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Dugout Newsbeat

Friday, November 28, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-28-2014

Washington Times, November 28, 1914:

Connie Mack is said to be willing to trade this big slugger, J. FRANKLIN BAKER, because he is not working in harmony with the other members of the Athletics. Larry Gardner and a pitcher was asked from the Red Sox, but Bill Carrigan turned down the offer. A sneaking rumor has it that Baker has seen his best days, and is on the down grade.

According to Baker’s SABR bio, the third baseman wanted to renegotiate his contract as a result of Mack selling off most of the team’s stars, but Mack refused. Neither would budge, so Baker went back home to his farm in Maryland and spent all of 1915 playing for local clubs in the area.

Eventually, Mack sold Baker’s contract to the Yankees in time for the 1916 season and the stubborn slugger returned.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 28, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, home run baker

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-26-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, November 26, 1914:

The baseball series for the championship of the world will consist of 11 games next year instead of seven and prices will be lower, according to B.B. Johnson, president of the American League, when he made public tonight a letter he had received from August Herrmann, chairman of the National Baseball Commission.

Milwaukee Sentinel, November 26, 1914:

Chairman August Herrmann of the national baseball commission Wednesday night denied that he had ever written to President Ban Johnson of the American league advocating that the number of games in the world’s series be changed from seven to eleven, and the prices reduced.

“I certainly wrote no such letter,” Herrmann said.

Bummer. More baseball > Less baseball.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 26, 2014 at 09:09 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-25-2014

Milwaukee Journal, November 25, 1914:

Connie Mack opines the reason he did not congratulate George Stallings after the world’s series was fear that Stallings would hit him on the nose. His fears were useless. Stallings hit a more vital spot—the pocketbook.

Stallings did threaten to punch Mack in the nose before the series.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 25, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, george stallings, history

Monday, November 24, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-24-2014

El Paso Herald, November 24, 1914:

A letter from [Texas] league headquarters to the [San Antonio] boss is to the effect that abbreviated games cut short through any agency than the elements of nature—meaning rain—are illegal under baseball law and should not be counted as championship contests.
...
It was by the throwing out of [seven inning] games that honors in the pennant race were even between the [Waco] Navigators and [Houston] Guffs, whereas had they been counted Houston would have been awarded the flag. Now that the law is made plain let it be hoped there will not be a repetition of such a farce.

Texas League Commissioner Ignatius J. Reilly went on to call seven-inning baseball games “a crime against theology and geometry”.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 24, 2014 at 09:35 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, November 21, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-21-2014

Rock Island Argus, November 21, 1914:

“Rabbit” Maranville of the Boston Braves and his bride left Boston yesterday for George Stallings’ plantation in Georgia.

The “miracle man” of the Boston team cleared the way for the honeymoon trip by means of a check sent to Secretary Herman Nickerson of the Braves, taking care of all expenses on the route to Haddock, Ga.

This latest present from his chief was a distinct surprise to Maranville and means that his entire honeymoon expenses will be taken care of by the big chief…

I like my boss. I think he’s a good guy. I wouldn’t be terribly excited about spending my honeymoon at his house.

Still, a really nice gesture by Stallings.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 21, 2014 at 09:26 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rabbit maranville

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-20-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, November 20, 1914:

President Weeghman of the Chifeds on Thursday advanced $15 to a National league manager “on account.”
...
On Thursday Weeghman received a telephone call from Terre Haute, Ind.

“This is Miller Huggins, manager of the Cardinals,” said the voice at the other end. “I had quite an experience last night while on the train. I was touched for everything I had while asleep and need some money to get out of town.”

Weeghman…wired “Miller Huggins” $15, identification waived. Later Weeghman began to feel skeptical.

“It is beginning to dawn on me that some one has made a goat of ‘yours truly,” he said.

“...and I’m beginning to think that maybe that guy who sold me the Brooklyn Bridge was full of it.”

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-19-2014

Pittsburgh Press, November 19, 1914:

William Neill, scout of the Phillies…is confident that the Phillies have landed in Dave Bancroft a man who should will the hole at shortstop.
...
“Bancroft looked mighty good to me,” said Scout Neill. “I watched him play in a dozen games. He has a wonderful pair of hands and is as quick as a flash…You can never tell what a young fellow will do when he comes up to the majors, but Bancroft certainly has the ear-marks of a man who will develop fast.”

