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Walter Johnson Newsbeat

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-24-2014

Milwaukee Journal, December 24, 1914:

With the money obtained from the sale of a herd of steers, Walter Johnson, star pitcher of the Washington American league club, yesterday mailed a draft reimbursing Charles Weeghman, president of the Chicago Federals, for the bonus given Johnson when he signed a Federal contract. The draft was for $6,000.
...
“As far as I’m concerned the incident, which has proven an unpleasant one to me , at least, is now closed,” Johnson said. “There is nothing more I can do. I shall report to the Washington club when the spring training season opens.

Charles Weeghman, president of the Chicago Federals, will refuse to accept the $6,000 returned by Walter Johnson, according to James A. Gilmore, president of the Federal league. Gilmore said he had not hear a word from Johnson in answer to his invitation to come here and submit his contracts to a trio of Chicago lawyers.

Don’t hold your breath, Jim. I don’t think he’s coming.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-22-2014

Omaha Daily Bee, December 22, 1914:

Charles Weeghman, president of the Chicago Federals, [yesterday] announced that he had submitted to his counsel the case of Walter Johnson, star pitcher, who Saturday signed up with his old team, the Washington Americans, after having recently accepted a contract with the Chicago Federals.

“Walter Johnson will play with the Chicago Federals next year or not at all,” said Weeghman. “I have laid the case before counsel, and we will fight it to the United States supreme court before we will give up.

“The highest legal talent in the country has declared that our contract with Johnson is binding, and we will certainly enforce it to the limit of our ability.”

Weeghman was wrong. The Big Train went back to D.C. in 1915 and did what he did all the time: Led the American League in wins, games started, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, strikeouts, batters faced, ERA+, FIP, WHIP, K/BB ratio, and fewest walks per nine innings.

He was pretty good.


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-4-2014

Chicago Tribune, December 4, 1914:

CHICAGO FEDS SIGN WALTER JOHNSON FOR TWO YEARS

JOHNSON SIGNS WITH “FEDS”; TO PLAY WITH TINX

Manager Joe Tinker of the Chifeds landed the biggest fish yet drawn out of organized baseball in a Federal league net when he signed Walter Johnson, former leading pitcher of the American league, to a two year contract yesterday at the home of the tall blonde pitcher in Coffeyville, Kan.

Announcement of the successful completion of the deal was made by President Weeghman of the Tinx after a couple of long distance telephone talks with the manager. Coupled with the news which set north side fandom buzzing with excitement was the announcement that Johnson was signed to pitch for the Tinx and not for any other team in the league. The terms of the contract were withheld.

Washington owner Clark Griffith personally traveled to Coffeyville and made a successful counteroffer in order to keep the Big Train in DC.

Also, the “Tinx”! I really like that.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-28-2014

Harrisburg Telegraph, October 28, 1914:

Fielder Jones, manager of the St. Louis Federal League club, has been given a big bank roll and told to “go after Walter Johnson,” star of the Washington American League club.

At the headquarters of the local Feds it was said to-day that if Jones can land the speed wonder, Catcher Ainsmith and Clyde Milan will also follow.

Johnson is wintering at his home in Coffeyville, Kan., and Fielder Jones will make every effort to land him. He left here with a wad of coin and a check book.

...and Jones returned with slightly less money, a checkbook, and no Walter Johnson. The Big Train was having none of it.

As an aside, I love that Fielder Jones’s given name was Fielder. An apt name for a guy who played 1255 big league games in center field and led the league in both range factor and fielding percentage.


 

 

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