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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2014

Milwaukee Journal, July 30, 1914:

If eight hours is made a legal working day in California, J. Cal Ewing, the boss of the San Francisco Seals, says he is going to get a legal day’s work out of his ball players. The most that any of them work now is five hours. Three hours of this is in the game in the afternoon, a couple in morning practice.

In the rest of the time, Ewing says he can find work for them cutting grass in the park, sweeping the stands, and marking the foul lines. If the law says eight hours is a day’s work, Cal declares he will see to it that the law is obeyed.

Jeffrey Loria: the early years.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 30, 2014 at 06:44 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 30, 2014 at 06:48 AM (#4760214)
On the days when there aren't any real catchers and I wonder aloud where they're all hiding, I'll think of July 30th's Birthday Team and remember...it's all Bud Selig's fault.

C: Gus Triandos
1B: Jim Spencer
2B: Scott Fletcher
3B: Doug Rader
SS: Chuck Ward
LF: Pat Kelly
CF/Manager: Casey Stengel
RF: Ellis Valentine

SP: Joe Nuxhall
SP: Steve Trout
SP: Paul Minner
SP: Joe Coleman
SP: Mickey Mahler
RP: Ricky Horton

Owner/Commissioner: Bud Selig
Backup catchers: Frankie Pytlak, Tom Pagnozzi, Clint Hurdle
General manager's kid, didn't benefit from nepotism, could actually play: Josh Bonifay
   2. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:34 AM (#4760218)
The Game of 7/29/84 had good performances from several stars or near-stars in the early going - and then devolved into the Revenge of the Adequate Second Baseman late.
   3. BDC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4760252)
Notes from Arlington last night (New York 12, Texas 11): well, if a game must go 3:51, it might as well be that exciting. There were about 40,000 people at the ballpark, and the support took an interesting tip after Derek Jeter's last PA in the eighth, when a lot of the Yankee fans who had been dominating the noise left with the game apparently in the bag. By the bottom of the ninth the Ranger faithful were huddled around home plate, and we were rewarded with an excellent comeback rally (which fell short on a 3-2, 2-out, bases-loaded flyout by Adrian Beltre).

The only draggy stretches came in the middle innings when the Yankees led at one point by six runs, and inadequate relievers on both sides started to take 45 seconds between pitches to contemplate the Universe. The resulting barrage of offense on both sides made things very interesting at the end.

And if JP Arencibia can drive in seven runs every night, his job at 1B will be secure for a while.
   4. BDC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4760255)
Wow, that is a nice minor-league career for Josh Bonifay. Never played above AA, but found his level as a pro and played very creditably for a long time.
   5. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4760297)
Ah, Joe Nuxhall. His is one of the first (trivial) baseball stories I can remember reading.
   6. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4760378)
How can you say Bonifay "could really play" when he never made it past AA? Especially since he was in the Pirates and Astros organizations -- two teams not exactly steeped with glory of late. If Bonifay could really play, surely a crap team like PIT or HOU could at least find a spot for him at the AAA level...
   7. BDC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4760402)
How can you say Bonifay "could really play" when he never made it past AA?

Well, there are thousands of prospects over the years who have straggled through A ball and disappeared after a few AA innings, or not even that far. In absolute terms, he was a good pro ballplayer. I may be missing some irony in Dan's characterization, though; don't know the history behind it.
   8. esseff Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4760412)
In the rest of the time, Ewing says he can find work for them cutting grass in the park, sweeping the stands, and marking the foul lines. If the law says eight hours is a day’s work, Cal declares he will see to it that the law is obeyed.


Ewing Field was an out-and-out disaster. Built on a high plain in the city's fog belt, it proved incapable of drawing fans, and by accounts the cold and fog played havoc with the games. It was abandoned by the Seals after just one season, 1914. It's location is very evident today: the Ewing Terrace neighborhood just north of USF near Geary and Masonic.

2004 story on Ewing Field

A 1938 S.F. Chronicle obituary on Ewing Field (it had remained open for 25 years for football and other activities).

   9. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4760434)
How can you say Bonifay "could really play" when he never made it past AA?
As in "he would have deserved his job in professional baseball whether his name was Bonifay or Jingleheimerschmidt". This is in contrast to guys like Marc Sullivan, Mike Glavine, and Stephen Larkin, who were only paid to play baseball because they had a family member of some value to the organization.

