Baseball History for April 18th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1864 Fred Doe
1869 George Borchers
1872 Jack Rothfuss
1873 Hughie Hearne
1873 Danny Friend
1880 Sam Crawford
1887 Bill Rodgers
1888 Duffy Lewis
1888 Tommy McMillan
1892 Jack Scott
1895 Hans Rasmussen
1896 Rip Conway
1899 Bill Bayne
1899 Harry Hulihan
1902 Bob Linton
1905 Mal Moss
1908 Ed Boland
1917 Ty LaForest
1917 Vince Ventura
1917 Nick Polly
1919 Bob Ferguson
1922 Moe Burtschy
1929 Steve Kraly
1934 Deacon Jones
1936 Larry Foss
1938 Rogelio Alvarez
1939 Von McDaniel
1942 Steve Blass
1942 Chuck Taylor
1945 Mike Paul
1946 Gerry Janeski
1951 Doug Flynn
1955 Bobby Castillo
1959 Rich Bordi
1959 Jim Eisenreich
1959 Dennis Rasmussen
1963 Alex Madrid
1963 Pete Stanicek
1965 Brian Dubois
1969 Angelo Encarnacion
1970 Rico Brogna
1970 Steve Dunn
1973 Brady Clark
1981 Brian Buscher
1983 Miguel Cabrera
1983 Alberto Gonzalez
1983 Mike Parisi
1984 Marcos Mateo
1986 Billy Butler
1990 Anthony DeSclafani
1990 Evan Marshall
1990 Henderson Alvarez

OBITUARIES:

1892 Ned Bligh
1893 Fred Siefke
1895 Henry Myers
1902 George Grossart
1904 Charlie Ziegler
1912 Hank Gehring
1913 Roscoe Miller
1920 George McMillan
1925 Charlie Ebbets

Heart attack at his apartment…

1926 George Haddock
1927 Pop Smith
1930 Jack Stivetts
1932 Ike Benners
1937 Hick Carpenter
1953 Harry Niles
1953 Cotton Tierney
1956 Claude Davidson
1956 Patsy O’Rourke
1957 Bill Sweeney
1957 Wally Reinecker
1970 Tony York
1972 Dutch Hinrichs
1975 Jack Burns
1979 Lindsay Deal
1983 Woody Rich
1986 George Durning
1990 John Antonelli
1991 Sheldon Jones
1998 Walter Sessi
2003 Lefty Sloat
2012 John O’Neil

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1923 Babe Ruth homers in the first game at the House That Ruth Built…  (Howard Ehmke tossed that pitch.)

1950 Making his first start behind the mic, Vin Scully calls a Brooklyn Dodger loss to the Phillies.

1958 The Dodgers play their first game in LA, a 6 – 5 win over the Giants in the LA Coliseum.

1981 Rochester and Pawtucket’s game is suspended after 32 innings just after 4AM.  The game is finished later in the season, the PawSox 3 – 2 winner scored in the 33rd.

1981 Tom Seaver fans his 3000th batter – just the fifth pitcher to hit the mark – by putting away Keith Hernandez.

1987 Mike Schmidt connects for his 500th homer – I can picture his giddy run toward first base.

2007 Mark Buehrle tosses a no hitter – the lone base runner, Sammy Sosa, was picked off.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1946 Cincinnati sends Jim Konstanty and cash to the Braves for Max West.

Prior to World War II, West was a pretty good outfielder – some power, got on base, played all three fields.  He batted .213 for the Reds, though, and was through after that.  Konstanty was an unpolished prospect who eventually found his ways to the Phillies where he was a reliever for the Whiz Kids, winning 16 games and winning an MVP.  He had a nice career, but not a great one…

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Baseball History for April 17th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1820 Alexander Cartwright
1852 Cap Anson
1862 Henry Mullin
1863 Charlie Ferguson
1864 Jersey Bakley
1869 John Grimes
1870 Ad Yale
1875 Charlie Jaeger
1878 Judge Fuchs
1879 Tom Needham
1884 Jake Daubert
1891 Scott Perry
1892 Morrie Schick
1903 Elmer Miller
1903 Bob Osborn
1906 Eddie Delker
1907 Bobby Stevens
1909 Chuck Sheerin
1914 Lefty Smoll
1917 Stan Andrews
1923 Solly Hemus
1937 Roberto Pena
1945 Dennis Paepke
1950 Pedro Garcia
1954 Denny Walling
1955 Tom Runnells
1957 Dave Huppert
1965 Craig Worthington
1967 Marquis Grissom
1969 Jeff Ball
1971 Keith Johnson
1972 Gary Bennett
1979 Jorge Piedra
1980 Max St. Pierre
1981 Ryan Raburn
1984 Jed Lowrie
1987 Dan Jennings
1989 Deolis Guerra

