Baseball History for February 21st

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1867 Jouett Meekin

152 wins as a pitcher tops the birthday boys…

1870 Bill Duzen
1875 Luther “Dummy” Taylor
1876 Silent John Titus
1879 Ed Smith
1880 William “Lucky” Wright
1880 Joe Hughes
1881 Sam Fletcher
1886 Alex Remneas
1890 George Beck
1893 Norman Plitt
1893 Marsh “Cap” Williams
1896 Turkey Gross
1896 Dick McCabe
1903 Tom Yawkey
1907 Snipe Hansen
1914 Milt Gray
1924 Lloyd “Red” Hittle
1936 Ted Savage
1940 Doug Gallagher
1942 Fred Newman
1943 Jack Billingham

I remember him with the Reds – his 145 wins tops pitchers who played since 1901…

1943 Joe Foy
1945 Tom Shopay
1947 Charlie Walters
1947 Terry Ley
1948 Bill Slayback
1953 Rick Lysander
1958 Alan Trammell

MVP of the birthdate…

1961 Joel Skinner

Decent catcher – son of Bob…

1963 Jim Olander
1965 Oscar Azocar
1971 Jeff Schmidt
1975 Brandon Berger
1977 Chad Hutchinson
1978 Rene Reyes
1981 Adam Greenberg
1982 Edwin Bellorin
1983 Franklin Gutierrez
1988 Tyler Lyons
1991 Devon Travis

West Palm Beach area kid (Wellington) making good with the Blue Jays.

OBITUARIES:

1901 Dennis Driscoll
1914 Farmer Vaughn
1918 Joe Fogarty
1927 Ike Rockenfield
1932 John Peters
1934 Jim Roxburgh
1934 Doc Adkins
1938 George Merritt
1940 John Taber
1941 Frank “Fiddler” Corridon
1944 Jack Enzenroth
1945 Paul Revere “Shorty” Radford
1946 Bill Cunningham
1948 Irv “Stubby” Ray
1953 Buck Freeman
1969 Honest Eddie Murphy
1970 Tom “Scoops” Carey
1970 Joe Shaute
1972 Phil Hensiek
1973 Gilly Campbell
1975 Steve “Flip” Filipowicz
1978 Slicker Parks
1982 Ray Shearer
1989 Chet Ross
1999 Vinegar Bend Mizell
1999 George Gill
2002 Bill Faul
2003 Rusty Peters
2006 Mark Freeman
2007 Sherman “Roadblock” Jones
2010 George “Bo” Strickland
2014 Hector Maestri
2014 Eddie O’Brien

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1968 The first Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed by owners and players. The minimum salary is set at $10,000…

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1904 The Tigers sold ancient catcher Deacon McGuire to the Highlanders. The 1904 Highlanders, with McGuire as a frequent catcher (he appeared in over 100 games, 97 behind the plate though 40 years old), just missed winning the AL Pennant.

1923 The Indians released Stuffy McInnis. The Hall of Fame first baseman had hit .305 for Cleveland in 1922, but had other plans. He later signed with the Boston Braves of the NL, where he would hit .315 with 95 RBI and 37 sacrifice hits…

1953 Proving ANYBODY could be traded one year too soon, the Dodgers sold Tommy Lasorda to the St. Louis Browns.

1957 The Giants signed amateur free agent Manny Mota. Mota would play one year with the Giants in 1962 before being traded…

1991 The Yankees sign the perpetually haunted Steve Howe. Howe hadn’t pitched in the majors since 1987 with Texas. Howe’s first year in NY was a success – finishing with a 1.68 ERA in 48.1 innings.

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Baseball History for February 4th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1854 Lou Say
1859 Uriah Louis “Ri” Jones
1874 William Gallagher
1875 Jim McGuire
1875 Alonzo Deford “Lefty” Davis
1876 William Herman “Germany” Schaefer
1883 Roy Oscar “Doc” Miller
1888 Rankin Johnson
1889 Horace Wilbur “Hod” Leverette
1890 Eddie Ainsmith
1890 George Bostic “Possum” Whitted
1892 Rollie Naylor
1894 Vern Spencer
1896 Andy Woehr
1898 Johnny Mann
1898 Jack Perrin
1908 Francis Joseph “Hank” Garrity
1942 Joe Sparma
1949 Steve Brye
1950 Max Leon
1951 Stan Papi
1953 Rob Picciolo
1954 Al Javier
1955 Gary Allenson
1955 Rusty Kuntz
1956 Chris Bando
1957 Randy Gomez
1959 Pat Perry
1959 Keith Creel
1960 Tim Pyznarski
1962 Dan Plesac
1964 Jeff Gardner
1969 Brad Cornett
1970 John Frascatore
1971 Dennis Konuszewski
1973 Chris Coste
1980 Doug Slaten
1980 Steve Schmoll
1981 Tom Mastny
1981 Ben Hendrickson
1983 William Bergolla
1984 Doug Fister
1986 Jordan Smith

