Happy Birthday, Showboat Fisher!

showboat fisherGeorge Fisher was a minor league version of Riggs Stephenson with Babe Ruth’s stance – a remarkable hitting outfielder with good speed and little ability to make plays in the field, especially near the outfield wall.

Fisher made his mark after a couple of crazy good seasons in the minors. He hit .378 for Miller in the South Dakota League in 1920, then had back to back seasons over .350 with St. Joseph in the Western League. After hitting .365 with New Haven in the Eastern League, Clark Griffith gave Fisher a shot with the Senators. Fisher didn’t totally impress with the bat as he had just 15 hits in 64 at bats over 28 games. And he wasn’t much of a glove man. Fisher was with Washington at the beginning of the 1924 season, but was “traded” back to Minneapolis for Carl East, only to have East jump the Senators. Clark Griffith tried to get Fisher back, but the owners of Minneapolis appealed to Judge Landis and Fisher was allowed to stay with the Millers.

George’s only season as a major league regular, well – close – was with the 1930 Cardinals when he appeared in 92 games as a corner outfielder and pinch hitter. He hit a stunning .374 with 8 homers and 61 RBI in 254 at bats. He played once more with the St. Louis Browns in 1932, appearing in 18 games mostly as a pinch hitter and getting four hits in twenty-two at bats.

He spent the bulk of his career in the high minors, where he hit about .340 over a 15 year period (1919 to 1933) playing in towns like Minneapolis, St. Joseph, Buffalo, Rochester, Milwaukee, and the Little Rock and Nashville in the Southern Association. He regularly hit over .350 and didn’t hit under .300 except in his brief MLB stints and his final year in Milwaukee where he hit .216 in limited play – at 34 years old.

George Aloys Fisher was born 16 January 1899 in Wesley, Iowa but was raised in St. Anna, MN. He learned to play ball on his farm and with local town teams in Stearns County, MN. When the Millers first gave him a look, he took five turns as a pitcher and played in the outfield.

showboat fisher as a millerFisher said he got the nickname “Showboat” in 1930 because he had a style all of his own. “I had a fancy batting stance. And when I’d come up to the plate, I’d take my time. I’d look around, see who was playing out there.” And, because the Gashouse Gang all had nicknames. In later years, as the Designated Hitter became the norm, Fisher always said that with his poor fielding, the DH was a position he wished he could have played when he was in his prime.

As for his stance, Fisher said his stance and swing was a lot like Babe Ruth’s – feet close together and his hands near his belt.

“George has shown two great weaknesses during his stay with the Millers. First, he never learned how to play the right field fence. Second, he paid a little more attention to his batting average than he did to the team standings,” wrote Charles Johnson of the Minneapolis Star.

“Although a heavy hitter, Fisher was none too sure as a fielder and lacked the aggressiveness and baseball intelligence that (Mike) Kelley demands of his players,” added George Barton of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

After his season with the 1930 Cardinals, St. Louis ownership sent him back to the minors because they had three other outfielders making less than the $6,000 Fisher made in 1930.

As his playing days wound down, Fisher bought a bar he called the Fisher’s Club on Middle Spunk Lake just west of St. Cloud, MN. There he added a dance floor and had free fish dinners on Fridays – fish usually caught by his kids. During the winters, he sold insurance.

He made it 95 years before passing away on 15 May 1994 in St. Cloud, MN. Fisher died of complications following hip surgery. He had spent the previous two years in a nursing home, but was a consummate outdoorsman and golfed regularly until he was 92.


Johnson, Charles. “Lowdown on Sports”, Minneapolis Star, 14 February 1927, Page 10.

Barton, George A. “Fisher Released to Indians Under Option”, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 08 July 1926, Page 20.

Held, Rob. “‘Showboat’ Fisher should have been designated hitter”, St. Cloud Daily Times, 19 July 1973, Page 22.

“‘Showboat’ remembers ‘The Babe'”, St. Cloud Times, 05 June 1987, Page 19.

Chanen, David. “George (Showboat) Fisher dies; played in the 1930 World Series”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 18 May 1994, Page 6B.