OBITUARIES:

1883 John Bergh
1893 Joe Farrell
1898 Bobby Mathews
1909 Oscar Westerberg
1912 Ace Stewart
1923 Frank Keffer
1931 George Daisy
1933 Thomas Griffin
1937 Bill Foxen
1938 Alex Beam
1946 Jack Quinn
1948 Pat Deisel
1959 Fred Brainard
1960 Ricardo Torres
1964 Kid Willson
1967 Dutch Rudolph
1973 Vic Aldridge
1973 Lefty Weinert
1979 Joe Conzelman
1980 Ed Miller
1980 Hooks Iott
1983 Dutch Leonard
1991 Les Mallon
1994 Walter Wilson
1996 Bill Serena
2012 Stan Johnson

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1925 Babe Ruth undergoes surgery on an intestinal abcess that would sideline him for the first 40 games of the season.

1934 Red Barber works his first game on the radio – for the Reds, of course.

1945 Pete Gray makes his debut for the Senators – getting a hit on four trips.  Gray, now 30, has but one arm.

1953 Mickey Mantle’s homer off of Chuck Stobbs is measured at 565 feet (disputed these days), which is considered the longest MLB homer.

1969 Montreal’s Bill Stoneman tosses a no-hitter to beat the Phillies, 7- 0.  It was just the ninth game in Expo history – Stoneman also made the first start for the Expos, but only got one out in the first inning before being removed.

1976 Mike Schmidt hits four consecutive homers to help the Phillies beat the Cubs, 18 – 16, in extra innings.  The Cubs had an eleven run lead at one point.  (Schmidt added a single in six at bats.)

2001 Barry Bonds hits his 500th career homer – into McCovey Cove.

2009 Gary Sheffield launches his 500th homer…  Meanwhile, Jason Kubel hits for the cycle – with a grand slam completing the task.

2010 Ubaldo Jimenez throws a no-hitter to beat the Braves in Atlanta, 4 – 0.  Jimenez is the first Rockie to accomplish the feat.  A pickoff play and a double play helped Jimenez survive six walks in the first five innings.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1909 Boston purchases Jimmy Slagle from the Cubs.

1960 For some reason, the Indians agreed to trade Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers for Harvey Kuenn.  Kuenn was the batting champ, while Colavito was the homer champ.

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Baseball History for April 16th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1859 Steve Dignan
1866 Jim Devlin
1867 Piggy Ward
1870 Pop Swett
1874 Ira Belden
1880 Crese Heismann
1880 Phil Stremmel
1881 Gene Ford
1883 Ed Gagnier
1891 Ricardo Torres
1891 Charlie Meara
1892 Dutch Leonard
1900 Walt Schulz
1903 Paul Waner
1906 Tommy Sewell
1908 Babe Phelps
1916 Pete Suder
1925 Alton Brown
1929 Ed Winceniak

A Cubs infield prospect from the early Ernie Banks era…  Born and raised in Chicago, too.  You can read about him here.

1938 Rich Rollins
1939 Bernie Allen
1940 Garry Roggenburk
1942 Jim Lonborg

If you watched Cheers on television, Sam Malone was a former Red Sox pitcher turned bar owner.  The photo behind the bar, supposedly of Sam, was that of Lonborg.

After his remarkable 1967 season, he was skiing and wrecked his knee and while he had a few good years, he was never that good again.

1943 Frank Fernandez
1944 Bob Montgomery

Fisk’s backup for many years, then a broadcaster for a long time.

1946 Sergio Robles
1953 Bruce Taylor
1953 Don Reynolds
1954 Bruce Robinson
1955 Bruce Bochy
1955 Rick Jones
1958 Rick Grapenthin
1960 Curt Young
1969 Fernando Vina
1969 Ken Takahashi
1971 Marc Sagmoen
1972 Antonio Alfonseca

Six fingered (both hands) reliever for the Marlins some time back now…  For a few years, he wasn’t half bad.

