Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday, Ollie O’Mara!

In lieu of a formal biography, I offer this story written about the signing of O’Mara when Brooklyn brought him back to the Superbas in 1918.

Ollie O’Mara Is Once Again A Signed and Sealed Superba

by “Rice.”

Ollie OMara in Bkln 1918Ollie O’Mara, infielder, has signed to play with the Brooklyn Superbas in 1918. Ollie is no stranger. He was a Superba in 1914, 1915, and 1916. He thought the Federal League war was still on as well as the war in Europe when it came time to signing for 1917 and was pained and shocked when his failure to come into the fold resulted in his being shunted to the Pacific Coast League. His health was bad and he was shipped to Atlanta in the Southern Association, where he flourished like the green bay tree, and by his batting and fielding at second base helped Atlanta to win the Southern Association championship.

It was his work in Atlanta that brought O’Mara back to Brooklyn. He was reclaimed from the Southern town before it was realized that the major leagues would be hit so hard by the military draft, so that it is not fair to say that Ollie gets a job merely because material is scarce. He was engaged before the scarcity arose, and Your Uncle Wilbert Robinson believes that the lad has an excellent chance to make good. If Ollie should come through this year with bells on his case would be no more remarkable than that of Gavvy Cravath of the Phillies, who was up and down and up again half a dozen times; or of Larry Cheney, the Brooklyn pitcher, who was five years making himself stick as a major leaguer.

Chance at Second Base.

O’Mara was shortstopping last year for Atlanta, and in that capacity had a fielding average of .943, which ranked him fourth among the regulars who played 50 or more games at short. He was a shortstop while with Brooklyn before, and he has always been more or less of a shortstopper, but with Brooklyn in 1918 he will probably start as a second baser.

Ollie’s future depends upon whether he will be able to play as well at Ebbets Field as he plays at other fields. Many baseball performers shine only with the support of the home town fans, while others are oppressed with the feeling at home that they must do something extraordinary every little minute to keep up their reputation with the folks who know them by their first names, and who make coarse comments upon how they part their hair. O’Mara belonged in years gone by to the latter class, but his is considerably older now than he was when he first came to Brooklyn as one of the freshest kids in captivity in 1914. If he has acquired steadiness with age he should be a great comfort to Flatbush and environs, and the reports of his doings in Atlanta are all to that effect.

Successor to Cutshaw

When Brooklyn traded George W. Cutshaw to Pittsburg the only remaining second baseman in sight was Lewis A. Malone, who had been recalled from St. Paul, but Lewis enlisted in the Aviation Corps – and more power to him! – and that left Uncle Wilbert with no choice except to make a second baseman out of O’Mara.

Ivan Olson, who succeeded O’Mara as the regular shortstop in 1916, and was better in 1917 than he had ever been in his long career, is still with us, and sho is Charles W. (Chuck) Ward , who was obtained in the Pittsburg trade and Brooklyn thus has three seasoned shortstops and no second baseman, but the dope is that O’Mara will be the man to be tried out as a successor to Cutshaw. If Ward is shifted, as he may well be, in view of Olson’s good work in 1917, he will almost certainly be the subject of experimentation at third base, where he will meet with competition from Frank O’Rourke and Hi Myers.

Somehow or other, perhaps as a result of the wish being father to the thought, the first reports about the reclaiming of O’Mara stated that he played second base for Atlanta last season, but they were wrong. The Spalding Record Book shows that he batted in 66 games for an average of .301 and fielded at short in the same number of games for .943. His batting included 12 doubles, 5 troplets, 14 sacrifices, and 11 stolen bases for 66 games, which was not bad.

Ollie has been working this winter at a civilian job in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, he having married a Brooklyn girl.

Make Good on Boast.

O’Mara’s home, previous to this winter, was in Kerry Patch, St. Louis, where he was bred and born, nearly twenty-five years ago, and learned to bat and throw right handed. Old time Brooklyn ball players remember him as a red headed pest, who used to hang around the grounds of the St. Louis Cardinals and chase flies. In those days the visiting teams used to ride to the grounds in buses, something now utterly beneath the dignity of the high-priced athletes. Hitching on behind the buses and making jeering remarks about the inmates was one of the cherished traditions of the town boy, and a persistent hitcher was O’Mara. He was on the step of the Brooklyn bus one day and indulging in a particularly fine flow of comment about the visitors, when one of them firmly, and not at all gently, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and dropped him upon the highway. Dusting himself off the kid yelled at the Superbas:

“Yah, yer big stiffs. I’ll be up there some day in the big league, when you guys are in the bush again!”