Baseball History for January 16th

<— JANUARY 15     JANUARY 17 —>


1855 Jimmy Macullar
1858 Art Whitney
1863 Lem Hunter
1870 Jimmy Collins
1877 Lou Bruce
1878 Jim Murray
1885 Joe Kutina
1886 Allie Moulton
1888 Brad Kocher
1889 Ray Jansen
1890 Erskine Mayer
1891 Ferdie Schupp
1891 Marv Goodwin
1892 Fred Bratschi
1894 Edward George “Moxie” Divis
1895 Lou Guisto
1899 George Aloys “Showboat” Fisher
1900 Joe Rabbitt
1902 Joe Connell
1902 Horace Levering “Pip” Koehler
1904 Jo-Jo Morrissey
1907 Baxter Byerly “Buck” Jordan
1908 Johnny Watson
1910 Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean
1911 Hank McDonald
1917 Bob Ramazzotti
1920 Ray Poole
1920 Roy Talcott
1923 Dick Sipek
1924 Earl Hazwell “Junior” Wooten
1934 Jim Owens
1937 Moe Morhardt
1938 Ron Herbel
1940 Rod Miller
1940 Bob Baird
1941 Joe Bonikowski
1944 Gene Stone
1953 Dennis DeBarr
1954 Dave Stapleton
1957 Steve Balboni
1957 Marty Castillo
1959 Kevin Buckley
1966 Jack McDowell
1970 Ron Villone
1975 Lee Gardner
1977 Colter Bean
1978 Alfredo Amezaga
1979 Jack Cust
1980 Albert Pujols
1980 Brooks Conrad
1981 Mitch Stetter
1983 Eider Torres
1984 Matt Maloney
1985 Jeff Manship
1985 Junior Guerra
1986 Reid Brignac
1986 Mark Trumbo
1987 Zelous Wheeler


1907 Jake Evans
1913 Tom Dolan
1917 Charlie Geggus
1925 George Bignell
1928 Claude Rossman
1934 Wiley Dunham
1938 Earl Clark
1938 Joe Sommer
1950 Rudy Hulswitt
1951 Pid Purdy
1954 Clay Perry
1954 Fred Payne
1963 Tommy Thompson
1964 Howard Baker
1965 Jimmy Williams
1968 Liz Funk
1976 Chick Autry
1977 Baby Doll Jacobson
1985 Ken Chase
1988 Dutch Kemner
1989 Frank Trechock
1990 Earl Naylor
2003 Phil McCullough
2006 Willie Smith
2009 Craig Stimac


1886 The Washington Nationals are admitted into the National League. This version of Washington baseball lasted just four seasons.

1964 The American League votes to prevent Charlie Finley from moving the Kansas City Athletics to Louisville.


1986 New York sends Billy Beane, Bill Latham, and Joe Klink to the Twins for Tim Teufel and Pat Crosby.

2013 Three Team Deal! Oakland sends A. J. Cole, Blake Treinen and Ian Krol (in March) to Washington. Seattle sent John Jason to Oakland. Washington sent Mike Morse to Seattle.

Not a big day for blockbuster trades…

Baseball History for January 15th

<— JANUARY 14     JANUARY 16 –>


1856 Charlie Baker

Harvard shortstop who played in 15 games for Chicago of the Union Association. He also umpired a few National League games in 1884. He died on his birthday in 1937 (See Obituaries, below…)

1858 Mike Mansell

There were three Mansell brothers, all of whom played in the same outfield for Albany in 1881. Mike was the best of the three brothers, very fast and a good outfielder, though not quite a top flight hitter. He spent two years in the NL, then three years in the American Association.

1868 John “Jock” Menefee
1872 Bill Fox
1880 Ed Kinsella
1881 Jess Orndorff

Orndorff was born in Chicago, played a handful of games at catcher for Boston (NL) in 1907 before catching for years in the PCL (one story says he was beaned and nearly died), and for a guy who had such a short major league career he sure lasted in the game a long time.  Moving to the west coast, he opened and operated one of the more successful summer baseball camps and was the owner/manager of a team of old-timers who would tour the country and do baseball exhibitions.  When he died on 28 September 1960, he was remembered for being one of the founders of the Association of the Professional Ball Players of America.  Probably deserves a full biography here…

1885 Grover Lowdermilk
1891 Ray Chapman

One assumes you know about him being on the wrong end of a Carl Mays pitch and being the only player to die from being hit by a pitched ball. Chapman was an amazingly good shortstop and was probably on his way to the Hall of Fame had he not be felled by that pitch. For an excellent biography, find the book “The Pitch That Killed” that tells the story of Chapman and Mays.

