Baseball History for February 10th

<— FEBRUARY 9     FEBRUARY 11 —>


1853 Asa Stratton

Played some baseball, one major league game for Worcester in 1881 (first Brown alum to play professionally), and otherwise was a newspaper editor and lawyer. In addition to his editorial duties, he was a music critic. His Wikipedia entry says he died of shock in 1925. Wonder what song he was listening to?

1857 George Bryant

Played second base for one game with the Detroit Wolverines in 1885.

1858 Jim Keenan

Catcher for teams in the National Association, National League, and American Association until 1891. Spent bulk of his career with the Reds and was reasonably productive…

Reputation as a drinking man, MLB Profiles says that he is one of a few to have kicked his alcohol habit. Not necessarily very literate, he was still an active member of the Cincinnati political scene and later ran a saloon and was a city councilman.

1873 Kit McKenna

Lynchburg, VA native who pitched for Brooklyn and Baltimore in the 1890s…

1876 Doc Sechrist

Walked two batters in his only appearance as a pitcher with the Giants in 1899. Neither runner scored…

1879 Ben Caffyn

Outielder who spent six weeks with the Indians in 1906. Peoria, IL native.

1881 Harry Wood

Played two games for the 1903 Reds.

1882 Ches Crist

Briefly caught for the 1906 Phillies, was named for Chester Arthur – US President…

Chris Rainey wrote his SABR bio, and tells us that his career was cut short by injury – broken fingers. Became a a farmer and carpenter after WWI.

1884 Billy Evans

Hall of Fame umpire – started umpiring in his 20s, and was just 25 when he umpired in his first World Series. Retired to join the front office of various baseball teams and was once president of the Southern Association.

1888 Stubby Magner

Stubby Magner was a Cornell grad who served in World War I and played 13 games for the 1911 Highlanders.  Not only a great shortstop, he was captain of the hockey team.  Stubby was so named because he was short – listed at 5’3″ tall, he’s one of three players (Yo Yo Davalillo and Harry Chappas) listed as potentially the shortest position player in MLB history (not counting, of course, Eddie Gaedel).

1889 Rex Dawson

Pitched an inning for the Senators in 1913 on October 3. Gave up a hit, struck out one. Had a brother, Joe, who also played…

1893 Bill Evans

Pirates pitcher in the years after Honus Wagner was done as a player… 2 – 13 in three seasons.

Went to Elon University, NC State, and served in WWI.

1894 Cotton Tierney

James Arthur Tierney was from Kansas City, Kansas – decent infielder in the 1920s for Pittsburgh , Philadephia, Boston, and Brooklyn. Had a rather short MLB career, though – just six years and 2500 at bats. Had spent nine seasons in the minors, taking a year off in 1918 to fight in WWI.

Later co-owned a bowling alley with Zack Wheat.

The guy who created the database that tracks player salaries, Jeff Euston, is a great-great nephew of Tierney, which is why it’s called Cot’s Contracts…

1894 Herb Pennock – The Knight of Kennett Square

Pitched for Connie Mack for a while, then the Boston Red Sox and finally the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1934. Had that not happened, none of you would remember Herb Pennock.

Frank Vaccaro wrote his SABR Bio.

1899 Bill Whaley

Browns outfielder briefly in 1923. Played all over the minors for another decade.

1903 Walt (Peck) Lerian

Phillies catcher and professional basketball player – tried to become a free agent for both teams – his life was cut short by an automobile accident. He was struck by a truck who was avoiding a group of kids, but plowed into Lerian, who was standing against a wall at a trolley station.

T. Scott Brandon wrote his SABR Bio.

1903 Johnny Lucas

Coal miner who turned into a ballplayer, but only got three plate appearances with the 1931 and 1932 Red Sox. After his baseball career ended, he worked in automotive jobs until becoming a police officer (and later chief) in Maryville, IL.

Bill Nowlin wrote his SABR Bio

1904 Hal Anderson

Outfielder for the White Sox – nine games in 1932. Spent a long time, however, playing successfully in the American Association with St. Paul and Columbus. Had at least 2000 minor league hits.

