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Dugout Newsbeat

Friday, July 30, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2021

New Britain Herald, July 30, 1921:


Revocation of park privileges to all plain clothes men and detectives except a limited number was contained in a letter sent today to Director of Public Safety Robert J. Alderdice by Samuel Watters, secretary of the Pittsburgh Baseball Co.

Mr. Watters said the privileged had been granted in an effort to break up gambling in the Pirates’ park here but that it had proved ineffective. Hereafter, he said, except those on duty, the police will have to pay as others to see the game.

1. Let cops watch free baseball
2. ?????
3. No gambling!

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 30, 2021 at 08:08 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-29-2021

Washington Times, July 29, 1921:

Mayor Peters has asked Harry H. Frazee, president of the Boston American League Baseball Club, whether a reduction in the price of admission tickets to Fenway Park, home grounds of the Red Sox, was not possible.

In a letter to Frazee the mayor said he was informed that the charge of 85 cents for bleacher and $1.10 for grandstand seats was in excess of the prices charged by other major league clubs throughout the country.

Makes sense. It’s just too bad he didn’t have a draw like Babe Ruth to justify those prices.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 29, 2021 at 08:17 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-27-2021

Toledo News-Bee, July 27, 1921:

George Gibson, Pittsburg manager, has a substitute shortstop in the background in case anything should go wrong with Rabbit Maranville. The sub is Harold (Pie) Traynor, farmed to Birmingham. In 70 games the kid has hit .360, stole 40 bases and is a whirlwind fielder.

That’s a fairly handy spare infielder to have hanging around. Any time of the season was a good time for Pie.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 27, 2021 at 08:13 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2021

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, July 22, 1921:

The first story of the actual placing of bets during the 1919 World’s Series by men charged with the alleged conspiracy of White Sox players to throw the games as told from the witness stand in the baseball trial today by John O. Seys, secretary of the Chicago National League club.

Mr. Seys identified Louis Levi, of Kokomo, Ind., and Des Moines, Ia., a defendant, as one of the bettors. Seys said he and Clark Griffith, manager of the Washington baseball team, held stakes for bets made by Abe Attell and Levi.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen any allegations that Griffith was involved, even unwittingly.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 22, 2021 at 08:14 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 16, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-16-2021

Indiana Daily Times, July 16, 1921:

Arthur Irwin, old-time big league baseball player, vanished from the steamship Calvin Austin, New York to Boston, early today. It is believed he either jumped or fell overboard and was drowned.

Irwin was last seen shortly before midnight when he was talking with an old frield aboard the steamer, to whom he admitted despondency because of ill health. Irwin told his friend that he had been in a hospital and was coming home to his brother John’s to die.

Irwin was a strange guy; he had a wife and son in Boston and a different wife and son in New York. The two sons found out about each other shortly before Irwin’s death when they both visited him in the hospital.

There were theories about Irwin faking his death or being murdered, but between his stomach cancer and his personal life imploding around him, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to come to the conclusion he likely jumped.

The SABR bio of Irwin is a good read about an unusual person.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 16, 2021 at 08:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-14-2021

Toledo News-Bee, July 14, 1921:

Jim Thorpe did a stunt [in Milwaukee] yesterday that even Babe Ruth might envy. The famous friend of the king of Sweden peeled off three mighty home runs and took the leading role in a frightful mauling handed the Brewers by the Mud Hens. The score was 17 to 4.

I realize it probably couldn’t have happened, given Thorpe’s celebrity, but I do sometimes wonder what kind of big league career he could have had if someone had given him a job and the time to settle in. Thorpe absolutely obliterated the high minors from 1920-1922, but by that point he was in his mid-30s and had been tossed into the scrap heap by the major leagues.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 14, 2021 at 08:12 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-13-2021

Omaha Daily Bee, July 13, 1921:

Babe Ruth, by knocking two home runs [yesterday], brought his record for the season to 34 and gave New York the victory over St. Louis, 6 to 4.

