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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 07, 2020 at 10:17 AM (#5961435)
Good Birthday Team today. I bet Satch and Brandon McCarthy would be friends.

C: John Buck (5.8 WAR)
1B: Tim Teufel (15.3 WAR)
2B: Billy Herman (56.0 WAR)
3B: George Moriarty (14.0 WAR)
SS: Jerry Dybzinski (2.1 WAR)
LF: Chuck Knoblauch (44.6 WAR)
CF: Dan Gladden (15.5 WAR)
RF: Bill Melton (18.7 WAR)

SP: Satchel Paige (9.0 WAR)
SP: George Suggs (22.5 WAR)
SP: Dave Burba (16.5 WAR)
SP: Len Barker (12.6 WAR)
SP: Brandon McCarthy (9.9 WAR)
RP: Jeff Shaw (13.7 WAR)
RP: Matt Mantei (4.3 WAR)

Manager: Terry Bevington
Fun names: Leyson Septimo, Happy Iott, R.J. Swindle, Alfredo Figaro
   2. Itchy Row Posted: July 07, 2020 at 10:44 AM (#5961441)
I'd like to see Terry Bevington try to take Satchel Paige out of the game with nobody warming up in the bullpen.
   3. Ron J Posted: July 07, 2020 at 10:50 AM (#5961442)
Three second-basemen and two third-basemen. At least the guys playing out of position were not plus defenders.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 07, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5961443)
Three second-basemen and two third-basemen. At least the guys playing out of position were not plus defenders.
Satch would send them off the field and proceed to strike out 27 men in a row, if you believe old ballplayer stories.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 07, 2020 at 11:48 AM (#5961456)
CF: Dan Gladden (15.5 WAR)

surprised his WAR is so low
LF: Chuck Knoblauch (44.6 WAR)

surprised his WAR is so high
   6. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 07, 2020 at 11:57 AM (#5961458)
Top results in baseball-reference's autocomplete. I entered the first name before the hyphen, the name on the other side is how B-R suggests completing the entry.

Mike - Schmidt
Joe - Morgan
William - Ted Williams
Will - Willie Mays
Fred - McGriff
Casey - Blake
Lou - Whitaker
Frank - Robinson
Calvin - Murray (who?)
Eddie - Murray
Ed - Edgar Martinez
Josh - Donaldson
Johnny - Damon
Alex - Rodriguez
Bruce - Jay Bruce
Hank - Aaron
Henry - Blanco
Justin - Verlander
Phil - Niekro
Mickey - Mantle
Greg - Maddux
Randy - Johnson
Ted - Williams
Jorge - Posada
Juan - Gonzalez
Jose - Bautista
Pedro - Martinez (fun fact: #2 is Dustin Pedroia)
Luis - Gonzalez
Tony - Gwynn

Most of these guys were stars. Pretty obvious bias towards recent players. Although I wonder why it sometimes assume you're entering a last name instead of a first one. Surprised that 'Calvin' didn't yield 'Ripken'.
   7. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 07, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5961465)
Chuck Knoblauch was on a Hall of Fame trajectory until he passed age 30 and surprisingly lost both his throwing accuracy and his power. An excellent second baseman hitting .290/.390/.420 with 40 steals every year.
   8. Ron J Posted: July 07, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5961467)
#5 Gladden parlayed a huge rookie season into a long career of pretty bland work.
   9. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape Posted: July 07, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5961472)
Calvin - Murray (who?)


From his wiki: He is the uncle of 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

Speaking as someone who was reasonably close to the Giants at the turn of the century, I certainly didn't remember him
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2020 at 12:42 PM (#5961483)
Anyone know what Billy Herman's hook was to get into the HoF? With some war credit, he's a decent WAR-based candidate (60+) but doesn't seem to have the stats that would have impressed anyone in 1975.
   11. Ron J Posted: July 07, 2020 at 12:50 PM (#5961486)
#10 He used to be cited as the perfect #2 hitter. Great on the hit and run.
   12. oscar madisox Posted: July 07, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5961517)
Re. # 10

.300 career average; 10 all-star teams; played on multiple pennant winners; gritty hard-nosed player, 2300+ hits with two years missed to WWII; got plenty of MVP votes

Not saying any of this makes him deserving, but it explains his election.

