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Dugout Newsbeat

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-19-2018

Toledo News-Bee, July 19, 1918:

Baseball on a wholesale scale has been presented to followers of the Chicago Cubs the last three days. In this short time 55 innings were played by the National League leaders. They staged a double header of nine rounds on Tuesday, put over the 21-inning game on Wednesday, and battled 16 periods on Thursday. This is a major league record.

That’s more than 18 innings per day. Great for the fans, less so for the players.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-18-2018

Bridgeport Times, July 18, 1918:

The 1918 season’s record for long games was established [in Chicago] yesterday afternoon when the Cubs defeated the Phillies, 2 to 1, in a thrilling contest that ran twenty-one innings before George Tyler, the famous Chicago southpaw, won the verdict over “Mule” Watson, the Phillies’ comparatively unknown righthander.

Both Tyler and Watson threw complete games. Watson’s career through July 17, 1918: 339.1 IP, 3.10 ERA. Watson’s career after throwing 20 innings in a day: 84.2 IP, 5.42 ERA. Tyler was terrific for the rest of 1918 but his pitching shoulder broke down in Spring Training 1919.

Tyler’s game score from this game, 126, is the fifth-highest since 1908.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:02 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-17-2018

Washington Times, July 17, 1918:

Barney Dreyfuss, president of the Pirates, is against [National League] President Tener’s stand in the Scott Perry case.

“There will be no baseball war over the Perry case,” said Barney today. “For one, I shall not support Tener’s position. The only thing to do is to reorganize the National Commission, something that has been necessary for years.”

And so began the slow pulling of the rug out from under Tener as the NL President. The New York Sun reports most of the National League owners are behind Tener, but…stay tuned, folks. There are more developments to come.

Elsewhere, the Toledo News-Bee reports that the local nine is trying out a new idea today, the day-night doubleheader. Two games for the price of two!

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 16, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-16-2018

Washington Herald, July 16, 1918:

Bill Phelon, the Cincinnati scribe, breaks out with the following on the situation [with the Reds]:

“The loyal fans of this town have stood about all they can. The work in the last month has capped the climax and the slogan heard among the boys is ‘never again.’ The attendance has dropped to such proportions that it takes a man with a powerful magnifying glass to see the crowd. The fans have quit Cincinnati.
[The Reds system] gets the hits, but no runs. It leaves the bases crowded, game, after game. It develops nothing, amounts to nothing. Other clubs have fun with the Reds by using the bunt, the squeeze, and the double steal. The Reds fail to have fun with any of the other clubs.”

The article ends with a casual racial slur, so there’s that. Anyway, if the fans in Cincinnati don’t want to go to the ballpark, maybe the team can relocate to Montreal, which will reportedly host its first-ever exhibition game between big league teams later in July 1918.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 16, 2018 at 09:55 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 13, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-13-2018

Toledo News-Bee, July 13, 1918:


Walter Johnson is getting jealous of Babe Ruth. Inspired by the all-round skill of the Boston heaver, the Washington mound star went into center field on Friday and was a big factor in the win over Detroit. Johnson clouted a triple and a single and accounted for three of the Nationals’ five runs. He got a fourth himself.

Well, okay, so maybe he wasn’t exactly another Babe Ruth, but Johnson wasn’t shabby with a bat. He hit .246/.294/.369 (97 OPS+) in 1084 plate appearances from 1912-1918 and very occasionally spent time as a spare outfielder.

From what I can tell, what happened here is that regular center fielder Clyde Milan was injured, regular second baseman Ray Morgan was out with food poisoning, and backup infielder George McBride was old and awful*. Utilityguy Howie Shanks played second and Johnson spent a few days in center until Milan could return.

* - I feel bad saying that. McBride was a solid player who earned Chalmers Award votes four years in a row and put up 21 career WAR. It’s just that in 1918, he was 37 years old and hit .132/.132/.132 (-20 OPS+) in 18 games.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 13, 2018 at 10:18 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-12-2018

Toledo News-Bee, July 12, 1918:

Some of the shipyard ball players are playing so poorly that they may have to be sent back to the Athletics for more seasoning.


Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 12, 2018 at 11:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-11-2018

New York Evening World, July 11, 1918:

Neither President John K. Tener of the National League nor Garry Herrmann, Chairman of the National Baseball Commission, to-day would discuss further the acute baseball situation brought about by President Tener’s statement that he was through with the National Commission unless its decision in the Scott Perry case [awarding Perry to the Boston Braves instead of the Philadelphia Athletics] was enforced.
“There is nothing more to be said,” said President Tener. “I have stated my position after long and serious consideration, and it is now distinctly up to the other fellows.”

