Happy Birthday, Frank Fennelly!

Frank Fennelly

This image of an Old Judge baseball card was uploaded to Ancestry.com by an unknown member and associated with Fennelly’s record there.

Francis John Fennelly was a fine shortstop for Cincinnati during the 1880s, playing over 500 games for the Red Legs before his bat left him in the 1888 season. For many of his seasons in the major leagues Fennelly was named captain of the team for his leadership qualities – though not everyone was happy with streaks of error-prone play.

“All the base ball people of the city commend the release of Frank Fennelly, who during his career in the city has proved himself to be one of the most erratic and unreliable men in the profession. Sometimes his playing is exceedingly brilliant, and again he piles up errors at a frightful rate.”

“Notes From the Queen City”, Philadelphia Times, 30 September 1888, Page 15.

“Frank Fennelly, the short stop and captain of the team, is a native and resident of Fall River, Mass. He is 28 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches in height and weighs 170 pounds. He first played ball with the local semi-professional and amateur teams about Fall River until the opening of the base ball season of 1882, when he took his first professional engagement, with the Merritts, of Camden, N. J. After playing there one season he joined the Brooklyn Base Ball Club, then in the Inter State League, in 1883. In 1884 he became a member of the National League team of Providence, R. I., going from there to Cincinnati, in 1885, where he played short stop and captained the American Association club of that city until 1889, when he was released to the Athletics, of Philadelphia. Remaining there during the season of 1889 he was released to Manager Kennedy, being one of the first men engaged for the Brooklyn Association team.”

“The Three Big Teams”, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 20 April 1890, Page 17.

Francis John Fennelly was born to Thomas and Catherine (Morriss) Fennelly on 18 February 1860. Thomas was listed as a teamster in the 1870 and 1880 US Census. Both of his parents had immigrated to the United States from Ireland. He was the eighth of nine kids – all but one were boys. In 1885, he married Julia Sullivan and they had one child, Daniel, in August, 1886.

For a few years after his professional days were over, Fennelly ran a saloon in Fall River and played semi-pro ball in his hometown. He left the saloon business to become an insurance collector by 1910. Additionally, the active Democrat served four terms in the Massachusetts Legislature as a representative from the 10th district. He passed to the next league on 04 August 1920.

“Baseball Notes.”, Boston Globe, 06 April 1894, Page 2.

“F. J. Fennelly, Old-Time Shortstop, Dies at 60.”, Boston Globe, 05 August 1920, Page 14.

Other Sources:



1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 US Censuses
Massachusetts Marriage Records


Baseball History for February 18th

<— FEBRUARY 17     FEBRUARY 19 —>


1851 Frederick Boardman

Played in one game for Baltimore in the National Association in 1874, getting a hit against the Chicago White Sox. Baltimore must have needed an outfielder that day and Boardman fit the bill. He had played semi-professional ball in the Chicago area, practiced with and against the White Sox and later was a competent enough umpire to work a few league games when Chicago needed an umpire.

Brian Flaspohler wrote his bio for SABR and was kind enough to highlight the only time he appeared in a box score. (By the way, it’s really well researched.)

“Sporting News.”, Chicago Tribune, 30 August 1874, Page 16.

1856 Frank Whitney

“[The game] was opened by Crowley with a beautiful long high hit to left field which looked for all the world like a two or three baser, but Frank Whitney captured the ball in a way that surprised the audience and caused loud applause.”

Buffalo Commercial, 24 July 1878, Page 3.

Frank Whitney was an extra outfielder for Boston in 1876 where he added just 33 hits in his 34 games. He was a pretty good semi-professional ballplayer in the Boston area for several years, and his brother Art was a competent pitcher.

Bob LeMoine wrote his biography for SABR – an excellent piece of research and writing. The most interesting trivial tidbit is that having lived to 1943, he was the last surviving player from the initial season of the National League.

1860 Frank Fennelly
1864 John Shaffer
1864 Larry Twitchell
1865 George Winkelman
1871 Charlie Knepper
1875 Walter Thornton
1878 Curt Bernard
1879 Louis LeRoy
1880 Ray Luther “Dad” Hale
1887 Curt Coleman
1889 George Mogridge
1891 George Washington “Zip” Zabel
1891 Sherry Smith
1892 John Gallagher
1897 Walter McKinley “Huck” Betts
1915 Lew Flick
1915 Joe Gordon
1922 Joe Tipton
1922 Joe Brovia
1925 Joe Lutz
1927 Luis Arroyo
1927 Herm Wehmeier
1929 Cal Neeman
1930 Frank House
1938 Manny Mota
1939 Dal Maxvill
1939 Jesse Hickman
1939 Bob Miller
1941 Leo Marentette
1944 Syd O’Brien
1949 John Mayberry
1949 Jerry Morales
1950 Bruce Kison
1952 Marc Hill
1958 Rafael Ramirez
1960 Bob Fallon
1962 Rocky Childress
1963 Jeff McKnight
1963 LaVel Freeman
1964 Kevin Tapani
1967 Matt Turner
1967 John Valentin
1968 Kyle Abbott
1970 Tyler Green
1973 Shawn Estes
1974 Jamey Carroll
1975 Chad Moeller
1980 Walter Young
1981 Alex Serrano
1981 Alex Rios
1984 Brian Bogusevic
1990 Didi Gregorius


