Happy Birthday, Ike Butler

PAUL NOTE:  I wrote an article about Ike Butler in 2010 and posted it here.  It was maybe six paragraphs long and didn’t include pictures.  (It wasn’t bad or anything, just not as complete as what I usually write.)  When SABR chose to do a book about players who won just a single MLB game, I offered to write the article about Butler.  And I found some pictures.  So I swapped the old version out with what you now see below.  This is the rough draft that I sent to SABR in March, 2021 – one assumes a vetter, fact checker, and editor will make some adjustments to clean up my prose and it will be published there.


Ike Butler - Portland 1903Ike Butler is a one-year major league baseball anecdote – a player whose inclusion in your baseball encyclopedia was made possible by an opportunistic telegram sent during a franchise upheaval. However trivial his two-month major league career was, Butler’s minor league career, especially the decade spent on the West Coast, included more than 200 professional wins and at least two minor league records.

Named after his father’s brother[1], Isaac Burr Butler arrived in Langston, Michigan on August 22, 1873 to Harrison H. and Mary A. (Kent) Butler just a little over a year after the farmer and his bride married. Harrison Butler served the Union during the Great War for Slavery as a private in the 80th Ohio Infantry; he served nearly four full years from late 1861 through the Confederate surrender in 1865. After the war, Harrison toiled at a number of jobs: farmer, day laborer, and timberman. After Isaac’s arrival, Harrison and Mary had two daughters, Ethyl and Elizabeth.

Ike learned the sport playing baseball with his Traverse City friends at the city fairgrounds.[2] After spending time pitching for the Traverse City Hustlers and later Owosso in the Michigan Base Ball League[3], Butler first pitched professionally in 1895 with Detroit in the old Western League where he got a one-game tryout on August 10. The starting pitcher, Alex (or Alec) Whitehill, gave up ten runs to Indianapolis in the first three innings. Ike Butler entered and gave up ten more runs over the next six innings.[4]

Good enough for a look, but not good enough to stay, Butler found work pitching for Seattle in the Pacific Northwest League in 1896, where won nine of fifteen decisions despite being swatted around a bit. “It was a pleasure to see Butler pitch the remaining innings,” wrote a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “He was as cool as a cucumber, and every time Catcher (Ralph) Frary said, ‘Put ’em over, Ike,’ over they went… Every time they thought Butler was in danger of becoming a bit nervous he would be told to split the plate and let the fielders take care of the hits.”[5] In that game, Butler gave up five runs in the first three innings, but pitched pretty well the rest of the way for an 11 – 6 win over Victoria. Butler did the bulk of the pitching for Seattle as the league called for just 32 games played per team.

His winning record earned Butler a tryout with St. Paul in the Western League. Getting a start on June 26, 1896, Butler allowed eight runs in four innings to Milwaukee, but his team rallied for ten runs in the ninth to win the game.[6] In 1897, he pitched for Dubuque in the Western Association, leading the team with 13 wins and 18 losses, before returning home to pitch in Traverse City.[7] During the 1890s, Butler frequently pitched semiprofessional games with the Hustlers as seasons elsewhere ended.[8]

Ike Butler - Traverse City 1898

Continuing this nomadic theme, Burlington (IA) in the Western Association hired Butler for the 1898 season. (The picture above shows him with his Traverse City Hustlers team, but wearing his Burlington uniform.) Despite not pitching all that well, he somehow earned a tryout with a last place and desperate Omaha team in the Western League. Ike couldn’t have impressed anyone (one start, three appearances, nearly a run allowed per inning) as Butler didn’t survive Omaha. On the other hand, Omaha didn’t survive the season; the franchise moved to St. Joseph, Missouri halfway through 1898. For 1899, Butler signed a contract with Toledo and for the first time in his professional career he played two full seasons with the same club. His fifteen wins in 1900 was a new career high.[9] Butler also threw his first true gem, a one-hitter to blank Youngstown on May 25, 1900.[10]

