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Friday, April 24, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-24-2015

Syndicated columnist Hugh Fullerton in the Milwaukee Journal, April 24, 1915:

Here is Ty Cobb’s newest play—and his most daring one.

Cobb is on first when the ball was bunted. The throw is made to second, but Cobb beats it and, without stopping, starts for third. The batter meantime turns first. Cobb reaches third by a narrow squeak and the batter lands in safety on second.

Every time Cobb has tried it so far this year—it was quite a part of the training trip—he has been put out by a foot or two at third.

That’s because it’s a terrible idea, as far as I can tell. Nobody can run 90 feet more quickly than a ball can be thrown 90 feet.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 24, 2015 at 09:00 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ty cobb

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-23-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 23, 1915:

If J. Franklin Baker goes through with his determination to play with the Upland [Pennsylvania] team of the Delaware County league it will in all probability mean that he will never be permitted to play in organized baseball again.

“Baker can’t make a fool out of me,” said [Connie] Mack, “and if he thinks that he can have a little jaunt in the Delaware County league and then at his pleasure report to me and expect to find a place on my team, he has made the mistake of his life.
...
“Baker made a solemn statement to the public in which he said he was quitting baseball because he didn’t like traveling. Yet, in the face of this, he signs a contract with Upland. He will return to Trappe [Maryland] after playing his game with Upland, I have read.

“I went from Philadelphia to Trappe once, and I want to tell you that it was the hardest, weariest trip I ever took. I would much prefer to take a ride to St. Louis than to Trappe.

I get the impression that Baker was lying when he said traveling was the problem. Seems to me he probably saw how terrible the Athletics were going to be for the next few years, didn’t want to deal with it, had enough money to walk away, and didn’t want to embarrass Mack in the process.

As for the Trappe to Upland jaunt, it’s nearly two hours by car in 2015, so I can’t imagine how long the drive would have taken in 1915. 4-5 hours maybe? Mack’s right; that would not have been a fun commute.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 23, 2015 at 09:53 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, history, home run baker

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-22-2015

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 22, 1915:

[Pirates] Manager Fred Clarke has released two more of his youngsters and the fact was made known at Pirate headquarters yesterday. Joe Leonard, who was in his second year with the Pirates goes to Columbus…“Dazzy” Vance, the big pitcher, goes back to St. Joe under an optional agreement.
...
“Dazzy” must go back through no fault of his own. Clarke could not make room for Vance and hold down to the seven pitchers’ limit to which he must hold or weaken other departments of the club. Vance goes back to the Western League with a stout string attached.

That string was almost immediately sold to the Yankees.

It would be another seven years before Vance emerged as a quality pitcher, but he didn’t just emerge, he exploded. Dazzy led the National League in strikeouts every year from 1922-1928, led the league in wins in 1924 and 1925, topped the ERA charts in 1924, 1928, and 1930, led the league in shutouts four times, led the league in strikeout/walk ratio every year from 1924-1931, and was the 1924 National League MVP.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2015 at 08:26 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dazzy vance, dugout, history

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-21-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, April 21, 1915:

Jack Pfiester, who was formerly a pitcher on the team of the Chicago Nationals, was a witness in his own behalf in the Circuit court [in Chicago] on Tuesday in the suit brought against the Western Union Telegraph company, seeking to recover $2,500 in alleged damages in connection with a telegram sent him by the Milwaukee baseball club. Pfiester charged that on May 3, 1912, a telegram from the Milwaukee club, reading: “Will give you $300 per month,” signed “Hugh Duffy,’” was sent to him, but not delivered.

Aw, that sucks. I’m not sure how the lawsuit turned out, but Pfiester appears to have been entirely out of baseball in 1912. And now I’ve got this song stuck in my head.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 21, 2015 at 08:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jack pfiester

Monday, April 20, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-20-2015

Toledo News-Bee, April 20, 1915:

Groping around in the dark at his home in Chicago, Jimmy Lavender, Cub pitcher, stumbled and fell against a bathtub on Sunday night. Two ribs were broken. He may be out of the game for a month. Lavender says he was ill.

