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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-16-2017

Dugout favorite Tubby Spencer is a changed man!

Pittsburgh Press, May 16, 1917:

Nobody has ever won a decision from “Old King Booze,” according to Spencer.

“I’ve tried his game, and I know,” remarked Spencer, “You may think you are getting away with his delivery, but in the end he will always strike you out.”
...
When [Spencer] left the sanitarium, the physician in charge told him that a drink would kill him. “I wondered whether it would or not, but I waited a week to find out, then I got drunk…Later I went to the coast, but I wouldn’t stay sober, and the first thing I knew I was working in a northern mining camp for a couple of dollars a day.

“One day I sat down and began to take an inventory of myself. I found I was making less money in a year than I could make playing ball in a month…Then I quit drinking, haven’t touched it since, never will.

Tubby fought his way back to the major leagues, spending 1916-1918 with the Tigers and hitting .249/.336/.324 (101 OPS+) as a backup catcher.

I’ve written about Spencer in the past, but the short version is that he was a millionaire’s kid with a drinking problem who wore out his welcome pretty much everywhere. He got banned from the city of Louisville, dove through a plate glass window into a restaurant because he was drunk and hungry, and according to some sources literally became a hobo. Somehow he fought off the demons and played pro baseball at a high level into his 40s. Nice work, Tubby.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, tubby spencer

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5456299)
Not much offense, but at least Billy Martin will have plenty of starting pitchers to run into the ground on today's Birthday Team.

C: Rube Walker (-0.87 WAR)
1B: Dave Philley (7.2 WAR)
2B: Eugenio Velez (-1.53 WAR)
3B: Ivanon Coffie (-0.19 WAR)
SS/Manager: Billy Martin (2.96 WAR)
LF: Mark Funderburk (-0.35 WAR)
CF: Mitch Webster (14.37 WAR)
RF: George Barclay -3.41 WAR)

SP: Rick Reuschel (70.04 WAR)
SP: Jack Morris (44.06 WAR)
SP: Rick Rhoden (35.87 WAR)
SP: Watty Clark (26.35 WAR)
SP: Bob Bruce (11.78 WAR)
RP: Doug Brocail (10.94 WAR)
RP: Stubby Overmire (9.37 WAR)
RP: Jim Mecir (8.18 WAR)
RP: Bob Patterson (4.79 WAR)

Umpire: Cy Rigler
Awful Pitcher/Hardee's Shooting Victim: Nick Bierbrodt
Cool Names: Coffie, Colonel Snover, Tack Wilson
   2. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5456301)
Baseball star Derek Jeter is exactly as old as Tom Cruise was the day he jumped on Oprah's couch (15,665 days).

Anyone who wants to can look up these as-old-as items for themselves here. For instance, today I'm as old as Satchel Paige was* the day he made his MLB debut: 15,343 days.

*Well, going by his official birth date anyway.
   3. zack Posted: May 16, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5456350)
What's the record for positions filled with negative WAR among the birthday teams? 5 among position players has got to be up there, though I imagine there are others with more pitchers.
   4. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: May 16, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5456532)
Random info: Joe Maddon has 999 managerial wins.
   5. Batman Posted: May 16, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5456660)
You'd have to find an everyday position for Rick Rhoden. He was a better hitter than most of the lineup. He started as a DH in one game (by manager Billy Martin, who was fired a couple of weeks later) but didn't appear at any position other than pitcher.
   6. BDC Posted: May 16, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5456748)
Rhoden is slightly disabled, isn't he? IIRC one of his legs maybe a bit shorter than the other, the legacy of childhood illness. Which has not hurt him on the mound, batter's box, or golf course, but might slow him down in the thought-experiment baseball field :)

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