d take that up to the plate, and I’d just shove it at the ball—let the ball hit that big chunk of wood and rebound. And—say—you’d be surprised to know how often the ball would bound safe, and how quickly the crash of the wood against the leather would restore your confidence! Try it once and see if it doesn’t work out to perfection.

That…actually makes some sense.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 03, 2019 at 09:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 30, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-30-2019

Toledo News-Bee, August 30, 1919:

Denial that a movement is under way to transfer the franchises of several National League teams was voiced today by President Heydler of the National League.

The report that the St. Louis club would be transferred to Milwaukee and the Boston franchise to Montreal at the close of the season was branded by the league head as “one of those curious stories that start each year about this time.”

The Braves relocating? Big league baseball in Milwaukee? Inconceivable!

Also in the news 100 years ago today, the Cincinnati Reds (using their starters) nearly lose an exhibition game against Klein Chocolate of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:15 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Athletics handed winning run because a fielder accidentally jumped into their dugout

In the ninth inning of a game with significant wild card race implications, it was a pop-out on a foul ball that handed the Oakland Athletics the winning run on Thursday.

Facing the Kansas City Royals with runners on second and third with one out, A’s second baseman Corban Joseph hit a foul pop-up that drifted toward his own dugout on the third base line. Royals third-baseman Cheslor Cuthbert easily reached the ball’s landing spot, then extended out and caught the ball for an out.

However, Cuthbert wasn’t able to stop his momentum and had to jump into the A’s dugout. That would prove to be costly.

The umpire immediately called Joseph out, then signaled that play was dead and for both baserunners to advance. The Athletics went up 9-7, then held on in the bottom of the ninth to win 9-8.

So, any thoughts on the merits of this rule?

 

QLE Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:47 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, dugout, rules of the game

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-27-2019

Keokuk Daily Gate City, August 27, 1919:

Rumors of New League

Some years ago there were attempts to prove that St. Louis was not large enough to support two baseball clubs, and efforts were made to have its franchise transferred to Kansas City or Milwaukee. Only a brief time ago there was an effort to transfer the Washington franchise to Toronto, which was all set to bid for the American League club. Baltimore has tried many times to get back into baseball as a major league city, and has been prevented only by the fact that it never has shown itself equal to the task of caring for a big league club.

Now there are reports that Cincinnati will be made to house a new club, and that Toledo and Indianapolis have been given consideration. These reports hinge on the possibility of a split in the American, with the necessity for new cities to replace those shuffled off by the revolting clubowners…It has been contended that Detroit and Philadelphia would fall over themselves getting into the new outfit should the triumvirate of powerful clubs decide to break away.

I hadn’t heard about this before and I’m not sure how seriously to take it, but it’s an interesting what-if.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 27, 2019 at 12:48 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 26, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-26-2019

New York Tribune, August 26, 1919:

Babe Ruth has been keeping the Tigers from gaining on the league-leading White Sox. The Boston demon must have his little bust every day, either breaking a fence or a ball game. Yesterday his two homers and single were responsible for the downfall of the Jennings tribe. [Yesterday] he walloped another homer, aiding the Red Sox to down the locals, 5 to 4.

The circuit clout of Ruth’s [yesterday] makes four the Bostonian has gotten in three days. His total for the season is twenty-three. He is now within two homers of the major league record made in 1899 by Buck Freeman, who knocked out twenty-five.

And the guy is only 24 years old! The Red Sox are going to have the best hitter in baseball for, like, the next decade and a half!

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 26, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 23, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-23-2019

A masterclass in insensitivity towards people suffering from mental illness in the Chattanooga News, August 23, 1919:

They’ve gone baseball crazy at the Elgin [Illinois] State Hospital for the Insane. But Supt. Ralph Hinton, says baseball dementia is preferable to being just plain crazy and the patients are being cured and improved steadily.
...
I saw Arnold Hauser, former star shortstop with the St. Louis Cards and later a Federal leaguer, make brilliant stops and one-handed catches, bang out a single, triple and home run. Yet he pulled nothing clever in the “inside game.”

Hauser is the star of the team and his mind is improving. He at first was a bad player on the hospital team. He would make a brilliant catch in the field and then just let the ball drop from his hands. He was stubborn and wouldn’t follow instructions. Now he is a reliable fielder, polite to the girl coach and ready always to oblige.