Ike Butler - Toledo 1900Kansas City of the Western League added Butler to the 1901 roster, but a week into the season he was loaned to Denver where Butler alternated between good and bad outings.[11] Manager George Tebeau turned down cash offers from Colorado Springs and Omaha so he could recall Butler if he needed him later in the season. Indeed, Kansas City needed Butler to make a couple starts in June. It didn’t work out and he was again tossing for Denver.[12] Denver released Butler in July and a month later Butler signed with Shreveport in the Southern Association.[13] Making a good impression, Butler agreed to come back to Shreveport for 1902 where he quickly became the ace of the Shreveport staff.[14]

In 1902 the war between the upstart American League and National League reached its zenith, with manager John McGraw and outfielder Joe Kelley jumping the Baltimore Orioles and taking several stars with them to the New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds. In fact, thanks to McGraw, New York Giants owner John T. Brush wrested away a majority ownership in the AL club, the biggest threat to what had otherwise been a very successful American League organization. American League president Ban Johnson worked with the other owners to take back control of the Baltimore franchise and stock the team with enough players to finish the season. Some teams loaned a player or two to help with the cause, while other players were gathered from around various leagues to help play games.

Ike Butler was one of these gathered players. Butler had fairly good seasons in low level minor leagues but little success in his brief stays in the better minor leagues. Still, Butler recognized an opportunity to play on a major league team at a major league salary and sent a telegram to manager Wilbert Robinson offering his services.[15] Robinson, in desperate need of pitching, bought the sales pitch and agreed to purchase his rights from Shreveport. Most importantly, Butler was going to earn a lot more money. Shreveport paid Butler $125 per month for his mound work. Wilbert Robinson offered Butler $400 each month to pitch for Baltimore.

Butler’s time in Shreveport for 1902 was bookended by the headlines “Pitcher Butler is Here” and “Butler is Gone” in the Shreveport Times.[16] In between, Butler pitched essentially .500 ball for a team that was 28 – 46 when he left. (He is credited with an 11 – 12 record on Baseball-Reference.com; the Shreveport Times said he had 12 wins in 24 appearances.) A Times reporter caught Butler after he told the club he was leaving. Butler said, “I dislike very much to part with friends, but baseball is a business to me. The offer made me by Baltimore is too great an opportunity to turn down… If I should ever play in a minor league again and I can secure a position with Shreveport, I will return.”[17] Butler would return to the minors, but he would never pitch for Shreveport again.

In joining Baltimore, Butler took over Harry Howell’s or Joe McGinnity’s spot in the Orioles rotation. McGinnity was no longer with the team; Howell stopped pitching regularly and became a position player – he was a versatile defender and he could genuinely hit. At one point in July, the Orioles were 31 – 34 and competitive. After the upheaval of the summer, which stripped the team of most of its best players, the rotation included Snake Wiltse, Jack Katoll, and Ike Butler – Baltimore won just nineteen games in the last twelve weeks of the season.

A day after signing his Baltimore contract in St. Louis, Butler took to the mound against the Browns, who smacked Butler around some. Butler smacked back – he singled and scored a run in the fifth. The Browns scored five runs on nine hits and two walks (and two errors) – three runs were earned.[18] Butler got no decision, as errors helped St. Louis plate the winning run in the tenth inning. Robinson himself caught Butler in his next outing; Butler lost to Cleveland, 6 – 3, but he pitched better. In fact, Butler wasn’t awful but he wasn’t always well supported – in one outing he allowed eleven runs but only three were deemed earned. At the same time, Butler didn’t help himself, especially when men were on base. The Detroit Free Press noted “Ike Butler, an Oriole recruit who has speed when he has time to wind himself up… is positively harmless when there are men on the bags and he is forced to twirl without a preliminary gyration…”[19]

As August became September, Butler continued to pitch and lose. He gave up twelve runs to Detroit on September 6, nine more to a Philadelphia squad that was rolling toward the pennant (Rube Waddell won his twentieth game in relief that day), and thirteen runs on twenty hits to Boston in the first game of a doubleheader. That Baltimore had to play so many doubleheaders in September likely kept Butler on the roster. Ike started one game of a doubleheader in each of his last eight starts – including back-to-back days against the Athletics. They needed live arms.

