Baseball History for April 20th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1846 Ham Allen
1859 Germany Smith
1866 Pat Hannivan
1869 Sam Nicholl
1869 Tommy Dowd
1876 Charlie Hemphill
1880 Charlie Smith
1881 Steamer Flanagan

According to his obituary in the Wilkes-Barre Record, James Flanagan was born to Martin and Sarah Kelly Flanagan in Pringle, PA and learned to play ball on local sandlots on Wilkes-Barre’s West Side.  He was a bright student at the schools of Kingston and the Wyoming Seminary before being recruited to play ball and go to school at Notre Dame.

He graduated to the minors – was even a player-manager briefly – before getting a turn with the Pirates as their left fielder.  That turn lasted but seven games in 1905 but did nothing to suggest he couldn’t play.  He was a scout, a minor league manager, and (briefly) the owner of a coal mine.  For many years, Flanagan was also a police officer.  His proximity to baseball over the course of his lifetime, though, helped any number of kids he coached play professionally.

Married to the former Mary Featherstone, they had five kids.  Heart trouble contributed to a stroke that felled Flanagan on 22 April 1947.

“Ex-Baseball Star Succumbs”, Wilkes-Barre Record, 22 April 1947, Page 6.

Jack Smiles, who wrote his biography for SABR, says that there is no record that Flanagan – called the Steamer for his powerful running style – ever played at Notre Dame and likely passed up the scholarship to play baseball professionally.

1885 Ted Easterly
1891 Dave Bancroft
1896 Harland Rowe
1897 Lou Vedder
1898 Johnny Wertz
1901 Frank Wilson
1915 Eric Tipton
1917 Hal Peck
1919 Earl Harrist
1923 Preston Gomez
1924 Jim Bilbrey
1929 Harry Agganis
1938 Jim Dickson
1946 Tom Hutton
1946 Chuck Machemehl
1950 Willie Prall
1950 Milt Wilcox
1952 Joe Gilbert
1954 Mike O’Berry
1954 Doug Clarey
1956 Tim Tolman
1956 Floyd Chiffer
1961 Don Mattingly
1964 Jimmy Jones
1965 Masato Yoshii
1966 Tony Perezchica
1967 Greg Brummett
1969 Dan Smith
1973 Scott Winchester
1973 Todd Hollandsworth
1976 Jason Roach
1979 Sean Green
1980 Chris Duffy
1983 Tommy Everidge
1986 Jess Todd
1986 Donovan Hand
1987 Dusty Coleman
1987 Ian Thomas
1988 Brandon Belt
1991 Garin Cecchini

OBITUARIES:

1901 Bill Yeatman
1904 Jim Kennedy
1904 John Galvin
1904 Gus McGinnis
1905 Al Wright
1908 Henry Chadwick
1912 Sam Barkley
1923 Jack Lynch
1929 Bill Kissinger
1938 Tim O’Rourke
1944 Elmer Gedeon

His plane was shot down over France – one of two players to die for his country during World War II.

1947 Jack Rothfuss
1949 John Murphy
1951 Roy Brashear
1956 Sam Brenegan
1958 Chet Nourse
1964 Eddie Dyer
1970 Jake Mooty
1970 Ed Mensor
1974 Al Eckert
1974 Elmer Ponder
1978 Jack Graney
1986 Eddie Feinberg
1991 Bucky Walters
1992 Orval Grove
1992 Pat Creeden
1996 Hank Biasatti

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1910 Addie Joss pitches the first no hitter in the AL since, well, his last no hitter in 1908.  As with his previous gem, he tops the White Sox, 1 – 0.

1912 Detroit and Boston open new stadiums (Tiger Stadium, then known as Navin Field, and Fenway Park).  Both win one run games.

1916 The Cubs play their first game in Weeghman field – now known as Wrigley Field.  It took 11 innings to beat the Reds.

1937 Tiger Gee Walker becomes the first player to hit for the cycle on Opening Day.  He went 4 – 4 to help beat Mel Harder and the Indians.

1949 Willie Jones goes 4 – 4, all doubles, to tie a major league mark for most doubles in a game.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1981 Houston sends Jeffrey Leonard and Dave Bergman to the Giants for Mike Ivie.  That’s a lopsided deal!

1985 Philadelphia gets Kent Tekulve from the Pirates for Al Holland and a minor leaguer named Frankie Griffin.

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