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Joe Birmingham Newsbeat

Friday, February 07, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-7-2014

Washington Herald, February 7, 1914:

Manager Joe Birmingham, Pitcher Steen, and Trainer Hitt, of the Cleveland team, [yesterday] saved the live [sic] of a woman…when her husband attempted to kill her. The three ball players board with Mrs. Leonard Keiffer near the ball park. Mrs. Keiffer is separated from her husband. The little family were at dinner. It was a merry party. Joe was telling how good the Naps were when in rushed Keiffer, a 200-pound giant, pistol in hand. Mrs. Keiffer promptly fainted, and the little Keiffers shrieked.

“So this is the man you love,” shouted Keiffer, pointing at Hitt. The big trainer immediately realized he was to be the hero of the drama. He closed with Keiffer, wrestling the pistol from the intruder and knocking him down.
...
“You tend to the lady, Joe,” said Hitt, “and, Steen, you phone for the cops; I’ll hold this guy,” and he did until nine policemen arrived.

Yeesh. Could have gotten out of hand in a hurry.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-2-2014

Former Indians outfielder Buddy Ryan discusses his ex-manager in the Toledo News-Bee, January 2, 1914:

Joe Birmingham is such a joke as a manager that I would be willing to bet that he doesn’t last out next season. What he knows about baseball could be written on a postage stamp.
...
Birmingham is the poorest excuse for a manager in the American league. The stuff he pulled last year would have sent a blush of shame over the face of any Class C manager. He was so much of a farce that the ball players finally threw up their hands in disgust and got along the best they could without listening to him.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ryan never played another game in the majors, despite being a reasonably fast center fielder in his 20s with a career batting average north of .280. He went to the PCL and consistently hit .300 with doubles power for the better part of a decade.

Birmingham led the Naps to a 35.5 game decline in 1914 before mercifully being relieved of his job early in the 1915 season.


 

 

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