Baseball History for September 9th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1856 Ernie Burch
1857 Abner Dalrymple
1865 Charlie Hoover
1872 John Eubank
1876 Frank Chance
1880 Ambrose Puttmann
1886 Al Kellogg
1886 John Barney (Dots) Miller
1887 Wheeler Roger (Doc) Johnston
1889 Harry Thompson
1891 Dan Costello
1892 Dawson Francis (Tiny) Graham
1893 Walt Kinney
1897 Frankie Frisch
1899 Waite Hoyt
1905 Charlie Perkins
1909 Johnny Marcum
1910 Luther Baxter (Bud) Thomas
1912 Johnny Lazor
1913 Hugh Mulcahy
1918 Thomas Woodrow (Woody) Crowson
1926 Ed Mickelson
1931 Pete Naton
1931 Earl Averill
1935 Jim Proctor
1938 Jay Ward
1942 Ron Stone
1949 Reggie Sanders
1952 Jerry Mumphrey
1953 Steve Ratzer
1959 Tom Foley
1960 Alvin Davis
1961 Jim Corsi
1962 Joe Strong
1965 Todd Zeile
1970 Dan Miceli
1970 Joey Hamilton
1971 Robinson Checo
1972 Mike Hampton
1973 Kazuhisa Ishii
1977 Kyle Snyder
1978 Kurt Ainsworth
1980 Todd Coffey
1983 Rhyne Hughes
1983 Mike Costanzo
1983 Edwin Jackson
1983 Kyle Davies
1983 Alex Romero
1984 Brett Pill
1986 Michael Bowden
1988 Joey Terdoslavich
1988 Will Middlebrooks
1989 Anthony Ranaudo
1990 Billy Hamilton

OBITUARIES:

1889 Jack Gorman
1914 Willie Garoni
1915 Al Spalding
1923 George Keerl
1926 Dick Conway
1928 Urban Shocker
1934 John Dobbs
1944 Orlin Collier
1944 Frank Shugart
1949 Hal Neubauer
1949 Len Madden
1951 Chappie Snodgrass
1957 Ed Karger
1957 Bill Miller
1959 Terry Lyons
1961 Jesse Barnes
1961 Rube Oldring
1964 Herschel Bennett
1964 George Stueland
1975 Ken Jungels
1981 Ernie Alten
1990 Doc Cramer
1991 Les Rock
1996 Johnny Pramesa
1996 Harry Hanebrink
1997 Richie Ashburn
1998 Jerry Zimmerman
1999 Catfish Hunter
2010 Eddie Phillips

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1914 George Davis of the Braves tosses a no-hitter to blank to Phillies, 7 – 0. He’s the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter at Fenway Park… The Braves were in Fenway because the Miracle Braves were drawing crowds too big for their own park.

1945 Continuing with firsts – the first Canadian pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Dick Fowler, who beat the Browns, 1 – 0. It was the only win of the year for the Athletic pitcher.

1948 Dodger Rex Barney blanks the Giants, 2 – 0, without allowing a hit. In the rain.

1965 It’s No-Hitter Day – but the best one was Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, topping the Cubs, 1 – 0.

1998 Alex Gonzalez has a rough day – six at bats, six times striking out. Cleveland won, 6 – 3, over Toronto. Gonzalez left six on base in the extra inning loss.

2004 Royal third baseman Joe Randa goes six for six and scores six runs in a 26 – 5 win over Detroit. Only eight players have ever scored 6 runs in a game…

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1886 Washington purchases five players from Hartford, including catcher Connie Mack.

