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Monday, March 20, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-20-2017

Pittsburgh Press, March 20, 1917:

“Aviation,” says Charlie Herzog, “has a remarkable fascination, once a fellow becomes interested in it. Several times this winter, after I had become interested in the art of flying, I decided to give it up, but in a few days I was back in the seat of the old hydroplane. It’s great stuff, and I have become quite enthusiastic about it.”

This is the first mention I’ve seen of a big league ballplayer being an aviator. I guess this means he wouldn’t have been in any sort of position to criticize players who drive cars.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:13 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aviation, dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:18 AM (#5419753)
A good pitching staff on today's Birthday Team. Not much in the infield; Griffin was an outfielder who played 28 games at shortstop and Altman is/was an outfielder who occasionally played first base.

C: Chris Hoiles (23.45 WAR)
1B: George Altman (12.97 WAR)
2B: Manny Alexander (-2.27 WAR)
3B: Johnny Butler (0.35 WAR)
SS: 19th century Mike Griffin (40.36 WAR)
LF: Mike Young (6.46 WAR)
CF: Jason McDonald (2.64 WAR)
RF: Stan Spence (22.33 WAR)

SP: Joe McGinnity (57.74 WAR)
SP: Vern Kennedy (12.66 WAR)
SP: Rick Langford (11 WAR)
SP: Joe Boehling (9.7 WAR)
SP: Steve McCatty (9.67 WAR)
RP: Clyde Shoun (9.14 WAR)
RP: Mellie Wolfgang (5.06 WAR)
RP: Jonny Venters (4.74 WAR)

Manager: Pat Corrales
Fun names: Blas Minor, Hosea Siner
Somehow was allowed to accrue -9.36 career WAR: Bill Stearns
   2. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:20 AM (#5419755)
Aw, man, I feel a bit bad pointing out what an unsuccessful ballplayer Stearns was. He was the first big league player to die as a result of military service.

I salute you, Private Stearns.
   3. GGC for Sale Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5419758)
I have added comments re baseball lit in these threads. At some poimnt, I should consolidate and edit all of this balloon juice.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:27 AM (#5419761)
George Altman was also the first major leaguer to go play in Japan.
   5. Batman Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5419786)
McGinnity only pitched ten years in the major leagues, but he spent 27 seasons in pro ball. He pitched 206 innings when he was 52 and 89 more when he was 54.
   6. KJOK Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5419802)
George Altman was also the first major leaguer to go play in Japan.

Altman didn't go until 1968. There were 41 other MLB players who went before him.

   7. Perry Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5419804)
I can never read Pat Corrales's name without thinking of him as the head guard-dog trainer at Adolf's Doberman Palace. Possibly the funniest single line Bill James ever wrote.
   8. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5419807)
Possibly the funniest single line Bill James ever wrote.

I'm partial to his Bermanism of Scott "Would Your Sister" Leuis. Never saw the line about Corrales. Where is it?
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5419809)
TRIVIA: There are (at least) 2 pitchers whose first post-season appearance was as a starting pitcher, but whose next 20+ postseason appearances were as a reliever.

(at least) One of these pitchers is active, and (at least) 1 of these pitchers is retired. Who are they?
   10. GGC for Sale Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5419837)
Dennis Eckersley is the retired one.
   11. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5419846)
I wonder how many MLB players served in the civil war? Wiki says that Stearns served (although he was only 12 when it ended), and he played in the old NA days.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5419852)
Wade Davis?

   13. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5419853)
No, Wade Davis didn't serve in the civil war.

I found an executive who did. Morgan Bulkeley, who likely gives Tommy McCarthy a run for his money for the title of least deserving hall of famer.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5419854)
You guys are good. There may be more that qualify (I don't know how to check), but Eck and Davis were the 2 I noticed.