1891 Leo Townsend
1897 Joe Genewich
1903 Tom Oliver
1915 Dick Culler
1917 Johnny Rucker
1920 Steve Gromek

steve gromek and larry dobyLong time pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and later the Detroit Tigers. Won 123 games as a frequent starter (but usually a swing man). Went 19 – 9 in 1945, and was the winner of Game 4 of the 1948 World Series – the last time the Indians were the champions.  (The photo you see here shows Gromek and Larry Doby, whose two-run homer combined to beat the Braves and Johnny Sain.)  Went 18 – 16 with Detroit in 1954, and followed that with a 13 – 10 mark before time caught up with his fastball.

And he only threw a fastball – his side-armed delivery didn’t allow the Indians pitching coaches to teach him a new pitch. Thankfully, that fastball was plenty fast and good enough. He also worked plenty fast. “I can’t see much sense waiting around and scuffing up dirt and stuff if you like to work fast like I do,” Gromak once told reporters. “I like to throw. Once, when I was with Cleveland, I threw 79 pitches in an hour and 19 minutes. That was a real fast game.”

Gromek was playing shortstop at Class D Mansfield in 1939 when he blew out his left shoulder swinging a bat. (He could swing a bat – he was batting .315 at the time.) Unable to field, the team took a flyer at making the strong thrower a pitcher in 1940 and it worked. He went 18 – 2 over his first two seasons and was called to the big leagues in 1941.

The Hammtramck, MI native and former bowling alley proprietor passed away on 12 March 2002.

Spencer, Jon. “Brave grew to be Tribe member”, Mansfield News-Journal, 15 August 2001, Pages 1B and 4B.

“Fans Get Home To Dinner When Tigers Use Gromek”, Escanaba Daily Press, 08 May 1954, Page 14.

1932 Georges Maranda
1933 Bobby Durnbaugh
1937 Bob Sadowski
1943 Mike Marshall

Remarkably durable reliever who owns the single season record for most games pitched in both leagues, and won the 1974 NL Cy Young award, in part, because he pitched over 200 innings in relief for the Dodgers.

1946 Tom Robson
1947 Gerry Schoen
1947 Tony Solaita
1949 Luis Alvarado
1949 Bobby Grich

Andy Finch and I like to argue over which second baseman was better: Willie Randolph or Frank White, but the truth is that it was Grich.  Durable, dependable, intelligent, and just a whale of a hitter and fielder.

1954 George Cappuzzello
1956 Jerry Narron
1956 Rance Mulliniks
1956 Don Cooper
1960 Curt Brown
1961 Joe Lansford
1963 William Brennan
1964 Jeff Banister
1967 Bill Wertz
1969 Delino DeShields
1973 Wayne Gomes
1974 Ray King
1975 Edwin Diaz
1979 Ben Howard
1980 Matt Holliday
1980 JD Closser
1982 Melvin Dorta
1982 Armando Galarraga

Famously lost a perfect game to a blown call at first base on the 27th batter, then got the next out to complete the no-hitter.  His handling of the incident – a call that gets overturned had replay existed then – showed a professionalism and humility that earned a lot of respect from many people.

1991 Matt Duffy
1992 Alexander “Chi Chi” Gonzalez


1889 Lew Brown
1913 Icicle Reeder
1924 Pat Friel
1937 Eddie Foster
1937 Charlie Baker
1947 Jimmy Sheckard
1952 Ben Houser
1953 Carl East
1961 Joe Price
1964 Ed Henderson
1964 Bob Larmore
1966 Walt Walsh
1966 Stover McIlwain
1970 Bill Leard
1986 Fred Thomas
1988 George Hennessey
1991 Lyle Judy
1992 Charlie Gassaway
1999 Oscar Georgy
2004 Gus Suhr
2004 Jim Devlin
2011 Roy Hartsfield
2013 Bill Glynn


1942 FDR writes to Judge Landis, “I honestly feel it would be best for the country to keep baseball going.” FDR also encouraged more night games so workers could see the games.