1906 George Quellich

Played 13 games for the Tigers in 1931. However, he was a star in the International League during much of the 1920s and 1930s, and is a member of its Hall of Fame.

1910 Bob Logan

Marginal major league pitcher who bounced around the majors and minors for a while from 1930 to 1946. Went 7 – 11 with Boston Braves in 1945…

1913 Bill Adair

Minor league infielder for 20+ years – missing time for the war. Went into coaching and was an interim manager for the 1970 White Sox (between Don Gutteridge and Chuck Tanner).

1915 Ralph Hodgin

Outfielder and occasional third baseman for the Braves and White Sox in the 1940s – not a horrible player, actually, decent average, not much power. Career ended one year after getting beaned in the head by a Hal Newhouser fastball, which cracked his skull.

1917 Roy Bruner

Phillies pitcher, and not a great one, for three years until World War II – was a bomber pilot in the war and shot down at least once… After the war, started an aluminum storm window company.

1917 Eddie (Smiley) Turchin

Infielder for the Cleveland Indians in 1943 (11 games). Must have gotten a deferment and at that, wasn’t a top flight player even in the minors.

1917 Allie (Superchief) Reynolds

Very good pitcher for the Yankees during the early Casey Stengel days – pitched for Cleveland during the war years. Part Creek Indian, grew up in Oklahoma the son of a Nazarene minister and didn’t play organized baseball until after high school. Three sport star at Oklahoma A&M – now OSU – and the baseball field is named for him.

Threw two no-hitters, won seven World Series games. Some believe he is Hall of Fame worthy…

SABR Bio by Royse Parr:

1926 Randy Jackson – Handsome Ransom

Went to Arkansas, TCU, and Texas, and was a heck of a running back.

Solid third baseman for the Cubs in the early 1950s (Allstar in 1954 and 1955), was traded to Dodgers but a knee injury in 1957 made him a bench player in LA for the remainder of his career.

1932 Billy O’Dell

Orioles and Giants pitcher of the 1950s and 1960s, won 105 games in 13 seasons. Best year was 1962, when he went 19 – 14 throwing 280.2 innings for the Giants. That year, Digger was the game one starter in the World Series… Clemson grad who went from college straight to the majors.

Toward the end of his career, he suffered from Addison’s disease, treated at the time by cortisone shots…

1932 Jim Stump

Like Jerry Davie below, a Michigan native who got two brief trials with the Tigers in the late 1950s. Spent is career after baseball doing quality control for Oldsmobile… Passed away just a couple of months ago.

1933 Jerry Davie

2 – 2 for the Tigers in 1959, pitching 36.2 innings. Grew up in Detroit – built a bit like our friends Ike Futch and Dooley Womack…

1933 Russ Heman

Pitched for both Cleveland and Angels in 1961, six games and ten innings for each. Spent a decade at AAA but couldn’t catch a break for four other franchises.

1935 Sherman (Roadblock) Jones

Tall pitcher for three teams in the early 1960s, including facing two batters in the 1961 World Series (Boyer, Daley) and retiring them both for Cincy… Member of the 1962 Mets, too. After baseball, was a KC policeman and then a state representative and state senator in Kansas. Was Roadblock his nickname in baseball, or the Kansas House???

1946 Bob Spence

White Sox third baseman who backed up Beltin’ Bill Melton for three years. Left with some power, was a star at Santa Clara University when drafted in the first round of the January (secondary) draft in 1967. Now a high school teacher.

1948 John Gamble

Nevada-Reno grad, drafted by Dodgers and taken by Detroit in the Rule 5 draft. Got in 13 games in 1972 and 1973, only three at bats. His last game with the Tigers was on my eighth birthday. Decent, but light hitting shortstop with good speed in the minors.

1948 Jim Barr

USC grad, took but a year to make the majors, and once held the record for most consecutive batters retired… Giants starter in the 1970s, won 101 games. Took a two year hitch for the Angels in 1979 and 1980 before returning to the Giants for two years to work out of the bullpen.

Always looked like he needed to shave.