Rollie Fingers started some regular season games in the year in which he got his first postseason appearances, but was only a reliever in that ALCS.
   15. GGC for Sale Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5419857)
11. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5419846)
I wonder how many MLB players served in the civil war? Wiki says that Stearns served (although he was only 12 when it ended), and he played in the old NA days.


Julio Franco.
   16. Perry Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:03 PM (#5419860)
I'm partial to his Bermanism of Scott "Would Your Sister" Leuis. Never saw the line about Corrales. Where is it?


I'm pretty sure it was in one of the yearly abstracts, from when Corrales was managing Cleveland. He did a section describing and evaluating all the current managers and one of the questions was "If there was no major league baseball, what would he be doing?" For Corrales he said "Head guard-dog trainer etc." He had another good one for Billy Martin: "20 to life."

The Corrales comment was actually a riff on a comment in an earlier BA. Apparently he had written of Corrales: "It's said he has the personality of a Doberman pinscher; would be a better manager if he had the Doberman's intelligence." But the lawyers changed it to "would be a better manager if he were more knowledgeable."

   17. SoSH U at work Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:12 PM (#5419875)
You guys are good. There may be more that qualify (I don't know how to check), but Eck and Davis were the 2 I noticed.



I was hoping David Price could have the opportunity to do that in reverse (relieving to start his career, then nothing but starting) with a few nice playoff runs with the Sox, but Gibbons used him in a ridiculous relief outing back in 2015.
   18. GGC for Sale Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:13 PM (#5419879)
There should be a BAT; a Baseball Aptitude Test. I got Eckersley almost off the top of my head. I would've had no idea how to even guess Davis. I get better score on the 1980s than I do on the current events portion.
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5419883)
SABR researchers have compiled a list of professional baseball players and executives who were Civil War veterans. Here it is at BB-ref. I think the most notable baseball careers here are Dick McBride, Warren White, Chick Fulmer, Doug Allison, and George Zettlein.

It looks like they were all on the Union side. John Bass was born in the South but apparently he grew up in Connecticut.

Fergus Malone hits the trifecta of old-timeyness: Civil War veteran; Born in Ireland; Was a professional cricket player before playing baseball.
   20. Batman Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:24 PM (#5419890)
Baseball legend Ulysses S. Grant is listed on that page.

Seem Studley suffered "a major sunstroke" during the war, which may seem studly.
   21. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5419895)
Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline is exactly as old as Clint Eastwood was the day he yelled at an empty chair at the 2012 Republican National Convention (30,042 days).


Anyone who wants to can look up as-old-as items like this for themselves here.
   22. GGC for Sale Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5419901)
One of the guys on one of the pre-war Brooklyn teams became a medic or doctor for the Confederates. I don't have the time to look him up at the moment.
   23. GGC for Sale Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:35 PM (#5419905)
As far as baseball material culture goes, I know little about cards, quite a bit about books, and almost nothing about other memorabilia, with the possible exception that I know that Bob Feller's autograph is relatively worthless because he was a serial signer. My understanding of stats exceeds that of the general public, but is subpar compared to the average Primate. My knowledge of the rulebook is not that great.
   24. GGC for Sale Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:53 PM (#5419924)
This is the first mention I’ve seen of a big league ballplayer being an aviator. I guess this means he wouldn’t have been in any sort of position to criticize players who drive cars.


Alfred Lawson was an aviator; and an eccentric.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:02 PM (#5419934)
got Eckersley almost off the top of my head. I would've had no idea how to even guess Davis.
Yeah, Davis was the tough one. I noticed it on his page and wondered if anyone else had done it, and checked Eck (and others).
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5419946)
Yeah, Davis was the tough one. I noticed it on his page and wondered if anyone else had done it, and checked Eck (and others).


The first player I thought of was Tom Gordon, but he didn't get to KC early enough to pitch in the playoffs. Terry Mulholland also crossed my mind.

I can't believe I didn't think of Eck.