OBITUARIES:

1902 Tom Hernon
1909 John Clarkson
1916 Frank Wyman
1920 Ed Siever
1923 George Tebeau
1928 Bill McCarthy
1936 Frank Jones
1937 Harry Wolverton
1943 Frank Dwyer
1944 Dixie Davis
1949 Pat Martin
1954 Ollie Smith
1958 Ted Turner
1964 Fred Smith
1966 Mike Milosevich
1967 Earle Mack
1972 Joe Green
1974 Hank Winston
1977 Nemo Leibold
1978 Dave Keefe
1979 Lou Bauer
1980 Dud Branom
1981 Grant Gillis
2003 Jim Mertz
2005 Luis Sanchez
2007 Steve Barber
2007 Jim Pisoni
2009 Ramon Hernandez
2011 Woodie Fryman

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1969 Bowie Kuhn is selected as the new baseball commissioner. According to NationalPastime.com, he’s a compromise choice…

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1915 The Yankees purchase Wally Pipp (and Hugh High) from the Tigers.

1964 (For my mother) The Red Sox sign amateur free agent infielder Carmen Fanzone.

1985 Los Angeles sends Pat Zachry to the Phillies for Al Oliver. I had forgotten Oliver made the tour in those directions…

2003 Boston selected Bronson Arroyo off of the waiver wire – he’d been placed there by the Pirates.

2013 Houston traded Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez to Oakland for Chris Carter, Max Stassi and Brad Peacock.

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Happy Birthday, George “Live Oak” Taylor!

“There probably was no baseball player better known in California than Edward Taylor, better known as ‘Live’ Taylor, who played left field for the Pioneers last season. For some months past Taylor has been suffering from lung complaint, and a few weeks ago he went to the springs. Yesterday he returned home in a dying condition, and a short time after died at his residence in San Francisco. He was a player who enjoyed a good reputation as well as a good record, and in his decease the Pioneers have lost a valuable player and an agreeable comrade. Taylor leaves a wife and a son 7 years of age.”

“Death of a Noted Player”, Oakland Tribune, 20 February 1888, Page 7.

Taylor was born in Belfast, Maine on 03 February 1851 and his family moved to San Francisco in his youth (gold rush family?). His Wikipedia page says he joined the 1869 Cincinnati Red Legs squad for part of their west coast tour, and he got in a little time with various major league clubs. In 1877, he played for Hartford in just two games. In 1879, he was an outfielder with Troy in the National League, and he got 41 games with Pittsburgh in the American Association. He never really panned out as a hitter, but must have been a pretty good athlete and he played a lot of ball on the west coast. His story wasn’t exciting enough for him to be included in the Major League Profiles biographies of players who played prior to the American League.

Taylor is listed as a blacksmith in the 1870 US Census, still living at home with his father George Edward, a ship caulker, his mother,Julia, and siblings Sanford, Mary, Frank, and Richard.

(As you can imagine, searching for the words “george”, “edward”, “live”, and “taylor” brings back a TON of search results, which is a bear to navigate through.)

Click on links here for a list of other people born on February 3 or a full calendar of birthdays.

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Baseball History for February 3rd

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1845 Henry Burroughs
1851 George Edward “Live Oak” Taylor

As a teen playing amateur ball in the Bay Area, Taylor was invited to play with the touring 1869 Red Legs, pretty much the first fully professional ball club.  After that, he drifted through a variety of leagues – the majority of them semi-professional – until his death from a lung disease (tuberculosis?) in 1888.

1860 Gene Derby
1872 Lou Criger

Cy Young’s catcher for a long period of time.

1879 Ralph Savidge
1880 Newt Randall
1882 Frank Barberich
1885 Harry Franklin “Slim” Sallee

Giants pitcher 100 years ago – I mentioned him once a few years back.