Coached for the Alaska Goldpanners and played there for three years during his college days.

1954 Larry McWilliams

Tall lefty out of Wichita, drafted by the Braves. Made the rotation in 1980, was traded to Pittsburgh in 1982, then became a nomad until 1990. He went 78 – 90 in 370 games, 224 of them starts, and once won 15 games with the 1983 Pirates. Tony Pena used to call him “Spaghetti” but the nickname never stuck.

Starter for the Braves in game where Rose’s hitting streak came to an end – made a diving stab of a liner to get an out in his second at bat.

1955 Mike Champion

For one year, was the regular second baseman for the Padres (1977) but hit .229 with no power and no ability to take a walk. Moved to Cleveland in 1979, but wasn’t going to take a job from Julio Franco – career ended after 1980 season.

1957 Jeff Cornell

KC area pitcher who went to both UMKC and Mississippi; made it to the Giants and got rocked in 23 appearances. Got into scouting – now with the Rays in that capacity.

1959 Jack Fimple

Humboldt State grad who played with both LA area teams, mostly as a light hitting second baseman.

1959 Al Jones

White Sox farm hand and pitcher of the 1980s, went to Alcorn State (Where is Alcorn and when did it become a state?).

1963 Lenny (Nails) Dykstra

Very good centerfielder for the Mets and Phillies, helped both reach the World Series. His reckless personality contributed to his amazing successes and amazing failures.

1963 Dane Johnson

Miami native drafted by Toronto in the 2nd round in 1984 – got brief trials with three teams. Now is a coach and instructor for Toronto.

1965 Lenny Webster

Backup catcher for a few teams from 1989 to 2000, though he was nearly a regular for the Orioles in 1998 and batted 10 – 46 – .285, which isn’t too bad… Mid round pick of the Twins, who took him after a solid career at Grambling.

1968 Ryan Bowen

Astros and Marlins starter in the early 1990s, joined the Fish rotation in their inaugural season, going 8 – 12 in 27 starts. Astros took him in the first round in 1986.

1968 Eddie Zosky

Infielder who occasionally found his way into box scores between 1991 and 2000. Fresno State grad…

1969 Jayhawk Owens

Cherokee grandmother gave him his middle name that we remember – his first name was Claude. Played four years with the Rockies, who drafted him out of Middle Tennessee State; then went to Reds organization where he played and later coached in the minors.

1970 Bobby Jones

Among the winningest pitchers in Mets history – spent eight of his ten years there before moving to the Padres. Not fancy – threw strikes and got wins. Except that first year in San Diego, where he went 8 – 19 for a lousy Padres team in 2001.

1970 Alberto Castillo

Backup second baseman for a decade with a bunch of teams – not much of a hitter (.220), but given 1000 at bats anyway.

1971 Kevin Sefcik

Philles drafted him out of St. Xavier University in Orland Park, IL (near Chicago). Got to the parent club in 1995, was kind of a utility hitter playing most every position in the field at some point. When he stopped hitting, he was shipped to Colorado, and then home. Not much power, but good batting averages and on base percentages (.275 / .351) over seven years (five, really) and could run. We need more guys like him in the bigs… Coaches high school baseball at Marist High School.

1975 Hiroki Kuroda

Joined the Dodgers in 2008 after a long and heroic career in Japan. Averaged 30 starts in the seven years he spent here, going 79 – 79 with ERAs always falling between 3.07 and 3.76. Retired at 39, could probably still make 25 starts right now. There isn’t a team out there that wouldn’t want him.

1976 Lance Berkman

Two paragraphs are not enough to cover his long and successful career with the Astros (and three other teams). Could play three positions, was quick despite his size, patient at the plate, could hit for power as a switch hitter.

May fall just short of Hall of Fame quality as regards his career, but from 2000 to 2009 he was a wonderfully productive and effective player. I miss the guy.

1978 Cedrick Bowers

Tampa draft pick in 1996 that made it to the majors in 2008 with Colorado and 2010 with Oakland. Live arm, but no idea where it was going.

