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Dugout Newsbeat

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-15-2021

New York Tribune, April 15, 1921:

Bob Meusel did one of the latest jazz dances in right field yesterday afternoon at 5 o’clock, and while the dance was on the Athletics tucked away a ball game by a score of 4 to 3.
[After nearly two games without a hit, Cy Perkins] had to find an outlet some time, and a high-soaring smash to extreme right center was the answer. Lanky, but handsome, Bob Meusel saw the ball mounting skyward, and immediately began his one-stepping. Almost to the exit gate did Meusel dance his way, only to have the ball elude his clutch and fall for a triple.

New York sportswriters were a tough crowd. Still are, I guess.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 15, 2021 at 12:18 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, April 12, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-12-2021

Washington Herald, April 12, 1921:

Washington has always done itself proud on the opening day of the baseball season, but take it from Clark C. Griffith, who is extremely well up on such matters, the celebration to be staged tomorrow afternoon on Georgia avenue will be the greatest ever.

New York will have more people, but what do mere numbers mean? Nothing, except a wad of juicy cash.

Will President Harding toss out the first ball at the Polo Grounds? He will not.
Will Gen. John J. Pershing participate in the flag raising at the Polo Grounds? Not a chance.
Will there be a flock of Cabinet officers and Senators, and so on, camped around in the boxes at the Polo Grounds to add color to the occasion? Absolutely no.

Harding, of course, would have attended opening day at the Teapot Dome if it had been an option.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 12:19 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-8-2021

Pueblo Chieftain, April 8, 1921:

Benny Kauff, star outfielder with the New York Nationals, today was declared ineligible to play in organized baseball by Commissioner Landis because of the indictments returned against him in New York charging him with the theft of an automobile.
[Landis:] “Of course, the mere return of an indictment does not imply guilt…The defendant has no opportunity there to defend against the charge.”

So because Kauff was indicted without a chance to defend himself, he was suspended without a chance to defend himself. Got it.

Elsewhere, Home Run Baker is considering quitting the Yankees to play for an independent team in Chester, PA because he’s upset that Landis plans to hold a hearing over Baker’s participation in independent ball. Sounds like the commissioner was making measured decisions and not at all completely out of control.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 08, 2021 at 12:44 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

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

Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 6, 1921:

Blackman, a one-legged youth, was the star in a baseball game between the Durham [NC] and West Durham High School teams, played in [Durham yesterday]. He is the regular catcher for the West Durham team, receiving the ball while perched on the short leg which has been amputated just below the knee. Besides playing errorless ball, he obtained two hits and stole two bases.

I’m not trying to be snarky or make light of his injury, but he would have been wearing a prosthetic when he stole those bases, right? It’s impressive either way, but I can’t even fathom a person stealing a base on one leg.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 06, 2021 at 12:45 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, April 02, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-2-2021

Pittsburgh Press, April 2, 1921:

Bill McKechnie, of Wilkinsburg, is training with the Minneapolis club and was hobnobbing with his former [Pirate] teammates at Oklahoma City. Carlton Molesworth of the Birmingham Southern association team is expected to be at Little Rock Saturday to look over the Pirate second team. Moley wants an infielder and has said he could make a star out of Traynor in a season.

Molesworth got his man; Traynor went to Birmingham and hit .336. By 1923, Pie was hitting .338 in the majors on his way to a Hall of Fame career. Traynor might be a fringy-at-best Hall of Famer, but he was a damn good player.

Also, McKechnie was a little more than a year away from managing Traynor and the Pirates. That went pretty well.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 02, 2021 at 11:52 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-1-2021

Sports Illustrated, April 1, 1985:

The phenomenon the three young batters faced, and about whom only [Ronn] Reynolds, [Mel] Stottlemyre and a few members of the Mets’ front office know, is a 28-year-old, somewhat eccentric mystic named Hayden (Sidd) Finch. He may well change the course of baseball history.
On March 17, the [radar] gun was handled by Stottlemyre. He heard the pop of the ball in Reynolds’s mitt and the little squeak of pain from the catcher. Then the astonishing figure 168 appeared on the glass plate. Stottlemyre remembers whistling in amazement, and then he heard Reynolds say, “Don’t tell me, Mel, I don’t want to know….”

Finch was the best pitching prospect of my lifetime.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 01, 2021 at 12:09 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, March 26, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-26-2021

Pueblo Chieftain, March 26, 1921:

The Boston American league baseball club will be under a dual management this year, with the whole team acting as a supplemental board of strategy. Hughie Duffy, the manager in name, in a statement made at the spring camp at Hot Springs published [yesterday], said that he and Jimmy Burke, the coach, would share the management in fact. Burke was manager of the St. Louis Browns last year.