1905 Tom Poorman
1906 Charlie Ingraham
1911 Buttons Briggs
1917 Charlie Fisher
1925 Charlie Dougherty
1935 Gene DeMontreville
1941 Tom Connelly
1944 Hub Pernoll
1945 John Munyan
1949 Marty O’Toole
1960 Fred Schemanske
1966 Marty McManus
1967 Ralph Miller
1968 Ben Egan
1971 Chuck Hostetler
1977 George Zackert
1978 Luke Hamlin
1980 George Hesselbacher
1980 Dick Stone
1994 Bill Clemensen
1997 Austin Knickerbocker
1998 Harry Caray

Heart attack while eating dinner with his wife, Dutchie, on Valentine’s Day – he survived it but four days.

2000 Lefty Hoerst
2001 Eddie Mathews
2001 Butch Wensloff
2007 Danny Reynolds
2009 Ben Flowers
2010 Bob Chakales
2011 Len Gilmore
2011 Spook Jacobs
2011 Buddy Lewis
2014 Al Greene
2016 Jim Davenport


1943 William Cox purchases the bankrupt Philadelphia Phillies.

1960 Walter O’Malley purchases the land for a new stadium for his Dodgers for about $500K, a plot of land we know as Chavez Ravine.


1922 Cincinnati sends Rube Marquard and Larry Kopf to the Braves for Jack Scott.

1954 Washington sends Gil Coan to Baltimore for Roy Sievers.

1999 Toronto sends Roger Clemens to the Yankees for David Wells, Graeme Lloyd and Homer Bush.

Baseball History for February 16th

<— FEBRUARY 15     FEBRUARY 17 —>


1865 Ben Sanders
1866 Jack Scheible
1872 Frank McPartlin
1873 John Sullivan
1875 Dan Coogan
1880 Frank Burke
1880 Carl Lundgren
1884 Herbie Moran
1889 James Joseph “Skip” Dowd
1892 Ed Schorr
1895 Plateau Preston Rex “Red” Cox
1897 Paul Castner
1897 Alex Ferguson
1912 Ray Harrell
1918 Frank Angelo Joseph “Creepy” Crespi
1923 Frank Robert Donald “Ribs” Raney
1926 Howie Judson
1929 Fred Hahn
1931 Maurice Fisher
1934 Don Eaddy
1936 Don Landrum
1942 Tim Cullen
1943 Bobby Darwin
1944 Glenn Vaughan
1947 Terry Crowley
1949 Bob Didier
1951 Glenn Abbott
1952 Barry Foote
1952 Jerry Hairston
1960 Eric Bullock
1960 Bill Pecota
1962 Dwayne Henry
1964 Rico Rossy
1965 Frank DiMichele
1969 Tim Costo
1971 Mike Hubbard
1974 Luis Figueroa
1975 Angel Pena
1976 Eric Byrnes
1981 Sergio Mitre
1981 Jerry Owens
1982 Manny Delcarmen
1983 Ramon Troncoso
1985 Clint Robinson
1987 Tommy Milone
1988 Jorge Rondon
1989 Eduardo Sanchez
1989 John Gast
1992 Marco Gonzales


1902 Eddie O’Meara
1924 Pop-boy Smith
1924 Tony Boeckel

Car accident in San Diego. NationalPastime.com suggests that he was the first ballplayer to die in a car. Bob Meusel was in the car, too, but was not injured.

1938 Lee Tannehill
1940 Charlie Berry
1942 Orson Baldwin
1948 Percy Coleman
1957 Cap Clark
1959 Ted Reed
1960 Stuffy McInnis
1961 Dazzy Vance
1969 Mul Holland
1970 Dick Conger
1971 Cedric Durst
1974 Gus Brittain
1974 Bill Stellbauer
1976 John Shovlin
1977 Ken Nash
1983 Everett Fagan
1988 Bill Cox
1993 Bill Zinser
1996 Hank Gornicki
2000 Soup Campbell
2001 Bob Buhl
2004 Charlie Fox
2010 Jim Bibby
2010 Jim Waugh
2012 Gary Carter


2013 After an appearance at a local winter festival, someone steals the costume of Guido – one of Milwaukee’s racing sausages. (NationalPastime.com)


1909 Cleveland sends $12,500 and two players (Charlie Chech and Jack Ryan) to Boston for Cy Young.

1953 Four team trade (the 1950s had the best trades, really…): The Braves send cash to the Reds and Earl Torgeson to the Phillies. Cincinnati sends Joe Adcock to the Braves, Brooklyn sends Jim Pendleton to Milwaukee and Rocky Bridges to Cincinnati, The Phillies send Russ Meyer to the Dodgers and cash to the Braves.

