About Paul Proia

Technology Professional, Amateur Baseball Historian, Published Author, Husband, Father. I try the best I can with the limited skills God gave me.

Baseball History for February 11th

<— FEBRUARY 10     FEBRUARY 12 —>

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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.

OBITUARIES:

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…

TRANSACTION WIRE:

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.

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Baseball History for February 10th

<— FEBRUARY 9     FEBRUARY 11 —>

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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

Cornell grad who served in WWI and played 13 games for the 1911 Highlanders. Would have been coming right out of college – little else is known about the guy with such a classic movie name.

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 last year 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.

OBITUARIES:

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

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

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.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

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.

Baseball History for February 9th

<— FEBRUARY 8     FEBRUARY 10 —>

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1852 Lyman Drake
1863 Charley Bassett
1867 John McCarty
1867 Sumner Bowman
1870 Arhtur Clifford (Hi) Ladd
1887 Heinie Zimmerman
1895 Wally Hood
1897 Adrian Lynch
1898 C. L. (Chink) Taylor
1899 George (Specs) Toporcer
1902 Don Hankins
1902 Julie Wera

Teammate of Babe Ruth. True story – years later, someone pretending to be Julie Wera (might have been a second or third cousin) was on the lam from Minnesota and wound up in northern California where he used his fake identity to land a GM job running a low-level minor league team. Among the stories he told were getting scarred and burned while serving in WWII, requiring plastic surgery… Near the end of the season, under significant duress, the man committed suicide and the papers reported Wera’s death. However, Wera was actually still alive and well, working as a butcher in Minnesota. The Red Sox management, the parent team of the affected minor league franchise, were embarrassed for being fooled and not having done enough homework.

1904 Roy Mahaffey
1908 Ralph Francis (Buzz) Boyle
1913 Tony Robello
1914 Bill Veeck
1915 Harvey Green
1916 Tex Hughson
1916 Freddy Schmidt
1917 Ford Parker (Moon) Mullen
1925 Vic Wertz
1928 Erv Palica
1934 Ted Wills
1937 Clete Boyer
1942 Hal Gilson
1944 Jim Campanis
1944 Randy Schwartz
1945 Jim Nash
1949 John Andrews
1949 John Young
1951 Eddie Solomon
1955 John Urrea
1956 Mookie Wilson
1957 Pat Underwood
1958 Pete O’Brien
1961 John Kruk
1964 Ed Whited
1965 Doug Linton
1967 Todd Pratt
1968 Brad Holman
1968 Robert Eenhoorn
1969 Ramon Garcia
1970 John Burke
1975 Vladimir Guerrero
1977 Napoleon Calzado
1979 Akinori Iwamura
1979 Mike Tonis
1984 Dioner Navarro
1986 Josh Judy
1989 Daniel Muno
1989 Jake Smolinski
1990 Randall Delgado
1990 Henry Rodriguez

OBITUARIES:

1914 Buster Brown
1914 Jack Farrell
1915 Red Waller
1916 John Bickerton
1928 Bill Farmer
1936 Trick McSorley
1938 Charlie Daniels
1942 John Fischer
1958 Cowboy Jones
1962 Bernie Duffy
1963 Ray Starr
1967 Billy Burke
1968 Lou Bruce
1972 Chico Ruiz
1976 Ziggy Hasbrook
1977 Roy Hansen
1977 Ollie Klee
1983 Jackie Hayes
1987 Larry French
1994 Ray Lamanno
1994 Joe Mowry
1994 Sam Parrilla
1998 Bill Froats
2003 Billy Parker
2007 Hank Bauer

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1946 Preacher Roe is coaching a high school basketball game when he gets into an altercation with a referee. Somehow, Roe is tossed to the floor where he suffers a fractured skull, more or less ending his career (he pitched one not-so-good season).

(NationalPastime.com)

1971 Satchel Paige is the first Negro League star selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1927 New York sends George Kelly to Cincinnati for Edd Roush.

1953 Boston sends Vern Stephens to the White Sox for Bill Kennedy, Marv Grissom, and Hal Brown.

1988 St. Louis sends Lance Johnson, Ricky Horton and cash to the White Sox for Jose DeLeon.

Happy Birthday, Gene Derby!