That prediction comes true. The incident happened more than ten years ago, and O’Mara, now a signed Superba, is up there while every man on the team of a decade back is in the bush whence he came.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 04 March 1918, Page 8.

(O’Mara wound up playing mostly at third base, with Mickey Doolin getting a lot of time at the second sack. He didn’t hit much – just .213 – and after two games in 1919, he was out of the majors and playing for Indianapolis in the AA.)


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Baseball History for March 8th


1869 Jim Hughey
1875 Bob Brush
1879 Josh Clarke
1882 Harry Lord
1891 Ollie O’Mara
1893 Ray Francis
1895 Jack Bentley
1896 Lefty Clarke
1898 Phil Bedgood
1909 Pete Fox
1912 Ray Mueller
1917 Bill Salkeld
1922 Al Gionfriddo
1922 Carl Furillo
1924 Toby Atwell
1926 Dick Teed
1930 Bob Grim
1934 Willard Hunter
1934 Marv Breeding
1937 Jim Small
1939 Jim Bouton
1942 Dick Allen
1942 George Gerberman
1948 Joe Staton
1949 Juan Jimenez
1953 Don Werner
1953 Jim Rice
1954 Win Remmerswaal
1955 Phil Nastu
1957 John Butcher
1957 Bob Stoddard
1958 Nick Capra
1960 Kevin Hagen
1961 Mark Salas
1964 Lance McCullers
1967 Joel Johnston
1968 Jim Dougherty
1973 Mark Lukasiewicz
1973 Justin Thompson
1974 Mike Moriarty
1975 Jesus Pena
1976 Juan Encarnacion
1976 Ryan Freel
1982 Craig Stansberry
1983 Chris Lambert
1983 Mark Worrell
1988 Tommy Pham


1924 Myron Allen
1926 Howard Armstrong
1934 Bill Rotes
1939 Scott Stratton
1959 Don Flinn
1971 Tripp Sigman
1974 Frank Pratt
1977 Sid Benton
1981 Gowell Claset
1984 Bruce Cunningham
1985 Al Todd
1989 Dale Coogan
1992 Sherman Edwards
1996 Bill Nicholson
1999 Joe DiMaggio
2002 Ted Sepkowski
2003 Mickey McGowan
2007 John Vukovich
2007 Marty Martinez
2008 Ossie Alvarez
2009 Ed Wolfe
2014 Bud Bulling


1900 The National League contracts from 12 teams to 8 – losing Louisville, Baltimore, Washington, and Cleveland. Owners of those franchises are allowed to sell their players to help finance their exit from the league.  1913 John Powers organizes (out of the ashes of a failed Columbian League) the Federal League.

1941 Hugh Mulcahy is the first player drafted into the armed forces in advance of World War II.

1946 The Indians top the Giants in the first spring training game played in Arizona.


1918 New York purchased George Burns from Detroit – and then traded him to the Athletics for Ping Bodie.

1923 Boston signs Stuffy McInnis to play first base. The veteran leads the NL in games played, bats .315 and drives in 95 runs.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Baseball History for March 7th


1877 Alex Pearson

3 – 8 as a pitcher for two teams in 1902 and 1903. With the Cards, he was 2 – 6 in ten starts. Then he jumped to Cleveland in the AL and went 1 – 2 in three starts and a relief appearance.

1879 Ginger Clark

Won his only game as a relief pitcher, going six innings for Cleveland in 1902.

1881 Charlie Fallon

One game, no at bats, with the Highlanders in 1905.

1881 Rube Sellers

Twelve games, five hits, with the Beaneaters in 1910.

1881 Doc Scanlan

Tolerable pitcher with Brooklyn in the first decade of the last century. Started with Pittsburgh, but they were loaded with arms so Doc Scanlan was allowed to leave. Won 18 games in 1906, but it was a mirage, really. He didn’t allow that many hits, but walked a ton of guys. That caught up with him in 1907, but Brooklyn kept giving him chances for three more years. Back then, of course, Brooklyn was pretty lousy – and Scanlan was nearly a .500 pitcher in his career there.

Born William Dennis Scanlan, he was a native of Syracuse, attended three colleges (Manhattan, Fordham, and Syracuse) and got his medical degree from Long Island… He was inducted into the Syracuse Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2006.