Mmm-hmm. “Ill”. A likely story.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 20, 2015 at 07:53 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jimmy lavender

Friday, April 17, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2015

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 17, 1915:

The Brooklyn club will celebrate tomorrow its twenty-fifth birthday, as it was on April 18, 1890, that the Dodgers played their first game in the National League, losing to Boston by a score of 15 to 9. This was a bad start, but the Brooklynites copped the pennant their first year out.

The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers: April 18th’s Birthday Team.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 17, 2015 at 08:13 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, dugout, history

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-16-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 16, 1915:

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 16, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, pitches

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-15-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 15, 1915:

[Columbus, Ohio] City employees will be permitted to see the opening game of the season at Neil park today without the loss of salary. City council Monday night, by a vote of 14 to 2, declared a half holiday for this afternoon, which will give all of Columbus’ employees a chance to get in the Hulswitt parade.

“Hulswitt” being Rudy Hulswitt, the manager of the Columbus Senators. This was about the only fun Columbus baseball fans had that year; the 1915 Sens went 54-91 and finished dead last.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 15, 2015 at 08:03 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, opening day

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-14-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 14, 1915:

A few lines from the Pacific coast chronicle the death of one of the greatest ball players the game has known. His skin happened to be black and he never shone in the majors, however. He was [Bill] Monroe, an infielder, who went to the coast with Rube Foster’s negro team…Those who have seen him play say he was a Lajoie and a Wagner combined.

I was stunned to learn that Monroe isn’t in the Hall of Fame. That’s a traveshamockery.

Monroe was indeed one heck of a ballplayer, and he knew it. He listed his profession on the 1910 census as “champion base ball player”.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 14, 2015 at 07:58 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bill monroe, dugout, history, negro leagues

Monday, April 13, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-13-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 13, 1915:

Joe Jackson has suffered a nervous collapse as the result of his family troubles. Within the last 10 days he has lost 15 or 20 pounds in weight as the result of not eating and brooding over his troubles.

In an effort to get in shape after his layoff of nearly two weeks he worked throughout Saturday’s game at Columbus and looked like the same old Joe. Twice he sent Mensor back to the left field fence to capture his long drives. He got a single and a triple, his other two times up, and stole third base.

As soon as the game was over, though, he went to bed, being unable to eat.

I hadn’t heard that Jackson had issues with (what certainly appears to be) depression. Makes his performance on the field even more impressive.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago today, the Buffalo Blues of the Federal League are protesting their opening day loss to Brooklyn because the Brookfeds pinch ran for catcher Grover Land, then put Land back in the game. I’m not sure what the outcome of the protest was, other than that it still stands as a 13-9 loss for Buffalo.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 13, 2015 at 08:44 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, joe jackson

Friday, April 10, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-10-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 10, 1915:

War, politics and spring fashions were relegated to the background today while some 72 athletes in four cities started a 154 days’ battle of their own. The umpires took the indicators away from the judges and summonses gave way to batting lists, the Federal league formally opening its 1915 baseball season.

I had no idea Federal League teams had 18-man rosters. That seems ridiculously small.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 10, 2015 at 07:51 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-9-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 9, 1915:

Reb [sic] Faber of the Whitesox, is a contortionist. He was doubling his feet back of his head and playing other tricks in the lobby of a hotel at Little Rock. “That guy don’t need to play ball,” said Happy Felsch. “He could stand on the corner and make a living.”

Hopefully Felsch didn’t need to play ball in order to make a living.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 09, 2015 at 09:16 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, happy felsch, history, red faber

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-8-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 8, 1915:

Manager Bill Carrigan of the Red Sox expects to depend largely upon his left-handed pitchers during the first months of the season. He has Leonard, Collins and Ruth ready to do their share of the work, and Foster, Shore, and Mays to help them.

