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Dugout Newsbeat

Friday, January 20, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-20-2012

Providence Evening Tribune, January 20, 1912:

Organized baseball will be fought under the Sherman Anti-trust law if it attacks the new Columbian Baseball League, according to John T. Powers, President of the new organization.

“We are not fighting capital with capital and do not seek a fight with any person or combination,” said Powers. “But we have the statutory right to exist and compete with the ‘Baseball Trust.’”

There is more in the threat of the new outlaw league in the west to fight organized baseball under the Sherman Anti-trust law than appears on the surface, or the average fan believes.

The fly in the ointment lies in the fact that the trust law was designed to prevent restriction of business and commercial activities, and did not refer to amusement enterprizes [sic], such as baseball and theatricals.

As it turns out, organized baseball did exactly what it should have done with regard to the Columbian League: They sat back and watched it collapse all by itself before it ever played a game. The postscript, though, is that John T. Powers spent the next offseason getting the Federal League off the ground. The Federal League, of course, eventually led to Federal Baseball Club v. National League, which indeed revolved around baseball and the Sherman Act.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:17 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dugout, history

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-19-2012

Connie Mack, quoted in the Mansfield Daily Shield 100 years ago today:

Jack Crooks, playing third for the Browns, was escorting a bunt that way one afternoon, and saw that it was surely safe. He knelt beside the slow-rolling ball, and blew it out of the line. There was some yowl, believe me but what could they do? He hadn’t touched the ball with hand or foot, and the umpire had to call it foul.

Lenny Randle approves.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 05:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2012

St. Joseph News-Press, January 18, 1912:

A bill that will cause much excitement in the ranks of baseball men is to be introduced in the New York state legislature by Senator James J. Frawley…It is Senator Frawley’s plan to tax the gross receipts of baseball clubs exceeding a certain limit, the money thus collected to be turned over to the playgrounds in the leading cities and towns.

The officials of the major league clubs have never made public the amount of their gross rceipts, expenditures and profits. There is no doubt, however, that the returns are enormous.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:32 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dugout, history

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-17-2012

Baseball notes from the Pittsburgh Press, January 17, 1912:

About the slowest way to get a ball player in trade is to go after him…We will give the [recently announced outlaw leagues, the Columbian League and United States League] this: They may land Bugs Raymond and Rube Waddell…Pres. Witman, of the United States league, says his league season will be short. Yes, probably two weeks…Keokuk club of the Central association, has signed 56 players for next season. The contract to finish the Panama canal must have been sublet to this team…Pres. John M. Ward is against his Boston team playing baseball on Sunday. Last year Boston didn’t play baseball Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays…Frank Smith, the piano mover, reports he is having the time of his life in Europe. “Smitty” admits he never had much use for dukes and earls, but he simply wanted to see what they looked like at close range.

You know what else Smitty never had much use for?  Pants.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 05:53 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, January 16, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-16-2012

Mansfield Daily Shield, January 16, 1912:

Edmund Lamy, who played right field and who will occupy the same position on the Mansfield club in the Ohio State league this season, may become the world’s champion skater this winter. He must win from Morris Wood in a series of matches which has been arranged between the two, to be held at Saranac Lake, N.Y., January 30 and 31. Wood is the present holder of the championship.

Lamy has always been prominent as a skater. He was holder of the amateur championship until he entered professional ball and played in this city.

Lamy won. He was a pretty good ballplayer - hit .320 with doubles power in Class B ball as a 23-year-old, but his baseball career ended with a broken collarbone.

After his baseball career and a stint in the military during World War I, Lamy went on to become a legendary speed skater and barrel jumper.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:37 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, minor leagues

Friday, January 13, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-13-2012

Pittsburgh Press, January 13, 1912:

When the Giants go to their camp at Marlin Springs next month they will be without their mascot, Charley Faust. Manager McGraw has decided, after careful consideration, that he is a jinx, and therefore he will not be allowed to be a member of the band of New York national players next season.

McGraw has already waived claim on this freakiest of freak ball players, and any club that would like a combination of mascot and pitcher had better hurry up and claim Charley.

