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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2013

Washington Times, February 27, 1913:

Chick Lathers, who formerly was tried out by the Detroit Tigers and under Bill Donovan with the Providence team played last season is out of the game for good. He will handle automobiles for a popular company in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Lathers says he would rather sell cars than play ball, as it is impossible to lay enough money aside in the big league to take care of him in his old days.

Or, to put it another way, a 24-year-old veteran of two MLB seasons retired because it was more lucrative to sell cars.

Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: February 27, 2013 at 07:03 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chick lathers, dugout, history

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   1. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: February 27, 2013 at 07:09 AM (#4376845)
A shaky, makeshift infield on today's Birthday Team. The shortstop is actually a catcher (I see you nodding, Russell Martin), the second baseman is actually an outfielder, and the third baseman is actually a second baseman.

And Craig Monroe's middle name is actually Keystone.

C: Ron Hassey
1B: John Wockenfuss
2B: Chick Fullis
3B: Connie Ryan
SS: Cy Perkins
LF: Matt Stairs
CF: Denard Span
RF: Craig Keystone Monroe

SP: Yovani Gallardo
SP: Anibal Sanchez
SP: Rube Melton
SP: Pete Smith
SP: Willie Banks
RP: Greg Cadaret

Owner: Walter Briggs
Negro Leagues great: Hilton Smith
1 career game, 0.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 R: Will Koenigsmark
   2. Flynn Posted: February 27, 2013 at 07:51 AM (#4376849)
   3. Derb Posted: February 27, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4376886)
A lot of former (and one current) Tigers on today's birthday team. Wockenfuss, Monroe, Briggs, Sanchez, and Stairs. Then again, what team hasn't Stairs been a part of?
   4. BochysFingers Posted: February 27, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4376890)
Then again, what team hasn't Stairs been a part of?

I had literally forgotten about Stairs' 2006 tour with Detroit.
   5. BDC Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4376969)
Taking a tour through B-Ref's dWAR leaderboards, I noticed that the greatest single-season defensive performance ever (by that measure) was by a player I'd never heard of. The single-season leaderboard is littered with performances by Belanger and Smith and Tinker, but it was a different deadball shortstop who compiled 5.4 dWAR in 1906, and if you know who it is you are a better trivia person than I am. I will have to look the guy up in my miscellaneous old books to see if there's any word-of-mouth lore about him.
   6. salvomania Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4376970)
John Wockenfuss is a great name.

He had all those solid years with Detroit and then he gets traded for Willie Hernandez and the Tigers go and have a season for the ages.
   7. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4376975)
BDC, the player in question is certainly well thought-of defensively, but to my knowledge, he's not generally considered to be in a class with Belanger or Smith. He's also the leader in career games played for the franchise he was a part of in 1906.

Another wild thing about that 1906 performance: Despite the single greatest dWAR season of all time and a 124 OPS+ in 147 games, (player in question) did not lead his team in WAR that year.
   8. BDC Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4376981)
He's also the leader in career games played for the franchise

Ah, so I had heard of him in another trivia answer, and then promptly forgot he ever existed! Cool distinctions for a forgotten player to hold, I must say.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4376995)
Another wild thing about that 1906 performance: Despite the single greatest dWAR season of all time and a 124 OPS+ in 147 games, (player in question) did not lead his team in WAR that year.


That middle infield combined for 19 WAR. That's gotta at least be pretty close to a record.
   10. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4377012)
There was probably a thread here, but the LA Times had an obituary of Sophie Kurys, who was one of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players. It says she stole 1114 bases in eight seasons, including 201 out of 203 attempts in 1946.
   11. Derb Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4377066)
John Wockenfuss is a great name.

He had all those solid years with Detroit and then he gets traded for Willie Hernandez and the Tigers go and have a season for the ages.


Very similar to Bobby Higginson. Spent a long, mostly good career with a bunch of crappy Detroit teams, only to see the team make the World Series the year after he is let go.
   12. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4377080)
That middle infield combined for 19 WAR. That's gotta at least be pretty close to a record.


So looking at the 1906 Naps, it's hard to see how they finished in 3rd place. 115 team OPS+, 125 team ERA+, great defense. Just unlucky I guess. 89 real wins, 98 pythag wins. League winner White Sox had 93 real wins, 90 pythag wins.
   13. BDC Posted: February 27, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4377255)
Terry Turner (guess it's safe to name him :) is also one of 49 players, per B-Ref, to accumulate 20 career WAR (he's 49th on the leaderboard, with 20.1). Two years after 1906, he was moved off shortstop for good, as the Indians installed guys like Ivy Olson, Roger Peckinpaugh, and Ray Chapman, who I certainly have heard of: they were just awash in shortstops in those years. Turner played mostly third base for the rest of his career, and 3B was a relatively more important defensive position in that era; he continued to be excellent and rack up the dWAR, just not at such insane levels.

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