1888 Pittsburgh purchased Billy Sunday from Chicago for about $2,000.

1926 Cincinnati purchased first baseman Wally Pipp from the Yankees.

1944 The Cubs signed amateur free agent Roy Smalley.

1965 New York sent George Altman to the Cubs for Billy Cowan.

1973 Cleveland signed amateur free agent Pedro Guerrero.

1990 After a year in Japan, Cecil Fielder signs with the Tigers… That worked out well for everybody!

2002 Los Angeles traded Gary Sheffield to the Braves for Brian Jordan, Odalis Perez, and Andrew Brown.

2018 Pittsburgh sent Andrew McCutchen and cash to San Francisco for Kyle Crick, Brian Reynolds, and some international slot cash.

Happy Birthday, Lev Shreve!

leven shreveA member of an historic family in Louisville, Leven Shreve was a pitcher of note in the 1880s.  Born 14 January 1865, Leven Lawrence was the sixth child of Charles and Sally Benbridge, and the Shreve family can trace its roots back to Maryland in the days prior to the American Revolution.

Lev got his start with the Lees in late 1886 – a note about his playing against a New Orleans squad said “Shreve is not a ‘phenomenal pitcher’, but he is a good man to have in a nine and will improve upon acquaintance.” By this time in the Southern League, he already had an offer to pitch for Baltimore for 1887. His major league time includes a tryout with Baltimore where he won three of four decisions before being sent to Indianapolis for the rest of that season (going 5 – 9). He had has fullest season with Indianapolis in 1888 where he went 11 – 24 in his 35 starts, throwing 297.67 innings (all but one game was a complete game). He didn’t last long with Indianapolis in 1889, but was picked up by Detroit and helped them win a pennant. Articles show that he was still pitching as late as 1890 for Minneapolis before returning home to Kentucky to play semi-professional ball.

“Dick Buckley caught Shreve in Indianapolis before Rusie’s debut, and he says Shreve was a wonder. Buckley used to say that slow drop went part way and then stopped. The heavy batters would wrench their backs hitting at it and left-handers would hit their feet chopping at the low ones. Once Shreve struck out nine New Yorks in succession.”

“Little Boy Blue”, Detroit Free Press, 15 May 1897, Page 6.

“Lev Shreve is playing ball again. He isn’t going to ask Hughie Jennings for a job, but he is back-stopping for his 11-year-old son, and neighbors who were wont to watch Lev pitch in the days of his prime say the boy has more speed now than his father ever had.

Shreve was a great pitcher in his day. He was let go by the Baltimore team in 1887 and joined Indianapolis. The team he stacked up against was the old Detroit world’s champion outfit. He let them down with three hits, struck out the whole side and performed a few stunts that sent his name bounding along the telegraph wires. Shreve pitched for Indianapolis next year until he retired with a broken hand.

In 1889 the Detroit International league team was right at the bottom of the ladder and the late George W. Burnham announced that he was the Moses of the occasion. The directors were willing to take any chance at that stage, so they sent Burnham to Indianapolis and he came back with Shreve. They reached here in the morning, and early in the afternoon Lev bought an extra package of cigarettes and went to Recreation park. He donned his uniform, tossed a few rainbow drops to Jake Wells and said he was ready. Just then Burnham marched in wearing a white plug hat and leading a little German band.

That afternoon Shreve’s slow drops alternated with strains of the banders and Detroit won the first game in weeks. Shreve won eight without losing, the other pitchers got into shape, the players were on their toes, and along in midsummer the Detroits were leading the parade.

Shreve has been in business many years and lives in this city, although he is a Kentuckian by birth.

Detroit Free Press, 31 March 1909, Page 4.

Leven’s grandfather, also a Leven, and his great uncle Thomas were the first two people to have bathtubs installed in their Louisville homes in 1856.

Tarvin, A. H. “Finger Bowls and Bathtubs”, Louisville Courier-Journal, 29 May 1949, Page 64.

