Negro Leagues Newsbeat
Tuesday, April 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”.
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Voting for Top 4 players by franchise, from Negro Leagues, Pioneers and all Living Players.
Monday, April 06, 2015
Charleston also annoyed Londos by shouting “WHAT?” whenever he tried to talk.
His players called him Charlie, and when it was his turn to drive the team’s red, white, and blue bus, it was like having Ty Cobb at the wheel. Of course the players never said so, because sportswriters and white folks were always calling him the black Ty Cobb and Charlie hated it…
John McGraw [proclaimed]: “If Oscar Charleston isn’t the greatest baseball player in the world, then I’m no judge of baseball talent.”
Decades later Bill James could hear the echo of McGraw’s endorsement as he set to work on his engaging, argumentative Historical Baseball Abstract. Swept up in the list-making orgy that defines contemporary culture, James wanted to rate the top hundred players ever. If he generated controversy by including a player who was a mystery to “a lot of very knowledgeable baseball fans,” he says, so much the better.
Numbers had to be crunched—James without statistics would be like Hendrix without his guitar—and other people’s lists had to be studied. But when it came to Negro leaguers, everything changed, because there weren’t always game stories and box scores to substantiate the players’ greatness… So the list became for James a matter of the heart and the gut. “You wind up making a lot of assumptions,” he says. But at every turn, he found more praise for Charleston from men who had seen him play, men who knew his greatness to be the cold, hard truth… Thus did James anoint Charleston the fourth greatest player ever. Only the Babe, Honus Wagner, and Willie Mays are ahead of him, in that order. And—how Charlie would have loved this—Cobb is one place behind him… James expected at least one roaring good argument about Charleston’s presence in such august company. Instead, all he got was this: “stunned silence.”...
Charleston used his fists on everybody who crossed him regardless of pigmentation, on the field or off, as if breaking a nose or knocking out teeth gave him not just satisfaction but also sustenance. The smart ones backed down, the way professional wrestler Jim Londos, the Stone Cold Steve Austin of his day, did when Charleston threatened to throw him off a train for making too much noise. But at least one Ku Klux Klansman failed to get the message about discretion being the better part of valor, and, according to Cool Papa Bell, Charleston yanked the hood off his head and made him run like a scalded dog.
Laughing all the way, Charleston teed off on opponents, teammates, umpires, even the owner of the Hilldale Daisies… Here was a proud man confronted daily by the fact that the world beyond the Negro leagues would never know just how great he was. He would never face Ty Cobb on the diamond, never find out once and for all if Cobb shouldn’t have been called the white Oscar Charleston.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Saturday, December 10, 2011
According to Spencer Fordin of MLB.com, Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that Harrison Ford will play Hall of Fame Dodgers’ executive Branch Rickey in a biopic about Jackie Robinson.
Many prominent actors have been mentioned for the role of Rickey over the years, including Robert Redford this past April, but Ford was apparently their top choice. His work in “Cowboys and Aliens” probably put him over the top.
As for Robinson, he’ll be played by the relatively unknown Chadwick Boseman. The 27-year-old has appeared in television shows such as “Lincoln Heights” and NBC’s “Persons Unknown.”
The film, which is appropriated titled “42,” is being written and directed by Brian Helgeland of “L.A. Confidential” and “Mystic River” renown.
Shia LaBeouf will play Branch Rickey’s son who takes over the movie for no reason.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
In Media Res is a weekly online publication about different roles media play in culture; they take up a different theme each week—this week is Mediating Baseball!
Mediating Baseball [October 24-28, 2011]
Monday October 24, 2011 – Elizabeth Rawitsch (University of East Anglia) presents: Melting Pot or Multiculturalism? Mediating Ethnicity in Baseball
Tuesday October 25, 2011 – Pellom McDaniels III (University of Missouri-Kansas City) presents: “I is Unruffable”: Rereading African American Sports Performances as Unique Expressions of Dissent
Wednesday October 26, 2011 – Annie Dell’Aria (City University of New York) presents: Tagging Fans, Tweeting Beards: Major League Baseball, social media, and the body
Thursday October 27, 2011 – Nicholas David Bowman (West Virginia University) presents: Major League Brouhaha: Boosting ratings with bad blood?
