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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bad luck, dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 05, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6007772)
I'd like to apologize in advance to today's Birthday Team pitchers for putting Paul Konerko at third base. Sorry. I know it won't be fun. I guess you're going to need to pound lefties inside and pitch outside to right-handers.

Here's a weird, mildly interesting, and completely insignificant fact: Stolen Base Brian Hunter was born on March 5. Home Run Brian Hunter was born on March 4.

C/Manager: Del Crandall (28.2 WAR)
1B: Lu Blue (36.7 WAR)
2B: Rabbit Robinson (2.1 WAR)
3B: Paul Konerko (28.0 WAR)
SS: John Richmond (6.1 WAR)
LF: Elmer Valo (28.3 WAR)
CF: Jeffrey Hammonds (8.6 WAR)
RF: Sam Thompson (44.4 WAR)

SP: Jeff Tesreau (24.5 WAR)
SP: Erik Bedard (17.4 WAR)
SP: Ryan Franklin (11.5 WAR)
SP: Doug Bird (8.9 WAR)
SP: Steve Ontiveros (8.6 WAR)
RP: Kent Tekulve (25.5 WAR)

First baseman in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame: Katsuo Osugi
Causer of dejected sighs at the Lee household circa October 2016: Kyle Schwarber (5.4 WAR)
Top prospect, perhaps a year or so from cracking the starting lineup: Bo Bichette (3.2 WAR)
Fun names: Francisley Bueno, L.J. Hoes, Dave Bakenhaster, Bernie Hungling
Left-handed catcher: Mike Squires
Not that one: Kevin Brown (0.5 WAR)
The stolen base one, not the home run one: Brian Hunter (7.4 WAR)
   2. Qufini Posted: March 05, 2021 at 02:25 PM (#6007779)
John Richmond played 17 games at 2B so you could bump him over a spot and make room for Bo Bichette that way.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: March 05, 2021 at 02:33 PM (#6007780)
Top prospect, perhaps a year or so from cracking the starting lineup: Bo Bichette (3.2 WAR)
I think he's currently slotted in as the starting shortstop.

Edit: I see that the commentary was just copied forward from 2020.
   4. Itchy Row Posted: March 05, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6007786)
I have absolutely no idea who Tom Taggart is. Nobody with that name is listed on BB-Ref.
Probably Jim Kelly, whose real name was apparently Bob Taggert. He was teammates with Harper at Columbus and then was picked up by the Braves.

As far as has been discovered, he made his debut in professional baseball in 1911. Presumably to disguise the fact that he was already 27 years old, Taggert altered his name to James Robert Kelly and trimmed six years off his age
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: March 05, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#6007791)
Taggert altered his name to James Robert Kelly and trimmed six years off his age
I'm tempted to twist this in poor taste to some R Kelly joke.
   6. Itchy Row Posted: March 05, 2021 at 03:59 PM (#6007793)
Konerko was drafted as a catcher and didn't play any other position his first two years in the minors. Somehow I never knew that, and I'm a White Sox fan.
   7. Mefisto Posted: March 05, 2021 at 04:15 PM (#6007796)
I have absolutely no idea who Tom Taggart is.


Maybe he changed his name to Tom Tango.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 05, 2021 at 04:57 PM (#6007800)
Seems to me that, back in the day, we expended an awful lot of words on Jeffrey Hammonds for such a mediocre player.

On Harper, it also seems odd that 1922 was his last year -- could be injury, could be he just gave up, but he was still be producing decently. From the b-r record, he also was a doubles and triples machine so those BAs often had a decent ISO attached. Maybe he didn't shave a few years off his age (bday not listed at b-r, nor his B/T info ... we seem to know almost nothing about him).
   9. puck Posted: March 05, 2021 at 07:47 PM (#6007807)
I have absolutely no idea who Tom Taggart is.


He led the assault on Rock Ridge.
   10. puck Posted: March 10, 2021 at 10:36 AM (#6008083)
Wrong thread.

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