Leven Lawrence Shreve, 77, former Louisvillian, retired Ford Motor Company executive, and one-time major league ball player, died at 9 a.m. Saturday at his Grosse Point, Mich. home.

Mr. Shreve, a descendant of T. T. Shreve and L. L. Shreve, early Louisville commission merchants, had lived at Detroit forty-five years. He retired fifteen years ago. A half-century ago he played baseball with the Detroit and Indianapolis teams.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Mitchell Shreve; a son, Maj. C. Upton Shreve III, 54th Battalion, Fort Callan, San Diego, Calif.; a brother, Charles U. Shreve, Long Island, N. Y., and a granddaughter…”

“Retired Ford Official, Leven L. Shreve, Dies”, Louisville Courier-Journal, 09 November 1942, Page 16.

Other sources:

“It Was Listless.”, St. Paul Globe, 18 June 1890, Page 5.

“Base Ball.”, Frankfort Roundabout, 25 June 1892, Page 5

“A Slugging Match”, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11 October 1886, Page 2.

“Around the Bases.”, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11 October 1886, Page 2.

Nemec, David (Ed.). Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871-1900, Volume 1, Pages 169-170.

Image of a Leven Shreve baseball card had been shared on Ancestry.com.

1880 US Census

Michigan Death Records

Sons of American Revolution Application

Baseball History for January 14th

<— JANUARY 13     JANUARY 15 —>


1856 Charles Joseph “Curry” Foley
1867 Bill Kling
1867 Lev Shreve
1868 John Newell
1871 Art Madison
1876 Bill Wolff
1880 Paddy Livingston
1882 Frederick Joseph “Cy” Alberts
1885 John Grover “Nig” Perrine
1891 John Shovlin
1893 Billy Meyer
1894 Art Decatur
1898 Dick Wheeler
1899 Ralph Miller
1902 Smead Jolley
1903 Russ Scarritt
1911 Hank Gornicki
1915 Bob Joyce
1922 Hank Biasatti
1923 Ken Johnson
1930 Pete Daley
1937 Wilfred Charles “Sonny” Siebert
1939 Tim Talton
1942 Dave Campbell
1942 Billy Parker
1943 Ron Clark
1943 Dave Marshall
1951 Derrel Thomas
1952 Terry Forster
1952 Wayne Gross
1954 Danny Boone
1957 Tony Brizzolara
1959 Jeff Keener
1960 Ross Jones
1961 Joe Redfield
1962 Gary Green
1967 Paul Fletcher
1970 Steve Cooke
1973 Troy Brohawn
1973 Rod Myers
1974 Mike Frank
1976 Pat Daneker
1984 Mike Pelfrey
1984 Erick Aybar
1987 Logan Forsythe
1990 J. R. Graham
1991 Stephen Piscotty
1991 Aaron Altherr


1892 Silver Flint
1895 Ed Silch
1908 Henry Krug
1908 Sim Bullas
1909 Togie Pittinger
1913 Hal O’Hagan
1920 William Hyndman
1928 Al Reach
1929 Fred Hayner
1931 Hardy Richardson
1935 Irv Young
1937 Ed Trumbull
1945 Ted Blankenship
1948 Art Benedict
1950 Bill Thomas
1952 Rube Sellers
1953 Charlie Small
1959 John Ganzel
1961 John Cavanaugh
1962 Pep Young
1962 Les Mann
1965 Ellis Johnson
1965 Bill Hopper
1966 Tacks Neuer
1968 Bill Black
1970 Johnny Murphy

Murphy was a Yankee pitcher, but was the general manager of the Miracle Mets and was barely three months removed from watching that victory when he had a heart attack.

1974 Lloyd Brown
1974 Jay Partridge
1994 Sam Vico
2001 Joe Zapustas
2006 Bubba Morton
2008 Don Cardwell
2009 Mike Derrick


1954 Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe elope… The marriage lasted just 274 days.

1976 Ted Turner purchases the Atlanta Braves for $12 million.


1940 A bunch of Detroit Tigers, including Johnny Sain, are granted free agency when commissioner Judge Landis ruled that 91 players on the Tigers roster or in the farm system had been restricted unfairly by the team. In addition to the release of 91 players, nearly $50,000 was handed out to fourteen players in additional compensation.