1985 San Diego signs amateur free agent infielder Roberto Alomar.

2004 Texas sends Alex Rodriguez and a boatload of cash to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and (later) Joaquin Arias.

Baseball History for February 15th

<— FEBRUARY 14     FEBRUARY 16 —>


1862 Joe Weber
1865 Bill Fagan
1866 Billy Hamilton
1867 Charlie Reilly
1869 Charlie Irwin
1876 Carlton Molesworth
1886 Ed Kusel
1888 Frank Betcher
1892 Al Braithwood
1895 Jimmy Ring
1897 Art Johnson
1897 Chuck Wolfe
1898 Bobby LaMotte
1900 George Earnshaw
1904 Oscar Estrada
1905 Hal Lee
1906 Bob Cremins
1909 Wilson Daniel “Dee” Miles
1919 Robert Sterling “Ducky” Detweiler
1926 Charles “Bubba” Harris
1927 Clarence Walter “Buddy” Hicks
1932 Richard Allen “Footer” Johnson
1938 Chuck Estrada
1942 Bill Henry
1943 Joe Moeller
1943 Don Arlich
1945 Ross Moschitto
1948 Ron Cey
1950 Larry Yount
1950 Rick Auerbach
1951 Tommy Cruz
1956 Ray Cosey
1959 Joe Hesketh
1961 Mark Davidson
1962 Rolando Roomes
1963 Barry Jones
1966 Melido Perez
1968 Luis Mercedes
1969 Brian Williams
1971 Terry Jones
1974 Ugueth Urbina
1975 Rafael Medina
1977 Alex Gonzalez
1979 Luis Ugueto
1980 Don Kelly
1983 Russell Martin
1984 Nate Schierholtz
1984 Mitchell Boggs
1985 Russ Mitchell
1986 Fautino De Los Santos
1986 Johnny Cueto
1987 Rob Scahill
1989 Mark Canha
1990 Michael Roth


1903 Phil Reccius
1910 Bug Holliday
1922 Pete Childs
1925 Duke Farrell
1931 Billy Kinloch
1936 Bill Grahame
1940 Chick Fulmer
1940 Ray Morgan
1943 John Deering
1945 Steve Behel
1946 George Starnagle
1949 Tommy Raub
1954 John Callahan
1954 John Gillespie
1955 Tom Tennant
1955 Lynn Nelson
1959 Bruce Caldwell
1959 Lefty Houtz
1961 Joe Bean
1963 Bump Hadley
1963 Harlin Pool
1964 Fred Trautman
1972 Pep Goodwin
1977 Diomedes Olivo
1981 Cotton Pippen
1991 Julio Gonzalez
1994 Ray Blemker
2000 Bob Ramazzotti
2002 Mike Darr
2007 Terry Enyart
2007 Buddy Hancken
2011 Joe Frazier
2016 Virgil Jester


1946 Philadelphia highs Edith Haughton as the first female major league scout.


1893 The Giants purchase pitcher, shortstop, and lawyer John Ward from Brooklyn for $6,000.

1916 The Yankees purchase Frank (Home Run) Baker from Philadelphia for $37,500.

1980 Texas sends Willie Montanez to San Diego for Gaylord Perry, Tucker Ashford, and minor leaguer Joe Carroll.

Baseball History for February 14th

<— FEBRUARY 13     FEBRUARY 15 —>


1852 Al Nichols

Member of the 1875 Brooklyn entry in the National Association, then New York and Louisville in the NL before getting banned from baseball because he was throwing games and tipping gamblers… Had a great fielding reputation at third base but wasn’t much of a hitter. Batting averages in three seasons: .153 in 32 games, .179 in 57 games, .211 in six games.

Nichols was born in England as Alfred Williams and came here with just his mother – so he went back and forth between using Williams and Nichols as last names. He actually started throwing games while with Pittsburgh in the minors. According to Major League Baseball Profiles, Nichols was caught because Louisville management couldn’t figure out why a backup was sending and receiving so many telegrams…

Nemec, David (editor). Major League Baseball Profiles (Volume 2), Page 284.

1855 Joe Gerhardt

Played with Washington in the National Association at 18, looked like he might be a better hitter early in his career but in bouncing around the leagues until 1891, he didn’t seem to hit much after 1883. He hung around, though, because he was the best fielding second baseman of his era and he was given the gift of charm – fans, players, and sportswriters loved the guy.

1855 Lou Sylvester

According to his profile, he was a watchmaker and outfielder – probably better making watches – but played in a variety of semiprofessional leagues. As he moved east, he snuck onto a few teams as a backup pitcher or outfielder, but didn’t stick.