1884 Ed Willett

Rotation member of the Tigers from 1906 to 1913, then took the money and ran to the Federal League. Won 21 games for the 1909 pennant winners.

1888 Tex Wisterzil

His three major league seasons were all in the Federal League – a regular for the 1914 Brooklyn squad, but only that year. Actually played for the Whales twice in 1915 – getting traded (loaned?) to St. Louis and then sent back.

1888 Dan Griner

Cards pitcher from 1912 to 1916 – a time when St. Louis wasn’t very good and it shows up in his records (10 – 22 in 1913, for example). For a couple of years, he was a spot starter but apparently never on the good side of Roger Breshahan and by 1916 he was gone.

1890 Dave Danforth

Bit part pitcher on a couple of championship level teams – the early 1910s Athletics and the late 1910s White Sox. After heading back to the minors, had a couple of good years with the Browns from 1922 to 1925.

That, however, is barely 10% of the story. Danforth was a man with large hands and an inquisitive mind who would try anything to pitch better, including doctoring baseballs (he taught the shine ball to Eddie Cicotte) and then, much like Gaylord Perry later, would ACT like he was messing with baseballs to get in the heads of batters. He pitched into his 40s in various levels before becoming a dentist.

Steve Steinberg wrote this amazing biography worth a read for SABR:

1894 Frank Gleich

Briefly a Yankee in the early days of Babe Ruth.

1894 Merwin Jacobson

Baseball nomad of the teens and twenties. Spent only parts of four seasons in the bigs, but spent forever in the International League – his prime was in Baltimore where he was a star outfielder for Jack Dunn’s Orioles.

1901 Dick Loftus

Brooklyn outfielder of the 1920s, though most of his baseball days were spent in the minors playing for Minneapolis or Louisville in the American Association.

1908 Harry Davis

This is the player of the 1930s, a first baseman for Detroit and St. Louis – mobile around the bag, but destined to make his living in the high level minors into his 40s. Played minor league baseball in four different decades (1925 to 1950) and had at least 3,000 hits in the minors.

1910 Fred Archer

Had a short major league career – just two years with the As in the 1930s – but his first appearance was a ten-inning complete game victory.

1910 Howie McFarland

Six games as an outfielder with the 1945 Washington Senators, though he spent much of the 1930s playing in the minors or semi-professional baseball. Desperate for players, the Senators gave the 35 year old a week with the team.

1914 Joe Gallagher

Nicknamed “Muscles” because of his thick physique, Gallagher played both baseball and football at Manhattan College. After rifling through the minors, the Yankees called for him in 1939. Not getting regular playing time, he threatened to quit the game and was traded to the Browns. There, he played like a solid prospect, but got injured in early 1940. By mid-season he was with the Dodgers.

In May of 1941, Gallagher was inducted into the the Army where he served the entirety of World War II. When he came back from the war, he was no longer the young man he was in the 1930s and his career ended quickly. He went into coaching instead – becoming the head baseball coach at Stephen F. Austin.

1915 Jim Reninger
1915 Soup Campbell
1919 Junior Walsh
1921 Les Fusselman
1923 Bobo Holloman
1929 Red Wilson
1930 Tom Acker
1931 Dick Rand
1933 Ed Bouchee
1936 Galen Cisco
1938 Jimmie Hall
1941 Glen Clark
1947 Jim Howarth
1950 J. R. Richard

Amazing Astros pitcher who was cruising along toward a Cy Young award in 1980 when felled by a stroke.

1951 Jeff Burroughs

1974 AL MVP, and a slugger for a couple of teams throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.

1953 Randy Stein
1954 Nyls Nyman
1954 Mike Armstrong
1958 Albert Hall
1960 Joe Carter

Fun and engaging hero of the 1993 World Series. Cubs took him out of Wichita State, where he originally would have played QB and outfield… Moved to Cleveland in the deal that sent Rick Sutcliffe to the Cubs in 1984. As his time in Cleveland wound down, he was traded to San Diego. He was great, the teams were disappointing – and he was sent with Roberto Alomar to Toronto for Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff. The Blue Jays benefitted – they were loaded as it was – and Carter helped make it two championships in a row.

