1854 Leech Maskrey
Louisville outfielder of the mid 1880s, final year was with the Reds. Not much of a hitter, but had a reputation, deservedly, for his glovework in the field. Spent a year trying to bring baseball to England, even managing a team in 1890. After baseball, owned and managed hotels with his brother.
A renaissance man – was an accomplished artist, musician, fan of Shakespeare and Dickens, and a published author. I think I would have really liked this guy.
SABR Bio by Joe Gray.
1862 Curt Welch
Outfielder in the American Association and National League from 1884 to 1893 – famous for being hit by pitches when he played. Mostly famous for sliding home to win the 1886 World Series (he didn’t slide, though) – the only time the AA beat the NL in a World Series. Reputation for drinking as a player, which happens a lot to players who spend time in St. Louis… The drinking finally won – he died in 1896.
1863 Jimmy Ryan
Outfielder for the Chicago NL franchises from 1885 to 1900 – when he retired he had the career record for outfield assists. Played two years as an old man for the Washington Senators in 1902 and 1903 – but hit .320 that first year. Finished his career with 2513 hits and a .308 average. Once led the league in homers (1888 – 16). According to Wikipedia, he once hit for the cycle AND appeared in the game as a relief pitcher – the only guy to both pitch and hit for the cycle in a game.
Famously feuded with Cap Anson; nearly killed in a train wreck in 1893.
1884 Bill Warren
Federal League catcher in 1914 with Indianapolis and 1915 for Newark – already 30, had spent half a decade catching for Oshkosh in low minors before latching on to this brief major league career.
1887 Ray Boyd
Ray Boyd briefly pitched for the Browns and Reds in 1910 and 1911.
1887 Ray Collins
Largely successful Red Sox starter from 1909 to 1915, and alum of the University of Vermont… Had a winning record in first six of seven seasons – arm left him in 1915 – but had won 20 games the previous year, the last two by winning both games of a September doubleheader.
Great control, could hit and play his position, too. Good young Boston arms (Shore, Ruth, Foster, Leonard) took his job, so he went back to Vermont and coached the college team and even served in the state house of representatives.
SABR Bio by Tom Simon.
1897 Red Miller
Pitched in one game for the Phillies in 1923 and single-handedly improved the batting averages of six different players. (1.2 innings, six hits, six runs, 32.40 ERA.)
1897 Joe Shannon
1897 Red Shannon
Twin brothers who both wound up in the majors. Joe played five games with the Braves in 1915.
Maurice (Red) Shannon played baseball with his brother at Seton Hall; got signed with the Braves, and even played briefly with the Red Sox and Cubs. His major league career was much longer, spanning more than a dozen years (but only seven seasons) – was a regular in 1919 with both the As and Boston Red Sox.
After his baseball career ended, he taught sports through the Jersey City Recreation Department for about 30 years.
SABR Bio by Bill Nowlin.
1901 Jimmy O’Connell
PCL outfielder out of high school, played for the Giants in 1923 and 1924. Thrown out of baseball for taking a bribe to throw a game – he and coach Cozy Dolan were permanently banned, and future Hall of Famers Frankie Frisch, George Kelly, and Ross Youngs were allegedly implicated…
His career was just getting started and he had shown signs of being a very good hitter (.317 as a backup in 1924) when his career and baseball life ended.
1905 Ed Walsh
Son of the original Ed Walsh; recruited to punt for Knute Rockne, but never played due to knee injuries. Instead, he pitched for Notre Dame. Signed with the White Sox, but wasn’t nearly as successful as his dad – went 11 – 24 in four seasons.
Died at 32 of an acute heart ailment related to chronic rheumatism.
Stanley Dziurgot wrote his SABR bio:
1911 Yank Terry
Indiana native and Notre Dame alum who pitched for the Red Sox during the war period. Won 20 decisions in his 93 games, 55 of them starts.
1916 George Hausmann
Second sacker for the Giants in 1944 and 1945, left for Mexico for three years after that. Played in the low minors until he was 40.
Has to be some kind of a story there – didn’t miss much time to the war, disappeared when everyone came back. Might need to do some digging…
1916 Sam Page
Lost three decisions for the Philadelphia As in 1939. Had a limited minor league career, but got a chance anyway – like many of his peers, lost a few years to the war. Came back to pitch one more year in the minors at the age of 30, but wasn’t going to stick…
1920 Boyd Bartley
Chicago native, served in WWII, played nine games for the Dodgers in 1943. Got just one hit in 21 at bats… Went to the University of Illinois.
1924 Hal Rice
Hoot Rice was an outfielder out of Ball State University who made it to the bigs with St. Louis in 1948 and stayed around as a fourth or fifth outfielder for seven seasons.
