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  #51  
Old 06-21-2022, 01:06 PM
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Delete - wrong forum!
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Seeking very scarce/rare cards for my Sam Rice master collection, e.g., E210 York Caramel Type 2 (upgrade), E220 National Caramel with Type 2 & Type 3 backs, 1931 W502, W504 (upgrade), W572 sepia, W573, W575-1 E. S. Rice version, 1922 Haffner's Bread, 1922 Keating Candy, 1922 Witmor Candy Type 2 (vertical back), 1926 Sports Co. of Am. with ad back, etc. Also T216 Kotton "NGO" of Hugh Jennings. Also 1917 Merchants Bakery & Weil Baking of WaJo.

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  #52  
Old 06-22-2022, 04:18 AM
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Default Al Orth

Val, that's a very nice Lee! Thank you for posting it. I don't have Lee, but I do have:

Player #25: Albert L. "Al" Orth. Pitcher with the Washington Senators in 1902-1904. 204 wins and 6 saves in 15 MLB seasons. He was the MLB wins leader in 1906. He was known as "The Curveless Wonder" relying on control and differing speed. His best season may have been 1901 with Philadelphia as he posted a 20-12 record with a 2.27 ERA in 281.2 innings pitched. He umpired, when necessary, as a player and in one game umpired and pinch-hit in the same game. He debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1895-1901. He finished his career with the New York Highlanders in 1904-1909. He debuted as an umpire in the NL in 1912 and in 1917 was the umpire when Toney and Vaughn each pitched 9 innings of no-hit baseball, the only time it has happened.

Orth's SABR biography relates how his time in Washington ended as his discovery of a new pitch came too late: Like many of his Philadelphia teammates, following the 1901 season Orth jumped to the American League, signing with the Washington Senators. Orth again posted the lowest walk rate in his league in 1902, with just 40 base-on-balls allowed in 324 innings. Unfortunately, Orth only struck out 76 batters that year, finishing with a 19-18 record and subpar 3.97 ERA. He was even worse in 1903, winning 10 games against 22 losses while posting a horrendous 4.34 ERA. After starting the 1904 campaign 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA, Orth was traded to the New York Highlanders.

Shortly after his arrival with the Highlanders, Orth turned his season around, helping to keep New York in the pennant race until the last day of the season with an 11-6 record and league-average 2.68 ERA. Orth’s turnaround was probably due in part to teammate Jack Chesbro, who rode the spitball to a 41-win season that year. Orth himself said he first used the spitball at the end of the 1904 season and considered the pitch “more effective than a curve” with a “quicker break.” Orth threw it “regularly” in the 1905 season, as he posted an 18-16 record with a 2.86 ERA for the sixth place Highlanders.

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  #53  
Old 06-23-2022, 03:30 AM
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Default Kip Selbach

Player #26: Albert K. "Kip" Selbach. Outfielder with the Washington Senators in 1894-1898 (NL) and 1903-1904 (AL). 1,807 hits and 334 stolen bases in 13 MLB seasons. He had a career OBP of .377. He led the NL in triples in 1895. Among his many good seasons was 1900 with the New York Giants as he posted a .425 OBP with 98 runs scored and 36 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. His final seasons were with the Boston Americans in 1904-1906.

From Selbach's SABR biography: During 1902 it became known that the American League would not have a team in Baltimore in 1903. On August 26 Clark Griffith – acting as an agent for the league – signed Selbach, Billy Gilbert, and Jimmy Williams; all expected to play for the new team that was thought to be placed in New York. “Selbach and Williams said they are under guaranteed two-years’ contract to the Baltimore Club, which they would insist upon being fulfilled to the letter. Selbach says he called upon Johnson and Griffith merely to see if the American League would voluntarily increase his salary as a reward for his loyalty.”

In early December Selbach himself said he had not signed with Griffith. There were rumors that there wouldn’t even be a team in Washington and that the AL would place a team in Pittsburgh instead. Concerns among Washington area fans were assuaged on December 28, when Selbach signed a two-year contract – with the Washington Senators. Since he remained popular in the area (because of his previous stint with Washington's NL team), that seemed like a bonus.

Note that the back of the card was blank until its early owner took advantage of the spot to attach return instructions should it ever become lost.

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  #54  
Old 06-24-2022, 03:46 AM
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Default 1905 Washington "Nationals"

The 1905 Washington Senators won 64 games, lost 87, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Jake Stahl and played home games at National Park.

Prior to the start of the 1905 season, Washington's new ownership group attempted to put the club's recent history behind it by inviting baseball fans to submit their suggestions for a new name. "The Nationals" was selected as most acceptable but did not truly take. The name was ill-suited in the first place, as it suggested a National League team, and merely represented an oddly nostalgic longing for the bad ballclubs of the 1880s and 1890s. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

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  #55  
Old 06-25-2022, 02:53 AM
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Default 1906 Washington Senators

The 1906 Washington Senators won 55 games, lost 95, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Jake Stahl and played home games at National Park.

The highlight of Washington's 1906 season came in late August when the Senators brought an end to the 19-game winning streak of the "hitless wonders", the Chicago White Sox. This White Sox squad eventually won the pennant despite maintaining a .230 team batting average, the worst in the league by far. The White Sox took the 1906 World Series in six games from their crosstown rivals the Cubs, despite hitting just .198 in the fall classic. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

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  #56  
Old 06-26-2022, 04:06 AM
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Default Lave Cross

Player #27: Lafayette N. "Lave" Cross. Born Vratislav Kriz. Third baseman/catcher with the Washington Senators in 1906-1907. 2,651 hits, 47 home runs, and 303 stolen bases in 21 MLB seasons. He debuted with the Louisville Colonels in 1887-1888. In 1894 with the Philadelphia Phillies, he had one of his most productive seasons as he posted a .424 OBP with 128 runs scored and 132 RBIs in 593 plate appearances. At retirement in 1907, he ranked fifth in MLB history in hits and runs batted in. He captained the Philadelphia Athletics teams which captured two of the first five AL pennants.

Cross' SABR biography summarizes his brief, career-ending time in Washington: Cross was 39 years old. The strains of captainship, upon his own game and in relations with teammates and ownership, wore upon him. Yet, even as he sought a younger third baseman, Mack was grateful for Cross’s contributions. Consequently, he allowed Cross to come to an agreement with Washington, then released him to the Senators with no compensation in return that December.

Although Washington had finished in seventh place in 1905, and their promising young shortstop Joe Cassidy died before the 1906 campaign launched, the Senators played .500 ball through the first month. Cross started well, hitting .333 and scoring 16 runs through Washington’s first 21 games. But the team soon sank out of contention and finished seventh again. Cross contributed a .263 average (an OPS+ of 100) and led AL third basemen in fielding percentage, although his range metrics were below average.

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  #57  
Old 06-26-2022, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by GeoPoto View Post
Prior to the start of the 1905 season, Washington's new ownership group attempted to put the club's recent history behind it by inviting baseball fans to submit their suggestions for a new name. "The Nationals" was selected as most acceptable but did not truly take.
I am doubtful that the name "did not truly take", as the team wore "NATIONALS" on their home uniforms that year. The newspapers adopted the name, which was often shortened to "Nats", a nickname that persisted for decades even after everyone stopped calling them the Nationals.
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  #58  
Old 06-26-2022, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure what Deveaux is basing his use of "truly" on, but he continues "Fans and reporters alike, in Washington and elsewhere, continued to call the team the Senators and to nickname the team the Nats. It would be 50 years, however, before 'Senators' would become the official team name".

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  #59  
Old 06-26-2022, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by GeoPoto View Post
Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure what Deveaux is basing his use of "truly" on, but he continues "Fans and reporters alike, in Washington and elsewhere, continued to call the team the Senators and to nickname the team the Nats. It would be 50 years, however, before 'Senators' would become the official team name".

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Just to point out, Nats is part of SeNATors too, so it might be considered a duo use nickname.

Brian
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  #60  
Old 06-27-2022, 04:33 AM
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Default The Old Fox

Player #28A: Clark C. "The Old Fox" Griffith. Pitcher for the Washington Senators in 1912-1914. Debuted with the St. Louis Browns in 1891. 237 wins and 8 saves in 20 MLB seasons. Was 1898 MLB ERA leader. Managed the Chicago White Stockings (1901-1902), the New York Highlanders (1903-1908), the Cincinnati Reds (1909-1911), and the Washington Senators (1912-1920). Was principal owner of the Washington Senators from 1920 until his death in 1955. In 1946, was inducted to the MLB Hall of Fame.

Griff's SABR biography picks up his career with the New York Highlanders: In 1903, Griffith was named manager of the NY AL team that replaced Baltimore. 1906 found him still managing the Highlanders. We pick up his SABR biography: In 1904, mainly through the machinations of Ban Johnson, New York was fortified by the additions of Jack Powell and John Anderson, and the pick-up of Smiling Al Orth in July helped to solidify the team in its run for the pennant. On the season’s final day, however, a wild pitch by Jack Chesbro denied the Highlanders a championship. It was the closest Griff would come to a flag in New York.

The club was up and down in the standings over the next several seasons, sagging to sixth place in 1905, finishing second in 1906 and falling back again to fifth in 1907. In June 1908, as the team was beset with injuries and spiraling downward, losing 12 of 13 games, Clark announced his resignation. He blamed bad luck which followed the club, intimating that perhaps it was he, himself, who was the hoodoo. A disheartened Griffith stated, “It [is] simply useless for me to continue…I have tried everything, but it [is] fighting against fate.”