He’s a marginal hall of fame candidate – nearly 400 homers, more than 2000 hits, tons of RBIs, a 30-30 guy once – but modern metrics point out that he rarely walked owing to his constantly taking good cuts. He smiled, he was aggressive, he helped teams win, and he put runs on the board. I loved the guy and wished he never left Chicago…

1962 Jose Cano

Father of Robinson, pitched with the Astros in 1989, and all over the world through the 1980s and 1990s. Trivia: Only player to pitch a complete game win in his final major league game – his only win.

1962 German Gonzalez

Briefly a prospect with the Twins in 1988 and 1989 – might have been a bit unlucky, but it didn’t work out.

1963 Keith Miller

This was the Keith Miller who got a brief look with the Phillies in the late 1980s, but wasn’t going to take at bats away from Juan Samuel.

1964 Wayne Edwards

White Sox prospect of the late 1980s – never had a bad run with the Sox, but never really got over the top either.

1965 Jack Armstrong

1990 All Star game starter for the Reds, but among the least deserving guys to get a start. Had just that one good year – 12 – 9 but just 166 innings. Despite the all-American name and husky build, he was doomed to poor records (7 – 13 with Cincy in 1991, 6 – 15 with Cleveland in 1992, 9 – 17 for the Marlins in 1993) and out of baseball after 1994.

1966 Mauro Gozzo

A pitcher in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Goose Gozzo was originally a prospect for the Blue Jays. Called up in 1989, went 3 – 1 but didn’t put anyone away in his 31 innings so he was moved to Cleveland. At that point, he became organizational depth for teams like Minnesota and the Mets…

1968 Jeff Kent

A REALLY good baseball player. Another guy who wasn’t always the easiest to get along with, mostly because he didn’t suffer fools much and had a rather high impression of himself (I mean, he once got kicked off his high school team after a run-in with his manager there…). Might be one of the five best second basemen ever, though I don’t think anyone has ever thought it through…

Started in the Toronto chain but was traded to the Mets in the David Cone deal. Didn’t exactly make for a warm clubhouse presence, but boy could he hit. In the early 1990s, and with numbers cut down by strike seasons and having to play in Shea, he was a great run producer. But for some reason, the Mets just HAD to have Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinosa, so they sent Kent to Cleveland in 1996.

After that, he signed with San Francisco and turned out seasons around 30 – 100 – .300 like clockwork. He would have eight 100 RBI seasons in 9 years (the lone miss was a 22 – 93 – .297 season in Houston when he missed a month with injuries). He finished his career with the Dodgers, but never had an off year at the plate. Kent wasn’t ever a candidate to win gold gloves, but no other second sacker hit as many homers as this guy. Can’t buy a Hall of Fame vote, which is a shame since there is no doubt that he is worthy as a hitter. Wonder if his personality is getting in the way…

1968 Denis Boucher

Prospect in the early 1990s that never quite panned out. Got shots with Toronto, Cleveland, and Montreal over a four year span. Has two hits in his career – both doubles.

1980 Scott Munter

Giants prospect about ten years ago, got three shots with the parent club. The first was promisng (2005), but a near 9.00 ERA in 2006 put an end to his being a prospect. Batted once, drove in a run with a double and later scored a run.

1983 Drew Macias

When I was a more regular blogger, Macias was one of those guys who always kept getting called up or sent down with San Diego. No longer a prospect…

1983 Taylor Tankersley

Solid armed lefty with the Marlins who never advanced past prospect for us… Once went 6 – 1 in relief, mostly as a one-out type guy, but his wildness got the best of him.

1987 Joel Carreno

Made eleven appearances with Toronto in 2011 and 2012, including two starts in 2012 that didn’t necessarily endear him to management…

1988 Tyler Ladendorf

A’s prospect who got first cup of coffee in 2015.


1892 Fred O’Neill
1902 Pud Galvin
1905 John Murphy
1916 Fred Donovan
1924 Pat Moran
1932 Bill Carrick
1936 Tom Rogers
1937 Lady Baldwin
1940 Johnny Johnston
1941 Buzz Wetzel
1950 Joe Brown
1953 Tom Wilson
1956 Shorty Des Jardien
1959 John Glaiser
1967 Al Shealy
1975 Joe Benes
1978 Steve Bilko
1981 Pee-Wee Wanninger
1986 Jimmy Moore
1991 Cool Papa Bell
1994 Stew Hofferth
2000 Jack Sanford
2002 Mickey Haslin
2003 Al Libke
2007 Emil Mailho
2013 Ray Martin
2013 Jake Striker
2013 Carl Thomas


1914 Babe Ruth, in an exhibition game, hits his first professional home run for Baltimore at the Cape Fear Fairgrounds in Fayetteville, NC.