Those home runs were the 136th and 137th of Ruth’s career, putting him one behind Roger Connor for the all-time career record. Not bad for a 26-year-old.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 13, 2021 at 08:14 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 09, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-9-2021

Pittsburgh Press, July 9, 1921:

Baseball fans attending games at Forbes Field will no longer be molested by policemen when they keep baseballs knocked into the stands, according to an order issued yesterday by Director of Public Safety Robert J. Alderdice. This decision was arrived at following threatened damage suits against three officers who placed three fans under arrest for refusing to throw balls back on to the diamond.
During the last few weeks baseballs knocked into the grandstand or bleachers have been thrown back on the playing field by the fans on threat of arrest. In the future any action against those retaining the spheres will have to be taken by employees of the park.

I imagine that if the police weren’t willing to get involved, ushers weren’t going to be terribly successful.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2021 at 07:59 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-7-2021

Vernon Parish [Louisiana] Democrat, July 7, 1921:

Few of the thousands of fans in baseball who have seen or heard of “Brick” Owens, American league umpire, know that he acquired his monicker when he was nineteen years old. Neither do they know how he acquired it, although many of them may guess right.
It all happened in Independence, Kan…In one of those tough decisions Independence got the worst end of the deal and an angered fan hurled a piece of red masonry, which struck Owens in the head. Owens, unfazed, went on running the game…

Unfortunately, this is not how Bill “Catfish” Klem got his nickname.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 07, 2021 at 08:17 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 05, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-5-2021

Indiana Daily Times, July 5, 1921:

Trial of “baseball’s outlaws” and alleged gamblers became an actuality today when Judge Hugo Friend overruled the motion of the defendants to throw the cases out of court. He ordered picking of the jury to proceed.
Ring W. Lardner, humorist and sports writer, is to be one of the most important witnesses for the State, it is said. Ring is to tell the jury what he knows of the baseball scandal.
The defense will produce records of the games in dispute in an effort to show they played better ball in the world series than ever before.

I’d love to hear someone explain to me how Risberg and Felsch hitting a combined .137/.224/.196 with six errors between them is them playing better than ever before.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 05, 2021 at 07:36 AM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, bullshit, dugout, history

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-1-2021

Toledo News-Bee, July 1, 1921:

Walter Johnson, famed fireball pitcher of the American League for 14 glorious years, has been trying to come back.

“I never had a sore arm in my life until after the no-hit, no-run game I pitched against Boston last year. It was not the game that caused it. I took cold in the muscle. It got hard and knotted and pained a lot”
If Walter’s arm was in 1913 form, the Senators would come close to walking into the pennant this year. But his wonderful arm will never come back. He is too old.

After this, Walter pitched seven more seasons, won 112 more games, an MVP award, an ERA championship, two pennants, a World Series, and led the league in wins once.

And he never really did return to his pre-1920 form. That’s how great he was for the first decade or so of his career.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 01, 2021 at 08:18 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-29-2021

Washington Times, June 29, 1921:

The fame of the New York Yankees and busting Babe Ruth is sung wherever baseball is played or known. No greater proof of this is needed than to know that H.G. Dorsch, of Quincy, Calif., who is now in [New York], traveled all the way across the continent to see Babe Ruth play ball.
Dorsch: “This trip to New York is the greatest experience of my life. I have heard of the Yankees, and of Babe Ruth, and I had always hoped to see them play and to meet Babe Ruth…I am going to remain in New York until the early fall, and perhaps a little longer. If the Yankees are up in the race I’ll stay around as long as they have a chance. I will have plenty to tell the folks back home about the Yankees and about Babe Ruth.

It’s easy to take for granted the ability to see any baseball game you want to see, but reading something like this reminds me how lucky we are these days.

From what I can tell, the person in this article is Henry Dorsch, who was a retired hardware store owner, ex-president of the local Red Cross and former Plumas County commissioner. Not a bad way to spend your retirement.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 29, 2021 at 08:08 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Monday, June 28, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-28-2021

Toledo News-Bee, June 28, 1921:

Trial of the former members of the White Sox, under indictment for alleged throwing of the 1919 world series, was postponed [in Chicago] on Monday to Wednesday.
Buck Weaver sat alone and did not speak to the other players when he entered the courtroom. Jackson, Cicotte and Williams sat together. Risberg and Felsch were in another part of the room. Chick Gandil did not mingle with the others.

