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Dugout Newsbeat

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-12-2019

Columbus Dispatch, December 12, 1919:

Because of the claim of officials of the New York National league club that the New York American league club management flooded the Polo Grounds with passes last year in an effort to give the impression that the Yanks were playing to as many people as the Giants, there is grave doubt whether the Highlanders will find the Polo Grounds available for their use after 1920.

That seems like an extremely petty thing to get mad about, but *shrug*.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 12, 2019 at 09:26 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-11-2019

Pittsburgh Press, December 11, 1919:

Joe McCarthy, veteran second baseman of the Louisville American association baseball club, has been signed to manage the Colonels next year, according to a telegram from Business Manager William Neale, who is in New York. McCarthy is ranked as one of the best players in the association and has been with Louisville five years.

Ho-hum. Just another case of a guy getting a manager job because he’s a good player. There’s no chance McCarthy ever amounts to anything as a manager.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:39 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-10-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 10, 1919:

Honus Wagner last night admitted that he had received an offer to manager the new Akron (O.) club in the International League.

“I do not know whether to accept,” he added.
...
Further than to admit that he had been offered the place as chief chauffeur of the Tire City band, and had not made up his mind, Honus was uncommunicative.

Honus was a wealthy guy who had a comfortable life in his hometown and had a newborn daughter. He wasn’t going to Akron. He was never going to Akron. He didn’t go to Akron.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 10, 2019 at 11:07 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, December 09, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-9-2019

Washington Times, December 9, 1919:

Everett Scott is no longer desirous of being traded by the Red Sox. Some time ago the clever shortstop of the Boston American League club announced that he would not again wear the spangles of the Hub outfit and would demand that he be traded or sold to another club. Lately he underwent a change of mind, the reason for which lay in his purchase of a car.

Last year Scott resided during the summer at Winthrop, which is on the Massachusetts coast and the tiresome trips by rail back and forth between his home and Fenway Park really impelled him to seek a berth elsewhere.

Now, however, he says all objections to playing in Boston have been removed, as he can live at the seashore next summer and travel to and from the ball park in his car.

This is a nice reminder of how different things were in 1919. Winthrop is about eight miles from Fenway and it borders Logan Airport, so it isn’t a long trip by our standards. I commute 14 miles to work and it’s no big deal. Heck, for a while, I was commuting from suburban Cincinnati (Mason) to Columbus every day.

As far as I know, Chargers QB Philip Rivers still commutes from San Diego to Los Angeles every day. But I guess Rivers and I have cars, so maybe Scott was on to something.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 09, 2019 at 10:42 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, December 06, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-6-2019

Pittsburgh Press, December 6, 1919:

Connie Mack, boss of the Athletics, who jumped into the American league fight with a verbal assault on the New York club, has received a broadside from Col. Huston, part owner of the Yankees.

Among other things Mack said the Yankees were in a poor position to start another league as they didn’t have a park to play in. Among other things, in answering him, Huston said: “We have a team and no park, but the Athletics are not that well off. They have a park and no team.”

Zing!

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:40 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-5-2019

El Paso Herald, December 5, 1919:

George “Lefty” Tyler, the Cubs’ famous southpaw hurler, is in a hospital at Rochester, Minn., underground treatment for an ailment to his pitching arm, which rendered him well-nigh useless to the Chicago club for a great part of the past season. Tyler has complained for the past year or so of soreness in the left arm and shoulder, and has consulted numerous physicians without gaining the desired relief. The pitcher’s complaint has been variously diagnosed as rheumatism, neuritis, a torn muscle, and a misplaced ligament.

I, for one, am shocked to learn that yanking all his teeth out didn’t fix his shoulder.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:10 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-4-2019

Tucumcari [New Mexico] News, December 4, 1919:

There have been many freak plays this season at the Polo ground, but one that occurred in the final game of the season between the Giants and Pirates was one for the book. It happened in the seventh inning. Schmidt, the Pittsburgh catcher, was at bat. He hit a grounder sharply at Zimmerman. Heinie fielded the ball cleanly, but noticed that Schmidt did not run to first. Instead, the visiting backstop was rapping his bat on the ground to see if it had been broken by the blow. So Zim tossed the ball to Fletcher. Fletcher relayed it to Frisch and Frisch passed it to Chase, retiring Schmidt at first base. Schmidt’s bat had been fractured at the handle.