1978 Ruben Mateo

Dominican outfielder signed by Texas at 16-years-old, looked like he might be a decent player but never really panned out. Broke his leg once running out a grounder in 2000… Texas sent him and Edwin Encarnacion for Rob Bell in 2001, which seems very lopsided.

That trade began his run as a baseball nomad, which ended in 2004 (well, 2007 if you could his days in the minors).

1980 Cesar Izturis

Long time infielder for Toronto, Los Angeles, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Washington, and Cincinnati. Not much of a hitter (though he made it to 1103 career hits), but could flash some serious leather at three positions. Brother Maicer could also field briskly…

1982 Jamie Vermilyea

Pitchjed six innings for the Blue Jays in 2007, now a pitching coach for an independent team in Winnipeg.

1984 Alex Gordon

Kansas City Royal outfielder, just signed the big deal. Earned it, too – decent enough hitter, quick, and a fabulous defensive left fielder.

1984 Luis Cruz

Mexican born infielder signed by Boston in 2008. Played for five teams in five years – now playing in Japan.

1986 Duke Welker

Last of three colleges was Arkansas, also played semi-pro ball in Alaska. 6′ 7″, pitched in two games for the Pirates in 2013 without allowing a run. Tommy John surgery in 2014, then released. Not sure if he will be back – once threw his fastball in the mid-90s.

1988 Jeanmar Gomez

Venezuelan reliever… First signed by Cleveland, moved to Pittsburgh and finally Philadelphia. He’s not bad – doesn’t have a huge strikeout pitch, improving control.

Threw a perfect game for Akron in 2009.

1989 Travis d’Arnaud

First round pick of the Phillies, but sent to Toronto in the Roy Halliday deal. Moved to the Mets and looks to be worth keeping around if he stays healthy.

1989 Liam Hendriks

Aussie pitcher signed by the Twins in 2007. Got a shot at the rotation in 2012, but it wasn’t until he became a reliever for Toronto that he found any success. Anyone who has a 71/11 K/BB ratio can be successful.

Passed up a chance to play Australian Rules Football in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather.

1990 Allen Webster

One time Red Sox and Diamondbacks hurler now making his way with Samsung in the Korean Baseball Organization – one assumes he gets great deals on electronics…

Drafted by the Dodgers, moved to Boston and Arizona – got shots with the latter two teams but wasn’t very successful. Traded to the Pirates but released in a month.

1993 Brandon Woodruff
1995 Cal Quantrill


1885 Al Hall
1892 Ed Glenn
1913 Joe Stewart
1925 Israel Pike
1926 Charlie Krehmeyer
1941 Eddie Boyle
1947 Carney Flynn
1947 George Whiteman
1948 Bill Clancy
1949 Johnny Bates
1950 Charlie Roy
1954 Heinie Berger
1955 Allie Strobel
1955 Cuke Barrows
1955 Ray Hartranft
1958 Elmer Jacobs
1962 Roy Walker
1976 Eddie Moore
1985 Johnny Mokan
1990 Tony Solaita
1993 Rip Repulski
2000 Gene Lambert
2000 Blas Monaco
2002 Chet Clemens
2002 Jim Spencer
2003 Chuck Aleno
2003 Ralph Beard
2008 Dario Lodigiani
2013 Jake Thies
2015 Don Johnson
2020 Dick Scott
2021 Billy Conigliaro


1910 The White Sox break ground on a new stadium at 35th and Shields which will eventually be known as Comiskey Park.

1920 Major League Baseball bans the spitball, shine ball, and emery ball. Seventeen pitchers who threw the banned pitches will be allowed to throw those pitches until they retire.


1923 Washington sends Val Picinich, Ed Goebel and Howie Shanks to Boston for Muddy Ruel and Allen Russell.

1971 Milwaukee sends Al Downing to Los Angeles for Andy Kosco.

1982 Cincinnati sends George Foster to the Mets for Greg Harris, Jim Kern, and Alex Trevino.

2000 Seattle sends Ken Griffey, Jr. to the Reds for Mike Cameron, Brett Tomko, Antonio Perez, and Jake Meyer.

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