1975 Kelly Dransfeldt
1979 Justin Huisman
1979 Justin Wayne
1983 Tommy Manzella
1990 Travis Shaw
1991 Nolan Arenado
1991 Paco Rodriguez
1993 Keone Kela

OBITUARIES:

1893 John Fox
1907 Bill Zies
1910 Tom Loftus

Manager, owner, played for a while, too.  He was the first manager that got something out of Rube Waddell.  Loftus was the owner and manager of Columbus in 1898 who took Rube and got more than 25 wins out of him before Rube went back to the Pirates.  He also managed the 1901 Chicago Remnants, where Rube also played, but wasn’t the owner and therefore had less leeway in dealing with him.  Rube pitched well, but he eventually ran from the team over any number of issues.

1910 Bill Kienzle
1913 Jerry Harrington
1914 Podge Weihe
1916 Fred Mann
1916 Jim McTamany
1924 Buster Hoover
1931 Bucky Veil
1941 Howard Wakefield
1944 Pop Foster
1945 Chick Fewster
1948 Dick Kauffman
1953 Sam Gray
1955 Louis Graff
1956 George Puccinelli
1964 Gus Williams
1964 Charlie Case
1965 Chick Tolson
1967 Jim Tennant
1968 John Michaelson
1970 Mal Eason
1971 Ron Northey
1975 Frank Wayenberg
1980 Jerry Conway
1981 Effa Manley
1985 Benny Zientara
1989 Jocko Conlan
1991 Al Verdel
2001 Hank Riebe
2013 Jack Daniels
2015 Ollie Brown

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1929 Earl Averill is the first American Leaguer to hit a homer in his first major league at bat.

1935 Babe Ruth’s first game as a National Leaguer includes a homer off of Carl Hubbell.  His Braves win, 4 – 2.

1940 Bob Feller tosses an opening day no-hitter to beat the White Sox, 1 – 0.  I wrote about it here.

1948 WGN televises its first Cubs game with Jack Brickhouse behind the mic.

1972 Cubs rookie Burt Hooten no-hits the Phillies in his fourth career start, 4 – 0.

1978 Bob Forsch repeats Hooton’s trick, beating the Phillies, 5 – 0 without surrendering a hit.

1983 Steve Garvey passes Billy Williams – taking over the record for longest consecutive games played streak in the National League.  He makes it to 1207 before a dislocated thumb ends his run later that year.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1938 The Cubs acquire Dizzy Dean from the Cardinals for the low price of Curt Davis, Clyde Shoun, Tuck Stainback, and about $185,000.

1935 The Red Sox sign catcher/spy Moe Berg.

1971 Luis Tiant, looking for a gig, signs with the Atlanta Braves.

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Baseball History for April 15th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1862 Sy Sutcliffe
1864 Hub Collins
1865 Mike Lehane
1867 Cinders O’Brien
1871 Bill Gray
1877 Ed Abbaticchio
1886 King Cole
1890 Buck Sweeney
1893 Jack Sheehan
1893 Vern Hughes
1894 Red Gunkel
1896 Dutch Distel
1897 Walt Lynch
1910 Eddie Mayo
1915 Joe Hoover
1917 Elmer Gedeon
1926 Bill Pierro
1931 Ed Bailey
1934 J C Hartman
1936 Leo Posada
1940 Willie Davis
1945 Ted Sizemore
1949 Ray Bare
1950 Dick Sharon
1956 Barry Cort
1960 Mike Diaz
1968 Billy Brewer
1969 Jeromy Burnitz
1972 Ricky Otero
1974 Reynaldo Garcia
1977 Paul Phillips
1978 Milton Bradley
1978 Tim Corcoran
1980 Yoel Hernandez
1982 Michael Aubrey
1985 John Danks
1985 Aaron Laffey
1988 Chris Tillman
1989 Adeiny Hechavarria

OBITUARIES:

1915 Frank Figgemeier
1929 Harry Wilson
1937 Emmet McCann
1946 Pete Allen
1954 Chick Holmes
1957 Jack Coombs
1957 Rube Schauer
1957 Ernie Padgett
1959 Win Clark
1961 Nick Cullop
1961 Jess Doyle
1961 Cy Falkenberg
1970 Ripper Collins
1971 Mickey Harris
1975 Dutch Schliebner
1976 Floyd Newkirk
1983 Bill Sarni
1992 Ralph Weigel
1997 Bob Friedrichs
1997 Jim Holloway
1999 Bernie Snyder
2007 Chip Marshall
2009 Ed Blake
2011 Bobo Osborne
2011 Reno Bertoia

Prior to Dustin Pedroia, the only other major league player to have a last name that rhymed with mine.

