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Dugout Newsbeat

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-18-2018

New York Sun, September 18, 1918:

Baseball, under the splendid management of the Anglo-American League, has taken such firm hold on the British public that plans already have been made for the operation of an eight club major league in Great Britain just as soon as the war is over. The new organization will take in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Not only the English but the Scotch as well have become great baseball fans.

Well, good luck with that.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:07 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international baseball

Monday, September 17, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-17-2018

Washington Herald, September 17, 1918:

Although the flowers are still fresh on the grave of baseball, a movement already is under way for a reorganization of the administrative end of the game at the conclusion of the war.
...
According to the first plan, which is vouched for by one of the foremost men in the game, there is a scheme on foot now by which the commission will be so reorganized that one man will sit as the supreme court of baseball.
...
Several prominent men have been mentioned for the position. Among them are William H. Taft and Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Taft didn’t get the job, obviously, but he wound up with a decent fallback position: Chief Justice of the United States.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 17, 2018 at 10:02 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 14, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-14-2018

Sid Mercer of the New York Globe, quoted in the El Paso Herald, September 14, 1918:

The greatest outfielder and the greatest first baseman have played their last games on the Polo Grounds. But how different are the circumstances of their exit! Tyrus Cobb passed out [of baseball] standing on the roof of the Detroit dug out as he made a plea for the sale of War Savings Stamps…Hal Chase is passing out under a cloud. The charges [of match fixing] against him may never be fully proved, but Chase has been in trouble so often that the public is persuaded he is getting his just deserts [sic] now. Cobb has made his enemies in baseball, but none ever even hinted that he did not play the game honestly and with a whole heart.

Not yet, anyway.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 14, 2018 at 09:40 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-13-2018

Washington Times, September 13, 1918:

When Leslie Mann, leader of the Chicago branch of the World’s Series Union of Professional Baseball Non-Workers and Non-Fighters, was hit on the leg with a pitched ball by Carl Mays, and fell to the ground, a fan in the stand at Fenway Park roared in stentorian tones:

“Cut it off!”

That’s how much sympathy there was in the crowd.

IMO, the “non-workers and non-fighters” thing was the better jab at the players. Maybe it really was a good idea to end the season early, if this story is any indication of public sentiment.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 13, 2018 at 10:03 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-12-2018

New York Sun, September 12, 1918:

It is over! The last signal has been given, the last strike called, the last ball thrown in professional combat until Uncle Sam slams an iron pill against the Kaiser’s rib for the greatest putout in the history of the world. The Boston Americans wound up the world’s series and league competition for the rest of the war as well [yesterday] afternoon at Fenway Park when they defeated the Chicago Nationals by 2 to 1.
...
And upon Max Flack—poor unfortunate Flack—is heaped the blame for the loss of the game. Flack came in swiftly to catch that vicious drive of Whiteman’s. The ball struck his hands fairly, but it bounded out and away. However, if Mann, in the fourth inning, had not relapsed into semi-consciousness and been caught off first by Schang’s quick throw, he would have moved to second when Paskert walked, and two runs instead of one would have resulted from Merkle’s single.

And if the cow had ever seen a cactus plant before she would have been satisfied to keep on chewing her old cud and would have been spared the humiliation of having the farmer’s family sit on her neck while the hired man yanked the barbs out of the roof of her mouth with a claw hammer. Baseball is baseball!

I had to read that final paragraph about three times before I understood what the heck was going on.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 12, 2018 at 10:01 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-11-2018

Harrisburg Telegraph, September 11, 1918:

More than 25,000 baseball enthusiasts waited one hour yesterday for the fifth world series game to start at Boston while the big-leaguers of Cubs and Red Sox argued with the National Commission for a heavier share in the profits of the tournament. By a mere eyelash the most startling scandal ever attached to the game was avoided after the crowd had about reached the end of its patience.

A tragic feature of the situation was the appearance of hundreds of wounded officers and soldiers, survivors of the Marne, many of whom were brought in on invalid chairs. The immense arena rose as one to cheer these heroes, and their echoes resounded to the room where the ball players wrangled with Ban Johnson and Garry Herrmann, telling such a tale of heroism that the big-leaguers instantly surrendered.

Those are what we in the 21st century would call “bad optics”. Once they took the field, Hippo Vaughn completely silenced the Red Sox with a five-hit shutout. Game six is this afternoon at Fenway with Carl Mays trying to close out the series for Boston. He’ll face Lefty Tyler.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago today, the head of the United States Chemical Service, Major General William Sibert, wants to assure Americans that Christy Mathewson and Ty Cobb didn’t get ‘soft’ jobs and will be actively involved with combat as gas officers.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 11, 2018 at 10:21 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, September 10, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-10-2018

New York Sun, September 10, 1918:

BOSTON TAKES FOURTH GAME

Victory by 3 to 2 Gives Red Sox Advantage Over Cubs, Three Games to One.

