Baseball History for August 28th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1843 Bob Reach

Brother of the more famous Al Reach, this one played three games with two teams in 1872 and 1873.

A SABR research project suggests that this Reach may have served in the Civil War but didn’t give them their 100% assurance. Reach’s 1910 census record says he was a survivor on the Union side… (He was living with his wife Josephine and his mother-in-law, Rubina Wilson (and a servant)). As a job, he was a manufacturer for a gymnasium supplier.

Anyway – the reason they probably didn’t believe it was that Reach, who enlisted on 22 March 1864 in Brooklyn and was assigned to Company B of the 5th Heavy Artillery Regiment as a private, said his name was spelled Reich when he was dismissed with his company at Harper’s Ferry, Va in July, 1865.

Anyway, Reach the player wasn’t that much to write about. After his playing days, though, he was an inventor and developer of athletic appliances.

1861 Charlie Reising

Two games with the Indianapolis Hoosiers in 1884 is the extent of his career.

1873 Bill Stuart

Penn State halfback turned middle infielder – made it to the bigs withe Pittsburgh and New York in the 1890s.

1874 George Bone

New Haven native who played with the 1901 Milwaukee Brewers. Most of the time, he played in the minors in New England. Died at 43.

1875 Joe Yeager

3B/P – yeah, you read that right, for eleven seasons in the majors…

1876 Doc Hazelton

Cardinal pitcher after the turn of the century, long time coach and player in Vermont.

Francis Joseph O’Boyle wrote his SABR bio.

1877 Ben Beville

Bill Nowlin’s SABR bio is interesting, not for his short stint as a pitcher, but for noting that he became a police officer despite a felony record.

1880 Buck Hooker

Reds pitcher in 1902 and 1903, spent two decades in the minors. Has a name that makes you nervous to try a Google search.

1881 Dode Paskert

David Jones wrote this bio of a good defensive outfielder with great speed and an occasional hitting spree.

1891 Byron Houck

Might be worth a biography one day – pitched in the 1910s, while playing in the PCL, he met Buster Keaton through Fatty Arbuckle, who owned the Vernon Tigers. Houck left baseball to become a cinematographer.

1892 Braggo Roth

Bobby Roth was called Braggo because he was constantly bragging. Died in a car wreck in his early 40s.

Dan Holmes owns his SABR bio.

1896 Aaron Ward

Second sacker during Ruth’s early pennant days with the Yankees. Stephen V. Rice wrote his bio for SABR.

1898 Charlie Grimm

Fun, fun, and famous in Chicago. Would make appearances on WGN with Jack Brickhouse all the time. I need to find his autobiography… Dan Fields penned this for SABR.

1902 Wally Roettger

University of Illinois grad, played for the Cardinals and Cubs as an outfielder (actually, he started as a pitcher). Missed the 1928 World Series with a broken leg.

When not playing baseball, he coached basketball, and eventually went back to the University of Illinois to coach the baseball team – where he coached Lou Boudreau, for example… Was very ill, losing his eyesight, and became despondent and eventually slit his own throat in 1951.

1902 Art Jacobs

Pitched for 17 seasons at various levels in the minors – and then got one shot with the Reds in 1938 when he was nearly 37 years old. According to BR – he got the save in relief.

1908 Don Savidge

Son of Ralph Savidge, Don pitched for Washington in 1929.

1910 Jack Peerson

Briefly an infielder with the As in the 1930s. Hit .300+ in limited at bats but his professional days lasted but four seasons (major and minor).

1912 Goody Rosen

Canadian outfielder for a decade (splitting time for the war) with the Dodgers and Giants, fine player in 1945 for Brooklyn.

Prior to that, Rosen had been an excellent outfielder with Louisville in the American Association. After his career, he ran a restaurant, and then became an executive with the Labatt’s beer company.

1918 Ronny Miller

Pitched one game for the Senators at the end of the 1941 season. Came back and had three minor league seasons as a pitcher, including a 17 – 6 year with B level Charlotte, but couldn’t repeat his success.

1918 Jeff Cross

Oklahoma grad, spent time with the Cards and Cubs (except, of course, during the war years. Middle infielder who was a glove guy but never much of a hitter.

1919 Chip Marshall

Born Charles Anthony Marczlewicz, caught one inning for the Cards in 1941. After the war, he was the regular catcher for Rochester in the International League, but never got another call to the bigs.

1921 Cliff Aberson

Cubs outfielder who also played a season with the Packers as a halfback. Fought in WW II with an infantry unit in central Europe.