Predictably, Baltimore fell from fifth place toward the bottom of the standings. Then, the Orioles started losing in in ways not seen since the Cleveland Spiders gave up on the 1899 season. From August 26 through Butler’s loss to Boston on September 17, Baltimore went 1 – 21 with two ties. Robinson needed a new good luck charm and got it in a gift from O. P. Chase, who hailed from Robinson’s hometown. Chase offered to send Wilbert a beagle hound puppy named May. The puppy arrived in Washington on September 20 before a doubleheader with the Senators.[20] With the new mascot (and future hunting companion), Baltimore won the first game, 6 – 5.

Butler’s record stood at 0 – 8 when he took the hill against the Senators for game two.  Washington drew first blood, but Baltimore put up a pair of runs in both the second and third innings. After scoring a singleton run in the third, Washington bunched luck and hits into a three-run inning and a 5 – 4 lead in the fourth. Butler walked Lew Drill, who had himself been loaned to Baltimore for a couple of games earlier in the season. Then, Bill Carrick reached out with his bat and caught just enough of a pitch to flip the ball into right field for a fluke double. Jack Doyle crushed a double of his own, scoring both runners. He later scored on Bill Keister’s single and Washington now led. After this, Butler braced up and kept Washington scoreless for the next four innings. Meanwhile, Baltimore tallied one on the fifth, two in the eighth – Butler contributed a run scoring groundout – and two more in the ninth. When Butler got Ed Delahanty to fly out to deep right field, Baltimore and Butler got the win.[21]

Butler’s outing was no gem. Butler allowed sixteen hits, Butler walked four batters, and three of his players made errors behind him. Butler won just one decision in his major league career – this was it. The sweep got Baltimore temporarily out of last place, landing just percentage points ahead of Detroit. The Orioles won the first game of the next doubleheader, making it a three-game winning streak and four out of five. And then, they lost the last six games to Philadelphia and Boston – with Butler losing two of those decisions. In his last start, Butler fanned four Boston batters – his career best game and nearly a third of his major league career strikeouts.

Butler’s 1 – 10 record, with 168 hits allowed in 116.1 innings and just 13 strikeouts, is part of an inglorious – and yet amazingly courageous, from a league standpoint – conclusion to the Orioles season. Johnson, angered by McGraw and Brush, arranged to put a team in New York, certainly to spite the Giants but also to get in the nation’s largest city. The Orioles were dead; the Highlanders (eventually renamed the Yankees) were the new team in the American League.

Ike Butler - Portland 1904Ike Butler wasn’t kept when the franchise moved to New York. Shreveport claimed his rights, a story hit the wires saying that Butler signed with Milwaukee in the American Association[22], and another story said he was ready to return to Shreveport[23]. Instead, he headed west to join a Portland team that was added when the California League expanded to become the Pacific Coast League in 1903.[24] Butler, now approaching his 30th birthday, was a thick and sturdy pitcher. He is listed as 6’ 0” and 175 pounds in Baseball-Reference.com, but by the time he got to Portland, they noted his weight as 190 pounds.[25] While he wasn’t the ace of the staff based on his record, he certainly was the “Old Reliable” of the staff based on his usage.[26] Butler appeared in 54 games, starting 50 of them. He threw 440.2 innings and lead the team with 22 wins and 27 losses. Butler threw strikes – his 104 walks represented one of the lowest walk rates in the league, though he didn’t strike that many batters out (124).[27] And, he occasionally took a turn in right field when needed. When the Oregon Daily Journal listed the final Pacific Coast League standings, Portland finished in 5th place at 95 – 107, but that didn’t include ties (Butler’s last outing finished tied at two).[28] Two players appeared in more than 200 games, with Deacon Van Buren playing in 205 games and Phil Nadeau appearing in 204 games.

After wintering in Bakersfield, California, where he could train throughout the winter and join the team in better shape, Butler joined Portland for a second season. He was awarded the opening day start,[29] Daniel Dugdale took over the reins of the team early in the campaign, but as injuries and illnesses ripped through the roster, Dugdale became less enthused with managing the team. In October, Dugdale left and Butler, who remained healthy and respected throughout the season, took over at the helm.[30] Butler was the third manager that year, as Portland limped home to an 80 – 136 record. Three pitchers lost thirty games, with Butler’s 32 losses (against 17 wins) setting a PCL record that will never again be challenged.