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1947 Jackie Robinson makes his debut for the Dodgers, breaking the color barrier (finally!).

I wrote about it here.

1994 Beloit’s Kelly Wunsch strikes out FIVE guys in an inning – the third time it had happened in a professional game.  Two wild pitches on strike three aided the cause.

2000 Cal Ripken’s single off Hector Carrasco marks his 3000th career hit.

2009 Ian Kinsler hits for the cycle – he had six hits – as Texas clobbers Baltimore, 19 – 6.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1972 Houston sends Scipio Spinks and Lance Clemons to St. Louis for Jerry Reuss.

1979 The Mets sign amateur free agent infielder Jose Oquendo.

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Baseball History on April 14th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1863 Parson Nicholson
1867 Dan Cotter
1870 Tom Niland
1880 George Merritt
1881 Jack Bracken
1882 John Barthold
1884 Wild Bill Luhrsen
1886 Herman Young
1893 Ben Tincup
1898 Jess Doyle
1913 Jack Radtke
1916 Johnny Hutchings
1916 Jerry Lynn
1927 Don Mueller
1928 Herb Adams
1931 Don Minnick
1931 Kal Segrist
1934 Marty Keough
1935 Lefty Hayden
1941 Pete Rose
1941 Frank Cipriani
1944 Frank Bertaina
1947 Joe Lahoud
1948 Ron Schueler
1953 Mark Bomback
1954 Craig Mitchell
1954 Casey Parsons
1955 Chris Welsh
1956 Bobby Sprowl
1960 Paul Hodgson
1961 Jay Aldrich
1966 Greg Maddux
1966 Greg Myers
1966 David Justice
1967 Mike Trombley
1968 Jesse Levis
1969 Brad Pennington
1969 Brad Ausmus
1970 Steve Avery
1971 Gregg Zaun
1971 Carlos Perez
1972 Roberto Mejia
1976 Kyle Farnsworth
1976 Paul Hoover
1980 John Van Benschoten
1982 Josh Whitesell
1983 Jeff Fiorentino
1983 Adam Russell
1984 Chris Leroux
1986 Cory Gearrin
1993 Brandon Finnegan

OBITUARIES:

1891 Frank Bell
1898 Jiggs Parrott
1901 Pat Sullivan
1911 Addie Joss
1922 Cap Anson
1923 Jack Fox
1926 Eddie Fusselback
1930 Frank Kitson
1935 Doc Martin
1936 Dan Lally
1937 Ned Hanlon
1951 Danny Moeller
1953 Roy Patterson
1958 Red Smyth
1958 John Freeman
1959 Frank Harter
1963 Earl Kunz
1964 Enos Kirkpatrick
1968 Al Benton
1970 Ed Crowley
1978 Joe Gordon
1978 Bill Leinhauser
1986 Doc Land
1988 Ralph Winegarner
1989 Carr Smith
1997 Gus Dugas
2000 Bob Barthelson
2003 Al Epperly
2008 Tommy Holmes

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1910 William Howard Taft throws out the first pitch at American League Park in Washington DC.

1914 Cubs pitcher Larry Cheney ties a record by heaving five wild pitches in a start against the Reds.  He’d match that four years later.

1915 Herb Pennock is one out away from a no-hitter when Harry Hooper scratches out a hit.

1917 Eddie Cicotte fires a no-hitter – he blanks the Browns, 11 – 0.

1925 Cleveland scores 21 runs, an opening day record, in a route of the Browns.

1967 Billy Rohr gives up a two-out single to Elston Howard in the ninth – it was Rohr’s first game in the majors.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1949 Washington signs pitcher Bobo Newsom.

1964 San Francisco purchased Duke Snider from the Mets.

1989 San Francisco signs reliever Rich “Goose” Gossage.

1999 Cleveland signs amateur infielder Jhonny Peralta.

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Baseball History for April 13th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1858 Bill Barnes

Played eight games in the Union Association in 1884 for the St. Paul Saints.  The Saints were a replacement team that helped finish the season.  He really wasn’t a major leaguer.