Bonifay certainly played well enough to have gotten a shot at AAA. The fact that he didn't get that shot shouldn't diminish the fact that he could play five positions, hit with power, and performed well at age-appropriate levels until the Pirates stranded him in Altoona.
   10. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4760469)
...or, to put it more simply, I meant "really" as a synonym for "actually" instead of in the more figurative "Hey, this Hendrix kid can really play the guitar" sense.
   11. Born1951 Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4760502)
Despite the high scoring Yankees-Texas game, average runs per team yesterday was only 4.10, virtually identical to the season average of 4.11.

If the season ended now for Tyler Flowers, his 111 K would be a record for so few AB (285). Cody Ransom currently holds that record with 109 K in just 246 AB in 2012.
   12. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4760509)
9 - Bonifay was pretty rough with the glove, but I understood and agreed with your comment, Dan.
   13. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4760536)
Justin Masterson to the Cardinals. Felt like a perfect fit.
   14. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4760541)
Justin Masterson to the Cardinals.
Great trade! Who did we get?

In all seriousness, I wish Justin well and hope he turns it around. Seems like a good guy. I have a sneaking suspicion he's broken, though. His velocity has been down across the board all year.
   15. zempf Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4760548)
MLBTR says via Sherman James Ramsey from the Cards to the Indians in the deal. Decent numbers, but he's also a 24 year old in AA.
   16. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4760552)
Yeah, it's really beyond me what Ramsey was still doing in AA. First-round pick, mashing in AA two years after being picked. That's a guy who needs to be in AAA sooner rather than later.
   17. esseff Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4760557)
Yeah, it's really beyond me what Ramsey was still doing in AA.


Piscotty, Grichuk and, for much of the year, Taveras or Shane Robinson in a crowded outfield at Memphis along with eternal prospect Tommy Pham, who's outhitting them all.
   18. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4760585)
A 1938 S.F. Chronicle obituary on Ewing Field (it had remained open for 25 years for football and other activities).


from the article...

This era around 1915 was before my time, but Howard Smith, a fine old character, recalls that Pete Daly, a centerfielder, had to build a fire with newspapers to keep warm while patrolling a beat, and Elmer Zacher, outfielder for Oakland, was so confused by the fog that they dispatched a mascot from the bench to inform Elmer the side had been retired and it was his turn to bat.
   19. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 30, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4760728)
As in "he would have deserved his job in professional baseball whether his name was Bonifay or Jingleheimerschmidt". This is in contrast to guys like Marc Sullivan, Mike Glavine, and Stephen Larkin, who were only paid to play baseball because they had a family member of some value to the organization.


In Dave Littlefield's last draft, the Pirates gave a 20th round pick to Jim Tracy's kid, a fifth year senior who went 6-12, 5.76 in his UC Santa Barbara career. Ironically, in the convulsions after Littlefield and Tracy were released, the kid latched onto a minor league pitching coach position, and I think is still scouting for Pittsburgh.
   20. Perry Posted: July 30, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4760757)
Ah, Joe Nuxhall. His is one of the first (trivial) baseball stories I can remember reading.


And what a great story, and great life, it is.

Age 15: Signed by his hometown Reds, gets a major league appearance, the youngest ever to do so.

Age 16-22: Works his way in fits and starts through the Reds' system from Class D to AA, finally gets a handle on his control. Takes one season off to finish high school.

Age 23-37: Makes it back to the Reds, and except 1 year in KC and 5 games for LA, pitches for them for the next 15 years. Retires at 37 and goes right to the broadcast booth.

Age 37-76: Reds broadcaster, and the most popular and beloved man in town.

The man truly lived the dream.
   21. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4760924)
The Game of 7/29/14 was one of the best of the year, and that's not accounting for the ending that brings up this awesome P-I search request: Position players who (a) were winning pitchers in a game, and (b) scored the winning run. Yeah, I'm guessing that hasn't happened in a while.
   22. Lindor Truffles Posted: July 30, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4760952)
   23. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 31, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4761136)
15 - He stayed in college for four years, which earns him a hair more slack in my eyes.
17 - You ain't kidding on Pham. I know that his health is always a question, but I wanted to see him get tabbed the last Rule 5 go-around.
   24. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 31, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4761142)
the kid latched onto a minor league pitching coach position, and I think is still scouting for Pittsburgh.
Coincidentally, at last report, Josh Bonifay was a minor league hitting instructor in the Pirates' system.
   25. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 31, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4761555)
The coolest thing about Nuxhall? After pitching for the Reds at age 15, he regained his amateur status, went back to high school, and was all-state in football and basketball -- but not baseball, oddly.

EDIT: And he spent nearly 62 of his 64 seasons in baseball (1944-2007) with the Reds (or one of their minor-league clubs).

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