1898 Louisville purchased Topsy Hartsel from Grand Rapids of the Interstate League.

1899 Cincinnati purchased Sam Crawford from Grand Rapids of the Western League.

1902 Boston purchased Ed Abbaticchio from Nashville.

1971 Chicago signed amateur free agent pitcher Bruce Sutter.

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Baseball History for September 8th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1854 Russ McKelvy
1858 Fred Carl
1872 George Frederick (Deke) White
1875 Eli Ethelbert (Rosie) Rosebraugh
1884 Al Demaree
1886 Ray Rolling
1887 Bert Sincock
1888 Joe Giannini
1890 Charles Preston (Press) Cruthers
1891 Verne Clemons
1896 Val Picinich
1896 Johnny Schulte
1899 George Gilham
1902 Ernie Orsatti
1905 Ed Grimes
1906 Frank Stewart
1907 Walter Fenner (Buck) Leonard
1913 Clydell (Slick) Castleman
1915 Len Gabrielson
1916 Jim Bagby
1916 Tom Turner
1926 Lou Sleater
1932 Kendall Cole (Casey) Wise
1938 George Werley
1942 Steve Hargan
1945 Ossie Blanco
1946 Ken Forsch
1951 Steve Barr
1952 Larry McCall
1954 Jim Smith
1954 Don Aase
1959 Glen Cook
1962 Al Pardo
1966 Mike Dyer
1973 Bob Wolcott
1976 Mike Rivera
1977 Pasqual Coco
1978 Gil Meche
1982 Geno Espineli
1983 Nick Hundley
1984 Rob Delaney
1984 Bobby Parnell
1986 Logan Schafer
1988 Chance Ruffin
1988 Alex Sanabia
1990 Gerrit Cole

OBITUARIES:

1902 George Prentiss
1919 John Kerins
1936 Bill Yerrick
1941 Joe Boehling
1947 Ralph Pond
1948 Bill Byers
1952 Ed Hearne
1955 Dode Criss
1959 Roy Mitchell
1963 Johnnie Williams
1963 Bill Knickerbocker
1964 Buck Redfern
1968 Bill Kalfass
1977 Oral Hildebrand
1979 Rick Joseph
1990 Joe Gleason
1991 Clem Koshorek
1991 Lou Rosenberg
1993 Earl Mattingly
2011 Jesse Jefferson
2012 Bob Hale
2014 George Zuverink
2015 Joaquin Andujar

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1940 Joe Gordon hits for the cycle as the Yankees topped the Red Sox, 9 – 4.

1951 Bob Rush intentionally walks six in 14 innings of work. Cincinnati won in 18 innings, 7 to 6.

1965 Bert Campaneris plays all nine positions in a game against the Angels.

1985 Pete Rose gets a pair of hits off the Cubs to tie Ty Cobb’s career hit record.

1993 Darryl Kile blanks the Mets, 7 – 1, without allowing a hit as Houston topped New York. Jeff McKnight reached on a walk, got to third on an error, and scored on a wild pitch. In every case, it worked out. Ted Kluszewski was given a free pass four times.

1998 Mark McGwire roped a Steve Tracsel fastball over the left field wall at Wrigley field for his record setting 62nd homer of the year.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1953 Chicago signs free agent Ernie Banks.

1969 Atlanta sent Mickey Rivers and Clint Comption to the Angels for Hoyt Wilhelm and
Bob Priddy.

1995 Detroit sent Juan Samuel to Kansas City for Phil Hiatt (named later).

Baseball History for September 7th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1851 Tommy Johns
1856 Dave Foutz
1859 Jesse Duryea
1862 Ed Daily
1862 Mike McDermott
1866 Joe Murphy
1874 Ed Poole
1875 Lew Ritter
1877 Mike O’Neill
1879 Hooks Wiltse
1879 Charlie Case
1883 John Flynn
1884 Eddie Matteson
1887 Earl Moseley
1887 Joe McManus
1889 Bill Holden
1891 Fred Blackwell
1892 Ginger Shinault
1899 Clarence Winters
1902 Cleo Carlyle
1903 Curt Davis
1903 Al Van Camp
1903 Nap Kloza
1907 Bill McAfee
1909 Eddie Wilson
1915 Reggie Otero
1916 Lefty Sullivan
1917 Roy Partee
1936 Charlie Lindstrom
1943 Tommy Matchick
1944 Barry Lersch
1946 Willie Crawford
1946 Joe Rudi
1947 Dave Wallace
1952 Rick Sweet
1953 LaRue Washington
1954 Craig Eaton
1956 Orlando Sanchez
1958 Bill Schroeder
1960 Wade Rowdon
1964 Sergio Valdez
1968 Julio Peguero
1969 Brent Cookson
1969 Rafael Quirico
1969 Darren Bragg
1971 Sid Roberson
1972 Willie Morales
1972 Jason Isringhausen
1973 Jarrod Patterson
1973 David Newhan
1976 Aaron Looper
1977 Shane Nance
1979 Nathan Haynes
1979 Brian Stokes
1980 Mark Prior
1984 Mauro Gomez
1985 Wade Davis
1987 Gorkys Hernandez