Ruth, nicknamed Babe because he is nothing of the sort, hit a triple this afternoon. It was a good deal like the many other triples which the big fellow had driven out this season, but it will take its place among the prodigious blows of baseball history. It won a world series game for the Boston Americans.

With the score innocent of anything but zeros, with two Red Sox on the bases and more than 22,000 fans howling themselves hoarse for a supersmash from the batting star of the home force, Ruth obliged. He poled a long drive over Flack’s head and two runs were counted.

Ruth drove in two runs as a hitter while throwing eight innings of two-run ball as a pitcher. Not a bad afternoon for the big fella.

Game five is “this afternoon” at Fenway. Hippo Vaughn takes the hill for the Cubs against Boston’s Sad Sam Jones, who has a chance to turn that frown upside down by clinching a world championship.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:24 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 07, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-7-2018

Omaha Daily Bee, September 7, 1918:

The Chicago Nationals put the world’s series on a 50-50 basis [yesterday] by defeating the Boston American, 3 to 1, in a good, old-fashioned game of base ball.

Tyler, pitching for Chicago, was the hero of the contest, for he projected a steady stream of bafflers and capped the climax by shooting a single over second that scored two runs.

All of Chicago’s runs were made in the second, when Bush, on the bridge for the Red Sox, could see periscopes bobbing up all around his craft.

...which would be super-distracting if you’re trying to pitch.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 07, 2018 at 10:12 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-6-2018

Harrisburg Telegraph, September 6, 1918:

“Stuffy” McInnis and “Babe” Ruth Heroes at World Series Opening

With runners on first and second base in the fourth inning of the first of the world series games at Chicago, “Stuffy” McInnis rapped a line single to left field and Dave Shean sped across the plate with the only run of the contest…It was the first time a 1 to 0 score has decided a world’s series game since 1905…

The battle was rated a great triumph for “Babe” Ruth, who outpitched another famous southpaw, Jim Vaughn, particularly by his ability to prevent the Cubs from hitting at the essential moment.

Advantage Red Sox after one game. Game Two took place 100 years ago today, with Boston’s Bullet Joe Bush facing Chicago’s Lefty Tyler.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 06, 2018 at 10:23 AM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-5-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, September 5, 1918:

With the sky partly overcast and showers threatening, the Cubs, champions of the National League, and the Boston Red Sox, pennant winners in the American League, took the field this afternoon in the opening game of what probably will be the last world’s series until hostile armies cease their strife.
...
If conditions made any difference it was to add to the chances of the Bostonians in the minds of the fans. Betting, which has been inclined to favor the Cubs, but only slightly, has now swung around even here, and there is [sic] absolutely no odds on the Cubs.

Gosh, it’s weird that suddenly bettors in Chicago stopped backing the Cubs. I wonder what happened.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:17 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-4-2018

Toledo News-Bee, September 4, 1918:

American and National League clubs closed up the wobbly 1918 season on Monday and staged some burlesque games in several cities.

Detroit twice defeated Chicago, making 16 hits in the opener and 21 off Cicotte in the second. In the latter pastime Bill Donovan, Cobb and Veach took their turn on the rubber.
...
According to its plan Cleveland failed to show for the St. Louis games, and the Browns claimed a double forfeit.

The league disagreed with the Browns - those games don’t appear in the official records of the 1918 season. Red Sox owner Harry Frazee freaked out and called the Indians’ failure to show up “the greatest violation of the league constitution in the history of the league”.

Weirdly, Frazee didn’t seem too bothered by Ty Cobb and Bobby Veach pitching a couple innings each and Tigers catcher Oscar Stanage playing shortstop. Stanage at shortstop wasn’t a Craig Biggio, Russell Martin, or Josh Donaldson moving to the infield thing, or even a Pudge Rodriguez at second base thing. Stanage was 35, not fast or athletic, and had zero appearances at any position other than catcher before 1918. He had no total chances in three innings in his only career appearance anywhere other than C/1B.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 04, 2018 at 10:02 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 31, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-31-2018

Chicago Eagle, August 31, 1918:

When the baseball rules are getting their next revision, whenever that may be, an effort will be made to change the present interpretation in regard to home runs which decide ball games. Under the system now in vogue a batsman may hit the ball outside a park, but if the runners on bases [sic] settle the game the hitter does not get credit for his home run, and it does not go into the records as such.

