January 19th in Baseball History

Birth Announcements:

1858 Joe Straub
1862 Mac MacArthur
1865 Bill Anderson
1871 Abbie Johnson
1873 Arlie Pond
1874 Harry Atkinson
1874 Jake Boyd
1878 Jack White
1879 Jack McCallister
1885 Dolly Stark
1888 Pat Maloney
1888 Chick Gandil

Member of the Black Sox – career ended in infamy.

1895 Dan Boone
1896 Ollie Hanson
1903 Fred Lucas
1903 Merle (Lefty) Settlemire
1904 Jim Boyle
1906 Rip Radcliff
1910 Dib Williams
1910 Hugh Poland
1913 Andy Pilney
1914 Benny Culp
1914 Al Piechota
1931 Ed Sadowski
1935 Fred (Squeaky) Valentine

Fred Valentine was an outfielder with Baltimore and Washington in the 1960s – had a decent season in 1966, batting .276 with some power and 22 stolen bases, but didn’t maintain that level of production and disappeared after 1968.  Of course, by the time Valentine got regular playing time, he was in his 30s – he was a victim of the racism of the period, which limited opportunities unless he hit like Willie or Hank.

Baltimore drafted Valentine as an infielder out of Tennessee A&I (now Tennessee State) having chosen baseball over football because there were no black quarterbacks in the NFL in the late 1950s.  However, the Orioles had Brooks Robinson and Luis Aparicio – so he moved to the outfield.

Ted Leavengood wrote an excellent biography of Valentine for the Society of American Baseball Research – give it a read.

1948 Ken Frailing

Cubs/White Sox prospect that never really panned out.

1950 Jon Matlack

Mets pitcher, and a good one, in the middle 1970s.

1949 Ramon de los Santos
1954 Rich Gale

Royals starter (and, later, other teams) during the playoff runs in 1978 and 1980, won 14 games as a rookie, then 13 more in 1980.  In 1978, despite going 14 – 8, walked 100 batters while striking out just 88…

1957 Brad Mills
1961 Ken Dowell
1962 Chris Sabo

Reds and Orioles third baseman – injuries clipped what started off as potentially a solid career.

1963 Scott Little
1964 Mark Grater
1964 Jim Morris
1965 Kevin Coffman
1966 Anthony Young

Owner of one of the longest losing streaks you might ever see – and yet he didn’t really deserve it.  A pretty good pitcher on some awful teams.

1969 Orlando Palmeiro
1970 Rick Krivda
1970 Ricky Pickett
1971 Jeff Juden
1971 Phil Nevin
1973 Chris Stynes
1974 Amaury Telemaco

I saw Telemaco pitch while he was in Class A Daytona in 1994.  He looked like he was going to be a dominating pitcher – reminded me of Joaquin Andujar with his presence on the mound.  A couple of years later, he was with the Cubs and he bounced around the majors and minors for the better part of ten years.  I rooted for him, but that apparently wasn’t helping.

1975 Fernando Seguignol
1975 Brian Mallette
1978 Wilton Veras
1979 Byung-Hyun Kim
1982 Terry Evans
1987 James Darnell
1988 Shawn Tolleson

Obituaries:

1900 Marty Bergen

Bergen was a catcher for Boston in the late 1890s, and a pretty good one.  He also suffered from some form of mental illness, possibly schizophrenia or manic depression.  Articles written at the time of his death talked about how he frequently left the team and suggested that he regularly felt like teammates were out to get him.  Bergen even feared his family doctor was trying to kill him.  His teammates and managers tolerated his moods because he was a great player – finally manager Frank Selee admitted that after the 1899 season he would eventually have to let his star catcher go.  Bergen’s son died while on a road trip – and an already fragile mind became intolerably so.  Bergen’s death was a complete tragedy – he used an axe to murder his wife and two remaining children then slit his own throat.

“Bergen Tragedy.” The Sporting News, 1/27/1900, Pg. 3.

1909 Dennis Casey
1917 Charlie Enwright
1922 Bob Keating
1933 Con Starkel
1933 Harry Hinchman
1938 Wild Bill Everitt

Third baseman and first baseman with Chicago in the NL during the first century of baseball, was released for his lack of power and wound up in the new American League by joining Washington in 1901.  Hit .376 in the Western League, earning a draft call from Chicago, then hit .358 as a rookie with the Colts.  A collision while running the bases ruined his throwing shoulder – but Anson’s retirement after the 1897 season meant that Everitt could move to first base and his arm would be less of a problem.  In 1898, he would set a major league record – most at bats by a first baseman without hitting a single homer.  Hit .317 in his major league career before returning to the minors as both a player and later a manager.  Owned his own grocery store and other businesses in his Denver home before being called to the great field in the sky.

(Summary adapted from David Nemec’s Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871 – 1900, Bison Books, 2011)

1957 Larry Strands
1965 James Edwards
1977 Don Hendrickson
1978 Milt Shoffner
1987 George Selkirk

Nicknamed “Twinkletoes” by Ernest Lanigan because, as a Jersey City outfielder, he learned to run on his toes… Selkirk was the guy who replaced Babe Ruth in right field for the Yankees.  He even wore his number.  Obviously, Selkirk was no Babe Ruth, but he was a regular for much of the next six full seasons.  He cleared .300 on five occasions, hitting between 11 and 21 homers in his full seasons, and twice driving in more than 100 runs.  Selkirk’s career ended as World War II was taking players out of the majors.  Even though Selkirk was Canadian, he served in the US Navy.  Selkirk returned from the war and took up coaching and eventually moved into the front office.  He was a player personnel director for Kansas City and Baltimore (at a time the Yankees made a lot of trades with both Kansas City and Baltimore…).  In 1962, he became a general manager for the Washington Senators.

I see a future writing project for me…

1991 Roy Weatherly
1997 Bert Kuczynski
2000 Manny Montejo
2000 Lynn Myers
2001 Johnny Babich
2003 Dutch Meyer
2004 Tommy Glaviano
2007 Bill LeFebvre
2013 Earl Weaver

Pitching, defense, and three-run homers.

2013 Stan Musial

Not as exciting as Willie Mays but every bit as important to his team.

2013 Milt Bolling

When the two Hall of Famers passed away on the same day in 2013, few paid attention to the other guy who also died that day.

Milt Bolling was a southern born infielder mostly with the Red Sox during the 1950s.  As his career wound down – he wasn’t much of a hitter – he got to play in the same infield as his brother, Frank, in Detroit.  Milt’s career as a player ended, but for years he was an assistant to Tom Yawkey, and then an area scout based in his home of Mobile.

2016 Frank Sullivan

You Should Have Been There!!!

Haven’t found any events we missed on this date.  Still looking.

Transactions:

1931 The PCL’s Oakland Oaks traded C Ernie Lombardi to Brooklyn for C Hank DeBerry and INF Eddie Moore.  Lombardi would go on to have a Hall of Fame career.

1943 Boston releases Paul Waner.  He wasn’t done, though – Waner signed with Brooklyn and even pinch hit ten times for the Yankees before he was done in 1945.

1961 Cleveland released Don Newcombe.  He was done, sadly.

1983 Los Angeles trades Ron Cey to Chicago for Dan Cataline and Vance Lovelace.  Cey would help Chicago win the 1984 NL East.

2004 Houston signs free agent Roger Clemens.

2007 Atlanta trades Adam LaRoche and Jamie Romak to Pittsburgh for Mike Gonzalez and Brent Lillibridge.

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