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Friday, January 17, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-17-2014

New York Tribune, January 17, 1914:

Harry Harper, the young southpaw pitcher of Hackensack, who joined the Washington club of the American League late last summer, received his contract for the coming season yesterday, but returned it—not because of an offer from the Federals, but because Griffiths [sic] forgot to insert the clause excluding Harper from Sunday games.

This young player, before he signed his contract last summer with the Senators, promised his mother he would not play on Sundays, and Griffith agreed to it. The manager, no doubt, overlooked his promise. The contract is expected back in a few days.

And, at least in the seasons for which we have game logs, he never once appeared in an MLB game on a Sunday.

Harper was a darn good pitcher: finished in the top ten for pitcher WAR twice, made the ERA leaderboard twice, and appeared four times on the K/9 leaderboard. Not bad for a guy who skronked his pitching arm right around his 26th birthday.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 05:39 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, harry harper, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 05:43 AM (#4640827)
Today's Birthday Team.

To quote villageidiom from the January 17, 2012 dugout, "The double-play combo is Don Zimmer and Denny Doyle. No, nothing could ever go wrong with that."

Also, Rob Bell as your number two starter. Good luck with that.

C: Darrell Porter
1B: Brad Fullmer
2B: Denny Doyle
3B: Tyler Houston
SS/Manager: Don Zimmer
LF: Chili Davis
CF: Harry Bay
RF: Hank Leiber

SP: Lum Harris
SP: Rob Bell
SP: Jocko Thompson
SP: Mark Littell
SP: Blake Beavan
RP: Jeff Tabaka

Fun name/Son of game show host Peter Marshall: Pete LaCock
Minor league knuckleballer: Eri Yoshida
Perennial Top Prospect/Horrible Rapper/Professional Eccentric: Trevor Bauer
   2. BDC Posted: January 17, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4640875)
Denny Doyle is less well-known now than his World-Series-God brother Brian. But when I was an 11-year-old Phillies fan, he and Larry Bowa were every scrawny kid's vicarious experience of the major leagues. He was not a good major-league player. He broke in late after playing a ton of games in the minors – amazingly, B-Ref has him as playing 178 games in the minors in 1969, which includes the Florida Instructional League. (Maybe that was common then, but it looks weird on the stat line.)

In 1975, Doyle was named on at least one MVP ballot. He went to the Red Sox at midseason and had the best few weeks of his career as they won the pennant. He was sort of the Ur-Shannon-Stewart :)
   3. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4640886)
Little-known fact: Brian Doyle was once married to noted baseball fan Bill Murray, and that's how he transitioned into an actor named Brian Doyle-Murray.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4640916)
I thought Brian Doyle married Eddie Murray, and Brian-Doyle Murray was their son.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4640938)
It wouldn't have been that hard for Harry Harper to avoid playing ball on Sundays, since a lot of teams didn't schedule home games on Sunday at that point. The 1914 Senators only played 10 Sunday games all season.
   6. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4640984)
In one of his books Jay Johnstone credited the Doyles' father for saving his career in the mid 1970's by getting him to hit off a batting tee. Denny, Brian, and Brian's twin Blake apparently started a baseball school in 1978. They list some pretty good players as alumni.
   7. BDC Posted: January 17, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4640985)
So I got a new phone, much smarter than my old phone, and went looking for free apps, most of which aren't worth the download. But MLB At Bat, I must say, is lovely, well-organized, easy to use. I initially also got NFL Mobile, but (why does this surprise me) it is comparatively bloated, harder to use, and buries information a few levels deep. Now realize I'm talking here about getting instant sports news in your pocket: it's not like the NFL free app sucks, or anything. But I'm always impressed by how much better MLB is than other organizations at this stuff.
   8. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4640993)
In Brad Fullmer's roookie season of 1998, he had 34 doubles in his team's first 80 games--he was on pace to break that bastard Earl Webb's record of 67 (set in 1931).

Since 1998 was the first year I really followed baseball all that closely, that remains my indelible image of Brad Fullmer. Every time I would watch him play for the rest of his career, he'd always be "that doubles guy!"
   9. esseff Posted: January 17, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4640994)
Baseball related story from another calendar-y page to which I subscribe:

Jan. 17, 1915 -- White Sox player turned evangelist Billy Sunday condemned St. Louis. He said St. Louis was a “sinful, lustful, devil beridden city.” Sunday said, “Will it ever awake to its regeneration?” He added that there was “little hope that the lord will ever be able to save such a hell-hole as St. Louis." He was speaking in Philadelphia at the time.

If you consider that the "White Sox" for whom Sunday played are the team now known as the Cubs, it starts to make sense.
   10. Guapo Posted: January 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4641009)
Wikipedia's page "List of Most Common Surnames in North America" lists the most common surnames in the US as of the 2000 census (if there's more up-to-date data than that, I'm too stupid/lazy to find it)

Trivia: What is the highest ranked surname on that list, for which there was NOBODY with that surname playing in MLB in 2013?

   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4641014)
I know the most popular surname that has no MLB players in history with that name is "Nguyen." But I don't know if you limit it to just 2013.

   12. BDC Posted: January 17, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4641017)
NOBODY with that surname playing in MLB in 2013?

