Happy (Belated) Birthday, Kal Segrist – and did the Cubs throw the 1918 World Series?

Sorry for the belated post…  Started doing a research project (see below) and haven’t quite finished it but thought I should get the bones of it out there rather than wait weeks for me to actually post something…

Anyway…  No excuses.

Did the Cubs Throw the 1918 World Series?

According to recently unearthed transcripts from the 1920 investigation into the 1919 Black Sox scandal, White Sox pitcher (and crook) Eddie Cicotte suggested that the White Sox got the idea from hearing stories that the 1918 Chicago Cubs may have taken bribes to throw the World Series to the Boston Red Sox.

One person who suggests that it is plausible is Sean Devaney, a Sporting  News writer, who wrote the book “The Original Curse” and is now must reading in the Proia household…  [ESPN/Associated Press]

MLB is Taking over the Los Angeles Dodgers

Citing a desire to maintain the fiscal stability of one of baseball’s most storied franchises, Major League Baseball is taking over stewardship of the Los Angeles Dodgers while the McCourt Divorce continues unabated…  Frank McCourt is confused by this, while his soon-to-be ex-wife, Jamie, welcomes it.  Here is Bud Selig’s official announcement.  [MLB]

Happy Birthday, Kal Segrist

I will eventually post a full biography of Kal, but it’s been more than a week now and (a) I am due to post something and (b) it’s getting late to recognize Kal at this point…

Born April 14, 1931, Kal Segrist, Jr. was a Texas man, through and through…  The son of a Texas League ballplayer – his dad played a number of years in Dallas before turning to scouting, running a pharmacy, and working as a Justice of the Peace – his career started as a multi-sport athlete at Adamson High School, then as a baseball standout for The University of Texas back when Bibb Falk was ruling the south.  Originally, as some of you may know, the College World Series was played in Michigan for a year, and then in Wichita, KS in 1948 and 1949.  The first two were head-to-head battles, but the 1949 series in Wichita was a battle between four teams.  In 1950, the College World Series expanded to eight teams and moved to Omaha, Nebraska – where it’s been for more than 60 years now.  Segrist played on the Longhorns in both the 1949 and 1950 World Series, both won by Texas, and was recognized in the 60th anniversary game last year.

Having been a star there, the New York Yankees spent $40,000 or $50,000 in bonus money to sign Segrist – in 1951, the Yankees spent more than $300,000 on bonuses for kids coming out of college, including guys like Segrist, Andy Carey, and Purdue’s Bill (Moose) Skowron.  Segrist went to rookie camp before being sent to Kansas City where he spent two seasons before getting a shot at the Yankees parent team in 1952.  One highlight comes in the summer of 1951, where he gets five hits, including a game-winning homer, in a doubleheader on his wedding day.  Now THAT’S a great day…

At that time, the Yankees were fighting injuries – and losing players to the Korean War.  Seeing a need for a little depth in the infield (Segrist could play pretty much any infield position, hitting with some power), Casey Stengel recalled Segrist from the minors.  In his first game, coming in as a pinch hitter for pitcher Tom Morgan, Segrist flew out – but remained in the game.  In the 10th inning, Segrist opened the frame with a single and later scored the winning run on a Hank Bauer single.

It was his only hit as a Yankee.

After two weeks lingering on the bench – and mired in a 1 for 23 slump – Segrist was returned to the minors where he would stay for most of his professional baseball life.

Segrist gains a modicum of fame, though, in 1954, when he is one of seventeen players involved in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles – the largest number of bodies exchanged in one transaction.  Among those moving around are Gene Woodling and Gus Triandos, who head to Baltimore, and Don Larsen – who joins the Yankees.  It worked out for Larsen.

It didn’t work as well for Segrist.  He got a cup of coffee with the Orioles in 1955, getting three hits in nine at bats, but is remembered in smaller towns for being the third baseman who got injured giving teen sensation Brooks Robinson his chance to play third in the minor leagues.

Anyway…  Segrist becomes sort of a minor league nomad, and as 1960 rolls around, a family member gets him a job as an assistant working for the Texas Tech athletic department.  A few years later, Segrist was named the head coach of Texas Tech’s baseball team.  Among his achievements there were assisting in the creation of the Southwest Conference Baseball tournament and the expansion of the College World Series to the format we know today.  And, he won more than 300 games as a coach, too.  Not too shabby…

Segrist passed away on June 26, 2015.


3 thoughts on “Happy (Belated) Birthday, Kal Segrist – and did the Cubs throw the 1918 World Series?

  1. Pingback: Ellsbury Out With Separated Shoulder, and Happy Birthday, Ben Tincup! | Mighty Casey Baseball

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