1903 Detroit trades Kid Gleason to the Giants for Heinie Smith.

1973 The Chicago White Sox released Jay Johnstone and Ed Spiezio. Johnstone wasn’t done yet, but after hitting .188 was expendable. Spiezio was done.

1978 Philadelphia signs non-drafted free agent George Bell. Bell would be lost two years later in a Rule 5 draft to Toronto.

1979 Milwaukee signs non-drafted free agent Bob Gibson. Not THAT Bob Gibson, mind you…

1981 Seattle sent Carlos Diaz to Atlanta to pick up birthday boy, Jeff Burroughs. Only Burroughs finished the season with his team, so I guess Seattle wins the trade.

2003 Baltimore signs (and brings back) free agent outfielder B. J. Surhoff.  Surhoff had a few years left before he retired…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Baseball History for March 6th


1863 John Coleman
1869 Hal Mauck
1871 Frank Gatins
1878 Bert Husting

I first came across him as a member of Connie Mack’s Milwaukee club in 1899 while doing research for the Rube Waddell bio. Husting bolted the team a year later for a pay raise, so his rights were traded to Pittsburgh as part of the process Mack took for getting Rube Waddell to pitch for him in 1900. They were teammates in 1902 with Mack and the Philadelphia As.

I’m pretty sure he was a Wisconsin man through and through, and eventually gave up
baseball to become a lawyer in that state.

1878 John McMakin
1886 Bill Sweeney
1891 Clarence Garrett
1891 Frank Fletcher
1892 George Mohart
1892 Chick Davies
1897 Cliff Brady
1898 Roy Hansen
1900 Lefty Grove

Only the greatest pitcher between Walter Johnson and Sandy Koufax.

1915 Bob Swift
1915 Pete Gray

Born Peter James Wyshner, lost his arm to a truck accident before he turned ten, but was such a well coordinated person that he was able to make it into the big leagues as an outfielder during the war.

1917 Joe Orrell
1917 Walker Cress
1924 Ed Mierkowicz
1924 Bud Podbielan
1933 Ted Abernathy
1939 Cookie Rojas

Phillies infielder, later played with some good Royals teams in the 1970s, a coach for a while, and now a broadcaster on the Spanish speaking networks for the Marlins. Beloved down here in South Florida, as he should be.

1940 Willie Stargell

I miss this guy.

1952 Eduardo Rodriguez
1953 Gerry Hannahs
1959 Karl Best
1960 Rick Behenna
1966 Anthony Telford
1966 Joe Hall
1970 Scott Stahoviak
1971 Roger Salkeld

I always thought he was going to become a great pitcher, but his body just couldn’t do it. Always breaking down.

1973 Roberto Duran
1973 Terry Adams
1974 James Lofton
1974 Gabe Alvarez
1975 Edgar Ramos
1977 Marcus Thames
1979 Clint Barmes

Career was going along just fine until he fell down the stairs carrying deer meat, or something like that…

1982 Cristhian Martinez
1986 Ross Detwiler
1986 Jake Arrieta
1986 Francisco Cervelli
1988 Leonys Martin


1899 Edward Santry
1910 Morrie Critchley
1912 Pembroke Finlayson
1919 Fred Demarais
1927 John Tilley
1936 Watty Lee
1938 Rube Lutzke
1940 Marshall Locke
1943 Jimmy Collins
1945 Harry O’Neill

O’Neill, who played one game as a catcher for the Athletics, was killed at the battle of Iwo Jima.

1946 Claude Thomas
1956 Joe Berger
1965 Wally Schang
1965 Jimmy Austin

Interviewed in Ritter’s “Glory of Their Times”, and singlehandedly convinced me I needed to write a biography of Rube Waddell. It was Austin’s story of hitting a grand slam off Waddell (which never happened) that opens chapter eight.

1967 Vince Castino
1967 Jack Meyer
1970 Bob Adams
1972 Stan Jok
1979 Link Wasem
1981 Wade Lefler
1988 Dick Ricketts
1988 Lou Legett
1990 Joe Sewell
1993 George Stumpf
1998 Frank Barrett
2003 Mickey Kreitner
2005 Danny Gardella
2006 Kirby Puckett
2008 Deacon Donahue
2009 Eduardo Rodriguez
2010 Jim Roland


1951 Charlie Brown plays baseball for the first time in a Peanuts comic strip.

2005 Susan Waldman joins John Sterling for broadcasts of Yankee games; she’s the first female full-time color commentator


1904 New York (AL) sends pitcher Harry Howell to the St. Louis Browns for pitcher Jack Powell. A couple of years later, they would be teammates.

