Happy Birthday, Ed Cushman!

The Union Association only lasted but one season, the summer of 1884, and his team only played 13 games in that association, but in his first start for the Milwaukee Creamers against the Washington Nationals on 28 September, Ed Cushman threw a no-hitter.

Edgar Leander Cushman was born 27 March 1852 to Leander and Mary (Birdsill) Cushman while they lived in Eaglesville, Ohio.  He was the second of five kids that the shoemaker and housewife had in their Ohio and New York based family (they moved some).

“The record of yesterday’s game indicates that the new pitcher, Cushman, may prove an acquisition. Nine hits in thirteen innings – about a game and a half – is not a bad record for a new man’s first league game. Cushman is a base ball enthusiast, who has played with the Erie clubs for the past six or eight years, and has always been rated there a first rate general player, good both at the bat and in the field. He is a big fellow, and a man of good character, correct habits, and quiet manners. He has been a freight conductor on the Lake Shore road for several years.”

“Diamond Notes”, Buffalo Morning Express, 07 July 1883, Page 4.

“…(T)he Bisons produced a left-hander also, one Cushman, a gentleman of the “grasshopper Jim” style of architecture. He is a puzzler. He sends in a rather indolent ball, by a not at all tortuous route, that looks as if it could be flattened by a tyro. But it cannot. The Detroit batters utterly failed to find it, even when they struck at it, but, in general, they let it go by unheeded, and looked surprised when the umpire called strikes…”

“Sporting Matters.”, Detroit Free Press, 07 July 1883, Page 1.

Cushman didn’t get a professional baseball gig until he was 31 years old – Buffalo in the National League gave him a shot and he got off to a good start but wasn’t really ready for major league baseball in 1883.  He finished the season with Toledo in the Northwest Association where he helped Toledo win that pennant, then took a job pitching for the Milwaukee Creamers in that same league for 1884.  The association included a number of teams from various towns throughout the Midwest, including Grand Rapids, Bay City, Quincy, Saginaw, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, Muskegon, St. Paul, and Stillwater.

Milwaukee invested a good chunk of money in their team and new pitcher and while Cushman was winning nearly every start, he wasn’t pitching that frequently.  He’d often end up with a sore arm and would only pitch once a week.

“The directors feel that, under the circumstances, Cushman should have pitched in yesterday’s game, and after a consultation together, wired Manager McKee to place Cushman in the box and to strain every nerve to take the third game from the Bay Citys.”

(He didn’t, and a new pitcher, named Murphy, won the game anyway.)

“Still the directors think that Cushman should appear oftener, and when it is considered that, including traveling expenses and board, he has received an average of $150 for each game in which he has played, he appears to be too expensive a luxury to be long sustained. Cushman’s salary is $2,100 for the season, and his board paid while away from home, and the directors are unanimous in the opinion that he ought to play oftener than once a week. It is but fair to Cushman to state that he has expressed a willingness to pitch every game if he was able, and his rare appearances are due to his sore arm. It is probable, however, that he will appear oftener in the future.”

“Not Satisfied With Cushman”, St. Paul Globe, 24 May 1884, Page 4.

Cushman’s only loss was a 30 – 5 crushing on Decoration Day to a very good Grand Rapids team.  Cushman left that game trailing 5 – 4 due to a sore arm.  Not long after this game, he requested and received a two week leave of absence.  When he came back, his arm was up to the task and he rattled off a winning streak that didn’t end for the remainder of the season.

Unfortunately for the Creamers, many of the other teams in the league folded by the end of the summer and would not show up for advertised games.  The league reorganized to just a four-team league in August, only for Minneapolis to fold three weeks later.  It was at this point, the Creamers joined the Union Association where they would win eight of thirteen league games – Cushman was 4 – 0, allowing only ten hits in his 36 innings of work, striking out 47 batters.

Naturally, this made Cushman somewhat of a star prospect and he signed to pitch with the Philadelphia Athletics in the American Association.  As with Buffalo in 1883, Cushman opened up the year pitching great – he would beat the New York Metropolitans on opening day, allowing five hits and striking out ten.

“Cushman is every inch a pitcher, but outside the box his movements are very awkward. His style resembles that of Radbourn and he seems to have the ability to change his pace at will and to curve a ball in all possible ways.”

“Base Ball.”, Philadelphia Times, 07 April 1885, Page 3.