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, July 11, 1918:

Regarding the stand taken by President Tener of the National League not to act with the National Commission on any matter involving the American League, Connie Mack said that this would make no difference to baseball and that the game would go on just the same.

Washington Herald, July 11, 1918:

Connie Mack agitated the impending baseball war situation considerably by shoving Scott Perry out to the peak [in Philadelphia yesterday] to stop Detroit in the sixth game of the series with the Tigers, and he stopped them in highly effective fashion and won, 5 to 1.

Connie Mack gives zero Fs. I’ve mentioned this before, but the Perry imbroglio was a huge deal in 1918. His minor league club sold Perry on option to Boston, the Braves returned him, and then the minor league club turned around and sold Perry to Philadelphia. The National Commission sided with the Braves, but Mack took it to court and won an injunction.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 10:03 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 06, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-6-2018

Toledo News-Bee, July 6, 1918:


...Cobb admits that it is impossible to place hits with any great agree of accuracy. “It might be,” the Peach admits, “if every ball delivered by the pitcher cut the plate at a certain pre-determined spot. In fact, when a batter gets one in his “groove” he is able to place it with pretty fair accuracy.

“But the wise pitcher is keeping the batter guessing—throwing him off his balance—keeping him from getting a toe hold…[Willie Keeler] was able to wait until the ball was almost upon him before poking at it. Many of Keeler’s hits were pokey little flies, just past the infield.

Yeah, well, Ichiro could have placed base hits if he wanted to.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 06, 2018 at 09:53 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-5-2018

Philadelphia Evening Ledger, July 5, 2018:

It’s worth the price of admission to see this husky young person [Ruth] clout the pill. He is so sincere when he whangs the ball that every one on the field is pulling for him.
Babe probably holds the record for hitting the longest sacrifice fly in the history of baseball. In Boston on April 19 of this year he stepped up to the plate with one out and Scott on second. Ruth leaned against one of Ed Monroe’s benders and hammered a long fly to right field. It was a murderous clout not only for distance, but for altitude as well. Gilhooley retreated to the fence, which is about three city blocks from the home plate, and caught the ball on the run. He had to straighten up before throwing the ball to Pratt, who ran out to the position the right fielder usually occupies, and the relay reached the plate too late to get Scott.
At the Polo Grounds this swat would have cleared the top of the right field stands, and would have counted for two home runs on the Phillies’ grounds.

Fenway’s right field power alley at the time was 405 feet from home plate, which is an unremarkable clout for a husky young person in 2018, but a sincere whang in 1918.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 05, 2018 at 11:32 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-3-2018

Lake County Times, July 3, 1918:

Owner Comiskey of the Chicago White Sox recently ordered Pitcher Williams and Catcher Lynn out of his ball park when he learned that they had decided to accept lucrative offers from the Steel league.

“There is no room on my ball club for players who wish to esxape the army draft by entering the employ of shipbuilding concerns and steel mills,” said the irate Commy the other day. “Players like Scott and Faber, who have enlisted in the army and navy, respectively, have my best wishes, and I’m pulling for them.

“The government ought to get after baseball slackers like Williams, Lynn, and Joe Jackson. They should be put into the army, where they rightfully belong!”

Um, Charlie, trust me on this one: Open warfare with Lefty Williams and Joe Jackson won’t end well. I know you don’t like it, but ixnay.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 03, 2018 at 09:50 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 02, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-2-2018

Toledo News-Bee, July 2, 1918:

Hap Felsch jumped the Champion White Sox on Monday just after getting his monthly pay check and went to his home in Milwaukee, where he intends working for a gas company, and plans to play semipro ball on the side. It is suspected Felsch is planning to go to the “Steal League.”

Later in the summer, Felsch expressed an interest in returning to baseball, for any team other than the White Sox. Comiskey should have listened.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 09:49 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, June 29, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-29-2018

Washington Times, June 29, 1918:

Babe Ruth, the ponderous pitcher-gardener with the Boston Red Sox, is likely to shatter the American League’s home run record this season. All that is necessary is that Ed Barrow keep the Baltimorean in the lineup. Babe will see to the rest of it.