It almost sounds like a…college…of coaches.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 26, 2021 at 12:33 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-25-2021

Toledo News-Bee, March 25, 1921:

Judge K.M. Landis, baseball’s commissioner, today ruled that Gene Paulette, Philadelphia first baseman, was ineligible to play in organized baseball because he failed to bare to Landis’ satisfaction alleged financial transactions with two St. Louis men in 1919.

Elmer Farrar and Carl Zork, of St. Louis, are alleged to have given Paulette money to throw games.

You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.

There is a small mailbox here.

>open mailbox

Opening the small mailbox reveals a leaflet.

>read leaflet



>drop leaflet


Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 25, 2021 at 01:40 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, zork

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-17-2021

Pittsburgh Press, March 17, 1921:

Indictments against seven Whitesox baseball players charged with “throwing” the 1919 world series to Cincinnati were dismissed today by Judge William Dever. The judge said he had no authority to dismiss the case against the eighth player—Chick Gandil—because Gandil had never appeared in court.
The indictments were nolled on motion of State’s Attorney Robert E. Crowe, who said that he would be unable to go to trial by May 2, the date set for the opening of the trial by Judge Dever.

Judge Dever refused to postpone the trial and set May 2 as the time for the trial to start. Crowe said that he realized that the state could not build up a case sufficiently strong to warrant trial by that time and asked that indictments be nolled.
The statute of limitations on the alleged conspiracy to throw the series will expire on April 1 and after that the players cannot be reindicted.

...and thus ended the criminal prosecution of the Black Sox.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 17, 2021 at 01:26 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Monday, March 15, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-15-2021

Arizona Republican, March 15, 1921:

Prison Baseball Team Wants Game For Next Sunday
The prison team has just been equipped with new unies, new bats, gloves and a full stock of score sheets. The boys are feeling chesty over their baseball ability, according to the manager, and they are out with a sweeping challenge to any semi-pro team in the state.
The prison team does not boast any great financial backing, consequently they are not in position to make guarantees to outside clubs. However, with the Florence club out of town the game should draw well and the receipts can be split 60-40.

Playing prison baseball is all well and good until they start using the reserve clause to keep you on the team forever.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 15, 2021 at 01:36 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, March 12, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-12-2021

New York Herald, March 12, 1921:

[Giants pitcher Fred Toney responding to Heinie Zimmerman’s charge that Toney threw games:] “The effrontery of Zimmerman as evidenced in his affidavit is astonishing. The incident in question occurred in the last series with the Cubs in Chicago in 1919...I started in the box for the Giants, and in the first inning we got three runs. The Cubs came right back and got one by means of a hit into short left field, for which Zimmerman did not move any too fast, let me say.

“As the run was scored Zimmerman moved over to me and said, ‘If you lose this game, Fred, there is $200 waiting for you.’...I worked harder than ever to retire the side without further damage, and succeeded.

Toney says he pulled himself out of the game immediately and told John McGraw what had happened. According to Toney, McGraw told him Benny Kauff had said the same thing - and now Zimmerman was accusing Toney and Kauff of being crooked.

In possibly unrelated news, Commissioner Landis says he doesn’t want Kauff to take the field until the auto theft charges against him are cleared up. Landis also didn’t want Kauff on the field after he was cleared, as it turned out.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:53 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-10-2021

Tulsa Daily World, March 10, 1921:

During a rookie practice in the forenoon “Babe” qualified as a sideline comedian, then spent an hour coaching lefthanded pitchers. In the afternoon he played first base, pitched a while, worked in center field, then went to bat, getting one home run and two singles. He brought the day to a close by relieving the bat boy of his burden.

I imagine the Babe would have spent a few innings selling beer if not for prohibition.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 10, 2021 at 01:12 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, March 05, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-5-2021

Toledo News-Bee, March 5, 1921:

Lucky for other players, but unlucky for himself! That’s Harry Harper, star outfielder of the Little Rock team of the Southern Association. He started in the minors in 1913 and since that time 12 ball players have roommated with him long enough to get well acquainted—and then jumped to the majors. But Harry still remains with the second fry. He’s never had a big league uniform.
What’s going to happen in 1921?

“I think I’ll room alone,” says Harper. “Maybe I’ll send myself up to big company. I have been nearly sold five times—but they always took my roommate.”