League offices all around North America were undoubtedly flooded with claims for Faust.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 05:26 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-12-2012

In the Calgary Daily Herald, January 12, 1912, an account of the Western Canada League discussing ways to compile and disseminate statistics more quickly:

[Edmonton outfielder] Chesty Cox then threw out his chest, and after splattering a quart of Pay Roll juice on the office floor and muttering a few words about the benefit of cuspidors in all churches, he glued his eye on the writer he said…“It is not [league president] Eckstrom’s fault in most cases that the averages are not on deck at eight bells. The big leagues suffer from cramps over the averages and all presidents have their own troubles getting them out, but it is mostly the fault of the scorers. They neglect to send in the scores and the dope sheet is put on the hummer, and there is war in the camp.

“If you guys want to get the candy kids to send in their dope sheets right on the lick…you just provide each of them with a swell dame as an assistant. She could perch on his kneelers and tell him how ‘dear Chesty made home on a homer three times each game’ and how ‘Chan broke a hickory by beating the pill to the Macleod trail.” She could then accompany him to a swell hash at the Chink’s and in the gloaming warm up a chair at his desk, filling in the manuscript while the dub scorer slung out the necessary.”

I get the impression Chesty Cox would have been a fun guy to hang out with, just so you could hear him talk like this all the time.

Yes, there was actually a person named Chesty Cox. I looked it up, and I made sure not to do so from my work computer. I didn’t want to be responsible for what Google found.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:14 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, minor leagues

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-11-2012

Ty Cobb on the future of baseball, as reported in the January 11, 1912 edition of the Milwaukee Journal:

“Baseball will continue to increase in popularity…Every major league club will have a plant costing from $500,000 to $1,000,000. Many minor league parks will rival those in major league cities. Another major league will be formed within the next five years. Competition will become more keen, and star ball players will be paid fabulous sums. Ball players will be smarter. Unless conditions are satisfactory they will organize and force the magnates to recognize their rights. Players will also be faster. A more dashing style of play will prevail. This, together with the improvements in parks will attract monster crowds and the club owners’ coffers will be filled with gold.

Ty Cobb may have been a jerk, he may have been a racist, and he might just be the least likeable superstar in the history of the sport.

He was also prescient.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 05:27 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, January 09, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-9-2012

Pittsburgh Press, January 9, 1912:

Gordon Mackay, the Philadelphia sport writer has compiled a list of The Twenty Greatest Suckers in History. His list is fair, but he omitted a few names. Here is a list of suckers hard to beat—The King of Denmark…William Jennings Bryan…the Man Who Bought the Boston Nationals, Clark Griffith…the Minor Leaguer Who Thinks He’s Worth $10,000 Because the St. Louis Browns Drafted Him, the Mutt Who Bet on the Giants in the 1911 World’s Series

Bryan got crushed in the presidential election of 1908. Griffith had left the Reds over the offseason of 1911-12 to become the manager of the hapless Senators.

Not sure what Mackay’s beef was with King Frederick VIII. As kings go, he seems to have been reasonably okay. Is that a Hamlet reference?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 09, 2012 at 05:25 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, January 06, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-6-2012

Milwaukee Journal, January 6, 1912:

Ed Ashenbach, minor league manager for many years and rated the best clown in baseball, may lose his mind. He is seriously ill of paresis at his home here today. Ashenbach managed the Syracuse club last season until he suffered a nervous breakdown in July.

Ashenbach died a little over a year later. He was a rarity in the early 20th century: A well-respected and successful minor league manager who appears not to have played pro baseball. He owned two teams in the South Atlantic League and, unless some sort of early 20th century comedy style eludes me, was also a bowler.