He wasn’t much of a hitter and, already an older guy, he wasn’t the fastest of runners.  However, after one good month in Philadelphia he had a couple of bad months and was released.  One of the challenges Cushman faced was that he threw with a higher arm slot than the American Association rules allowed.  If you threw the ball and it was released above the shoulder, the pitch would be called a balk.

“Philadelphia, June 16. – Manager Gifford, of the Metropolitan Club, has secured Cushman, formerly of the Athletics, as a change pitcher. Since Cushman was released by the Athletics, he has refused a number of tempting offers. He is a first-class player, and the new pitching rule will benefit his delivery to some extent. His poor success in this city was attributed to the restricted style of delivery. Cushman is a high-arm pitcher, and now that the pitching rules of the American Association have been changed it is thought by good critics that he will prove very effective.”

“A New Pitcher for the Mets”, New York Times, 17 June 1885 Page 2.

The New York Metropolitans signed Cushner in mid-summer 1885.  He finished well enough and the Metropolitans retained him for the 1886 season.  Unfortunately, New York wasn’t very good in 1886, finishing seventh in an eight-team league.  Cushman, though, wasn’t the source.  In his 38 starts, he went 17 – 21.  The rest of the team, though, went 36 – 61.  Cushman continued with New York for 1887, though he did make a couple of starts for Milwaukee at the end of that year.

“[Cushman] was received with a roar of applause when he stepped in the diamond, for Cush always was a favorite with Milwaukeeans.”

“Des Moines 9, Milwaukee 3.” The Des Moines Register, 19 June 1888, Page 8.

At this point, Cushman became a bit of a baseball nomad.  He’d pitch for Des Moines in the Western Association, Toledo for their International League and American Association entries (losing part of one year to a broken wrist – the awkward fielding pitcher was hit by a line drive), Rochester, Erie, Rock Island-Moline, and finally finishing in Erie making four appearances as a 41 year old pitcher in 1893.

“The Rock Island-Molines were most awfully scorched at Rockford Wednesday when the Forest City club dallied with them to the extent of 16 to 0. On receipt of the news, the management attired itself in sack cloth and ashes, and immediately wired the captain to release Pitchers Cushman and Fielders Dale and Hoffman.”

“In General”, Davenport Daily Times, 15 July 1892, Page 4.

Cushman had good moments and bad during this period.  He threw his second professional no-hitter while with Toledo in 1889, blanking Rochester.  This was when Toledo was in the International League.  When his career was over, his major league record stood at 62 – 81, having pitched in parts of six major league seasons – all of them in his 30s.

“Handsome Ed Cushman looks as big as ever.  He looks well and says he never felt better in his life. Marriage seems to have agreed with him.”

“Base Hits”, Sporting Life, 25 March 1893, Page 13.

Cushman married Emma Swalley sometime in 1885; their life together lasted thirty years but included no children.  He spent some time as a conductor for the New York Central railroad before settling in Erie permanently.  The Cushmans operated a billiard room and a restaurant in Erie until Cushman’s death on 26 September 1915.  He passed in his sleep at home of intestinal carcinoma.  Emma survived another twenty years before her death in 1936.

“After an illness of more than four months, Edgar L. Cushman, an uncle of H. F. Swalley, of this city, and once famous as a baseball pitcher, died at his home in Erie, Saturday night. Mr. Cushman, during the last year of his baseball career, pitched for the Erie aggregation in the old Eastern League. In that year, 1893, Erie won the pennant. Before this Mr. Cushman had made a name for himself in the baseball annals of the country. He was the mainstay of the Metropolitans of New York, then a member of the American Association; the New York Nationals, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Toledo, Milwaukee, and Rochester. He also pitched for the Des Moines club of the Western Association for some time. Since he left baseball, Mr. Cushman was engaged for a time as conductor on the New York Central railroad. Later he conducted a restaurant at Eighth and State streets, Erie. He was a member of the Elks, Masons, Shriners, Knights of Pythias and Royal Arcanum. He is survived by his widow, a daughter of the late Christian Swalley, Mr. and Mrs. Swalley left today for Erie to attend the funeral.”

The Kane Republican, 27 September 1915, Page 2.

SOURCES:

Death Certificates
1855 NY Census
1860, 1870, 1900, 1910 US Censuses

Baseball Reference – Ed Cushman Page

Find A Grave

Nemec, David. Major League Baseball Profiles, Volume 1, Pages 41 – 42.