That’s horrible luck. This Harry Harper* never did make it to the big leagues despite hitting .317 for Spokane (Class B) in 1916, .382 for Tacoma (B) in 1917, .346 for Little Rock (A) in 1920, .332 for Little Rock (A) in 1921, and .315 for Birmingham (A) in 1922. Clearly the guy could hit, but for whatever reason nobody gave him a shot.

His roommates named in the article: Byrd Lynn, Howard Ehmke, Oscar Horstmann, Dutch Ruether, Ken Williams, Ira Flagstead, Charlie Pechous, Bob O’Farrell, Tom Taggart, Ike Caveney, Lyle Bigbee, and Tony Brottem. I have absolutely no idea who Tom Taggart is. Nobody with that name is listed on BB-Ref.

* - there was an MLB pitcher with the same name at the same time. Different guy though.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 05, 2021 at 01:34 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: bad luck, dugout, history

Monday, March 01, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-1-2021

Toledo News-Bee, March 1, 1921:

A baby daughter was born to the widow of Ray Chapman, former Cleveland shortstop, killed when hit by a pitched ball last summer.

The Ray Chapman story just kept getting sadder and sadder. Ray’s wife Katie died in 1928 and their daughter Rae passed away in 1929.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 01, 2021 at 11:02 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, February 22, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-22-2021

South Bend News-Times, February 22, 1921:

The Yankees’ new two-million dollar park will be tailor-made for Babe Ruth and his home run swing. It will be a home run manufacturing plant.

When the switch is made in two years Babe will find his new home run home all set for him to manufacture homers in. The right field of the new establishment will be an exact duplicate of the one at the Polo Grounds, where Babe has learned so well to measure the distance for his home run aim.
[Yankees co-owner Huston:] “Babe wants to hit 75 home runs this year. The 54 he got last season has only made him keen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do it.”

It wouldn’t have been a surprise at all; Babe completely broke baseball in a way that nobody else has ever broken a sport. Maybe Don Hutson in the NFL. Ruth and Hutson were playing 4D chess while everyone else was busy playing tiddly winks.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 22, 2021 at 12:43 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, February 19, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-19-2021

New York Tribune, February 19, 1921:

President Andy Lawson, of the Continental Baseball Association, announced [yesterday] that the Boston franchise of the league had been awarded to George F. Day and Lincoln G. Pope. They will have a negro team to represent [Boston], he said, and pending the building of grounds the Boston club will play on the Everett High School field.

The Knoxville Giants, playing at Brooklyn, will be a second negro club in the league, Lawson announced.

I’ve said it before, but it’s a huge bummer people didn’t get behind this league. It really could have sped up integration of the white major leagues.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 19, 2021 at 01:17 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-18-2021

Indiana Daily Times, February 18, 1921:

Johnny Evers, manager of the Chicago Cubs, upon his arrival [in Chicago] today, said he would curtail eating of the players this season so as to keep them in physical condition.

Oh really, Mr. Fudge Orgies and Nicotine Sprees? Diet is important?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 02:26 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-16-2021

Pittsburgh Press, February 16, 1921:

Lefty O’Doul’s two years on the Yankees bench haven’t done him any good. Just how much harm it worked is the puzzle. O’Doul says he’ll work his head off to make Huggins look like a sucker.

It took a few years for someone to make him an everyday outfielder, but O’Doul did make Huggins look like a sucker. Lefty led the majors in batting average, hits, on-base percentage, and plate appearances in 1929.

A Babe Ruth-Bob Meusel-Lefty O’Doul outfield would have been completely unfair offensively, though I have no idea which of them would have been asked to fake center field.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 16, 2021 at 01:29 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, February 15, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-15-2021

Arizona Republican, February 15, 1921:

Impeachment of Judge Landis was proposed by [Representative Ben] Welty on the basis of five specific charges as follows:

First—For neglecting his official duties for another gainful occupation…
Second—For using his office as district judge of the United States to settle disputes which might come into his court as provided by the laws of the United States.
Third—For lobbying before the legislatures of the several states of the Union to procure the passage of state laws to prevent gambling in baseball…
Fourth—For accepting the position as chief arbiter of the disputes in baseball associations…while attempting to discharge the duties as a district judge of the United States…
Fifth—For injuring the national sport of baseball by permitting the use of his office as district judge of the United States…

Welty was a lame duck congressman from rural West Central Ohio who was weeks away from leaving office. This didn’t really go anywhere; things died down for a bit after Welty went back to Lima. Eventually Landis resigned, but he waited long enough to make it look like he hadn’t been chased away.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 15, 2021 at 12:12 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-11-2021

Pittsburgh Press, February 11, 1921:

Owners of the New York and Boston clubs were unable to attend the American league meeting in Cleveland today. The notice of the meeting was not received by Col. Ruppert or Harry Frazee until late yesterday, and they had business engagements for today.