1863 Charlie Sweeney

California born pitcher, blew out his arm, which ended a promising career, and – well, everything went bad quickly for him.  According to MLB Profiles, 1871-1900, Sweeney left baseball rather abruptly, and then kept getting into scrapes.  One scrape, which wound up with gun shots being fired, put Sweeney in prison for murder.  Even that ended quickly when it was found out that the brother of the dead man committed perjury.  Still – Sweeney got out of one prison, but wound up in a worse spot.  He contracted Tuberculosis and died before turning 39.

1864 Billy Murray

Phillies manager in the first decade of the last century…

Phil Williams wrote his bio for SABR:

1866 Herman Long

Arguably the best shortstop before Bobby Wallace…  Hughie Jennings in in the Hall, but Long was every bit as good – and both played on championship teams.  Long led the NL in homers with 12 in 1900, and in runs scored with 149 in 1893.

1870 Abel Lizotte

Played something like seven games with Pittsburgh – but spent two decades in the minors.

1875 Pete Cregan

Played seven games in two stints – a game with the Giants in 1899 and six games with Cincinnati in 1903.  Batted 2 for 21 in his career.

1875 Kid Elberfeld

One of my favorite characters of the 1900s – fearless, played an angry game, really, but boy could he play.  Once went 4 – 4 against Rube Waddell in a game – the only four hits Waddell allowed.

Terry Simpkins wrote his SABR biography.

1879 Jake Stahl

College football and baseball star turned Red Sox hero.  Read John Stajl’s SABR bio here.

1881 Patsy O’Rourke

Baseball lifer – probably spent 53 years in baseball, but just 53 games with the Cardinals in 1908.  I see a future research project.

1883 Mike Simon

Indiana grad, catcher for the Pirates with fairly good defensive skills.  Left Pirates for the Federal League, but was done after 1915.

1884 Phil Ketter

Went 2 for 6 in two games with the 1912 St. Louis Browns.  A catcher, and born Phil Ketterer (apparently he was hiding his identity or thought the extra “er” was redundant), he spent a decade in the low minors before returning to his hometown St. Louis.

1885 Red Killefer

Charlie Weatherby tells the story of a man with nearly as many nicknames as teams he played for.  Attended both Purdue and Michigan…

1885 Vean Gregg

Eric Sallee penned this bio of a great lefty with a rather nomadic baseball career.

1889 Claude Hendrix

Everybody gets a SABR bio today.  Jonathan Dunkle weaves the tale of an athletic spitballer who killed his career by throwing games.

1890 Al Platte

Outfielder who played nine games for Detroit in 1913.

1890 George Shears

Highlanders pitcher in 1913 – pitched in just four games.  On the other hand, his Wikipedia page says he was a leading chiropractic doctor for several decades…

1893 Roy Walker

Tennessee native who alternated between the majors and minors for three different teams over an 11 year period between 1912 and 1922.  His most productive season was 1921, where he went 11 – 12 for the Cardinals.  For whatever reason (research project?) he couldn’t stay anywhere very long.

1894 Squiz Pillion

Cecil Randolph Pillion was given a tryout by Connie Mack in 1915 – two appearances – but he gave up ten hits and two walks in just 5.1 innings and was dispatched back to the lots.

1894 Pat Martin

Connie Mack gave him two shots in 1919 and 1920, but failed to stick in seven starts (1 – 6, 5.61 ERA).

1900 Rufe Clarke

Pitched for the Tigers in 1923 and 1924 – just seven games, splitting two decisions.  Brother, Sumpter, also pitched in the bigs.

1902 Ben Cantwell

Giants and Braves pitcher, considered bright, and once went 4 – 25 for a lousy Boston team.  His SABR bio was inked by Gregory H. Wolf.

1903 Ken Jones

Georgetown grad, nicknamed Broadway, but pitched just just nine major league games.  Got in one game in 1924 with the Tigers.  Spent a while in the minors, and got eight games (one start) with the Braves in 1930.

1905 Biff Wysong

Reds prospect in the 1930s, Harlan Wysong went 1 – 3 from 1930 to 1932, but walked 34 guys while striking out 11.  Apparently, his arm went bad in 1932, so he returned home and played semi-pro baseball as a first baseman for a few years.  (“Wysong’s Pitching Arm is Treated”, Wilmington News-Journal, 27 July 1935, Page 2.)

“Harlan Wysong, little son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Wysong, was severely burned in the face last week by an explosion of coal oil, which he was pouring on a fire.”

The Wilmington Journal, 21 Feb 1912, Page 2.