Shaky Veteran’s Committee selection or not, there’s a plaque hanging in upstate New York that suggests Neill got this one right.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 19, 2014 at 09:50 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dave bancroft, dugout, history

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-18-2014

Toledo News-Bee, November 18, 1914:

Charles W. Murphy, former president of the Cubs, and credited with still holding a large interest in the club, announced on Wednesday that the deal by which Charles Weeghman, owner of the Chicago Federals, was to purchase the Cubs, is off.

...meaning another year of the Federal League-Organized Baseball war. But you all know that already.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, federal league, history

Monday, November 17, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-17-2014

Milwaukee Journal, November 17, 1914:

The ever-present trouble-finding small boy got his [in Porterville, California] yesterday. A cluster of youngsters climbed to the roof of the dressing room where the touring all-star teams of the Americans and National leagues were housed and were peering between loose shingles at the diamond stars. Something besides shingles were loose, however, and the roof collapsed, injuring three youngsters. One was severely hurt. The game which followed the accident ended in a ten-inning tie, 5 to 5. Bush opposed Tesreau on the mound.

What a weird lede. The kids got theirs? One of them was severely injured.

Jeez, 1914 people. Not cool.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 17, 2014 at 09:13 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, November 14, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-14-2014

Recently released Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Jack Coombs quoted in the Pittsburgh Press, November 14, 1914:

I often wonder what is going to become to these young players when they slip back to the minors. They are certainly not saving up for a rainy day. The automobile fever has hit our boys hard.

One afternoon last summer, just before a game, I counted on Lehigh ave. outside of Shibe park no less than 17 automobiles that belonged to our players. The expenses of running these machines must have cut into the salaries of the boys considerably.

...and get those rookies off my lawn!

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 14, 2014 at 08:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jack coombs

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-13-2014

Toledo News-Bee, November 13, 1914:

Owner Charles Weeghman of the Chicago Federals on Friday denied that the Chicago Cubs actually had been transferred to him and peace terms for the elimination of the Federal league agreed upon, though well-informed baseball men insisted that these two steps were taken at Thursday’s conference between Weeghman and Garry Herrmann.

Weeghman declared that a few details in the deal by which he is to become owner of the Cubs, are yet to be arranged and that the transfer will not take place until after the Federal league meeting on Nov. 28.

It was the general belief, however, that the Cubs have changed hands, but that announcement will be withheld until the Federal league meets and sanctions arrangements for peace.

That announcement was indeed made after the Federal League met on November 28, but it was made a year later. Weeghman bought the Cubs, Phil Ball bought the Browns, five other teams took cash settlements, and the Baltimore Terrapins filed a famous but ultimately unsuccessful anti-trust suit.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 13, 2014 at 11:30 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, federal league, history

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-12-2014

Milwaukee Journal, November 12, 1914:

President James E. Gaffney of the Braves yesterday denied a report that his ball park had been sold to a Chicago mail order establishment as a site for a shoe factory, but admitted that the grounds were in the market. He said he expected to locate soon on an attractive home for the world’s championship next year.

The ballpark in question was South End Grounds, which indeed saw its last Braves game in August 1914. The team spent part of the 1915 season at Fenway Park before moving to its final Boston home, Braves Field, on August 18, 1915.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 12, 2014 at 10:37 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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

Milwaukee Sentinel, November 11, 1914:

Bennie Kauff, the sensational Indianapolis Federal league baseball player, miraculously escaped serious injury Tuesday afternoon when his automobile was wrecked at New Winchester, Ind., six miles west of Danville. Kauff’s face was badly lacerated and Jack Page and Owen Holmes, both of [Indianapolis], who were riding with the player, were slightly bruised.

Bennie was arrested by Danville authorities and fines on a charge of speeding.

Benny and cars just didn’t mix, it seems.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 11, 2014 at 08:49 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: benny kauff, dugout, history

Monday, November 10, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-10-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, November 10, 1914:

Danny Green, at one time a star outfielder on the Chicago National and American League baseball teams, died [yesterday] in an institution in Camden, N.J. While playing with the Minneapolis team of the American Association several years ago, Green was struck on the head by a pitched ball and never recovered from the effects of the injury.

Green was 38 years old.

I’d never heard this story before. Anyone have any other details? This is a fairly difficult one to Google, given how common his name is.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 10, 2014 at 09:17 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: danny green, dugout, history

Friday, November 07, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-7-2014

El Paso Herald, November 7, 1914:

Jimmy Archer, the Cub catcher, is probably the most bunged [sic] up ball player in the big leagues. Even before his recent accident when he broke his arm by running into a concrete wall in Brooklyn, he had the record.