1890 Larry MacPhail
1896 Nelson Louis “Chicken” Hawks
1901 Ernie Maun
1903 Joe Stripp
1915 Lee Ravon “Buck” Ross
1918 Sid Schacht
1921 Elmer Cable “Red” Durrett
1922 Jim Dyck
1925 Harry Byrd
1931 Glenn Cox
1935 Dick Tracewski
1935 Don Kaiser
1944 Celerino Sanchez
1944 Wayne Comer
1947 Joe Coleman
1949 Arnold Ray “Bake” McBride
1951 Mike Wallace
1952 Fred Lynn

My first favorite baseball player who wasn’t on the Cubs.  His career wound down because he could never stay healthy, but for a few years there he was as good a ball player as any in baseball.

1957 Don Welchel
1961 Freddie Toliver
1962 Joe Klink
1965 Rich Scheid
1966 Paul McClellan
1969 Terry Bradshaw
1971 Scott Klingenbeck
1971 Eric Owens
1973 Ryan Long
1976 Bart Miadich
1980 Jared Michael “Skip” Schumaker
1986 Lucas Duda
1992 Orlando Calixte
1994 Rougned Odor

Reigning boxing champion of baseball.

OBITUARIES:

1901 Tom O’Brien
1905 Art Twineham
1930 Gus Sandberg
1936 Andy Boswell
1938 Mike Donovan
1942 Happy Finneran
1942 Frank Luce
1943 Jake Virtue
1950 Dick Spalding
1953 Frank Donnelly
1955 Fred Brown
1961 Dana Fillingim
1968 Jake Pitler
1977 Chi-Chi Olivo
1978 Mike Herrera
1978 Ray Flaskamper
1978 Pete Compton
1983 Trader Horne
1988 Jocko Thompson
1990 Erv Kantlehner
1991 Walter Brown
2000 John Leovich
2002 Mel McGaha
2011 Ron Piche
2013 Steve Demeter

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1886 According to NationalPastime.com, Albert Spaulding opened his sporting good company with $800 of his personal savings. Spaulding would become the official ball of many sports at various times, including baseball, tennis, golf, and football. Maybe we should have been there to invest, no?

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1898 Louisville sends Bill Hill to the Reds to acquire Dummy Hoy, Claude Ritchey, and Red Ehret. Hoy should be a Hall of Famer, and Ritchey would pair with Honus Wagner for the next decade to turn double plays for the Pirates.

1979 Minnesota moves Rod Carew to the Angels for outfielder Ken Landreaux, Dave Engle, Brade Havens, and Paul Hartzell.

1987 Montreal sends Jeff Reardon and Tom Nieto to the Twins for Neal Heaton, Yorkis Perez, Jeff Reed, and minor leaguer Alfredo Cardwood.

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Happy Birthday, Charlie Hautz

“Charles Hautz, Old Brown Player, Dead”

Funeral services for Charles Hautz, second baseman on Chris Von de Ahe’s old-time St. Louis Browns, will be held at 1:30 p.m. today from the Wacker-Heiderle funeral parlors, Grand Boulevard and Gravois Avenue. He will be buried in St. Peter and Paul Cemetery. Hautz, who was 77 years old, died at Alexian Brothers Hospital Thursday. He had been living with a nephew, Joseph Fritz, at 4152 Bates Street.

St. Louis Star and Times, 28 January 1929, Page 19.

There aren’t many references to Hautz in the baseball books and online newspapers (at least those I own or to which I have access) – but he was certainly around baseball for probably two decades. His major league record consists of playing 19 games with the St. Louis Red Stockings of the National Association in 1875 – the 19 games was all that the Red Stockings played that season. And, after years toiling in minor league towns of the Midwest and playing a lot of semi-pro baseball in St. Louis, he got one more shot with Pittsburgh in the American Association in 1884 where he appeared in seven games.

Without fail, Hautz was the best player on the Red Stockings – he hit .301 with three doubles and four RBI. However, the team hit all of .199 and really had no business being in the Association – and within a short amount of time it went out of business.  (After 1875, so did the National Association…) The good teams played between 65 and 82 games, the bad ones (like the Red Stockings) did not and one team played just 13 games.

Anyway…

Charles Hautz was the third of six kids born to Joseph and Catharina (Keil) Hautz, two German immigrants, in St. Louis on 5 February 1852. He was a laborer of sorts when not playing ball and at the time of his death, his profession was listed as “waiter.” By then, he was living with the widower and son of his younger sister Margaretta. The obituary got a few details wrong – Hautz may have known Chris Von de Ahe but he didn’t play on the Browns (unless the newspaper was referencing the semi-pro Browns and not the major league Browns of that period); he was a first baseman; and he hadn’t quite reached 77 years old. Hautz passed away about two weeks before his birthday of a stroke on 24 January 1929.