   13. RJ in TO Posted: July 07, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5961521)
The Veteran's Committee at the time of Herman's election was Charlie Gehringer, Warren Giles, Paul Kerr, Charlie Segar, Dan Daniel, Joe Cronin, Fred Lieb, Waite Hoyt, Bill Terry, Bob Broeg, Bill DeWitt, and Stan Musial. There doesn't seem to be an unusual amount of guys on that list with ties to the Cubs, so it doesn't look like it was his old buddies were doing him a favor.

As oscar madisox notes, Herman's stats were probably good enough to draw attention by themselves. The question should more likely be about why he didn't get more support before 1975, rather than why he suddenly got elected in 1975.
   14. Jaack Posted: July 07, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5961523)
Herman also had a pretty strong defensive reputation, and does well with traditional defensive stats.

He also got elected in 1975, when the VC was running wild and didn't seem to care too much about counting stats. Earl Averill got in that year too, and while he's not necessarily a poor selection, he definitely doesn't have the type of career that modern traditional voters like. The obsession with raw counting stats seems to be a more modern development than you'd think.
   15. RJ in TO Posted: July 07, 2020 at 03:00 PM (#5961531)
It seems a bit unfair to describe the elections of Averill and Herman as running wild. The better question for both of them would be why the BBWAA didn't support them more when they had the chance. I know Averill's WAR total is a bit low, but he was also a guy who didn't make it to the majors until he was 27 because the PCL was still a fully viable alternative at that point. Nowadays, he would have been in the majors at about 22 and picked up another 4 or 5 seasons of playing time, and likely have gone in without having to wait for the VC to vote. Even in the years around there, if you ignore the old Cardinals, it's mostly defensible selections, in Thompson, Connor, Sewell, Rusie, Averill, Herman, and Joss. Yes, there were the Cards, and Hack Wilson isn't exactly a great selection either, but there are a lot of very good players in that list.
   16. RJ in TO Posted: July 07, 2020 at 03:34 PM (#5961543)
Also, I should clarify I recognize Jaack probably wasn't saying all the VC selections were invalid or unjustified. I just wanted to note that many more of their selections were reasonable during that period than they're frequently given credit for.
   17. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: July 07, 2020 at 04:47 PM (#5961562)
Received a note from MLBTV telling me I will be charged a pro-rated amount of 2020 based on the 60 games and can use the credit towards 2021 or get a refund. So that is a positive surprise
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2020 at 04:54 PM (#5961565)
.300 career average; 10 all-star teams; played on multiple pennant winners; gritty hard-nosed player, 2300+ hits with two years missed to WWII; got plenty of MVP votes

Not saying any of this makes him deserving, but it explains his election.


I wasn't saying that he didn't deserve to be in. He likely does. I'm just surprised he got in, since his case seems pretty subtle. Without WAR you'd see nice BA, but not gaudy, no HRs, not a lot of R or RBI, no SB, almost no black ink.
   19. RJ in TO Posted: July 07, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5961571)
Among players who have been All Stars on 10 or more occasions, which Herman was, the only players who aren't in the Hall who are eligible are Rose, Bonds, McGwire, Manny, Clemens, Freehan, and Garvey. Of all those players, the reasons for exclusion of everyone but Freehan are pretty obvious.