“Common Pleas Judge Frank M. Clevenger granted Eva Wysong a divorce on the grounds of neglect.  Custody of their two children was awarded to Mrs. Wysong and he was enjoined from interfering with the plaintiff, but is to have the right to visit the children.  He was instructed to play $10 per week for support of the children.”

“Granted Divorce”, Wilmington (OH) News-Journal, 25 April 1946, Page 2.

Wysong was in poor health for a few weeks – just 46 years old – when he passed on.  Apparently he was temperamental, and frequently displayed an uncontrollable temper.  “…His admiring fans all chipped in to buy him a fine leather traveling bag.  They presented it to him with appropriate ceremony before a game and the tempermental Biff gave it an unappreciative kick under the player’s bench and remarked something about not being able to pitch with ‘a thing like that.'”

“Death of Biff Wysong Sets Off Reminiscing About Baseball Here”, Washington Court House Record-Herald, 9 August 1951, Page 17.

1906 Roxie Lawson

Swing man for staffs on Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis (AL) – member of the 1935 Tigers, and went 18 – 7 in 1937.  His arm couldn’t take the load, and he career went downhill from there.

1911 Woody Upchurch

North Carolina native, lost two decisions in both 1935 and 1936 for Connie Mack.  Must have had a live arm, but he couldn’t throw strikes and Connie didn’t keep him around after that.  Didn’t go to the minors, though.  I see a future research project.

1912 Jake Mooty

Texas A&M grad, pitched for the reds, Cubs, and Tigers in the 1930s and 1940s.  Looks like his career ended during World War II and he never made it back.

1915 Oscar Grimes

Dad, Ray, also played.  Oscar was a utility infielder for the Indians and Yankees (and Athletics) for about a decade.  Not a horrible player, either.  Good eye, made contact, the three years he played at least 100 games, he’d get on base at a .360 or better rate.

1917 Jim Schelle

Born Gerald Anthony Schelle, went to Villanova, and played in a single game for the Athletics in 1939.  Unlike Kevin Ohme (below), he allowed all five guys he faced to reach base, three of them scored, so his ERA is infinity.

1941 John Stephenson

Catcher (slash) guy for four teams in the 1960s and 1970s.  You might have a few of his baseball cards, but might not recognize him.

1942 Ike Brown

Memphis native, played in the Negro Leagues (briefly – they were dying following integration) and spent six  years with the Tigers playing all over the field.  (Unlike Gates Brown, who just hit – and wasn’t related.)  Pretty good hitter, good eye, not so good luck.  Cancer took him in 2001.

1959 Ed Amelung

Dodgers prospect who got two tries as an outfielder, but didn’t stick.  A San Diego State alum, he’s now a regional sales manager for Master Meter.

1962 Jeff Bittiger

Smallish reliever with a big arm who got four years in the bigs.  Now a scout for the Oakland A’s.  Actually started as a third baseman before being converted to the mound.

1963 Mark Leiter

I’m more familiar with his brother, Al, who pitched for the Marlins…  Mark had a nice career, too.  Spent 11 years in the bigs, sometimes as a starter, and sometimes not.  Now runs a youth baseball camp.

His son is on the way to the bigs soon.

1964 Doug Strange

NC State alum, utility infielder for a decade, now working for the Pirates in management…

1965 Jeff DeWillis

3rd round draft pick for the Blue Jays, but he only played 13 games in the big leagues.

1966 Wes Chamberlain

Outfield prospect with the Pirates, Red Sox and Phillies.  Went to Jackson State and now is the CEO of a company that provides youth sport programs.

1970 Ricardo Rincon

Long time Mexican lefty who appeared in 565 games over a 12 year period.  Had 21 career saves, 400 strikeouts, and 201 walks in his 443.2 innings (lefty one-out guy…).

1971 Kevin Ohme

Long time prospect who had more elbow surgeries (three) than games with the Cards (two).  He batted once and singled – so his lifetime batting average is 1.000 and his lifetime ERA is 0.00.

1980 Jose Diaz

Dominican right handed pitcher who spent the bulk of his minor league career at AAA with a 5+ ERA.  For some reason, he got five major league games with Kansas City and Texas…

1983 Hunter Pence

Old school, free spirit, fun outfielder for three teams.  Injured in 2015, keeping him from playing at least 150 games for the first time since 2007 when he came up with Houston.

1983 Steve Pearce

Tampa first baseman who has already played for five different teams now.  He’s got some power, he’s got a good eye, but he doesn’t make enough contact to keep a job.