“The Ball Tossers.” Buffalo Evening Telegraph, 08 April 1884, Page 4.
“Notes”, St. Paul Globe, 09 June 1884, Page 6.
“Northwestern League Re-Organized”, St. Paul Globe, 15 August 1884, Page 4.
“Milwaukee to Disband.” St. Paul Globe, 05 September 1884, Page 4.
“Milwaukee Champions.”, Milwaukee Journal, 29 September 1884, Page 1.
“Oh, What A Roast!”, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 19 June 1889, Page 7.
“Baseball Chatter”, Pittsburgh Post, 10 December 1893, Page 6.

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The Day Frank Larkin Tried to Kill His Wife

I came across this article while looking for information about Edgar Cushman.  The article ends with a brief description of Larkin’s career (including the fact that he played under the name Terry Larkin), but the main part of the article is pretty crazy.  I found it in the Buffalo Commercial, but it was reprinting a story it got on the wire from the New York Sun.

RUM-CRAZED.

A Base-Ball Player’s Attempts at Murder and Suicide.

HE STANDS OVER HIS WOUNDED WIFE WITH A PISTOL WHILE SHE LIES MOTIONLESS TO MAKE HIM THINK SHE IS DEAD. – A POLICEMAN SHOT.

(New York Sun)

Frank Larkin, a member of the Baltimore base ball club, shot his wife, Margaret, yesterday afternoon in Williamsburgh, and when policeman Timothy Phelan was forcing an entrance into hsi room he shot him also. Then he cut his own throat. Larkin lived in the second story of the tenement 230 North Eighth street. His father and mother occupy apartments in the same house. The ball merely furrowed the policeman’s cheek, but the wounds Larkin inflicted on his wife and himself are considered dangerous. He shot his wife in the mouth, the ball causing a compound fracture of the jaw. Larkin has been on a spree for five weeks. Last Saturday night he chased his father from the house, threatening to shoot him. His father, fearing he would put his threat into execution, caused his arrest. Phelen, the same policeman whom he shot, arrested him. He was locked up all night in the Fourth-street police station, but he was discharged from custody the next day, his father refusing to press the complaint.

Phelen met Larkin yesterday morning and counselled him to stop drinking. Larkin promised he would, as he intended to start for Baltimore at four o’clock in the afternoon.

“I don’t know what made me worry about the fellow,” said Phelan last evening, “but I had a dread that he would do something, and I kept a watch over him. I would have liked to get a pretext to arrest him, but I could get none. During the afternoon I heard that he had followed his wife to a friend’s house and ordered her home at the point of a revolver, saying that he would shoot her if she did not go home. As soon as I heard that I went to his house, and hearing voices, I sent word to the station for help. Michael Kennedy came. While we were standing at the door and I was explaining to him why I sent for him, we were startled by two pistol shots. We rushed upstairs. As I tried to open the door a ball came through it. This was followed by three others, the last one striking me in the cheek. Then we got a sofa which was in the hall, and used it as a battering-ram. As the door fell in I saw Larkin drop to the floor, covered in blood. He held this razor in his hand. Kennedy bent over him while I went to Mrs. Larkin, who was leaning against a window. Her clothing was discolored with blood. Almost every article in the room was overturned, broken and bloody. The poor woman, when she saw me, said, ‘Oh, I thought he killed you.’ She then told me that after he had driven her home he locked the door and quarrelled {sic} with her. Finally he shot her, and then he stood over her with the pistol. ‘I dared not move,’ she said,’because if he had thought me alive he would have shot again.’

“At this time he heard us at the door , and turning from his wife, discharged the remaining four shots that were in his revolver at us. When he had done so he took the razor from his pocket, and, just as we pushed the door in, drew it across his throat. I supported him to the police station, where his and my wounds were dressed.”

Policeman Kennedy remained with Mrs. Larkin. A physician residing in the neighborhood extracted the ball and dressed her wound. Larkin, when his wounds were dressed, was placed in an ambulance, and his wife was placed in it at his side. They were taken to St. Cathrerine’s Hospital.

Larkin and his wife were dispossessed from their rooms on Monday for non-payment of rent, but he carried his goods back into the place. This ejectment irritated the already rum-crazed man. His wife, to whom he has been married only a short time, bears an excellent character. A week ago Larkin threatened to shoot a storekeeper. Other persons with whom he quarrelled {sic} while on his spree say that he flourished a pistol and threatened to use it.

