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Dugout Newsbeat

Monday, August 10, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-10-2020

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, August 10, 1920:

President William H. McCarthy, of the Pacific Coast Baseball League, on his return from a trip to Los Angeles to question “Babe” Borton, suspended Vernon first baseman, declared that players of the Salt Lake, Vernon, Portland and Seattle teams were involved in baseball gambling scandals.

Several suspensions and releases may be expected shortly, he said. Borton was suspended on account of suspicious circumstances surrounding a payment of $300 to Harl Maggert, the Salt Lake center fielder, who was released last week for alleged gambling in connection with Coast League games.

Turns out the $300 was to get more Borton license plates for the gift shop.

I’m just happy these sorts of widespread gambling scandals don’t happen in the major leagues. Imagine if something like that happened in a World Series.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 10, 2020 at 10:18 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 07, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-7-2020

New York Evening World, August 7, 1920:

Babe Ruth banged out two home runs, his fortieth and forty-first, in the second game of the Yanks’ series with the Tigers, enabling the New York pennant-chasers to win, 11 to 7.

Babe Ruth produces more homers in a week than Ancient Greece did in a lifetime.

You guys, I’m beginning to think Babe Ruth was good at baseball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-29-2020

El Paso Herald, July 29, 1920:

This is one on the eccentric pitcher, Walter Mails, of the Sacramento team of the Pacific Coast league. In a recent game, with a certain slugger at the plate, shortstop Orr rushed over and told Mails to smoke ‘em over. This Walter did, with the result that he got two over for strikes that the batter couldn’t see. Then Mails, in a fit of pride, fed the batter a slow one in the groove to see if he could mix ‘em up a little and get away with it.

The batter blasted one at Orr that almost tore both of Bill’s legs off. When the inning was over Orr gave Mails the raspberry. Walter got back with, “Well, I thought I would just slip a slow one over and fool him.”

Orr, galled to the quick, flung back, “Say, Walter, don’t think hereafter, for every time you do you weaken the club.”

Mails obviously had a grand total of zero thoughts in September and October 1920.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 29, 2020 at 10:25 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, duster mails, history

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2020

Marshalltown [Iowa] Times-Republican, July 28, 1920:

Baseball Entering New “Golden Era”

Baseball is supposed to have enjoyed its greatest era from 1903 to 1913, but leading baseball men in the game today believe the coming ten years will shatter all records of the former “golden era.” In nearly every league which has reported, attendance figures indicate the greatest increase in popularity in baseball the game has ever had.
...
President Ban Johnson believes the next ten years will be the greatest the old game has ever enjoyed. He says this country is slated for ten years of unprecedented prosperity.

Well, nine years and three months.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2020 at 10:25 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 27, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-27-2020

[Indianapolis] Indiana Daily Times, July 27, 1920:

A star baseball hurler ought to confine his speed to the diamond, according to Motorcycle Patrolman George F. Bailey, who testified in traffic court Monday that he found Carl Mays, the Yankee pitcher, driving his automobile at thirty-five miles an hour on St. Nicholas avenue.

Yeah, jeez, if Carl Mays isn’t careful, he could kill someone.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 27, 2020 at 10:24 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: carl mays, carl that kills people, dugout, history

Friday, July 24, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-24-2020

New York Tribune, July 24, 1920:

The Yankees took the lead in the pennant race from Tris Speaker’s Indians yesterday afternoon by handing the Cleveland outfit its third successive setback. “Babe” Ruth aided the cause by slamming out another homer, and thereby increasing his total for the season to thirty-three.
...
Bob Shawkey, who was on the mount for the Hugmen, was bumped for twelve hits, but he managed to keep these fairly well scattered and his mates accorded him airtight support.

I’ve always loved the urge sportswriters of this time had to come up with nicknames for teams by combining the manager’s name and “men”. If we still did that, we could have the Los Angeles Madmen, the San Diego Tinglemen, and the Minnesota Baldmen.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2020 at 10:39 AM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-23-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 23, 1920:

The Boston Americans will enter a claim for Shortstop Traynor of the Portsmouth, Va., club, whose purchase for $10,000 by the Pittsburgh Nationals has been reported, Manager Ed Barrow of the Red Sox announced today. Traynor is the property of the Boston club, having been sent to Portsmouth by the Red Sox on condition that Boston would have the pick of the Virginia club, Manager Barrow said. He has written the Portsmouth club officials on the matter.

