Baseball History for March 7th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1877 Alex Pearson

3 – 8 as a pitcher for two teams in 1902 and 1903. With the Cards, he was 2 – 6 in ten starts. Then he jumped to Cleveland in the AL and went 1 – 2 in three starts and a relief appearance.

1879 Ginger Clark

Won his only game as a relief pitcher, going six innings for Cleveland in 1902.

1881 Charlie Fallon

One game, no at bats, with the Highlanders in 1905.

1881 Rube Sellers

Twelve games, five hits, with the Beaneaters in 1910.

1881 Doc Scanlan

Tolerable pitcher with Brooklyn in the first decade of the last century. Started with Pittsburgh, but they were loaded with arms so Doc Scanlan was allowed to leave. Won 18 games in 1906, but it was a mirage, really. He didn’t allow that many hits, but walked a ton of guys. That caught up with him in 1907, but Brooklyn kept giving him chances for three more years. Back then, of course, Brooklyn was pretty lousy – and Scanlan was nearly a .500 pitcher in his career there.

Born William Dennis Scanlan, he was a native of Syracuse, attended three colleges (Manhattan, Fordham, and Syracuse) and got his medical degree from Long Island… He was inducted into the Syracuse Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2006.

1884 Ed Willett

Rotation member of the Tigers from 1906 to 1913, then took the money and ran to the Federal League. Won 21 games for the 1909 pennant winners.

1888 Tex Wisterzil

His three major league seasons were all in the Federal League – a regular for the 1914 Brooklyn squad, but only that year. Actually played for the Whales twice in 1915 – getting traded (loaned?) to St. Louis and then sent back.

1888 Dan Griner

Cards pitcher from 1912 to 1916 – a time when St. Louis wasn’t very good and it shows up in his records (10 – 22 in 1913, for example). For a couple of years, he was a spot starter but apparently never on the good side of Roger Breshahan and by 1916 he was gone.

1890 Dave Danforth

Bit part pitcher on a couple of championship level teams – the early 1910s Athletics and the late 1910s White Sox. After heading back to the minors, had a couple of good years with the Browns from 1922 to 1925.

That, however, is barely 10% of the story. Danforth was a man with large hands and an inquisitive mind who would try anything to pitch better, including doctoring baseballs (he taught the shine ball to Eddie Cicotte) and then, much like Gaylord Perry later, would ACT like he was messing with baseballs to get in the heads of batters. He pitched into his 40s in various levels before becoming a dentist.

Steve Steinberg wrote this amazing biography worth a read for SABR:

1894 Frank Gleich

Briefly a Yankee in the early days of Babe Ruth.

1894 Merwin Jacobson

Baseball nomad of the teens and twenties. Spent only parts of four seasons in the bigs, but spent forever in the International League – his prime was in Baltimore where he was a star outfielder for Jack Dunn’s Orioles.

1901 Dick Loftus

Brooklyn outfielder of the 1920s, though most of his baseball days were spent in the minors playing for Minneapolis or Louisville in the American Association.

1908 Harry Davis

This is the player of the 1930s, a first baseman for Detroit and St. Louis – mobile around the bag, but destined to make his living in the high level minors into his 40s. Played minor league baseball in four different decades (1925 to 1950) and had at least 3,000 hits in the minors.

1910 Fred Archer

Had a short major league career – just two years with the As in the 1930s – but his first appearance was a ten-inning complete game victory.

1910 Howie McFarland

Six games as an outfielder with the 1945 Washington Senators, though he spent much of the 1930s playing in the minors or semi-professional baseball. Desperate for players, the Senators gave the 35 year old a week with the team.

1914 Joe Gallagher

Nicknamed “Muscles” because of his thick physique, Gallagher played both baseball and football at Manhattan College. After rifling through the minors, the Yankees called for him in 1939. Not getting regular playing time, he threatened to quit the game and was traded to the Browns. There, he played like a solid prospect, but got injured in early 1940. By mid-season he was with the Dodgers.

In May of 1941, Gallagher was inducted into the the Army where he served the entirety of World War II. When he came back from the war, he was no longer the young man he was in the 1930s and his career ended quickly. He went into coaching instead – becoming the head baseball coach at Stephen F. Austin.

1915 Jim Reninger
1915 Soup Campbell
1919 Junior Walsh
1921 Les Fusselman
1923 Bobo Holloman
1929 Red Wilson
1930 Tom Acker
1931 Dick Rand
1933 Ed Bouchee
1936 Galen Cisco
1938 Jimmie Hall
1941 Glen Clark
1947 Jim Howarth
1950 J. R. Richard

Amazing Astros pitcher who was cruising along toward a Cy Young award in 1980 when felled by a stroke.

1951 Jeff Burroughs

1974 AL MVP, and a slugger for a couple of teams throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.

1953 Randy Stein
1954 Nyls Nyman
1954 Mike Armstrong
1958 Albert Hall
1960 Joe Carter

Fun and engaging hero of the 1993 World Series. Cubs took him out of Wichita State, where he originally would have played QB and outfield… Moved to Cleveland in the deal that sent Rick Sutcliffe to the Cubs in 1984. As his time in Cleveland wound down, he was traded to San Diego. He was great, the teams were disappointing – and he was sent with Roberto Alomar to Toronto for Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff. The Blue Jays benefitted – they were loaded as it was – and Carter helped make it two championships in a row.