I guess I understand how that came to be - when the scoring rules were written, they weren’t really thinking about guys hitting the ball 450 feet. Still, changing this was a good idea.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 31, 2018 at 12:36 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rules

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-30-2018

Toledo News-Bee, August 30, 1918:

Manager Lee Fohl of the Cleveland Indians is of the opinion that had it not been for the war Babe Ruth would have broken the home run record this year.

“If the baseballs we have used had been up to the standard of other years,” says Fohl, “Babe surely would have turned the trick, but the balls were of too poor a quality this season, being knocked out of shape quickly and losing their life.”

There may be something to Fohl’s #SiberianPonyLeather theory. In 1917, American League hitters who weren’t Babe Ruth hit a home run every 309.6 at bats. In 1918, they hit one every 390.8 at bats.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:14 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-29-2018

Pittsburgh Press, August 29, 1918:

It is said that Hal Chase is not the only member of the Cincinnati Reds implicated in the stories of “throwing ball games”, which have been in circulation for several weeks.

According to report, another well-known member of the team was mixed up in the alleged crookedness, and his name is likely to be revealed before the Chase investigation has been completed. The stories have it that this man knows he is suspected, and that he has been laying very low for the past two weeks.”

That second player would almost certainly be Lee Magee, who was eventually banned for life after confessing to helping Chase and Heinie Zimmerman fix ballgames in 1918.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 11:04 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-28-2018

Toledo News-Bee, August 28, 1918:

Clark Griffith says he shipped to Palestine baseball equipment sufficient for four teams, on request of Americans of Jewish ancestry and others who are in service with the British forces in the Holy Land. Several hundred American Jews, specially enlisted, have joined the army in Palestine and they no sooner got there than the desire to play ball overcame them. Think of it, baseball in Jerusalem, and real American slang heard in the city streets.

There wasn’t a team in Jerusalem, but Israel had its own pro baseball league about a decade ago. That would have blown the minds of 1918 people.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:54 AM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, israel

Monday, August 27, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-27-2018

Washington Herald, August 27, 1918:

Hal Chase, the premier first sacker of organized baseball who was recently given his unconditional release and suspension by the Cincinnati Reds, [yesterday] entered suit against Garry Herrmann, the president of the National Commission, and the Cincinatti [sic] ball club for back salary and slander of character. Chase has been accused of throwing games in the National League.

Presumably, the Reds responded by pointing out that it’s not slander if it’s true.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 10:07 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 24, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-24-2018

Washington Herald, August 24, 1918:

Secretary of War Baker this afternoon officially sanctioned the playing-off of the world series this year. He announced that he would write to General Crowder to that effect, suggesting that draft exemption be extended for the members of the two competing teams.

The National Commission had asked Baker for a formal recommendation for draft exemption, so the baseball administrators could ask local draft boards for individual extensions. Baker went even further and decided to notify the draft boards himself.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 24, 2018 at 10:29 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-23-2018

Omaha Daily Bee, August 23, 1918:

When asked [yesterday] whether the work or fight order would interfere with the world baseball series this year, Secretary Baker said…the question had not come before him, but indicated his strong opinion that the series would be and should be played.

Since only two teams would take part, the secretary thought the number of men affected by the work or fight order would be very small. He added the soldiers in France were intensely interested in the results.

This seems like the sort of thing the National Commission would want to have nailed down a week before the end of the regular season.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 23, 2018 at 10:46 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2018

New York Tribune, August 22, 1918:

Less than 10,000 fans—9,825 to be exact—attended five major league ball games Tuesday in the cities of Boston, where an important series is being played, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis. The aggregate attendance in these five cities was less than that which under ordinary circumstances would have visited the Polo Grounds for one game in weather such as we had here Tuesday.

Those are the sorts of attendance figures you’d only see during total mobilization for a worldwide war or a weekday afternoon game in Miami.

Elsewhere, leadership of the French army wants Johnny Evers to teach baseball to their soldiers. But I know what’s really going on. They’re all about those fudge orgies and nicotine sprees.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 09:54 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, August 21, 1918:

If the stories about Hal Chase and his alleged gambling on ball games are true he should be driven out of baseball never to return.
...
He is said to have bet against his own team and, according to sworn testimony of two players on the Giants—Pol Perritt, the pitcher, and Ross Young [sic], the outfielder—they were approached by Chase and virtually asked to resort to questionable methods to beat Cincinnati.
...
The most damaging testimony was given by Perritt in an affidavit in Cincinnati last week…Perritt inferred, according to the statement, that he would be permitted to win his own game. He wanted to knock Chase down, but decided, instead, to tell McGraw. Muggsy advised his pitcher to keep quiet for a time, which he did. Shortly afterward, Perritt said Chase told him it was “all off.”