The trial was postponed for a couple of days because two non-player defendants were “ill”.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 28, 2021 at 08:11 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-24-2021

Great Falls Tribune, June 24, 1921:

Babe Ruth made his 25th home run of the season in the fifth inning Thursday, with a man on first. The ball landed two-thirds of the way up the right field bleachers [at Fenway Park] and is believed to have been the longest drive ever made into those stands.

In the past few weeks, Ruth had hit the longest home run in the history of both the Polo Grounds and Fenway Park.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 24, 2021 at 08:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-22-2021

Toledo News-Bee, June 22, 1921:

Up at San Jose a week ago, the home team was playing a game of baseball…In the eighth one of the visiting players hit a ball over the center fielder’s head and it rolled about 400 yards [sic]—so far, in fact that the center fielder knew it was a hopeless chase and loafed after the ball while the batter crossed the plate.

As the fielder arrived at the scoreboard, under which the ball had rolled, he saw an unkempt individual slink out from behind the boards and pick up the ball. The man wore a frowsy shirt, a pair of dirty overalls and had a two weeks’ stubble on his face.
“Can I keep this ball?” he asked the fielder.
“Nix. They cost too much to give away, brother”...Then—
“Why, Hal Chase, what in the world are you doing here hiding?”

Not only was Chase banned from playing, he was banned from entering ballparks.

Still, I’m not entirely sure this actually happened. I’m always a bit suspicious when I read stories with a moral, without player or team names, that are oddly specific about what was said.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 22, 2021 at 08:15 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, morality tales

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-17-2021

Toledo News-Bee, June 17, 1921:

Babe Ruth has met his match—but it isn’t human. Ruth failed yesterday at balls pitched by a pitching machine operated by compressed air. Slow balls, high balls, low balls, fast and curved balls floated from the nozzle of the machine and Babe couldn’t touch them.

He declared the difficulty was that the batter cannot tell when the ball will be let loose.

Excuses, excuses. Next he’ll want to be allowed to keep his eyes open when the pitch comes.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 17, 2021 at 08:12 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-15-2021

New York Evening World, June 15, 1921:

George Herman Ruth has nothing to do now but break his own batting records. He has broken all others, including his own.

The Babe started in yesterday by smashing the long-distance home run mark he had set the day before by clouting the third ball George Dauss pitched him in the third inning…for a distance of 450 feet, a truly tremendous wallop and said to be the longest hit ever made in major league baseball.

The Babe hit two home runs on June 14, 1921, giving him seven dingers in five days. From June 10-14, 1921, Ruth hit .625/.750/2.063. That seems good.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 15, 2021 at 08:14 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Monday, June 14, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-14-2021

Toledo News-Bee, June 14, 1921:

Babe Ruth didn’t star as a pitcher on Monday, but he did as a batsman. The Babe started the game on the mound for the Yanks and worked five innings against the Tigers.

Babe was a bit wild and when Detroit got to him for four runs in the fifth he retired in favor of Mays.

But Babe was there when it came to clouting ‘em and he poled his twentieth and twenty-first home runs of the season.

This was Ruth’s last appearance as a starting pitcher until 1930. I wonder what he was doing the rest of that time.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 14, 2021 at 08:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-10-2021

Pittsburgh Press, June 10, 1921:

Down in Sheffield, Ala., the other day an umpire caught on fire from a cigaret. Quick action by the ball players extinguished the flames and saved his life.

The players believe in roasting the arbiters to a turn, but they don’t care to see them burned to a crisp.

You don’t see a lot of umpire combustion delays.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 10, 2021 at 08:17 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-8-2021

Toledo News-Bee, June 8, 1921:

Writing in the Detroit News, H.G. Salsinger has the following to say about the lively ball being used in most of the leagues this season…
Red Oldham and Ira Flagstead got hold of one of the balls used [in Philadelphia] and cut it open. They found several layers of a peculiar celluloidlike substance in the outer wrapping, and in the center was a rubber ball the size of a golf ball, if not larger. On cutting this rubber ball they discovered that it had a cork center.

It would be impossible to continue using these trick balls if the owners of American League clubs did not give full consent to the use. The home run craze is at the bottom of all this faking, and the sooner the league abolishes this brand of ball the better it will be, for the home run is getting to be the commonest thing in baseball.
But it proves what has been said before: Philadelphia’s hitting is artificial and faked. This does baseball only harm.