1858 Arthur Irwin

A very good shortstop as a young professional, a broken leg sapped him of his range. Stayed in the league, though, eventually becoming a manager in the majors and minors into the 1920s.

Died, allegedly, under mysterious circumstances on a boat headed to Boston. Apparently he had two families.

1860 Jim Tray
1864 Pretzels Getzien
1867 Morgan Murphy
1869 Ace Stewart
1870 Candy LaChance
1873 Harry Jordan
1878 Bill Kay
1879 Tim Jordan
1880 Claude Berry
1880 Harry Eells
1884 Jack Lewis
1885 Abe Kruger
1886 Bill McCarthy
1890 Mike Hechinger
1897 Earl Smith
1903 Uel Eubanks
1908 Oscar Judd
1910 Alex Sabo
1911 Bill Marshall
1915 Red Barrett
1917 Augie Bergamo
1918 Benny Zientara
1925 Buddy Lively
1931 Joe Caffie
1933 Tom Borland
1940 Len Gabrielson
1943 Darrell Osteen
1945 Bob Terlecki
1949 Larry Fritz
1951 Larry Milbourne
1952 Will McEnaney
1956 Dave Dravecky
1957 Jaime Cocanower
1959 Alejandro Sanchez
1963 John Marzano
1964 Bill McGuire
1964 Keith Brown
1968 Scott Scudder
1970 Takashi Saito
1970 Kelly Stinnett
1973 Daniel Garibay
1975 Damaso Marte
1981 Brad Halsey
1983 Callix Crabbe
1985 Tyler Clippard
1988 Paul Clemens
1989 Derek Norris


1875 Charlie Hodes
1890 Ed Greer
1906 Yale Murphy
1920 Andy Sullivan
1921 Jumbo Davis
1926 Gil Whitehouse
1930 Pete Kilduff
1945 Jim Curtiss
1946 Woody Wagenhorst
1948 Mordecai Brown
1951 Harry Thompson
1956 Bill Bishop
1959 Eddie Higgins
1966 Jack Coffey
1966 Bill Stumpf
1967 Jimmy Johnston
1968 Bill Lelivelt
1973 Paul Johnson
1976 Eusebio Gonzalez
1984 Loren Babe
2008 Hal Erickson
2014 Jim Fregosi


1996 Kevin McClatchy and an investor group purchase the Pittsburgh Pirates.


1887 Boston purchases King Kelly from Chicago for $10,000.

1992 Florida signs amateur free agent infielder Edgar Renteria.

2007 Boston signs free agent outfielder J. D. Drew.

2011 The Yankees sign free agent outfielder Andruw Jones.

Baseball History for February 13th

<— FEBRUARY 12     FEBRUARY 14 —>


1861 Emmett Seery

Career started in the Union Association where he proved he was a pretty good player. When that league folded, he played on the St. Louis Maroons where he was a tolerable outfielder – not much of a hitter, but apparently a great fielder due to his impressive speed. After his best professional season in 1889 (.314, eight homers), joined his brethren in the Players League, got a season in the American Association, and finished in with Louisville in 1892.

His Wikipedia entry says that after his baseball days, he lived in Florida where he owned an orange grove.

1864 Bill Farmer

Dublin, Ireland native who arrived in Philadelphia and learned to play ball. A catcher, he played briefly in the majors – two games for Pittsburgh and three games for Philadelphia – in 1888.

1866 Frederick “Crazy” Schmit

Eccentric pitcher of the 1890s who has one the worst won-loss records for a guy with more than 40 decisions… Came up with Pittsburgh in 1890 and went 1 – 9. After bouncing around the minors and two major league clubs in 1893, he next appears in the majors as a starter for the 1899 Cleveland Spiders – he won 2 of the 19 games they won that season (finished 2 – 17). Two years later, he was with Baltimore in the American League – and went 0 – 2 in two starts. When his career went into the encyclopedias, his record was 7 – 36. Ouch.

1868 Timothy “Biff” Sheehan

Spent a decade in professional baseball in the 1890s, but only briefly as a major leaguer… Hit .317 in 52 games for St. Louis in 1895, but couldn’t hang after six fruitless games in 1896.

1873 Tuck Turner

In a period where there were some crazy high batting averages, Tuck Turner once hit .418 for Philadelphia. Then pitchers got more comfortable at the longer pitching distance – and Turner had a rough 1896 season, leading to his being traded to St. Louis. Still hit .291 in 1897, but when he got prematurely old in 1898, he was out of the majors.

Oh – he got prematurely old because he lied about his age. Claiming to be 20 when he arrived in 1893, the truth was that he was six years older than thought.

1876 Fred Buckingham

Yale grad who made one start for Washington in 1895, and despite allowing two runs in three innings, didn’t get a decision.

1876 Fritz Buelow

Weak hitting, solid fielding catcher at the turn of the century – played for St. Louis (NL), Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Louis (AL) from 1899 to 1907, but finished with a .183 batting average.