He’s a marginal hall of fame candidate – nearly 400 homers, more than 2000 hits, tons of RBIs, a 30-30 guy once – but modern metrics point out that he rarely walked owing to his constantly taking good cuts. He smiled, he was aggressive, he helped teams win, and he put runs on the board. I loved the guy and wished he never left Chicago…

1962 Jose Cano

Father of Robinson, pitched with the Astros in 1989, and all over the world through the 1980s and 1990s. Trivia: Only player to pitch a complete game win in his final major league game – his only win.

1962 German Gonzalez

Briefly a prospect with the Twins in 1988 and 1989 – might have been a bit unlucky, but it didn’t work out.

1963 Keith Miller

This was the Keith Miller who got a brief look with the Phillies in the late 1980s, but wasn’t going to take at bats away from Juan Samuel.

1964 Wayne Edwards

White Sox prospect of the late 1980s – never had a bad run with the Sox, but never really got over the top either.

1965 Jack Armstrong

1990 All Star game starter for the Reds, but among the least deserving guys to get a start. Had just that one good year – 12 – 9 but just 166 innings. Despite the all-American name and husky build, he was doomed to poor records (7 – 13 with Cincy in 1991, 6 – 15 with Cleveland in 1992, 9 – 17 for the Marlins in 1993) and out of baseball after 1994.

1966 Mauro Gozzo

A pitcher in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Goose Gozzo was originally a prospect for the Blue Jays. Called up in 1989, went 3 – 1 but didn’t put anyone away in his 31 innings so he was moved to Cleveland. At that point, he became organizational depth for teams like Minnesota and the Mets…

1968 Jeff Kent

A REALLY good baseball player. Another guy who wasn’t always the easiest to get along with, mostly because he didn’t suffer fools much and had a rather high impression of himself (I mean, he once got kicked off his high school team after a run-in with his manager there…). Might be one of the five best second basemen ever, though I don’t think anyone has ever thought it through…

Started in the Toronto chain but was traded to the Mets in the David Cone deal. Didn’t exactly make for a warm clubhouse presence, but boy could he hit. In the early 1990s, and with numbers cut down by strike seasons and having to play in Shea, he was a great run producer. But for some reason, the Mets just HAD to have Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinosa, so they sent Kent to Cleveland in 1996.

After that, he signed with San Francisco and turned out seasons around 30 – 100 – .300 like clockwork. He would have eight 100 RBI seasons in 9 years (the lone miss was a 22 – 93 – .297 season in Houston when he missed a month with injuries). He finished his career with the Dodgers, but never had an off year at the plate. Kent wasn’t ever a candidate to win gold gloves, but no other second sacker hit as many homers as this guy. Can’t buy a Hall of Fame vote, which is a shame since there is no doubt that he is worthy as a hitter. Wonder if his personality is getting in the way…

1968 Denis Boucher

Prospect in the early 1990s that never quite panned out. Got shots with Toronto, Cleveland, and Montreal over a four year span. Has two hits in his career – both doubles.

1980 Scott Munter

Giants prospect about ten years ago, got three shots with the parent club. The first was promisng (2005), but a near 9.00 ERA in 2006 put an end to his being a prospect. Batted once, drove in a run with a double and later scored a run.

1983 Drew Macias

When I was a more regular blogger, Macias was one of those guys who always kept getting called up or sent down with San Diego. No longer a prospect…

1983 Taylor Tankersley

Solid armed lefty with the Marlins who never advanced past prospect for us… Once went 6 – 1 in relief, mostly as a one-out type guy, but his wildness got the best of him.

1987 Joel Carreno

Made eleven appearances with Toronto in 2011 and 2012, including two starts in 2012 that didn’t necessarily endear him to management…

1988 Tyler Ladendorf

A’s prospect who got first cup of coffee in 2015.

OBITUARIES:

1892 Fred O’Neill
1902 Pud Galvin
1905 John Murphy
1916 Fred Donovan
1924 Pat Moran
1932 Bill Carrick
1936 Tom Rogers
1937 Lady Baldwin
1940 Johnny Johnston
1941 Buzz Wetzel
1950 Joe Brown
1953 Tom Wilson
1956 Shorty Des Jardien
1959 John Glaiser
1967 Al Shealy
1975 Joe Benes
1978 Steve Bilko
1981 Pee-Wee Wanninger
1986 Jimmy Moore
1991 Cool Papa Bell
1994 Stew Hofferth
2000 Jack Sanford
2002 Mickey Haslin
2003 Al Libke
2007 Emil Mailho
2013 Ray Martin
2013 Jake Striker
2013 Carl Thomas

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1914 Babe Ruth, in an exhibition game, hits his first professional home run for Baltimore at the Cape Fear Fairgrounds in Fayetteville, NC.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1903 Detroit trades Kid Gleason to the Giants for Heinie Smith.

1973 The Chicago White Sox released Jay Johnstone and Ed Spiezio. Johnstone wasn’t done yet, but after hitting .188 was expendable. Spiezio was done.

1978 Philadelphia signs non-drafted free agent George Bell. Bell would be lost two years later in a Rule 5 draft to Toronto.

1979 Milwaukee signs non-drafted free agent Bob Gibson. Not THAT Bob Gibson, mind you…

1981 Seattle sent Carlos Diaz to Atlanta to pick up birthday boy, Jeff Burroughs. Only Burroughs finished the season with his team, so I guess Seattle wins the trade.

2003 Baltimore signs (and brings back) free agent outfielder B. J. Surhoff.  Surhoff had a few years left before he retired…

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