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Friday, April 20, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-20-2018

Chicago Eagle, April 20, 1918:

Agitation against the use of the so-called “freak” deliveries in baseball will have no effect on the most unusual style of boxmanship of Benjamin Pellowitz, Philadelphia school boy, whose unique pitching is natural.

Pellowitz is fifteen years old. That old saying about the awkward boy, “His fingers are all thumbs,” acts with reverse English in this case, for it is on his two thumbs that Benny depends on for his success in pitching. One is a growth of the other thumb.

Gripping the ball with his two thumbs and first two fingers, Pellowitz discovered that he could control what he calls a “four-finger” curve that is difficult to hit safely.

I’m pretty sure “Antonio Alfonseca” is Spanish for Benjamin Pellowitz.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 20, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5656990)
A solid Birthday Team today, apart from third base and the back of the pitching staff.

C: Ted Easterly (12.49 WAR)
1B/Manager: Don Mattingly (42.38 WAR)
2B: Germany Smith (21.54 WAR)
3B: Tommy Dowd (-1.64 WAR)
SS: Dave Bancroft (48.56 WAR)
LF: Brandon Belt (20.48 WAR)
CF: Eric Tipton (8.27 WAR)
RF: Charlie Hemphill (16.17 WAR)

SP: Milt Wilcox (13.41 WAR)
SP: Charlie Smith (9.01 WAR)
SP: Masato Yoshii (6.72 WAR)
SP: Johnny Wertz (2.72 WAR)
SP: Donovan Hand (0.79 WAR)
RP: Sean Green (0.23 WAR)

Owner: Roy Hofheinz
Fun names: Steamer Flanagan, Ham Allen
Golden Greek: Harry Agganis
Spanish for "Girl Tony Perez"?: Tony Perezchica
   2. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: April 20, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5656995)
In addition to Donovan Hand (7 starts), the 2013 Brewers allowed Alfredo Figaro (5), Johnny Hellweg (7),
and Hiram Burgos (6) to take the bump.
   3. Batman Posted: April 20, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5657042)
It's also the birthday of Fenway Park and, if it was still alive, Tiger Stadium.
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 20, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5657121)
Seek and ye shall find:

The Thumbs of Benny Pellowitz
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 20, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5657122)
Fun names: Ham Allen


It's so hard for me to grasp the concept of what it must have been like watching the highest quality baseball available played by fielders without gloves, and fielding .785 and averaging an error a game, as Allen did.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: April 20, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5657124)
It's also the birthday of Fenway Park and, if it was still alive, Tiger Stadium.
I wonder how often a Dugout birthday team consists of players who each played at least one game at Fenway.
   7. Batman Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5657131)
Ham Allen's team averaged more than an error per player per game- 231 errors in 24 games. Their pitchers gave up over nine unearned runs a game. The league averaged about 5.6 UER per nine innings and there were about 7.5 errors per team per game.
   8. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5657133)
That's Dave "Beauty" Bancroft. Successor to Honus Wagner as the best shortstop around. Phillies bought him from the Portland Beavers and he was an immediate star, joining fellow PCL alum Gavy Cravath on their first pennant-winning team as a rookie. Considered one of the undeserving HOFers among Frankie Frisch's NY Giants cronies. Managed Chicago in the AAGPBL.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5657195)
Seek and ye shall find: The Thumbs of Benny Pellowitz

Not the best photo, but it does look like a pitcher so equipped could do some things a "normal" guy couldn't. Relatedly, that raises the question as to why the success of Tommy John surgery hasn't rekindled interest in the Mordecai Brown procedure?
   10. John DiFool2 Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5657197)



Is this site dying?

Some days we don't get a single new entry. Even when we do, many go completely uncommented on. We get more traffic in the current political thread than we do in any baseball thread-unless some hot button topic shows up (like the Reds' manager being canned).

I'm not sure if it is worth it to keep coming here, to be honest.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5657198)
Not the best photo, but it does look like a pitcher so equipped could do some things a "normal" guy couldn't.
Didn't do much for Antonio Alfonseca, but I guess that's the difference between an extra thumb and an extra pinkie.
   12. Batman Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5657202)
Mordecai Brown and Jim Abbott are among the major league career leaders in fewest fingers, and they had a lot of success. Roger Metzger should have tried pitching.
   13. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5657203)
Roger Metzger should have tried pitching.