“In the latter half of the eighth inning, Derby made the most wonderful catch of the game. Davis opened the inning with a magnificent drive to left centre. Derby started for the ball, nearly tripping as he ran, and caught it far out from him, on a run. The great feat evoked a tempest of enthusiasm from the crowd that was only stifled when the modest little player doffed his cap in response to repeated applause at the end of the inning.”

“A Great Victory.”, Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, 05 June 1884, Page 2.

Gene Derby was a catcher and outfielder who got a one month tour with Baltimore of the American Association in 1885. In his ten-game tryout, Derby failed to hit, though, gaining just four hits in thirty-three plate appearances and was returned to the minor leagues. Derby had gained the attention of Baltimore by playing well in exhibitions with major league teams. While playing with Norfolk, pounded out three hits in a close loss to Washington and displayed fine skills behind the plate.

“In Derby, the visitors presented one of the neatest catchers that has been seen here this season.”

“The Norfolks Defeated.”, Washington National Republican, 06 May 1885, Page 1.

Derby was an agile catcher – when not behind the plate, he often played centerfield. He started with local teams, including a very good Lancaster Ironsides team that beat St. Louis of the American Association in an exhibition game. After his one month trial with Baltimore, Derby played with various minor league and semi-professional teams through the rest of the 1890s, including seasons with Hartford, and Troy.

Born to Joel A. and Sarah E. Smith Derby on 03 February 1860 in Fitchburg, MA. Joel was a machinist and later a brick mason while Sarah took care of two boys, Clarence and Eugene. Prior to his becoming a professional ball player, Eugene was a agent selling sewing machines.

On 25 November 1880, he married Angeline Viger of Weymouth and they added a son, Joseph, in 1881 and a daughter, Grace, in August, 1894, while living in New York. Joseph died in June, 1893 in a boating accident in Troy, an accident that nearly took Gene’s life as well. While rowing back from a fishing trip, the son’s fishing line got caught in an oar, which made the rower stop – except they were near a dam and the boat was tossed over a rapids to a nearby waterfall. Joseph must have hit his head on the rocks and drowned, while Eugene was miraculously saved by someone on shore who managed to poke Derby with an oar as he was about to give up. At the time of the accident, Joseph had been a mascot for Troy’s baseball team and Gene had spent some time as a catcher there a few years back. By 1910, the Derby family had moved again to Hartford, CT, where Gene was an inspector for a street car company.

Derby passed to the next league on 13 September 1917 while living in Waterbury, CT, but he was buried back in Glen Falls, NY so he could be laid to rest near his late son.

Sources:

Baseball-reference.com
FindAGrave.com

Massachusetts Birth Records (1860)
1860 US Census
1870 US Census
1880 US Census
1900 US Census
1910 US Census

“A Sad Picnic.”, Troy Northern Budget, 18 June 1893, Page 9.

“Wanted Blood.”, Wilkes-Barre News, 15 July 1889, Page 3.

“A Great Victory.”, Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, 05 June 1884, Page 2.

“The Norfolks Defeated”, Washington (DC) National Republican, 09 May 1885, Page 2.

“The Norfolks Defeated.”, Washington National Republican, 06 May 1885, Page 1.

Baseball History for January 31st

<— JANUARY 30     FEBRUARY 1 —>

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1845 Bob Ferguson

The first of the great nicknames – “Death to Flying Things”…

1845 Freeman Brown
1861 Al Buckenberger
1862 Jim Manning
1863 William Smith (Rasty) Wright
1866 Pat Flaherty
1870 Joshua Mercer (Jot) Goar
1880 Walter Morris
1882 Alva Mitchell (Rip) Williams
1885 Eddie Hohnhorst
1885 Drummond Brown
1889 Carl Ray
1889 Ray Brown
1890 Alvah Jackson (Goat) Cochran
1891 Tim Hendryx
1891 Charles C. (Tex) McDonald
1892 Rees Gephardt (Steamboat) Williams
1893 George Burns
1894 John Franklin (Stuffy) Stewart
1896 William McKinley (Pinky) Hargrave
1896 Charlie Robertson

Threw a perfect game as a kid pitcher for the White Sox…  Did that to the Tigers with Cobb, Heilmann, and those guys.