OBITUARIES:

1881 Red Woodhead
1908 Bill Morgan
1912 Bugs Raymond
1924 Bob Spade
1930 Mickey Keliher
1938 Lee King
1958 Wally Gilbert
1970 Gene Ford
1977 Broadway Jones
1977 Buster Maynard
1982 Ken Boyer
1984 Joe Cronin
1995 Al Papai
1996 Willy Miranda
1998 Earl Harrist
2000 Nick Tremark
2004 Hal Reniff
2004 Bob Boyd
2006 Gordie Mueller
2008 Don Gutteridge

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1923 Boston’s Howard Ehmke beats the Athletics, 4 – 0, without allowing a hit. Well he did allow a hit – but Slim Harris missed first base on what should have been a double.

1950 Hoot Evers drives in six, hits for the cycle, and even drives in the game tying run to force the game into extra innings. Howveer, nobody won – it ended tied at 13 after ten innings.

1971 Amos Otis is the first player in 44 years to steal six bases in a game.

1993 Cardinal Mark Whiten hits four homers and drives in twelve in the second game of a double header against Cincinnati – both tying existing major league records.

TRANSACTIONS:

1990 The Mets signed amateur free agent Guillermo Mota.

Baseball History on September 6th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1852 George Warren (Jumbo) Latham
1860 Charlie Berry
1864 Thomas P. (Oyster) Burns
1867 Pete Gilbert
1878 George Hildebrand
1883 Harry Owen (Dick) Bayless
1888 Danny Mahoney
1888 Urban Clarence (Red) Faber
1889 George Kahler
1893 Bill Murray
1894 Billy Gleason
1895 Joseph Patrick (Shags) Horan
1896 Frank McCrea
1896 Paul Zahniser
1899 Del Bissonette
1903 Tommy Thevenow
1904 Willie Underhill
1910 Johnny Lanning
1911 Harry Danning
1911 Vallie Eaves
1912 Vince DiMaggio
1921 Jack Phillips
1922 Lou Ciola
1922 Harry Perkowski
1924 George Schmees
1924 Jim Fridley
1924 Hal Jeffcoat
1931 Stan Pawloski
1934 Tom Flanigan
1946 Fran Healy
1949 Mike Thompson
1954 Steve Macko
1960 Greg Olson
1960 Al Lachowicz
1961 Roy Smith
1963 John Pawlowski
1964 Mike York
1968 Pat Meares
1975 Derrek Lee
1976 Micheal Nakamura
1978 Frank Brooks
1978 Alex Escobar
1981 Mark Teahen
1983 Jerry Blevins
1985 Mitch Moreland
1988 Arnold Leon
1991 Nick Rumbelow
1992 Socrates Brito

OBITUARIES:

1927 Lave Cross
1932 Frank West
1940 Mordecai Davidson
1947 Joe Gingras
1956 Stubby Magner
1958 Hugh Hill
1958 Tommy de la Cruz
1971 Artie Dede
1971 Andy Kyle
1972 Charlie Berry
1973 Charlie Kavanagh
1974 Sammy Hale
1976 Vern Fear
1977 Ray Fitzgerald
1980 Gus Ketchum
1981 Eddie Ainsmith
1988 Lew Krausse
1990 Al Veach
1996 Barney McCosky
2007 Al Kozar
2013 Santiago Rosario
2015 Barney Schultz

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1905 White Sox lefty Frank Smith fires a no-hitter as the Sox crush Detroit, 15 – 0.

1912 Giant Jeff Tesreau no hits the Phillies and wins, 3 – 0.

1995 Cal Ripken plays in his 2131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record.

1996 Baltimore’s Eddie Murray connects for his 500th career homer.

2006 Florida’s Anibel Sanchez blanks the Diamondbacks, 2- 0, without allowing a hit.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1923 New York purchased tow players from Portsmouth, VA, including Hack Wilson.