1938 Brooklyn sends Eddie Morgan and $45,000 to Philadelphia for Dolph Camilli.

1948 Boston sends Bama Rowell, Ray Sanders and $40,000 to Brooklyn for Eddie Stanky and a player to be named later… The player to be named later was Ray Sanders (he got to go back), so Boston gave Brooklyn an additional $20,000…

1975 Oakland releases Dick Green. The beginning of the end, right?

1975 Kansas City sells bubble gum blowing champ Kurt Bevacqua to Milwaukee.

2007 Houston signs non-drafted free agent Jose Altuve.

2009 Oakland signs free agent Nomar Garciaparra.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Baseball History for March 5th


1855 John Richmond
1860 Sam Thompson
1863 Bill Delaney
1870 Fred Siefke
1882 Rabbit Robinson
1888 Jake Northrop
1888 Jeff Tesreau
1891 Walt Alexander
1896 Bernie Hungling
1897 Lu Blue
1897 Virgil Barnes
1898 Bill Grevell
1903 Chick Autry
1904 Lou Rosenberg
1911 Earl Browne
1912 Dick Errickson
1912 Jim Gleeson
1915 Stan Ferens
1915 Harry Shuman
1915 Vic Bradford
1917 Alex Monchak
1919 Don Savage
1921 Elmer Valo
1924 Ramon Garcia
1930 Del Crandall
1936 Jacke Davis
1938 Larry Elliot
1941 Phil Roof
1945 Dave Bakenhaster
1946 Les Rohr
1947 Kent Tekulve
1950 Doug Bird
1952 Mike Squires
1955 Steve Burke
1957 Jerry Ujdur
1959 Andy Rincon
1961 Steve Ontiveros

The pitcher, and not the guy pitching hair solutions.

1966 Kevin Brown
1971 Brian Lesher
1971 Chad Fonville
1971 Brian Hunter
1971 Jeffrey Hammonds
1971 Jose Mercedes
1973 Ryan Franklin
1973 Felipe Crespo
1976 Doug Clark
1976 Paul Konerko
1977 Mike MacDougal
1978 Mike Hessman
1979 Erik Bedard
1981 Francisley Bueno
1985 Brad Mills
1988 Hector Gomez
1988 Joe Benson
1989 Mauricio Robles
1990 L. J. Hoes
1993 Kyle Schwarber


1897 Dave Foutz
1920 Alex Farmer
1928 Mart McQuaid
1929 Lou Hardie
1942 Dutch Wetzel
1950 Effie Norton
1956 Bruce Ogrodowski
1963 Lefty Lorenzen
1965 Pepper Martin
1980 Les Fleming
1995 Roy Hughes
2001 Leo Thomas
2002 Clay Smith


1966 Marvin Miller is elected the first executive director of the Major League Player’s Association.

1973 The most famous trade of the 1970s – Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson announce they swapped wives in the offseason…


1904 The Boston Beaneaters sign pitcher Kaiser Wilhelm… Wilhelm had been released by Pittsburgh the year before and would win 13 games for Boston in 1903, but fall to 3 – 23 in 1905. Ouch.

1958 Los Angeles signs amateur free agent Frank Howard.

1982 Seattle signs free agent Gaylord Perry.

1986 Milwaukee sends Ted Simmons to Atlanta for Rick Cerone, Dave Clay, and Flavio Alfaro. Nobody wins that trade…

1988 Montreal signs free agent outfielder Otis Nixon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Baseball History for March 4th


1856 Clarence Cross

Played a handful of games as an infielder with three different teams in the Union Association, then went back into the minors where he moved around from team and league to team and league.  In 1887, he wound up in Eau Claire, WI where he hit about .387 and was called out to New York for a tryout with the Metropolitans of the American Association.  He played in 16 games, batted .200 and was put on the reserve list – only for his team to be purchased by Charles Byrnes and incorporated into the Brooklyn entry in the American Association.  He didn’t stick and wandered around a variety of minor league teams at least until 1890 – playing with Spokane Falls that season.

