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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-6-2012

Washington Times, December 6, 1912:

Orville Woodruff, once clever outfielder and utility player of the Cincinnati Reds, is looking around Cincinnati for a good place to open a first-class cafe. He realizes that he can’t play on forever and is looking for the “Easiest Way.”

Woodruff wasn’t a particularly good ballplayer, but he somehow stayed in the high minors through age 38. He appears to have ended up buying a saloon across the river in Covington.

Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 06, 2012 at 07:32 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, sam woodruff

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   1. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 06, 2012 at 07:35 AM (#4318402)
Break out the Bushmills, it's Larry Bowa's birthday. The human dynamic on the left side of the infield would be fascinating: One of the most notoriously short-fused players of my lifetime alongside Smiling Stan.

C: Gus Niarhos
1B: Tony Horton
2B: Tony Lazzeri
3B: Stan Hack
SS/Manager: Larry Bowa
LF: Gary Ward
CF: Lance Blankenship
RF: Larry Sheets

SP: Kevin Appier
SP: Jose Contreras
SP: Steve Bedrosian
SP: Mike Parrott
SP: Kevin Campbell
RP: Jason Bulger

Umpire: Jocko Conlan
Tragically Short Career: Jay Dahl
Fun Names: Tun Berger, Turkey Tyson
   2. Daft Wullie Posted: December 06, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4318411)
Dan, as a fellow Indians fan, I was surprised that you didn't have Tony Horton as the tragically short career.

I love looking over the birthday teams every morning, thanks for posting them.
   3. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4318420)
Yeah, I went into that a bit last year, though I'm probably not giving Horton his due as a sad story.

As a fan and a baseball history buff, the "what if" story of Horton is depressing and bothersome. As a human being, I hope his post-baseball life has made him a happier person than baseball did.

And thanks! I enjoy compiling them and hope people enjoy seeing them.
   4. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4318422)
By the way, is Dahl the only MLBer to die while still a teenager? Seems like he'd almost have to be.
   5. Daft Wullie Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4318428)
1890 Cleveland Spiders third baseman Will Smalley died a few months after his 20th birthday in 1891. His bio in the BR Bullpen says he was the 2nd youngest major leaguer to die.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4318431)
Speaking of corpses, the Phillies are apparently in "advanced talks" to acquire Michael Young. I guess he's a third baseman, and he has one year left on his contract, so if the Rangers pay 90% of his salary that would be all right. Of course that's not going to happen.

Maybe last year he had the flu all year, or some sort of curse that had been passed to him by Derek Jeter and has now been passed to somebody else, and he's better now or something.
   7. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4318436)
That would be a good get for the Phillies. They're a young team and could use a veteran presence.
   8. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4318437)
I wonder what the chances are of the Jays getting Halladay back? He must be pissed at the direction the team's taken.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4318445)
Jim Creighton, the big star of the Brooklyn Excelsiors in the early 1860s, died at the age of 21.

Incidentally, bb-ref lists his throwing arm as "unknown," but his Wikipedia page shows two photos of him with the ball in his right hand. Given the rarity of lefties in those days, it would have been noteworthy if Creighton had been left-handed.
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4318483)
I wonder what the chances are of the Jays getting Halladay back? He must be pissed at the direction the team's taken.

I don't know, they're pretty much the same team they were when he joined. Minus Ibanez, Victorino, and Werth. Plus Cliff Lee.

Last year they weren't contenders because of extended DL stints of various players including one Roy Halladay. Lee, Hamels, Papelbon were all really good. This wasn't the 2004 Mariners. Then everyone came back, and in August/September/October they were 35-24 even without Pence and Victorino, and they finished with a .500 record.

From his point of view I'd think he wants to take one more crack at it hoping for better luck with injuries. And Halladay himself had the worst ERA on the team of anyone with more than 33 innings, so he needs to prove he's back.

   11. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 06, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4319144)
He appears to have ended up buying a saloon across the river in Covington.

Interestingly, Covington actually had a pro baseball team then -- briefly. Per wiki:

Covington Blue Sox

In 1912, city leaders attempted to acquire a baseball franchise in the Class D Blue Grass League; the Cincinnati Reds, whose park was just five miles away across the Ohio River, nixed the move. Instead (after several larger cities backed out), Covington was awarded a team in the new "outlaw" circuit, the Federal League.

The city raised $12,500, with $6,000 budgeted to build the ballpark. Bernard Wisehall, a prominent local architect, designed Federal Park (also known as Riverbreeze Park) with a capacity to 6,000. The playing field (bounded by East 2nd Street, East 3rd Street, Madison Avenue and Scott Boulevard) was tiny, believed to be smallest for any pro baseball park ever built: just 194 feet down the right-field line, 267 feet to dead center and 218 feet down the left-field line. Construction didn't even begin until a month before Opening Day; after starting the season on a long road trip, the Blue Sox managed to sell out their home opener in late May, with thousands of fans turned away.

But Covington simply didn't have the populace to support such an ambitious endeavor. On June 26, the team moved to Kansas City and ownership of the team reverted to creditors. Federal Park was used for other events the next few years, but it was eventually torn down and a tobacco warehouse was put up in its place; Covington has never hosted a professional team in any sport since.


Now, that's fine writin'!
   12. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 06, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4319146)
By the way, is Dahl the only MLBer to die while still a teenager? Seems like he'd almost have to be.

1890 Cleveland Spiders third baseman Will Smalley died a few months after his 20th birthday in 1891. His bio in the BR Bullpen says he was the 2nd youngest major leaguer to die.


I actually wrote the Wiki article on Dahl and extensively updated Smalley's. Both fascinating (if sad) stories...

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