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  #61  
Old 06-28-2022, 03:37 AM
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Default Charlie Hickman

Player #29: Charles T. "Charlie" Hickman. Utility player with the Washington Senators in 1905-1907. 1,176 hits and 59 home runs in 12 MLB seasons. He debuted with the Boston Beaneaters in 1897-1899. His 1902 season was split between the Boston Americans and the Cleveland Bronchos but was his most productive as he posted a .387 OBP with 110 RBIs in 564 plate appearances. His final season was 1908 with the Cleveland Naps.

Hickman's SABR biography summarizes his time in Washington: After struggling at the plate and in the field for Detroit in 1905, and again tangling with Armour (now managing the Tigers), he was sold to Washington, where he remained for one complete season and parts of two others. He was the team’s leading hitter, but his defensive woes continued. On September 29, 1905, Hickman entered the record books again when he had a five-error game at second base. Though still an effective hitter who batted .284 with nine home runs for the Senators in 1906, Hickman’s inability to play defense limited his value. During spring training in 1907, Hickman suffered a knee injury that would hamper him through the rest of the season (and signal the end of his career).

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  #62  
Old 06-29-2022, 04:01 AM
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Default Casey Patten

Player #30: Case L. "Casey" Patten. Pitcher with the Washington Senators in 1901-1908. 101 wins and 4 saves in 8 MLB seasons. He had a career OBP of 3.36. His best season was 1906 with Washington as he posted a 19-16 record with a 2.17 ERA in 282.2 innings pitched. He finished his career in 1908 with the Boston Red Sox.

Patten's SABR biography lays out his time in Washington: Patten debuted with Manning’s Senators on May 4, 1901, pitching in relief of Win Mercer, who was up against Cy Young and some hot Boston batters. (James H. Manning owned the Kansas City Blues and went on to become one of the incorporators of the Washington Senators. A good part of the Washington team, including Patten, was built from Manning's Kansas City club.) Mercer let in seven runs in the first four innings, and Patten got the call. He struck out two and walked three and let in three more runs. It was a lopsided 10-2 win for Jimmy Collins and the Bostons.

(Despite that introduction,) Patten (had) a pretty good year on the mound. Though he was pitching for a sixth-place team which wound up with a 61-72 record, Patten was 18-10 with a 3.93 earned run average, the best pitcher on the staff. If not his best year, it was one of his two best. “I never saw a pitcher with a better curve,” said Kid Gleason at year’s end. (Washington Post, September 27, 1901.) Patten was often superb with the spitball. Over seven seasons with Washington, Patten averaged over 14 wins a year (though, it must be said, more than 17 losses). He played with Washington throughout his entire major-league career save for one game that he pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 1908.

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  #63  
Old 06-30-2022, 03:25 AM
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Default Jake Stahl

Player #31: Garland "Jake" Stahl. First baseman with the Washington Senators in 1904-1906 and manager 1905-1906. 894 hits and 31 home runs in 9 MLB seasons. 1912 World Series champion. 1910 AL HR leader. He debuted with the Boston Americans in 1903. His most productive season may have been 1910 with the Boston Red Sox as he posted a .334 OBP with 77 RBIs in 598 plate appearances. His last days as a player were with Boston in 1908-1910 and 1912-1913. He also managed Boston in 1912-1913.

Stahl's SABR biography covers his rise and fall as Washington's manager: During the winter of 1903-04, Boston shipped Jake to the floundering Washington franchise. Johnson (Ban Johnson was grateful for Stahl’s role in Boston’s successful 1903 season -- Boston’s World Series victory ensured the long-term viability of his new American League) was in charge of the team until suitable owners could be found and (he) converted Jake into a first baseman. He appeared in 142 games and finished the year with a .262 batting average, three home runs, and 50 RBIs. Even by Deadfall Era standards, these numbers were not exceptional, yet Stahl led the woeful (38-113) Nationals in all three categories.

In 1905, Johnson promoted Jake to manager. Having just turned 26 years old the day before the season began, he became the youngest player-manager in American League history. Employing the inclusive management style he used in college, Jake quickly won the support of the team’s veteran players. Coupled with a focused disciplinary approach emphasizing direct out-of-public-view communication with offenders, punctuated by demonstrations of potential physical force, Jake led the 1905 squad to 64-87 record.

For a short time early in the season, Jake even had the team in first place. When the team returned from a successful road trip, Washington gave the team a rousing parade and celebratory dinner. More importantly, Johnson found new owners for the shaky Washington franchise. Stahl had become, in the words of one observer, “popular with the players, and so well liked by the club owners that it has been officially announced that he can retain his present berth until he voluntarily resigns.”

In the offseason, Jake married his college sweetheart, the daughter of highly successful businessman Henry Weston Mahan. In 1906, however, things fell apart for Jake and the Nationals. Popular shortstop Joe Cassidy unexpectedly died of typhus at the beginning of the season and the team fell into a tailspin, finishing 55-95. The frustrated Washington owners replaced Jake as their manager during the 1906-1907 offseason.

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  #64  
Old 07-01-2022, 04:05 AM
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Default Wee Willie Sudhoff

Player #32: J. William "Wee Willie" Sudhoff. Pitcher with the Washington Senators in 1906. 102 wins and 3 saves in 10 MLB seasons. He debuted with the St. Louis Browns in 1897-1898. His best season was 1903 with the St. Louis Browns as he posted a 21-15 record with a 2.27 ERA in 293.2 innings pitched.

Sudhoff's SABR biography covers his time in Washington: Blond-headed Wee Willie Sudhoff, although short in stature, was a solid, if mostly unspectacular, pitcher who spent all or parts of 10 seasons in the major leagues. He was the first Missouri-born player to appear for both the National League’s St. Louis Cardinals and the American League’s St. Louis Browns. The bulk of his career was spent on those two teams, but he also played for the woeful 1899 Cleveland Spiders and the 1906 Washington Senators. The diminutive right-hander relied primarily on curves and change of speed as he didn’t have particularly great pace on his fastball.

During the (1905-06) American League winter meetings, he was traded to the Washington Senators for left-handed starter Beany Jacobson. Sudhoff felt he still had something left. In an interview with the Post-Dispatch he confidently stated, “Why should I get out of the game so long as the public and the managers will stand for me? I’m still a young fellow.” The Washington Post was not as optimistic: “The Washington baseball club has traded Pitcher Jacobson for Pitcher Sudhoff, of the St. Louis Browns. Jacobson was a failure last season. Sudhoff was a great pitcher in his day but is believed to be going back.”

The Washington paper proved to be correct. While Jacobson was average in a tail-end role (he pitched 155 innings, fifth of the six pitchers on the team), Sudhoff had nothing left. The sore-armed twirler started five games and relieved in four others but managed a total of just 19⅔ innings with a bloated 9.15 ERA. That was a far cry from the pitcher who completed 199 of his 239 major-league starts.

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Old 07-02-2022, 03:48 AM
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Default 1907 Washington Senators

The 1907 Washington Senators won 49 games, lost 102, and finished in eighth place in the American League. They were managed by Joe Cantillon and played home games at National Park. The 1907 season was noteworthy for the debut of a future hall-of-famer.

By the time Cantillon finally entered Walter Johnson in a game, on August 2, 1907, the city of Washington was rabid with baseball fever brought on by all the talk in the papers of this young man's fastball. More than 10,000 fans packed American League Park for the first game of a doubleheader against the Tigers, the best-hitting team in the league and the eventual pennant winners. These were the Tigers of Ty Cobb, then just 20 years old, the most ferocious of players who will likely forever remain baseball's all-time batting champion.

By all accounts, many fans were surprised by Johnson's sidearm delivery and sweeping underhand motion. He sure didn't move like a fastballer, and yet there was no doubt in the minds of the witnesses that day that his pitches were really moving. The record shows he gave up just six hits, three of which were bunts; two of these were by Cobb, who felt that bunting was the only counter to the incredible speed of Johnson's hard one. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

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Old 07-03-2022, 03:26 AM
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Default Gabby Street and How Walter Johnson became a National Hero Part 1

The 1908 Washington Senators won 67 games, lost 85, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Joe Cantillon and played home games at National Park.

How Walter Johnson became a National Hero Part 1: The Senators were reasonably competitive in 1908; but for Walter Johnson, though, this was the season during which he became a national hero. First, however, he had to contend with an operation in late February for the removal of an abscess located behind his right ear. The operation was a serious one and his family had feared for his life. Johnson survived but was in considerable pain for several weeks afterward. He missed all of spring training as a result, and didn't join the club until June 6, nearly two months into the season. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.) We will return to this account of How Walter Johnson became a national hero in a subsequent episode. In the meantime,

Player #33A: Charles E. "Gabby" Street. "The Old Sarge". Catcher for the Washington Senators in 1908-1911. 312 hits and 2 home runs in 8 MLB seasons. Debuted with the Cincinnati Reds in 1904. Caught ball dropped from top of Washington Monument. Holds MLB record for longest gap between MLB games at 19 years -- 1912-1931. Managed the St. Louis Cardinals in 1929 and 1930-1933, including the 1931 World Series championship. Managed the St. Louis Browns in 1938.