President Dreyfuss of the Pirates could not be reached last night for a statement on the Red Sox claim.

Sounds to me like the Red Sox done screwed up and they’re trying to save face. Anyway, Traynor landed in Pittsburgh and the baseball world soon learned what Fabienne always knew: Any time of the day is a good time for Pie.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago today, Brooklyn shortstop Ivy Olson misses a game to get married a few days after getting divorced. This seems like bad planning on Olson’s part, but it would be tough for the team formerly known as the Bridegrooms to be too upset.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 23, 2020 at 10:20 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, pies, questionable timing, trainer

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2020

Pittsburgh Press, July 22, 1920:

Every season or so Tris Speaker shows young players that one of the things they ought to do, if they expect to succeed in their chosen profession, is to keep their eyes on the ball.

In 1918 Snooks Dowd, now with Buffalo, was put in to run by Connie Mack in a tight game with the Indians, when the A’s needed only one tally to tie…The next batter did his part all right by laying the ball down and Dowd arrived safely at second on the sacrifice. He took a couple steps off the bag and was promptly tagged out by the world’s greatest outfielder, who, deserting his pasture, came in and took Doc Johnston’s throw.

Spoke pulled the same kind of trick on Eugene Bailey of the Redsox in the second inning of the second game of last Saturday’s double header in Boston.

Having heard this story, I tried it when I was playing center field as a teenager. Pretty much everyone on the field looked at me like I had turned green and started speaking Martian.

Those people had no imagination.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 10:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 17, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-17-2020

Cordova [Alaska] Daily Times, July 17, 1920:

“Chic” Gandil, star first baseman for the Chicago White Sox last year and recently purchased by St. Anthony of the Snake River Yellowstone league for $10,000, has been released by that team and will play no more baseball this season. Gandil is said to be suffering from appendicitis and goes to Los Angeles, where it is expected he will undergo an operation.

Apparently Gandil had been having trouble with his appendix for about a year, which I had no idea was a thing that could happen. (I assumed appendicitis was always acute and not chronic.) Anyway, when the Black Sox story blows up in September 1920, Gandil will inexplicably be in a Lufkin, Texas hospital for an appendectomy. He was born in Minnesota, grew up on the West Coast, and never played within 100 miles of Lufkin. But that’s where he had his appendix removed.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2020 at 10:25 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, chick gandil, dugout, history

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-16-2020

Washington Herald, July 16, 1920:

With two on bases in the eleventh inning and the score tied at 10 to 10, Babe Ruth hit his twenty-ninth home run of the season [yesterday] afternoon, winning for the Yankees over the St. Louis Browns by a score of 13 to 10. The homer tied the major league record hung up by Babe last season.

And it’s still freaking mid-July. Elsewhere on the same page:

Not only does a new home run record appear to be certain in the majors, but indications are now that the Yankee slugger will run the total around fifty before the season ends.

You haven’t seen anything yet.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-15-2020

New York Tribune, July 15, 1920:

Brooding over striking out five times on the day previous, Babe Ruth hit the first ball pitched to him yesterday for a home run into the right field stands at the Polo Grounds. It was his twenty-eighth home run for the season, but he got no more that afternoon, for Dixie Davis, of the Browns, never put another ball within his reach.
...
There were 15000 customers on hand when Ruth cracked out the twenty-eighth homer, which puts him within one of tying his own record and within two of breaking it into several small fragments.

Ruth didn’t just tie the single-season home run record or break it into several fragments in 1920. He broke it, stomped on it, and ran it over with a steamroller before napalming the remains. And then he used a sledgehammer to smash what was left.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 15, 2020 at 10:27 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-14-2020

[Juneau] Alaska Daily Empire, July 14, 1920:

A water baseball game will be staged at Del Monte [California] July 17 and 18 between teams from the Olympic Club of San Francisco and Del Monte.
...
The game is played with a team of seven men on a side, a pitcher, catcher, three basemen and two outfielders. A water polo ball is used with a short south bat. The rules are the same as in baseball with the players swimming to bases.