Rice was actually signed by the Cards in 1941, wound up serving in the war (tank commander in the Pacific) and going to college (but, oddly, didn’t play there) before he made it to the majors.
1928 Chris Kitsos
Played one inning for the Cubs in 1954 – fielding two balls cleanly at shortstop – but never got to bat in the game. Spent rest of his days in the minors. His obituary tells the story of a guy who became a baseball coach in the Mobile area because he loved it there as a player for the Mobile Bears. He was also a heck of a golfer, once qualifying for the 1987 US Senior Open.
1929 Ralph Beard
Not the Kentucky basketball player banned for point shaving… This Ralph Beard had a ten-year baseball career – but only about ten weeks in the majors with the Cardinals. Lost four decisions, but once went 12 innings before being relieved in a game won in 14 frames. Tall dude – 6′ 5″ – spent his post baseball life in the security business. Would love to know why so many guys then walked more batters than they struck out…
1935 George Alusik
Bespectacled outfielder for Detroit and Kansas City from 1958 to 1964. Had a little pop in his bat, drew some walks – must have rubbed someone the wrong way because his batting stats say he could play.
1939 Willie Smith
Beloved in Chicago – hit opening day homer in 1969 to win the game and start the craziness. Actually a pitcher first for the Tigers; moved to the outfield as a member of the Angels because he could hit. Once hit .301 for the Angels in 1964, but was more regularly used as a pinch hitter and fourth or fifth outfielder.
1941 Sammy Ellis
Mississippi State grad, signed by Reds and promoted to the bigs within a year. 22 game winner in 1965, but his control left him (arm injury?) in 1966 and his career degenerated pretty quickly after that.
After his career ended, became a pitching coach and minor league instructor.
1944 Ollie Brown
First ever draft pick of the Padres, taken from the Giants. Became a baseball nomad after a few years, though… Brother Willie played football, another brother, Oscar, played outfield for the Braves.
Hit 20 homers a couple of times for the Padres – but was probably best known for his cannon of a throwing arm. He pitched in the minors, throwing a no-hitter for Decatur in the Midwest League.
Next time you see an ad for Mesothelioma lawsuits, think of Ollie. That was his killer.
1945 John Paciorek
Brother of Jim and Tom, famous for going 3 for 3 with two walks and scoring four runs in his only game for the Houston Colt 45s in 1963 as an 18 year old. A year later, he had spinal fusion surgery on his back, and other injuries hijacked his career. Has a Physical Education degree from the University of Houston and now is a PE teacher.
1949 Ben Oglivie
Led the league in homers (41 – tied with Reggie) in 1980 with Milwaukee. Panama native, popular wherever he played, and was still a productive hitter (though his power was leaving him) when he left MLB in 1986. Played two years in Japan and has been a coach in the minors for a few years now.
1953 Tom Veryzer
Drafted out of high school in the 1971 draft, was a longtime infielder for the Tigers, Indians, Mets, and Cubs. Slick fielder with a strong arm, not much of a hitter, though he twice hit .271 with the Indians. His lifetime OBP was .283 because he would swing and make contact at most anything – just not good contact.
1961 Steve Springer
Four major league hits with two teams – spent nearly a lifetime in the minors before getting them. Now a scout and pushing his mental approach training system… Follow him on Twitter at @qualityatbats.
1963 Todd Benzinger
First baseman who came up with the 1987 Red Sox and caught the final out of the 1990 World Series for the Reds. Showed a little power early in his career, but never cleared 17 homers, his total in 1989. A frequent defensive replacement or pinch hitter until career ended in 1995 with the Giants.
1967 Scott Pose
Reds drafted him out of Arkansas, was the first official batter for the Marlins in 1993. Light hitting outfielder, appears in the movie “For the Love of the Game”, and now is a broadcaster.
1967 John Patterson
Key West born infielder who played for the Giants in the middle 1990s.
Hit a game winning homer in his first major league at bat of 1993, beating the Braves in the middle of a pennant race.
In Spring Training 1992, Patterson fouled off a pitch into the Anaheim Angels’ dugout. The ball hit Matt Keough in the temple, nearly killing him, and ending Keough’s career.
1968 Dave Swartzbaugh
Miami University grad who got to pitch with the Cubs in the middle 1990s. Lost three decisions, made seven starts.
1969 Kevin King
I covered this guy when he played at Oklahoma – good college pitcher who made it to the majors with the Mariners in 1993 but never could make it stick because he really couldn’t fool enough bats. He fooled the scouts for a while though because he had good control…
1969 Bryan Eversgerd
Lefty reliever with three teams in the 1990s, but never one of consequence. Now a pitching coach.
