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Dugout Newsbeat

Friday, April 18, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-18-2014

El Paso Herald, April 18, 1914:

The worst luck in the world follows the sight of a cross eyed person, according to the ball players. However this “jinx” may be broken by spitting in your hat immediately. In procuring bat boys to carry the clubs from the home plate back to the bench and kepe them neatly piled in order, baseball managers, as a rule pick out the worst looking youth to be found. He is retained as long as things go well, but when the time arrives that the team hits a slump another homely boy is taken on.

Slumpbusting, 1914-style.

Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: April 18, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2014

Hugh Fullerton via Toledo News-Bee, April 17, 1914:

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the man who soaked Standard Oil $29,000,000 for violating the balk rule, has been named to decide the most important part of the baseball war.

Whether or not they know it, Judge Landis is the most eminently qualified man in the world to decide any question that may arise in the damage suit that has been brought by the Philadelphia National league team against the Federal league leaders.

Fortunately for the question of prejudice being raised against him, Judge Landis never has declared himself as to the Federal league, and he is both an American and a National league fan.

Oh, sure, totally. Landis can’t possibly be prejudiced in favor of the existing major leagues because…he’s a fan of the existing major leagues? I guess? Right?


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-16-2014

Toledo News-Bee, April 16, 1914:

One of [Toledo manager] Topsy Hartsel’s recruits, “Walter Clarkson,” almost put something over on the Mud Hen manager, before the boss started to get wise to his scheme.
...
Shortly after Topsy was appointed manager of the team he received a message from a pitcher, who said his name was Walter Clarkson and that he used to captain Harvard and play with the Yankees. Hartsel, who met Clarkson once with the Yanks, immediately signed him.

When he reported, Hartsel remarked on his changed appearance. Of late Topsy and other players quizzed Clarkson on his past baseball experience. His answers were so confusing that they became suspicious.
...
On Thursday the leader received information that the real Walter Clarkson was in Massachusetts, and had been there for the past month.

He would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids.

Walter Clarkson, by the way, was Dad Clarkson’s brother. I guess that makes him Uncle Clarkson.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-15-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 15, 1914:

A Brooklyn magistrate paroled “Jake” Daubert of the Brooklyn National League club in the Coney Island Police Court [yesterday], so that his team might not be deprived of the services of its captain and first baseman on the opening day of the championship season.

Daubert was in court on a summons to explain why he violated the Sunday law relating to baseball…The magistrate told Daubert he could play with the Brooklyns against Boston [yesterday], but to be in court again [today].

The Dodgers didn’t play on April 15-16, 1914, so there was plenty of time to scold Daubert. Jake took advantage of the adjournment to go 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored in a 8-2 Opening Day win over the eventual World Champion Braves.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-14-2014

100 years ago yesterday, the Federal League held its first game as a “major league”.

Washington Times, April 14, 1914:

That the Federal League is going to make good in Baltimore and awaken those old feverish days of the Hanlon era was distinctly shown when the invaders got down to business yesterday. The opening game of the Feds drew 27,692 fans to the new park, and, to make everybody happy, Baltimore defeated Buffalo 3 to 2.
...
“Baltimore has done itself proud,” said [Federal League] President James A. Gilmore, “in rallying to the standard to the Federal League. We shall do all in our power to bring league baseball to this city.”

They only lasted two years, but Gilmore wasn’t lying. They really did all in their power to give Baltimore a major league ballclub.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-11-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, April 11, 1914:

The old reserve clause in the contracts of organized baseball players was held to be invalid and unenforceable in a decision handed down on Friday by Federal Judge Clarence W. Sessions denying the application of the Chicago Federal league club for an injunction to restrain Catcher William Killifer [sic] from playing with the Philadelphia National league club.

Contracts of such nature were held by Judge Sessions to be “lacking in the necessary qualities of definiteness, certainty and mutuality.”
...
Judge Sessions denied the application because he said the plaintiff knew Killifer was under a moral, if not legal, obligation to play with the Philadelphia club when it induced him to repudiate his obligation by offering him a longer term of employment and much larger compensation.