Chase was reinstated, mostly because baseball didn’t take this sort of thing seriously enough before the Black Sox thing blew up. The weird thing, the thing I can’t fathom, is that John McGraw traded for Chase in February 1919 and used him as the Giants’ everyday first baseman that season.

I’m not saying McGraw was crooked. I’m just saying he co-owned a poolroom with Arnold Rothstein and knowingly traded for a player who threw ballgames.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 11:05 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 20, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2018

Hugh Fullerton in the New York Evening World, August 20, 1918:

Chicago’s Cubs and Boston’s Red Sox in all human probability will contest for the world’s championship if the War Department permits such a series.

The National Commission, which has been the supreme power of baseball up to the time the affairs of organized baseball got tangled up with the war, is reported to be meeting in Cincinnati to arrange a World’s Series, and yesterday the Red Sox, by beating Cleveland 6 to 0, practically settled the question as to which team shall represent the American League in the series, if any such series shall be played.

Well, the Cubs may or may not have actually contested the series.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 20, 2018 at 10:11 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 17, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-17-2018

Chicago Eagle, August 17, 1918:

“The most peculiar happening in baseball during my career took place when I was with the St. Louis Feds,” said Bob Groom. “In a game at Pittsburgh, we had the bases filled and Larue Kirby came to bat. He hit for a home run, his hit accounting for four runs. Then the Pittsburgh management discovered that according to the score card Delos Drake should have hit ahead of Kirby. The umpire ruled Drake out for not having batted and allowed Kirby to hit over again. This time he tripled, driving in three runs, a total of seven runs in one time at bat.”

A neat story, but Larue Kirby never hit a triple against Pittsburgh or had more than two RBI in a game.

But it does lead me to wonder if there’s any situation in which it’s advantageous to intentionally bat out of order. A situation something like extra innings, first and third, one out, no pinch hitters available, and a horrendous-hitting pitcher (Don Carman and his career .057/.066/.057 line, for example) at the plate. He’s almost certainly going to make an out and if he manages to make contact, it’s probably not getting out of the infield. He’s at least as likely to hit into a double play than score the run. Can a manager skip the pitcher, report it to the umpire himself, and send the next batter to the plate?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 17, 2018 at 10:05 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, batting out of order, dugout, history

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-16-2018

Pittsburgh Press, August 16, 1918:

Gamblers have been trying hard all season to fasten their slimy grip upon baseball…Says Bill Phelon in the Chincinnati [sic] Times-Star:
...
“It is said that gambling cliques, operating in Boston and New York, have been trying to corrupt big league players all season, and that 50 major league stars could tell of the offers made them. One player—and not Hal Chase, either—was approached by the gamblers at New York, and offered a fat flock of bills to make infield errors, when they would spoil the game. A Red pitcher is authority for the statement that when a Philadelphia game was even up, he was offered $50 to lose. ‘I’m here to win ball games,’ answered the pitcher. A couple of hostile hits upset his game and defeated him—and the gambler, evidently thinking the pitcher had fallen for his guile, tried to force the $50 on him after the ninth inning!”

I see absolutely no way that this could go horribly wrong for baseball in the near future. Nope. Isolated incidents.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:43 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-15-2018

Washington Times, August 15, 1918:

Hal Chase, crack first baseman of the Cincinnati Reds, suspended on charges of frequenting poolrooms and making bets, denied he had made any wagers on ball games.
...
[Chase:] “Perhaps it is hardly best for me to agitate the affair, or to talk too freely right now, but I can’t help saying a few things just the same…Let’s not dodge around the bush or mince words. I’m accused of frequenting poolrooms and making baseball bets. I’ve gone into poolrooms, yes; I’ve made bets on horses, yes. I say, right here, that I have made no baseball bets, and have never thrown the team down as a result…I was accused in New York, not of betting against the Reds, but of offering a certain Giant pitcher $800 to let us beat him. Can you imagine where I’d have got a taker for an $800 bet against the Giants in New York?”

Maybe not, but I can imagine that telegrams to other cities exist. And I can imagine that mob bookies exist. And I can imagine that New York mob bookies would be able to find 40 people to bet $20 each on the Giants.

But you do you, Hal.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 15, 2018 at 10:06 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-14-2018

Toledo News-Bee, August 14, 1918:

Dazzy Vance, up for the steenth time, proved a hopeless case and Manager Miller Huggins of the Yankees has shipped him to Rochester in the International.

At this point, Vance was 27 years old and had allowed 22 runs and 23 walks in 33 big league innings. He didn’t make it back to the majors until 1922. If Dazzy didn’t have the least likely Hall of Fame career of all time, he’s gotta be close.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 14, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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