James Archer, humble employee for a cooperage shop, fell into a vat of boiling sap and scarred his good right arm nearly to the bone…his throwing arm is permanently bent and stiffened at the elbow…The forearm is deeply ridged and scarred from the effects of the terrible burns sustained in the accident at the cooperage works. The hand itself has been fearfully battered by foul tips, wild shoots and the various fatalities that lurk for the unwary catcher. The thumb has been dislocated and the joint is swelled to double its natural size. The index finger has been broken no less than four times and every joint is gnarled and bent.

Sounds like a Batman villain.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 07, 2014 at 09:15 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jimmy archer

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-6-2014

New York Evening World, November 6, 1914:

Another problem confronts the owners of the Yankees. Arrangements have not yet been made with the Giants for the use of the Polo Grounds next year, and inasmuch as the club’s new grounds at Kingsbridge have not yet been completed, President Farrell is likely to be up against it for a ball park in 1915.

The Yankees’ new grounds weren’t completed until 1923. The new ballpark was in the Bronx, but it wasn’t in Kingsbridge.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 06, 2014 at 10:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, yankees

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-5-2014

Pittsburgh Press, November 5, 1914:

Lee Magee can jump into the lake or the Federal league for all I care,” declared Schuyler Britton, president of the Cardinals, today, after he had digested the import of Magee’s ultimatum delivered Monday.

Magee called his employer on the phone last night and informed him that he (Magee) was leaving for Chicago to consult with Manager Tinker and Owner Weeghman of the Chicago outlaws.
...
[Britton:] “Last spring when Magee returned from the world’s tour, I met him in New York and offered him a big salary for one season. He accepted terms, but insisted that I make the contract for two years. I agreed. Now he comes to bat with a statement that he intends to break that contract. Well, all I have to say is let him break it.”

[Magee:] “I have one more year to serve with the Cardinals, but along come the Feds with a price almost double what I am getting here…how can I turn down this prodigious offer? It has had me worried and I will give it long consideration.”

Magee took the Feds up on the offer. Unfortunately for Magee, he wasn’t selective enough when it came to ways to make money, and he was banned for life after confessing in 1919 to helping Hal Chase and Heinie Zimmerman throw games the previous year.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 05, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, lee magee

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

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

Toledo News-Bee, November 4, 1914:

Wilbur Cooper, pitcher for the Pittsburg Pirates, was thrown from his horse [in McConnelsville, Ohio] Tuesday, breaking his right shoulder.

Cooper was a lefty, so at least it wasn’t his pitching shoulder. Wilbur had his worst season in 1915, going 5-16 with an ERA+ of 82 in 185.2 innings. His FIP was roughly the same in 1915 as it was in 1914, so it may have been bad luck. It may also have been a guy giving up more line drives and hard-hit balls because he wasn’t completely healthy.

Anyway, Cooper was a hell of a pitcher and would have been at least a borderline HOF candidate if you removed that (possibly injury-ruined) 1915 season from his stats and doubled 1916. He won 216 games for mostly mediocre teams, put up an ERA+ of 116, won 20 games four times, led the league in wins and shutouts. I’m not saying he deserves to be a Hall of Famer, even in the hypothetical “no broken shoulder” universe, but he’d be living in the Greater Red Faber Metro Area.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 04, 2014 at 09:52 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, wilbur cooper

Monday, November 03, 2014

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

Pittsburgh Press, November 3, 1914:

Will the next world’s series be played in the Yale bowl? Baseball authorities of no less prominence than Harry Hempstead, president, and John B. Foster, secretary of the New York National league baseball team think it can be played there.
...
If the post-season games can be brought [there] crowds of 72,000 can be accommodated easily, doubling the receipts from the games.

Man, I’m happy that precedent didn’t get set. Neutral site World Series would be so much less fun.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 03, 2014 at 08:48 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, October 31, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-31-2014

United Press via Toledo News-Bee, October 31, 1914:

A sensation was sprung in baseball circles on Saturday when Connie Mack, manager of the Athletics, announced that he had asked waivers on Pitchers Bender, Plank and Coombs. These three men were the mainstay of the Philadelphia machine when it was at the height of its power.

There were unconfirmed reports [in Philadelphia] on Saturday that the three famous pitchers had been negotiating with the Feds and that this influenced Mack in his decision to dispose of them. As a result of Mack’s asking for waivers, any club may obtain any one of the trio for $1,500, the waiver price.