“Our absence will not mean any thing, however,” Col. Ruppert said today, “as we would be outvoted on everything.

It’s just as well; it would have been dangerous to have that amount of salt on the shores of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 11, 2021 at 01:42 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, February 05, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-5-2021

Pittsburgh Press, February 5, 1921:

Cobb is said to have decided on a brand new scheme of training. Reversing old methods, he will have no practice until afternoon, and the players will be privileged to sleep all the forenoon.
Augusta, Ga., the town that produced the great Ty Cobb, has sent another kid to the majors and the enthusiastic Augustans declare that he is, right now, as good as Cobb at the same age and same period of his career. So strongly have the Augustans made their clamor that John McGraw has signed the youngster and seems much impressed by his ability. The second Cobb is named Curtis Walker.

At age 23 in 1920, Curt Walker hit .299 in the Sally League. At age 23 in 1910, Ty Cobb won his fourth consecutive American League batting crown.

Curt Walker was a good player - his career WAR total puts him about even with Trot Nixon and Nick Swisher, a bit behind Danny Tartabull and Jay Buhner but a bit ahead of Joe Carter and Jermaine Dye. That’s a fine ballplayer, but it’s no Ty Cobb.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 05, 2021 at 12:44 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-4-2021

[New Haven] Connecticut Labor News, February 4, 1921:

The speed of a ball from the pitcher to the catcher was taken by the experts handling the Longine chronograph back in 1884, with the following results: Bob Emslie…hurled a ball that distance in two-fifths of a second; Jimmy Galvin flashed it across in the same time, and Hardie Henderson is credited with putting one across in one-fifth of a second.

60.5 feet in a fifth of a second is 302.5 feet per second. 302.5 feet per second is 206.25 MPH.

I know they hadn’t yet come up with the precision technology we have now, but still: that’s a hell of a fastball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 04, 2021 at 12:36 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, February 01, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-1-2021

Pueblo Chieftain, February 1, 1921:

Denial that the [New York] American League baseball club is about to purchase the grounds of the Hebrew orphan asylum for a home field made Sunday night by J.E. Newburger, president of the institution. He declared there is “no option outstanding for the sale of the Hebrew orphan asylum nor are there any negotiations pending,”

As much fun as it is to accuse the Yankees of being evil, in this case they weren’t trying to kick a bunch of orphans onto the street. The orphanage wanted to go from having one massive building to having a bunch of smaller buildings.

Elsewhere on the linked page, we see that Commissioner Landis addressed a church in Evanston, Illinois over the weekend and discussed his plans to end corruption in baseball. Look, I’m not here to tell anyone how to practice religion, but apart from Annie Savoy, I’m not sure there are a bunch of people hoping to hear anti-gambling plans from the commissioner of baseball during their weekly worship service.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 01, 2021 at 11:44 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, January 29, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-29-2021

Toledo News-Bee, January 29, 1921:

The New York Yanks will fight it out with the world champion Cleveland Indians for the American League title this year, in the opinion of Miller Huggins.
[Huggins:] “I look for Tris Speaker to have as strong an outfit as he had last season, but I believe we will be much stronger…I believe we were greatly strengthened as a result of the trade with Boston.”

“And—there is no reason why Babe Ruth shouldn’t have the greatest year he has had yet.”

The ‘21 Yankees won 98 games and finished 4.5 games ahead of second-place Cleveland. Babe Ruth hit .378 and put up 119 extra-base hits including 59 home runs.

As predictions go, this one was pretty solid.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 29, 2021 at 01:06 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-26-2021

Bridgeport Times, January 26, 1921:

The new Continental Baseball League contemplates invading Chicago, it was learned yesterday, when a letter was received from Secretary George M. Riley, inviting the American Giants, a colored professional team, to join the new circuit.

The letter stated that two strong colored teams had joined the Boston Tigers and the Knoxville Giants, and two more colored teams were sought by the organizations.

It would have been so cool if this league had been successful.

I mean, not as cool as it would have been for guys like Cristobal Torriente and Rube Foster to be allowed to play in the big leagues alongside Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson. That would have been way cooler.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 26, 2021 at 12:15 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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