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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Johnny Evers Newsbeat

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-19-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 19, 1914:

The Boston National League Baseball Co. will take no chances on not getting the full value of Johnny Evers’ services and will take out an insurance policy, life and accident combined, on him in favor of the club for the princely sum of $100,000.
The club plans to insure Evers’ life with ordinary life insurance, with itself as beneficiary, so that if Johnny should die by illness if will not suffer.

The premium was probably higher than it otherwise would have been as a result of all those fudge orgies and nicotine sprees.

Also, this seems really creepy and weird.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-14-2014

Pittsburgh Press, February 14, 1914:

It is interesting to note what the paper owned by C.P. Taft, who is interested in Murphy in the Chicago Cubs, says about the discharge of [Johnny] Evers.
“There is a tangled network of circumstances around it all, and lots of the webbing can never be unwound. One thing that may have swayed Mr. Murphy was the certainty that Jimmy Johnston, the wonderful speeder just signed by the Cubs, could never have succeeded under the management of Evers…Johnston, one of the most promising ball players in the land, has a disposition that, under pleasant leading and jollying, will make him pretty near a Cobb—under snarling and growling, will make him hopeless…”
Speaking of alibis, the above is our idea of less than nothing.

Johnston got 101 AB for the 1914 Cubs, hit .228/.264/.327 (76 OPS+) as a bench outfielder/second baseman, then found himself in the PCL in 1915. He spent 1916-1925 with the Dodgers as an adequate, unremarkable 3B/OF. As far as I know, no other managers were fired in the making of this ballplayer.

Taft, meanwhile, became the principal owner of the Cubs later in February 1914 after he bought out Murphy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-12-2014

Pittsburgh Press, February 12, 1914:

...organized baseball was far from out of the woods today as a result of the muss kicked up by [Cubs owner] Charles Webb Murphy in firing Johnny Evers of the Chicago Cubs.
[National League] President Tener showed his size yesterday in thoroughly “spanking” Murphy, but the damage had been done, and reports today were that the American league was prepared to bring all possible pressure to bear on Tener to see that Murphy is eliminated.
How Murphy could be forced to step down as owner of the Cubs is not apparent now, but reports from the American league meeting declared the magnates there favored urging the elimination of Murphy on Gov. Tener.
[The American League owners believe] that the Evers episode here has given the Federals another big boost, and that it is now up to the National league to show a clean hand.

Murphy’s response:

“They’ve got a fat chance of putting me out of organized baseball…I own the Chicago club and will do what I please with it.”
Asked what he will do if a real attempt is made to get him out, Murphy said: “That’s easy. I’d put it in the hands of my lawyer. They can’t confiscate private property, you know.

*Marge Schott throws chair*

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-11-2014

Pittsburgh Press, February 11, 1914:

The retirement of Johnny Evers as manager of the Chicago Cubs jarred every magnate attending the war conference and annual meetings [in New York] today. Evers insists he was fired, and declares he will not play with the Cubs. [Cubs owner Charles] Murphy told the magnates his manager had resigned, and at his request Hank O’Day was relieved of his duty as an umpire and was then announced as Evers’ successor.


James E. Gaffney, owner of the Boston Braves, confirmed the report that he had offered $25,000 cash to Murphy, of Chicago, for Johnny Evers. “I’ve instructed Manager Stallings to offer anything up to $25,000 for Evers,” said Gaffney today. “If he gets him, it will be money well spent.”

Uh, Charlie, you know Spring Training starts in a couple weeks, right? Maybe not the best time to fire your manager and run your future Hall of Fame second baseman out of town on a rail.

Evers went to Boston for Bill Sweeney and cash, won the World Series and the MVP award in his first season in Beantown, and the Cubs continued to be the Cubs.



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