1972 Brian Daubach
Scrappy player – drafted by the Mets, who could never find a major league job for him. Briefly with the Marlins, then spent a few years with Boston where he was actually pretty good – four times clearing 20 homers and 70 RBI. Stopped hitting with the White Sox in 2003, and drifted into coaching, where he seems to be working his way back to the majors in that capacity.
1974 Trey Beamon
2nd round pick of the Pirates in 1992, got to the bigs in 1996, and then became trade bait. Played two short stints with the Padres and Tigers, didn’t prove he couldn’t play, but didn’t get more chances either. Played all over the minors until 2006.
Beamon was fast, but not a burner. He could hit, but not for power – one figures teams noticed the things he couldn’t do more than the things he could do.
1978 Brent Butler
3rd round pick by the Cards in 1996, made it to the Rockies roster in 2001 and was briefly a regular in 2002. One of the few regulars who couldn’t hit in Colorado, he went back to being a utility infielder and then back to the minors for six or seven years.
1979 Eric Cyr
Canadian pitcher – spent a number of years in the minors. Was arrested for sexually assaulting a minor on an airplane in 2001 and THEN the Padres let him pitch five games for them in 2002. Played six more years in the minors at various levels, but never made it back to the majors.
1979 Chris Mabeus
Oakland drafted him, Milwaukee gave him his only MLB shot – and he got rocked – 4 runs in 1.2 innings – three walks, four hits and one was a homer in 2006. And then he was gone.
1980 Matt Lindstrom
Known to many of us as the patron saint of flat fastballs… Mets signed him out of BYU-Idaho, got moved around a few times (Florida, Houston, Colorado, Baltimore, Arizona, Chicago White Sox) because he has a 100+ MPH fastball (not anymore, though) and a slider that sometimes works. Not a bad pitcher, really, but never the superstar you thought he might have been.
1984 J.R. Towles
Once a touted catching prospect in the Astros chain, but can’t hit .200. After 2011, he’s signed a number of minor league deals but the next time he’s in a major league uniform, I’ll bet it’ll be as a coach or manager.
1987 Brian Matusz
Orioles pitcher, taken out of the University of San Diego… Got to the bigs in a year, been on a MLB roster since 2009, but is just 27-41 with Baltimore. Former starter turning into a lefty specialist… Once suspended for using a foreign substance on the ball in 2015.
1988 Shane Peterson
Originally drafted out of Cal-Long Beach by St. Louis, now a Milwaukee outfielder – made his debut in 2013 with Oakland, but has been signed and released a couple of times… Was involved in the Matt Holiday trade that brought Holiday to the Cards.
1989 Cesar Cabral
Dominican pitcher signed by the Sox in 2006 when just 16, lefty with some size (6′ 3″ and 250) and power. Moved around in the minors – Tampa, Toronto, KC, and finally New York, who gave him his first cup of coffee in 2013. Now with Baltimore, still hasn’t pitched more than 3.2 innings in a season in three trips to the majors… Struck out nine of the 30 batters he’s faced, though.
1903 Sam McMackin
1912 Jimmy Knowles
1916 Pat Carroll
1921 John Cullen
1929 Dutch Ulrich
1943 Ralph McLaurin
1945 Ham Iburg
1947 Jim Stanley
1950 Hank Griffin
1950 Kiki Cuyler
1950 Paul Meloan
1956 Joseph Myers
1960 Fritz Clausen
1961 Pete Shields
1963 Bunny Brief
1965 Pete Noonan
1965 Lefty Herring
1976 Johnny Miljus
1977 Clarence Garrett
1980 Red Torphy
1984 Charley Suche
1984 John Douglas
1987 Bill McGee
1997 Glen Stewart
1998 Mike Fornieles
2002 Les Peden
2002 Frankie Crosetti
2005 Rankin Johnson
2011 Chuck Tanner
2012 Gene Crumling
2015 Ray Hathaway
YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE:
1974 In the first arbitration ruling ever, Dick Woodson is awarded $29,000 – $6K more than the Twins were offering…
1900 Boston purchases Bill Dinneen, Buck Freeman, and Shad Barry from the dismantled Washington Senators for $7500.
1911 St. Louis sends Roy Hartzell and cash to New York for Jimmy Austin and Frank LaPorte.
1914 Boston sends Bill Sweeney to the Cubs for Johnny Evers.
1928 Pittsburgh sends Vic Aldridge to the Giants for Burleigh Grimes.
1977 Chicago sends Bill Madlock and Rob Sperring to the Giants for Bobby Murcer, Steve Ontiveros and Andrew Muhlstock.