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Friday, August 23, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-23-2019

A masterclass in insensitivity towards people suffering from mental illness in the Chattanooga News, August 23, 1919:

They’ve gone baseball crazy at the Elgin [Illinois] State Hospital for the Insane. But Supt. Ralph Hinton, says baseball dementia is preferable to being just plain crazy and the patients are being cured and improved steadily.
I saw Arnold Hauser, former star shortstop with the St. Louis Cards and later a Federal leaguer, make brilliant stops and one-handed catches, bang out a single, triple and home run. Yet he pulled nothing clever in the “inside game.”

Hauser is the star of the team and his mind is improving. He at first was a bad player on the hospital team. He would make a brilliant catch in the field and then just let the ball drop from his hands. He was stubborn and wouldn’t follow instructions. Now he is a reliable fielder, polite to the girl coach and ready always to oblige.

I hadn’t heard Hauser’s story before, but it’s extremely sad. He was an everyday big league player in 1910 at age 21, a glove-first shortstop with good speed and a so-so bat. Things fell apart for Hauser very quickly; his mother died by suicide in June 1912, then he tore a ligament in his knee in Spring Training 1913, and his baby daughter died in June 1913.

The Cardinals sent Hauser to Spring Training before the rest of the roster in 1914, thinking that a long trip in the South would help him recover. Instead, it did the opposite. He was homesick and lonely, beginning to show signs of delusion, missed his wife, and lost 25 pounds. Hauser’s wife went to Florida to see him, and eventually took him to a sanitarium back in St. Louis. He spent most of the rest of his life institutionalized, making a quick cameo with the 1915 Chicago Whales along the way. Hauser passed away in 1966, at the age of 77.

Sources: Hauser’s SABR bio and The April 9, 1914 issue of The Sporting News.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 10:33 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5873723)
Wall to wall talent on today's Birthday Team...other than one of the umpires. Indians radio guy Tom Hamilton has suggested that C.B. Bucknor's initials stand for "could be a ball, could be a strike."

You could easily (and maybe should) move Lollar to catcher, Franco to first, and Davis to shortstop, but I wanted to get Romano into the lineup. If you decided to bench Romano and improve the defense, you'd wind up with John O'Rourke in center, which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

C: John Romano (20.9 WAR)
1B: Sherm Lollar (30.2 WAR)
2B: Lonny Frey (38.8 WAR)
3B: George Kell (37.4 WAR)
SS: Julio Franco (43.5 WAR)
LF: Dale Mitchell (18.9 WAR)
CF/Manager: George Davis (84.3 WAR)
RF: Casey Blake (24.9 WAR)
DH: Ron Blomberg (9.4 WAR)

SP: Mike Boddicker (31.3 WAR)
SP: Nels Potter (25.2 WAR)
SP: Guy Bush (19.4 WAR)
SP: Lew Richie (14.1 WAR)
SP: Miles Mikolas (4.4 WAR)
RP: Ken Holcombe (2.0 WAR)

Owner: Carl Pohlad
Umpire: Tim Welke
Awful umpire: C.B. Bucknor
Bench infielder/spare bat: Mark Bellhorn (8.0 WAR)
Cut "fast"ball specialist who threw in the low 80s: Mark DiFelice (0.8 WAR)
Fun names: Cowboy Jones, Heinie Elder, Rocky Stone, Sled Allen, Raul Casanova, Red Downs
General Manager: Harry Dalton
   2. salvomania Posted: August 23, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5873766)
Fun names: Raul Casanova

This is a case where even though they aren't related, Raul Casanova (light-hitting catcher in the 1990s-2000s) and Paul Casanova (light-hitting catcher in the 1960s-1970s) should be.

Paul was a starter more often, being the primary catcher for the Senators in six of his 10 MLB seasons, but Raul out-OPS-plussed him over their careers, 77 to 65.

Raul was the primary catcher for his team in just one of his 9 MLB seasons---1997 with the Tigers---and finished with negative 0.9 WAR for his career; Paul was positive, at 1.2, and in 1967, was actually the Senators all-star rep and got an MVP vote off a 2.1 WAR season. (The Senators' Frank Howard was 3rd in the AL in homers and 5th in offensive WAR, but was crowded out of the All-Star team by two White Sox outfielders, Ken Berry and Tommie Agee.)
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 23, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5873769)
This is a case where even though they aren't related, Raul Casanova (light-hitting catcher in the 1990s-2000s) and Paul Casanova (light-hitting catcher in the 1960s-1970s) should be.
Wait, what?? I seriously always thought they were father and son.
   4. The Mighty Quintana Posted: August 23, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5873771)
Just remember, Mark Bellhorn should always be pronounced Mahk Bellhawn.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5873782)
Paul Casanova (light-hitting catcher in the 1960s-1970s)

He was an excellent defensive catcher (or, at least, he had that reputation). He was most notable for FIRING the ball back to his pitcher after every pitch at a speed that was sometimes faster than the pitch itself
   6. Rally Posted: August 23, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5873786)
He was most notable for FIRING the ball back to his pitcher after every pitch at a speed that was sometimes faster than the pitch itself

I can definitely see that if one of his pitchers is Phil Niekro.

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