I'll guess Nguyen.

Dang, Coke to AG#1F.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4641018)
Brewers sign Mark Reynolds

Royals sign Brad Penny and Guillermo Mota to minor league deals
   14. Guapo Posted: January 17, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4641023)
List is available here:

Nguyen was 57th on the 2000 list- that seems low, but anyway, the answer is higher on the list than that.

Michaels doesn't appear to have made the top 100.

   15. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4641026)
Hall? Edwards?
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4641031)
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4641068)
   18. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4641071)
Frohwirth? Eichhorn? Quisenberry?
   19. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4641093)
James? Truby?

And Crudale?
   20. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4641103)
It's weird that Nick Swisher shows up in a search for the answer.
   21. Guapo Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4641105)
Hall, Edwards, James- No- the surname is higher on the list.

Mientkiewicz- No, but you do win today's spelling bee.

Patel- Was on the Ontario list of surnames, but not the US one.

Frohwirth, Eichhorn, Quisenberry- You have confused "submariners" with "surnames." It's possible your brain has a faulty Auto Correct function.

Truby, Crudale: You have confused "some memes" with "surnames." Your Auto Correct function is worse than the other guy's.


There is a Hall of Famer with this surname.
   22. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4641127)
I cheated and looked it up. I won't give it away, but the HOFer is kind of marginal, not a Ruth/Cobb/Walter Johnson inner-circle guy.

edit: In other news, it's not "Johnson".
   23. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4641155)
I can't think of any Andersons but surely there is one. I'll go with Moore.

EDIT: both wrong.
   24. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4641160)
Are there any active Davises?
   25. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4641161)
OK, got it on my 3rd try I think. Yes, Swisher turns up. If you're a jazz fan, you'd be lucky to get the answer.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4641164)
Chris, of the O's
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4641165)
Brubeck? Armstrong? Rollins?
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4641169)

(That's for Pat Matheny)

   29. BDC Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4641170)
If you're a jazz fan, you'd be lucky to get the answer

I'm just a lucky so and so … Ellington?
   30. Jick Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4641175)

Edit - Sanders?

Another edit - Forgot the HoFer hint. And Coleman's not on the list; Sanders is lower than Nguyen.
   31. AndrewJ Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4641180)
There is a Hall of Famer with this surname.

*going via decades. Starting with the 1890s*

Jennings? Keeler? McGraw?
   32. Guapo Posted: January 17, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4641183)
Time's up. Although looks like AndrewJ was about to get there:

The answer is: Thompson.

This terrible trivia question was a ham-handed way of calling your attention to the third starter on the Birthday Team, Jocko Thompson- surely the only member of the Birthday Team with a bridge named after him in the Netherlands. From Wikipedia:

Thompson entered the Army of the United States in 1941 and was assigned to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, a part of the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1944, as a first lieutenant, Thompson led his men during an air raid as part of Operation Market Garden. The light in the jump bay of the platoon's C-47 Skytrain was later than expected, moving their landing zone from its intended location near Grave, Netherlands; the plane was passing over buildings when the paratroopers were signalled to leave the aircraft, and Thompson decided to wait until reaching several approaching fields.

Thompson led his platoon in an attack against the nearby bridge spanning the Maas River, which was defended by German forces supplemented by two 20 mm flak guns, one on the close side of the bridge and one across the river. The platoon opened fire on the German forces, killing four. Two trucks of German soldiers arrived on the scene, but they "showed no desire to fight ... [and] ran away". Thompson's platoon destroyed "electrical equipment and cables that they expected were hooked up to demolitions", and their bazooka operator destroyed the nearer flak gun, permitting the establishment of a roadblock on the bridge while waiting for the remainder of the 82nd Airborne. After the battle at the Maas bridge, Thompson also participated in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was given a field commission, and during the Allied occupation of Berlin, where he served as an aide to General James M. Gavin.

Thompson was wounded twice during the war, for which he received two Purple Hearts; fellow pitcher Robin Roberts later wrote that his Phillies teammates "understood that Jocko still carried around a considerable amount of shrapnel in his body". Other decorations included the Bronze Star with cluster, the Silver Star, and various awards from the Belgian, French, and Dutch governments.

And then he pitched (briefly) for the 1950 Phils Whiz Kid team.

In 2004, the bridge over the Maas River which Thompson's platoon secured 60 years earlier was renamed the John S. Thompson-Brug ("John S. Thompson Bridge"). Many veterans of World War II, as well as Thompson's wife, attended the ceremony.

Link to the bridge's wiki page
   33. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 17, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4641189)
Thompson! Sam's in the Hall of Fame.

Oh, shoot, six minutes slow!
   34. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 17, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4641192)
If you, like me, agree to pretend that Clete Thomas didn't actually get 322 god damn plate appearances for the Twins last year, the correct answer is THOMAS.
   35. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 17, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4641256)
I think Clete Thomas should get 322 god damn plate appearances for the Twins every year. In fact, they should trade Byron Buxton to get Clete back.
   36. Cblau Posted: January 17, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4641418)
Harry Harper also pitched the only no-hitter in the over a thousand games played between Minneapolis and St. Paul between 1903 and 1960. He was on Minneapolis (1915).

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