Not likely to be retained by changing management for the 1905 season, Butler chose not to stay with Portland.[31] He considered a two-month stint pitching for Skagway in Alaska[32], but ended up signing with Atlanta (despite his reputation for jumping Shreveport)[33], who then moved him to Birmingham.[34] After winning two of three decisions there, he was sold to Charleston[35] but returned to Birmingham over a case of mistaken identity. Charleston management thought they were buying an outfielder who previously played for Memphis.[36] Released, Butler considered other opportunities and wound up returning to Michigan and pitching for Grand Rapids.[37]

Butler was about to enter the most stable period of his baseball career. Signed to pitch for Tacoma of the Northwestern League, Butler spent three years as their top pitcher. In 1906, he won 20 of 29 decisions, including one stretch of twelve wins in a row.[38] Then, in 1907, he completed the extremely rare 30 – 30 combination by winning 32 games against 18 losses.[39] Two of those wins came in a doubleheader against Vancouver on July 1. In the morning game, he blanked the Canucks 8 – 0. Then, he pitched the afternoon game and threw a second shutout, winning 5 – 0.[40] Not quite three weeks later, he threw a no-hitter to beat Seattle, 5 – 1.[41] His own throwing error on an Ed Bruyette grounder made the lone run possible. He agreed to join a winter league in San Diego where he would share pitching duties with Luther Taylor.[42] While there, he acted as a scout, signing players for Tacoma.[43]

So what changed for Butler to make him more successful?  A writer for the Butte Miner explained Butler’s success as being tied to his control and subtle movement in the strike zone.

“One sitting behind the catcher cannot tell what Ike puts on the ball that keeps the batters from belting it out of the lot, but that he has something is evident from the fact that men who have proved themselves good hitters in swell company cannot meet the ball fairly when Ike is right. He has no wide sweeping curves and no ball he pitches will miss the plate more than six inches, but the ball either curves or jumps enough to keep the batsman from hitting it in the middle and the result is a popup or hitting the ball on top for a high bounder.”[44]

Butler fell back to 19 – 14 in 1908, the season after his first wife, Mina, passed away. He started off pitching really well, but at some point the heavy usage and approaching 35 caught up with him. He injured a leg, was frequently hit harder than in previous weeks, and he was starting to look for work outside of baseball. At the end of 1908, for example, he got involved in the ownership of a San Diego saloon.[45]

Ike Butler - Los Angeles 1909After managing a really good San Diego winter team, Butler returned to Tacoma a different pitcher. He was a late arrival, had issues getting in shape, and got frustrated with teammates after a couple of lousy outings. So, Butler announced he was leaving the team to pitch for the Santa Cruz Sand Crabs with the independent California League.[46] Tacoma writers, used to calling Butler “Old Reliable” now called him “Unreliable,” forgetting that jumping contracts was something Butler did from time to time.[47] Santa Cruz had financial problems by mid-July, so Butler returned to Tacoma where his paycheck would be more dependable.[48] Happy to see their old pitcher, Tacoma named Butler the team’s manager a week later.[49] Butler frequently pitched in relief rather than starting – and his team never improved. Two months later, he was relieved himself – of the management job.[50] Butler fell up, though, asking for his release so he could pitch for Los Angeles in the Pacific Coast League for the remainder of the season.[51] Los Angeles kept the veteran around for a month of the 1910 season, but released him in early May.[52] Butler signed one more time with Tacoma and trudged his way through the remainder of the year.

In 1911, Butler made one more run back east and agreed to a contract with Grand Rapids in Michigan. Upon landing in Michigan, he ran into a winter storm and was forced to purchase a winter coat for the first time in several years.[53] He pitched once, lost, and was released.[54] Back to San Diego, Ike pitched semi-pro baseball there until he was hired to be a battery coach for Tacoma in 1912.[55] Among the things Butler taught his new pitching staff was how to throw both the knuckleball and the spitball.[56] While it’s not listed on his Baseball-Reference.com page, he made at least one relief appearance for Tacoma before asking for his release in May.[57] He next moved to Oregon, pitching independent ball for Salem and Medford, earning a car for his efforts on Medford’s behalf.[58] He finished the 1912 season pitching semiprofessional games for a team in Maricopa, California.