I’ve never seen water baseball, but I assume spitballs wouldn’t be very useful.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 14, 2020 at 10:26 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, historry, watersports

Friday, July 10, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-10-2020

[Indianapolis] Indiana Daily Times, July 10, 1920:

Pitcher Art Smith of the Rockford Three-I league team assaulted Umpire (Scully) Jones in Friday’s game, breaking Jones’ nose. Bleacher spectators threw pop bottles at Smith when he was ejected from the park. Smith had announced his intention of quitting the Rockford club to join a semi-professional team at Kansas City.

You’d think he would pretty much have to leave organized baseball after violently booping an umpire’s snoot, but Smith was back in 1921. He spent 1921-1924 as a first baseman in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues. As Scully Jones could tell you, Art Smith was a pretty good hitter, but his statistics don’t scream “guy who was unjustly held back from the majors.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 10, 2020 at 10:29 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, screw you guys i'm going home

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-9-2020

Water Valley [Mississippi] Progress-Itemizer, July 9, 1920:

Carl Mays tells a story of how the Cleveland team stole signs to their own detriment against the Boston Red Sox. The Indians sent a couple of “sign hawks” out on the lines and grabbed off what they believed to be the right signs.

The Red Sox, however, switched their signs and the Cleveland batters stepping in to meet fast balls were beaned by curves until several had been hit.

At last one Cleveland batter stepped in and, never looking at the coaches, yelled: “Don’t tell me what they’re throwing; I don’t want to know, I don’t want to get hit.”

I’m not saying Mays was making this up. I’m just saying that Cleveland hadn’t had multiple hit-by-pitches in the same regular season game against the Red Sox since 1913, two years before Mays made his MLB debut.

Also: Carl Mays in 1920 telling a lighthearted story about Cleveland batters getting beaned. Yikes, Carl. Yikes. Carl, that kills people.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2020 at 10:19 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: beanballs, carl mays, dugout, history, llamas with hats

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-8-2020

Sacramento Union, July 8, 1920:

“Babe” Ruth, champion home run hitter of the New York American League baseball team, was slightly injured in an automobile accident near Wawa, Pa., early [yesterday].
...
Ruth was at the wheel of his big touring car. In rounding a sharp curve near Wawa the car overturned. The occupants were thrown out in a lonely section at 2 a.m. Making their way to a farm house they had their injuries dressed and were brought to Philadelphia in another motor car. Later they took a train for New York.
...
Ruth told Mrs. Coates Coleman, wife of the farmer to whose house the party was taken, that he had turned out of the road to make way for a car approaching rapidly and his car went into the ditch. It overturned and the occupants were pinned underneath. Ruth, by herculean effort, tipped the car sufficiently to permit his wife and the three ball players to crawl out. They in turn lifted the car so that Ruth was able to escape.

Sure, Babe. You definitely weren’t drunk and you definitely lifted an entire car containing five people while you were pinned underneath it, enough to allow other people to get out, but not enough to get yourself out. Story checks out. I have no further questions.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 08, 2020 at 10:31 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, dui, history

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-7-2020

Pittsburgh Press, July 7, 1920:

Many fans were unable to understand the recent announcement that Benny Kauff had been released by the New York Giants to the Toronto club of the International league. There seemed to be something mysterious about New York’s desire to be rid of a player of Kauff’s ability when the Giants are down in the race, but there was also considerable of a mystery about the willingness of all the other clubs in the league to waive claim to him.
...
Kauff got himself into trouble last winter, and he is soon to be placed on trial. Evidently the New York club is none too confident of his acquittal, and did not wish to be saddled with him at such a time.

Memphis News Scimitar, July 7, 1920:

Benny Kauff must go on trial in a New York court on July 20 on the charge of having a hand in making off with an automobile that did not belong to him. Kauff’s defense is that he bought the machine not knowing it had been stolen. Very careless of Benny and he will have some explaining to do.

