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Dugout Newsbeat

Monday, December 18, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-18-2017

Albuquerque Journal, December 18, 1917:

Harold Janvrin, utility infielder of the Boston American league baseball team, became a member of trhe signal corps at Camp Devens [yesterday]. His enlistment leaves Larry Gardner and Everett Scott the only infielders on the team.

The Butte Post reports on the same day that

[Stuffy McInnis] has decided to enlist as a yeoman in the Charlestown navy yard, where Barry, Shorten, McNally, Gainer, Maranville and other players are performing clerical duties.

The good news was that the Sox were able to acquire the quality first baseman who was already planning to spend 1918 in Boston. The bad news was that they had to part with Larry Gardner in the deal, and at this point Gardner was a much better player than McInnis.

The 1918 Red Sox were able to solve a lot of their issues with position player depth by moving a pitcher to left field on the days he wasn’t on the mound. This is almost never a good idea, but just this once it was the right move.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, December 15, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-15-2017

Chicago Eagle, December 15, 1917:

The oldest baseball in captivity has been discovered in Syracuse, N.Y. A few years ago the oldest ball extant was found in Pittsburgh, and was insured for $1,000 against loss. The ball was used in a game played in 1864. George Geer of Syracuse, now comes forth with a ball which he claims was used in a game between Utica and Syracuse on August 22, 1861. Geer’s father, Harry Geer, pitched for Syracuse in 1861, and in the game in which this particular ball was used. Utica was defeated, 30 to 20.

*looks around nervously*

It’s the oldest baseball, you guys! Trust me. It’s older than the other one. Really. I’m not making this up.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 15, 2017 at 10:19 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-14-2017

Ogden Standard, December 14, 1917:

Earle Neale of the Cincinnati Reds, best known to the sporting world as a fast outfielder, has won as great fame this fall as a football coach. Neale coached the West Virginia Wesleyan eleven, developing one of the strongest teams a small college has had this past season. Neale’s boys played tight games with both Washington and Jefferson and Penn State.

Earle “Greasy” Neale was a pretty good but unremarkable outfielder for the Reds in the teens and 20s. He was a much better football coach than he was a baseball player. Neale somehow coached Washington and Jefferson to an undefeated season and a Rose Bowl trip in 1921. He eventually made his way to the NFL and won back-to-back league championships as the Eagles’ head coach in 1948-49. He’s in both the Pro Football and College Football Halls of Fame as a coach.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 12:53 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-12-2017

New York Sun, December 12, 1917:

Grover Cleveland Alexander, one of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball, and William Killefer, catcher, yesterday were purchased by the Chicago club of the National League from the Philadelphia team of the same organization…From a source close to William F. Baker, president of the Philadelphia club, it was learned that $50,000 had changed hands in the deal. In addition to the cash consideration the Philadelphia club got Mike Prendergast, a pitcher, and William Dilhoefer, a catcher.

Philadelphia North American, December 12, 1917:

President Baker’s queer deal tends to confirm the impression that all good players sometime or other are shipped to New York or Chicago, and that the other cities are merely feeders for the two largest cities in America.

Plus ├ža change.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:27 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, December 11, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-11-2017

Bismarck Tribune, December 11, 1917

Who is the hardest hitter in baseball today? The question conjures the names of Gavvy Cravath, Luderus, Cy Williams, Wally Pipp, Bob Veach, Joe Jackson and other kinds in extra base land.
...
Eight out of 10 pitchers when asked whom they considered the longest hitter, declared without much hesitation in favor of Babe Ruth.

“A bunt with that fellow is a double,” one of them said. “Every time he is up there I wonder how many boards he will knock off the fence.”
...
Even if Babe could not pitch, many clubs would be glad to keep him on the payroll as a pinch hitter.

Nah, man, that’s just crazy. Pitchers can’t hit.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 11, 2017 at 09:50 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, December 08, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-8-2017

Washington Times, December 8, 1917:

Branch Rickey, president of the St. Louis Cardinals, through President Tener, of the National League, today issued a denial of a story…that he would suggest to the National League magnates that all their profits in 1918 should be given to the Government. Rickey says such action would be foolish, and that he is not yet a fool.