If there is one thing Babe Ruth loves, it is the sound of the leather going off his own bat, headed for walls that are far away. And, so much is he in love with this sound that he mauls and pummels the pill most wickedly.
The Boston slugger hammered out his tenth home run at Georgia avenue yesterday in his forty-first game of the season…He is a big fellow, standing 6 feet 2 inches and weighing 192 pounds when in condition.

Or when he didn’t put the other foot on the scale.

Ruth only hit one more home run in 1918, ending the season tied for the league lead with Tillie Walker. The home run records were coming, they just hadn’t arrived yet.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 29, 2018 at 10:03 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-28-2018

Los Angeles Herald, June 28, 1918:

The Tigers and the Oaks played the fastest game of the year at Oakland yesterday, completing their game in 57 minutes…Ken Penner wants it distinctly understood that his first name is not Herb. His mother told him the other day that if she wanted him called “Herbie” she would have had him christened that way.

Making that announcement seems like the quickest way to get people to call you Herbie.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 28, 2018 at 10:06 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-27-2018

Washington Herald, June 27, 1918:

Roger Bresnahan has been selected to succeed Fielder Jones as manager of the St. Louis Americans, it was reported [in Toledo yesterday].

Bresnahan left [Toledo] last week and is reported to be in conference with Phil Ball, owner of the St. Louis club.

I’m not sure what the Toledo Blade reported about this, but the News-Bee was pretty clear in reporting that they had no firm information on Bresnahan to St. Louis, and that Bresnahan had denied the rumor.

It didn’t happen. He stayed in Toledo and lived there most of the rest of his life, which would be weird if it weren’t his hometown.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 27, 2018 at 11:06 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-26-2018

New York Evening World, June 26, 1918:

King George is learning to throw a baseball in preparation for his appearance at the game between American teams on July 4, when he will pitch out the first ball.

At the request of the King, Arlie Latham, a former big league player, who will umpire the Fourth of July game, sent the King a regulation baseball a few days ago. The next day Latham called at the Palace and gave the King a brief lesson as to how the baseball should be handled.

“Your Majesty, the Freshest Man on Earth is here. Shall I send him in?”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 26, 2018 at 10:16 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, June 25, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-25-2018

Christy Mathewson quoted in the Bridgeport Times, June 25, 1918:

“One time at Forbes field I was warming up near the grandstand and a fan called out to me: ‘Who’s going to pitch today, Matty?’ I answered ‘Marquard, I believe.’ Then the fan replied, ‘Why, you poor hunk of cheese, Marquard can’t pitch.’

You see, this fan called me a hunk of cheese because I had been pleasant enough to answer his question.”

Old-timey insults never fail to amuse me. And maybe it wasn’t an insult. Maybe the guy was hankering for a hunk of cheese.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 25, 2018 at 09:53 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, June 22, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-22-2018

Chicago Eagle, June 22, 1918:

George Burns of the Giants is still wondering what happened to him in the last game in St. Louis. He was on second, and after Fletcher’s foul had been caught George danced about a bit as if he contemplated trying for third. When he turned around to go to second he found Center Fielder J.C. Smith there just receiving the ball. Burns was out.

I totally understand not noticing the center fielder sneaking in behind you, but how do you not see someone throwing the ball to your base?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-21-2018

The [Fairmont] West Virginian, June 21, 1918:

For the first time since its organization the National Commission, baseball’s court of last resort, has been defied.

Never, since the commission was founded, some 18 years ago, when the National and American Leagues decided not to war against each other, has a magnate taken issue with the rulings of the body, until Connie Mack of Philadelphia ignored the right of the commission to award the services of his young pitcher, Scott Perry, to the Boston Braves, who had claimed him.

The Braves bought Perry from Atlanta in 1917, but returned him a couple of weeks later. Then Atlanta turned around and sold him to the Athletics, but Boston freaked out, claiming they held his rights. Mack sued and got an injunction to keep Perry.

This was a huge story at the time. The NL and AL were on the brink of open warfare and there was talk of a clean break and the cancellation of the World Series. I imagine I’ll be linking to updates in the near future as this story develops.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 21, 2018 at 12:06 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-20-2018

Toledo News-Bee, June 20, 1918:


Umpire George Blackburn was a storm center in a recent hard fought Fort Worth-Dallas series at Dallas. In one game Lee of Fort Worth, angry over a decision, threw dirt in Blackburn’s face.

The maddened umpire struck the first player he saw, who happened to be Clarence Kraft, who retaliated by giving his umps a beating. It took a half dozen policemen to pull him off Blackburn.