1877 Charlie “Hummer” DeArmond

Third baseman who got a brief run with the 1903 Cincinnati Reds. Hit .282 in limited action – but the Reds had other options so he never got a second chance.

1878 Bill Bradley

A member of the Chicago Orphans in 1899 and 1900 and a fine third baseman, he was stolen by Cleveland and brought to the American League. A star for the next four years, but he stopped hitting around 1907 as his body started defying him. He missed time with a stomach ailment, and half of 1906 after his wrist was broken by a Bill Hogg pitch (allegedly a purpose pitch) and was out of the league after 1910. He hung around in the American Association and Eastern League and was given a chance to play in the Federal League in 1914 and 1915, even though he was pretty long in the tooth (and hit like it).

Later, he was a very successful scout for the Indians until his death.

SABR Bio by Stephen Constantelos

1883 Harl Maggert

Outfielder who got time with the 1907 Pirates and 1912 Athletics, but spent the vast majority of his playing days in the PCL.

Kicked out of baseball in 1920 for taking a bribe to throw at least one game while with Salt Lake City.

His son was an outfielder in the 1930s for the Boston Bees.

1883 (Prince) Hal Chase

Speaking of crooks… Would imagine many of you already know about this fella.

For you Pete Rose fans, Chase claimed in the 1940s that for all his gambling, he never bet against his own team.

SABR Bio by Martin Kohout, who also wrote a book about the man. Might add it to my birthday or Christmas list.

1885 Harry Vahrenhorst

St. Louis native who once pinch hit for the St. Louis Browns in 1904, struck out, and was sent back to the sandlots from whence he came.

1887 Eddie Foster

The Jerry Browne of the 1910s… Pretty good fielder, pretty good hitter, patient and quick. Had a fine 13 year career with the Senators and Red Sox, bookended by brief stints with the Highlanders and Browns.

Studied medicine at Johns Hopkins, but chose to go into welding after his playing days were over. Died in a hit and run car accident before his 50th birthday.

SABR Bio by Bill Nowlin.

1887 Guy Zinn

Had a rather short career in the majors – Highlanders outfielder for two seasons, one year with Boston in the NL, and two more years in the Federal League… Scored first run in Fenway Park history…

1889 Ned Crompton

Liverpool born player who was briefly a teammate of Rube Waddell on the 1909 St. Louis Browns and played a game with the Reds in 1910. (I should look in my notes and see if I have any information on the guy…)

A guy named Ned Crompton could have been invented by Charles Dickens, no?

1890 Dan Tipple – Rusty

Made two starts and a relief appearance for the Yankees in 1915, winning once and losing once. Owns a career ERA of 0.95 in 19 innings. Spent more than a decade in the minors and was pretty successful. Won 20 for the 1916 Baltimore Orioles of the International League, and won 23 games for Omaha in 1922.

1893 Ben Dyer

Infrequent infielder for the Giants and Tigers from 1914 to 1919.

1894 Billy Martin

Not THAT Billy Martin. This Billy Martin played just one game for the Boston Bees in 1914.

Georgetown grad, three sport star and a member of the school’s sports hall of fame. Signed by Cleveland, he broke his ankle as he was finishing his college season and was immediately released. The Braves took him, but never played him (but that one time), he broke an ankle in spring training the following year and was destined to spend the next decade in the minors.

Like the other Billy Martin, he was destined to spend his life in a tavern. The only difference, of course, is that this Billy Martin (and his father) owned the famous Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown that was frequented by EVERY major politician, and was the place where JFK proposed to Jackie…

His SABR Bio was written by Bob Joel.

1901 Herman Layne

West Virginia grad who appeared in 11 games with the Pirates in 1927 as either a pinch runner or outfielder.

1904 Cecil “Glenn” Bolton

Mississippi State grad who got four games with the Indians in 1928.

Glenn was short for his middle name, Glenford.

1904 Charlie Fitzberger

Baltimore native who made seven pinch hitting appearances for the Boston Braves – and never once took the field. Spent a decade in the minors as a pretty good hitting first baseman.

1906 Harry Kelley

Parkin, Arkansas native who pitched briefly for two years with Washington, then went to the Southern League for about a decade (the ace of the Memphis Chickasaws) before coming back to the majors and pitching for Connie Mack. Finished his career where it started, though – spending parts of two seasons with the Senators. Won 42 games in the majors and 265 games in the minors…

1907 Wayne LaMaster

15 game winner as a 30 year old rookie on an awful Phillies team, and out of the majors a year later. Spent fifteen years as a baseball player, though, winning 136 games in any number of cities throughout the minors.

1908 Gilly Campbell

Cubs, Reds and Dodgers backstop of the 1930s, productive despite a lack of power, walked some and rarely struck out. In 831 plate appearances, he fanned just 35 times. Spent nearly 20 seasons in organized ball…

1909 Ernie Rudolph

Relief pitcher for the Dodgers in 1945, won his only decision. Probably the only major leaguer to come from Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Born and died there 93 years apart.