Dropping to 9 ASG, you start to get a lot more examples of players being excluded because their careers weren't quite good enough for one reason or another, with Concepcion, Howard, Lynn, and McCormick (!). And also Sheffield.
   20. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 07, 2020 at 05:29 PM (#5961575)
I always get Billy Herman and Babe Herman confused. Similar names. Billy started his career five years later, but pretty much contemporaries. They both played for both the Dodgers and the Cubs (although Billy was mostly a Cub and Babe was mostly a Dodger). Babe wasn't quite the star that Billy was, but he was pretty good in his own right; a 141 career OPS+ is nothing to sneeze at.
   21. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 07, 2020 at 05:32 PM (#5961576)
McCormick made 9 All-Star teams? Mike McCormick?

FRANK McCormick. Not a name I even recognize. So he was an All-Star in every year between 1938 and 1946. (but abbreviating "9 All-Star selections" to "9 ASG" isn't correct, because there was no ASG in 1945)

SABR thinks he was never called up to the military because of back problems attributed to a failed dive into a pool.

In each of his nine full major league seasons, McCormick’s batting average, slugging average, fielding average, and range factor [putouts plus assists] at first base exceeded the league average.12 At one point, he played 682 consecutive games — at the time the longest streak since Lou Gehrig’s. Bill James reports that because injuries in the minors delayed his ascent to the majors, “he was determined to shake the ‘brittle’ tag and wouldn’t come out of the lineup even when he should have. One time he was beaned in the first inning of a doubleheader, and stumbled around almost in a daze for 18 innings, but refused to come out.”13


189 career strikeouts in 6207 PA. This as a 6'4" guy in the 1940s.
   22. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 07, 2020 at 05:40 PM (#5961579)
Mike McCormick made 2 All-Star teams. 1960 and 1961. Not the year he won the Cy Young Award, somehow.

1967 NL All-Star pitching staff:

SP: Juan Marichal
Mike Cuellar
Don Drysdale
Bob Gibson
Ferguson Jenkins
Denny LeMaster
Claude Osteen
Tom Seaver

Well, who would begrudge Denny LeMaster his one career honor, for going 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA before the ASG (2-7 with a 4.11 after the ASG).
   23. RJ in TO Posted: July 07, 2020 at 05:50 PM (#5961583)
Babe wasn't quite the star that Billy was, but he was pretty good in his own right; a 141 career OPS+ is nothing to sneeze at.
I don't know much about the relative popularity of players back then, but I would have guessed Babe Herman as being the bigger star of the two, relatively speaking. Offense generally gets more press than defense, and Babe was also a good quote, as well as a fantastically bad outfielder and baserunner by all accounts, which almost certainly meant more stories were told about him. I know his name came up a lot in the books about baseball in the 20s and 30s, but I don't much remember reading about Billy Herman.

Now, as to who was actually a better player and had a better career, I don't think there's much doubt it was Billy, but that's not the same thing as being a bigger star.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5961585)
Among players who have been All Stars on 10 or more occasions, which Herman was, the only players who aren't in the Hall who are eligible are Rose, Bonds, McGwire, Manny, Clemens, Freehan, and Garvey. Of all those players, the reasons for exclusion of everyone but Freehan are pretty obvious.

Dropping to 9 ASG, you start to get a lot more examples of players being excluded because their careers weren't quite good enough for one reason or another, with Concepcion, Howard, Lynn, and McCormick (!). And also Sheffield.


Right, but All Star nod had to be quite a bit easier to get when there were only 8 teams to choose from.

Edit: just did a quick BRef search on NL 2B between 1930 and 1943. Herman dominates with 52 WAR. Tony Cuccinello has 30, and an aging Frisch has 16.5. No one else is over 7.

No much competition for those AS nods.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 07, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5961586)
I don't know much about the relative popularity of players back then, but I would have guessed Babe Herman as being the bigger star of the two, relatively speaking. Offense generally gets more press than defense, and Babe was also a good quote, as well as a fantastically bad outfielder and baserunner by all accounts, which almost certainly meant more stories were told about him.


Oh, there are ample stories about Babe.

He's the Dodger who got the hit that led to having three men on third base at the same time. (Which, of course, produced the famed joke:

The Bums have three men on base?
Oh yeah, which base?