I hadn’t heard Hauser’s story before, but it’s extremely sad. He was an everyday big league player in 1910 at age 21, a glove-first shortstop with good speed and a so-so bat. Things fell apart for Hauser very quickly; his mother died by suicide in June 1912, then he tore a ligament in his knee in Spring Training 1913, and his baby daughter died in June 1913.

The Cardinals sent Hauser to Spring Training before the rest of the roster in 1914, thinking that a long trip in the South would help him recover. Instead, it did the opposite. He was homesick and lonely, beginning to show signs of delusion, missed his wife, and lost 25 pounds. Hauser’s wife went to Florida to see him, and eventually took him to a sanitarium back in St. Louis. He spent most of the rest of his life institutionalized, making a quick cameo with the 1915 Chicago Whales along the way. Hauser passed away in 1966, at the age of 77.

Sources: Hauser’s SABR bio and The April 9, 1914 issue of The Sporting News.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 10:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2019

New York Tribune, August 22, 1919:

“Who has the hardest wallop,” queries a reader, “Babe Ruth or Jack Dempsey?” It depends on whether they are hitting a baseball or Jess Willard.

Either way, the thing getting hit is knocked into next week.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:01 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 21, 1919:

Joseph Wilhoit, outfielder of the [Wichita] Western League club, and who will go to the Boston Americans next month, [yesterday] ended his batting streak in which he set a new world record by hitting safely in 69 consecutive games. The former record of 45 consecutive games was made by Jack Ness of Oakland, Cal., in 1915.

Wilhoit, who formerly played with the Boston Nationals and the New York Giants in the 69 contests prior to [yesterday], was at bat 299 times and secured 151 hits. His percentage was .505. He obtained five home runs, eight triples, 23 doubles and 115 singles.

He hit .505 during a 69 game hitting streak? Nice.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, nice

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2019

Seattle Star, August 20, 1919:

Big Bob Meusel, the Vernon star, could learn a lot of baseball that he doesn’t know now better [in the PCL] than he would be able to learn it in the big show…according to Jack Knight, Seattle first sacker.
...
“Meusel has wonderful ability,” says Jack, “but he is far from a finished player. He can be fooled easily and will be fooled more often than he is out here when he goes to the majors. Another year in the Pacific Coast League wouldn’t hurt him any.”

Meusel only hit .328 with 58 extra-base hits for the 1920 Yankees. This was indeed worse than his 1919 output for Vernon: .337 with 67 extra-base hits.

Another cautionary tale of an overmatched kid getting rushed to the majors before his time.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:29 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 19, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-19-2019

Pittsburgh Press, August 19, 1919:

The baseball war between Franklin and Oil City, situated within eight miles of each other, and baseball rivals since time immemorial, has reached a climax in the signing by Franklin of three members of the Philadelphia American League team. They are Scott Perry and Thomas Rogers, pitchers, and Harry O’Donnell, catcher. Oil City has not been idle, and lately has acquired Gordonier, of the Buffalo International League team, and Carman [sic] Hill of Indianapolis, formerly of the Pittsburg Pirates.

I know that it was a result of lower salaries at the time, but it’s just inconceivable to me that small cities in the (relative) middle of nowhere could sign multiple major league players for their rivalry games.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 10:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 16, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-16-2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, August 16, 1919:

When Babe Ruth, the slugger extraordinary, made a home run off Dick Kerr, the young southpaw, at Comiskey Park on Thursday, he shattered an American League record that stood for nearly seventeen years.

Back in 1902 “Socks” Seibold, then a member of the Athletics, made sixteen circuit smashes during the course of the season. Ruth’s homer on Thursday was his seventeenth of the 1919 campaign and his thirty-seventh in the American League.

Ruth has still a little way to go to reach Cravath’s mark, made in 1915. The new manager of the Phillies made twenty-four homers that year. The National League record is twenty-five, held by Buck Freeman.

Ruth: “Hold my beer and watch this. No, seriously, hold my beer, I’d have hit a bunch more home runs if I weren’t holding it all the time.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2019 at 10:09 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-15-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, August 15, 1919:

Three members of the board of directors of the American League, constituting a majority of the board, ordered Pitcher Carl Mays reinstated at a special meeting [in New York yesterday], thus nullifying the action of President Johnson in suspending him.

The directors, after reviewing the case, adopted resolutions declaring that the “alleged suspension was without authority and void and against the best interests of and detrimental to the welfare of baseball,” and forbade Johnson from taking similar action against any other player in the American League “without a hearing and an opportunity to be heard given to the player and club involved for any alleged offense.”

I think they might be a little bit upset.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 15, 2019 at 09:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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