(In 1908) The man who would become known as "Walter Johnson's catcher," Charles "Gabby" Street, also joined the Senators, his contract having been purchased from San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League. Street, who would manage the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Championship in 1931 (the same year he sent himself up to bat as he approached his 49th birthday), was just 25 when he joined Washington after having appeared in only 45 National League games. Nineteen hundred and eight and 1909 would be his two busiest seasons in the majors, but he would bat just .206 and .211, assuring himself of a more regular place "riding the pine" for another two seasons in Washington. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

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  #67  
Old 07-04-2022, 03:33 AM
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Default The 1909 Washington Senators

The 1909 Washington Senators won 42 games, lost 110, and finished in eighth (last) place in the American League. They were managed by Joe Cantillon and played home games at National Park. The 1909 Senators still hold the Major League record for the most games lost in one month of a season, with 29 losses (and only 5 wins) in July.

(Both Germany Schaefer and Nick Altrock joined Washington in 1909. Though their comedic antics would not begin in earnest until 1912,) Comedy was indeed what the Washington ballclub was best at in 1909; it slipped to only 42 wins in 152 games. The highlight of the season was a scoreless, 18-inning tie with the Detroit Tigers on July 16. Ed Summers pitched the whole way for the Tigers, and he permitted just seven hits and one walk until, mercifully, the game was called because of darkness. The 1909 Nationals still hold records for fewest runs scored in a season (380) and the most times shutout in a season (29). They finished an unbelievable 56 games behind the first-place Tigers and 20 games out of seventh place. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

Clown Prince of Baseball: 1912 photograph of ballplayer turned comedy act, Nick Altrock, as he dances on the sidelines of a game in full uniform.

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Old 07-05-2022, 03:37 AM
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Default How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 2)

How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 2): We return to Deveaux's account of Walter Johnson's rise to national recognition: Johnson's record was 1-6 largely because of a lack of offensive support, when, on July 28, he struck out 15 Browns in St. Louis to earn a 2-1 win in 16 innings. With that game, in which Walter recorded his highest strikeout total to date, he undertook a string of 11 wins in 13 decisions. Then, over four glorious days in early September, the 21-year-old accomplished a feat not seen before or since.

The chain of events began innocently enough when on Friday, September 4, 1908, Johnson pitched a six-hit 3-0 shutout against Jack Chesbro and the New York Highlanders. On the following day, the New Yorkers' chagrin, not to mention surprise, can only be imagined when they saw Johnson warming up on the sidelines. It should be pointed out that in 1908, Big Ed Walsh of the White Sox led the league in games started with 49, the rough equivalent of a start every third game. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

We will pick this account up again soon, but in the meantime, the photograph by Thompson shows Walter Johnson swinging the bat c.1912-15. Walter was a good hitter for a pitcher at a time when pitchers were expected to be able to hit well enough to play the field and pinch hit to compensate for small rosters and frequent player injuries.

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  #69  
Old 07-06-2022, 03:18 AM
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Default Cliff Blankenship

Player #34: Clifford D. "Cliff" Blankenship. Catcher/first baseman for the Washington Senators in 1907 and 1909. 49 hits in 231 career plate appearances. He debuted with the Cincinnati Reds in 1905. He played a key role in Washington's signing of Walter Johnson.

Blankenship is remembered as a scout of sorts -- while injured with the Senators, he was sent to check out Walter Johnson in Idaho. Per the legend, he was told to bring his bat and, because he wasn't much of a hitter in the majors, to sign Johnson only if it was not possible to even hit a foul ball off him. Blankenship wired back: "You can't hit what you can't see." The Senators signed Johnson and the rest is history.

Here Deveaux picks up the story of Johnson's discovery: The baseball gods were indeed smiling down upon the Washington Senators on the day in 1907 when catcher Cliff Blankenship broke his finger. Joe Cantillon wanted to get some use out of the disabled Blankenship and decided to dispatch him on a scouting assignment. . . . Initially, Johnson wasn't even the main focus of Blankenship's scouting mission. The Senators already had their eye on Clyde Milan, a 20-year-old outfielder with Wichita, of the Western Association. An esteemed judge of talent, Joe Cantillon had spotted Milan when the Senators had played Wichita during a spring exhibition game on their way home from training camp in Galveston, Texas. There is little doubt that Blankenship's scouting trip was the most successful in all of history. Milan was signed for $1,250 and would become the team's best outfielder for the next 14 years. During all of that time, his roommate would be Walter Johnson. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

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  #70  
Old 07-07-2022, 03:40 AM
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Default Wid Conroy

Player #35A: William E. "Wid" Conroy. Utility player for the Washington Senators in 1909-1911. 1,257 hits, 22 home runs, and 262 stolen bases in 11 MLB seasons. Debuted with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1901. He had at least 384 plate appearances in each of his 11 MLB seasons. He was the first-string SS on the NL champion Pittsburgh Pirates in 1902. He moved to 3B in 1903 with the New York Highlanders, twice leading AL third basemen in total chances per game. He was an opening day starter for the Highlanders for the first five years of the team's existence. In 1907 he swiped 41 bases second only to Ty Cobb. He finished his career with Washington and in one of his last games set an AL record with 13 total chances at 3B.

Conroy's SABR biography covers his heyday in New York and his demise in Washington: Wid spent the next six seasons (1903-8) with New York, never batting higher than .273, but finishing among the league’s top ten in home runs twice, triples four times, slugging percentage once, and stolen bases four times. In 1907, Conroy’s 41 steals tied for second, behind only Ty Cobb‘s league-leading 49. Consistently praised for his deft handling of the bat (like many players of the era, Conroy choked up on the bat several inches and found his base hits by punching the ball to all fields), Conroy was also known as a smart, speedy base runner, routinely taking “the biggest leads off base of any player in the big show.”

Following the 1908 season, in which he batted just .237 with a .296 slugging percentage, Conroy was sold to the Washington Senators for $5,000. Reflecting his solid standing within the game, Conroy’s acquisition was greeted with delight by Washington fans, who took it as a sign that “the local owners are sincere in their efforts to build up a winner.” Now 32 years old, Conroy failed to live up to the high hopes that had been set for him and finished the year with a .244 batting average and career-low .293 slugging percentage. He spent the following offseason “boiling out” in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and his offensive production improved slightly in 1910, but the following year he finished with a .232 batting average, the lowest of his career, while stealing just 12 bases.

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  #71  
Old 07-08-2022, 03:27 AM
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Default Jerry Freeman

Player #36: Frank E. "Jerry" Freeman. "Buck". First baseman with the Washington Senators in 1908-1909. 142 hits in 2 MLB seasons.

Jerry Freeman was nicknamed "Buck", presumably after the major league star Buck Freeman, whose eleven-year major league career ended with 4 games in 1907. Buck then played most of the 1907 season with the Minneapolis Millers, hitting .335, while Jerry Freeman played for the same team and hit .362 (in his fourth season with Minneapolis). The next year Jerry was a regular in the majors. Buck stayed with Minneapolis in 1908 but hit over 100 points lower.

Jerry played almost all of the 1908 Washington Senators games at first base, making 41 errors, a total which led the league by a comfortable margin. His hitting was above average - his .253 batting average was second highest among the regulars, and his 15 doubles were also second highest. In addition, his 45 RBI led the team. The next year, however, he started slowly with the bat and the glove, and was gone after 19 games.

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  #72  
Old 07-09-2022, 03:09 AM
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Default How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 3)

How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 3): Only three pitchers had made the road trip for the Senators, as the mound corps was beset by injuries, and Joe Cantillon had asked Walter prior to the first game of the four-game set in New York whether he could start three times in a row. The big Train would later confide that Cantillon had been able to placate him time and again in the same way -- Walter would ask the manager for an extra seating pass to a game for a friend, and Pongo Joe would surprise him with a half a dozen. When the manager unexpectedly asked him to pitch, Walter couldn't turn him down because, he explained, his friends were always after passes.

Going the route for a second straight day, Johnson gave up just four hits and shut out the Highlanders again, 6-0. Now there was talk that Walter might not only start three games in a row, but get a shutout in all of them. The Washington Post reported that manager Cantillon had joked that maybe Johnson would pitch again Monday. The city was mad about Walter and the sports pages were jammed with stories about him. There was no chance that he would get three shutouts on consecutive days, however, since the third day was the Sabbath day. It would be another ten years before baseball could be played in New York on Sundays. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

We will get back to this account again soon, but in the meantime, here's a pin featuring Walter from the 1924 season.

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Old 07-10-2022, 01:30 AM
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Default Bob Ganley

Player #37: Robert S. "Bob" Ganley. Outfielder for the Washington Senators in 1907-1909. 540 hits and 112 stolen bases in 5 MLB seasons. He debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1905. His best season was 1907 for the Washington Senators as he posted a .337 OBP with 40 stolen bases and 73 runs scored.

Ganley played a lot of all three outfield positions during his five years in the majors, appearing with three teams. He went from playing for excellent Pittsburgh Pirates teams in 1905-06 to poor Washington Senators teams in 1907-08 and part of 1909 to an excellent Philadelphia Athletics team for most of 1909. Ganley was in the top ten in the league in stolen bases twice while with the Senators, and was fourth in the league in hits in 1907. Bob came to the majors at age 30, after a long career in the minors. After his major league days, he again played in the minors. He moved around so much that he was called "the globetrotter of organized baseball". He played for New Haven, Albany, Brockton, Columbus, Toledo, Marion, Schenectady, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Oakland, Johnstown, Des Moines and Newark, and that was just in the minors. He managed the Fredericton Pets in 1913 and the Perth Amboy Pacers in 1914.

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  #74  
Old 07-11-2022, 02:39 AM
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Default Clark Griffith 1909

Player #28B: Clark C. "The Old Fox" Griffith. Pitcher for the Washington Senators in 1912-1914. Debuted with the St. Louis Browns in 1891. 237 wins and 8 saves in 20 MLB seasons. Was 1898 MLB ERA leader. Managed the Chicago White Stockings (1901-1902), the New York Highlanders (1903-1908), the Cincinnati Reds (1909-1911), and the Washington Senators (1912-1920). Was principal owner of the Washington Senators from 1920 until his death in 1955. In 1946, was inducted to the MLB Hall of Fame.