Bender and Plank both wound up in the Federal League, Coombs landed with the Franchise Eventually Known As The Dodgers, and the Athletics went 43-109 in 1915.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 31, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: chief bender, dugout, eddie plank, history, jack coombs

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-30-2014

The [Missoula, MT] Daily Missoulian, October 30, 1914:

There is keen debate in eastern baseball circles over the actions of the former star of the Athletic team who, according to every bit of evidence in sight, coached and trained the Boston pitchers till they knew every point and every weakness of the Philadelphia batsmen.
...
[Sentimental people] point out how Connie Mack took this man when another club had dismissed him; how Mack made him rich through fat wages and world’s series coin; how Connie carried him in recent years…

Any idea who this is referencing? Danny Murphy, maybe?

Murphy seems to tick all the boxes: He started his career fairly unsuccessfully with the Giants, was one of the best second baseman in the game during his 12-year run in Philadelphia, spent the last two seasons of his Athletics career as a benchwarmer, and jumped to the Feds after Mack sold him to Baltimore (IL) before the 1914 season.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 30, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, danny murphy, dugout, history

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-28-2014

Harrisburg Telegraph, October 28, 1914:

Fielder Jones, manager of the St. Louis Federal League club, has been given a big bank roll and told to “go after Walter Johnson,” star of the Washington American League club.

At the headquarters of the local Feds it was said to-day that if Jones can land the speed wonder, Catcher Ainsmith and Clyde Milan will also follow.

Johnson is wintering at his home in Coffeyville, Kan., and Fielder Jones will make every effort to land him. He left here with a wad of coin and a check book.

...and Jones returned with slightly less money, a checkbook, and no Walter Johnson. The Big Train was having none of it.

As an aside, I love that Fielder Jones’s given name was Fielder. An apt name for a guy who played 1255 big league games in center field and led the league in both range factor and fielding percentage.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-27-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, October 27, 1914:

[Denver catcher Larry] Spahr talked interestingly of Daisy [sic] Vance, a strapping big pitcher secured from St. Joe. Vance is a right-hander and, according to Spahr, he works a good bit on the order of Alexander of the Phillies.

“He has only been in the game two years,” explained Spahr, “but he has learned fast and was the toughest pitcher in the Western League to beat this year. Pittsburgh certainly got the best young pitcher in the West when they secured Vance.

Yeah, well, I just looked up the stats on this Vance guy. He only pitched one game for the Pirates and was terrible. And then he bounced around for most of the next decade and…oh, wait, he was pretty good, wasn’t he?

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 27, 2014 at 08:27 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: dazzy vance, dugout, history

Friday, October 24, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-24-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, October 24, 1914:

It has been learned that there were two sad faced young ballplayers who attended the banquet given by Mayor Curley at the Copley Plaza in honor of the Boston Braves last Thursday night. One is little Billy Martin, the Washington lad who joined the world’s champions on Aug. 1.

The other player to be disappointed is Cottrell, a pitcher, who became a member of the Braves’ outfit in July. Neither one of these players received anywhere near the full amount of $2,708.86.
...
Martin was handed a check for $500, drawn personally by the Braves’ manager. Cottrell likewise received the same amount…Martin and Cottrell, for some unknown reason, were cut out of the big divvy by a committee of the veteran players of the club.

A huge thumbs up to George Stallings for digging into his own pocket to reward the players that the rest of the team hosed.

You can sort of see what the other players were thinking, though: Martin went 0-for-3 with an error in his one and only MLB appearance, and Cottrell in 1914 allowed five baserunners and two runs in one inning.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 24, 2014 at 09:45 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, george stallings, history

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-23-2014

Toledo News-Bee, October 23, 1914:

Bill Murray was on the bench managing the Philadelphia team and Coveleskie, now Detroit’s star was pitching for Murray. A batter reached first. Coveleskie took a long wind-up, and almost before he pitched the runner raced to second…
...
When Coveleskie reached the bench, Billy demanded:

“Why didn’t you catch that fellow on first base?”

“What fellow on first?” inquired Covy.

“That guy that stole second.”

“No one told me there was a runner on first,” replied the pitcher.

Billy was dazed for an instant. Then, turning, he shouted angrily:

“Here you, Knabe, Doolan, Bransfield—all of you. There’s one thing I want understood right now. Whenever hereafter a base runner reaches first or second or third bases you fellows tell Covy about it. I won’t have any more of these secrets of this club.”

Not sure whether this actually happened or it’s a proto-Polish joke. I’m assuming it’s apocryphal, but either way it’s amusing.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 23, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, harry coveleski, history

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