IANAL, but it appears that Sessions ruled that the reserve clause that tied Killifer the Phillies was invalid, but should be enforced anyway because the Federal League was a bunch of jerks.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-10-2014

Pittsburgh Press, April 10, 1914:

Manager Herzog [of the Reds] has not fully decided how many pitchers he will carry through the season. He may make up his mind to hold as many as nine or ten, and certainly he will not let any twirler go who shows a reasonable chance ot making good in time. He expects to depend upon about six men for his box work, but will hold three or four of the most promising of the recruits…Any pitcher who exhibits an ambitious disposition, together with the ability to put a fair amount of stuff on the ball, will be kept on the bench.

Nine or ten pitchers? On a roster? At the same time?

That’s just crazy talk.


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-9-2014

Toledo News-Bee, April 9, 1914:

Hi Jasper, White Sox recruit twirler, carries a bar of soap in his pocket and lathers his spitballs, instead of using the time honored saliva, it was learned when the Comiskey men drew in [to Kansas City] for an exhibition game on Thursday. Baseball reporters uncovered Jasper’s shampoo treatment while huddled around a stove in Topeka, where cold weather prevented Wednesday’s game.

Somebody tell Bubbles Hargrave, Chick Lathers, and Cookie Lava-Getto.


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

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

Milwaukee Sentinel, April 8, 1914:

A bizarre collection of occupations is found to take up the offseason time of the Pirates, according to a list just made up. Gibson, Cooper, Harmon and Duffy are the farmers on the team. Manager Clarke also can be ranked as a farmer. Joe Conzelman, Ollie McArthur and Joe Leonard are students. There are three salesmen, two plumbers and five clerks. Hyatt is so used to butchering stock that he butchers the ball horsehide on the diamond. Bob Coleman is a stage mechanic and George McQuillan an electrician. Kantlehner is a stenographer.

...and that’s why Hyatt was known as “Ham”*.

* - this is not true.

Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: April 08, 2014 at 09:25 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, April 07, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-7-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 7, 1914:

Armando Marsans, the Cuban outfielder, who was ordered out of a game with Louisville last week by Manager Herzog, of the Cincinnati team, and who refused to play in games since then, had a long conference with Herzog [yesterday] and will rejoin the team [today] if a game can be played.

Marsans had been quoted as saying that he would jump to the Federal League or return to Havana.

As I mentioned last week, Marsans was a second-tier star at this point. In addition to being the first Cuban player with a significant career, he had hit .307 as a regular over the past two seasons and gotten MVP support both years.

His return to Cincinnati wasn’t a happy one, though. By June, Marsans and Herzog were at each others’ throats again. I’m sure I’ll follow the story closely as it unfolds in a couple months, but the Readers’ Digest version is that Marsans jumped to the Federal League, the Reds took it to court, and it pretty much ruined his career.


Friday, April 04, 2014

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

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 4, 1914:

Armando Marsans, left fielder of the Cincinnati Reds, deserted the team [yesterday] following a clash with Manager Herzog.
...
On Wednesday Marsans was slightly injured sliding into a base, and was unable to take part in the contest against Louisville on Thursday. [Yesterday] afternoon Herzog ordered Marsans to play left field, but the Cuban stated that he was not in condition to play.

“Go out and play just the same,” said Manager Herzog. “I’m tired of all this stalling among you players.”
...
As [Marsans] went through the gates he was heard to say: “I am through with the Reds for good. Guess that I will jump to the Federals, as they have been anxious to secure me all year.”

This was a pretty big deal. Over the past two years as a semi-everyday player, Marsans had hit .307 and had gotten some MVP support.

He was back with the Reds within a week or so, but jumped to the Federal League at midseason.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-28-2014

The [Missoula, MT] Daily Missoulian, March 28, 1914:

Joe Jackson was piloting a team of barnstormers through the Carolinas…The local phenom who did the hurling for the home team struck out [Jackson] on one occasion. Jackson also sent up two pops to the infield.

“So that’s the kind of a swatter you are,” was the sarcastic remark made by the kid pitcher when Jackson came up the fourth time. “They must have a lot of boobs pitching up there in the American league.”

The remark roused Joe’s ire. “Say kid,” he said. “Take a look at that railroad track out there past the outfield…Now you take a squint at that cow grazing in the meadow beyond…Next time you look, you’ll see the ball hit the cow on the back and make it do some tall scrambling. Pitch up,” continued Jackson, taking a determined grip on his bat.