I wonder if that story was planted by Cubs owner Charles Weeghman, who (from what I can tell) absolutely did not get along with Rickey.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 08, 2017 at 10:10 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-7-2017

New York Tribune, December 7, 1917:

Jack Dunn, president of the Baltimore International League club, is the first victim of a new baseball law which withholds the payment for minor league players till the time such actually report to major league purchasers.

Last fall the Red Sox purchased Bentley for a big price…Bentley has been caught in Uncle Sam’s draft, so that Dunn will lose both player and payment.

Aw, man, that sucks.

Anyway, Jack Bentley had a weird career. He came up as an 18-year-old pitcher and put up a 2.05 ERA (140 ERA+) from 1913-1916 before suffering an arm injury. Having seen Bentley hit, Dunn took a flier on him as a first baseman and it paid off. The guy who had once been one of the best young pitchers in baseball absolutely crushed the ball in five seasons as the Orioles’ first baseman, including a .412 batting average and 87 extra base hits in 1921.

As you’d expect, Bentley was back in the big leagues in 1923. What you probably wouldn’t expect was that the Giants brought him in as a pitcher. After three mediocre seasons, he moved back to first base for the 1926 Phillies and couldn’t get his batting mojo back. Jack Bentley’s big league career was over by May 1927.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 07, 2017 at 10:25 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-6-2017

Wsahington Times, December 6, 1917:

Enraged at constantly recurring stories from Chicago that have Charlie Weeghman, the Cubs’ president, buying this Cardinal and that one, President Rickey slammed Weeghman right on the beezer today.

“I’m tired of this chatter about buying my players,” said Rickey, frothing at the mouth, “and especially tired of Mr. Weeghman’s hot air. He did make a conditional offer for Hornsby, but it was so ridiculous that I gave it no attention. He can’t buy Hornsby from the St. Louis club.

“He said he wants a good catcher. I have the best pair in the National League. He can have one for players and a large sum of money. It’s about time he closed his face before he gets himself into trouble.”

For a guy who didn’t tend to use stronger language than “gosh” or “darn”, this is as close to a full-on meltdown as you’re likely to see from Rickey.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 06, 2017 at 10:04 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-5-2017

New York Sun, December 5, 1917:

John K. Tener, president of the National League, yesterday announced his opposition to an eighteen player limit for the duration of the war, as suggested by August Herrmann, chairman of the National Commission.
...
According to Chicago advices, President Johnson of the American League also is in favor of an eighteen player limit, and intends to recommend such a limit to his club owners next week.
...
“I am against any reduction to eighteen players,” said [Tener] last night, “because I do not see any need for it. If individual clubs care to go through the season that is their privilege, but I am opposed to forcing such a stringent limit on clubs which to not desire it.
...
[Tener] believes in taking war losses—whether players or money—as they come, furnish the best baseball possible, stop calamity howling and refrain from continually painting the black side of the picture.

I have no idea how Tener was as a league president, but I know he’s made his rival Ban Johnson look like a chump several times in this offseason.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, December 04, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-4-2017

Ogden Standard, December 4, 1917:

George Stallings, manager of the Boston Braves, attended the state fair in Macon, Ga., recently and carried off ten prizes with the Shorthorn cattle from his Haddock plantation. On the way home from the fair Stallings was arrested for speeding and was fined $25.

He must have been really mooving.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, December 01, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-1-2017

New York Tribune, December 1, 1917:

Ed Bang, the well-known baseball critic, of Cleveland, advocates as a solution of existing major league troubles a merger of the National and American circuits.
...
The proposition contemplates one club for each of the following cities: New York, Chicago, Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis.

That is the worst idea I’ve ever heard in my life, Ed.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:39 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-30-2017

Oklahoma City Times, November 30, 1917:

Frank B. Gilbreth, an efficiency expert of Providence, R.I., recently made some tests as to the speed of a thrown ball. The results of these tests show that the average speed attained by a fast pitcher is about 2.4 miles per minute.
...
Gilbreth found some exceptionally fast pitchers, who delivered a ball at the rate of 2.88 miles per minute.