1898 Webb Schultz
1899 Don Songer
1900 John Francis (Honey) Barnes
1903 Abie Hood
1909 Emil Planeta
1912 Jerry McQuaig
1914 Mel Mazzera
1914 Charlie Wiedemeyer
1918 Sid Peterson
1919 Jackie Robinson
1919 Ken Gables
1926 Tom Alston
1929 Duane Frederick (Duke) Maas
1931 Hank Aguirre
1931 Ernie Banks

Mr. Cub – the first African-American Cubbie, and for about a decade one of the ten best players in the game. After that, he was the best ambassador for the team and died just too soon to see his team finally win a World Series.

1947 Nolan Ryan
1949 Fred Kendall
1949 Jim Willoughby
1949 Mark Ballinger
1950 Bob Apodaca
1953 Mike Rowland
1955 Ted Power
1958 Rafael Santana
1963 Dave Cochrane
1963 Francisco Oliveras
1968 Steve Phoenix
1970 Joel Bennett
1970 Chris Pritchett
1982 Yuniesky Betancourt
1982 Brad Thompson
1984 Josh Johnson

One of my favorite Marlins. He threw a nasty hard fastball that would just pop in a mitt and make a sound that echoed. Threw strikes, it seemed like he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning all the time. He just had a shoulder that couldn’t take the workload and his career degenerated. At his best, though, he was just unhittable and I miss him.

1987 Caleb Thielbar
1987 Melky Mesa
1989 Tommy La Stella
1992 Alex Claudio

OBITUARIES:

1900 Ed Stratton
1904 Dan Mahoney
1910 Pidgey Morgan
1912 Ed Taylor
1917 Pete O’Brien
1926 Lou Bierbauer
1930 Joe Cantillon
1933 Beany Jacobson
1938 Charlie Chech
1938 Jim Gray
1940 Red Fisher
1942 Henry Larkin
1942 Ed Phelps
1947 Johnny Kling
1948 Clarence Lehr
1953 Mike Handiboe
1956 Buck Weaver
1957 Chick Maynard
1958 Harry O’Donnell
1961 Guy Cantrell
1963 Ossie Vitt
1966 Pat Donahue
1971 Steve Yerkes
1980 Ed Head
1981 John Dowd
1983 Sam Gibson
1985 Joe Bradshaw
1999 Norm Zauchin
2002 Harry Chiti
2005 Bill Voiselle
2009 Bob Scherbarth
2012 Rick Behenna
2013 Tony Pierce
2013 Fred Whitfield

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1961 Voters approve financing for a domed stadium to be built in Houston…

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1965 Houston signs amateur outfielder Bob Watson.

1980 Houston signs free agent second sacker Joe Morgan.

1996 Kansas City signs free agent pitcher Tim Belcher. That season, my wife and I got season tickets to Royals games and I swear that Belcher started 75% of the games I saw.

Baseball History for January 30th

<— JANUARY 29     JANUARY 31 —>

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1859 Tony Mullane

Baseball player (pitcher) and sports writer…

1867 Harry Dooms
1868 James Joseph (General) Stafford
1872 Charlie Heard
1877 Wiley Dunham
1885 Charles John (Doc) Watson
1887 Ernie Herbert
1888 Vin Campbell
1889 Charles John (Doc) Shanley
1891 James Daniel (Red) Smyth
1911 Bob Katz
1911 Link Wasem
1917 Mickey Harris
1917 Al Veigel
1922 Mal Mallette
1923 Walt Dropo
1925 Brooks Lawrence
1929 Bill Abernathie
1930 Sandy Amoros
1931 Charlie Neal
1943 Davey Johnson
1947 Matt Alexander
1948 Dave Moates
1954 Joe Kerrigan
1954 Dave Stegman
1956 Bill Earley
1959 La Schelle Tarver
1964 Hipolito Pena
1965 Joel Davis
1973 Bob Henley
1977 John Lindsey
1978 John Patterson
1982 Jorge Cantu
1984 Jeremy Hermida

Hit a grand slam in his first major league at bat.  A patient hitter with a sweet stroke but he was so patient he killed his career leaving his bat on his shoulder and watching way too many strikes.