Larkin is one of the best known ball-players in America. He is often called Terry Larkin. At one time he pitched for the Chicago club; but he was forced to retire, as his arm gave out. In 1881 he played with the Atlantic club of Brooklyn. Last season he played a fine game with the Metropolitan club of this city. When manager Barnie of last year’s Atlantic club took charge of the Baltimore club for this season, Larkin was the first man to be engaged, but he has not yet played with the club. It is laid to his absence that the club has lost so many games this season. Larkin wrote Mr. Barnie recently that he would join the club in time to open the championship season, which will begin next week.

The Buffalo Commercial, 26 April 1883, Page 2.

Baseball History for March 29th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1849 George Hall
1855 Bill Harbridge
1858 Gus Shallix
1865 Hank Gastright
1866 George Carman
1867 Cy Young
1873 Duff Cooley
1875 Barney McFadden
1876 Harry Lochhead
1876 Frank Oberlin
1881 Lou Schiappacasse
1883 Rube Dessau
1888 Lee Meyer
1889 Al Klawitter
1889 Squanto Wilson
1892 Harry McCluskey
1894 Dixie Leverett
1894 Alex McColl
1894 Bob Steele
1899 Herb McQuaid
1900 Red Schillings
1908 Gibby Brack
1908 Bill Strickland
1910 Bill Dietrich
1915 Johnny Gorsica
1917 Tommy Holmes
1921 Ferris Fain
1944 Denny McLain
1952 Bill Castro
1953 Tom Hume
1954 Mike Ramsey
1954 Tom Tellmann
1955 Karl Pagel
1958 Domingo Ramos
1961 Mike Kingery
1962 Billy Beane
1966 Eric Gunderson
1967 Brian Jordan
1967 Geronimo Pena
1968 Juan Bell
1971 Sean Lowe
1972 Alex Ochoa
1975 Danny Kolb
1975 Marcus Jones
1976 Scott Atchison
1976 Kevin Nicholson
1978 Eric Bruntlett
1984 Kila Ka’aihue

OBITUARIES:

1892 Adam Rocap
1898 Tony Hellman
1907 Doug Crothers
1907 Cozy Dolan
1933 Ed Watkins
1933 Harry Salisbury
1937 Bill White
1945 Ray Tift
1945 Jim Hughey
1958 Jimmy Archer
1960 Kid Carsey
1962 Otto Miller
1963 Wilcy Moore
1968 Buddy Napier
1971 Gus Salve
1975 Oscar Fuhr
1979 Luke Easter
1984 Hugh Poland
1988 Ted Kluszewski
1990 Phil Masi
1994 Ray Bare
1995 Terry Moore
1998 Dick Phillips
2000 Hank Miklos
2004 Al Cuccinello
2006 Thornton Kipper
2012 Ray Narleski
2018 Rusty Staub

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1954 Cubs manager Phil Cavaretta is fired for speaking the truth – he felt the team would not finish in the first division. He becomes the first manager to get fired during spring training.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1899 Now that one guy owns both the St. Louis Perfectos (the Cards) and the Cleveland Spiders, all the good players are moved from the Spiders to the Browns. The decimated Spiders would go on to win just 20 of 154 decisions that season before being contracted and removed from the league.

1977 Toronto sends outfielder John Lowenstein to the Indians for Hector Torres.

1978 The Cubs acquire Rodney Scott from Oakland for Pete Broberg.

Baseball History for March 28th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1860 Tom McLaughlin
1864 Frank Brill
1875 Jimmy Barrett
1875 Harry Gleason
1890 Johnny Johnston
1890 Dee Walsh
1894 Lee King
1898 Chief Yellow Horse
1899 Al Hermann
1905 Allen Benson
1907 Walt Masters
1909 Lon Warneke
1911 Clarence Pickrel
1915 Joe Krakauskas
1919 Vic Raschi
1920 Babe Martin
1920 Fred Hancock
1929 Bill Macdonald
1935 Garland Shifflett
1936 Jimmie Coker
1949 Frank Snook
1961 Glenn Davis
1964 Mike Fitzgerald
1967 Shawn Boskie
1967 Larry Gonzales
1969 Craig Paquette
1973 Paul Wilson
1974 Ryan Christenson
1975 Steve Sparks
1975 Julio Zuleta
1981 Edwar Ramirez
1985 Mark Melancon
1986 Brad Emaus
1986 Steve Susdorf
1987 Bryan Morris
1988 Ryan Kalish
1991 Christian Walker

OBITUARIES:

