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Tris Speaker Newsbeat

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-13-2016

Grand Forks Daily Herald, April 13, 1916:

Cleveland lost its opening game to St. Louis [yesterday], 6 to 1, chiefly because they could not hit Groom, ex-Federal league pitcher.
Tris Speaker played his first game as a Cleveland player. He fielded spectacularly and walked three times, being passed purposely twice. The crowd was the largest that ever witnessed an opening game in Cleveland.

Something tells me Cleveland fans are going to like Tris Speaker. I think he’s going to have a big year.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 13, 2016 at 09:38 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians, tris speaker

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-7-2016

Toledo News-Bee, April 7, 1916:

There is a story [in New York] to the effect that the most important baseball deal of the season will be completed [there] on Friday or Saturday. By the deal the world’s champion Red Sox will lose their big sticker, Tris Speaker, who will go to Bill Donovan’s Yankees.
As part of the deal for Speaker, Fritz Maisel, the little third sacker, will be sent to the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Press reports that Red Sox president Joe Lannin denies the Speaker to New York rumors. That much was true; Speaker wasn’t headed to New York.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 07, 2016 at 09:41 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, trade rumors, tris speaker

Friday, February 26, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-26-2016

Pittsburgh Press, February 26, 1916:

Baseball fans the country over are waiting anxiously for news that Tris Speaker, the star of the Boston Redsox outfield, has signed a contract for the coming season. The great Tris is such an important part of the world’s championship outfit that much of the success of the team depends on the way he plays.
Since [Speaker signed his last contract in 1913] there has been a lot of talk about cutting salaries and it is likely that the star of the center garden for the champions will be asked to accept a reduced figure for his yearly stipend in his next contract, because he was getting a much larger figure than the ordinary run of players.

I’ve got no experience running a business and I’d probably be an unmitigated disaster running a baseball club, but it seems obvious to me that it’s an awful idea to attempt to force your best, most productive, most talented employee to take a 50% pay cut.

That’s what Sox president Joe Lannin did, and unsurprisingly it permanently burned a bridge. Speaker refused to sign, Boston traded him to Cleveland, and Tris went out and did Tris things for the Tribe in 1916: .386/.470/.502, 186 OPS+, 211 hits, 41 doubles, 35 stolen bases. In fairness to Sox management, they found a pretty good new best player and won the World Series without Speaker in 1916 and 1918.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 26, 2016 at 09:40 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, tris speaker

Monday, February 22, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-22-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, February 22, 1916:

While it was denied at one time that waivers had been asked on Joe Wood, the American League’s premier hurler, well-founded information to the effect that waivers had been asked [by the Red Sox] on Wood, Thomas, Collins has been received.

According to the story, waivers were also asked on another player who at one time performed marvelously in a world’s series. This player is an outfielder, and it is expected that he, too, will find another abiding place.

That mystery player is probably Tris Speaker, who was extremely unhappy with Boston’s offer of a 50% pay cut for 1916. He was traded to Cleveland just before Opening Day 1916.

As for Joe Wood, he also refused a pay cut and sat out the entire 1916 season. Wood joined Speaker in Cleveland in 1917, but it was clear pretty quickly that his pitching arm was permanently gone. Tribe manager Lee Fohl tried Wood as a right fielder in 1918 and it worked amazingly well. After making the move to the outfield, Wood was a career .298 hitter with an OPS+ north of 115. He retired at age 32 while still a good everyday outfielder, citing family obligations.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 22, 2016 at 09:14 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, smoky joe wood, tris speaker

Monday, January 04, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-4-2016

Ogden Standard, January 4, 1916:

Star ball players have been trembling in their shoes since the peace pact between the National and American leagues and the Federals has been ratified lest their high salaries would be lopped off.
Tris Speaker will be the first to have his salary cut down. The salary of fifteen thousand simoleons, which went to him in pay checks in exchange for helping Mr. Lannin win pennants and world championships…is a thing of the past, according to the report circulated [in Boston].
But despite the fact that his salary is to be reduced, Speaker will undoubtedly be seen cavorting around in center field…Indeed, it is pointed out, where could he go now that there no longer is a Federal league to offer fabulous salaries to underpaid and overworked ball players.

Man, that’s bogus. Anyway, trying to cut Spoke’s salary in half backfired on the Sox. Unsurprisingly, Tris refused to take that kind of pay cut, so Boston traded him to Cleveland for pitching prospect Sad Sam Jones, a replacement-level third baseman, and a huge pile of money.

Speaker led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging with the 1916 Indians. Four years later, he managed Cleveland to a World Series championship.



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