Griffith's SABR biography takes us through the developments that followed his resignation (during the 1908 season) as manager of the New York Highlanders: Over the next few months Griff was deluged by offers to manage other clubs. He made no secret of his desire to assume an ownership role, even in the minor leagues, and for several months he carefully considered all of his options. Finally, in December, in something of a surprise move, he signed a contract to manage the Cincinnati Reds and was back in the National League.

Under Griffith, Cincinnati finished fourth in 1909, just nosing into the first division, distantly behind perennial leaders Pittsburgh, Chicago and New York. After three straight losing seasons, the campaign had to be considered a success, but it would mark the high point of Clark’s brief stay in the Queen City, as the Reds dropped a notch in the standings each of the next two years. Although managerial success eluded him, Clark managed the NL’s first Cuban ball players, Armando Marsáns and Rafael Almeida. He still longed to be an owner, however, and when the opportunity arose in 1911, he was ready to do whatever was necessary to avail himself of it.

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  #75  
Old 07-12-2022, 02:45 AM
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Default Mike Kahoe

Player #38: Michael J. "Mike" Kahoe. Catcher with the Washington Senators in 1907-1909. 278 hits and 4 home runs in 11 MLB seasons. He debuted with the Cincinnati Reds in 1895 and 1899-1901. He may have been one of the first catchers to wear shin guards.

Kahoe's SABR biography touches on some of his career highlights: Mike Kahoe appeared on major league rosters mostly as a catcher for eleven seasons. In that time he played in an unremarkable 410 games and batted a mere .212. Yet his career is forever joined with some of baseball history’s most celebrated individuals, unique events, and folklore. Kahoe’s acquisition by the Chicago Nationals in 1901 allowed that team to move Frank Chance from catcher to the outfield and eventually to first base where he was immortalized in “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” In 1907 Washington was hit with the injury bug at catcher and in August acquired the veteran Kahoe from Chicago. Mike was immediately put to work as the personal catcher of a rookie from Idaho, Walter Johnson. Later Kahoe would scout and sign dozens of players for the Senators and Braves.

His Sporting News obituary also called attention to his claim that he used shin guards (possibly in 1902 to protect an injury) before Roger Bresnahan ever did. An extensive search of newspapers did not turn up any mention of Kahoe’s use of protection until the 1908 season. In fact, in a Washington Post article from June 17, 1907, Mike was interviewed about Bresnahan’s use of shin guards. He discussed their use saying; “I believe there are more low fouls hit nowadays than there were two or three years ago and ones shins are likely to get it any minute. Also they are a good protection when a man is sliding into the plate…” There is no mention in the article that Mike had ever used shin protection.

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  #76  
Old 07-13-2022, 03:55 AM
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Default How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 4)

How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 4): On the Monday, September 7, 1908, there was to be a doubleheader in New York. It must have occurred to Johnson that he might start, but if so, likely not in the first game. While warming up with Gabby Street, it became apparent there was no one else getting ready. Johnson reportedly looked at Joe Cantillon, received a nod from the manager, and when he got back to the dugout after just a few easy tosses, told Cantillon, "It's all right with me if it's all right with you."

Barney then went out and tossed a third shutout at the Highlanders in just four days. He showed no sign of tiring during the course of the game. In fact, he yielded just two hits, having improved each game as he'd gone along. (He had given up six hits on Friday and four on Saturday.) He walked no one and struck out five, beating Jack Chesbro again despite taking one of Chesbro's spitballs in the ribs in the third inning. Furthermore, from Monday to Monday, the Big Train had made four mound appearances, having pitched 4.2 innings against Boston on the previous Monday.

Following the third shutout in a row, W.W. Aulick wrote in the New York Times of September 8, 1908: "We are grievously disappointed in this man Johnson of Washington. He and his team had four games to play with the champion (sic) Yankees. Johnson pitched the first game and shut us out. Johnson pitched the second game and shut us out. Johnson pitched the third game and shut us out. Did Johnson pitch the fourth game and shut us out? He did not. Oh, you quitter!" (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

We will get back to this account soon, but in the meantime, another pin commemorating the 1924 American League Pennant eventually won by Walter and his Washington Senators on their way to a World Series victory.

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  #77  
Old 07-14-2022, 02:52 AM
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Default Deerfoot Milan

Player #39A: J. Clyde "Deerfoot" Milan. Outfielder for the Washington Senators in 1907-1922. 2,100 hits and 495 stolen bases in 16 MLB seasons. 1912 and 1913 AL stolen base leader, including a then record 88 in 1912. His career OBP was .353. Managed the Washington Senators in 1922. His best season was probably 1911 for the Washington Senators as he posted a .395 OBP with 58 stolen bases and 109 runs scored in 705 plate appearances.

Milan's SABR biography recalls his introduction to Washington: Milan and (Walter) Johnson had a lot in common: They were the same age, they both hailed from rural areas–Washington outfielder Bob Ganley started calling Milan “Zeb,” a common nickname for players from small towns–and they were both quiet, reserved, and humble. Naturally, they became hunting companions and inseparable friends, and eventually they became the two best players on the Senators team. “Take Milan and his roommate, Walter Johnson, away from Washington, and the town would about shut up shop, as far as base ball is concerned,” wrote a reporter in 1911.

But stardom was not immediate for Milan. After making his debut with the Senators on August 19, 1907, he played regularly in center field for the rest of the season and batted a respectable .279 in 48 games. In 1908, however, Milan batted just .239, and the following year he slumped to .200, with just 10 stolen bases in 130 games. Cantillon wanted to send him to the minors and purchase an outfielder who could hit, but the Senators were making so little money that they couldn’t afford a replacement. Fortunately for Washington, Jimmy McAleer took over as manager in 1910 and immediately recognized the young center fielder’s potential. Under McAleer’s tutelage, Milan bounced back to hit .279 with 44 steals, and in 1911 he became a full-fledged star by batting .315 with 58 steals.

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  #78  
Old 07-15-2022, 03:13 AM
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Default Muskrat Bill Shipke

Player #40: William M. "Bill" Shipke. "Muskrat Bill". "Skipper Bill". Third baseman for the Washington Senators in 1907-1909. 110 hits in 4 MLB seasons. Debuted with the Cleveland Naps in 1906. His best season was 1908 for the Washington Senators as he scored 40 runs and stole 15 bases in 410 plate appearances.

Shipke was the starting third baseman for the 1908 Senators and fielded .932, average for the 1908 AL at the hot corner. He hit .208/.297/.276; as it was the heart of the Deadball Era, his OPS+ was a perfectly respectable 93. He stole 15 bases, hit 8 triples and laid down 26 sacrifice hits. An old Senators fan convinced Bill to paste a piece of paper with "magical properties" to his bat and Shipke had a great month after starting the experiment. After Bob Unglaub joined the Senators, Shipke wound up on the bench. Bill went 2 for 16 with the 1909 Senators to conclude his big-league career with a .199/.280/.261 batting line and an 81 OPS+. Al Pepper notes that "He left the majors with more nicknames than career home runs."

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  #79  
Old 07-16-2022, 03:27 AM
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Default Charley Smith

Player #41: Charley Smith. Pitcher with the Washington Senators in 1906-1909. 66 wins and 3 saves in 10 MLB seasons. He debuted with the Cleveland Bronchos in 1902. He had a career ERA of 2.81. His best season was 1910 with Boston as he posted a 11-6 record with a 2.30 ERA in 156.1 innings.

Smith's SABR biography explains his time in Washington: In 1905, Smith was 13-8. He returned to the majors in 1906, working for the Washington Senators. Smith impressed in spring training and got off to a good enough start. Sporting Life commented, “He has a world of speed, excellent control, god (sic) curves and a profound indifference to the efforts of his opponents. He held the visitors to five hits, which were all made in two innings. Evidently, he will do, and is a valuable find.” Smith’s record was 9-16, but his 2.91 earned run average was better than the team ERA of 3.25 and he was brought back for 1907.

He won ten games in 1907, though he lost 20, despite an improved ERA of 2.61. Smith struck out a career-high 119, walking 75. And he had some tough luck, wrote the Washington Post: “On just one occasion this season has he had an easy game…in all his other games this season, he has had tight games to contend with, and has unquestionably lost more games by one run than any other pitcher in the league.” He had, the Post wrote a week later, “a chin that indicates determination.” He brought his ERA down again in 1908, to 2.41. His record was 9-13, though he missed several weeks during the season with a lame arm. The Senators placed seventh. The hard luck theme hadn’t gone away. The May 13, 1908 Post went into even more detail, this time adding, “If there is anything in physiognomy, his jaw would indicate that he has the nerve to face a lion.”

In 1909, Washington dropped back to last place again. Smith didn’t help the team that much; he had a recurrence of the arm problem from which he’d suffered in 1908; his record was 3-12 and he’d pitched to a 3.27 ERA. He escaped before the season was over, however, traded to the Boston Red Sox. Despite what looked like a sorry record, Washington manager Joe Cantillon said, “I am sorry to lose Charley Smith, for everybody knows I think he is one of the best pitchers in the American League. He has been with me three years and during that time he has always twirled great ball.” Smith was re-energized, perhaps: he started three games for Boston and won all three. The first was a 4-2 win against Washington on the 13th.

