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Dugout Newsbeat

Friday, August 18, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-18-2017

Pittsburgh Press, August 18, 1917:

The pennant winner of the Southern association is to play a post-season series of games with a team composed of the best players from clubs that finish second, third and fourth, according to an announcement by R.G. Baugh, president of the league.

That’s a cool idea. I like that a lot.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 18, 2017 at 09:03 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-17-2017

Lake County [Indiana] Times, August 17, 1917:

One of the features of the trips taken by the White Sox this year has been their singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.” After marching around the field under the sirection of Sergeant W.S. Smiley they would line up before the stand and sing two verses of the anthem.
...
One of the Sox players told of their first rehearsal. “Rowland got us together in the clubhouse and asked if any of us knew the words of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’,” he said. “There were only three—Benz, Scott and Weaver. The rest knew only short snatches.

“Rowland then told us to sing the two verses as well as we could and those who didn’t know the words could make a bluff until they learned them by singing ‘Hum-hum-hum’.”

“After our first appearance Gandil came into the clubhouse after the game and approached Rowland. ‘I can’t help it, boss,’ he said. ‘I’m a hum-hum-hummer.’”

I think just about everybody would be a hum-hum-hummer on the second verse these days.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:12 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-16-2017

Tucumcari News, August 16, 1917:

For the present it may be all right that baseball continue. At least it is not mandatory that it cease…but it may be just as well to suggest to the American people that professional baseball is likely to be an incongruity next year.

An American newspaper will sacrifice a great deal of self-respect if it has to print, or does print, box scores and casualty lists in the same issue, says Chicago Tribune.

Baseball already is getting on the nerves of a great many people who know that catastrophic times are ahead or who fear that they may be ahead.

It is fiddling while Rome is burning.

I guess people got used to it.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:01 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-15-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 15, 1917:

Eddie Plank, the veteran left-hander, has retired permanently from baseball. Fielder Jones of the St. Louis Americans made this known [yesterday] when he announced that Plank had left the team last Saturday and gone to his home at Gettysburg, Pa.
...
Plank’s last game was pitched in Washington a week ago Monday, when Walter Johnson defeated him, 1 to 0, in 11 innings.

If you’ve gotta walk away, an 11-inning pitchers’ duel against Walter Johnson is a good way to go.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 15, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 14, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-14-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 14, 1917:

First baseman George Kelly of the Pirates was released back to the New York Giants tonight…according to an announcement made by manager Bezdek.

The Pirates, it seems, had an agreement with John J. McGraw, manager of the Giants, whereby Kelly could be returned in the event of his failure to make a favorable impression with Pittsburgh.

That Fritz Mollwitz will be the first baseman for the Pirates within 48 hours is the feeling of among the Pirates…The supposition was strengthened when Kelly’s release was announced.

Mollwitz finished his career with a .241/.278/.294 batting line (72 OPS+), -2.9 WAR and -9.1 WAA.

Kelly wound up in the Hall of Fame.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 14, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 11, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-11-2017

El Paso Herald, August 11, 1917:

That Walter Johnson, the Senators’ great pitcher…is to be disposed of before the 1918 season opens is a report which has not only been freely circulated in Washington, but which in many quarters is given credence.

The Washington club is bound to lose money before the curtain drops next October. It is known that the baseball property here…is not clear of encumbrances, that with salaries and notes to be paid the present stockholders must stand heavy assessments.

There is but once solution to the whole business. Walter Johnson, if placed on the open market, would bring a fancy price…If Johnson is to be sold there is every reason to believe that Jim Dunn, of Cleveland, stands as good a chance of getting him, if not better, than any club owner in the American league. Dunn and Griff are old friends.

That almost certainly would have been the biggest trade in baseball history, at least to that point. The Big Train was 29 years old and went 222-116 with a 1.64 ERA (178 ERA+) from 1910-1917. In those eight seasons, nearly 20 percent of his starts (59 of 303) were complete game shutouts.

Elsewhere in the news on August 11, 1917, the El Paso Herald reports that Cuban outfielder Armando Marsans is the sensation of the American League season, while the Pittsburgh Press reports that Cuban outfielder Armando Marsans broke his leg yesterday.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 11, 2017 at 10:37 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, walter johnson

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-10-2017

Pittsburgh Press, August 10, 1917:

Ira Thomas, former catcher for the Athletics, today denied that he was considering an offer to succeed Miller Huggins as manager of the St. Louis Nationals. He said his income of $3,500 for coaching the Williams college baseball team and $6,000 to $8,000 from his real estate business would prevent him from ever returning to baseball.

Thomas went on to say he had a guy on the other line asking about some whitewalls.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:47 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-9-2017

Marshalltown [Iowa] Times-Republican, August 9, 1917:

That baseball is falling off is probably true and there’s a reason. The boys of this day do not play baseball as the boys of the former generation did. They do not play because there is no place to play in. And that is a pity.

The sky is falling! Baseball is dying!