1943 Brooklyn signed amateur free agent Gil Hodges.

1964 Pittsburgh purchased Wilbur Wood from the Red Sox.

Happy Birthday, Ody Abbott!

“Abbott, you will remember, came to us from the Northwest last year, but could not get into condition. He was fat in the spring training this year, but toiled mightily to acquire a Delsarte figure. He’s no Ty Cobb on the bases, but he can punch the ball for a knockout when a Kayo is badly needed.”

Fitz, Billy. “Seals Can’t Win Twice Straight; Hope Oaks Can” Oakland Tribune, 26 April 1913, Page 13.

Ody Abbott - TacomaOne of nine kids born to William and Elizabeth Hodgson Abbott, Ody Cleon Abbott was a St. Louis Cardinal outfielder turned sheriff of his hometown Washington County, PA.

Born 05 September 1888 in New Eagle, PA, Abbott learned baseball on the sandlots of Monongahela.  He was a multiple sport athlete at the California Normal school and, while at Washington & Jefferson, the football end and baseball outfielder nearly followed his parent’s wishes and considered becoming a preacher. However, a conversation with coach Frank Strohecker convinced him to give professional baseball a try with the New Castle baseball club and his ministerial future ended. Strohecker was convinced he needed Abbott after Ody moved to the mound and beat Penn State via shutout.

After his collegiate athletic career he played baseball in New Castle, PA and three seasons later, despite having an improving but subpar batting average was given a shot with the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the 1910 season, where he batted .186 as their center fielder. (He once get a hit off of Christy Mathewson.) The Cardinals sent him west to Tacoma for 1911.

There, it appears that Abbott liked hanging out with his teammates after the games as much as during the games. I saw a couple of articles that suggested that Abbott had issues keeping in his fighting trim. One article noted that his 1912 contract came with a water wagon clause. Another article said that the first time he was released by Tacoma it was because “personal habits.” Anyway, he got time with the Oakland Oaks in the Pacific Coast League and got himself back into shape before returning to Tacoma in 1913 and he played there until his arm went south. He threatened to retire. “I have an offer from the Federals,” he wrote to an Oakland sports writer. “However, I don’t think I will take it, my arm not being strong enough for the work.”  After opening 1913 with the Oaks, he was eventually returned to Tacoma. In 1914, he stopped hitting, too, and Tacoma manager Joe McGinnity unconditionally released Abbott. Ody returned home.

Ody Abbott - WJ EndAfter his baseball days, he worked locally for the sheriff’s department and played semi-pro baseball in Monongahela. In 1917 he enlisted in the US Army for World War I service and reported to Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio. He was one of a small group of people selected to enter officer’s training at camp, and quickly was promoted to Sergeant. Abbott enjoyed his days with the Army, writing to a family friend named George Chip, “…I am sure getting in shape and when I get out of the army I’ll be able to go six rounds with you. I like the work very much, George, and if things continue as they have Young Abbott will be perfectly satisfied. It’s an entirely new game to me, George, and I’ll say again I like it very much.” (George Chip and his brother, Joe, were boxers.)

 

After the war, he returned to his public safety role, was eventually elected to be the county warden and then successfully ran for Sheriff of Washington County, which he won handily in 1925. After a term as sheriff, he stepped out of the political role and remained a deputy for the remainder of his life.

Ody AbbottUnfortunately, the remainder of his life was rather short. Abbott fought heart disease and diabetes forcing him to leave his job in 1932. He recuperated enough to report to duty, but his health failed a second time. He was hustled to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. where treatments included time in oxygen tanks. Nothing worked, though, and eventually complications of the two diseases took his life on 13 April 1933. He was just 44.

     *     *     *     *     *

Here’s his obit from the Pittsburgh Press.

Ody C. Abbott, 45, of this city, whose death occurred today in the Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D. C., after an illness of several weeks, was nationally prominent as a baseball player for several years and was widely known throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Born at New Eagle, near Monongahela, Pa., a son of Mr. and Mrs. William Abbott, he attended the schools of that district and then enrolled at California Normal School, now California Teachers College, and was one of a group of athletes to make athletic history there.