Sources:

Major League Baseball Profiles, Volume 1, Page 128.

Major League Baseball Profiles, Volume 2, Page 408.

1870 US Census
1880 US Census
1920 US Census

Find A Grave:
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6884173

 

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Baseball History for February 5th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1852 Charlie Hautz
1856 Harry Smith
1857 Jack Lynch
1873 Jack O’Brien
1883 Dick Scott
1888 Bill Rariden
1889 Jim Neher
1890 Max Flack
1891 Roger Peckinpaugh
1905 Joe Hutcheson
1914 John Gaddy
1916 Dewey Williams
1918 Cy Buker
1923 Chuck Diering
1925 Jack Maguire
1926 Hank Workman
1928 Don Hoak
1929 Al Worthington
1930 Eric Rodin
1934 Hank Aaron
1936 Lee Thomas
1941 Roberto Rodriguez
1946 Norm Miller
1946 Vic Correll
1947 Barry Raziano
1955 Mike Heath
1966 Ray Giannelli
1968 Andres Santana
1968 Roberto Alomar
1969 David Holdridge
1970 Chris Brock
1975 Derrick Gibson
1977 Javier Martinez
1977 Abraham Nunez
1978 Devern Hansack
1985 Eric O’Flaherty
1986 Ryan Webb
1987 Mark Hamburger

OBITUARIES:

1888 Martin Powell
1897 Old Hoss Radbourn
1900 Harry Diddlebock
1911 Dad Clarkson
1913 George Frazer
1915 Ross Barnes
1916 Ed Irwin
1918 Carl Druhot
1920 Tom Catterson
1932 Barney Dreyfuss
1936 Fred Blank
1937 Al Bradley
1939 Joe Crisp
1940 Frank Decker
1940 Byrd Lynn
1947 Ed Callahan
1950 Ralph Shafer
1952 Esty Chaney
1952 Mike Hopkins
1954 Ed Warner
1965 Bill Brinker
1969 Hack Spencer
1970 Rudy York
1975 Ad Swigler
1993 Ed Boland
1998 Marv Olson
2001 Jerry McQuaig

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1999 On Henry Aaron’s 65th birthday, Major League Baseball announces the creation of the Hank Aaron Award, given the best hitter in each league.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1891 Brooklyn sign infielder/lawyer John Montgomery Ward.

1928 Connie Mack signs outfielder Tris Speaker to play for his Athletics.

1930 Cincinnati is dealing… They purchase Leo Durocher from the Yankees and trade Dolph Luque to Brooklyn for Doug McWeeny.

1984 The Yankees send George Frazier and Otis Nixon to Cleveland for Toby Harrah – and also swap players to be named later.

1991 Minnesota signs free agent pitcher Jack Morris.

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Happy Birthday, Charlie Schmutz!

Charles Otto Schmutz was a rather tall spitballer who first garnered fame as a high school pitcher in Seattle and eventually found his way to the Brooklyn Robins.

Charlie SchmutzBorn on 1 January 1891, Charlie Schmutz was born in San Diego but soon moved to the Seattle area with his father, Frank, and his stepmother, Alice.  Frank had a few different jobs, including car conductor and restaurant proprietor, while Alice took care of the family.  Charlie also had a kid brother, Ernest, who was a few years younger than he.  Charlie couldn’t hit, but boy could he throw.  He would join one of the more accomplished high school baseball teams you may ever read about.  His Seattle High team was so good that, with Schmutz on the mound, they actually beat the Seattle Giants of the Northwestern League in an exhibition game in 1907.  Soon after, that team went on a 31 game tour of the east.  First baseman Charlie Mullen was so impressive, that Charles Comiskey signed him to a contract with the White Sox during the tour.  A couple of other players earned nods with major and minor league teams.

Schmutz agreed to join Tacoma in the Northwestern League as soon as he graduated in 1909.  Listed at 6′ 1″, he was called “Big Charlie” in the local papers – not only was he tall for his time, but he carried at least 180 pounds on his frame (and was listed at 195 when he joined the Robins five years later).  By the time Schmutz had moved to Vancouver, he also acquired the nickname “King”.  Schmutz threw a hard fastball and, as a change of pace, a nasty spitball.