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: doom and gloom, dugout, history

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

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

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 8, 1917:

During their stay [in Chicago] the secretary of the Braves had this notice conspicuously displayed in the clubhouse at the ball park. It gave valuable information to the athlete who desired a potato with his evening meal:
...
If anyone desires a potato with his dinner, at night, simply have the waiter see the head waiter, who will O.K. this order.

Good to know.

Elsewhere in the news, Heine Groh is turned away by the army because he’s got crooked fingers from trying to catch line drives.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 08, 2017 at 09:52 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 07, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-7-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 7, 1917:

“The proposal to sent baseball players to France at the end of the season to entertain soldiers is the most absurd thing I ever heard of.”

This is the way President John K. Tener of the National League felt about it today when told an offer had been made to finance such an expedition.

“The idea of sending a bunch of big huskies over there with their expenses all paid to perform for the benefit of men who are ready to sacrifice their lives for their country is exceedingly repulsive to me. I cannot understand what the man who made the offer could have been thinking of.”

Jeez, don’t tell Tener about the USO.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2017 at 09:51 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Friday, August 04, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-4-2017

Chicago Eagle, August 4, 1917:

Chinese ball players are breaking into the minor leagues and taking jobs away from regular Americans.

Ayau, who is starring for Spokane in the Northern league, is the furthest advanced of the athletes who formerly played with the All-Chinese team which toured the United States during the last three seasons.

Vernon Ayau was born in Hawaii and served in the U.S. infantry during World War I.

If only he had been a regular American.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 04, 2017 at 10:16 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-3-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 3, 1917:

George Kelly, the 21-year-old utility player of the New York Giants, was purchased by the Pirates last night, according to an announcement made by Pittsburgh officials.

Kelly will probably get a chance today to play first base for Bezdek’s club…The rangy player had little chance of landing a regular job with the Giants on account of the surplus of high-grade talent which surrounds John J. McGraw.

High Pockets got into eight games with the Pirates, who sent him back to New York. And then he became a Hall of Famer.

I know, I know, he’s one of the worst Hall of Fame players. Still, even the worst Hall of Famers would help a 51-win team.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 03, 2017 at 10:13 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-2-2017

Pittsburgh Press, August 2, 1917:

Dr. Richard C. Hoblitzel, first baseman of the Boston American League baseball team, has volunteered and undergone examination for a commission in the dental reserve corps, it was announced today. Dr. Hoblitzel said he was uncertain when he was likely to be called.

Just your everyday “quality starting first baseman in his late 20s going to France to be a military dentist” story.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 02, 2017 at 09:36 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-1-2017

Pittsburgh Press, August 1, 1917:

Ping Bodie says he was chatting with [Walter] Johnson one day and remarked that if Johnson would fire one every now and then close to the batter’s skull, few would stay up to the plate and try to get a hit. This is what Johnson said:

“No, Ping; I never tried to hit any batter, and I never will. The minute any manager tries to get me to hurl one at a batter’s head, that quick I will cut that team. If I cannot beat them honestly, I will lose.”

Between Johnson and Christy Mathewson, this era of baseball had two of the finest pitchers and finest gentlemen in the history of the sport.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 01, 2017 at 12:03 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: beanballs, dugout, history, walter johnson

Monday, July 31, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-31-2017

Washington Times, July 31, 1917:

The Detroit ball cub [sic] came within a short distance of being obliged to pay over $1,000 to the Washington club for failure to arrive on time for a schedule [sic] game.

Like most big leaguers resting in Philadelphia, the Tigers all flocked to Atlantic City. There they enjoyed the crowds and the ocean breezes until far into the night. Little they recked of baseball as she is played in the major leagues. Little they cared for anything but mere summer breezes by the side of the ocean.
...
Shortly before 3 o’clock the team came to the park. The players wasted no time once on the job, but it was after 3 o’clock before the Detroit players were in uniform.

Sounds like the day off did the Tigers a world of good. They crushed Washington 16-4, and their 2-3-4 hitters (Vitt, Cobb, and Veach) combined to go 15-for-17 with 12 runs scored.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 31, 2017 at 10:07 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 28, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2017

Chicago Eagle, July 28, 1917:

Harry Heilman [sic], Tiger outfielder, had an experience recently which…will keep him glued to his seat in the Pullman when traveling about the country.

The Tigers were going from Boston to Baltimore to play a Sunday exhibition game. The train hesitated at New London, Conn., and Heilman got off to get some sandwiches…While he was purchasing the grub the whistle blew and off went the rattler minus Heilman.

Harry had the change from a five-spot and a couple of sandwiches to last until he could catch up with his ball club, and when he reported, wearing a coat and hat he had bought from a pawnbroker, he came in for a kidding that got his goat—hoofs, horns, whiskers and all.

Elsewhere in the news, “baseball men” don’t think World War I will cause the cancellation of the 1917 World Series.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-27-2017

Pittsburgh Press, July 27, 1917:

A new use for baseball slang has been found. The story is told by a writer describing the experiences of Americans inside the German lines…It was necessary that one American having knowledge of [the news] should acquaint another with what was going on, but the Germans were on watch, listening for every word.
...
[An American said to another:] “Nix on any of these spangled delicatessens (German officers) getting wise, but the umpire-in-chief has chased Heinie out of the lot for his rough work.