Prominent among his teammates were Ed (Bull) McCleary, Alex Gray, Tillie Dewar and R. J. Coulson, all of the Monongahela Valley. Sports of the school were only a shade higher than those of prep schools when they entered. Under the instruction of “Dad” Harmon they developed rapidly. West Virginia University was defeated in football and Washington and Jefferson and Penn State were battled to a standstill.

The five athletes in particular became prominently known and they were eagerly sought by colleges. McCleary, Gray, and Coulson went to Penn State where they continued to perform brilliantly. Abbott and Dewar entered W & J playing on the elevens coached by Attorney Frank Piekarsko of Pittsburgh. Abbott remained at W & J but Dewar later went to Pitt.

Abbott was a clever baseball player and he was signed by the Charleroi Club of the old P.O.M. League. Then he was sold to Braddock of the same circuit. The Newark Club of the International League used him for one season and then he went to the New Castle Club of the Ohio and Pennsylvania League. The next season he was farmed out to the Tacoma club of the Northwestern League, and 1912 found him with the Oakland Club of the Pacific Coast League. A weakening arm cut his diamond career short and he returned home.

With the outbreak of the World War, Abbott entered the service and was on duty at Camp Sherman, near Chillicothe, being top sergeant of Company F, Second Depot Regiment.

Returning to Washington County, he became a deputy sheriff under Alex Gray, his old teammate, when the latter was elected to that office. Entering politics himself, Abbott was elected Sheriff, completing his term four about four years ago. Another of his teammates, R. J. Coulson, is present Registrar of Wills in Washington County.

Completing his term as sheriff, Abbott was named chief deputy by his successor and present holder of the office, J. A. Seaman.

SOURCES:

“Ody Abbott, Ex-Sheriff and Baseball Star, Dies”, Pittsburgh Press, 13 April 1933, Page 35.

“Latest Bulletin Assures Ody Abbott of Victory; Leading By 1,500 Votes”, The Daily Republican, 16 September 1925, Page 1.

“Ody Abbott and ‘Wild’ Bill Yohe Given Walking Papers”, Seattle Star, 16 June 1914, Page 7.

Fitz, Billy. “Seals Can’t Win Twice Straight; Hope Oaks Can” Oakland Tribune, 26 April 1913, Page 13.

“Abbott Would be a Minister But for Frank Strohecker”, New Castle Herald, 04 August 1911, Page 11.

“Ody Abbott to Play With New Eagle”, Monongahela Valley Repulbican, 25 May 1905, Page 2.

“Ody Abbott Gets Appointment”, Daily Republican, 08 January 1918, Page 4.

“Ody Abbott Hearkens To The Bugle’s Call”, New Castle News, 18 September 1917, Page 16.

“Ody C. Abbott, Former Sheriff, Dies in Washington Hospital”, Monongahela Daily Republican, 13 April 1933, Pages 1, 6.

“How They Are Hitting”, Tacoma Times, 04 June 1914, Page 2.

“Tiger Changes Mean Strength”, Seattle Star, 19 July 1912, Page 2.

“Gossip Among Sports”, Bemidji Pioneer, 21 February 1912, Page 4,

Elizabeth Hodgson Abbott Obit, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 07 July 1909, Page 7.

“Abbott May Retire From Baseball”, Oakland Tribune, 22 January 1914, Page 20.

Baseball-Reference.com

 

Baseball History for September 5th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1856 Jimmy Knowles
1856 Tug Thompson
1859 Gene Vadeboncoeur

Vadeboncoeur played semi-pro ball with the Chicago Unions in 1883 and a few other minor league outlets. He got a four game tryout with the Phillies in July, 1884, getting three hits in fourteen at bats. He moved on to the Eastern New England League and hung around the Boston area for a while. In 1887, he was catching for Rutland in Vermont and, given the length of his name, he was called “Vady” in the papers. Listed as a catcher but little else is known about him – including things like what arm he threw with and which way the Louiseville, Quebec native batted. Baseball-Reference.com doesn’t list a death date, but FindaGrave.com has an entry that suggests he died on 06 October 1935 in Haverhill, MA, where he rests in a local cemetery. (The year and location is confirmed by an entry in the Massachusetts Death Index.) And, his Professional Baseball Player Profile in Ancestry.com lists him as about 5’6″ and 150 pounds, batting and throwing right handed. (The death date listed there is 16 October 1935.)