1921 Bill Bradford

At 35, he pitched in one game for the KC Athletics. Arkansas native – might have been active during the War. Had a fairly good PCL career in the early 1950s. Not sure why he got the call, but he did.

1925 Johnny Pramesa

Backup catcher for the Reds and Cubs not long after the war ended.

1926 Bob Trice

Negro Leagues pitcher who was the first African-American to play for Connie Mack. Before that, he was a Homestead Gray… He wasn’t a power pitcher, though, and his career was rather short. After he was done playing ball, he returned home to Weirton, WV and worked in the steel industry.

1936 Tony Gonzalez

Cuban outfielder, a solid centerfielder of the 1960s, mostly with Philadelphia.

Rory Costello and Jose Ramirez penned his SABR Biography:

1937 Bob Hartman

Kenosha native, signed out of high school by the Braves, found out later in life he had diabetes. Seemed to pitch well in the minors, where he spent twelve years, but never could make it work in the majors. When not pitching he worked as Clerk of Circuit Courts back home.

1938 Dick LeMay

Lefty pitcher – three years in the majors, but about 35 in the minors (Just kidding). Went to Michigan, pitched in the minors from 1958 to 1972.

1938 Billy Cowan

Cubs signee, PCL MVP in 1963 and made it to the bigs that season. Not a horrible outfielder, but a free swinger and his slumps made him expendable. By the time he made the Angels in 1969, he was a valuable utility outfielder and corner infielder. He became the player rep for the Angels – he may have been blacklisted for his role in the brief strike at the beginning of the 1972 season.

Cowan is most famous for his 1972 Topps Card – the photo has him in front of the Angels Big A – and the halo circles the top of his head.

Anyway – he was a real estate consultant after his career ended.

1940 Tom Satriano

Signed as an infielder, moved to catcher – had a fair career, albeit as a backup… Now owns his own accounting firm. His son coaches baseball and his daughter pitched for the Colorado Silver Bullets.

1943 Lou Piniella

LONG, LONG career in baseball as a player and manager for five decades. A biography of Lou would take 350 pages. no?

1946 Mike Torrez

The answer to a variety of “Who Threw the Pitch That…” type questions. (Bucky Dent, Dickie Thon)

Won 185 career games, won two games in the 1977 World Series champion Yankees, was involved in trades for Dave McNally, Reggie Jackson, Ken Holtzman, Dock Ellis…

1950 Ron Guidry

Louisiana Lightning. Among the best pitchers in baseball between, say, 1976 and 1986 – but didn’t have a long enough career to get fair Hall of Fame consideration.

1951 Joel Youngblood

Reds drafted him in 1970, but it took a while for him to make it to the big leagues (not a lot of space on that team…). Went to the Cards briefly, then the Mets. All-Star with the Mets in 1981. You are probably familiar with his trivia – got hits on same day for two different teams against two hall of famers in 1982. Continued to play until 1989. Been a coach most of the time since then.

1960 Mark Ryal

AAAA type outfielder for five different teams, now a coach for woman’s softball at Midwestern State after coaching baseball and softball at many different college locations. Son, Rusty, has been a professional baseball player.

1967 Darren Lewis

Quick outfielder, not much for power but could run some, for the Giants and six other teams between 1990 and 2002. Good guy – apparently Dusty Baker named his son after him… Now coaching at Cal-State East Bay.

1971 Shane Andrews

Expos, later Cubs and Red Sox third baseman. Low average power hitter…

1972 Jay Witasick

Perpetual prospect because of a live arm – made nine major league stops in a 12 year career.

1973 Kit Pellow

Olathe North High School grad, after JUCO wound up at Arkansas. Drafted by the Royals twice – a good AAA power hitter who never got a shot with the big club until 2002. Went to Colorado in 2003, made a couple of short trips with the big club, then played all over until about 2010 in independent, foreign, and other locations.

Kit was quoted in an article about steroids in baseball saying that it wasn’t being tested and people would take a shot in the butt right in front of him. One figures that this didn’t make him friends with some of those steroid users, but such is life. The problem, of course, is that cheaters kept Kit Pellow out of the big leagues, likely costing him shots at making some real money. (Reilly, Rick. “The ‘Roid to Ruin”, Sports Illustrated, 21 August 2000.)

1977 Tom Shearn

Astros drafted him in 1996, Cincinnati got him in 2004 and he managed to sneak into the big leagues after a fairly good season in 2007. Made six starts, won three without a loss, and went back to AAA.