The kid pitched, Jackson hit the first ball and it soared out over the railroad track, fell plump on the cow’s back and “made it do some tall scrambling.”

That pitcher was Charlie Root*. And now you know…the rest of the story. Primer Dugout…Good day.

* - this is false.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-27-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 27, 1914:

“Who stabbed King Cole in the leg?” That question is destroying brain cells among the New York Yankees today. Just before arriving in Atlanta, Ga., from Mobile, Cole jumped from his berth roaring “I’ve been stabed,” and several stitches were required to close the wound in his shin.

The King knows absolutely nothing, he says, of how he came to be wounded. Some hint darkly that a Federal league agent, disguised as a porter, committed the dastardly crime while the lengthy Leonard sweetly snoozed. Others ascribed it to sleep walking or “as a good way to escape work.” Manager Chance is investigating.

Sure, yeah.

The Federal League, upset that it had missed out on the services of a guy who pitched in Columbus last year, hatched a plan to sneak a proto-Gillooly onto the Yankees’ train and stab Cole in the shin before silently and invisibly extracting the thug in a clean getaway. Seems totally reasonable.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-26-2014

Washington Times, March 26, 1914:

“Lefty” Ruth’s wicked shoots proved too much for Connie Mack’s world’s champions [in Wilmington, NC] yesterday, especially when allied with some timely clouting by Ezra Midkiff and Neal Ball.

Big deal. Some teenager pitched well in March. He’ll never amount to anything.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-25-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 25, 1914:

Brooklyn Federal league players are to have a share in the profits of the club, President Robert Ward announced today.
...
The plan is unique in baseball annals, and seems to indicate that the Brooklyn Federals have a wealth of financial backing. Ward probably figures that by sharing profits with the players he will get better and more earnest work from the athletes, and will have less difficulty in holding the players now on his payroll.

Either that or it indicates that Ward knew he wasn’t going to make any money. Potayto, potahto.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-24-2014

Milwaukee Journal, March 24, 1914:

After a heated debate, during which baseball in general and the prowess of noted players in particular were discussed, the Mississippi house of representatives yesterday voted, 50 to 44, to take a recess Thursday afternoon to see the Detroit baseball team play a local team [in Jackson].

Your (great grandparents’) tax dollars at work.

Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:16 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, March 21, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-21-2014

Toledo News-Bee, March 21, 1914:

Larry Chappell, $18,000 outfielder of the Chicago White Sox, who is suffering from blood poisoning, is really in a serious condition, Manager Callahan said on Saturday, after a visit to the hospital, and may lose his leg.

Chappell broke in a new pair of shoes in the San Francisco exhibition series and rubbed the skin off his left foot.

If it wasn’t for awful luck, Chappell wouldn’t have had any luck at all. In his last minor league game in 1913, Chappell ruined his knee. He reported to the White Sox, played miserably for the rest of that year, then nearly lost his leg in early 1914. Four years later, while leading the PCL in batting, Chappell left the Salt Lake City Bees in the middle of the season to join the army. He died of influenza on an army base in November 1918.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-20-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 20, 1914:

Connie Mack, leader of the Philadelphia Athletics, wants his son Earl [sic], who is managing Raleigh’s professional team and coaching the university nine to give up baseball and learn to play the violin as taught in the old world conservatories.
...
The elder baseball man believes baseball will ruin the fingers that will make another Kubelik. Earl Mack will study [in Raleigh] this season, however.

That, I think, was Connie politely telling his son that baseball might not work out for him.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-19-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 19, 1914:

Manager Jack Hayden of the Louisville Colonels, during his team’s training season at Fort Myers, Fla. has invested in a 10-acre tract of land that he will have planted immediately to grape fruit. In about three years Jack imagines that he will not care what happens in baseball.

Well, he was sort of right. Hayden was relieved of his duties as the Colonels’ manager in May 1915. Shortly after he left Louisville, he was named the manager of the Frankfort (Kentucky) Old Taylors in the Class D Ohio State league, but 1915 was his final season in pro ball. The huge tract of land and grapefruit plantation apparently didn’t work out, as he wound up selling meat in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

(Hat tip to Bill Nowlin’s SABR biography of Hayden.)