I found him in the 1870 and 1930 US Census records.  In 1870, he was living with his mother, Catherine Crause (wife of Henry, who was not listed), and three siblings.  He and an older brother, Charles, were both working as apprentices for a chair maker in St. Louis, the city where he was born.  Somewhere between then and the early 1880s, he changed his baseball name from Crause to Cross.  In 1930, I found him boarding with a family in Meadville, MT, which was a copper mining town.  He didn’t have a job listed, but the census taker recorded that he was now divorced from a woman he married around 1882.  A year later, he died in Seattle and was cremated.  His death certificate noted his parents but no living next-of-kin.

“Base Ball”, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 26 September, 1884, Page 8.
“A Surprise For Brooklyn.”, New York Sun, 30 October 1887, Page 11.
“Scraps of Sport”, St. Paul Globe, 25 April 1890, Page 5.
Washington State Death Certificates
1870 and 1930 US Census
Baseball Reference

1858 Emil Gross
1861 Abe Wolstenholme

Born on the day that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln Wolstenholme played in three games as a catcher and third baseman for about a week in June, 1883 for the Phillies – the first year of Philadelphia’s National League existence. He had one hit in eleven at bats, a double, over those three games. After that, he was gone. As Philadelphia had a pretty extensive semi-professional circuit then, he may have been active in local games for a portion of his adult life.

From simple research, he was born to John and Alice (Heargrave) Wolstenholme in 1861, though his death record says he was born in 1862. He was the fourth child (behind Jeremiah, Sarah, and Elizabeth). Not long after his baseball career ended, he married Maggie Evans on 2/4/1884 and spent most of his days as a file cutter, his last job was with the Forman File Works. In the 1900 and 1910 census, he was living without his wife – either with his parents (1900) or as a lodger. You don’t want to read too much into this, as she signed his death certificate, but I don’t see any records (city directories, etc.) that show them living together much, or that they had any children.

Wolstenholme is one of a handful of players (and people, really) who died on his birthday (see OBITUARIES, below), passing to the next life on 4 March 1916 and is buried in the family plot at North Cedar Hill Cemetery. The cause of his death was uremia complicated by nephritis – essentially kidney failure.

1862 Tom Gunning

Bill Lamb wrote the biography of Gunning, a fair enough catcher who became a doctor and happened to be one of the people who participated in the autopsy of Lizzie Borden’s parents.

1863 Jack Wentz
1863 Al McCauley
1864 Jack Bellman
1865 Joseph Herr
1870 Bill Whitrock
1874 Jim Korwan
1880 Lefty Herring
1883 Chet Spencer
1884 Red Murray
1887 Fred Herbert
1888 Jeff Pfeffer
1890 Johnny Enzmann
1890 Earl Tyree
1891 Jose Acosta
1891 Dazzy Vance
1895 Jesse Baker
1897 Lefty O’Doul
1897 Neal Brady
1899 Dutch Kemner
1902 Emmet McCann
1913 Bill Hart
1914 Art Rebel
1917 Clyde McCullough
1918 Mel Queen
1919 Les Mueller
1924 Jack Brittin
1926 Cass Michaels
1933 John Easton
1936 Bob Johnson
1939 Jack Fisher
1946 Danny Frisella
1947 Bruce Miller
1948 Tom Grieve
1948 Leron Lee
1951 Sam Perlozzo
1954 Mark Wagner
1958 Lorenzo Gray
1960 Jeff Dedmon
1964 Tom Lampkin
1966 Andy Mota
1968 Brian Hunter
1968 Giovanni Carrara
1969 Ed Giovanola
1969 Lee Tinsley
1970 John Dettmer
1970 Dave Stevens
1971 Nerio Rodriguez
1972 Bruce Aven
1973 Brian Barber
1974 Tommy Phelps
1976 Hiram Bocachica
1980 Jack Hannahan
1983 Sergio Romo
1985 Michael McKenry
1985 Cory Luebke
1987 Dan Cortes
1988 Ryan Strausborger
1988 Jose De Paula
1989 Rubby De La Rosa
1992 Nick Castellanos


1886 Tom Lee
1916 Abe Wolstenholme
1917 Joe Dowie
1918 Lon Ury
1925 John Montgomery Ward

Yes – his birthday was March 3rd.

1938 Jack Taylor

Blustery pitcher around the turn of the century – actually pretty good, but didn’t suffer fools easily.