1963 The White Sox send Luis Aparicio and Al Smith to the Orioles for Hoyt Wilhelm, Ron Hansen, Pete Ward, and Dave Nicholson.

1964 Pittsburgh signs amateur free agent pitcher Dock Ellis.

1986 First round picks for the January secondary draft included: Moises Alou (Pittsburgh), Kevin Brown (Atlanta), and later Curt Schilling (Boston – 2nd round).

2008 Toronto sent Troy Glaus to the Cardinals for Scott Rolen.

Baseball History for January 13th

<— January 12th     January 14th —>


1856 George Fair

Boston area native who played one game with New York in 1876.

1861 Harry Clarke

Played one game with Washington in 1889.

1865 John Kirby

Pitcher of the 1880s finished with an 18 – 50 career record, which is about the worst record for any pitcher with at least 50 decisions. In his busiest season, he went 11 -26, tossing 325 innings, for St. Louis in 1886.

“Errorless exhibitions are not expected from anybody’s club, and the Indianapolis public is not disposed to be unreasonably critical, but the streak of insanity that developed itself in the head of some one responsible for it, the result of which was to put Mr. Kirby in to pitch, was certainly of the wildest sort. That player has fully demonstrated the fact that he will not pitch ball in Indianapolis. It is not that he cannot, but because he simply will not do effective work, and after the exhibitions that the young man has given recently that fact ought to be apparent to anyone. No man can spend his nights in carousing and his days in indolent obstinacy and do good work in a pitcher’s box, and when to this sort of conduct is added the determination born of the “sulks,” to not exert one’s self, you have a combination that precludes the possibility of good work from any many in any position; and that is Mr. Kirby’s fix exactly… It has to be hoped that the management has finally profited from his exhibitions, and will sell or give him away to anybody who wants to wrestle with a mule.”

“The Phillies Easily Win”, 26 Jun 1887, Page 7.

Major League Profiles suggests that he wasn’t happy in Indianapolis and may have been trying to force the team to get rid of him; also that he had arm problems by this point in his career and was struggling more than other pitchers when rules were changed.

“John Kirby, the pitcher, called down at the Lindell Hotel this morning to see his old playmates, now with the Indianapolis club. Kirby has not reported to Manager Burnham for duty, and what is more, he says he will not do so unless the club pays him his demands.

“‘They have offered me $1,500 to pitch for them this season,” said Kirby, ‘but no such figure or anything like it is going to catch me. I could get as much asw $2,500 from other League clubs if they’d only let me go, but of course they will not.’

“Kirby is positive in his intention of holding out unless he is paid at least $2,000 for the season.”

“Kirby Holding Out.”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05 April 1887, Page 8.

“John Kirby, the well-known local pitcher, will play with the Memphis Southern League team next season. He is to receive a salary of $2,100… His arm was lame last year, and he failed to do good work with Indianapolis and Cleveland, but he is now in good condition.”

Pritchard, Joe. “Special to Sporting Life.”, Sporting Life, 15 February 1888, Page 1

The St. Louis native returned home after his baseball days and spent time in police work, dying in 1931 of complications related to diabetes.

1865 Al Krumm
1869 Jud Smith
1875 Charlie Ziegler
1880 Edward John “Goat” Anderson
1888 Luther Bonin
1889 Mike Konnick
1899 Frank Joseph “Cactus” Keck
1901 Fred Schulte
1904 Elmer Lafayette “Bunny” Hearn
1905 Charlie Wilson
1908 Jimmy Jordan
1909 Charles Asher “Spades” Wood
1915 Mike Dejan
1915 Mike Milosevich
1916 Carvel William “Bama” Rowell
1917 Stan Wentzel
1918 Emmett O’Neill
1918 Everett Fagan
1918 Steve Mesner
1919 Ben Guintini
1929 Moe Savransky
1930 Joe Margoneri
1940 Ron Brand
1944 Larry Jaster
1948 Les Cain
1949 Jim Foor
1949 Mike Buskey
1950 Mike Tyson
1950 Bob Forsch
1952 Bob Galasso
1953 Odell Jones
1954 Steve Comer
1957 Mike Madden
1958 Gene Roof
1962 Kevin Mitchell
1964 Billy Jo Robidoux
1964 Jose Nunez
1969 Kevin Foster
1969 Orlando Miller
1971 Elmer Dessens
1972 Akinori Otsuka
1975 Jason Childers
1981 Darrell Rasner
1981 Jose Capellan
1983 Andy Sisco
1987 Oliver Drake
1989 Heath Hembree