1909 George Gill

Reasonably successful pitcher for the Tigers (who were good) in 1937 and 1938, then traded to the Browns (who were not) where he went 1 – 12 in 1939.

1911 Herb Hash

Not a safe search on Google as most of the results will likely suggest that you change your smoking habits…

University of Richmond grad who played for the Red Sox in 1940 and 1941. After his career ended (and plenty of Hash Slinging… headlines), he became a high school principal. Lived to the ripe old age of 97…

1913 James “Hack” Miller

This is the second Hack Miller, and not the Lawrence “Hack” Miller who was known for his prodigious strength.

Miller was a catcher – only played in seven games during 1944 and 1945 with the Tigers – who got four hits in his nine at bats (plus a walk and a sacrifice). Miller homered off of Al Smith in his first at bat… He had a couple of good years in the low minors, but he was basically filling jobs during the war years. A Texas native, once his playing days were over, he spent years managing in the Texas leagues.

1915 Oad Swigart

Pitcher for the Pirates in 1939 and 1940, went 1 – 3 in 10 games (5 starts).

1917 Norm Wallen

Another player who got a few games for the Boston Braves in 1945. He was with the club but two weeks when he was struck by a line drive in the knee, which contributed to the end of his career. (He tried to play for Indianapolis in the American Association later that season, and it was the only year he didn’t hit much.)

Wallen was short for Walentowski.

1919 Bobby “Rocky” Rhawn

Utility infielder in the late 1940s for the Giants, Pirates, and White Sox – lost the prime of his career to the war…

1921 Pete Castiglione

Pirates third baseman whose career was stalled by WWII (Navy). Got to the bigs in 1947, was a regular for three years starting in 1949, but slowed down in 1953 and was traded to the Cardinals. Didn’t quit, though – played in the minors for four more years.

After baseball, moved to my neighborhood – was a mail carrier in Pompano Beach , scouted, and did some local coaching and umpiring. Died about six years ago.

1925 Mike Palm

Michigan State grad, appeared in three games as a pitcher for the Red Sox in 1948. Spent two years in the Army Air Corps in places like Casablanca and India. After baseball, sold printer ink with his father in Boston.

SABR Bio by Bill Nowlin.

1926 Bob Habenicht

Born in St. Louis, went to St. Louis University, pitched for the Cards in 1951 and the Browns in 1953. Died on Christmas Eve, 1980.

1927 Jim Brideweser

Shortstop of the 1950s with the Yankees, Orioles, White Sox, Tigers, and the Orioles (again). Inconsistent hitter – struggled while with the Sox, but finished with a .252 batting average in 329 games stretched over seven seasons. Oddly, his best year was probably that last year with Baltimore – hit .268 with his only homer. After his MLB career, he became a high school teacher and baseball coach in Redondo Beach, CA.

1930 Al Grunwald

Pitcher, first baseman in the minors – only pitched in the majors – three games in 1955 with Pittsburgh, and six games with Kansas City in 1959. Played all over the world – Mexico, Japan… He was a pretty good hitter in the minors (fair power, good averages), but shifted to the mound because he was a big lefty with a good fastball.

1938 Dick Hughes
1941 Jim Brenneman
1944 Sal Bando
1954 Donnie Moore
1958 Frank Williams
1964 Dann Howitt
1965 Craig Colbert
1966 Jerry Browne

Infielder of the late 80s and early 1990s. I always liked The Governor – fine second baseman, decent hitter, patient and would take walks, above average baserunner.

1967 Eddie Pye

Middle Tennessee State grad, taken by the Dodgers… Got a cup of coffee in 1994 and 1995 but couldn’t stick as a middle infielder.

1968 Matt Mieske

Western Michigan grad – nearly a regular outfielder with the Brewers in the mid-90s, also played with the Cubs, Mariners, Astros, and Diamondbacks. A pretty good hitter – some power, decent batting averages, but snake bit for some reason. Out of baseball shortly after 2000.

1969 Mike Mimbs

Mercer college kid taken by the Dodgers in 1990. Released in 1992, went to independent baseball, then was signed by the Phillies. Made it to the majors with the Phillies in 1995, making 37 starts and 36 relief appearances. Won nine of his twelve career wins as a rookie, but struggled after that and never made it back to the majors after 1997.

Has an identical twin, Mark, who also pitched in the Dodgers chain.

1970 Kevin Stocker

University of Washington infielder – second round pick of the Phillies. Traded for Bobby Abreu during the 1997 expansion draft. Not a bad shortstop, but never as good as his rookie season (hit .324 in 70 games) – now a broadcaster on the Pac-10 Network.

