Baseball History for December 16th

<— DEC 15     DEC 17 —>


1852 John Bernard (Trick) McSorley

John B. McSorley, retired police turnkey and old-time professional baseball player, died of apoplexy yesterday at his home, 3717 North Newstead avenue. He was 84 years old.

Nick-named “Trick,” he played shortstop and centerfield on the St. Louis Browns in the old American Association in 1881. In 1874 and several years following, he was captain of and played every position with the St. Louis Red Stockings, one of the earliest professional teams. During his diamond career, which ended before 1890, he played with Indianapolis, Buffalo, Detroit, Toledo, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Peoria. He attended Notre Dame University.

His police department service began in 1901 and ended with his retirement in 1931. He was stationed at the Deer Street and Central districts. His wife, Kate, and a son and daughter survive. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. from the Howard undertaking establishment, 4512 St. Louis avenue, to Holy Rosary Church, 3921 Clarence avenue. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

“John M’Sorley, Old-Time Baseball Player, Dies”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10 February 1936, Page 9A. (Spelling of church corrected.)

1856 Pete Hotaling
1876 Fred Crolius
1876 Sammy Strang
1879 Jack Barnett
1884 Charlie Girard
1886 Bill Otey
1891 Fred Tyler
1892 William Allen (Scrappy) Moore
1897 Fred Wigington
1898 Frank Shellenback
1898 Edward Thomas (Dee) Cousineau
1900 Tony Kaufmann
1901 Hugh McMullen
1904 Joe Berry
1908 Emil Mailho
1917 Jim Pruett
1928 Doug Hansen
1931 Neil Chrisley
1934 Jim Bailey
1936 Duane Richards
1941 Adolfo Phillips
1951 Mike Flanagan
1952 Tommy Bianco
1956 Rick Sofield
1957 Tom Gorman
1958 Rondin Johnson
1958 Thaddius Inglehart (Ted) Wilborn
1959 Paul Noce
1963 Chris Jelic
1964 Billy Ripken
1965 Randy Hennis
1965 Chris Jones
1969 Jason Wood
1971 Jeff Granger
1972 Charles Gipson
1976 Matt Kinney
1980 Josh Hall
1982 Ivan Ochoa
1982 Chris Britton
1983 Tom Wilhelmsen
1986 Alcides Escobar
1986 Bryan Anderson
1986 Ryan Lollis
1987 Hector Santiago
1989 Tyler Chatwood
1993 Peter Fairbanks
1994 Oscar Mercado


1899 Fred Waterman

Tuberculosis, the scourge of the era.

1902 Frank Buttery
1915 John Hofford
1920 Dick Bayless
1937 Charlie Reilly
1937 Frank Boyd
1941 Bill Garfield
1949 Jack Himes
1958 Les Scarsella

Scarsella was a longtime Oakland Oak of the 1940s (and a two-time batting champ in the PCL) – he helped Casey Stengel win a pennant and then get a job managing the Yankees.  Prior to that, he spent a few seasons with the Reds and Braves.  His rookie season was pretty solid. but he had a sophomore slump and was dispatched back to the minors.  Scarsella was 44 when he had a massive, fatal heart attack.

“Les Scarsella Dies at 44,” Los Angeles Times, December 18, 1958: Part IV, 4.

1959 Lee Dashner
1970 Jim Winford
1971 Ferdie Schupp
1984 Debs Garms

Debs Garms 1940Garms led the NL (and the majors) in batting in 1940 (.355), though he barely qualified for that title having played in 103 games with 385 plate appearances.  The rules in place at the time let it slide.

GLEN ROSE, Texas (AP) — Debs Garms, a member of the 1944 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, died Sunday in a Glen Rose hospital. He was 76.

Graveside services for Garms, the National League batting champion in 1940 with a .355 average while with the Pittsburgh Pirates, will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Glen Rose. A third baseman and outfielder, he also played with the St. Louis Browns, a franchise that became the Baltimore Orioles.

The native of Bangs, Texas played professional baseball for 20 years before retiring in 1947 and starting a ranch in Glen Rose.

Debs Garms WFGarms had one good year with the Browns, hitting .317, but he blossomed as a hitter for Casey Stengel with the Boston Braves from 1937-39. After winning the batting championship in 1940, he spent one more year with the Pirates, playing under Hall of Famer Frank Frisch before joining Billy Southworth and the Cardinals in 1943.

“Debs Garms dead” (Sports Capsules), Marshall (TX) News Messenger, 17 December 1984, Page 1B.

(His WWII registration card and other sources say he was born in 1907, which would have made him 77 at the time of his death.)

Photo from Eau Claire (WI) Leader, 27 December 1940, Page 10.

Photo from uploaded by user tomstanley1 on 31 October 2015.

1986 Jake Caulfield
1988 Joe Hatten
1988 Bob Kahle
1990 Wally Flager
1998 Johnny Gorsica
2004 Ted Abernathy
2004 Bobby Mattick
2006 Cecil Travis
2015 Jim McAnany
2019 Rich Rundles

Rundles was all of 38 when he died of natural causes.


1975 A group led by Bill Veeck purchases 80% of the Chicago White Sox from John Allyn.

1983 Yogi Berra is hired to manage the New York Yankees (again).

1992 Dusty Baker takes over as manager for the San Francisco Giants. Baker would last ten seasons in the Bay.


1953 In an era of multiple player trades, the Yankees send six players and cash (including Vic Power) to the Athletics for Eddie Robinson and four other players.

1957 The Phillies send Harvey Haddix to Cincinnati for Wally Post.

1976 Montreal sends Dale Murray and Woodie Fryman to Cincinnati for Tony Perez and Will McEnaney.

1982 The Mets send Lloyd McClendon, Charlie Puleo and Jason Felice to the Reds to reacquire Tom Seaver.

1985 Chicago sends Billy Hatcher and (later) Steve Engel to the Astros for Jerry Mumphrey.

1991 The Marlins sign teen righty Clemente Nunez as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic, becoming the first player signed by the Marlins. He’d never play in the majors…

2001 Seattle sends Brian Fuentes, Jose Paniagua and Denny Stark to the Rockies for Jeff Cirillo.

2002 Minnesota releases David Ortiz. Oops.

2003 Montreal sends Javier Vazquez to the Yankees for Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, and Randy Choate.

Meanwhile, the Astros signed free agent pitcher Andy Pettitte.

2004 Atlanta sends Dan Meyer, Juan Cruz, and Charles Thomas to Oakland for Tim Hudson.

2009 The Phillies are busy – they send Cliff Lee to Seattle for Phillippe Aumont, JC Ramirez, and Tyson Gilles. Then, they move Travis D’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek, and Michael Taylor to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay.

2017 Atlanta sends Matt Kemp to the Dodgers for Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, and Charlie Culberson.

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