It was your standard run of the mill 5-6-4-3 groundout. Presumably it happened in this game.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-3-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 3, 1919:

Babe Ruth, outfielder for the Boston American League baseball club and champion home run hitter of the world, may become a professional heavyweight boxer, it was announced [yesterday]. Kid McCoy, former pugilist, and Al St. John, a motion picture actor, [yesterday] entered into an agreement by which McCoy will train Ruth for 30 days and, if his report is favorable, St. John will finance a campaign of the outfielder to obtain a match with Jack Dempsey, heavyweight champion.

It’s horrible, this idea.

The only boxing/MLB two-sport athlete I’m aware of is Art Shires, a White Sox first baseman who went 5-2 as a heavyweight from 1929-1935. Maybe there are more. There are probably more. Anyway, Shires and Hack Wilson came very close to a boxing match at one point but it never happened.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:05 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, December 02, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-2-2019

Pittsburgh Press, December 2, 1919:

Considerable has been written about the recent world’s series, and about the work of the Whitesox in many of the games. There have been broad hints that all was not right, and many versions of just what took place have been circulated.

An Eastern sporting man who claimed to be on the “inside” recently said that the Chicago players were entirely innocent of wrongdoing. Said this man:

‘A certain sure-thing guy in the Windy City put up a job on a bunch of eastern gamblers which netted a handsome profit for him. This fellow sent out word that he had fixed certain players who had guaranteed to throw the series to the Reds…The Chicago fixer was just taking a big chance. He knew enough about baseball to figure that the Reds had a splendid chance to win and he simply trusted to luck to pull him through.’

There is nothing to see here. Please disperse.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-27-2019

Columbus Dispatch, November 27, 1919:

Dick Wants Job

Dick Hoblitzel, former first baseman of the Boston Red Sox, has filed an application with the Akron Exhibition Co. to manage Akron’s club in the International league next season. Hoblitzel is now a first lieutenant in the army but expects to receive his discharge long before the playing season opens.

This is a headline that worked 100 years ago today, and again in 2012 when I got laid off.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 27, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-26-2019

El Paso Herald, November 26, 1919:

Grief reigns in the Ruth family. Bobby Meusel, a mere coast league player, has busted one of Ruth’s “stock” of bats—the “stock” consisting of two specially made clubs.

“Babe” Ruth, the superbatsman, was playing in an exhibition game and had his bats ready in case of emergency. It was Meusel’s turn at bat, and the sturdy Coast leaguer, wishing to have the privilege of batting with one of the clubs that has sent many a horsehide over the big league fences, picked out one of Ruth’s “private stock.”

The ball came straight down the groove and Meusel let go. A sound of splitting wood filled the air as the ball rolled down the field, and Ruth’s bat busted right at the handle. The question now has arisen as to who is the best batsman—Ruth or Meusel. Many believe that Bobby takes the honors, inasmuch as he busted the champion’s bat; while others maintain that the Vernon player failed to hold the bat correctly.

I’ll go with Option C*, that Meusel absolutely knew what he was doing with a bat in his hands, but Ruth was incomprehensibly great.

* - I will not go with Option J, at least not right now.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history, option j

Monday, November 25, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-25-2019

El Paso Herald, November 25, 1919:

President James J. McCaffery of the Toronto club thinks the International league made a mistake in granting a franchise to Akron instead of to Montreal. Naturally McCaffery thinks the Canadian city the better of the two and he believes that with new and popular ownership Montreal would pull a big comeback in baseball.