He hit like one (career OPS+ 68), so he had that half of the job taken care of.
   14. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5657204)
All sites like this are dying. People use social media platforms instead of blogs and web comment sections. Or they use the "baseball" part of something like Reddit instead of a niche baseball website with its own URL. Probably everyone on this site is over 30 and has been coming here for the better part of a decade. Not much anyone can do about it.
   15. Sweatpants Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5657207)
I'm under 30, although I guess I really have been coming here for almost ten years now.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5657216)
Is this site dying? Some days we don't get a single new entry. Even when we do, many go completely uncommented on. We get more traffic in the current political thread than we do in any baseball thread-unless some hot button topic shows up (like the Reds' manager being canned).

As #14 says, perhaps it's part of a general trend, but it's hard not to notice the lack of effort put into the site. It's Furtado's site, and he can do whatever he wants, but he doesn't do much. The compilation of the Newsblog is haphazard at best, often with few items, and many without an excerpt to pique interest. Without the user-generated content (i.e. the threads) there'd be little reason to come here. The home page has Game Chatters from April 2014! The "Featured" section at the top of the home page is wasted on some of the least active threads on the site. Those finding the site for the first time may see little reason to stay, which may account for what appears to be a lack of new blood in recent years. I don't know website economics - although the ads seem to have improved over the years - and perhaps we should be grateful for what we have, but the site could be much better than it is currently.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: April 20, 2018 at 05:10 PM (#5657224)
I don't mean to pile on but ... Repoz was brilliant at finding links (and roaming far and wide to do so) and, like it or not, managed to find at least one thing almost every day to get us riled up even if it was the latest Murray Chass.

Some of it is the game itself. "We" won ... in fact, teams are now smarter than we are (unfathomable!) ... now what do we have to talk about?
   18. Walt Davis Posted: April 20, 2018 at 05:14 PM (#5657230)
On a more Dugout-y note ... there's never been a player with the surname of Addison in the majors. We currently have two with the first name Addison.
   19. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: April 20, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5657241)
Benjamin Pellowitz, Philadelphia school boy


This guy, presumably. He lived the see the Phillies win it all in 1980.
   20. Ziggy's screen name Posted: April 20, 2018 at 06:38 PM (#5657250)
I think that Walt is on to something. In the old days we were a persecuted minority/on the cutting edge of a revolution. But it's over now. Sure there are some curmudgeonly revanchists out there, but there's really no need to beat up on Chass and his ilk any more.
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 20, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5657255)
there's really no need to beat up on Chass and his ilk any more.
Yeah, but it's still fun to do every now and then, just for old times' sake. It's like listening to an Oasis album.
   22. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: April 20, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5657276)
The site has definitely slowed down over the last few years, for all the reasons people have mentioned I suppose. I've been trying to participate more to pick up some of the slack, because I would be heartbroken if the site dwindled away. I've been a dedicated lurker since the primer days, so I'm part of the over 30 been here for a decade plus crowd. Maybe I'll try to post some articles, if I can figure out how.
   23. Ziggy's screen name Posted: April 20, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5657321)
I've been here since 2001 and have never submitted an article. A dedicated effort to keep things going does sound like a good idea. Though I've never used it, there's a button at the top right of the page for submitting pieces.
   24. AndrewJ Posted: April 20, 2018 at 09:53 PM (#5657335)
Cool story about Benjamin Pellowitz. He would have played for South Philadelphia High School about three years after my great-uncle Ed, who tried out with the Giants and A's c. 1916. He subsequently captained (and coached) the Annapolis baseball team.
   25. Hank Gillette Posted: April 21, 2018 at 01:43 AM (#5657419)
Is this site dying?

Some days we don't get a single new entry. Even when we do, many go completely uncommented on. We get more traffic in the current political thread than we do in any baseball thread-unless some hot button topic shows up (like the Reds' manager being canned).


Well, you know you could find some interesting articles and submit them here yourself. I’ve submitted a few; some of them less interesting than others.

If you can’t find any interesting articles to submit, that might be why no one else is submitting there either; because they aren’t there.
   26. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: April 21, 2018 at 07:50 AM (#5657447)
The biggest challenge, I think, is attracting new users. A number of former regular posters no longer show up regularly in the comments, and few, or no, new people are showing up to take their place. I think any attempt to revitalize the site starts with attracting new people.

It is also really hard to post comments on my phone. Technically, a user friendly mobile site would help a lot.
   27. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: April 21, 2018 at 07:51 AM (#5657448)
What is the protocol for submitting articles behind a paywall? The Washington Post had an interesting article yesterday.
   28. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 21, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5657457)
LF: Brandon Belt (20.48 WAR)

I was going to comment on my surprise that he had accumulated so much WAR already, then I saw that he, like posters here, is already 30 years old. I'm tellin' ya, you whippersnappers, time flies faster and faster the older you get.

