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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 30, 2020 at 10:36 AM (#5960345)
Today's Birthday Team doesn't have anyone with any kind of Hall of Fame case, but it's got a few fun players. Fernandez and Park were two of my favorite players to watch, so at least the team will be interesting.

C: Joe Stephenson (-0.6 WAR)
1B: Mike Carp (1.9 WAR)
2B: Mark Grudzielanek (26.5 WAR)
3B: Jerry Kenney (9.0 WAR)
SS: Tony Fernandez (45.3 WAR)
LF: Davy Jones (16.5 WAR)
CF: Garret Anderson (25.7 WAR)
RF: Ron Swoboda (8.0 WAR)

SP/Manager: Bud Black (20.9 WAR)
SP: Chan Ho Park (19.9 WAR)
SP: Jocko Flynn (4.3 WAR)
SP: Johnny Miljus (4.0 WAR)
SP: Don Gross (3.9 WAR)
RP: Blake Treinen (8.2 WAR)

Owner: Henry Killilea
Owner/Postmaster General: Robert Hannegan
Umpires: Tim Hurst, Chuck Meriwether
Fun Name: Yo-Yo Davalillo
AmbidextroussuortxedibmA: Pat Venditte
What, him worry?: Al Newman
Mom: My mom. Happy birthday!
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 30, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5960348)
Mom: My mom. Happy birthday!
Dude, you don't have to post that here, just yell up from the basement!
   3. PreservedFish Posted: June 30, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5960351)
I would not have guessed that Grudzielanek had more WAR than Garret Anderson. I remember him as a competent hitter for an infielder, not much of a defender, that had a few random seasons where he hit .300. That's basically true, but BR claims that he had a bizarre defensive peak at age 35-37, +46 Rfield in somewhat less than three full seasons, a performance of basically Ozzie Smith quality.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: June 30, 2020 at 11:09 AM (#5960352)
I spilled a lot of digital ink on Mike Carp in the mid-aughts, arguing with other Mets fans that were convinced that he'd be a world beater.
   5. The Mighty Quintana Posted: June 30, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5960353)
GA - over 2500 hits but just over 25 WAR. 1 Win per 100 hits...yeesh
   6. Itchy Row Posted: June 30, 2020 at 12:01 PM (#5960359)
It would have been my dad's birthday too. Like Dan Lee's mom, he doesn't have a bb-ref page to link to.
   7. SandyRiver Posted: June 30, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5960365)
The Staleys, named for Decatur's leading businessman and undoubtedly top financial supporter, would soon morph into the Chicago Bears.
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 30, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5960366)
Fun Name: Yo-Yo Davalillo

"Yo-Yo" wasn't even a nickname, at least not in the sense of "Oil Can" or "Stubby." His real first name was Pompeyo.
   9. puck Posted: June 30, 2020 at 12:46 PM (#5960370)
I wondered if Yo-Yo was a given name. I remember Rosie Perez yelling at her brother Yo Yo (Giancarlo Esposito) in "Night on Earth".
   10. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 30, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5960372)
According to Wikipedia, Yo-Yo Davalillo is tied for shortest major league player, non-Gaedel division at 5'3". Among those short players he is by far the most recent, so probably the shortest player compared to his peers.

None of them played more than 1 season.

1904 Mike McCormick, Brooklyn Superbas
1911 Stubby Magner, NY Highlanders
1923 Jess Cortazzo, White Sox
1923 Bob Emmerich, Braves
1953 Pompeyo Antonio Davalillo Romero, Senators

Stubby Magner's real name was Edmund Burke Magner and he graduated from Cornell in 1911 after a stellar career on their baseball and ice hockey teams. He must have been a bit of a celebrity because he was playing in the majors for the Yankees by July of that same year.
   11. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 30, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5960374)
Update: Freddie Patek and Harry Chappas at 5'5" in 1981 might be even shorter (compared to their peers) than Davalillo 30 years earlier. And Altuve, even more so. What's the average player height every year?
   12. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 30, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5960381)
Albie Pearson was always a favorite of mine when I was a kid. He was listed as 5'5" but the general belief was that he wasn't that tall. Came up with the original Senators, had a couple of good years with the Angels. Not much power (big surprise) but pretty good OBP (over 90 walks 3 straight years). B-Ref's defensive numbers show him below average in CF (his primary position), above average in left and right. But a career 103 OPS+ doesn't cut it for a corner OF.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 30, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5960399)
I remember Rosie Perez yelling at her brother Yo Yo (Giancarlo Esposito) in "Night on Earth".
Wasn't he still Mike Esposito back then?

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