Baseball History on April 2

Birth Announcements!

1856 Tommy Bond

Among the top pitchers of early baseball, taking in 234 victories in ten seasons between 1874 and 1884.

According to Major League Baseball Profiles 1871 – 1900 (Vol. 1), Bond was the first pitcher to win 40 games in three successive seasons – this back when teams carried just one primary pitcher and he got the bulk of the work.  Bond throw a rising fastball – it was thrown in a submarine fashion, with the ball being released less than a foot off the ground.  Throwing as much as he did, it’s no wonder that his arm gave out when it did – he was still a very young man when his ability to pitch left him.

1868 Frank Boyd

He played in just two games as a catcher for the Cleveland Spiders in 1893, but made the most of them.  He batted six times, walked once, drove in three runs, and scored three runs.  Spent a decade in the minors for various teams before returning to his home in Pennsylvania’s oil country.

1869 Hughie Jennings

Hall of Famer – very good shortstop with the Orioles, long time manager and coach in Detroit, later earned a law degree.  Lover of fast cars – accidents nearly killed him…

1874 Pete Woodruff
1875 Ed Siever
1878 Jack Harper
1881 Joe Stanley
1884 Howard Wakefield
1889 Harry Moran
1889 Ben Taylor
1889 Ben DeMott
1894 Harry O’Donnell
1895 Earl Pruess
1906 Bob Way
1907 Luke Appling

Another Hall of Famer; great shortstop and hitter.  In his 70s, he hit a homer in a Cracker Jack Old Timer’s game.

1911 Cotton Pippen
1915 Al Barlick
1917 Vedie Himsl
1919 Earl Johnson
1924 Bobby Avila
1927 Billy Pierce
1930 Art Ceccarelli
1930 Gordon Jones
1937 Dick Radatz

Boston’s “Monster” reliever.  Back then, it wasn’t strange for a reliever to win ten or more games out of the bullpen.  Without a start, Radatz won 49 games between 1962 and 1965, averaging about 135 innings pitched and about 160 strikeouts each season.

So Cleveland has Trevor Bauer and he throws hard, can go multiple innings, and has no idea where the ball is going from time to time, costing him a spot in the rotation at the start of this season.  Why can’t Terry Francona take Bauer and make him a long reliever of sorts – instead of going six innings every fifth day, let him throw two or three innings every other day or so when his starters get in trouble earlier than planned, and scoop up 15 late inning wins?

1938 Al Weis
1945 Don Sutton

Third Hall of Famer on this list – pitched in six different decades (or something like that) winning between 14 and 18 games every year.

1945 Reggie Smith

I remember Bill James writing about this – we must have been thinking the same thing.  Reggie Smith was ALWAYS on winning teams.  He was on the 1967 Red Sox, he was on the Cardinals when they nearly toppled the Pirates.  Moving to LA, the Dodgers won championships with Smith in town.  He was one of my favorite players as a kid, and I think he was a Hall of Fame player, even though his career statistics might not suggest it.  He just won.

1945 Mike Kekich
1950 Milt Ramirez
1951 Tom Johnson
1953 Hector Cruz
1955 Billy Sample
1958 Mike Howard
1959 Al Nipper
1960 Tom Barrett
1964 Pete Incaviglia

While at Oklahoma State, Pete Incaviglia hit one of the longest homers ever seen at Hoglund-Maupin Stadium in Lawrence, KS (where I went to college).  His shot not only cleared the left field fence, but it cleared the trees behind the fence with plenty room to spare, landed on Naismith Drive – which is probably 100-125 feet beyond the trees and maybe 500 feet or so from home plate – and then bounded into the parking lot across the street that used to be there.

1968 Curt Leskanic
1969 Steve Hosey
1970 Denny Hocking
1970 Jon Lieber

Pirates and Cubs ace.  Fairly good pitcher for a couple of years there.  But that’s the problem, right.  Very few pitchers make it last longer than five years anymore.

1973 Marc Kroon
1975 Hisanori Takahashi
1977 Mike Gallo
1978 John Gall
1981 Brian Barden
1981 Mike McCoy
1987 Brad Glenn
1989 Rob Rasmussen
1992 Wilmer Difo

OBITUARIES:

1897 Harry Scherer
1910 Joe Nealon
1920 Matty McIntyre
1927 Mike Lynch
1932 John Graff
1932 John Morrill
1933 Joe Cross
1934 John Roach
1935 Brad Hogg
1944 Bob Brush
1947 Charlie Jones
1950 Doc Sechrist
1955 Reggie Grabowski
1969 Ben Cardoni
1970 Carl Ray
1970 Dave Hoskins
1972 Gil Hodges

Had a heart attack on a South Florida golf course after a spring training game.

1974 Tommy Vereker
1978 Bill Brubaker
1981 Ben Rochefort
1984 Ike Davis
1992 Dib Williams
1994 Gil Paulsen
1997 Al Blanche
2001 Gary Gearhart
2003 Hilly Flitcraft
2010 Mike Cuellar

Don’t let Jim Palmer tell you otherwise – this guy was the best pitcher on the staff.

2011 Tom Silverio
2012 Allie Clark

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!

1998 Texas clobbers Chicago 20 – 4, getting 23 hits off Sox pitchers.  Ten run scored in the seventh – that was some seventh-inning stretch…

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1925 Philadelphia (NL) claims George Burns from Cincinnati on Waivers.  Though nearly 36 years old, the one-time great Giants lead off man would hit .292 as a corner outfielder for the Phillies.

1959 Detroit returned Maury Wills to the Dodgers.

1963 St. Louis sold Minnie Minoso to Washington.

1976 Oakland trades Reggie Jackson, Ken Holtzman and Bill VanBommel to Baltimore for Don Baylor, Mike Torrez, and Paul Mitchell.

1992 Philadelphia sends Jason Grimsley to Houston for Curt Schilling.

1999 Kansas City trades Jeff Conine to Baltimore for Chris Fussell.

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