Ruth? Ruth is going to make the team? There’s no way that kid’s ready. He has flop written all over him.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 08, 2015 at 09:40 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, bill carrigan, dugout, history

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-7-2015

Bismarck Daily Tribune, April 7, 1915:

The oldest man connected with baseball has never seen a game.

He is David Riblet of Cleveland…If Riblet lives until March 13 he will be ninety years old. For the last four years he has been the watchman in the club rooms of the Naps.
...
“But I don’t ever expect to see a ball game,” adds Riblet. “You see, I’m one of those kind of men who always stick at their post, no matter what is happening near by them.”

For 18 years Riblet operated the turnstiles at the bleacher gate. He says he sometimes grew a bit curious to learn what was happening when the thousands of fans shrieked their applause at some great play, but he never deserted his post of duty.

Give the guy a day off, for crying out loud. Jeez.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 07, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, April 06, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-6-2015

Tacoma Times, April 6, 1915:

H. E. Westgate of [Los Angeles] has applied for a patent on an automatic umpire he has invented that records strikes and balls, returns the ball to the pitcher, and presents a right or left hand dummy batter by a simple twist of the wrist. The device has been tested by league pitchers and they declare it is accurate to the fraction of an inch.

Cool idea. The patent application can be found here.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 06, 2015 at 07:47 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, April 03, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-3-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 3, 1915:

The Brooklyn pitchers will not want for oral support while laboring on the well-known slab this year. Joe Schultz, beside his many other accomplishments, has a line of chatter while the Superbas are on the field that should keep the pitchers’ “heads up” on all occasions.
...
You’ve got to hear and see him to appreciate him.

Like father, like son.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:58 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, joe schultz

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-2-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 2, 1915:

[Chicago Whales manager] Joe Tinker has a new play which he expects will make the other teams in [the Federal League] open their eyes this season. It’s a double squeeze, with two men scoring instead of one. Speed merchants are necessary to work it out, but it looks awfully good on paper.

I have no idea how you could possibly expect that to work, but good luck with that, Joe.


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-1-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 1, 1915:

Lee Meadows, the Cardinals’ young player, who has attracted national attention because he wears spectacles while pitching, was botany professor at the Horner Military academy in Oxford, N.C. If he decides to quit baseball, his old place is open to him.
...
Jim Thorpe, who has yet to show that he is a ball player of real class, but who is recognized as one of the best football players who ever lived, says that he would rather play baseball than football any day and that he does not think that football is any too good for a person.

Baseball worked out for Meadows, but not for Thorpe, as you know.

Anyway, Lee Meadows had a really nice career. Won 188 games and a World Series ring, put up an ERA+ of 106, and even picked up a couple of Hall of Fame votes in 1958.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 01, 2015 at 07:51 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim thorpe, lee meadows

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-31-2015

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, March 31, 1915:

Hugh Jennings is the inventor of a new disease of ailment, or affliction, whichever it may be termed. It is called “handball hands,” and affects those who like to bat the little ball around the courts though it does little to hamper any save persons who also dabble in some other form of athletics.
...
The palms of both [of Jennings’s hands] were bruised and sore from hitting the ball without a protection by gloves. These sores came just where the gripping of a bat and the shock of impact would make them constant reminders. So Hughie had to lay off both baseball and handball until he go the palms into shape again.

Handball hands is probably better than Lionel Simmons and his Nintendinitis.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: March 31, 2015 at 07:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, hughie jennings

Monday, March 30, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-30-2015

Arizona Republican, March 30, 1915:

We shall know for certain sure [sic] tonight whether or not there will be a league ball team in Phoenix.
...
[Herb Hester] needs about $4000 in cash to start the season, and he asks for it out of the individual pockets of the people who go to ball games. Instead of stock, he will issue a flock of rattling good baseball at one simoleon per ticket.

It seems weird that Phoenix wouldn’t have had a baseball team in 1915, but its population in the 1910 census was 11,314.