1971 Todd Williams

Dodgers draft pick, spent forever going back and forth between the high minors and the majors from about 1990 to 2007. Pitched for LA, Cincinnati, Seattle, New York (Yanks) and Baltimore – logging the most time with the Orioles (177 appearances between 2004 and 2007). Member of 2000 Olympic team…

1974 Howie Clark

Spent a decade in the minors before getting a shot in the majors. Played for Baltimore, Toronto, and Minnesota… Could hit some, decent fielder. Most famous as the shortstop distracted by Alex Rodriguez when he yelled “I got it” while running the bases – Clark let the pop up fall. Once tried HGH and was named in the Mitchell report, but was acquitted when it turned out that what he bought from Mexico was fake.

Now a minor league batting instructor.

1976 Brian Rose

Red Sox draft pick, pitched for Boston, Colorado, New York, and Tampa Bay but with limited success. Had great success at first in the minors – went 17-5 at Pawtucket to earn his first call to the majors. Just didn’t miss enough bats in the bigs.

Now coaches travel programs and provides baseball clinics for kids in New England.

1977 Joe Lawrence

1st Round pick of the Blue Jays in 1996, got to the bigs in 2002 and hit .180. After baseball, co-founded Marucci Sports – makers of custom bats.

1978 Scott Dohmann

Louisiana-Lafayette grad – big arm – pitched for the Rockies, Royals, and Rays… (Also spent a year in Japan.) Control was problematic, as was his ERA… Now in the custom pools business…

1980 Drew Henson

Second best quarterback from Michigan to play in the majors (Rick Leach)… Played third base for the Yankees and knew he’d have a better chance in football… Made a start for the Cowboys in 2004, played in NFL Europe for a year, was a member of Minnesota and Detroit – oddly his first two games (one for Dallas, one for Detroit) were on Thanksgiving. Both were disasters.

1983 Mike Nickeas

Georgia Tech grad taken by Texas in the 5th round in 2004. Took a while to make the majors, which he did as a backup catcher for the Mets. Hit .180 in three years in New York, and a game (defensive replacement) in Toronto in 2013.

1984 Brett Hayes

Nevada-Reno grad – 2nd round pick of the Marlins in 2005… Not a bad backstop, can throw some, but hasn’t hit much in the majors. Moved to the Royals in 2013, played with Cleveland briefly last year.

1985 Logan Ondrusek

Reds reliever for five years – a middle reliever with improving control – who spent last year with the Yakult Swallows…

1987 Henry Urrutia

Cuban defector trying to make it as a DH/LF with the Orioles. Has hit when on the active roster.

1987 Curtis Partch

Pitcher – made it to the bigs with the Reds in 2013 and 2014 but hasn’t been able to stick. First batter he faced, Matt Holiday, hit a grand slam off of him… In Giants chain last year, but looking to catch on for 2016 with Pittsburgh.

1987 Ryan Perry

University of Arizona grad, first round pick in 2008 by the Tigers and made it to the bigs in 2009. Never seemed to pan out as a reliever – part control problems, part arm health. Struggled with the Nationals in 2012, has been struggling in the minors, and now may be out of chances.

1988 Ryan Goins

4th round pick of the Blue Jays in 2009 – got to the majors in 2013 and seems to be finding himself as a hitter, though he’s getting long in the tooth as a prospect. Can play five positions, so he might stick around a few more years.

1990 Nathan Eovaldi

Drafted by the Dodgers, traded to the Marlins in the Hanley Ramirez trade, moved to the Yankees for 2015 and went 14 – 3. Those of us who watched him pitch in Miami were very surprised by that… Good control, seems to get hit a lot.

Usually people move from NY to Miami, not the other way around.


1886 Fred Warner
1893 Sy Sutcliffe
1905 Bill Eagan
1905 Ralph Ham
1920 John Shoup
1921 Barney McLaughlin
1927 Vive Lindaman
1928 Pete Daniels
1929 Joe Straub
1930 Dan Abbott
1931 Dick Phelan
1945 Jocko Halligan
1946 Marc Campbell
1947 Sam Shaw
1953 Happy Foreman
1953 Ed Haigh
1954 Walter Ancker
1956 Fred Holmes
1964 Ken Hubbs

Plane crash – he was piloting a Cessna 172 when he crashed into Utah Lake.

1969 Shags Horan
1970 Paul Edmondson

Car crash near Santa Barbara during a rainstorm.

1986 Ed McGhee
1987 Leo Norris
1992 Byron Humphrey
1992 Earl Rapp
1997 Bobby Adams
2004 Ted Tappe
2005 Nelson Briles
2014 Drew Denson


1920 Eight team owners meet at the Kansas City YMCA to outline and organize the Negro National League, which will be led initially by Rube Foster.


1968 Los Angeles sends Ron Hunt and Nate Oliver to San Francisco for Tom Haller and minor leaguer Francis Kasheta.

Meanwhile, Washington sends Bob Priddy, Buster Narum, and Tim Cullent to the White Sox for Ron Hansen, Steve Jones, and Dennis Higgins.