Deadspin says that he was saving money by living in a camper just beyond the outfield wall at Louisville when he got the call to join the Reds. So, he packed the camper and drove to Cincinnati.

Last I saw, he’s working for Dell computers…

1980 T. J. Beam

Ole Miss pitcher, briefly a major league reliever, now back at Ole Miss finishing his degree and working as a pitching coach.

1980 Ryan Madson

Currently still a closer – can’t believe he is already 38. Philies had much success with him as a reliever, but tried him as a starter (oops) in 2006. Survived major injuries, keeping him out of baseball for three full seasons. Came back with Royals in 2015 and earned a shot with Oakland in 2016.

1981 Yunesky Maya

Cuban defector, briefly made it with the Nationals, but not for long (1 – 5, 5.80). Signed with the Braves in 2014, then went to South Korea for 2014 and 2015. He’s back in the states, pitching for Salt Lake City in the PCL, but isn’t on any list to make it back to the majors.

1982 Carlos Quentin

First round pick out of Stanford by Arizona. Had a great year with the White Sox in 2008 and spent the next six years trying to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Of course, he could never seem to stay in the lineup longer than a month or so – never played more than 131 games in a season. May not be done – played briefly in Mexico…

Okay, maybe he is done.

1982 Randy Wells

Belleville, IL native signed by the Cubs (converted from catcher to pitcher), bounced around but was once a 12 game winner (2009) but never was consistent at that level because of arm and shoulder injuries. Coached college ball at Lindenwood University but now is the head coach for Althoff High School (oddly, a rival of his old high school).

1984 Will Harris

LSU pitcher, brother of Clay, who now toils as a reliever for Houston. Every year he shows a little more command and gets a bit more fun stuff to do…

1986 Tommy Hanson

Top Braves prospect, not a bad pitcher, who made 121 starts and finished with a 49 – 35 record before shoulder injuries and a concussion ended his career. Drugs and alcohol ended his life in November, 2015.

1989 Matt Dominguez

One time Marlins prospect, sent to Houston, but had a rough year in 2014. Moved to Milwaukee but played in AAA, looked like he might get a shot with Toronto this year but has spent most of the year in AAA Buffalo. Good glove, some power, weaker than normal hit tool.

1989 Matt Andriese

Rays pitcher originally signed by San Diego out of Cal-Riverside. Got him in a large body count trade in JAN, 2014. Looks to be legit – 90+ fastball, great control.

OBITUARIES:

1891 Joe Miller
1894 Gracie Pierce
1897 Jim Dee
1929 Ed Flynn
1936 Youngy Johnson
1939 Dave Oldfield
1940 Charlie Johnson
1942 Bill Rariden
1951 Bill Piercy
1951 Billy Lush
1958 Jean Dubuc
1958 Sid Womack
1958 Eddie Stack
1976 Bill Hunnefield
1979 Earl Pruess
1980 Harry Smythe
1989 Fred Waters
1990 Larry Jackson
1994 Dain Clay
1995 Juan Rios
1996 Al Zarilla
1997 Lou Scoffic
1999 Dave Pope
1999 Johnny Gerlach

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1884 Mickey Welch strikes out the first nine Cleveland batters he faces – still the record for opening a game, though Tom Seaver did strike ten in a row (the last ten) in 1970.

1924 Goose Goslin drives in six while hitting for the cycle as Washington outslugs the Yankees, 11 – 6. Babe Ruth had two homers in the loss.

1926 Emil Levsen is the last pitcher to win both ends of a doubleheader via the complete game route.

1951 Tommy Byrne goes ten innings in a loss. Contributing to the problem? Byrne walked 13 hitters – four more than hits allowed.

2008 Washington owns the cycle performances on this day… Christian Guzman keys an 11 – 2 win over Los Angeles.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1916 The NY Giants send Laughing Larry Doyle, Herb Hunter, and Merwin Jacobson to the Cubs for Heinie Zimmerman.

1965 Cleveland goes to St. Louis. Reggie Cleveland, that is, signs a contract with the Cards.

1967 Boston releases Jim Landis and signs Ken Harrelson.

1983 Atlanta sends three players to be named later and cash to Cleveland for Len Barker. The three players? Brett Butler, Brook Jacoby and Rick Behenna. Oops.

1984 Houston sends Ray Knight to the Mets for three players to be named later (Gerald Young, Manuel Lee, and Mitch Cook).

1996 Atlanta makes ANOTHER late season trade (they did this a lot for about 15 years) – sending Corey Pointer, Ron Wright, and a player to be named later (Jason Schmidt) to Pittsburgh for Denny Neagle.

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