Friday October 28, 2011 – Jeremy Groskopf (Georgia State University) presents: “I Found Kong”: Naturalizing the National in Baseball Fiction
Posted: October 26, 2011 at 12:59 PM | 1 comment(s)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Bill Veeck was known for telling some wonderful tales and so I decided to see if one of his tales was actually true.
Joe Dimaggio had trouble hitting Satchel Paige, partly-I suppose-because Satch made him wait. Satch once committed the ultimate insult of walking a man deliberately to get at Joe, and then getting Joe to pop out. It was DiMaggio’s temperament to be a solid professional, to show no emotion, but you knew that Joe burned inwardly at the gratuitous slap and was hurting to get back at Satch. And so Satch would fiddle around on the mound until he saw he had Joe anxious, then he’d give him the three loop-de-loop windups and have Joe ready to catch the ball in his teeth and spit it out by the time it got the plate. Page 238 Hustler’s Handbook Ivan R. Dee edition
So did Paige ever IBB walk a player to get to Joe and how did Joe do against Paige?
Paige shows up in the major leagues in 1948 and plays for Veeck’s Indians until 1949. He then shows up with Veeck’s Browns in 1951 which is also Joe’s last season. So we have three seasons in which Paige was in the AL and Dimaggio was playing.
In 1948 Paige faces the Yankees 5 times for a total of 7.2 innings. Fortunately we have PBP for all 5 of those games. So did it happen in 1948? Nope. Paige faced Dimaggio twice and got him to fly out and strike out (though Joe did reach base on that strikeout) . The strikeout was to lead off the inning and the flyout did not happen after a walk. In fact he didn’t walk anybody in that game and he only walked one Yankee and that was in a game in which he didn’t face Dimaggio.
In 1949 Paige faced the Yankees 4 times for a total of 9 and a third innings. That year, according to Retrosheet, Paige had no IBB against the Yankees but he did have 3 walks against them. So perhaps one of those was of the unintentional intentional variety. Well, in Satch’s only start against the Yankees Dimaggio did not play and that was the game in which Paige gave up his 3 walks. So we definitely know it didn’t happen this year. Joe was 0-3 against Paige this year with a pop out, fly out, and a strike out. One of the outs had Joe as the leadoff hitter of the inning while the other two outs came after a double play and a flyout.
So all we have left is 1951 and in that year Paige faces the Yankees 3 times for a total of 14 and a third innings. Unfortunately Retrosheet has only PBP for two of the three games against the Yankees that year. Paige does give up 7 walks to the Yankees this year though none of them are recorded as IBB. Perhaps some of them were since it appears Retrosheet has none of his walks recorded as IBB for that year. In Paige’s first start he gives up 5 walks but Dimaggio did not play that day. In their final matchup of the season Dimaggio faces him once and hits into a fielder’s choice. So that just leaves us with the one game in which we only have the boxscore. In that game Paige pitches 4.1 innings and gives up one walk. Unfortunately the other two Browns’ pitchers give up 4 walks so there are a ton of walks to go around. Woodling batted in front of Dimaggio and he did draw a walk. I believe Paige faced him Joe 2 times in that game. So we’ll have to go to the newspapers to find out and the newspapers reveai that Woodling was walked by Pillette in the 4th and not by Paige. Paige walked Joe Collins who subbed for Johnny Mize in the 6th spot while Joe Dimaggio was in the 4th spot. Dimaggio goes 0-2 against Paige in that game and might have struck him out once or twice.
So Joe never faced Paige during the regular season after somebody else had been walked, intentionally or otherwise. Perhaps it happened during spring training. The Yankees held their Spring Training in St. Pete’s during this era except for 1951 when they played in Phoenix. The Indians after WWII moved out to Arizona so it is unlikely that Paige and Dimaggio faced each other when Paige was an Indian. The Browns it appears held their spring training in Burbank, CA in 1951. So it doesn’t appear that his could have happened during spring training.
I’m not sure if they still had exhibition games in the late 40’s and early 50’s or if Veeck heard about some barnstorming game from the 30’s but it appears this part of the story is false.
But on the other hand Dimaggio was 0-8 against Paige so Bill Veeck was very much correct in saying Joe wasn’t very good against Paige.
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