He was living in Onondaga, NY according to the 1875 New York Census, the son of Onesime and Angela Vadeboncouer, and living with a large family – seven kids!

1861 Jumbo Davis
1869 Ed Stein
1872 Al Orth
1873 Bill Carrick
1874 Nap Lajoie
1876 Pete LePine
1882 Jul Kustus
1883 Lefty Leifield
1888 Bill Chambers
1888 Ody Abbott
1892 Cap Crowell
1893 Don Rader
1895 Ted Jourdan
1896 Gil Gallagher
1899 Max Bishop
1900 Merv Shea
1900 Ike Kamp
1905 Danny Musser
1908 Bill McGhee
1911 Buddy Hassett
1915 Bob Maier
1916 Ernie White
1919 Ray Goolsby
1919 Tom Jordan
1920 Gene Bearden
1921 Vince Shupe
1930 Wayne Belardi
1935 Tom Patton
1936 Bill Mazeroski
1937 Karl Kuehl
1942 Dave Morehead
1955 Gil Patterson
1959 Jamie Nelson
1960 Candy Maldonado
1960 Tim Birtsas
1960 Chris Green
1961 Tom Dozier
1963 Jeff Brantley
1964 Ron Rightnowar
1965 Jeff Baldwin
1965 Rob Richie
1970 Mike Potts
1971 Brian Bevil
1972 Jimmy Haynes
1973 Justin Atchley
1974 Andy Barkett
1974 Calvin Maduro
1975 Randy Choate
1975 Rod Barajas
1977 Jason Hart
1978 Matt Watson
1979 Ryan Spilborghs
1979 Cliff Bartosh
1983 Chris Young
1983 Jeff Stevens
1985 Tyler Colvin
1987 Scott Barnes
1989 Nick Maronde

Florida Gator drafted by the Angels – made his way quickly to the majors because he had
great command and solid K/BB ratios. In fact, he struck out the first four batters
he ever faced in the big leagues in 2012.  His ERAs in the majors climbed from 1.50 to
6.75 to 12.79. After a lat injury, he never seemed like the same guy. Trivia: He
pitched for New Zealand in the World Baseball Classic in 2014.

1989 Zach Walters

University of San Diego grad, taken by Arizona but has been moved around a lot…
Came up with Washington in 2013, played for Cleveland and the Dodgers – mostly in a
utility role as he can play virtually anywhere. He has power – in 2014, 10 of his 23 hits were for homers… He’s moved from the Dodgers to Cincinnati and Kansas City, and during 2017 and 2018 he spent time playing independent baseball in KC and St. Paul.

OBITUARIES:

1909 Bill Popp
1912 Tug Arundel
1920 Jerry Turbidy
1923 Dots Miller
1925 Emil Huhn
1943 Cecil Ferguson
1947 Bill Ludwig
1951 Jim Keesey
1954 Maurice Archdeacon
1962 John Potts
1964 Fred Stem
1966 Frank Withrow
1967 Jack Tising
1969 Harry O’Neill
1973 Chick Davies
1973 Jack Fournier
1976 Jim O’Neill
1982 Tom Hurd
1991 Loyd Christopher
1992 Ron Davis
1992 Billy Herman
1994 Hank Aguirre
2003 Harley Grossman
2009 Buddy Blattner

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1908 Brooklyn’s Nap Rucker tosses a no-hitter – three errors in the field prevents a perfect game – to beat Boston.

1922 Philadelphia’s Win Noyes has a rough day – he allows 22 hits and 15 runs in seven innings before finally getting a little relief help. Among those beating him up included Babe Ruth, who went 5 for 6 with four RBI and a third inning homer.