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  #80  
Old 07-17-2022, 04:00 AM
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Default How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 5)

How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 5): After the third straight whitewash, Cantillon must have thought it was time to rest his 20-year-old prodigy. Johnson came out again on Thursday, three days later, and edged the A's and their ace Eddie Plank 2-1. He said after this particular game that he did not deserve the victory, an early sign of his humble disposition. Over the years, Walter would consistently credit his teammates for his own well-deserved successes.

On the day following the victory over Eddie Plank, young Johnson was asked to start again because sore-armed Charley Smith was unable to take the turn. Again, the Big Train went all the way, for his fifth victory in nine days. Throughout his lengthy career, Walter Johnson would display tremendous stamina. According to team trainer Mike Martin, the effortlessness with which he threw a ball, which Johnson himself felt was a result of his use of the sidearm delivery, could be compared to the energy a normal human expends in snapping his fingers.

Following a three-inning shutout performance in relief two days later that saved the last game of the Philadelphia series, Johnson finally lost on September 18. He gave up just three hits but lost a 1-0 decision to Big Ed Walsh (the league's top winner at 40-15 in '08) and the White Sox on a tenth-inning bunt. This setback ended a string of five wins for the rising star. In acquiring those five wins, Barney had allowed just five runs in 58 innings. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

We will finish this account soon, but today we end with Walter and his team of prized pointers and setters from October of 1927. More than just the pitcher from Washington, Johnson was an avid outdoorsman and could often be found in the wilderness of Virginia during the offseason hunting for quail and partridge.

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  #81  
Old 07-18-2022, 03:09 AM
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Default The Old Sarge

Player #33B: Charles E. "Gabby" Street. "The Old Sarge". Catcher for the Washington Senators in 1908-1911. 312 hits and 2 home runs in 8 MLB seasons. Debuted with the Cincinnati Reds in 1904. Caught ball dropped from top of Washington Monument. Holds MLB record for longest gap between MLB games at 19 years -- 1912-1931. Managed the St. Louis Cardinals in 1929 and 1930-1933, including the 1931 World Series championship. Managed the St. Louis Browns in 1938.

Street's SABR biography addresses his time in Washington: Persistence (in sticking with the San Francisco Seals in 1906 and 1907) paid off for Street, and his contract was sold to the Washington Senators. Of the 504 games Street played in the major leagues, 429 were over the next four years (1908-11) with Washington. His calling card was his defense, as he led the league in putouts and double plays in both 1908 and 1909. In 1910 he was atop his peers with a fielding percentage of .978. In today’s vernacular Street’s batting average would be characterized as worthy of the “Mendoza Line,” as his average with the Senators was a meek .210. Catchers of the day were never expected to hit that well, and in any event Washington was not fielding a championship team in those years, finishing no better than seventh place in the American League and no closer than 22½ games back of the pennant winner.

Importantly, Walter Johnson favored Street, acknowledging him as a first-rate catcher. “He always kept the pitcher in good spirits with his continual chatter of sense and nonsense,” said the Big Train. “ ‘ Ease up on this fellow, Walter, he has a wife and two kids,’ he would call jokingly when some batter was hugging the plate and getting a toehold for a crack at one of my fast ones. ‘This fellow hasn’t had a hit off you since you joined the league,’ might be his next remark and so on throughout the game.”

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  #82  
Old 07-19-2022, 03:09 AM
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Default Bob Unglaub

Player #42A: Robert A. "Bob" Unglaub. Infielder for the Washington Senators in 1908-1910. 554 hits and 5 home runs over 6 MLB seasons. Debuted with the New York Highlanders in 1904. Managed the Boston Americans in 1907.

Unglaub's SABR biography reviews his time in Washington: In his two and a half seasons as a regular with the Senators, Unglaub was a valuable commodity to the club. He reported for 1909 with a new attitude (after squabbling with Cantillon over his salary following the midseason 1908 deal sending him from Boston to Washington), “It’s whatever Joe says,” he remarked, “If the team needs me anywhere at all, it is satisfactory to me, for I shall try and deliver the goods. I would, of course, prefer the infield, but if there is not room there, it is all the same to me.” (Washington Post, April 8, 1909)

During his tenure in Washington, Unglaub was alternately praised and criticized for both his hitting and his fielding. His managers (Cantillon and Jimmy McAleer) thought enough of his offensive abilities to often bat him third or clean up, and he was considered a clutch hitter. The local reporter said of him, “There is not a man on the local team more dangerous to the opposing pitchers when there are men on the bases than Bob Unglaub…when it comes to wielding the ash he fits in mighty nicely with the local aggregation…Unglaub is a batter whom any pitcher must fear, for when he hits the ball it usually goes on a long journey.” (Washington Post, April 17, 1909)

Despite some defensive shortcomings, Unglaub was considered valuable in the field for his versatility, experience, and leadership. He played third and first when Bill Shipke and Jerry Freeman struggled, and plugged the gaps at second and outfield when Jim Delahanty and Clyde Milan went down with extended injuries. He also saw significant playing time in right field. It was in the infield that Unglaub made the biggest difference: “…the fact that Unglaub is a valuable man to coach the infield as well as the pitcher gives him the preference.” (Washington Post, April 26, 1909)

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  #83  
Old 07-20-2022, 03:08 AM
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Default Dolly Gray

Player #43A: William D. "Dolly" Gray. Pitcher for the Washington Senators in 1909-1911. 15 wins in 3 MLB seasons. Holds MLB record for walks allowed in an inning (8) and for consecutive walks allowed (7). In 1911, he threw the first pitch in Griffith Stadium.

Gray's SABR biography explains his place in the MLB record books: Southpaw pitcher Dolly Gray posted five 20-win seasons in the Pacific Coast League before coming to the Washington Senators (aka Nationals) in 1909. He literally walked into the record books on August 28 when he lost a one-hitter to the Chicago White Sox, 6-4. He walked seven consecutive batters (eight total) in the six-run second inning, then found his rhythm and finished the game. Billy Evans was the plate umpire for the game, and he opined in his sports column years later that Gray must have thrown at least 20 pitches in the inning that barely missed the plate. The only hit he gave up was a grounder to first base. Some fans and writers have suggested that it was really a no-hitter, because first baseman Bob Unglaub admitted he should have handled the grounder easily.

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  #84  
Old 07-21-2022, 03:34 AM
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Default Final Part -- How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 6)

How Walter Johnson became a National Hero (Part 6): Two days later, Johnson faced Rube Waddell of the St. Louis Browns. Waddell was baseball's real "rebel without a cause." A great pitcher, he drove managers insane wherever he played. Seemingly as innocent and erratic as a child, Waddell would miss time at the ballpark to chase fire engines or to just go fishing. Sportswriters would come to talk of Walter Johnson's fastball in the same breath as Waddell's, who had thrown very hard for Connie Mack's A's beginning in 1902. That is, he had until he injured his arm while horsing around with teammate Andy Coakley prior to the start of the 1905 World Series, which the A's lost in five games, mainly because of Christy Mathewson's "three golden eggs" --three shutouts in the first ever best-of-seven World Series.

Rube Waddell's arm was never quite the same after the fall of '05, but he still had plenty left when he faced the Senators in September '08. He struck out 17 Nats and was the winner over Walter Johnson, who struck out nine. The Big Train had pitched seven complete games for the Senators, with a save thrown in for good measure, within 17 days, and Joe Cantillon did not give him a break until the end of the campaign, which must not have come too soon for poor Walter. He had indeed earned his forthcoming salary increase of $800, to $3,500 for 1909.

The 20-year-old destined to become the greatest righthander of all time had truly arrived. Just out of his teens, Johnson was already getting about 60 letters a day from fans across the country. He was answering all of them, succinctly explaining to reporters who asked that if there were folks who were kind enough to write him, then the least he could do was write them back. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

Another example of how Walter came to enjoy the off season. The caption on the reverse reads: Walter Johnson. Two Out, and the Bag's Full. -- Walter Johnson, veteran ball player, strikes out a couple of wild turkeys in Florida. Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Photo Shows: Walter Johnson former pitcher for the Washington Senators and now manager of the Newark Bears, with two wild turkeys he bagged near here.

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  #85  
Old 07-22-2022, 03:24 AM
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Default Bob Groom

Player #44A: Robert "Bob" Groom. Pitcher for the Washington Senators in 1909-1913. 119 wins and 13 saves in 10 MLB seasons. For the St. Louis Browns in 1917, he pitched a no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader after pitching 2 innings of no-hit relief in the first game. With Koob, only teammates to pitch no-hitters on consecutive days. His best season was 1912 as he went 24-13 with a 2.62 ERA and Washington finished second in the American League. In 1909, his 7-26 record included 15 consecutive losses, during which his 42-110 Senator teammates mustered a total of 19 runs. Walter Johnson's record that year was 12-25.

Groom's SABR biography covers his transition to the big league: The 1908 (West Coast League) Beavers fared much better (than they did in 1907), in large part because of Groom. Finishing second with a 95-90 record, Portland led the league as late as July 5, and Bobby was the Beavers’ star pitcher, recording a league-leading 29 wins versus 15 losses and 2 ties. After an early July flirtation with Cleveland and nationally-published rumors that Groom would soon join Addie Joss on the Naps’ pitching staff, it never came to pass. Instead, Washington bought him from Portland at the end of the season for $1,750. Walter McCredie, who would develop a reputation for sending important players to the majors, often called Groom “the best pitcher to go East” from the Pacific Coast League.