1986 Lorenzo Cain

My son’s favorite Royal.  I remember when they got him from Milwaukee and wondered why he didn’t play every day right away.

OBITUARIES:

1897 Charles Yingling
1898 Charlie McCullough
1908 John Kelly
1909 Fred Cone
1923 Gene Krapp
1927 Tommy Johns
1927 Kirtley Baker
1929 John Castle
1929 John Kelty
1933 Ody Abbott
1941 Joe Schultz
1945 Joe Kutina
1946 Billy Gumbert
1951 Wish Egan
1962 Bill Akers
1964 Ed Pipgras
1967 Tommy Griffith
1967 Herb Welch
1971 Troy Puckett
1976 Mike McCormick
1979 Frankie Kelleher
1982 Ray Knode
1992 Steve Shemo
1995 Hal Peck
1997 Harry Rosenberg
1998 Randy Brown
1998 Jack Bolling
2000 Frenchy Bordagaray
2005 Don Blasingame
2006 Dutch Fehring
2006 Bill Baker
2009 Mark Fidrych

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN IT!

1963 Pittsburgh’s Bob Friend ties a major league record by committing four balks in a game.  He finished the game and got the win over the Reds.  Pete Rose tripled in the game, by the way – it was his first major league hit.

1982 After 17 innings and with the game knotted at three, a game between Seattle and California is suspended.  The remainder of the game is played the next day – California won on a Bob Boone single that scored Don Baylor in the 20th inning.

1984 Expo Pete Rose gets his 4000th hit off Phillies pitcher Jerry Koosman.  He’s the first (and only) National League player to reach that milestone.

1993 Detroit hangs 20 runs on Oakland, banging out 18 hits and three homers.

1998 Tampa outlasts Minnesota, 13 – 12, in 14 innings.  The game featured 41 hits and eight homers.

1998 Lawrence, KS’s own Lee Stevens hits three homers for Texas in a 10 – 1 win over Detroit

1999 Pudge Rodriguez hits a pair of homers and knocks in nine runs to help crush Seattle, 15 – 6.  Of the four hits, he homered for three runs in the first, singled home a pair in the second, and hit a grand slam in the third.

2003 Philadelphia scores all 13 runs in the fourth inning in a 13 – 1 win over the Reds.  The Phillies only got six hits, but the last one was a three run homer by Ricky Ledee.

2007 Houston’s Carlos Lee knocks out three homers, driving in six, and beats Philadelphia, 9 – 6.

2009 While with the Dodgers, Orlando Hudson hits for the Cycle against the Giants.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1991 Texas signs free agent outfielder/DH Brian Downing.

1995 Texas signs free agent Mickey Tettleton.

2010 Toronto signs non-drafted free agent Adeiny Hechavarria.

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Baseball History for April 12th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1850 Sandy Nava
1859 John Harkins
1862 Harry East
1863 Buster Hoover
1875 Lew Post
1876 Vic Willis
1879 Bill Clancy
1879 Fred Brown
1880 Addie Joss
1881 Harry Ostdiek
1887 Sam Agnew
1888 Charlie Pick
1888 Bill Bailey
1888 Harry Sullivan
1888 Kid McLaughlin
1895 Sammy Vick
1898 Trader Horne
1898 Mickey O’Neil
1899 Bernie Henderson
1908 Joe Vitelli
1909 Eric McNair
1910 Bill Miller
1912 Jack Wilson
1918 Chucho Ramos
1922 Bill Wight
1926 Lou Possehl
1926 Walt Moryn
1928 Bill Stewart
1929 Mel Held
1930 Johnny Antonelli
1933 Charlie Lau
1940 Woodie Fryman
1942 Tommie Sisk
1942 Dale Roberts
1943 Ken Suarez
1943 Vicente Romo
1944 Terry Harmon
1956 Jose Alvarez
1960 Bill Lindsey
1964 Jerry Goff
1964 Mike Macfarlane
1968 Dave Staton
1968 Cliff Brantley
1971 Matt Williams
1972 Paul Lo Duca
1973 Antonio Osuna
1976 Jeff Wallace
1977 D. J. Carrasco
1979 Jordan De Jong
1980 Daniel Garcia
1981 Hisashi Iwakuma
1982 Justin Ruggiano
1985 Adonis Garcia
1985 Brennan Boesch
1986 Brad Brach
1989 Pedro Hernandez
1989 Raudel Lazo
1990 Edgar Olmos
1990 Burch Smith

OBITUARIES:

1889 Frank Ringo
1929 Tom Phillips
1937 Ed Morris
1940 Fred Klobedanz
1941 Frederick Boardman
1947 Tom Sullivan
1966 Gussie Gannon
1966 Joe Harris
1968 Frank Sigafoos

As a major league player, Frank Sigafoos was a bit snake bit.  Getting four different chances with four different teams, he never was able to get in a good groove with either Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, or Cincinnati.