Alas, I can’t find specific examples of his clowning.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 04:25 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-5-2012

Milwaukee Journal, January 5, 1912:

Frank Bowerman, Romeo, Mich., famous as the inventor of the only method of eating peas with a knife and without the loss of a pea…will quit baseball unless he gets his release from Kansas City.
Bowerman’s invention for eating peas was to dump an order of mashed potatoes and an equally large order of green peas on the same plate. He would mix them well, then apply his trusty knife.
When it came to dessert Bowerman always threw away his knife and often refused the aid of a spoon. He preferred to use his fingers in thrusting pie and ice cream into his face. Bowerman realized that fingers were made for personal use and he wanted to get all the possible use out of his.

That’s the sort of stuff you just don’t get in newspapers anymore.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:15 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-4-2012

Milwaukee Journal, January 4, 1912:

Indiana didn’t secede from the Union.
Kaiser Wilhelm was not seen on the vaudeville circuit.
Vienna was refused admittance to the Tri-State league.
Shibe Park was not converted into a moving picture show.
Connie Mack did not unconditionally release Eddie Collins.
Count Leo Tolstoy neglected to write a musical comedy.

...and it’s a damn shame he didn’t.  I’d pay big bucks to see the singing, dancing grand finale of War and Peace: The Musical when [WAR AND PEACE SPOILER ALERT!] Princess Helene overdoses on abortion medication and dies.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 04:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: books, dugout, history

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-3-2012

Pittsburgh Press, January 3, 1912:

It will be good news to the friends of Larry McLean, and especially President Herrmann and Manager Hank O’Day, to know that the big fellow swore off drinking for a year and will go in training at once to help the Reds win the pennant in 1912.

“I have spent thousands of dollars being a good fellow,” said Larry, “and here’s where I cut it out.”

It wouldn’t be the offseason without a story about Larry McLean refusing to take a tumble off the aqua aeroplane.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:25 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, January 02, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-2-2012

Toledo News-Bee, January 2, 1912:

Mordecai Brown, premier pitcher of the Cubs and one of the highest class players who ever participated in the national pastime, is through with baseball.

“I do not want anyone to construe my assertion that I am going to quit baseball into the usual ‘hold out’ talk of a player whose contract has expired and who is looking for more money.”

Brown got a 27% raise and was back with the Cubs by April.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:54 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, December 30, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2011

Pittsburgh Press, December 30, 1911:

McGraw says Cubans won’t be real fans until they quit betting on games…

Connie Mack diplomatically refused to pick the “greatest twenty.” Mack has less trouble than any other manager in the world, and doesn’t purpose borrowing any.

Ty Cobb denies there was friction between him and George Moriarity last season, but adds Moriarity overestimated himself as captain. If there wasn’t friction there may be after that.

The mind boggles at the thought of the conversations Mack and Cobb had when Ty was an Athletic.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:09 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-29-2011

Pittsburgh Press, December 29, 1911:


Stripes will be the rage in amateur baseball uniforms next season. Plain gray, white or blue uniforms will be work only by teams which find their 1911 suits good enough to wear again.

Along with the stripes, fashionable ballplayers will wear a hundred-dollar shine on a three dollar pair of shoes.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 29, 2011 at 02:19 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, dugout, history

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-28-2011

Milwaukee Journal, December 28. 1911:

[Red Sox manager] Jake Stahl says that he is sure he has no more dead players on his list. Since he discovered Lockwood, the dead Vancouver man on the list, he has been over it very carefully.

Cross him off, then.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 28, 2011 at 02:14 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, obituaries

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-27-2011

Pittsburgh Press, December 27, 1911:

Sheer batting ability will not keep a baseball player in the big leagues. To make good, a player must back up that batting prowess with a fair ability to field, for nowadays a manager takes into consideration the team defense as much as the offense.

There are plenty of good examples of where a player has batted splendidly in the major leagues, yet drawn his release because of not being an even fair fielder. Dode Criss might bat close to .400 if played regularly, yet the St. Louis managers, after trying him in every position on the team except behind the bat, chased him over to Louisville.

Other players cited in the article as examples of careers impeded due to an inability to field: Jay Kirke, Charlie Hickman, Bill Kay, Jack Lelivelt, Ted Easterly, and Amby McConnell.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:50 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, December 26, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-26-2011

New York Times, December 26, 1911:

CHICAGO, Dec. 25.—Adrian C. Anson, Captain of the Chicago baseball team of 1876, and since then one of the best-known figures in the National sport, saved two boys from drowning to-day in the Lagoon in Jackson Park.