1986 New York sends Scott Bradley, Neil Allen, and Glenn Braxton to the White Sox for Ron Hassey, Matt Winters, and two minor leaguers.

Baseball History for February 12th

<— FEBRUARY 11     FEBRUARY 13 —>


1851 Chick Fulmer
1864 Jim Fogarty
1879 Harry Arndt
1879 Pants Rowland
1885 Bill Mack
1888 Ray Miller
1889 Art Thomason
1889 George Cochran
1892 Tom Rogers
1893 Earl Sheely
1893 George Stutz
1895 Sweetbreads Bailey
1901 Virgil Cheeves
1902 Kiddo Davis
1903 Chick Hafey
1903 Andy Harrington
1912 Linc Blakely
1917 Dom DiMaggio

In the summer of 1977, my dad flew our family to San Francisco to spend a week of vacation there. The primary reason for visiting was to spend time with his father, who he hadn’t actually seen in probably twenty years.

His father owned a motel on the outskirts of town – had a big pool (too cold, really, to swim in) and my brother and I got to sleep in our own room.

One day, the boys were taken by my grandfather down to a lounge in downtown San Francisco – had a pool table off to the side – where he used to spend considerable time. I had my first Shirley Temple there. While sitting at the bar, my grandfather told me that he would like to introduce me to one of the greatest Red Sox outfielders ever. In my mind, I was thinking I was about to meet Fred Lynn or Carl Yastrzemski or Jim Rice or Dwight Evans. Instead, a smallish man about sixty years old comes over. “Paul – I know you are a big baseball fan. Well, the best centerfielder the Red Sox ever had was this fella right here… Dom DiMaggio.”

I shook his hand, but my interest ended about there. I mean – he wasn’t Fred Lynn. Today, of course, I can brag about meeting Dom DiMaggio, but at the time – as a twelve year old with a limited knowledge of baseball history – I had no idea how cool that really was.

1918 Monk Dubiel
1921 Don Bollweg
1922 Mike Clark
1922 Woody Main
1926 Joe Garagiola

My stepfather looked a lot like Joe Garagiola, but he couldn’t work behind the plate.

1937 Stan Johnson
1939 Jim Lawrence
1939 Jerry Walker
1941 Mike Joyce
1942 Pat Dobson
1942 Steve Bailey
1943 Paul Edmondson
1945 Don Wilson
1948 Frank Estrada
1949 Enzo Hernandez
1949 Len Randle
1949 Ray Corbin
1951 Don Stanhouse
1953 Dave Revering
1955 Juan Bonilla
1955 Greg Johnston
1955 Gene Krug
1955 Chet Lemon
1955 Steve Mura
1956 Brian Denman
1957 Steve Brown
1958 Ken Smith
1958 Jim Beswick
1964 Joe Bitker
1964 Cameron Drew
1965 Dennis Springer
1965 Ruben Amaro
1965 Stan Fansler
1966 Jeff Pico

Pico threw a shutout in his first start. His career peaked right there (actually, he threw a second shutout, but you get the point) and he fell off the map in a couple of years. He’s a pitching coach in the Reds chain now.

1977 Gary Knotts
1978 Tim Redding
1980 Adam Stern
1981 Chris Snyder
1985 Cole De Vries
1986 Brandon Allen
1986 Todd Frazier
1987 Argenis Diaz
1987 David Cooper
1988 Josh Phegley
1991 Reymond Fuentes


1885 Nealy Phelps
1920 Mike Goodfellow
1932 John Shearon
1934 Rowdy Elliott
1939 George Fair
1943 Bart Cantz
1952 Charlie Manlove
1959 Dode Paskert
1961 Lefty Atkinson
1962 Dick Wheeler
1964 Ted Pawelek
1964 Al Pierotti
1967 Dutch Distel
1967 Bob Rhoads
1968 Johnny Siegle
1972 Jim Sullivan
1975 Dutch Mele
1979 Bill Vargus
1982 Dale Alderson
1985 Van Mungo
1989 Euel Moore
1994 Ray Dandridge
1997 Francis Healy
2003 Dick Whitman
2003 Haywood Sullivan
2003 Wally Burnette
2009 Ted Uhlaender
2010 Jerry Fahr
2011 Gino Cimoli


1878 Fredrick Thayer receives a patent for the catcher’s mask – based on a fencing mask.

2002 MLB takes over ownership of the Montreal Expos after allowing that owner (Jeffrey Loria) to purchase the Florida Marlins (thanks to a big MLB loan).


1969 Pittsburgh signs amateur free agent infielder Rennie Stennett.

1988 San Diego sends Rich Gossage and Ray Hayward to the Cubs for Keith Moreland and Mike Brumley.

2016 Milwaukee sends Khris Davis to Oakland for Jacob Nottingham and Bubba Derby.