Yes, 172.8 MPH is indeed exceptionally fast.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 08:02 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-29-2017

El Paso Herald, November 29, 1917:

The frequently made statement that president Weeghman of the Cubs is “about to close a deal for Rogers Hornsby of the Cardinals,” is repeated [in Chicago] and this time with more definite detail. In exchange for Hornsby and catcher Snyder, so the statement goes, Larry Doyle is to go to St. Louis as manager and Fred Merkle will be sent along to play the outfield for the Cardinals.

The deal didn’t happen. This was perhaps because Branch Rickey wasn’t the sort of guy who would trade one of the greatest young players in the history of the sport for a fading former star and a mediocre first baseman who was famous for screwing something up.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 29, 2017 at 12:00 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-28-2017

New York Sun, November 28, 1917:

[Ban Johnson on scheduled doubleheaders:] “Playing two games for one admission cheapens the sport and creates in the minds of the fans the belief that they are not getting their money’s worth out of a single game of nine innings. Double headers have done more to injure professional baseball than any other one thing.

Some of the minor leagues have played the double header card to the limit and owe much of their financial trouble to that fact.”

Johnson was trying to cut the American League schedule to 140 games in 1918. He was concerned that the National League would stay at 154 games and force the AL to schedule a bunch of doubleheaders in order to prevent ballpark scheduling issues.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, November 27, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-27-2017

New York Tribune, November 27, 1917:

Secretary John B. Foster of the Giants may be able to start a smart baseball man into a profitable business. John has been forced to turn down two offers which would have given play to his executive abilities. Both the British and French governments were anxious for him to look over the field in those countries with a view to opening professional baseball leagues. Baseball, it seems, is catching on abroad.

I think that, if the British and French governments had approached me in 1917 about baseball, my immediate response would have been something like “Dude, don’t you have more important things to worry about right now?”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 27, 2017 at 10:42 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international, world war i

Friday, November 24, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-24-2017

Chicago Eagle, November 24, 1917:

“It is just like listening to a drum corps when you come to bat with Ray Schalk catching,” writes Oscar Vitt. “He is always whistling. He uses a trill note and occasionally bursts into song. A batter has to be on his guard all the time to keep his mind on the game, for this boy Schalk is always chatting or doing something behind the bat.

Distraction is the new market inefficiency.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 24, 2017 at 10:10 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-22-2017

Boise Capital News, November 22, 1917:

Ban Johnson, president of the American league will ask the war department to grant exemption from military service to 18 men on each of the 16 major league clubs, in order that baseball may continue during the war.

That Ban Johnson’s suggestion for exemption of big league baseball players should be the beginning of his end was the official view expressed at the provost marshal general’s office today.

[National League]President Tener today told the United Press he would not “go one inch toward Washington to ask President Wilson or the secretary of war for special favors for baseball.”

Tener 1, Johnson 0.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 22, 2017 at 09:46 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-21-2017

Butte Post, November 21, 1917:

Smoky Joe Wood has decided to give up pitching. He took himself off the Cleveland club’s payroll on July 1 because he realized that he couldn’t earn his big salary.
...
But he will not retire from the game. Lee Fohl and Tris Speaker, who are running the Cleveland team, will try Wood in the outfield next spring. Smoky Joe is a natural hitter and a splendid all-around player, for which reason the Cleveland mentors are not yet ready to part with him.

Spoiler: The experiment was a rousing success.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 21, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, November 20, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-20-2017

Boise Capital News, November 20, 1917:

Danny Shay will take the witness stand today and tell the story of his killing of Clarence Euell, negro waiter, in the hotel English cafe. Following Shay’s testimony, closing arguments will be made and the fate of the Milwaukee baseball manager will rest with the jury. Shay is expected to declare that he was forced to shoot in self-defense.

Forced to shoot in self defense because there wasn’t enough sugar in a bowl. Got it.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 20, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, November 17, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-17-2017

El Paso Herald, November 17, 1917:

Chubby Chawles Murphy, reputed to have run a shoestring into a fortune as owner or part owner of the Cubs, is threatening to throw some of his dough away, if recent reports from the windy city can be credited.