As for his defense, his teammate Fresco Thompson said, "He wore a glove for one reason: because it was a league custom."

Or, when he was informed that someone was impersonating him, Babe said, "Hit him a few flyballs. If he catches any, it ain't me."

Babe Herman is the starting leftfielder on my all-time favorite baseball team.
   26. RJ in TO Posted: July 07, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5961589)
Right, but All Star nod had to be quite a bit easier to get when there were only 8 teams to choose from.
Maybe? They generally also had smaller rosters. The 1933 ASG had 18 men per team. The 2019 ASG had about 35 per team, and I'm not sure whether or not that included the guys who declined due to "injury".
   27. Walt Davis Posted: July 07, 2020 at 06:39 PM (#5961594)
In the 1970s, the VC put 32 guys in along with 9 Negro Leaguers (a new committee at the time). In the 80s, that was down to 17, including Ray Danderidge and any other NeLers that I missed. The 90s saw 23, the 00s 28, including the massive NeL induction, the 10s 16. Total 125 (which does incl pioneers and execs). There have been 89 writers selections in those 50 years. And of course most of those 125 were from a 16-team (or NL-only) era.

All counting done by hand so there may be a mistake or two. But I suspect many folks don't realize how many HoFers are there via a VC of one form or another (yet still no room for Bill Dahlen).
   28. AndrewJ Posted: July 07, 2020 at 06:41 PM (#5961595)
Reading the SABR bio of Billy Herman, he was a baseball lifer -- he managed, coached or scouted in organized ball for 30+ years after his retirement as a player. That had to have helped his chances with the Veterans Committee.
   29. The Honorable Ardo Posted: July 07, 2020 at 08:09 PM (#5961602)
I'm fairly sure Paige would tell Bevington when he was going to come out. Besides, would you take the ball from Paige and give it to Jeff Shaw?
   30. SandyRiver Posted: July 08, 2020 at 09:03 AM (#5961644)
Oh, there are ample stories about Babe.

He's the Dodger who got the hit that led to having three men on third base at the same time. (Which, of course, produced the famed joke:

The Bums have three men on base?
Oh yeah, which base?

Doubled into a double play.
Babe Herman's overenthusiastic baserunning completed the farce, but from what I've read it was Dazzy Vance who was mostly at fault. He was at 2nd when Herman hit a gapper and after rounding 3rd, returned to the bag for reasons only known by himself. AFAIK, Vance returned to the mound when the Dodgers took the field so it wasn't because he broke his ankle rounding 3rd.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: July 08, 2020 at 09:52 AM (#5961649)
Babe Herman's overenthusiastic baserunning completed the farce, but from what I've read it was Dazzy Vance who was mostly at fault. He was at 2nd when Herman hit a gapper and after rounding 3rd, returned to the bag for reasons only known by himself. AFAIK, Vance returned to the mound when the Dodgers took the field so it wasn't because he broke his ankle rounding 3rd.


Vance clearly caused the problem, no doubt. But had Babe looked up at any time between first and third, he would have realized that taking third was not an option.
   32. SandyRiver Posted: July 08, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5961678)
He probably did look up, but only toward right-center. ;)
   33. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: July 08, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5961689)
FRANK McCormick


He was the 1940 NL MVP!

1939 MVP voting
Bucky Walters, Reds
Johnny Mize, Cards
Paul Derringer, Reds
Frank McCormick, Reds

1940 MVP voting
Frank McCormick, Reds
Johnny Mize, Cards
Bucky Walters, Reds
Paul Derringer, Reds

Neither Derringer or McCormick were close to the top WAR getters in either of those years. Lonny Frey, also a Red, an ok hitter, but, fantastic fielder, had 6.5 and 6.8 WAR in those two seasons. He came in 19th place in 39 and no votes in '40 (he was 5th in the NL in WAR in 1940).

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