(The German ambassador at Washington has been handed his papers by President Wilson.)

“I get you. Are they going to play ball?”

(Are they going to war?)

“Sure, home team has gone to bat with all its stars in the game.”
“What’s the score?”
“Don’t know yet, but the other guys are a lot of bushers, tried to steal second with the bases full.”

Spangled delicatessens?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 27, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-26-2017

Pittsburgh Press, July 26, 1917:

As far as is known, Pitcher John Miljus of the Brooklyn club is the first major leaguer to be called to the colors via the draft route. Miljus…was ordered yesterday to present himself for examination tomorrow morning.

Strange that the first big leaguer to be drafted to serve in WWI would be known as “The Big Serb”.

In other news on the same page of the Pittsburgh Press, White Sox first baseman Chick Gandil has filed bankruptcy. I think I know a way Gandil can supplement his salary, but Charlie Comiskey might not like it.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 26, 2017 at 10:06 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-25-2017

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 25, 1917:

Mention in the news that their baseball experience makes Pershing’s men quick to learn the trick of the hand grenade is a reminder of the time the champion baseball thrower of Honolulu stopped a revolution here with two well-aimed bombs at the old bungalow in the palace yard.

Well, that certainly led me down a rabbit hole. The revolution in question was the 1889 Wilcox rebellion and there’s more information about the baseball aspect of the story here.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 25, 2017 at 10:10 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 24, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-24-2017

Pittsburgh Press, July 24, 1917:

INFIELD WORKS IN 232 STRAIGHT GAMES

Playing in 232 games the Louisville American association infield is believed to have established an all-time baseball record. The infield is composed of Jay Kirk at first, Joe McCarthy, second; [Red] Corriden, third, and Wilbur Roach at short. The members played in 167 games last year and 65 this year without a member missing a game.

Yep, it’s that Joe McCarthy. I’m not sure how long the streak continued or if it’s still a record, but 232 games in a row with the same infield is darned impressive.

Elsewhere on the same page, the Press reports on the Giants’ new superstition: They believe that if someone carries the bag of practice balls off the field when the Giants are in the lead, they’ll win that game.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2017 at 10:31 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 21, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-21-2017

Chicago Eagle, July 21, 1917:

Bob Veach of the Tigers wants to know if hitting a ball over the bull sign entitles a batter to $50 the same as actually hitting the sign. In one of the games Detroit played in Washington Veach sent the ball clear over the sign for one of the longest drives ever seen in Washington. It is some trick to hit the sign there, let alone clear it.

Elsewhere on the same newspaper page, former big league catcher Ted Easterly is released on probation after a conviction for passing a bad check, an upheld protest drops Hank Gowdy’s batting average from .324 to .250, and Clark Griffith is not happy about the American League’s efforts to relocate his ballclub.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 21, 2017 at 10:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-20-2017

Pittsburgh Press, July 20, 1917:

McKee, of the San Francisco team, in a game against Salt Lake city recently started from second for third as the opposing pitcher wound up, the bases being full at the time. The runner on third frantically waved the man back. But the runner kept on and the pitcher who had begun his motion committed the error of turning and throwing the ball to second. As a result of the balk the man on third was permitted to walk home and the erratic McKees took third.

“I meant to do that.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 20, 2017 at 12:41 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-19-2017

Grand Forks Herald, July 19, 1917:

It was reported recently on the highest authority in administration circles that the government would draft no major league baseball players for the war.

...the main reason for not interfering with baseball is because of the big part taken by big league baseball owners in urging recruiting and helping in army and Red Cross charities. The drilling of the baseball players has served to gain recruits for all branches of the service.

Moreover the government does not think it good policy to disturb America’s greatest outdoor sport.

Eventually, the director of the military draft decreed that baseball players would have to register for service.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 19, 2017 at 10:17 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-18-2017

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 18, 1917:

J. Franklin Baker of the Yankees was yesterday exonerated of blame for the alleged tampering with a player to influence him in jumping his contract with the St. Louis Browns. The exoneration followed the receipt of a letter from Baker in which he denied that he had approached Allen Sothoron, pitcher, to induce him to leave the Browns and join the Upland club of the Delaware County league in Pennsylvania.

Well, that answers the question I posed yesterday about the identity of the mysterious independent club. Now I’m trying to figure out how a team in the Delaware County League would have the financial resources to get big leaguers to jump their contracts.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 17, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-17-2017

Pittsburgh Press, July 17, 1917:

If agents of a mysterious independent club in the east have been dickering with George Sisler by mail, telegraph or phone, trying to get Sis to quit the Browns, their efforts have not beein received by Sisler.
...
Not only Sisler but Allan Sothoron, Tom Rogers and Earl Hamilton—these four members of the eighth-placers have received attractive offers to quit the Browns and join this mysterious independent organization in the east.
...
[Sisler:] “No one has come to me with an offer. If anyone would I would refuse it…I have not been approached and I would not consider an offer.”

Does anyone know anything about this mysterious outlaw organization? I know so little about it that I don’t even know how to look for more information.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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