It took less than an hour of deliberation for Kauff to be acquitted, but Commissioner Landis banned him for life anyway. I mean, it’s not like Landis had any reason to respect the American legal system, right?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 07, 2020 at 10:16 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 06, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-6-2020

Toledo News-Bee, July 6, 1920:

Wild Excitement Caused By Illegal Pitching of Dave Danforth of Columbus Develops A Near-Riot, Pop Bottle Throwing And Delays The Game For Two Hours and 35 Minutes
...
Danforth was pitching sailers all morning, and the Umpire Murray threw out two dozen balls and warned the southpaw several times…During one of the many arguments at the plate, somebody in the lower section of the stand hurled a pop bottle on the field that rolled over the pan at the feet of the arbiter.

There wasn’t much harm in this, but there was a possible death in another bottle that was thrown with great force from the top entrance to the upper deck.

Things went downhill quickly, the fans rioted, more cops showed up, and eventually everyone calmed down. It’s obviously not okay to throw glass bottles at people, but Toledo is the Glass City, so you’ll have that I guess.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 06, 2020 at 10:20 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, riots

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-2-2020

Washington Times, July 2, 1920:

On July 1, 1920, Walter Johnson pitched his first no-hit, no-run game, defeating the Red Sox, at Boston, 1 to 0. Hooper reached first on Harris’ error in the seventh. Only five balls were hit beyong [sic] the infield.

Elsewhere on the page, a quote from Clark Griffith:

His fast ball was just like the old times and so good that the Red Sox knew it was coming, laid for it, yet could not touch it…There was too much talk about Johnson being all through. I imagine this got under Walter’s skin, even if he is the last man in the game to bother about what it said about his work in the papers or by fans speaking from the stands.

For the most part, after 1919 Walter Johnson was no longer Walter Johnson, but he was still one of the better pitchers in the league. The final out of the Big Train’s lone career no-hitter came on a ground ball ripped over first base; Joe Judge made a great play and flipped to Johnson covering the initial sack.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2020 at 10:27 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, no-hitters, walter johnson

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-1-2020

New York Tribune, July 1, 1920:

Before 963 snoring Quaker City fans who sprinkled Shibe Park like the garnishments of a Childs’ steak—one of the largest and most enthusiastic midweek attendances that has crossed the ken of Cornelius McGillicuddy in five years, by the way—“Babe” Ruth and his supporting cast crashed through the Athletics in both sections of a doubleheader [yesterday]...The somnambulists were twice awakened [yesterday]; rudely awakened by Babe Ruth, or Bambino the Buster. In each section of the twin bill Bambino added a home run to his wonderful 1920 collection, bringing his total for the year up to an even two dozen.

Ruth had 24 home runs by the end of June 1920. The single-season record at the time was 29.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 01, 2020 at 10:20 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-30-2020

Lake County [Indiana] Times, June 30, 1920:

“Chick” Harley, former all-American football player on the Ohio State university eleven, will go to Chicago [today] to sign a contract with a major league club, according to reports. He went to Cincinnati [yesterday] to watch the Reds play St. Louis.

This would have been a big deal - Harley was perhaps the most famous amateur football player in America at 1920 and almost certainly would have won at least one Heisman Trophy if such a thing had existed at the time. Chic Harley and Jim Thorpe were the two starting halfbacks on the AP college football team of the first half of the twentieth century. Which meant Red F. Grange was on the bench.

Sadly, Harley’s pro sports career was over almost before it began. He had been showing signs of mental illness for years, and was diagnosed with what’s now known as schizophrenia in 1921. As far as I can tell, he never played professional baseball, and Chic’s pro football career lasted a total of nine games with the 1921 Decatur Staleys.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 30, 2020 at 10:35 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, June 29, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-29-2020

Indiana Daily Times, June 29, 1920:

In the third inning of the game at the Polo Grounds Sunday, Mike Menoskey, the Red Sox left fielder, ran far into left center and pulled down a long high fly driven by the battering ram bat of Babe Ruth. Menoskey flung the ball in and Oscar Vitt showed it to Umpire Chill…That ball was no longer fit for service. It was fit only for the ash can. The Babe had knocked it lopsided.