“Pop” Anson, as he is known, was playing golf with Dr. E.C. Caldwell when he heard cries for help and saw a boy struggling in the water.  The boy’s companion was trying to rescue him, but in a moment he, too, broke through the ice.

He was playing golf. In Chicago. On Christmas. When it was cold enough for a lagoon to freeze over.

Maybe Anson was no racist.  Maybe he was just insane.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 26, 2011 at 03:11 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, December 23, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-23-2011

New York Times, December 23, 1911:

“These Cubans,” said Mr. McGraw last night, “are only fair ball players. They are as fast as lightning on the bases and they can throw to beat the band. They have picked up all the knacks of fielding, but they cannot bat.

“Not only that, but they do not play what we call brainy baseball. Very little attention is given to brainwork on the diamond. They perform the manual part of the game very well, but the keen, crafty headwork we see in the game here is missing.”

Hey Reggie White, what about Japanese players?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-22-1911

Toledo News-Bee, December 22, 1911:

“I shall quit baseball when I feel that I have reached the zenith of my career,” says Ty Cobb. “I will not continue in the game a day after I feel myself beginning to slip back. I will not make the mistake that many players have made, of continuing until they lose the reputations they have made in their best days.

“It is my opinion that Cy Young is making the mistake of his career by remaining in the game…Had Cy quit in the heyday of his career his name would have been famous.”

Who knows? They may even have named an award after Young. But now we’ll never know.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 22, 2011 at 07:54 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, hall of fame, history

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-21-2011

Eugene Register-Guard, December 21, 1911:


According to an announcement here, plans are being perfected for the establishment of a new “outlaw” baseball league, to have clubs in Brooklyn, Newark, Paterson, Reading, Washington, Baltimore, and Richmond.

The outlaw league in question was the United States League, which lasted about a month, was populated by has-beens and never-will-bes, and was Bugs Raymond’s last stop in pro baseball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 21, 2011 at 01:12 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-20-2011

Milwaukee Journal, December 20, 1911:

Mrs. Helen Hathaway Britton, owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, believes that every woman should be a baseball fan.
If women went to the ball game more, advises Mrs. Britton, instead of sitting home wondering what her next door neighbor is going to wear at Mrs. So and So’s theater party, she would find better contentment.  Again, she would find companionship with her husband more agreeable.  Also it would help to keep hubby home nights, for he would then have something live to talk about with his wife.


Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, dugout, history

Monday, December 19, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-19-2011

Pittsburgh Press, December 19, 1911:

A Chicago newspaper asked Charles A. Comiskey, owner of the Whitesox, to select the 20 ball players whom he considered the greatest of all time.  The “Old Roman” opined that the task was about the most difficult he had ever tackled, but finally complied, and here are his choices:
“Buck” Ewing, “Mike” Kelly, Hal Chase, Charley Ferguson, Adrian C. Anson, Eddie Collins, Fred Pfeffer, Hans Wagner, John Glasscock, Harry Lord, Tyrus Cobb, Fred Clarke, Willie Keeler, Tom McCarthy, Napoleon Lajoie, Charley Radbourns [sic], Bobby Caruthers, Christy Mathewson, Edward Walsh, Clarke [sic] Griffith.

Among the better players Comiskey omitted: George Davis, Roger Connor, Dan Brouthers, Sam Crawford, Bill Dahlen, Cy Young, Kid Nichols, Tim Keefe, and Julio Franco.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:45 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, December 16, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-16-2011

New York Times, December 16, 1911:

Irwin M. Howe of Chicago was to-day appointed official statistician of the American Baseball League by President Ban B. Johnson. The office of statistician was created by President Johnson for the purpose of securing timely and complete figures regarding all phases of the league’s affairs.

Oh, brilliant, Ban. As if 100 years from now, people are going to be looking at baseball statistics from 1912.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 16, 2011 at 01:51 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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