As a pitcher, Groom was fast and intimidating, and his demeanor generally serious and inscrutable. His ball movement was extraordinary, occasionally so extraordinary that inexperienced backstops had trouble catching him. In recalling Groom, American League umpire Billy Evans noted, “He was plenty fast and inclined to be wild,” but Evans described his curve as “magnificent and sweeping.” Building on a youthful fast ball, Groom developed a repertoire that included the curve Evans admired, a change of pace, and an occasional spitball moistened with tobacco juice. Evans believed that Groom never received full credit for his ability. “He happened to be on the same team as Walter Johnson, who overshadowed the whole staff,” said Evans. “If he had been with some other club, I dare say Groom would have been regarded as a speed marvel.” Evans also recalled Groom as a man with great confidence. “When he walked out to the rubber, you got the idea that he thought he was a pretty good pitcher. I agreed with him.”

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  #86  
Old 07-23-2022, 03:31 AM
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Default Germany Schaefer

Player #45A: Herman A. "Germany" Schaefer. Infielder for the Washington Senators in 1909-1914. 972 hits, 9 home runs, and 201 stolen bases in 15 MLB seasons. His "steal" of first base prompted rule making it illegal. Popular as a baseball "trickster" and "on-field clown", often in tandem with Charley O'Leary and, later, with Nick Altrock. Altrock eventually perfected the art with Al Schacht.

Big Ed Delahanty's brother Jim had a bad year at the dish (in 1909), following up a .317 season with .232 before being sent to Detroit for Germany Schaefer, a reliable hitter and accomplished baserunner, in an exchange of second baseman. A regular player with the great Tiger teams since 1905, Schaefer, who like Rube Waddell was one of baseball's more renowned zany characters, had once caused a change in baseball's rules. After stealing second with a man on third, he was not able to coax a throw from Cleveland catcher Nig Clarke. So on the next pitch, Schaefer went back to first so that he could try again. He did, this time drawing a throw which allowed the winning run to score. As a result of Scheafer's unexpected maneuver, it would become illegal to run in the wrong direction on the basepaths. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

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  #87  
Old 07-24-2022, 03:43 AM
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Default Jim Delahanty

Player #46A: James C. "Jim" Delahanty. Second baseman for the Washington Senators in 1907-1909. 1,159 hits, 19 home runs and 151 stolen bases in 13 MLB seasons. Debuted with the Chicago Orphans in 1901. His best season was 1911 as he posted a .411 OBP with 15 stolen bases for the Detroit Tigers in 628 plate appearances. In all he had 5 MLB seasons with more than 500 plate appearances.

Delahanty's SABR biography discusses his baseball career and time in Washington: Remembered mostly for his more famous older brother Ed, Jim Delahanty was a fine player in his own right, and one of the most well-traveled hitters of the Deadball Era. During a professional career that lasted nearly two decades, the free-swinging right-hander played for fifteen different clubs, including eight in the major leagues. Despite his lengthy itinerary as a professional ballplayer, Delahanty bore an excellent reputation within his profession. “Delahanty is looked upon as one of the ‘classy’ boys of the American League,” Alfred Spink wrote in 1910. “He is a most graceful fielder and a congenial sort of a fellow both on and off the field.” Though second base was his primary position, during his career the versatile Irishman filled every position on the diamond except catcher, and finished his career with an excellent .283 batting average in 1,186 career games.

Delahanty lasted only 33 games with the Browns, contributing a disappointing .221 batting average with only three extra base hits before St. Louis sold him to the Washington Senators on June 11, 1907. Shifted to second base full time, Delahanty found his new environs to his liking, batting .292 in 108 games for Washington. The following year, Delahanty put in another fine season, batting .317 in 83 games, though his campaign was marred by nagging injuries and an ugly incident in his hometown of Cleveland on August 4. In a game which Washington lost 7-5, Delahanty and teammate Otis Clymer were ejected for arguing with umpire Silk O’Loughlin. According to reports, Delahanty responded to the ejection by unleashing a torrent of profanity that could be heard throughout the park. American League president Ban Johnson responded to the incident by suspending Delahanty, fining him $50, and banning him from the Cleveland park for one year. Not surprisingly, Delahanty considered the ruling unfair and excessive. “O’Loughlin’s decisions were way off and I told him so, and when he put me out of the game I grew sore and said things to him, but I did it quietly and no one in the stands heard it,” Delahanty insisted. In order to be fair to the other contenders in that year’s hotly contested pennant race, Washington manager Joe Cantillon decided that if Delahanty could not play in Cleveland, he also wouldn’t play him in Detroit, Chicago, or St. Louis, a decision which resulted in Delahanty missing 14 games in addition to the 13 Johnson had suspended him for. At the start of the next season, Johnson lifted the Cleveland ban.

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  #88  
Old 07-25-2022, 03:24 AM
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Default Kid Elberfeld

Player #47A: Norman A. "Kid" Elberfeld. "The Tabasco Kid". Shortstop for the Washington Senators 1910-1911. 1,235 hits, 10 home runs, and 213 stolen bases in 14 MLB seasons. Fiery temper involved him in numerous ferocious arguments and assaults on umpires. Managed the New York Highlanders in 1908. Debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1898. Had a career OBP of .355 and 7 MLB seasons with at least 500 plate appearances.

Elberfeld's SABR biography summarizes his career and early MLB experience: Kid Elberfeld, called “the dirtiest, scrappiest, most pestiferous, most rantankerous [sic], most rambunctious ball player that ever stood on spikes” for his vicious arguments on the diamond, patterned his combative style after that of his favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles of the mid-1890s. He believed, like those Oriole players, that an umpire should be kept in his place, and that what happened behind an arbiter’s back was none of his business. But, when Elberfeld kept his volatile temper in check, he was also an “ideal infielder–full of ginger.” Called by George Stallings one of the two best shortstops in baseball, his throwing arm was “cyclonic,” and, though only 5’7,” 158 lbs., he was fearless in turning the double play. Not surprisingly, he was frequently spiked, and by 1907 wore a whalebone shin guard on his right leg for protection. He was also one of the best hitting shortstops of his day, with a career .271 average, and a master at getting hit by close pitches. He perfected the art of angling his body in toward the plate, holding his arms in such as way as to take only a glancing blow while simultaneously appearing to make an honest attempt to avoid the pitch, and then, for effect, shouting and gesticulating at the pitcher. He became so adept at this that he still ranks 13th on the career hit by pitch list, with 165.

He jumped back to Detroit the Tigers of the Western League) in 1900 (after a brief stint with Cincinnati), where, as the “most aggressive” player on the “most aggressive and scrappiest” team in the newly renamed American League, he was ejected from three games during one eight-game stretch in June. Though he batted only .263, he led all shortstops with an astonishing average of over seven successful chances per game.

Elberfeld remained with Detroit for the next 2½ years. In 1901, as the Tigers staked their claim to major league status, he batted .308 with 11 triples and three home runs, all of which would remain his major league career highs. Near the end of the 1902 season, New York Giants’ owner John T. Brush and manager John McGraw attempted to beef up their last place team by signing several Detroit players, and reportedly signed Elberfeld to a two-year contract for $4500 per year. But the 1903 peace agreement returned Elberfeld to Detroit, and, when Edward Barrow was suddenly named to replace suicide-victim Win Mercer as new Detroit manager, Barrow inherited an unhappy shortstop. Though Elberfeld started fast, batting .431 after the first three weeks of the season, his hitting soon tailed off and his fielding was shoddy. On June 2, Barrow fined and suspended him for “loaferish conduct,” suspecting Elberfeld of playing poorly to force a trade to the St. Louis Browns. Eight days later, Barrow did trade him, not to St. Louis, but to the New York Highlanders.

We will pick the Kid's career up with the Highlanders the next time he surfaces in our progression.

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  #89  
Old 07-25-2022, 12:25 PM
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Default An Enjoyable Thread

I thank the OP for starting this thread. I have nothing to add but really liked all of the "Good stuff" shown by all. I hope it keeps going !!!
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  #90  
Old 07-26-2022, 03:19 AM
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Default 1910 Washington Senators

You are welcome, Dennis. Thank you for the feedback.

The 1910 Washington Senators won 66 games, lost 85 (with 6 ties), and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Jimmy McAleer and played home games at National Park.

Throughout this (the 1910) season, if for no other reason, Washington fans would have something to cheer about. The 22-year-old Big Train lived up to every expectation that he had produced with his incredible performances in September 1908. On the seventh-place 1910 Senators, Johnson's record was 25-17, with a pair of one-hitters and a pair of two-hitters. He was the league's dominant pitcher, leading in strikeouts, innings pitched, and complete games.

Johnson's 25-17 record, marking the only time in history a pitcher has gone from 25 losses to 25 wins in one year, would certainly have been enhanced if he had had better backup. Only the quick Clyde Milan and the defensive wiz at shortstop, George McBride, excelled. Milan established himself as a base-stealing menace by swiping 44 bases and hitting .279 in a league that, as a whole, hit just .243 in 1910. McBride, however, was consistently a weak hitter, finishing at .230. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

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  #91  
Old 07-27-2022, 03:27 AM
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Default 1910 First Pitch -- Bill Taft

William Howard Taft threw out the first pitch during Opening Day ceremonies preceding the Washington Nationals–Philadelphia Athletics game on April 14, 1910. The National Park where the first-ever presidential ceremonial first pitch was thrown burned down in March 1911, and a new stadium, also called National Park at first, was built in its place. It would be renamed Griffith Stadium in 1923. 1n 1913, Vice President James S. Sherman threw out the first pitch at Washington's home opener. Taft did not attend the 1913 game because of the death of his friend Archibald Butt in the Titanic disaster. (I can't help but wonder if poor Mr. Butt, and his interesting name, were made the, ahem, point of many playground jokes during his younger days.)