I don’t really understand if the writer is referring to Shibe Park being a launching pad, which it was, or if he’s suggesting that the baseballs were juiced in Philadelphia only, which is crazy.

Either way, it’s definitely strange to read a call for a return to the dead ball era.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 08, 2021 at 08:21 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, June 04, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-4-2021

New York Tribune, June 4, 1921:

Opportunity knocked loud and often at the door of the Yankees yesterday afternoon, but there was nobody home, so the St. Louis Browns evened up the series by a score of 9 to 8.
[The home run hit by Babe Ruth] was his sixteenth of the season and gives him a grand total of 119 circuit blows, which ties the record established by Cactus Cravath.

83 currently active players have 120+ career home runs, including Jason Kipnis, Brandon Belt, and Kole Calhoun. Anyway, despite the reporting this was not the career record; Roger Connor hit 138.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 12:08 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, May 31, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-31-2021

Great Falls Tribune, May 31, 1921:

Baseball men of the entire country paused Monday in honor of the memory of Captain Edwin R. Grant, former National league infielder, the only major baseball player killed in the world war.

A bronze tablet on a marble shaft was unveiled in honor of the former star at the Polo grounds Monday afternoon. Grant was a member of the 307th infantry and was killed in the Argonne, October 15, 1918, when, as acting major, he was in charge of forces detailed to rescue the “Lost Battalion.”

The Grant plaque disappeared in 1957 and has never definitively been found.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 31, 2021 at 08:08 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, May 28, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-28-2021

Pittsburgh Press, May 28, 1921:


Some baseball critics are of the opinion that Grover Cleveland Alexander, the Cubs’ veteran star hurler, is about at the end of his rope. He has got off to a poor start this spring, in sharp contrast to last season, when he won 10 straight games in the spring.

Narrator: “He was not.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 28, 2021 at 07:53 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-25-2021

Pittsburgh Press, May 25, 1921:

When the season opened, [Cleveland owner Jim Dunn] announced that patrons of the Indians’ park could keep as souvenirs all balls fouled into the stands.

All went well for a time, but the other day, during a game with Boston, McInnis hit a ground ball that went so close to third base that it was difficult to decide whether it was fair or foul…Umpire Nailin ruled it foul. A dozen or more boys and men, however, did not care whether it was foul or fair…when it bounded into left field the ball hunters pursued it, having a wrestling match in the sun garden for its possession.
When Elmer Smith hit a high foul fly to right in the following inning, a boy made an effort to catch it just as Right Fielder Leibold also was making a super-effort to do the same thing.
Now Dunn says that, unless the fans stop this sort of thing he will recall his original offer, and order the arrest of the first offender who takes a baseball.

When I was a kid, my dad and I had season tickets for the indoor soccer teams in Cleveland and Canton. We had an understanding - if one of us was in the arena concourse and the ball found its way out there, we’d grab the ball and immediately run to the car. The other, upon noticing that the ball hadn’t been thrown back and the other person hadn’t returned, would head to the car and we’d make a getaway.

This has nothing to do with baseball, but I had forgotten about it until just now. It never actually happened, but we were ready for our heist if the opportunity had arisen.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 25, 2021 at 08:39 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, May 21, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-21-2021

Chicago Eagle, May 21, 1921:

[Reds catcher] Ivy Wingo still is puzzled by something that happened in a game the Cincinnati Reds played in New York last summer.
George Burns smacked one to left field. Ivy claimed it hit foul by at least a foot. Umpire Harrison said nothing. Ivy turned and asked: “You are not going to call that fair, are you?”

Harrison said he was. Ivy threw his glove in the air. At that time Burns had just rounded first. When the glove went up Harrison said: “You’re out of the game.”

Burns kept running. Ivy recovered his glove, the ball was not stopped at third base and Wingo backed up the play and got it, holding Burns at third. And now Ivy wants to know…if he was out of the game the instant Harrison told him, or if he was supposed to keep on playing until the play on Burns was completed.

For what it’s worth, the current rule (8.01d) says “If an umpire disqualifies a player while a play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take effect until no further action is possible in that play.”

I don’t know whether that was in effect in 1921.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 21, 2021 at 10:33 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rules

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