1904 George Seward
1907 Chick Stahl
1913 Clare Patterson
1916 Eddie Hohnhorst
1919 Steve Toole
1931 Ban Johnson
1933 Tom McCarthy
1934 Ed Larkin
1939 Fred Goldsmith
1946 Chick Fullis
1946 Cum Posey
1947 Johnny Evers
1950 Henry Clarke
1950 Ernie Ross
1951 Kohly Miller
1951 Joe Murphy
1953 Jim Thorpe
1955 Tom Lynch
1958 Chuck Klein
1958 Gus Thompson
1961 Jim Hackett
1961 Jack Coveney
1972 Donie Bush
1972 Cy Moore
1975 Hy Gunning
1984 Jess Pike
1990 Johnny Neun
1993 Ray Flanigan
1996 Don Ross
2003 Sam Bowens
2006 Paul Minner
2009 Earle Brucker
2010 Joe Gates
2010 John Purdin
2013 Gus Triandos
2015 Dick Mills

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1999 In Havana, the first game between a US team and a Cuban team in more than 40 years, the Orioles top the Cuban National team, 3 – 2.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

Not a lot going on here. Mostly releases…

1976 St. Louis sends Bill Caudill to the Reds for Joel Youngblood.

1981 The Cubs and White Sox exchange pitchers – Ken Kravec goes to the Cubs, Dennis Lamp to the Sox.

2001 Florida sends Mark Kotsay and Cesar Crespo to the Padres for Matt Clement, Eric Owens and Omar Ortiz.

2017 Cincinnati picks up Scooter Gennett, who had been waived by the Brewers.

Baseball History for March 27th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1852 Ed Cushman
1869 Toby Lyons
1869 Bill Wynne
1875 George Magoon
1878 Miller Huggins
1882 Bill Collins
1891 William Rumler
1893 Charlie Boardman
1895 Bill Burwell
1897 Effa Manley
1897 Joe Lucey
1899 Marty Walker
1899 Ed Hock
1903 Joe Dwyer
1905 Johnny Gill
1906 Fred Tauby
1910 Steve Sundra
1910 Vince Sherlock
1911 Walter Stephenson
1915 Newt Kimball
1924 Walt Linden
1927 Dick Rozek
1929 Milt Smith
1931 Bobby Prescott
1932 Wes Covington
1933 Don Lassetter
1946 Bill Sudakis
1946 Mike Jackson
1950 Lynn McGlothen
1950 Vic Harris
1951 Dick Ruthven
1953 Gary Alexander
1956 Dave Hostetler
1957 Dave Van Gorder
1963 Drew Hall
1963 Mike Dalton
1967 Candy Sierra
1967 Jaime Navarro
1968 Tom Quinlan
1970 Derek Aucoin
1972 Creighton Gubanich
1972 Adam Melhuse
1977 Nate Rolison
1978 Dee Brown
1979 Michael Cuddyer
1981 Brian Slocum
1986 Johnny Monell
1987 Buster Posey
1989 Matt Harvey
1990 Jake Odorizzi
1990 Junior Lake

OBITUARIES:

1889 Tom Smith
1902 Tom Morrison
1906 Toad Ramsey
1908 Forrest Crawford
1917 Willie Jensen
1926 Kick Kelly
1927 Joe Start
1947 Pete Lister
1949 Frank Gleich
1950 Fred Frank
1955 Frank Roth
1962 Bill Chambers
1963 Fritz Knothe
1978 Dutch Zwilling
1980 Lou Knerr
1984 Baby Ortiz
1995 Chet Nichols
1997 Fred Chapman
2004 Bob Cremins
2008 Billy Consolo
2014 Al Cihocki

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1981 MLB declares Carlton Fisk a free agent because the Red Sox sent Fisk a copy of his contract two days late. He’d sign with the White Sox.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1881 Clark Griffith signed with the St. Louis Browns.

1973 Detroit acquired Jim Perry for Danny Fife and cash. According to NastionalPasttime.com, it’s the first time the 10/5 rule (ten year veteran with five years on the same team) was applied to a trade. Perry was okay with the deal.

1981 Oakland sends Bob Lacey and Roy Moretti to San Diego for Tony Phillips, Kevin Bell, and Eric Mustad.

1987 Kansas City weeps – sending David Cone and Chris Jelic to the Mets for Ed Hearn, Mauro Gozzo, and Rick Anderson.

1997 Atlanta sends Jermaine Dye and Jaime Walker to Kansas City for Michael Tucker and Keith Lockhart.

2002 Florida sends Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement to Chicago for Dontrelle Willis, Julian Taverez, Ryan Jorgenson, and Jose Cueto.

 

 

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.)

Baseball History for March 8th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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

OBITUARIES:

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

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

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.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

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.