Deveaux picks up the story of the first presidential opener: On April 14, 1910, Walter Johnson took the mound for the season opener for the Senators. This was the first of 14 times he would do so in his 21-year career. The opening game was also historically significant because William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States, threw out the first ball and became the first President to inaugurate a baseball season. In April of the previous year, President Taft and Vice-President James Sherman had made an appearance at a Nationals game, the first time a U.S. President had shown up at a ballgame in the city since Benjamin Harrison had back in 1892. The tradition of the ceremonial first pitch is one that would be followed from 1910 onward.

Prior to the ceremonial toss, new manager Jimmy McAleer had urged a shy Walter Johnson to volunteer to catch the ball. Walter had responded that he was sure the President had not come to the ballgame just to play catch. Gabby Street was enlisted as the official receiver, but then for some reason apparently known only to President Taft, the President turned and threw the ball to Walter Johnson. A member of the presidential party who had overheard Johnson's remark to McAleer had interpreted it for President Taft in such a way that the President understood that Walter had backed out of the ceremony because he was too bashful. For Johnson, the baseball became the first in a collection signed by various presidents which he would accumulate and treasure.

The initial excitement was somewhat tempered when Secretary of State Charles Bennett, sitting in the presidential box with Taft and Vice-President Sherman, was skulled by a line drive fouled off the bat of Frank "Home Run" Baker of the A's. There was general confusion until Bennett waved to attendants to indicate that he was not in need of first aid. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

In the 1960's, Sports Pics Photo Premiums showcased Presidential First Pitches. The first in the series features President Taft.

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  #92  
Old 07-28-2022, 01:46 AM
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Default George Browne

Player #48A: George E. Browne. Right fielder for the Washington Senators in 1909-1910. 1,176 hits, 18 home runs, and 190 stolen bases in 12 MLB seasons. Led the NL in runs scored in 1904. 1905 WS champion. Debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1901. His best season was 1903 for the New York Giants as he posted a .364 OBP with 27 stolen bases in 652 plate appearances. In all he had 7 seasons with more than 500 plate appearances.

George Edward Browne was an American professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Doves, Chicago Cubs, Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox, and Brooklyn Dodgers between 1901 and 1912. Browne entered the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1901. Though he usually spent one or two seasons with a team, he remained with the New York Giants from 1902 to 1907. He was the National League leader in runs scored in 1904 with New York; runs were down across the league and Browne's 99 runs were the lowest total for a league leader until 1915.

A member of the 1905 World Series champion Giants, Browne hit .227 with one RBI and two runs scored in the World Series. Moonlight Graham, whose one-inning major-league career became famous through the movie Field of Dreams, replaced Browne in his lone appearance for the 1905 Giants.

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  #93  
Old 07-29-2022, 04:01 AM
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Default Sleepy Bill Burns

Player #49: William T. "Bill" Burns. "Sleepy Bill". Pitcher with the Washington Senators in 1908-1909. 30 wins and 2 saves in 5 MLB seasons. His career ERA was 2.72 in 717.2 innings pitched for 5 different MLB teams, ending in 1912 with the Detroit Tigers. He twice lost no-hitters with two outs in the ninth. He was key go-between in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.

Burns' SABR biography highlights his career: “Sleepy Bill” Burns pitched for five major-league teams in five seasons from 1908 to 1912. At his peak, he beat Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson. The great Ty Cobb, a left-handed batter, said he would rather bat against the right-handed Johnson than face Burns, a tough lefty. Burns was blessed with natural ability, but he was shuttled from team to team because he was egocentric, lackadaisical, and difficult to manage. In 1919 Burns infamously returned to the major-league scene as one of the conspirators in the Black Sox Scandal. At the criminal trial in 1921, he turned State’s evidence in exchange for immunity from prosecution. His account of events has been accepted as factual, but veracity was not his strong suit.

In 1906, Burns joined the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League and compiled a 16-16 record. He bettered it with a 24-17 mark for the pennant-winning Angels the following year. Upon the recommendation of scout Denny Long, the Washington Senators drafted him. Burns had an excellent fastball, curveball, and changeup, and used the same casual windup in delivering each of them so that the batter had no idea which pitch was coming. He pitched with a crossfire motion, in which his left arm came across his right leg, à la the great southpaw Eddie Plank. Burns was ambidextrous; though he never pitched right-handed in a game, he did in batting practice “with considerable speed.” Burns’s pickoff move was exceptional. Umpire Billy Evans said that he had never seen a more deceptive one. Batters would sometimes start their swing as Burns threw to first base.

During (a close contest) in Chicago, Burns fell asleep on the bench in the eighth inning while his teammates were batting and had to be awakened when it was time for him to return to the mound. He had no trouble falling asleep whenever and wherever he wanted. This trait earned him the nickname “Sleepy Bill.” He could also be seen nonchalantly reading a magazine or newspaper while on the bench during a game.

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  #94  
Old 07-30-2022, 03:36 AM
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Default Wid Conroy

Player #35B: William E. "Wid" Conroy. Utility player for the Washington Senators in 1909-1911. 1,257 hits, 22 home runs, and 262 stolen bases in 11 MLB seasons. Debuted with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1901. He had at least 384 plate appearances in each of his 11 MLB seasons. He was the first-string SS on the NL champion Pittsburgh Pirates in 1902. He moved to 3B in 1903 with the New York Highlanders, twice leading AL third basemen in total chances per game. He was an opening day starter for the Highlanders for the first five years of the team's existence. In 1907 he swiped 41 bases second only to Ty Cobb. He finished his career with Washington and in one of his last games set an AL record with 13 total chances at 3B.

Conroy's SABR biography describes his time in Pittsburgh: The following season (1902) the Brewers franchise moved to St. Louis and a legion of National Leaguers jumped to the junior circuit, but Wid left Milwaukee and became one of the few American Leaguers to jump over to the National League, signing with the defending league champion Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates initially pegged Conroy as a backup for Honus Wagner, but Wagner eventually moved to the outfield and Conroy assumed the starting shortstop role.

Appearing in 99 games for one of the best teams in history, Conroy was the weakest hitter in the vaunted Pittsburgh lineup, collecting only 17 extra base hits in 365 at-bats and posting a .299 on-base percentage. He played commendable defense however, and earned the respect and loyalty of his teammates for his take-no-prisoners approach to the game. In the fourth inning of a contest against the Chicago Cubs on June 23, Conroy got into a fistfight with the Cubs star shortstop, Joe Tinker, after Conroy had blocked Tinker on the base paths and spiked another Cub the previous day. Thirsty for revenge, Tinker got his chance when he moved from first to second on an infield hit. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Tinker tore down to second” and seeing Conroy covering the base, “pushed the Pirate off the bag … Conroy wheeled quickly and started toward the cushion as if to strike Tinker, whereupon the latter pushed his open hand over the greater part of Conroy’s face in the manner so irritating to belligerents.” A scuffle ensued, in which Conroy landed blows on Tinker’s shoulder and the Cub shortstop struck Wid on the neck, before the pair could be separated. The fracas upset Pirates secretary Harry Pulliam, who declared in the days following the fight that he was “so disgusted by that row between Tinker and Conroy that I couldn’t go out to the grounds.”

But the ensuing punishments upset the Pirates even more, as the chairman of the league’s executive committee, John Brush, suspended Conroy for 20 days, while benching Tinker for only three. Pittsburgh manager Fred Clarke blasted the ruling, noting that “if Conroy had not covered the bag he would have stamped himself an incompetent of the worst kind . Yet he is suspended for 20 days, because he did his duty.” Owner Barney Dreyfuss appealed the ruling, but Brush dismissed the complaint.

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  #95  
Old 07-31-2022, 03:38 AM
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Default Gavvy "Cactus" Cravath

Player #50: Clifford C. "Gavvy" Cravath. "Cactus". Right fielder with the Washington Senators in 1909. 1,134 hits and 119 home runs in 11 MLB seasons, mostly with the Philadelphia Phillies. He had a career OBP of .380 and was one of the most prolific power hitters of the dead-ball era. He led the NL in home runs six times and RBI's twice. He first played 5 seasons in the Pacific Coast League and picked up his nickname by hitting a ball that killed a seagull ("Gaviota" in Spanish) in flight. His MLB debut came in 1908 with the Boston Red Sox. The Senators moved him to Minneapolis after just four games in 1909 and he didn't return to MLB until 1912, when at age 31 he began 9 seasons with Philadelphia. One of his better seasons came in 1913 as he posted a .407 OBP with 19 home runs and 128 RBI's in 594 plate appearances.

Cravath's SABR biography discusses his time in MLB: Gavvy Cravath was an anomaly in the Deadball Era. Employing a powerful swing and taking advantage of Baker Bowl‘s forgiving dimensions, the Philadelphia clean-up hitter led the National League in home runs six times, establishing new (albeit short-lived) twentieth-century records for most home runs in a season and career. In an era when “inside baseball” ruled supreme, Cravath bucked the trend and preached what he practiced. “Short singles are like left-hand jabs in the boxing ring, but a home run is a knock-out punch,” he asserted. “It is the clean-up man of the club that does the heavy scoring work even if he is wide in the shoulders and slow on his feet. There is no advice I can give in batting, except to hammer the ball. Some players steal bases with hook slides and speed. I steal bases with my bat.”