1971 J. R Richard beat San Francisco in his MLB debut, striking out a record 15 batters.

1998 Barry Bonds reaches base for the fifteenth consecutive time: nine hits and six walks.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1890 Cincinnati signs Billy Clingman – Clingman was Jim Presley with less power.

1934 The Phillies release Hack Wilson. Wilson’s demise was REALLY fast.

1961 Baltimore signs everybody’s favorite reliever of the 1969 team – Eddie Watt.

1963 The Mets sign amateur free agent Ron Swoboda.

1964 The Yankees send cash and two players to be named later to Cleveland for Pedro Ramos. Ralph Terry and Bud Daley would be sent in October and November.

Happy Birthday, Gordon Maltzberger!

In lieu of my writing a full bio, here’s a snippet of information and two really complete articles written about a fine reliever who pitched during the war years for the Chicago White Sox.  The first is a wire copy story that made the rounds in 1944, and the second was a local San Bernadino paper that welcomed Maltzy back home in 1953.

Gordon MaltzbergerGordon Ralph Maltzberger was born 04 September 1912 to Oliver and Addie (Jones) Maltzberger in Utopia, TX, the seventh of eight kids, and moved to Colton, CA before reaching high school age. The Maltzbergers were farmers who lived a couple of miles north of Utopia. While a minor league nomad, Gordon married Barbara Ewing and had one son, William. After his baseball days were over, he was a successful pitching coach and minor league manager in the Braves and White Sox chains.  He served as a pitching coach for the Minnesota Twins in the early 1960s.  For a brief time in 1970, he was a contender to become the manager of the Chicago White Sox, but the job went to Chuck Tanner instead.

Maltzberger passed away at 62 in Rialto, CA on 11 December 1974 after an extended illness.

(US Census Data 1920, 1930, 1940, TX Birth Certificate…  Also Dozer, Richard. “New Candidate For Sox Helm”, Chicago Tribune, 24 July 1970, Section 3, Page 3.)

     *     *     *     *     *

Gordon Maltzberger - Twins CoachGordon Ralph Maltzberger picked up the baseball where Ed Lopat laid it down in the seventh inning in Washington the other afternoon. That meant Chicago was “in,” for the White Sox up 90 per cent when the soft-spoken Texan takes command. That’s how much confidence his teammates have in Maltzy.

Gordon Maltzberger had to go to the 12th to gain his ninth decision of the campaign, all scored in the role of a relief worker. He has saved seven other engagements, has
failed to pull a close out of the fire only once – early in the going.

Jimmy Dykes sends out fireman Maltzberger only when the Comiskeys have a chance.

An easy sidearm motion enables Maltzberger to pitch practically every day. He was in
28 of the club’s first 65 games.

Maltzberger is the finest relief pitcher in the game. Mike Tresh says he never saw anyone like him, and he caught Clint Brown. The Sox rate him superior to Johnny Murphy.

Maltzy has good speed and can threat a needle with a two-speed curve. His control is so perfect that he can deliberately build up a hitter for a pitch.

The Sox talk at length of his achievements. They recall him striking out Lou Boudreau to end the final game of their last stand in Cleveland. Two Indians were on base when Dykes paged Maltzberger, and Skeeter Webb filled the sacks with a poor throw. Boudreau fouled off two slow curves and struck out on a fast one in the same spot.

The Sox won 12 out of 14 on their final eastern swing last season, and Maltzberger was in six of them. He ended both ends of a double-header in Griffith Stadium by striking out two men with the bases full.

Maltzy had stitches in one eyeball, the result of an automobile accident. He wears glasses when pitching at night, but not in the daylight.

Blond, handsome, 31-year-old Maltzberger, on the skinny side with no more than 164 pounds draped on a six-foot frame, quickly established himself as a stickout relief pitchers last season although few had heard of him when he reported to the White Sox from Shreveport.

Maltzberger, who makes his home at Colton, Cal., was kicked around in the minors for 11 summers, twice remained out a full campaign because he “just didn’t have the connections.” He was released by the New Orleans club, then managed by Roger Peckinpaugh, in mid-season of 1940, wound up with Jackson of the class B Southeastern league, became so discouraged he thought of quitting.