On one hand, 100 years later, Akron has a popular and well-supported professional baseball team and Montreal doesn’t. On the other hand, at least until Jeff Loria torched the market and sold Expos fans down the river, Montreal was obviously a better market.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 25, 2019 at 09:47 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, November 22, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-22-2019

Pittsburgh Press, November 22, 1919:

St. Louis Cardinals recently approached Cincinnati men, and proposed a deal whereby the Reds would get Outfielder [Jack] Smith, a player much admired by Pat Moran, in exchange for Pitcher Jimmy Ring. The deal sounded fine to Moran, but now it has been intimated that the Cards do not want Ring for their own use, but, if they secure him, plan to trade him, McHenry and Hornsby to the New York Giants for Benny Kauff, Art Fletcher, Heine Zimmerman and four other players, for whom McGraw figures he has no further use.

It didn’t happen, but that would have been a catastrophic deal for the Cardinals. Zimmerman’s career was over at this point as a result of gambling and game-fixing allegations that hadn’t yet blown up into a big story, Kauff was a few months away from the auto theft indictment that ended his career, and Fletcher was 35 years old. If they had traded Rogers F. Hornsby, a talented young pitcher, and a talented young outfielder for those three, it could have destroyed the organization for years and years.

In fairness, the Cardinals organization was already a trainwreck at this point, but they were only a few years away from winning five pennants in nine seasons. Also, weirdly, when the Cardinals finally did trade Rajah, it was a deal with the Giants involving Jimmy Ring.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 22, 2019 at 09:55 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-21-2019

El Paso Herald, November 21, 1919:

Although the [New York] major league clubs probably will continue only one more year to share the Polo grounds, it is likely that the St. Louis, Philadelphia and Boston clubs may use one field in each of those cities next season to reduce overhead expenses.

While the interest in baseball is increasing in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Boston, conditions are such as to necessitate curtailment of expenses. Baseball men connected with the clubs that operate in those cities are convinced that in view of the success with which the Giants and Yankees operated together at the Polo grounds the scheme would go well in their towns.

The ground share in New York didn’t go nearly as well as this article would have you believe. The Giants spent years trying to kick the Yankees out of the stadium before the Yanks left in 1923.

As for the other cities: The Browns and Cardinals shared Sportsman’s Park from 1920 until the Browns left for Baltimore. The Phillies and Athletics shared Shibe Park from 1938-1954, and the Braves and Red Sox shared Fenway in 1915 (and swapped parks for some World Series games of the 1910s based on which team’s stadium had the higher capacity).

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:23 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-20-2019

Indy league ballplayer Louis Lamer tells a story to the Sporting News about his team facing Walter Johnson in an exhibition game, run in the Bogalusa [Louisiana] Enterprise and American, November 20, 1919:

On our team was a player we called Goose Pittman, who was quite a character. He talked about what he could do and just how he could hit Johnson’s speed. He had it all figured out.

Johnson put over the first two strikes on Goose so fast he did not even see them, but then Goose began to work his system…He was going to slam away as soon as he saw Walter winding up, figuring he’d about get his bat around when the ball got to the plate.

Johnson brought his arm up and fired the ball over to first base, trying to nab the runner there. Goose was all set and as he saw Johnson’s arm go up he swung wildly, going all the way round. Of course he hit nothing but the atmosphere. The crowd roared and Goose threw down his bat and shook his head. “My Gawd! such speed,” he said, “I never even saw it.”
...
Pittman had to take a lot of joshing for being the only man who was ever known to swing at a ball that had been thrown to first base.

If it’s anything like what I had to endure after striking out and grounding into a double play in the same slow-pitch softball season, it would have been rough.

(On the strikeout, the pitcher had figured out exactly the angle to throw in order to force hitters to stare into the sun to find the ball. On the double play, I absolutely crushed a one-hopper up the middle. Shortstop grabbed it, stepped on second, and threw me out as if it were a routine ground out. You really have to hit a softball on the button to ground into a double play.)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 20, 2019 at 10:07 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-19-2019

Memphis News Scimitar, November 19, 1919:

New York probably will have a new American league ball park in 1920, according to information obtained today from a trustworthy source. Literally speaking, Col. Jake Ruppert and Col. T.L. Huston, owners of the Yankees, have been kicked out of the Polo grounds and are now forced to build a ball park of their own if they want to operate next season. They have been requested to vacate and were refused a new lease to the Polo grounds by Charles A. Stoneham, president of the Giants.