Anyway, the good news is that the Phoenix Senators began play in 1915. The bad news is that they also ended play in 1915, and Phoenix didn’t get another pro baseball team until 1928.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: March 30, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, simoleons

Friday, March 27, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-27-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 27, 1915:

Here’s the funny thing about [Bud] Davis, the rookie twirler from Virginia who has been showing so well with the Athletics this season. For four years Davis always threw left-handed. Now he is a right-handed pitcher.

That’s weird.

In fact, nearly everything about Davis as a ballplayer was weird. He put up a 98 ERA+ at age 19 in his only MLB season, then never again appeared in the major leagues. A pretty good season if you just glance at it, but somehow Davis put up that decent ERA despite walking 52 batters and hitting six more in 66.2 innings. Nearly half of the runs he allowed were unearned.

He went from the majors in 1915 all the way down to class C ball in 1916, pitching poorly for Augusta in the Sally League. Eventually Davis decided to forget about pitching and become a first baseman, and it went spectacularly well. In 1924, with Okmulgee in the Western Association, he hit .400 with 51 home runs and 112 extra-base hits. Bud Davis continued to put up huge offensive numbers everywhere he went, even in the highest minors, but he never did make it back to the big leagues.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: bud davis, dugout, history

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-26-2015

March 26, 1915, American pilot Phil Rader, fighting for the French in World War I, writes for United Press:

What Christy Mathewson could do to the Germans near our trenches!

The Germans are masters of new tricks, or of adapring old tricks to new purposes, but their hand-grenade stunt would put them at the mercy of the great American ball players.
...
I used to watch the Germans toss these bombs like schoolgirls or like boys pitching nickels at a crack…Eugene Jacobs, the man who left his butcher shop in Pawtucket to come and fight the Germans because they had destroyed his birthplace in Belgium, saved his life and perhaps several other lives one day by catching one of these bombs, as if it were a baseball. He threw it back, and it exploded in one of the German trenches.

Maybe baseball was good training for soldiers using grenades, but I’d strongly counsel the old-timey people to keep Christy Mathewson as far from the war as possible. I mean it, guys, don’t let him join the military. Trust me on this.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: March 26, 2015 at 10:28 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: christy mathewson, dugout, history, world war i

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-25-2015

Milwaukee Journal, March 25, 1915:

“CUBS A FRIGHTFUL BUNCH WITH WHICH TO WIN PENNANT, BUT—” it depends on which team gets their GOAT.

I don’t have any idea what this is talking about, unless someone from 1945 invented a time machine and went back 30 years. That’s a weirdly prescient obscure reference.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: March 25, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, goats, history

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-24-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 24, 1915:

The break has finally come, and it looks as if the Cincinnati club will have to release Manager [Buck] Herzog or accept the resignation of Secretary Harry Stephens. These two officials of the club had a big row at Covington…

The Reds’ training field in Covington, Louisiana was frozen and unplayable, so Herzog wanted the players in New Orleans, where the players could train. The problem was that the Reds were supposed to play an exhibition game against New Orleans in Covington, and the New Orleans owner refused to play the games in his own park.

Got it? Good. I don’t know why he wouldn’t want the games in his home stadium, but whatever.

This standoff was resolved when nothing happened. Neither Herzog nor Stephens resigned and the club decided to keep them both.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: March 24, 2015 at 08:13 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: buck herzog, dugout, history

Monday, March 23, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-23-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 23, 1915:

Bob Steele, young left-hander, tells a good one on Calvo, a Cuban outfielder who was with the Victoria club in the Northwestern league. It seems the squad was traveling by boat from Victoria to Vancouver. The club jokesters began kidding Calvo and one of them told the Cuban that the boat had to go through a tunnel in order to get into Vancouver. This sounded interesting to the Cuban and he sat up all night waiting to see the boat go through that tunnel.

I once convinced my wife that we had to go through customs in order to travel from Ontario to Quebec. Yes, I’m a terrible person.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: March 23, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bob steele, dugout, history, jack calvo

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