Murphy, it is said, has a deep, dark plot in the hatching for the formation of a third big league, and he doesn’t give a continental whether or not his league is recognized by the powers that be.

I had no idea there were so many plans to start a third major league. That seems crazy to me, but I guess the American League was less than 20 years old at this point. The order of baseball as we know it was still pretty fluid in 1917.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 17, 2017 at 09:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-16-2017

South Bend News-Times, November 16, 1917:

Branch Rickey, president of the St. Louis Cardinals and one time coach at Ohio Wesleyan university, will return the latter part of this week to help Coach McCoy put the finishing touches on the team that will meet Denison [in Delaware, Ohio] in the annual homecoming football game on Saturday. Rickey graduated from Wesleyan in 1904 and after graduation came [to Delaware] to coach football and baseball.

Beating Denison is the residue of design.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 07:50 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-15-2017

Washington Herald, November 15, 1917:

“Every major league club carried too many pitchers this year,” says James C. Dunn, owner of the Indians. “Six pitchers are enough for any big league manager. A ball club gets the best results when the manager works four good pitchers in rotation and holds two in reserve.”

Dunn favors a player limit of 20 men, including six pitchers, three catchers, six infielders and possibly five outfielders. He also is prepared to cast the Cleveland club’s vote for a schedule of 140 games in 1918.

Elsewhere in the news, the murder trial of former Brewers manager Danny Shay continues. The state says he was drunk, but the defense says Shay was sober and defending himself from the waiter he shot dead.

Also, the proposed Union League has been rejected by minor league owners but there are still rumblings that it may throw caution to the wind and go outlaw.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 15, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-14-2017

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, November 14, 1917:

There will be no third quasi major league. This fact became evident yesterday, when the committee on the revision of the constitution in the minor leagues decided to recommend to the National association that the American association be left out of any redistricting that may take place…

[American Association clubs] Kansas City, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Milwaukee refused to be frozen out, and their appeals have been recognized.

It would have been most unfair to throw these franchises in the scrap heap. And then the courts probably would have had something to say about it, for the owners in these four cities were prepared to go to the very limit for their rights.

Washington Times, November 14, 1917:

...the Union League, composed of four clubs from [each of the American Association and International League], may become an outlaw circuit with the tacit consent of Garry Herrmann, chairman of the National Commission.

I imagine that would have caused some serious blowback against Herrmann.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 14, 2017 at 07:28 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, November 13, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-13-2017

Harrisburg Telegraph, November 13, 1917:

Dan Shay, former manager of the Milwaukee American Association Baseball Club, charged with the murder of a negro waiter [in Indianapolis] May 3, will rely on a plea of self-defense, it was said yesterday, when his trial started. When court adjourned at noon not a juror had been accepted finally by either side.

According to testimony given at the Coroner’s inquest, Shay and a young woman entered a local cafe late at night. It was deserted except for the cashier and a few waiters. There was some kind of a quarrel, all witnesses said, and Shay got up, pulled a revolver from his pocket and shot the negro waiter…The quarrel, it was said, was about the amount of sugar in a bowl.

Spoiler: This trial doesn’t go particularly well for people who like crazy things such as “justice being served” and “murderers being imprisoned”.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, November 10, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-10-2017

Boise Evening Capital News, November 10, 1917:

M.E. Cantillon, president of the Minneapolis Baseball club and one of the real powers in the American association, issued the following statement today:

“The fact that the Indianapolis, Louisville and Toledo clubs may withdraw from the circuit, will not disrupt the American association…[the remaining league owners] will see to it that clubs are placed in Louisville, Indianapolis and Toledo, thereby keeping the circuit intact…In regard to Toledo, [Milwaukee owner] Mr. Timme and I hold a 10-year lease on Swayne field, where the association games are played in that city…If Bresnahan goes into the Union league he will have to build a new ball park, a rather expensive operation in these lean days of baseball.”

[St. Paul club president Norton]: “If any owners in the American association want to get out, I wish they would and we’ll start new clubs in their towns next spring.”

Your move, Union League.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:56 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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