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-18-2014

New York Evening World, March 18, 1914:

That he would not rejoin the New York Giants if President Hempstead gave him the Polo Grounds for playing, was the statement made yesterday by Arthur Shafer, the man John McGraw declares is the best utility player who ever donned a uniform.

“I do not like baseball,” said Shafer. “I do not like the life and I do not like the Eastern climate.

“Big league baseball once attracted me, but now its glamour is all gone. I have satisfied every ambition in a baseball way; now I want to forget that I was ever in it.

“It is an episode in my life that I am trying hard to forget. I have plenty of money and I’m not dependent on the $7,500 a year from the Giants.”

Plus there’s all those perfumed notes to deal with.

True to his word, Shafer never played another game in professional baseball. At age 24, coming off a good season as an everyday player for a pennant winner, Tillie Shafer packed up his stuff and went home.

The Giants didn’t release his rights for another 12 years, just in case they were able to get him to come back, but he was done.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-17-2014

Toledo News-Bee, March 17, 1914:

Ed Hohnhorst, former Toledo first baseman, had an exciting experience in Covington, Ky. early last Saturday morning. Hohnhorst, who is now a member of the Covington police force, shot and killed Sunny Jackson, a negro, after a hand-to-hand fight.
...
Suddenly [Jackson] turned on Hohnhorst and, whipping out a revolver, commanded the officer to stop of he would kill him.

[Jackson] fired, but missed. The men clinched, Hohnhorst broke away, pulled his revolver and shot Jackson through the heart.

As you might imagine, the ensuing investigation cleared Hohnhorst of any wrongdoing. Hohnhorst, though, was unable to deal with what had happened, and he shot and killed himself two years later.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-14-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, March 14, 1914:

Joe Oeschger, pitcher for St. Mary’s College team of [Oakland], signed a three-year contract [yesterday] to play with the Philadelphia Nationals and will report to that club next week. He is a right hander who has been successful in college baseball for two years.

Coincidentally, Oeschger’s most famous appearance in the big leagues was successful and lasted about two years.

Actually, it lasted 3:50, which is mindblowingly short for the longest game in MLB history.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-13-2014

New York Tribune, March 13, 1914:

The Chinese baseball team of Hawaii, which arrived [in San Francisco]...on the steamer Honolulan, owes its escape from spending the night in the detention station on Angel Island principally to the prowess of En Suey, an outfielder.

The immigration officials were deaf to protest that the players were native born American citizens, that eight were voters and six members of the Hawaiian National Guard. “We’re sorry,” said the officials, “but these men are Mongolians and must undergo the usual examination.”

Then it was pointed out that En Suey was known as “Ty Cobb the second,” whereupon the officials relented, and the players were permitted to come ashore.

I don’t know why this stuff surprises me anymore, but this stuff always surprises me.

Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:18 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-12-2014

Frank Chance on the essential qualities of a good ballplayer, from the Toledo News-Bee, March 12, 1914:

Clean living is the first essential for a ball player…Be moderate in your smoking, don’t drink and go to bed early.
...
Get all the education you can. That is as necessary for a ball player as for a doctor or lawyer. The best students make the best ball players.

Natural ability is a most valuable asset for a ball player. Few players without natural ability ever develop into professionals and those with it are the sure stars in whatever company they play.
...
Individual stars who ignore the other eight men on the team are worse than worthless. They are disorganizers. Every player must work in harmony with every other player on the team.

I thought I might have a future as a ballplayer until he got to the part about natural ability. Also, the first graf in the quote is a good example of the Oxford comma’s importance.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-11-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 11, 1914:

One afternoon, [Rube] Waddell chanced to be in the [Pirates] office. The phone bell sounded. Next to a fire alarm there is nothing Rube admires more than a phone call. He raced to the receiver, yanked it from its perch with a loud “Hello. What’s the matter?”

Waddell listened to a mortal at the other end of the line and then glanced into a corner of the room. “Wait a minute,” yelled [Waddell] into the transmitter. With a bound he darted to that corner, grapped up an old umbrella and rushing over to the phone, held it in front of the mouth piece and roared, “Is this yours?”

In March 1914, Waddell was in the final weeks of his struggle with tuberculosis. Newspapers were full of anecdotes about the Rube, both true and apocryphal. The writer of this particular story swears it actually happened.


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