   27. Batman Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:14 PM (#5419960)
I thought Gossage may have snuck in a start at the beginning of his career, but not only did he never make a postseason start, he didn't get to 20 postseason appearances.
   28. BDC Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:14 PM (#5419963)
Honorary trivia mention: when Jim Konstanty started for the Phillies in the 1950 World Series, he hadn't started a major-league game in four years, and his next two postseason and 20 regular-season games were all in relief. He did eventually return to the rotation for the first half of the 1953 season, but he wasn't any good at it, and flourished again when he went back to the bullpen.
   29. BDC Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5419998)
Meanwhile, the 1927 season is almost over, so the 2017 season must be about to begin :) On 9/20/27, the Robins kept the streaking Pirates close to the pack with one of their best efforts of the year. They scored three runs off Pirate ace Lee Meadows, while Bill Doak, apparently ageless, pitched a two-hit shutout for Brooklyn.

Doak didn't strike out anybody. I wondered how often somebody's pitched a two-hitter without striking out anybody. On that narrow criterion, it's happened 43 times in the Retrosheet era. The last pitcher to do it was Ken Hill of the Angels, against Texas, in 1997. Three pitchers did in in the '80s, five in the '70s, one in the 1960s. Red Causey and Bullet Joe Bush each did it twice, about 100 years ago. None of their four games was a shutout.

There have been twelve no-strikeout one-hitters, the last by a 1960s-Senators journeyman named Barry Moore. And two no-hitters: Sad Sam Jones in 1923, and Ken Holtzman in 1969.
   30. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:48 PM (#5420020)
Doak didn't strike out anybody. I wondered how often somebody's pitched a two-hitter without striking out anybody. On that narrow criterion, it's happened 43 times in the Retrosheet era. The last pitcher to do it was Ken Hill of the Angels, against Texas, in 1997. Three pitchers did in in the '80s, five in the '70s, one in the 1960s. Red Causey and Bullet Joe Bush each did it twice, about 100 years ago. None of their four games was a shutout.


This is only tangentially related, but a great pitcher's lack-of-strikeouts stat also comes from 1927. Ted Wingfield pitched for the Red Sox that year. He threw 74-2/3 innings, and struck out exactly one batter. And that wasn't until his 18th appearance, on August 10. Prior to that, he'd gone 66-2/3 innings (at least) before striking anyone out.

Edit: Just to clarify, I don't mean that Wingfield was a great pitcher. I mean it's a great stat.
   31. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5420033)
Aw, man, I feel a bit bad pointing out what an unsuccessful ballplayer Stearns was. He was the first big league player to die as a result of military service.

I salute you, Private Stearns.


I don't have a BR subscription, so I can't look up things like this, but is Stearns' career .169 winning percentage the lowest in history for a pitcher with that many decisions (77)?
   32. Batman Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5420037)
Stearns does have the lowest W-L% for anybody with 50 or more decisions. Second is Ike Pearson at .206. The next lowest for anyone with 77 decisions is John Coleman at .242. The immortal Anthony Young had 63 decisions and finished at .238.
   33. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5420048)
Stearns does have the lowest W-L% for anybody with 50 or more decisions. Second is Ike Pearson at .206. The next lowest for anyone with 77 decisions is John Coleman at .242. The immortal Anthony Young had 63 decisions and finished at .238.


Thanks.
   34. GGC for Sale Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:35 PM (#5420059)
I think Anthony Young is proving to be unfortunately mortal lately.
   35. Batman Posted: March 20, 2017 at 03:07 PM (#5420078)
Damn. I hadn't heard about that. His won-loss record is a distant second in bad luck now.
   36. Hank G. Posted: March 20, 2017 at 05:00 PM (#5420170)
Singer Whitney Houston is exactly as old as Walt Disney was the day Disneyland opened (19,582 days).


Or she would be if she were still alive.
   37. EddieA Posted: March 21, 2017 at 12:03 AM (#5420383)
There is extant video of Mcginnity pitching (or at least warming up). He threw from below the waist.

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