The news has not been given out in Gotham that the Yankees were asked to find a new home, but it has been reported there that Ruppert and Huston are planning to start work on a new plant as soon as possible, and that they have secured the option on a plot of land at Amsterdam avenue and 138th street.

That’s not too far from where Yankee Stadium actually wound up, but it’s on the other side of the Harlem River.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 10:30 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, November 18, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-18-2019

Washington Times, November 18, 1919:

Here’s a story of an incident during the home training season of the St. Louis Cardinals last spring. It seems that Branch Rickey became enraged one day at a player who perpetrated a bone play and proceeded to express himself as vigorously as ever he does, for Branch never resorts to profanity.

“Jumping Jehosaphat!” he cried in his vexation. “That sort of stuff isn’t baseball and by Judas Priest I won’t have it on my ball club!”

In the grandstand sat an old-time fan, a leather necked, hard headed old guy who had ideas of his own concerning the manner in which blundering ball players should be addressed.

“‘Jumping Jehosaphat!’ ‘By Judas Priest!’” he muttered, mimicking the Cardinal leader. Then his feelings got the better of him and he blurted out so that all the world might hear: “Ain’t that a helluva way for a big league manager to cuss?”

Branch Rickey never seemed to have much of a problem with being himself.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:11 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: branch rickey, dugout, history

Friday, November 15, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-15-2019

El Paso Herald, November 15, 1919:

Rumors That World Series Was Fixed Will Not Down

[New York Evening Mail writer] James P. Sinnott, known in sporting circles as “Skipper,” says: “The rumors of crookedness in connection with the recent world’s series are cropping up again. The story hinted at in Chicago when the last game between the White Sox and Reds had been played, in which the inference was drawn that gamblers had tampered with Chicago players, is once more going the rounds.”

There is an old adage that “where there is smoke there must be fire.” Yet those who understand the general trend of suspicion that seems to follow in the wake of all big sporting events these days, and who believe in the integrity of the national pastime, will be slow to believe that the world’s series of 1919 was not decided upon its merits.
...
So far as the world’s series of 1919 is concerned nothing showed upon the surface to indicate that the Cincinnati Reds were not a better team than the Chicago White Sox. And I think they were and are the better team, no matter how many gamblers tried to, or did, stiffen certain Chicago players.

Nah, I wouldn’t worry about it. I think it was on the level.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 15, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-14-2019

Ogden Standard, November 14, 1919:

George Tyler, southpaw pitcher for the Cubs, had an early appointment with a dentist today and before the end of the day he expected to have only two teeth left in his mouth. The pitcher, who did little work for his team last season because of pains in his arm, spent several days of the present week at a hospital at Rochester, Minn., where practically every expert at the institution examined him. All except one pronounced his condition as “almost perfect.”

The expert who made the unfavorable report examined Tyler’s teeth and declared that the lameness in his arm came from “pus sacks” which had formed on his gums. After removal of his teeth, the expert declared that Tyler would be in better condition than he ever was.

Dude. Stop. Don’t.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 14, 2019 at 10:37 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-13-2019

Washington Times, November 13, 1919:

A Chicago sporting paper, which has made formal charges against members of the White Sox regarding their behavior during the world’s series with the Cincinnati Reds, apparently means business. Owner Charles A. Comiskey of the White Sox, has been notified by this publication that if he will post $10,000 with a well known banking firm, evidence of an incriminating nature involving several of his players will be gladly furnished.

The editor of the sporting paper also has made it clear that he wants no part of Comiskey’s reward, which can be turned over to charity “when the charges have been proved.”

So far, the Old Roman has declined to accept the challenge, but other baseball men are investigating.

