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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-6-2018

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, November 6, 1918:

Charlie Swain, baseball player, died [November 4] of influenza. Until Ping Bodie came along, Swain’s record of 34 home runs was the season’s record. He played with the Washington Americans and with Sacramento and Vancouver on the coast.

Cy Swain was a better hitter than a lot of guys who made it to the big leagues, and he was playing in a Class B league with tiny ballparks, but 34 home runs during the deadball era is remarkable regardless of context.

Swain was an interesting dude. He was discovered by accident when he tagged along to his big brother Ira’s Cal State League tryout and impressed the manager. They signed Cy and sent Ira home, which probably wasn’t fun for big bro. Cy was a bit of a handful off the field - he fought with weight issues throughout his career and was notoriously fond of the bottle. According to the Spokane Press, when the Spokane ballclub sent him a contract with a temperance clause, he wired back that they should send two temperance clauses because he may break one of them.

Ira Swain contracted the Spanish Flu and died on October 21, 1918. Cy passed away of the same illness exactly two weeks later.

(Hat tip to Baseball History Daily for the biographical info.)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 09:53 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5782788)
Today's Birthday Team has one heck of an ace starter. Thankfully, as the manager, he won't have to deal with some goofball trying to "fix" his unusual sidearm delivery.

C: Chris Arnold (-0.8 WAR)
1B: Adam LaRoche (14.2 WAR)
2B: Deivi Cruz (7.4 WAR)
3B: Dave Altizer (7.7 WAR)
SS: Buddy Kerr (11.6 WAR)
LF: Chad Curtis (14.0 WAR)
CF: Mack Jones (20.7 WAR)
RF: Danny Green (21.5 WAR)

SP/Manager: Walter Johnson (165.2 WAR)
SP: John Candelaria (42.1 WAR)
SP: James Paxton (10.9 WAR)
SP: Ricky Romero (9.9 WAR)
SP: Dana Fillingim (6.7 WAR)
RP: Justin Speier (7.6 WAR)

Fun name: Skip Pitlock, Atahualpa Severino, Ever Magallanes, Matt Skrmetta
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5782795)
My baseball page-a-day calendar had a fun little trivia question over the weekend: Name five players eligible for an "All-Clothing Team" and giving as possible answers Orval Overall, Matt Shoemaker, Socks Seibold, Boots Day, and Jason Coats.

I also thought of Brandon Belt, Cap Anson, and Pants Rowland. If you get a little looser with the eligibility, add in Mike Jeffcoat, Louis Sockalexis, and Paul Shuey.

Anybody else?
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5782802)
Anybody else?

"High pockets" Kelly. Bill Short.

   4. Nasty Nate Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5782804)
I guess Jeff Blauser or Dickie Thon don't quite count.

Scott Hatteberg?
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5782808)
Gavvy Cravat.
   6. BDC Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5782818)
Apparently the Tinker-Evers-Chance Cubs had a pitcher for a while named Buttons Briggs.

John Cuff played for the 1884 Baltimore Monumentals.

There were a couple of minor leaguers named Mackintosh.

   7. puck Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5782819)
Charlie Spikes?
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5782825)
Duster Mails.
   9. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5782847)
6 players had the middle name Wellington. Wellington Hunt Quinn threw 5 innings for the Cubs in 1941, but it seems he was known as "Wimpy."
   10. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5782849)
Harry the Hat Walker.
I guess Specs Toporcer doesn't count? It's more of an accessory.
Bill Short? Likely needs to be pluralized to count. Can't have one short and more than just one chino. Same for Bunny Brief.

(Cheating now: Grant Bowler)

   11. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5782854)
6 players had the middle name Wellington.


Welington Castillo is close, but he gave one of his l's to his successor as Cubs catcher, Willson Contreras.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5782855)
Thankfully, as the manager, he won't have to deal with some goofball trying to "fix" his unusual sidearm delivery.
Yeah, but the Drake LaRoche situation is going to be a pain in his ass.
   13. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5782862)
Jim Coates can make a repeat appearance from yesterday's Dugout.
   14. Sweatpants Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5782869)
If going to foreign languages is legal, Cecilio Guante.
   15. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5782878)
Tie Cobb
   16. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 06, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5782950)
6 players had the middle name Wellington. Wellington Hunt Quinn threw 5 innings for the Cubs in 1941, but it seems he was known as "Wimpy."



Nicknamed after J. Wellington Wimpy, a character from the comic strip Popeye. The Vickers Wellington, one of the most widely-built bombers of WW2, was also nicknamed the "Wimpy" after the character, which is a bit ironic because the Wellington was immensely strong aircraft that could survive serious battle damage.
   17. The Mighty Quintana Posted: November 06, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5782974)
Shoeless Joe? (in an ironic twist)
Lee Lacy (underalls)
   18. The Run Fairy Posted: November 06, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5782989)
This is an opportunity to remind everyone that Lou Gehrig was nicknamed "Biscuit Pants".

I've never heard of him before, but according to bb-ref, deadball Phillies OF John Titus was nicknamed "Tight Pants". If that's true, he'd be worth playing (127 OPS+, 30 career WAR), but his SABR bio says his nickname was actually "tight ass", because... actually, the whole part is worth quoting, deadball baseball has some fantastic anecdotes:

[He was nicknamed "Silent John"] Kid Gleason once said that "he doesn't even make any noise when he spits." Titus was also known as "Tight Ass"--a play on his last name and a fair description of his spending habits: Titus saved all his paychecks until the end of the season, and then cashed them all at once. It is believed that he was never thrown out of a single game in his entire career. New York Giants catcher Roger Bresnahan once tried to rattle him by snatching the toothpick out of his mouth and grinding it into the dirt behind home plate. Titus flushed with anger and spewed a loud string of obscenities. The display was so out of character for the taciturn Phillie that Bresnahan actually apologized.

Eventually National League pitchers detected a pattern with Titus and his ever-present toothpick. He kept the sliver of wood in the corner of his mouth until he got the green light to swing at a pitch, then he'd shift it to the center of his mouth. After one alert pitcher noticed the subtle giveaway, word got around the league. Titus refused to abandon the toothpick, so he was forced to adjust his mannerisms.
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 06, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5782991)
Socks Seybold.
   20. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5782998)
Eventually National League pitchers detected a pattern with Titus and his ever-present toothpick. He kept the sliver of wood in the corner of his mouth until he got the green light to swing at a pitch, then he'd shift it to the center of his mouth.


Was this a thing? Did lots of good hitters get "take" signs for no good reason throughout the game?
   21. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: November 07, 2018 at 05:35 PM (#5783960)
34 home runs during the deadball era is remarkable regardless of context.

Swain actually hit 39 that year, including five with Scramento of the PCL, in 609 AB.

Swain's Victoria Bees hit (at least) 96 HR, a huge number for 1913. That ballpark must've been the size of a postage stamp...

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