Happy Birthday, Wirt (Rip) Cannell!!!

wirt cannell boston - photo uploaded to ancestry by unknown user

Photo of Cannell uploaded by an unknown Ancestry.com member.

Wirt Cannell was a quick but light hitting outfielder for the Boston Beaneaters in a period of light hitting… Getting 1008 plate appearances in his 254 major league games in 1904 and 1905, Cannell hit .242 with just 24 extra base hits – none of them homers.

Back in 1904 the Boston Nationals caused some excitement by signing up Wirt Cannell to play the outfield. Cannell, in his day, was considered the greatest all-around athlete at Tufts, and one of the best in college ranks. He captained both the baseball and football teams, playing right halfback on the gridiron…

Mack, Gene. “Another Tufts Ball Player Has Made Good”, Boston Globe, 06 July 1931, Page 17.

Wirt V. Cannell, who was captain of both the Tufts College base ball and foot ball teams, left college after being placed on special probation by the faculty and signed with the Boston National base ball team. Cannell has been besieged with offers from both major leagues, but as he desired to finish his college course no definite arrangements were made by him. But as soon as the Boston management heard of the difficulties Cannell was having at Tufts, on account of his studies, they opened negotiations with him and he will go south with the team for spring practice.”

“General Sporting Notes”, Burlington Free Press, 20 February 1904, Page 3.

wirt cannell boston globe 1904Not all of the veteran players on Boston were happy to have the college graduate on the team and gave him a hard time the two years he was on the club.

“Wirt Cannell, the Tufts College outfielder, is said to have been “hacked” by his team-mates on the Boston Nationals from the time he put on a uniform.”

“Base Ball Notes.”, Burlington Free Press, 09 June 1904, Page 3.

LEBANON, N.H. Oct 23 – Wirt V. Cannell, the well-known baseball player with the Boston Nationals, and Miss Grace M. Plamondon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Plamondon of this place, were married at 10 this morning at the Sacred Heart church. Rev M. H. Egan performed the ceremony.

Mr. Cannell first made the acquaintance of Miss Plamondon while here two years ago playing left field on Senator George E Whitney’s celebrated Lebanon ball team.

Miss Plamondon is quite prominent in French society circles.

They were attended by Miss Laura Plamondon, a sister of the bride, and Alphonse Plamondon, a brother.

“Becomes a Benedict.”, Boston Globe, 24 October 1905, Page 6.

wirt cannell boston globe 1905After his two seasons with Boston, Cannell spent nearly a decade in the minors. He split time in Toronto and Toledo in 1906 before landing and staying in the Tri-State League for nearly 1000 games.  After 1908, Rip strung together six straight seasons where he batted around .340. With major league experience and high batting averages, Cannell got other chances with big league clubs. He was drafted by the Yankees after the 1909 season but before he could even go to spring training, he was kicked back to the minors. After leading the Tri-State League in batting in 1910, Cannell was drafted by the Phillies for 1911, but didn’t make the team. Toward the end of that run, Cannell accepted a position as a coach for the Tufts baseball team.

Wirt Cannell, better known among the members of the sporting fraternity as “Rip” is showing more class this season than ever with the Williamsport team. Cannell has not missed a game with the speed boys from Billtown, and be it said in most emphatic tones that the magnificent showing of the Millionaires is due in no small measure to the trusty club wielded by Mr. Cannell.

In 26 games Rip poled out 37 hits, including 5 doubles and a triple, and in addition to the many runs he drove home he scored 23 himself. Trenton may have a sterling outfield in Clay, Hennessey and Swayne, but Cannell should not be overlooked when the bouquets are being passed around for real outfield performances. Cannell in 27 games is batting .394.

“Baseball Chatter Picked Up On The Tri-State”, Central New Jersey Home News, 14 June 1910, Page 6.

Wirt Virgin Cannell was born 23 January 1880 to Eben H. and Frances Mary (Chaplin) Cannell. He was a twin, actually… Winbern Cannell joined Wirt as the fourth and fifth of five children. (Winburn was a teacher and later an administrator in the Boston school district and even was an administrator at Dartmouth.) Eben was a farmer and did work in the lumber industry. After he died, Frances ran a boarding home for income.  After his playing and coaching days, Wirt and Grace ran a grocery in Windsor, VT.  They retired to St. Petersburg, FL before they passed to the next league.  Cannell passed away on 26 August 1948.

Sources:

1880, 1900, 1930 US Censuses
WWI and WWII Registration Cards
NH Marriage Records
Maine Marriage Records

Baseball-Reference.com

“General Sporting Notes”, Burlington Free Press, 20 February 1904, Page 3.

“Base Ball Notes.”, Burlington Free Press, 09 June 1904, Page 3.

Mack, Gene. “Another Tufts Ball Player Has Made Good”, Boston Globe, 06 July 1931, Page 17.

“On The Hospital List.” (Plus Photo), Boston Globe, 22 July 1905, Page 8.

“Stallings Is Cutting Down Yankee Squad”, Pittsburgh Press, 07 January 1910, Page 22.

“Baseball Chatter Picked Up On The Tri-State”, Central New Jersey Home News, 14 June 1910, Page 6.

“Bits of Sports”, Harrisburg Telegraph, 10 January 1911, Page 10.

“Baseball Notes”, Oregon Daily Journal, 23 February 1913, Page 24.

“Wallop Again For Champion Chicks”, Wilmington Evening Journal, 15 May 1914, Page 12.

“Becomes a Benedict.”, Boston Globe, 24 October 1905, Page 6.

Advertisements

1 thought on “Happy Birthday, Wirt (Rip) Cannell!!!

  1. Pingback: Baseball History for August 26th | Mighty Casey Baseball

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s