1890 Buck Gladmon
1891 Joe Connors
1899 Fred Carl
1903 Pete Conway
1914 Aaron Clapp
1927 Bob Ingersoll
1929 Buck West
1933 Jesse Hoffmeister
1939 Jacob Ruppert
1944 Kid Elberfeld
1946 Kid Speer
1951 Charlie Miller
1955 Bill Dinneen
1965 Brad Kocher
1967 Charlie Gelbert
1968 Marty Lang
1968 Art Schwind
1968 Ernie Herbert
1977 Red Ostergard
1978 Joe McCarthy
1978 Bill Clowers
1978 Merwin Jacobson
1980 Monty Swartz
1980 Charlie Sproull
1986 Mike Garcia
1987 Tom Morgan
1989 Pat Ankenman
1989 Ray Morehart
1990 Roy Jarvis
1993 Harlan Pyle
2003 Ernie Rudolph
2004 Mike Goliat
2008 Johnny Podres
2009 Preston Gomez
2013 Enzo Hernandez
2016 Luis Arroyo


2005 Major League Baseball owners approve Mark Attanasio’s purchase of the Milwaukee Brewers from the family of Bud Selig for $223 million.


1954 Philadelphia sent Jack Lohrke, Andy Hansen, and $70,000 to Pittsburgh for Murry Dickson.

1971 First round picks of the secondary draft included Phil Garner (Oakland), John Wathan (Kansas City), and Johnny Grubb (San Diego).

1981 First round picks of the secondary draft included Glenn Davis (Houston) and Kevin Gross (Philadelphia)…

1996 Florida signed amateur free agent (and Cuban refugee) Livan Hernandez.

2005 The Mets signed free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran.

2018 Pittsburgh traded Gerrit Cole to Houston for Joe Musgrove, Colin Moran, Michael Feliz, and Jason Martin.

Baseball History for January 12th

<— January 11th     January 13th —>


1856 John Frank “Chub” Sullivan

“Chub” was more likely a reference to his thin frame – 6′ 0″ and maybe 165 pounds… He was the son of Patrick and Hannah Sullivan, both immigrants from Ireland.

Sullivan played on The Star Club of Boston, organized by Father James Troy – the team went undefeated in 1874 and was the Massachusetts Junior club champions.  Sullivan then played professionally with the Clippers of Webster, Tauntons, Ithicas, Buckeyes of Columbus, Cincinnatis, and the Worcesters. Joe Start was asked about Chub’s skills at first base. “His superior never lived, and I have played against them all for the past twenty years.”

Foley, Charles J. “The Stars of Boston.”, Boston Globe, 02 May 1887, Page 8

Chub played for Cincinnati in 1877 and 1878, moved to Worcester in 1879 when it was a minor league team and stayed with that team when it successfully applied to join the National League in 1880.

“Do you remember poor Chub Sullivan? What a big-hearted fellow he was. Chub was the first baseman of the team. He was a tall, handsome fellow, and one of the best dressed ball players I ever saw. He always wore fashionable clothes, and he was a fellow that could wear them, too.

Kelly, Mike. “Play Ball.”, Ottawa Daily Citizen, 04 August 1888, Page 2.

Arthur Irwin on Chub Sullivan:

“Sullivan actually played one season without a fielding error. Of course, the schedule called for about half as many games as the 154-game schedule of this season, but a first baseman who can play seventy or eighty games without an error ought to play twice that number with a clean record in the error column. Sullivan was simply perfection with his hands. He made clean pick-ups with both right and left hands, plucked the sphere out of the ambient as it sailed toward the right or left of him or was bound over his head… Chub never wore a glove, as the big mitt wasn’t invented in those days. He simply worked with the bare hand…

“Baseball Talk.”, Buffalo Courier, 28 November 1898, Page 3.