After his west coast career came to an end, Butler moved to Butte, Montana. He operated a saloon in Anaconda and would pitch in a few semi-professional games. His last pitched game appears to be around 1916 when he would have been approaching 43 years old.[59] Less than three years after marrying (and quickly divorcing) his third wife, he decided to take a vacation and left Anaconda on a six-week tour of the west coast.[60] Butler liked what he saw in California and decided to stay in Oakland permanently.

Butler first married Mina C. Maes on March 29, 1896. Maes hailed from Traverse City, Michigan where the two were living when they hitched their lives together at a nearby congregational church. A year later, on May 7, 1897, their daughter Caroline Fay arrived.[61] After the Butlers moved west, Mina and Caroline followed Ike to Tacoma’s spring training prior to the 1907 season. She caught a cold in Walla Walla, Washington – whatever she caught turned into tuberculosis. So, while Ike was winning a Northwestern League record 32 games and pitching more than a third of Tacoma’s games in a fight for the pennant, his wife was home fighting for her life. Part of the reason the Butlers moved to San Diego, one figures, is that it might have helped Mina’s chances to survive. Instead, she passed away on November 4, 1907.[62]

During his later Tacoma days he married Julia Averill, getting hitched on July 24, 1909.[63] Julia was listed as his wife in the 1910 US Census, but she wouldn’t be around long (Butler was, if nothing else, a contract jumper). In 1916, while living in Butte, Montana, Issac married Hannah Gertrude Shaner. That marriage didn’t last either – Butler and Shaner parted ways and Ike moved to Oakland. In July, 1920, he married Grace May (Waters) McDonald, a recent divorcee – both listed that each was on marriage number two, and by the looks of it both were shading their age.[64] In the 1930 US Census, their record shows they had a five-year-old son (whose name is illegible on the film) – that son is not living with them in the 1940 US Census. Grace passed away in October 1946.

Butler managed saloons and bars after his baseball days. In 1920, he took a job as a salesclerk while advertising in an Oakland newspaper that he was interested in buying his own business. He’d also work as a laborer into the 1940s. In addition to a lifelong interest in baseball, Butler loved flowers and was a member of the Elks Club dating back to his days in Traverse City.[65]

In 1920, Butler avoided death in a car accident in Oceanside, California when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger swerved to avoid another car and the car rolled over twice. Butler was mildly injured but William Kelly, the driver, died in the wreck.[66] The second time death called, Butler answered. He was attending a chrysanthemum auction in Oakland when he suffered a fatal heart attack and died on March 17, 1948.[67] His body was taken back to Michigan where he was buried near his father in Forest Hill Cemetery in Stanton, Michigan.









Michigan Marriage Records (Harrison and Mary Kent, Isaac Butler and Mary Maes)
Montana Marriage Records (Isaac Butler and Hannah Gertrude Shaner)
California Marriage Certificate (Isaac Butler and Grace McDonald)
Michigan Death Certificate (Mary Kent Burgess)
Michigan Death Certificate (Harrison Butler)
California Death Index (Isaac Butler, Grace May Butler)
Military Headstone Application (Harrison Butler)
World War I Draft Registration Card (Isaac Butler)

1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1920, 1930, 1940 US Censuses

Photo of Ike Butler in 1903 found in the Oregon Daily Journal, April 25, 1903: 10.

[1] Inferred from relationship identified in the 1850 and 1860 US Census (Ohio).

[2] “The Observer,” Traverse City Record-Eagle, March 19, 1948: 4. Ironically (coincidentally?), this memory was published a couple of days after Butler’s death.

[3] “Local News,” Owosso Times, April 26, 1895: 5. Also, “They are in Manistee,” Traverse City Morning Record,” September 5, 1897: 1.

[4] “Dissensions Again,” Detroit Free Press, August 11, 1895: 6.

[5] “Campau on the Line,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 14, 1896: 3.

[6] “Four Straight Now,” St. Paul Globe, June 27, 1896: 6.

[7] “They are in Manistee,” Traverse City Morning Record, September 5, 1897: 1.

[8] “Some More Old Time Pictures,” Traverse City Record-Eagle, May 15, 1946: 8. Includes photo of the 1898 Traverse City Hustlers team, except that Butler is wearing his Burlington uniform from 1898.

