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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-8-2020

Sacramento Union, July 8, 1920:

“Babe” Ruth, champion home run hitter of the New York American League baseball team, was slightly injured in an automobile accident near Wawa, Pa., early [yesterday].
Ruth was at the wheel of his big touring car. In rounding a sharp curve near Wawa the car overturned. The occupants were thrown out in a lonely section at 2 a.m. Making their way to a farm house they had their injuries dressed and were brought to Philadelphia in another motor car. Later they took a train for New York.
Ruth told Mrs. Coates Coleman, wife of the farmer to whose house the party was taken, that he had turned out of the road to make way for a car approaching rapidly and his car went into the ditch. It overturned and the occupants were pinned underneath. Ruth, by herculean effort, tipped the car sufficiently to permit his wife and the three ball players to crawl out. They in turn lifted the car so that Ruth was able to escape.

Sure, Babe. You definitely weren’t drunk and you definitely lifted an entire car containing five people while you were pinned underneath it, enough to allow other people to get out, but not enough to get yourself out. Story checks out. I have no further questions.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 08, 2020 at 10:31 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, dui, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 08, 2020 at 10:32 AM (#5961658)
A decent enough Birthday Team today, but no real star power. Terry Puhl is by far the career leader in WAR.

C: Ivey Wingo (17.9 WAR)
1B: John Bowker (-1.6 WAR)
2B: Josh Harrison (13.6 WAR)
3B: Hector Lopez (12.9 WAR)
SS: George Fallon (0.3 WAR)
LF: Al Spangler (4.4 WAR)
CF: Jerome Walton (3.7 WAR)
RF: Terry Puhl (28.4 WAR)

SP: Clint Brown (20.7 WAR)
SP: Jaime Garcia (10.9 WAR)
SP/Manager/Umpire: Hank O'Day (6.3 WAR)
SP: Buttons Briggs (5.6 WAR)
SP: George Culver (4.7 WAR)
RP: Ken Sanders (11.2 WAR)

Backup catcher: Alan Ashby (11.1 WAR)
Fun names: Lerrin LaGrow, Renyel Pinto, Clyde Barfoot, Rowdy Elliott, Bucky Brandon, Ducky Holmes, Salty Parker
   2. Ron J Posted: July 08, 2020 at 10:44 AM (#5961660)
Spangler is a guy I dimly recall from when I first started to follow baseball.

As I recall he changed his approach because he was perceived as being "too passive".

And he bounced around because a lot of teams liked his swing and thought they could fix him.

Two years of military service really hurt his career though.
   3. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 08, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5961691)
Hank O'Day link

ok, that's not working either
   4. Itchy Row Posted: July 08, 2020 at 12:46 PM (#5961698)
O'Day led his leagues in saves in his first and last years but didn't have any in the five years in between. He had a total of four saves in the two years he led the leagues.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 08, 2020 at 01:00 PM (#5961704)
Al Spangler was a big hitting star for the expansion Houston Colts in 1962, but he was already 28 despite the fact that he was getting his first shot as a regular. Unsurprisingly, he didn't last long; I remember him as a coach for the Cubs in the mid-1970s, when they required all their coaches to have funny names a la Peanuts Lowery.

The Colts soon became famous for all the teenagers they put on the field, but in that first season, they had to be one of the oldest teams in the league. They had two regulars under the age of 28, and none under 24.
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 08, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5961709)
Spangler is a guy I dimly recall from when I first started to follow baseball.

when Post cereals started to put baseball cards on their boxes I must have gotten 37 Al Spangler cards
   7. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 08, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5961711)
I've always wanted to write an alt-history story in which Ruth dies in that car accident, and his death along with the Black Sox scandal is a double-whammy from which baseball never recovers. Instead, soccer becomes America's summertime sport. (Pro soccer was actually quite popular, at least in the Northeast, in the 1920s before the "Soccer Wars" scotched it for decades.)
   8. Itchy Row Posted: July 08, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5961721)
Hector Lopez turns 91 today, and Wikipedia says he's the 58th oldest living former player. Zach Monroe didn't have enough of a career to make the birthday team, but he turns 89 today, #99 on the list. Spangler is 87, about two years too young to make the top 100.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 08, 2020 at 02:04 PM (#5961729)
Lopez played every position except pitcher & catcher, although not always that well. The rare player from that era who was better in Kansas City than New York.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 08, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5961745)
when Post cereals started to put baseball cards on their boxes I must have gotten 37 Al Spangler cards

I gladly went shopping with my parents so I could pick out the cereal for my sisters and me when those cards were printed on the cereal boxes. My scissors skills improved dramatically as well.
   11. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 08, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5961782)
Lopez played every position except pitcher & catcher, although not always that well.

The Hector Lopez comment in The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book regarding his fielding is classic:

Now, it is not necessary for me to declare that Hector Lopez was the worst fielding third baseman in the history of baseball. Everyone knows that. It is more or less a matter of public record. But I do feel called upon somehow to try to indicate, if only for the historical archivists among us, the sheer depths of his innovative barbarousness. Hector Lopez was a butcher. Pure and Simple. A butcher. His range was about one step to either side, his hands seemed to be made of concrete and his defensive attitude was so cavalier and arbitrary as to hardly constitute an attitude at all. Hector did not simply field a groundball, he attacked it. Like a farmer trying to kill a snake with a stick. And his mishandling of routine infield flies was the sort of which legends are made. Hector Lopez was not just a bad fielder for a third baseman. In fact, Hector Lopez was not just a bad fielder for a baseball player. Hector Lopez was, when every factor has been taken into consideration, a bad fielder for a human being. The stands are full of obnoxious leather-lunged cretins who insist they can play better than most major leaguers. Well, in Hector's case they could have been right. I would like to go on record right here and now as declaring Hector Lopez the all-time worst fielding major league ballplayer. That's quite a responsibility there, Hector, but I have every confidence you'll be able to live up to it.

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