He once hit a home run off of Cuban lefty Oscar Estrada that technically didn’t happen.  It was the only game that Estrada would pitch in the majors – he came on in relief in the ninth inning of a game between the Browns and Detroit.  With a runner on second, Sigafoos drilled a pitch far over the wall in right-centerfield.  Except that home plate umpire Bruce Campbell called a balk, nullifying the pitch, the homer, and instead of giving up two runs, Estrada’s penalty was to give up a base to the runner at second.  It would have been Sigafoos’s first, and only, homer.  Maybe it would have turned things around.  Instead, Sigafoos would have to be a star in the minor leagues.

Frank Sigafoos was born in Easton, PA on 21 March 1904 and after his days in high school he would work in the coal mines outside of his city.  Looking for a better life, he enrolled in Purdue University where he would play baseball there.  Returning to Philadelphia after college, he was playing semi-professional ball when scouted by Connie Mack.  Mack signed him but then dispatched Sigafoos to Newark for the 1925 season.  After hitting .284 there as a third baseman, Mack moved him to Reading where Sigafoos would play shortstop and hit .321, earning a cup of coffee with the Athletics at the end of the 1926 season.  He’d bat .256, but in just 43 at bats.  Mack was no longer enamored with his prospect; he sold Sigafoos to Portland in the PCL instead.

For two years, Sigafoos would hit .335 and .296.  Detroit signed him for the 1929 season, but things didn’t work out and Sigafoos returned to the PCL, this time for Los Angeles.  Hitting .305 there, Cincinnati took an interest in him.  However, after a solid spring training, Sigafoos hit .169 for the Reds and was dispatched to Indianapolis in the American Association.

It was in Indianapolis that Sigafoos had his best seasons, including a 1933 season where he batted .370, and had a league record 41 game hitting streak.  Sigafoos loved the city, he loved the fans, and a few years after his baseball career ended, he would return to Indianapolis for the rest of his days.

In the off-seasons, he took a position with Citizens Gas in Indianapolis.  After spending two years in Louisville – and his batting average falling from .341 to .253 – he soon decided he was done and went to work for Citizen’s full-time, which he did for nearly 30 years.

After his retirement, the company’s recreation and athletic association endowed a scholarship in Sigafoos’s name, awarded to a local high school baseball player for use in his first year of college.

Sigafoos died on 12 April 1968.

1970 Dick Brown
1970 Red Shannon
1971 Ed Lafitte
1977 Tim McCabe
1977 Hal Leathers
1979 Sam Edmonston
1980 Mel Preibisch
1981 Dick Hoover
1983 Carl Morton
1988 Frank Skaff
1989 Arnold Carter
1990 Johnny Reder
1991 Gene Lillard
1999 Cliff Ross
2001 Nelson Burbrink
2004 Frank Seward
2008 Jim Goodwin
2009 Gene Handley
2011 Eddie Joost
2014 Hal Smith

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN IT!

1933 Opening Day the fans wanted?  Ruth homers twice, Sammy Byrd hits a pair, and Gehrig, Simmons, and Foxx all homer in a 12 – 6 opening day win for the Yankees over the A’s.

1965 Don Drysdale homers off of Larry Jackson of the Mets on Opening Day – the only pitcher to have homered in two different Opening Day starts.  He homered in 1959 against the Cubs and Bob Anderson.

1988 Bobby Witt commits four balks in eight innings of work…  He lost to Detroit, 4 – 1.

1992 Cleveland defeats Boston, 2 – 0, without getting a single hit.  Matt Young walked seven batters in getting the loss.  Kenny Lofton walked, stole two bases, and scored on an error.  Two walks and a fielder’s choice scored another run in the third.

1994 Boston’s Scott Cooper hits for the cycle against the Royals in Kaufman Stadium.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1962 Detroit sends Steve Demeter to Cleveland for Norm Cash.

1977 Detroit trades away Willie Horton – sending him to Texas for Steve Foucault.

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