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Federal League Newsbeat

Monday, October 20, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-20-2014

Toledo News-Bee, October 20, 1914:

Garry Herrmann, chairman of the national baseball commission, on Tuesday confirmed reports of a peace pact between the Federals and organized baseball when he declared that negotiations are on for the sale of the Chicago Cubs to Charles Weeghman, president of the Chi-feds.
...
Herrmann said he knew nothing of the reported deal for the taking over of the Brooklyn National league club by Robert Ward, owner of the Brooklyn Federals.

It’s interesting that the basic framework of the Federal League peace treaty was essentially in place a year before it actually happened. As Herrmann suggested was likely to be the case, Weeghman did buy the Cubs and Ward did not buy the Dodgers.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 20, 2014 at 09:15 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-4-2014

Milwaukee Journal, June 4, 1914:

Armando Marsans of the Cincinnati Reds was suspended last night on a charge of causing dissension among the team. This action by Manager Herzog followed receipt of letters from the Cuban outfielder and Dave Davenport, a young pitcher, that they would quit the club unless given new contracts.
...
Herzog immediately ordered both players to get out of their uniforms and off the diamond. Davenport was later excused in the belief that he was led into the matter by Marsans.

Regardless of who the ringleader was, Davenport was in the Federal League by the middle of June 1914. He had an absolutely absurd workload in the 1915 Federal League: 55 games, 46 starts, 30 complete games, 10 shutouts, 392.2 innings pitched, and 1497 batters faced while putting up a 145 ERA+. Davenport was never the same again, but to be fair, he had never been the same before.

This was the second time in two months that Herzog and Marsans got into it. This time Marsans jumped to the Federal League, playing nine games before an injunction forced him onto the sidelines pending the outcome of the Reds’ court case against him for jumping his contract. More than a year later, Marsans was permitted to rejoin the St. Louis Terriers, but the time away from baseball had apparently eroded his skills and ruined his career.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-27-2014

Calumet (Michigan) News, May 27, 1914:

Walter Johnson, star pitcher of the American league, talked for an hour on Sunday with Joe Tinker, manager of the Chicago Feds. Although nothing definite was done, the great pitcher departed in a receptive mood. No offer was made because Johnson declared he was not open for an offer at the present time.

“I wouldn’t sign a contract now with any ball club, not even with Washington, but I’ll say that the Federal league looks as good to me as any other league, and later on I’ll be ready to talk business for next year.”
...
“I don’t know where Walter will pitch next year,” said Tinker, “but I’ll be he’ll get a lot of money. If he is not with the Federal league it will be because some club in organized ball will pay a record salary.”

Johnson got a 25% raise to stay with Washington for the 1915 season, but it wasn’t a record salary. Johnson earned $12,500 in 1915, but Ty Cobb took home a cool $20,000.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 27, 2014 at 08:09 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history, walter johnson

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The short shelf life of the Tip-Tops, the Brooklyn baseball team named for bread

For a brief shining moment between 1914 and 1915, Brooklyn had two major league baseball teams—the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers and the not-so-legendary Brooklyn Tip-Tops.

Within the New York area, one franchise was awarded to Brooklyn, owned by a baker named Robert Ward…  The baker, with his brother George S. Ward, sunk more than $250,000 into the new concrete-and-steel ballpark, situated so near the Gowanus that fans got a good whiff of its toxic odors on summer days.

An owner paying for his ballpark?  Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 24, 2014 at 12:36 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brooklyn, federal league, history

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-7-2014

Williams [Arizona] News, May 7, 1914:

[Federal League] President Gilmore declares he will claim the world’s baseball championship for the Federals if the winners of the American and National leagues refuse to meet his pennant winner.

Well, good luck with that.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:14 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-24-2014

The lesser-known subplot of Wrigley Field’s first game, in the Toledo News-Bee, April 24, 1914:

Court Officers Yank Pitcher Johnson, Late of Reds, From Chicago Federal League Game

Chief Johnson, Indian twirler who jumped from the Cincinnati Reds to the Kansas City Federals, expressed confidence on Friday that the court order restraining him from playing with the Packers will be dismissed…
...
Papers were served on Johnson after he had pitched two innings at the Chifed opener. At the same time President Madison of the Kansas City club was enjoined from tampering with Cincinnati players now at the Cub park.

Not really terribly well done by the KC Feds, allowing someone to get close enough to Johnson during a game to serve him a court order.

Anyway, Johnson was in legal limbo for months and didn’t play again until July 25, when he threw a complete game for the Packers. When the Federal League died after the 1915 season, so did the Chief’s major league career.

Shouldn’t really be much of a surprise that a decent but unspectacular pitcher who fought organized baseball in court didn’t have much of a career afterwards.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 24, 2014 at 09:47 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: chief johnson, dugout, federal league, history

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-23-2014

[Keokuk, Iowa] Daily Gate City, April 23, 1914:

Chilly atmosphere that threatened to cut the bleacher attendance, was dished up today for the opening of the new Chicago Federal park, when the Kansas City Packers meet [sic] the Chifeds. Despite interference by the weather man, Owner Weeghman predicted a crowd of 20,000, the reserve seat section having been sold out three weeks ago. Corporation Counsel Sexton was to hurl the first ball.

Weeghman Park firsts:
First batter: Chet Chadbourne
First pitch in an actual game: Claude Hendrix
First home run: Art Wilson, solo shot off of Ben Harris
First world championship:

(I’m an Indians fan. I kid because I acutely feel your pain, Cubs fans.)

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 23, 2014 at 08:02 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, federal league, history, wrigley field

 

 

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