Frolicsome indeed.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 20, 2018 at 09:44 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-19-2018

New York Tribune, June 19, 1918:

It is not the fault of Señor Jose Campos, of the visiting Mexican journalists, if his readers of “Excelsior,” a Mexico City daily, do not understand baseball perfectly now that he has explained the finer angles of the game to them. The other day Don Jose saw the Giants and the Cincinnati Reds play and he sent the following to his paper, according to a morning contemporary:
“In place of a bull baseball has an umpire, a man who does not play the game, but is an authority of the same. Unlike the judge of a bullfight, he stands on the ball field. He is not goaded with pikes, banderillas and finally the sword, as is the bull, but is the recipient of abuse from both players and the multitude seated in the huge arena…

“I think if I understood English perfectly and had played baseball all my life, and had not been born a Mexican, I should like to see a baseball game every year on my birthday anniversary.”

I would too, but I’m out of luck because I was born in December.

At first, this excerpt seemed like it was probably fictitious, but I think it might be real. Jose Campos was indeed the editor of Excelsior, which was (and is) a newspaper in Mexico City, and the Mexican League wasn’t formed until 1925. La Biblioteca Nacional de México appears to have a digitized archive of Excelsior, but it’s not accessible to the public.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 19, 2018 at 11:06 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, June 18, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-18-2018

Washington Times, June 18, 1918:

“Irish” Meusel, the Phils’ young outfielder, tried to follow Ty Cobb’s example [in Philadelphia] yesterday, when he leaped into the bleachers and took a violent swing at a jeering rooter. He was finally induced to let the insulter live.

It’s not clear whether Meusel cared if the guy had no feet.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 18, 2018 at 10:06 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-13-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, June 13, 1918:

Babe Ruth Looks Like Cobb’s Successor return to King Tyrus and his most logical successor, George Sisler, although a wonderful player, will not do, because of that same colorless stuff and lack of personality which characterizes the standing of Eddie Collins…The slugger always is popular with the masses, and the boy who can slam the pellet out of the lot or knock down a couple of infielders in every combat will get the big majority in the race for the nomination.

George Ruth, the slugging southpaw of the Red Sox, is that sort of a guy. He is hitting so well that Manager Barrow has slipped him into the regular line-up and forgotten all about his pitching Ruth recently tied the big league record with four home runs in four successive games, and if he continues to slap the spheroid with the same intensity crowds will turn out to see him in action.

That’s an impressive prediction and more or less exactly what happened.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 13, 2018 at 10:14 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-12-2018

Washington Times, June 12, 1918:

Friend Wife will have to have the feed bag ready early today, for Mr. A. Fan will be rushing off to Oriole Park to see the Dunnmen get down to work at 6 o’clock. Today 6 o’clock starts will be inaugurated by Manager Dunn as an experiment.

The wording leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s cool that the Orioles were experimenting with night baseball as early as 1918. It couldn’t have come any earlier that 1918 - these 6:00 starts were made possible by Daylight Saving Time.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 12, 2018 at 10:39 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, June 11, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-11-2018

Washington Herald, June 11, 1918:

An extraordinary baseball catching feat was accomplished when Corp. Michael Bessolo, a soldier on [Kelly] field, established a new world record by catching a baseball dropped from an airplane, 700 feet in the air.
It was the first time a successful attempt ever has been made to catch a baseball from an airplane. The fact that the baseball cas caught with an infielder’s glove, instead of the heavier catcher’s mitt, makes it all the more remarkable.

Back in 1915, Wilbert Robinson thought he was trying to catch a baseball dropped from a plane, but it was a grapefruit. It splattered all over him.

Also in the news 100 years ago today, the Southern Association decides to suspend play and not finish the season.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 09:04 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, June 08, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-8-2018

Washington Herald, June 8, 1918:

Mike Donlin was up in the press box at the Polo Grounds, New York City, [two days ago], and during a fanfest said:

“I see where the boys claim Babe Ruth established a record by making four home runs in four successive days. Well, Babe only tied the record.

Bill Bradley, the old third baseman of the Cleveland team, playing against the Phillies in Philadelphia, back in 1901 did the same stunt. Four days running he slammed out a circuit clout.”

Donlin’s right, but Bradley’s homer binge happened in 1902 instead of 1901. He homered on May 21, 22, 23, and 24 in Philadelphia, not to mention May 28 and 29 in Washington. In the rest of his 14-year career, he only hit 28 home runs.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 08, 2018 at 10:03 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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