What is the protocol for submitting articles behind a paywall? The Washington Post had an interesting article yesterday.

Brady, I think that you submit it like a regular article, but in your comments make clear that it's behind a paywall. You can quote a little from the article.
   29. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: April 21, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5657466)
I submitted my first article. We'll see if it works.
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5657475)
The one time I submitted an article, it didn't show up. I should try again.
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 21, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5657572)
Well, you know you could find some interesting articles and submit them here yourself. I’ve submitted a few; some of them less interesting than others.

The article submission process is uneven, too. Sometimes, my submissions have been posted promptly, other times they have lingered unposted most of the day, even though other articles have appeared. Making matters worse, sometimes when those article are belatedly posted, they are queued up behind the articles already posted, apparently based on the original submission time rather than when approved for posting. Other posters have voiced similar complaints in various threads, too. People should still take the initiative to submit interesting content, but I think more would do so it the submission process had fewer hiccups.
   32. shoewizard Posted: April 22, 2018 at 12:50 PM (#5657976)
I'm getting pretty close to removing BTF from favorites list. The site IS dying, and my guess is that Jim only keeps it alive out of consideration for the few diehards left that still come here every day to talk baseball. It seems like it's a burden for him to do even the most rudimentary site up keep. Thats not a criticism, just an observation. He's done this for years and I thank him for it, (And blame him for the countless hours I've wasted here, haha)

But unless things change and the site updates get more frequent and the discussions get more lively, I'm getting close to signing out.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: April 24, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5658876)
Well, I submitted an article yesterday morning. Is there a way to tell its status or whether I messed up the submission process?
   34. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5658879)
Weird thing I noticed: I usually enter the site via the newsstand. But, if I click "Stuff" at the top and then "Sitewide Archive" on the left side of the screen, then there are sometimes postings that make it to the Newsstand later.


I think I've only posted one thread over the years. I'm unlikely to be the first to find anything stats oriented or that's coming from a hard core sports site. There have been a few times I've come across something in an unconventional source that I thought was interesting but wasn't analytical, and didn't post because the approach would probably draw snark instead of consideration of the question.
   35. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5658881)
#33: Going to the Sitewide archive, I see a Brandon Belt post I don't see via the Newsstand.
   36. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:26 AM (#5658889)
In addition to decline, a lot of people split off and went to the "Lounge" exclusively. I swear I did not know the Lounge existed until it had existed for about 5 years, and I now may have commented there twice.
   37. BDC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5658904)
Walt is on to something. In the old days we were a persecuted minority/on the cutting edge of a revolution. But it's over now. Sure there are some curmudgeonly revanchists out there, but there's really no need

And the occasional victory for the curmudgeons, like Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame, is immediately forgotten. Morris used to be good for a 200-comment argument, but now he has joined the likes of Pop Haines and Vic Willis in oblivion. Nobody's exercised to draft a resolution to expel him :)
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5658906)
34. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5658879)
Weird thing I noticed: I usually enter the site via the newsstand. But, if I click "Stuff" at the top and then "Sitewide Archive" on the left side of the screen, then there are sometimes postings that make it to the Newsstand later.

----

#33: Going to the Sitewide archive, I see a Brandon Belt post I don't see via the Newsstand.
Yes, that's the one. Someone commented so it's now in Hot Topics, but still not in the Newsstand or Newsblog.

Do I use the regular QUOTE function to quote excerpts if I am submitting things in the future? I didn't try this time and just kept it very simple.
   39. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5658910)
The biggest challenge, I think, is attracting new users. A number of former regular posters no longer show up regularly in the comments, and few, or no, new people are showing up to take their place. I think any attempt to revitalize the site starts with attracting new people.

The site IS dying, and my guess is that Jim only keeps it alive out of consideration for the few diehards left that still come here every day to talk baseball.


Part of the issue is the same regular users continuing to talk mostly with each other. I tried to give the team's perspective in the Bryan Price thread, but it felt much more like a bunch of Red Sox fans talking among themselves with no interest in any local color.

   40. crict Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5658975)
I come back for the Dugout. My interest in sabrmetrics has faded, much more interested in the history of the game these days.

Edit: To clarify, I believe my interest om sabrmetrics has faded because 15-20 years ago, the potential gains were so huge. I don't have enough interest to read through technical articles on how we can improve measurement by 1% (or less, I don't know).
   41. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5659078)
Also as each sabermetric innovation has made the game more repetitive and predictable, our lust for further innovations has been quenched.

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