1942 Jack Hammond
1955 Doc Reisling
1956 Frank Kelliher
1962 George Mogridge
1963 Jess Cortazzo
1966 Jack Niemes
1967 Bullet Rogan
1968 Duke Reilley
1972 Watty Clark
1974 Les Sweetland
1983 Kiddo Davis
1992 Larry Rosenthal
1993 Bill Antonello
1994 Louis Brower
2012 Don Mincher
2014 Chuck Kress
2015 Steve Shea


2004 Bud Selig announces that baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson day each April 15th in every ballpark.


1924 The White Sox trade Shano Collins and Nemo Leibold to Boston for Harry Hooper.

1968 The Giants sign non-drafted free agent Elias Sosa.

1999 The Cubs sign non-drafted free agent Hee-Seop Choi.

2008 The Dodgers sign free agent Manny Ramirez.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Baseball History for February 8th


1854 Charlie Householder
1855 Harry Arundel
1867 James Wear “Bug” Holliday
1873 John Richter
1883 Joe Cassidy
1886 Roy Ellam
1888 Fred Blanding
1889 Gene Elliott
1890 Ray Bates
1892 Manuel Cueto
1906 Bruce Caldwell
1911 Rae Blaemire
1911 Don Heffner
1914 Mel Bosser
1914 Bert Haas
1918 Elmer Leroy “Butch” Nieman
1918 Arthur Joseph “Cookie” Cuccurullo
1920 Robert Garnett “Buddy” Blattner
1921 Willard Marshall
1921 Walter Arthur “Hoot” Evers
1922 Romanus “Monty” Basgall
1924 Joe Black
1925 Milt Nielsen
1939 Harvey Branch
1942 Costen Shockley
1942 Fritz Peterson
1943 Bob Oliver
1946 Larry Burchart
1946 Oscar Brown
1951 Steve Dillard
1954 Joe Maddon
1964 Edgar Diaz
1973 Keith McDonald
1975 Tony Mounce
1975 Jim Parque
1976 Adam Piatt
1979 Ryan Snare
1979 Aaron Cook
1983 Mauro Zarate
1983 Chase Wright
1983 Burke Badenhop

I remember being crushed when the Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers for about five guys. One of the five they acquired was Badenhop. I was looking up information about the five players when I noticed that Badenhop was born on the same day as my son, Casey, for whom this site is named. I told this to Casey, who was not quite five years old, that Badenhop had the same birthday as he did, and Casey replied, “Then he must be the best player on the team!”

Naturally, I agreed and have rooted for the guy ever since.

Burke has written a book and, now that his career is over, does research for the Diamondbacks to help identify pitchers Arizona might want to acquire.

1985 Felix Pie
1990 Andrew McKirahan
2003 Casey Proia


1892 Spider Clark
1895 Roger Carey
1897 Fleury Sullivan
1910 Cy Vorhees
1910 Flip Lafferty
1934 Tom Sexton
1943 Dan Casey
1949 John Carden
1951 Harry Ables
1956 Tom Hughes
1956 Roy Hitt
1956 Connie Mack
1957 Lee McElwee
1960 Punch Knoll
1961 Bert Yeabsley
1962 Charlie Meara
1965 Ray Brown
1965 Ray Kremer
1966 Gene Paulette
1968 Joe Matthews
1970 John Churry
1971 Bobby Burke
1973 Roy Spencer
1977 Boardwalk Brown
1979 Alex Gaston
1982 Eddie Turchin
1983 Rufe Clarke
1989 Dick Bass
1992 Fabian Gaffke
1992 Wally Shannon
1996 Del Ennis
1997 Hal Warnock
1999 Carl Sumner
2002 Steve Roser
2005 Mike Bishop
2011 Tony Malinosky
2011 Cliff Dapper


1972 The Special Committee on the Negro League Hall of Fame selects Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson to join those enshrined in Cooperstown.


1927 Detroit and Philadelphia “negotiate” to assign Cobb to the Athletics.

1933 St. Louis sends Jake Flowers and Ownie Carroll to the Dodgers for Dazzy Vance and Gordon Slade.

1956 Boston purchases Pumpsie Green from Stockton. Green would eventually become the first African-American to play for the Red Sox.

1968 St. Louis sends away future managers Pat Corrales and Jimy Williams to the Reds for Johnny Edwards.

1995 The Dodgers sign pitcher Hideo Nomo.

2008 Baltimore sends Eril Bedard to Seattle for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Kam Mickolio, and Tony Butler.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized