Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Governor’s Sox: “Otey and Jackie: An Unlikely Rivalry”

Jonathan Eig, points out this “great story on Jackie Robinson’s tryout with the Red Sox.”

I asked former Fenway office boy, Monsignor Thomas Daly. He knew the ins and outs of everyone and everything that went on at Fenway Park in the mid-forties. He could still recite the address of almost every employee of the ball club in 1945 (including Lefty Grove’s in Lonaconing, Maryland).  Daly had attended the Negro League exhibitions at Fenway in the mid-forties, but he had never heard of Jackie Robinson auditioning for the team.

I even asked former Yankee General Manager, Lee MacPhail, now 93-years-old, who started working for the Yankees in 1945 when his father Larry became a co-owner of the team.  All I received back was a curt, non-memory of the event. “No. I never heard of that.”

When I finally dialed the number of the oldest living Red Sox player, and one of only two players from the 1945 Red Sox roster still living, I wasn’t expecting much.

My modest expectations were completely blown away with what I found.  Here was a 95-year-old, cup of coffee, war call-up named William Otis “Otey” Clark of Boscobel, Wisconsin, not just telling me that he had heard of the tryout, but describing important details of the day he threw to the Kansas City Monarchs shortstop and future trailblazer, Jack Roosevelt Robinson. He said, “Joe Cronin would say ‘take a little off’ and all of that.”

...Otey told me that his manager, Joe Cronin, called him up the day before and asked him to be at the ballpark at 10 am.  He explained, “Cronin chose me because I had good control.” When he got there, he dressed and went out to the bullpen to warm up.  According to Otey, Robinson hit well, but didn’t have a strong enough arm to play shortstop.  He said, “I didn’t think he could throw from the hole behind third.”

Repoz Posted: March 01, 2011 at 09:37 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, red sox, special topics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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. spike Posted: March 02, 2011 at 02:56 AM (#3761099)
Nice story. I wish the writer would have fleshed out the details of the tryout a bit more, but still, I enjoyed it.
   2. Bob Evans Posted: March 02, 2011 at 04:19 AM (#3761161)
Jesu, I'm in Boscobel pretty often for a flatlander (or for anybody for that matter) and I had no idea they had a player from there.

Boscobel's main claim to fame is as the birthplace of the Gideon Bible.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
phredbird
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogThe Unluckiest Pitching Staff Ever Assembled
(4 - 3:15pm, Dec 04)
Last: Betts, Bogaerts, and D Price(GGC)

NewsblogOTP: 28 November 2016: Bud Selig reminisces about 1999 MLB trip to Cuba, meeting Fidel Castro
(1759 - 3:09pm, Dec 04)
Last: Rickey! No. You move.

NewsblogCarlos Beltran agrees to one-year, $16M deal with Astros
(16 - 3:08pm, Dec 04)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogOT - November* 2016 College Football thread
(571 - 3:04pm, Dec 04)
Last: Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted

NewsblogMLBPA boss Tony Clark breaks down the CBA | FOX Sports
(1 - 3:03pm, Dec 04)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogSunday Notes: Vizquel, Lindor, Shipley, Ryan, Mussina, more | FanGraphs Baseball
(4 - 2:46pm, Dec 04)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: NBA 2016-17 Preseason Thread
(1139 - 2:19pm, Dec 04)
Last: tshipman

Hall of Merit2017 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(163 - 1:20pm, Dec 04)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogPittsburgh Pirates prospects Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow rise to the top of team's Organization All-Stars | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
(2 - 1:13pm, Dec 04)
Last: PASTE does not get put on waivers in August

NewsblogBraves Acquire Jaime Garcia
(26 - 12:09pm, Dec 04)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogOT: October-November 2016 Soccer Thread
(368 - 11:39am, Dec 04)
Last: OPS+

NewsblogA’s, Yonder Alonso agree on new deal
(20 - 11:16am, Dec 04)
Last: A triple short of the cycle

NewsblogWill Cubs stay quiet or pull off surprise at winter meetings? | Chicago Sun-Times
(1 - 10:19am, Dec 04)
Last: Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest"

NewsblogHall of Fame: Bud Selig lock for election on Today's Game ballot | SI.com
(19 - 9:41am, Dec 04)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogMinor Leaguers Continue Efforts In Wage Lawsuit | BaseballAmerica.com
(1 - 9:25am, Dec 04)
Last: RMc is Fairly Irrefutable

Page rendered in 0.1268 seconds
47 querie(s) executed