[9] “Players Released,” Cincinnati Enquirer, February 23, 1899: 8. Also, “Base Ball News,” Mansfield News, March 16, 1900: 6.

[10] “Notes of the Diamond,” Mansfield News, December 1, 1900: 7. Also, woodcut image in paper.

[11] “Pitcher Ike Butler Has Been Loaned to Denver,” Kansas City Times, May 16, 1901: 7. For examples of different games, see “Denver Won by Hitting The Ball,” Denver Post, June 21, 1901: 8. Also, “Butler Was Dead Easy For Blues, Denver Post, June 11, 1901: 6.

[12] Also, Box Score, Kansas City Times, June 28, 1901: 7

[13] “New Men Signed,” Shreveport Times, August 20, 1901: 6.

[14] “Butler Gone Home, Shreveport Times, September 25, 1901: 8.

[15] “Orioles Fly Today,” Baltimore Sun, July 30, 1902: 6.

[16] “Pitcher Butler Is Here,” Shreveport Times, March 6, 1902: 8. Also, “Butler Is Gone,” Shreveport Times, August 3, 1902: 6.

[17] “Butler Is Gone,” Shreveport Times, August 3, 1902: 6. The standings appear on page 3.

[18] “Orioles’ Game Trial,” Baltimore Sun, August 6, 1902: 6. The Sun said he was pulled after five; the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says he pitched the sixth, which is the record kept on Butler’s Retrosheet page.

[19] “Took Both of Double Header,” Detroit Free Press, September 7, 1902: 8.

[20] “Beagle Pup for ‘Robbie’,” Baltimore Sun, September 21, 1902: 6.

[21] The entirety of the game summary comes from the following newspapers: “Senators Drop Two Games To The Weakened Orioles,” Washington Times, September 21, 1902: 10; “Baltimore Took Two Games From the Senators,” Washington Evening Star, September 22, 1902: 9; “Not Tail-Enders Now,” Baltimore Sun, September 21, 1902: 6. Also, Box Score “Baltimore Orioles 9, Washington Senators 6 (2),” Retrosheet.org, https://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1902/B09202WS11902.htm, accessed March 3, 2021.

[22] “Baseball Chat,” Louisville Courier-Journal, January 4, 1903: Section 3, Page 4.

[23] “Two Pitchers Added to Team,” Shreveport Journal, February 23, 1903: 5. A story in the Oregon Daily Journal suggested that he actually did sign with Milwaukee, but Shreveport objected based on a rights claim that was upheld by the baseball commission. “I.B. Butler,” Oregon Daily Journal, October 31, 1903: 8. Ultimately, Butler twice jumped Shreveport for better offers.

[24] “Baseball Dustings,” Oregon Daily Journal (Portland), February 14, 1903: 7.

[25] “Ike Butler,” Oregon Daily Journal, February 28, 1903: 9.

[26] “I.B. Butler,” Oregon Daily Journal, October 31, 1903: 8.

[27] “Portland Leads in Team Batting,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 29, 1903: 5.

[28] Standings, Oregon Daily Journal, November 30, 1903: 5.

[29] “Baseball Season Formally Opened,” Oregon Daily Journal, March 24, 1904: 9: Also, photo on same page.

[30] Dugldale Becomes Tired of the Portland Team,” Anaconda Standard, October 16, 1904: 3. Also, “Dugdale Has Resigned,” Oakland Tribune, October 17, 1904: 7.

[31] “Butler and Castro Will Be Traded,” Bakersfield Morning Echo, January 12, 1905: 3.

[32] “Butler May Pitch for Skagway,” Bakersfield Morning Echo, February 25, 1905: 2.

[33] “In The Realm of Sports,” Birmingham News, February 7, 1905: 9. Also, “Ike Butler Declines to Comes South,” Birmingham News, March 10, 1905: 9.

[34] “Butler Made Debut in Little Rock,” Birmingham News, May 17, 1905: 12.

[35] “Ike Butler, Pitcher, Has Been Sold,” Birmingham News, June 5, 1905: 9.

[36] “Butler Still a Member of Birmingham Team,” Birmingham News, June 9, 1905: 14.