Amos Rusie, who convinced Brooklyn to sign Schmutz, said Charlie had greater speed than any pitcher he had ever seen in the minors.  It’s hard to say how hard he threw, though.  An article announcing his arrival in the big leagues said, “Schmutz has one of the most peculiar deliveries ever seen in the big show. He heaves much like a shot putter.”

Schmutz moved around some during his baseball career – after two and a half years with Tacoma, he was sent to Vancouver in July, 1912.  His season, covering both teams, resulted in a 13 – 17 record, but with just 57 walks in his 261 innings of work, and 94 strikeouts.  In 1913, he won far more often than he lost and, on Rusie’s recommendation, Charles Ebbets broke out the Brooklyn Robins’ checkbook and purchased Schmutz from Vancouver.

A story that made the wires said that Schmutz was in a car with former Giant Arthur Bues and Bues’ fiancee when they were pulled over for speeding. When they faced a judge, Schmutz offered to do all the talking, and stammered his way through a story about a couple trying to get married using nothing but baseball terms. The judge was
sufficiently amused at Schmutz’s effort and, instead of collecting the fine, offered to marry the couple instead.

After finishing the season in the Pacific Northwest, Schmutz returned a contract to Ebbets and joined Brooklyn for spring training, 1914.

Schmutz was good enough to make the team, but he was pretty much the last guy on the pitching staff.  He’d only see action when games were out of hand, or when the Robins were desperate to give a starter the day off.    He may have struggled with a shin injury, too – one article suggested that he may have had up to three different surgeries on his shin to address the problem.  This pattern continued into the 1915 season, when the lack of work affected his ability to consistently throw strikes.  As such, Schmutz became a nomad.  He was first optioned to Newark, then sold to Salt Lake City, and finally traded to Seattle.  That was just the 1915 season.

Charlie stayed in Seattle until 1916.  However, he held out at the beginning of the 1917 season and was eventually dealt back to Vancouver.  Before he could pitch, though, Schmutz registered for the U.S. Army and was soon serving his time with the 362nd Company in Europe.  After a two year hitch, he returned to Washington and married Brenda Jenkins in June, 1919.  They had a daughter, Nancy, but it wasn’t long before Brenda passed away, leaving Charlie a widow with a young daughter.  Already done playing baseball professionally, Schmutz was now occasionally playing semi-professional baseball while working as an electrician.

His major league career consisted of just 19 appearances, five starts, and a 3.52 ERA to go with his 1 – 3 record.  He had just one appearance in relief in 1915.

Schmutz passed to the next league on 27 June 1962.

Other Links:

For a list of other players who celebrate birthdays on January 1 (or other baseball history for that date), go here!

Sources:

“Tigers Win Two From Seattle Websters”, Tacoma Times, 29 March 1909, Page 2.

“Spitball Schmutz Will Twirl Today”, Tacoma Times, 19 April 1911, Page 2.

“Another Pitcher Bought By Ebbets”, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 21 July 1913, Page 18.

“Beavers Put Kink in Tail of the Bengals”, Vancouver Daily World, 05 September 1913, Page 14.

“Baseball Notes”, St. Louis Star and Times, 05 November 1913, Page 10.

“Baseball Player Saves Friend From The Law”, Decaturs Daily, 31 December 1913, Page 2.

“Schoolboys Now Baseball Stars”, Wilmington Evening Journal, 07 September 1914, Page 14.

“Charles O. Schmutz Enthuses Over Prospects of Superbas”, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 18 January 1915, Page 18.

“Salt Lakers Are Again Winners”, Odgen Standard, 17 July, 1915, Page 2.

“Schmutz Does Well; Frisk’s Error Costly”, Tacoma Times, 24 September, 1915, Page 2.

“Schmutz is Beaver Now”, Tacoma Times, 18 April, 1917, Page 6.

“Many Players at Lake”, Seattle Star, 03 October 1917, Page 8.

“Schmutz Will Pitch”, Seattle Times, 02 October 1920, Page 10.

Documents Via Ancestry.com

1940 US Census

1930 US Census

1910 US Census

1900 US Census

1919 Marriage License…

WWI Registration

WWII registration

WWI Service Record…

Picture used in the following article:

http://sportspressnw.com/2122105/2011/wayback-machine-seattles-first-athletic-ambassadors

It belongs to the David Eskanazi collection…

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