Elsewhere in Babe Ruth news 100 years ago, the Toledo News-Bee reports that Babe is hoping to hit 40 home runs this season. In fairness to the Bambino, it probably would have sounded absolutely insane to say he was hoping to hit between 50 and 60 homers.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Friday, June 26, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-26-2020

New York Tribune, June 26, 1920:

Chalk up two more for Mr. George Herman Ruth, home run king and slugger extraordinary. The “Babe” injected to prodigious circuit clouts into the pastime at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon and thereby increased his total for the season to twenty-two. Only eight more to break his own record, and the campaign is still in its infancy!

It’s still early in the season, but I think the conversion from pitcher to two-way player, and now to full-time outfielder has gone fairly well.

Also in the news 100 years ago today, the people of St. Anthony, Idaho are excited that Chick Gandil has accepted $10,000 to manage their team in the Yellowstone-Snake River League, and the American League is considering measures to prevent practical jokers from “making future public presentations at the ball park of such things as brown derbies.” Apparently this was a thing people did for fun, and I don’t get it. A cursory Googling turns up a bunch of stuff about the Brown Derby restaurant and not much about the hilarity of giving someone a hat. Anyone have any idea what the joke is here?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 26, 2020 at 10:24 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-25-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, June 25, 1920:

A change in the baseball rule, governing balls hit out of the playing fields, will go into effect [today], it was announced by American League headquarters [yesterday].
...
The rule in question…provides that a ball shall be judged fair or foul “according to where it passes over the boundry line of the actual playing field.”
...
Under the new ruling if an umpire sees a ball land foul it must be called foul, regardless of whether it passed over the boundary fence fair. The change applies to both major leagues.

Wow. I really hate that rule change. I’m happy it didn’t last.

Also on the same page, the Cardinals are moving to Sportsman’s Park in order to accomodate increased fan interest. They’d stay at Sportsman’s until Busch Stadium opened in 1953.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 10:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rules

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-24-2020

Washington Times, June 24, 1920:

The great test has been made. Jim Shaw has measured the beaks of Doc Ayers and [Eric] Erickson. A jury has aided him, and still no satisfactory decision has been reached…At the last minute, just before the game, Jim Shaw stood the two pitchers together and considered gravely the shadows cast by their noble brows. He was inclined to call it a dead heat then and there. But Donie Bush claimed it was unfair to overlook the superior bulk of Ayers. He said that, while the shadows might be equal, Erickson did not begin to have as much beak when it came to cubic measurement.

“Where do you get that cubic stuff,” howled Jim Shaw. “This has nothing to do with [Cuban outfielder Jacinto] Calvo. There ain’t no cubes in this. I’m just measuring Doc and Erick, here.”

“Bush is quite correct,” butt in Frank Ellerbe, collegian, “the cubic measurements of the respective beaks should not be cast aside as pearls before swine. You know many a flower is born to blush unseen, as the poet says, while the Scripture says, ‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.’ Now, in the face of all this authority, I cannot see how you can overlook the cubic measurement.”

Clearly, they were tackling the important issues of the day. Based on the photographic evidence, I’d be Team Erickson, though Doc’s snoot is nothing to sneeze at. Here’s a photo of the two of them next to each other.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 24, 2020 at 10:35 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, nose

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-23-2020

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, June 23, 1920:

Foreigner, Wearing Baseball Uniform, Captured After All-Night Search

A man believed to be the third member of the band of three bandits who held up a Public Service Corporation paycar in Burlington, N.J., yesterday, got $4000, sandbagged the chauffeur and shot a patrolman, has been caught.
...
The man was dressed in a baseball uniform. Mayor Thomas Lee, of Beverly, saw the suspect pass through that town this morning, and notified the Riverton authorities in time to have him caught there.

He could give no satisfactory account of why he should be roaming around in a baseball uniform at 7:30 o’clock in the morning, the time Mayor Lee saw him. His answers were vague and suspicious.

I guess “I was playing in the Rick Camp Game” didn’t mean anything to the people of 1920.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 10:35 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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