[37] “Base Ball Notes,” Fort Wayne Sentinel, June 14, 1905: 6. Also, “Dope Drippings,” Birmingham News, June 10, 1905: 21. Also, “Ike Butler Released,” Chattanooga Daily Times, June 10 1905: 4.

[38] “Butler and Downey Stay with Tacoma,” Spokane Chronicle, March 1, 1907: 13.

[39] As best as I can tell, few pitchers did this after 1892 when Bill Hutchinson went 36-36 and Amos Rusie went 32 – 31 that year. A few other pitchers are members of this exclusive club (including George Bradley and Jim McCormick, who have seasons with 40 wins and 40 losses), but most of them pitched well before the mound was moved back to 60’ 6”. In saying that, the early PCL was among the only leagues where this would have been possible based on the length of their seasons. For example, Roy Hitt is one of them – winning 31 games with San Francisco in 1906 and losing 30 with Vernon in 1909. Someone should compile a list, no?

[40] “Butler Blanks Canucks Twice,” Spokane Chronicle, July 2, 1907: 5.

[41] “Ike Butler Gets Away Without A Single Hit,” Butte Miner, July 21, 1907: 8.

[42] “Will Play Winter Ball,” Spokane Chronicle, September 20, 2007: 5.

[43] “Albert Carson Signed,” San Francisco Call, December 2, 1907: 3.

[44] “Isaac’s Dope,” Butte Miner, May 9, 1908: 2.

[45] “Tacoma Will Lose Pitcher Ike Butler,” Vancouver Daily Province, October 3, 1908: 19.

[46] Stockton Evening Mail, May 13, 1909: 4. Also, “Ike Butler, Leading Tacoma Pitcher in the Northwest League, Joins Santa Cruz Outlaws,” Oakland Tribune, May 21, 1909: 17.

[47] “Old Reliable Ike Butler Joins Outlaws,” Tacoma Times, May 19, 1909: 2.

[48] “Swanton Settles with the Players,” Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 15, 1909: 5.

[49] “Ike Butler Made New Tiger Boss,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 21, 1909: 13.

[50] “Blankenship in Charge,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, September 19, 1909: 16.

[51] “Ike Butler To Los Angeles Club,” Tacoma Times, September 21, 1909: 2. Also, “Butler Leaves For Angel City,” Los Angeles Record, September 21, 1909: 7. Also, “Two New Players of Vernon and Los Angeles Leagures,” Los Angeles Herald, October 3, 1909: Part III, 1. (Includes Photo)

[52] “Butler Released,” Los Angeles Times, May 5, 1910: 6.

[53] “First Overcoat in Six Winters,” Fort Wayne Sentinel, April 1, 1911: 8.

[54] “Dolly Gray to Grand Rapids, Release Two,” Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, May 17, 1911: 6.

[55] “Ike Butler to Assist Mike,” Tacoma Times, November 1, 1911: 2.

[56] “Fodder for Hungry Fans,“ Tacoma Times, April 5, 1912: 2.

[57] “Tigers Release Pitcher Butler,” Spokane Chronicle, May 7, 1912: 3.

[58] “Base Ball Briefs,” Washington Evening Star, August 29, 1912: 15.

[59] “Walkerville to Have Strong Team,” Butte Miner, May 23, 1916: 10.

[60] “Anaconda News,” Anaconda Standard, January 2, 1919: 9.

[61] “Brevities,” Traverse City Morning Record, May 8, 1897: 2.

[62] “Sports,” Butte Daily Post, November 12, 1907: 7.

[63] “Ike Butler Takes a Bride,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 25, 1909: 14.

[64] The California marriage certificate lists Isaac as being 39 (instead of 42) and Grace as 30 (instead of 31).

[65] “Locals,” Traverse City Record-Eagle, March 22, 1948: 3.

[66] “Oakland Man Killed in Automobile Crash,” San Francisco Examiner, February 22, 1920: 7. Also, “1 Dead, 3 Injured When Auto Runs Off Road,” Pasadena Post, February 21, 1920: 1.

[67] Old Ball-Player Dies,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 18, 1948: 2. Also, “Locals,” Traverse City Record-Eagle, March 22, 1948: 3.


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