Sullivan started having issues with his lungs as early as the summer of 1880.

“‘Chub’ Sullivan, first baseman of the Worcesters, is sick with typhoid fever, and may not be able to play again till September…”

“Sporting Notes.”, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 24 July 1880, Page 4.

Chub Sullivan, first baseman of the Worcesters, has been released. He has been given a month’s trial in practice games and being unable to bat or run satisfactorily, the directors did not care to take the risk of putting him in the championship games Saturday against the Troys. His lungs are affected, and it is thought his ball-playing days are over.

“Sporting Matters.”, Detroit Free Press, 30 April 1881, Page 1

According to the Massachusetts Death Records, Sullivan died of phthisis, or tuberculosis, on 12 September 1881 – just 25 years old.

“…The Worcesters played with crape on their arms in memory of Chub Sullivan, a member of the team, who died in Boston yesterday.”

“Worcester Vs. Buffalo.”, Chicago Tribune, 14 September 1881, Page 6.

Trivia: Chub Sullivan played in 43 games for Worcester in 1880, batting 166 times and getting 43 hits, including six doubles and three triples. He didn’t drive in a single run.

1859 Ed Swartwood
1860 Henry Larkin
1860 John Waltz
1862 John Crowley
1866 Tom Kinslow
1868 Dan Daub
1869 Nat Hudson
1872 Togie Pittinger
1876 George Browne
1877 Charlie Buelow
1878 Admiral Schlei
1879 Hank Olmsted
1879 Gary Wilson
1881 Jim Callahan
1889 Doc Imlay
1893 Lefty Lorenzen
1893 Charlie Young
1895 Jack Knight
1895 Henry Bostick
1898 Rip Wade
1898 George Knothe
1899 Joe Hauser
1915 Roy Easterwood
1925 Ed Stevens
1937 Phil Mudrock
1940 George Kernek
1945 Bob Reed
1945 Paul Gilliford
1947 Gene Martin
1947 Leon Everitt
1947 Paul Reuschel
1950 Randy Jones
1953 Terry Whitfield
1955 Chuck Porter
1956 Juan Bonilla
1958 Rod Craig
1960 Mike Marshall
1960 Tim Hulett
1960 Mike Trujillo
1961 Casey Candaele
1967 Mike Simms
1970 Nigel Wilson
1971 Andy Fox
1972 Rich Loiselle
1975 Jorge Velandia
1977 Reggie Taylor
1978 Luis Ayala
1980 Bobby Crosby
1982 Chris Ray
1982 Dontrelle Willis
1984 Scott Olsen
1985 Chris Hatcher
1987 Ivan Nova
1988 Justin Marks
1991 Alex Wood


1903 Win Mercer
1910 Harry Staley
1917 Jim Garry
1926 Michael Campbell
1937 Joe McCarthy
1938 Dupee Shaw
1940 Ed Keas
1943 Bill Webb
1958 Lefty Webb
1960 Jimmy Lavender
1970 Doc Bass
1970 Andy Bruckmiller
1971 Cy Malis
1974 Jim Middleton
1975 Frank Kalin
1977 Tex Carleton
1986 Eddie Solomon
1989 Clise Dudley
1993 Joe Orrell
1993 Earl Browne
2010 Hillis Layne
2013 Bubba Harris


2010 The Florida Marlins and the MLB Players Union reach an agreement to force the Marlins to actually spend money on players, since their small payroll is in violation of the revenue sharing provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement.

The reason, of course, for the small salaries was that the Marlins owners didn’t have money to pay for their share of the new stadium, so they pared down the salary to the bare minimum and pocketed shared revenue to obtain the money needed to get the stadium.


1880 Harry Stovey jumped from Philadelphia to the Boston Reds.

1924 Boston purchased outfielder Bobby Veach from Detroit.

1972 First round picks from the secondary draft included Tom Hume (Cincinnati) and Duane Kuiper (Cleveland).

1982 First round picks from the secondary draft included Danny Jackson (Kansas City) and Kirby Puckett (Minnesota).

2009 Boston signed free agent pitcher John Smoltz.