1986 Mark Rogers
1986 Nick Evans
1986 Jordan Pacheco
1987 Tyler Moore
1987 Luis Garcia
1989 Keith Butler
1990 C. J. Riefenhauser

OBITUARIES:

1917 Cyclone Ryan
1922 Billy Rhines
1928 Jim Foran
1929 John Wood
1930 Rip Hagerman
1934 Frank McGee
1944 Ed Clough
1948 Herb Pennock

NEW YORK, Jan. 30 (AP) – Herbert J. (Herb) Pennock, one of the greatest lefthanded pitchers of all time, died today after a cerebral hemorrhage.

The former New York Yankee, Philadelphia Athletic, and Boston Red Sox mound star, rounding out his fifth year as general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, collapsed as he entered the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to attend a National League meeting. He was rushed to the midtown hospital where he died an hour later.

Big League Pitcher at 18

The slender, gray-haired Pennock, who began his major league pitching career 36 years ago at the age of 18, would have celebrated his 54th birthday Feb. 10.

There had been no hint that Pennock was ailing. Only a few hours before he died he had invited friends to attend the fights at Madison Square Garden tonight.

Young Bob Carpenter, president of the Phillies, who accompanied Pennock to the hospital and remained at the bedside until he died, was broken up over the death of the man he had idolized since he was a child.

“This is the saddest day of my life,” Carpenter said. “It is too bad Herb couldn’t have lived to see the fruits of his efforts that were bound to come. He devoted the last years of his life to build up a strong organization in Philadelphia.”

Pennock’s death came as “one of the greatest shocks” ever experienced by Connie Mack, manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, the man who discovered and developed the great southpaw.

Mack, in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he is vacationing, said:

“He (Pennock) was not only a great pitcher but as a baseball man he was one of the best. Word of his death is one of the greatest shocks I’ve experienced in years. I really can’t say enough about him.”

Right up to the time of his sudden collapse Pennock was reported to have been negotiating a deal with the Cincinnati Reds for Eddie Miller, the Reds sure fielding but careless-talking shortstop.

“Herb Pennock Fatally Stricken at N. Y. Meeting”, Boston Globe, 31 January 1948, Page 4.

1959 Toots Shultz
1961 Aaron Ward
1962 Ray Roberts
1973 Scotty Alcock
1981 Marino Pieretti
1992 Eddie Taylor
1992 Coaker Triplett
1995 Buddy Gremp
1997 Duane Josephson
2007 Max Lanier
2013 Red Witt

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1958 On the heels of a year where Cincinnati Reds fan stuffed the ballot box and got eight Reds elected to the All-Star Game, Commissioner Ford Frick announces that for future games, the players and managers would do the voting.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1891 Boston purchased Cupid Childs from Syracuse for $2,000.

1923 The Yankees send Camp Skinner, George Murray, Norm McMillan and $50,000 to Boston for Herb Pennock.

1959 Cincinnati sends Smoky Burgess, Harvey Haddix and Don Hoak to Pittsburgh for Frank Thomas, Whammy Douglas, John Powers, and Jim Pendleton.

1991 Atlanta signs free agent defensive back Deion Sanders.

Happy Birthday, Scott Hardesty!

Scott Hardesty played shortstop and first base for the Giants after the Newark squad ran out of money and sold him on 10 August 1899 as the Atlantic League team was folding. Though he only hit .222 in his brief tryout, Hardesty had one game where he played a flawless shortstop, made one spectacular spear of a liner, and came up with three of his career sixteen singles. However, he was found to be lacking – the Brooklyn Daily Eagle noting “Hardesty is too slow for short field and cannot bat.”

Before his baseball career got rolling, Hardesty and his friend Owen Whitten were jailed and charged with assault and intent to kill Wesley White, a gambling proprietor who claimed that Hardesty had taken money from him the previous week. After a scuffle ensued between the three of them, Whitten found a board rule and slammed it over the raised arm of White, which bowed and hit White on the head, cutting him severely and left White in pretty bad shape.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, Hardesty moved around in his early days a lot – and one wonders if Hardesty quickly burned bridges despite having a modicum of talent – not to mention, one wonders what he was doing between, say, the age of 18 and 25, when he first lands on a professional squad (other than, say, gambling and fighting with other gamblers).