Not fitting the mold of the stereotypical Deadball Era fly chaser, Cravath had difficulty breaking into a Boston outfield that soon became dominated by the fleet-footed Tris Speaker and Harry Hooper. Throughout his career Gavvy remained sensitive about his relative lack of speed. “They call me wooden shoes and piano legs and a few other pet names,” he once said. “I do not claim to be the fastest man in the world, but I can get around the bases with a fair wind and all sails set. And so long as I am busting the old apple on the seam, I am not worrying a great deal about my legs.” Cravath was batting .256 with only a single home run (but 11 triples) when the Red Sox sold him to the Chicago White Sox in February 1909. A slow start in the Windy City in 1909 got him traded (along with sore-armed pitcher Nick Altrock and backup first-baseman Jiggs Donahue) to the lowly Washington Senators for Sleepy Bill Burns, a promising but corrupt pitcher who had posted a 1.70 ERA as a rookie in 1908.

Washington manager Joe Cantillon also was the owner of the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association, and he sent Gavvy to Minneapolis after the new outfielder went hitless in six at-bats for Washington. The 1910-11 Millers are now recognized as the outstanding minor-league team of the Deadball Era, and Cravath became the team’s biggest star. Learning to hit to the opposite field to take advantage of Nicollet Park‘s short porch (it was a lot like Baker Bowl, running 279 feet down the right-field foul line with a 30-foot fence), the right-handed hitting Cravath batted .327 with 14 home runs in 1910. The following year he led the Association with a .363 batting average, and his 29 home runs were the most ever recorded in organized baseball. At one point that season Cantillon threatened to fine Gavvy $50 if he hit any more home runs over the right-field barrier; apparently, he’d broken the same window in a Nicollet Avenue haberdashery three times during a single week.

Also, his nickname: It was during his semi-pro days that he gained the nickname “Gavvy.” There are many stories about its origin, but it’s apparently a contraction for the Spanish word gaviota, which means “seagull.” During a Sunday game in the early 1900s, Cravath reportedly hit a ball so hard that it killed a seagull in flight. Mexican fans shouted “Gaviota.” The English-speaking fans thought it was a cheer and the name stuck.

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  #96  
Old 07-31-2022, 10:29 AM
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Default

Gavvy was ahead of the curve when it came to power hitting. If he had instead been born 15-20 years later, he probably would have put up some hefty numbers in the post-deadball era.

Someone took a bite out of this Standard Biscuit.

Brian
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  #97  
Old 08-01-2022, 03:33 AM
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Default Jim Delahanty

Brian: Thanks for posting the Cravath Standard Biscuit. If he were around now, Cravath would be Adam Dunn. Or Kyle Schwarber.

Player #46B: James C. "Jim" Delahanty. Second baseman for the Washington Senators in 1907-1909. 1,159 hits, 19 home runs and 151 stolen bases in 13 MLB seasons. Debuted with the Chicago Orphans in 1901. His best season was 1911 as he posted a .411 OBP with 15 stolen bases for the Detroit Tigers in 628 plate appearances. In all he had 5 MLB seasons with more than 500 plate appearances. His final years in MLB were with the Brooklyn Tip-Tops in 1914-1915.

We return to Delahanty's SABR biography to pick up his time after Washington: Jim remained with Washington through August 1909, when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Germany Schaefer and Red Killefer. Delahanty played 46 games down the stretch for the eventual AL champs, and appeared in all seven World Series games, leading the Tigers with a .346 average, including five doubles, in a losing cause. After the Series, Alfred Spink remarked that Del’s “aggressive playing, desperate base running and timely bingling was probably one of the real features of this series.”

After another solid campaign in 1910, Delahanty put together the best season of his career in 1911–thanks in part to the new cork-centered baseball–as he stayed healthy all year and batted .339 with career highs in on base percentage (.411), slugging percentage (.463), runs (83), hits (184), doubles (30), triples (14) and RBI (94). With the 32-year-old Delahanty having lost several steps in the field, however, manager Hughey Jennings also played Delahanty at first base 71 times during the season.

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  #98  
Old 08-02-2022, 01:12 AM
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Default Jiggs Donahue

Player #51: John A. "Jiggs" Donahue. First baseman for the Washington Senators in 1909. 731 hits and 143 stolen bases in 9 MLB seasons. 1906 World Series champion. He debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1900-1901. He was a superb defensive player. His best offensive season was 1905 with the Chicago White Sox as he posted a .346 OBP with 76 RBI's and 32 stolen bases in 608 plate appearances. 1909 was his final MLB season. Donahue was regarded as the best defensive first baseman of his time. He was also one of the best hitters among the "hitless wonders" team that won the 1906 AL pennant and then upset the Chicago Cubs in that year's World Series.

When in your vaunted pride you hear
The roaring welcome of the stands,
The unleashed hero-tinted cheer,
The echo of applauding hands,
Lift up your head above all men –
Think how these thousand worship you –
Go to it – eat it – pal – and then
Remember Donahue

When headlines on the Printed Page
Rate you the Ruler of the Field –
The war god of a golden age
That reels before your lance and shield –
Take in the boost of voice and pen,
Say, “Here at last, I’ve drawn my due” –
Swell with the thrill of it – and then
Remember Donahue

What is there left to curb you now?
The world is at your steel shod feet,
The laurel grips your clammy brow
Where no man comes who might compete:
So lift your beaker up again,
Nor turn to Time’s remorseless cue –
Here’s how – Cobb, Matty, Walsh – and then
Drink one to Donahue.
— Grantland Rice, “Donahue Eulogy”

Donahue's SABR biography summarizes his heyday in Chicago and his untimely end: When Donahue arrived in Chicago, veteran Frank Isbell was entrenched at first base. It took only a few weeks for Jiggs to claim the position with his glove work, with Isbell being exiled to second base and the outfield. Donahue played in 102 games. His batting average was .248 with 17 of his 91 hits for extra bases. But it was his defense that kept him in the lineup. The second year in Chicago added to Donahue’s reputation as the best defensive first baseman in the game. He led American League first basemen in fielding percentage (.988), putouts (1,645), assists (114), and double plays turned (77). He batted.287, his major-league best.

The White Sox of 1906 were dubbed the Hitless Wonders. By season’s end they had just three players hitting over .250, Jiggs among them at .257. At the end of July the White Sox were 7½ games behind the Philadelphia A’s in fourth place. They began August with a 19-game winning streak and finished in first place, 5½ games ahead of the second-place New York Highlanders. Their victory set up the only Windy City World Series, against the powerhouse and highly favored Chicago Cubs, who set a major-league record with 116 victories in 152 games. (The 2001 Seattle Mariners tied the record in a 162-game season.)

Financial agreements for the World Series called for the winners to get a 75 percent share of the Series receipts. In a pre-Series meeting the White Sox players discussed proposing a 50-50 split with the Cubs. Showing what a team leader he had become, Jiggs took the floor, and declaimed, “I want to knock that scheme with all my might. I think we ought to play the string out. … For my part, boys, if we go out and let these fellows beat us, I am in favor of pocketing our 25 percent and not saying a word. If they skin us that is all we deserve. But they can’t beat us. … I say play for the big money.” Donahue also led on the field, offensively and defensively, as the White Sox took the Cubs in six games. He batted .333 and recorded the only hit against the Cubs’ Ed Reulbach in Game Two. But again, it was his defense that stood out most.

On July 19, 1913, Jiggs Donahue died (of Syphilis). He had just turned 34 years old. It was front-page news in Springfield, including the Grantland Rice poem above. Ed Walsh and William Sullivan (Jiggs’s White Sox roommate) represented the White Sox at his funeral. (Although their train arrived too late for the Funeral Mass, they were in time for the graveside service.) Charles Comiskey sent an arrangement of roses. Donahue, considered by many baseball’s greatest defensive first baseman, was laid to rest in Springfield’s Calvary Cemetery in an unmarked grave.

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  #99  
Old 08-03-2022, 03:51 AM
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Default Tabasco Kid Elberfeld

Player #47B: Norman A. "Kid" Elberfeld. "The Tabasco Kid". Shortstop for the Washington Senators 1910-1911. 1,235 hits, 10 home runs, and 213 stolen bases in 14 MLB seasons. Fiery temper involved him in numerous ferocious arguments and assaults on umpires. Managed the New York Highlanders in 1908. Debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1898. Had a career OBP of .355 and 7 MLB seasons with at least 500 plate appearances.

(As the Senators revised the roster leading up to the 1910 season,) The new third baseman was Kid Elberfeld, the "Tabasco Kid," a former star shortstop with the New York Highlanders who, at 35 was, needless to say, not a kid anymore. Elberfeld didn't help much, batting .251 with just about the worst fielding average among the league's starting third baseman. (The Washington Senators by Tom Deveaux.)

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  #100  
Old 08-04-2022, 03:13 AM
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Default Bob Ganley

Player #37B: Robert S. "Bob" Ganley. Outfielder for the Washington Senators in 1907-1909. 540 hits and 112 stolen bases in 5 MLB seasons. He debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1905. His best season was 1907 for the Washington Senators as he posted a .337 OBP with 40 stolen bases and 73 runs scored.

Bob Ganley played a little over 2 seasons in Washington's outfield. During that time, he maintained an OPS+ of 110, or about 10 percent above league average during those deadball years. He scored 139 runs and stole 74 bases. In 1909, however, he started poorly, was traded to Philadelphia where his hitting got even worse, and never played in MLB again. Despite a reputation for defense: "Bob Ganley covers so much territory for the Athletics that he leaves little for the other outfielders to do." - Sporting Life of August 21, 1909

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