Maltzberger is a striking example of the scouts’ hesitancy to recommend a pitcher who is not a giant in stature and does not possess an impressive fast ball. Many a ball player stays in the minors because those paid to search for the better ones are fearful of recommending a dud.

Looking at him for the first time, Gordon Maltzberger hasn’t the slightest quality of the overpowering thrower.

But, he’s a pitcher against whom the opposition is powerless, and that is the main idea.

Grayson, Harry. “Greatest Relief Twirler Pulls Games Out of Fire”, Fort Myers News-Press, 13 July 1944, Page 8.

     *     *     *     *     *

Gordon Maltzberger, who started pitching baseball when he was at Colton High School way back in the 20’s, is still looking forward to some hurling assignments in 1953 after 17 years in professional baseball.

Maltzberger, who lives in Colton between seasons and works in the cement plant as an electrician, recently signed a contract with the Hollywood Stars which calls for him to coach the younger pitchers, throw some at batting practice and occasionally do a stint on the mound, as a reliever.

Many players have remained active in the majors and minors for as long as Gordon has, but few of them are pitchers. The all-time longevity record for hurlers is only 22 years, held by Cy Young, Charlie (Red) Ruffing, Herb Pennock and Sam Jones.

Maltzberger has played with 10 teams as a starting and relief pitcher and managed one, St. Johns in Quebec. His greatest success came when he helped lead Hollywood to the Pacific Coast League championship in 1949.

Winning 18 games and losing 10 that year for the Stars, Maltzberger, then 36, was the sensation of the league at an age when most pitchers are long since washed up. He had a 3.03 Earned Run Average and was topped in victories for the Stars only by Pinky Woods, with 23.

That was one of the few seasons that Maltzberger appeared regularly as a starter. In his three-and-a-half years with the Chicago White Sox and on almost every one of the minor league teams that he has been with, he had relief roles only.

Gordon had two good years with the Chisox before he went in the service, and another year-and-a-half after the war. The first year, in 1943, he had a 7 – 4 record and was credited with saving another 18 games in clutch roles. He sported a 2.45 Earned Run Average, the best of his career.

The following year, Maltzberger won 10 and lost 5, saved another 12 and had an ERA of 2.95. Four of his victories were 12-inning jobs, and another went 17 innings after Gordon had taken over in the eighth. He won this one, 1 – 0.

Gordon signed with the Los Angeles Angels after graduating from Colton in 1932, stayed out of baseball in 1933, went to the Stars in 1934, missed another year in 1935, then went to Macon, Ga. in the Cincinnati chain in 1936.

The Reds sold him to Atlanta in 1937, then in the next seasons he played for Knoxville, New Orleans, Jackson, Dallas, and Shreveport. In 1943, he went up to the White Sox and was there, except for his time in the service, through 1948, when he was sold to the Stars.

After Gordon’s first year with the Stars, he won 13 and lost 13 in 1950, then went back to relief pitching the next year, winning 7 and losing 8. Last seasons, Pittsburgh, which had a working agreement with Hollywood, sent him to manage their farm club at St. Johns in Canada. He guided the team into third place and did some pitching.

The toughest batter he faced in his long career, Gordon said, was Ted Williams, although Charley Keller and Tommy Heinrich of the Yankees were almost as hard to get out. Best hitter he ever pitched to in the Coast League was Luke Easter, who played first base for San Diego in 1949.

Maltzberger believes that physical conditioning had more to do than any other factor with keeping him in the active ranks so long.

“I’m a great believer in running,” Gordon said. “I ran at least 15 minutes every day, whether I was scheduled to pitch or not. That is the best thing you can do to keep your legs in shape, and a pitcher has to have strong legs, or he’ll fold up in the later innings. Running also helped my wind and my ball control.”

Never known as a fast-baller, Maltzberger uses a side-arm delivery and mixes a sharp curve with sinkers and screwballs.

Gordon, his wife, and 12-year-old son Bill make their winter home at 856 Edgehill in Colton, but the family lives in Los Angeles during the baseball season.

Boyd, Jerry. “Colton’s Gordon Maltzberger to Coach, Pitch for Hollywood Stars This Season”, San Bernadino County Sun, 15 February 1953, Page 38.