After being released by the Giants in September, 1899, Dayton signed Hardesty for the 1900 season despite a surly reputation. “I’ll not bow to sentiment this season,” said Armour. “Because a player is not popular will not be to his disadvantage in my estimation. I want good men, and if a man can play ball and he behaves himself properly he will have an all season job with the Dayton team.’

A few months later, Hardesty was suspended for insubordination. He then joined Kansas City and bounced around the Western League. Apparently, he had a rough edge to his attitude and play – the Dayton Daily News added “…a portion of his conduct here on the ball field was that of a rowdy.” He was also a big effective outfielder. Once he took in a fly ball, then fired the ball to first to kick off a triple play.

Despite his history at Dayton, Hardesty joined Little Rock when their first baseman went down. He had already played for Columbus and Fort Wayne in the Western Association, playing first base for Fort Wayne, and Right, Shortstop and First Base with Columbus, batting .281 with 7 stolen bases.

In 1903, he was playing first base when he “accidentally tripped” Roger Conner, the manager and first baseman of the Springfield, MA team. Conner fell awkwardly and wasn’t happy about it, so he found Hardesty on the street outside the New London, CT ballpark and assaulted Hardesty, leading to Connor’s arrest.

For some reason, leagues out there thought the tough guy would be an umpire  He was hired to do that in the Interstate League in 1906 and quickly earned a reputation for being willing to dish out fines to players. That job didn’t last long…

Umps Scott Hardesty has cashed in his checks. One week in the O. and P. was enough for him and now it’s back to Marietta and the simple life for the umps with the fining habit. Everybody’s glad that Scott got out of the muss before some one had to answer a charge of assault and battery before a police magistrate. For just as sure as little apples grow on trees so sure was Scott Hardesty picked out to be the butt of some ball player’s fist.

Zanesville was laying up until he got home with them tomorrow but Scott took time by the forelock and made up his mind that he’d rather continue to have a good life insurance risk than to have his widow commend the company for a prompt payment.

So just as soon as Hardesty discovered that Zanesville had followed him across to Mercer county he made up his mind to let President Morton have his job. Last night he boarded a train bound for Marietta and it’s back him with Scott.

Here’s hoping that the next selection of President Morton will live up to his press notices, written “without sight” and really be a good umps. We have two now, Lavell and Wise and Barry yet to be heard from. Let’s have another like the first two members.

“Back to the Farm for Umps Hardesty”, New Castle Herald, 19 May 1906, Page 2.

Scott Durbin Hardesty was born 26 January 1870 to John Scott and Missouri Teeter Hardesty. He was the first of four children. John spent the final year of the Civil War serving in the U.S. Army, and then became a farmer. John died in 1882 and Missouri would remarry at least twice, having a son by her second husband. On 07 November 1894, Scott married Nettie Olive Shafer, who would become a seamstress and later own her own grocery. He was a carpenter then later a merchant in a billiards parlor. They had a daughter, Virginia, in 1896, but she must have died as a child as she has no record by the 1910 US Census. Hardesty moved to the next league on 29 October 1944.

Sources:

1870 US Census
1880 US Census
1910 US Census
1920 US Census
1930 US Census
1940 US Census
FindaGrave.com
Baseball-Reference
Ohio Solider Grave Registrations

“A Blow That May Kill”, 08 December 1892, Page 2.

“Team Will Remain”, Allentown Leader, 11 August 1899, Page 1.

“Made it Four Straight.”, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 07 September 1899, Page 14.

“Sporting Gossip”, Dayton Daily News, 12 April 1900, Page 3.

“A Triple Play”, Dayton Daily News, 10 August 1900, Page 3.

“Scott Hardesty”, Dayton Daily News, 23 July 1901, Page 3.

“New First Baseman”, Daily Arkansas Gazette, 06 April 1902, Page 2.

“Ball Player Arrested.”, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 05 June 1903, Page 13.

“Diamond Dust”, Mansfield News-Journal, 15 May 1906, Page 7.

“Back to the Farm for Umps Hardesty”, New Castle Herald, 19 May 1906, Page 2.