Elsewhere in sports news 100 years ago, there’s a wild (and incorrect) rumor circulating that heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey was killed in an auto accident.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 13, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, November 11, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-11-2019

A collection of quotes from Pirates rookie pitcher Jack Wisner in the Pittsburgh Press, November 11, 1919:

“Put your dough on these here Pirates next season. We got that there flag in the National cinched, but them there cuckoos in that league ain’t got wise to that fact yet. They got some surprise party coming, I’ll say they has.”
...
“It’s good I’m with Pittsburg at that, because Pittsburg has got a lot of smoke and my fast ball has got more smoke than Pittsburg and we’ll be a smokey pair. I’ll say we will.”
...
“I got a curve ball that comes up to the plate and says ‘how do you do’ and then fades away in the catcher’s mitt if the catcher is lucky enough to have it in the right place. Then I got a slow ball which melts away from their bats if they ever are lucky enough to meet it. And I got a peach ball that Sam Crawford couldn’t hit even if his name does sound like a freestone. I’ll say I got aplenty.”

“But I sure is sorry I ain’t in the American league. They’s a lot of chesty guys in that league I’d like to set down hard and put in their right place. I sure does hate a chesty ball player; they gets on my nerves. I’ll tell the world they does.”

I think I have a new favorite player from this era.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:50 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, November 08, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-8-2019

Memphis News Scimitar, November 8, 1919:

It’s all set for the Pirates to win the pennant next season. Those who say so have it all doped out this way: When George “Possum” Whitted was traded from St. Louis to Boston the Braves promptly proceeded to bag a pennant. When “Possum” next was shifted to Philadelphia the Phillies likewise grabbed the gonfalon. Now that he has been presented to Pittsburgh the Pirates are expected to go out and win the championship. How can they help it with the swastika of baseball in their lineup?

Oh. Oh no.

(Yes, I know, the swastika was a symbol of luck that was co-opted by some of the worst human beings who have ever lived. It’s just weird to read an article that describes someone, in a positive way, as the “swastika of baseball”.)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 08, 2019 at 09:51 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-7-2019

New York Tribune, November 7, 1919:

The fight against Ban Johnson, president of the American League…is very likely to result in the greatest upheaval in the history of the national game if the erstwhile Czar and his five henchmen do not quickly recede from their present attitude of defiance of civil and baseball law.

A new major circuit, built around the New York, Chicago and Boston clubs of the American League, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars and recognized as an equal by the National League, may be launched before next spring if Johnson’s supporters insist upon pressing existing litigation to the point of baseball wrecking.

Before he left for Chicago Wednesday afternoon Charles A. Comiskey, of the White Sox, declared most emphatically that his team, the Yankees and the Red Sox, if forced to it, could get along without the other five clubs.

Looks like the plan was to replace the Browns with a team in Pittsburgh while Toronto and Montreal would replace Washington and Philadelphia. Toledo was rumored to be involved to replace either Cleveland or Detroit. This article doesn’t say what the other new city would be, but presumably they’d have been looking at places like Columbus, Buffalo, Louisville, Baltimore, and Newark.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-6-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, November 6, 1919:

The serious breach between the Yankees and President Ban Johnson, of the American League, was widened [yesterday] when Johnson refused point blank to meet the joint National Commission committee of which Col. Jacob Rupert [sic], of the New York club is a member. Johnson’s action was a great surprise to the joint committee and his action may hold up the appointment of a new chairman of the National Commission to succeed August Herrmann of Cincinnati, indefinitely.
...
It is generally understood Johnson refused to meet with any committee of which Col. Ruppert is a member.
...
Johnson’s latest action means that the controversy over Carl Mays will interfere with the working of the entire major league baseball machinery, and baseball men [last night] predicted that unless some adjustment was made before another season rolls around the fight may reach proportions which might cause another baseball war.

Ban was straight up not having a good time.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 06, 2019 at 11:10 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-5-2019

Pittsburgh Press, November 5, 1919:

PROBING SERIOUS CHARGES

Owner Charles A. Comiskey, of the Chicago Whitesox, and the members of the National commission, are quietly investigating scandalous stories involving the American league champions in the recent world’s series. A Chicago sporting writer the other day published a bitter attack on several members of the Whitesox who were mentioned by name.
...
No accusations reflecting on the honesty of the Chicago players appeared in this, but the sporting paper threatened to make further disclosures that would compel the governors of the sport to take drastic action.

Meh. It’s probably nothing.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

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