Happy Birthday, Billy Klusman!

Billy Klusman was a powerfully built second baseman whose arm troubles cost him a major league career.

William Klusman was born 24 March 1865 in Cincinnati, OH to Henry and Maria Klusman.  Henry was a laborer born in Prussia while Maria was from Hanover, Germany.  William was the oldest of five kids, though not long after 1880, he and his brother Henry took on labor jobs as his father came down with tuberculosis.  (The younger Henry died at an even younger age, passing away at home in 1889 – just 22 years old.)

“Voss was pounded for a total of twenty-four bases, and nothing but the brilliant fielding of Klusman kept the score that low.”

“Leadville Left”, Topeka Weekly Capital and Farmer’s Journal, 05 August 1886, Page 5.

Billy was first listed as a semi-professional player in 1884 playing for the Buckeyes, Shamrocks, and a team from Dayton, where he played the 1885 season as a second baseman.  In 1886 he took a professional position with a team in Leadville, Colorado.  That team, however, ran out of money and for some reason failed to liquidate whatever assets they had, stranding players on a road trip with no paid salary after September 1.

“…Klusman will be one of the league’s great basemen in time. He not only fielded accurately, but was the only man who slugged the ball.”

“Shut Out.”, New Orleans Daily Picayune, 19 April 1887, Page 8.

In 1887,  Klusman headed south to Mobile and later New Orleans in the Southern League before heading back north to play for a very good minor league team in Manchester, NH.  There, Klusman earned notice when he hit a game-winning home run to beat the Boston National League team in an April, 1888 exhibition game.  This put Klusman on Boston’s radar and when June rolled around and they needed a new second baseman, Klusman was signed and given a chance to play.  Nervous on his first day, 21 June 1888, Boston earned a win over the New York Giants.  The Globe summarized his first game this way:

“He is a clean-cut looking fellow, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighs perhaps 170 pounds. He is built well and looks like a game, determined boy, who would not desert a sinking ship if his services were needed on deck. He did nothing wonderful in yesterday’s game. He was apparently nervous and acted as though a bit afraid of the fast company which he is in. This nervous feeling certainly excuses the poor showing which he made at the bat. Considering everything, he did good, honest work in the field. Nothing better of him can be said than what Mike Kelly expressed at the conclusion of the game. He said: ‘Klusman was nervous going in and certainly had a reason to be. He had a very bad thumb and was therefore unfit for good ball. He handles a ball quickly, and picks it up in first class shape. His running catch proved that he may be a fine fly catcher. The only time that he hit the ball he ran hard to first without turning to see where it went. That is commendable. In this run he showed lots of speed and grit. I like his playing personally, and judging from today’s game he will get along.'”

“Giants Lose.”, Boston Globe, 22 June 1888, Page 3.

It took a few weeks, but his hitting finally came around, including a two homer game in a loss to Detroit.  And while he was a bit error prone, Klusman was likely going to stay when he first injured his throwing arm – and it was significant enough that Klusman was released in August.

Klusman first played for St. Joseph in the Western Association in 1889 but weeks into the season he was sold to Milwaukee.  Before long, however, his arm failed a second time.  Quickly, he signed to play second base for Denver in the Western Association, and a month later he was playing for a third Western Association team: Des Moines.  That team, like Leadville, ran out of money and for the second straight August, he was released.

In 1890, he got a tryout with St. Louis of the American Association, who had lost a number of players to the Players League.  There, Klusman hit pretty well (.277 with power and 11 RBI in 15 games) – and then his arm gave out again.  He was released and signed by Mansfield in the Tri-State League.  Now, no longer a second baseman, he was playing first base – which would be his home for the rest of his minor league nomadic career.

And he was a nomad.  After Mansfield, he played in Birmingham and then Savannah in the Southern League.  When the 1893 season ended, he was home in Cincinnati when he was asked to umpire the last National League game of the season between Washington and Cincinnati.  Washington never showed up for the game, so Klusman declared the game a forfeit in favor of his hometown city.

For the next three seasons, Bill Klusman became Big Bill Klusman, the captain and first baseman of Kansas City’s team in the Western Association because, well, Bill was no longer 185 pounds.  He had a rough finish in 1896 and was released.  When he returned to the Western Association, playing for St. Joseph, in 1897, the Kansas City writers noticed that Klusman looked different.

“‘Bill’ Klusman never looked in finer fettle in his life than he does to-day. He has lost about twenty pounds in weight since last season.”

“Baseball Notes.”, Kansas City Journal, 26 March 1897, Page 5.

His career appears to have ended a year later when he crashed into a bleacher fence and injured his shoulder while playing in Lancaster, PA.

Returning home, Klusman opened a saloon.  He lived in Cincinnati with his wife, Minnie Nierman, who, like Billy, had parents who hailed from Hanover.  They had two daughters, Minnie and Hazel.  However, his post-baseball days didn’t last long.

“An old time National League player passed away in (Cincinnati) on June 24 when consumption claimed Billy Klusman, who played with Boston away back in 1888 and 1889. He was regarded as one of the best second basemen that ever wore a uniform. After quitting the major league Billy went to Kansas City where he managed the Blues for several years…”

“Veteran Dead.”, Sporting Life, 06 July 1907, Page 1.


1870 US Census
1880 US Census
1900 US Census
Ohio Marriage Records

“Base-Ball: Notes.”, Cincinnati Enquirer, 27 April 1884, Page 10.

“Defeated Shamrocks”, Nashville Tennessean, 07 September 1884, Page 1.

“Leadville Left”, Topeka Weekly Capital and Farmer’s Journal, 05 August 1886, Page 5.

“Ball Players in Hard Luck.”, Nebraska State Journal, 13 October 1886, Page 8.

“Shut Out.”, New Orleans Daily Picayune, 19 April 1887, Page 8.  (Plus  other daily box scores)

“Black Eye Number One”, Boston Globe, 11 April 1888, Page 3.

“Boston’s New Player.”, Boston Globe, 21 June 1888, Page 5.

“Giants Lose.”, Boston Globe, 22 June 1888, Page 3.

Box Score – Chicago Tribune, 18 July 1888, Page 3.

“Another Victory.”, Washington Evening Star, 10 August 1888, Page 4.

“Lined Out.”, Boston Globe, 05 May 1889, Page 4.

“Flashes From the Diamond”, Omaha Daily Bee, 16 June 1889, Page 9.

Henry Klusman Obituary, Cincy Enquirer, 03 July 1889, Page 5.

“Flashes from the Diamond.”, Omaha Daily Bee, 11 August 1889, Page 9.

“Base-Ball Notes.”, Indianapolis Journal, 02 February 1890, Page 5.

“Notes”, Wilmington Daily Republican, 10 May 1890, Page 3.

Box Scores – Atlanta Constitution (1892, 1893)

Box Score – St. Paul Globe, 01 October 1893, Page 6

“Unique in Baseball History”, New York Sun, 23 June 1907, Page 37.

Box Scores – Kansas City Journal and St. Paul Globe (1894 to 1896).

“Baseball Notes.”, Kansas City Journal, 26 March 1897, Page 5.

“Baseball Notes”, Nebraska State Journal, 20 June 1898, Page 2.

“Veteran Dead.”, Sporting Life, 06 July 1907, Page 1.


Happy Birthday, George Bausewine!

George Bausewine - LieutenantGeorge Bausewine was a tall and sturdy man who carried with him a sizable air of authority and went from ballplayer to umpire to policeman over the course of his 78 year life.

Born in Philadelphia on 22 March 1869 to George and Catherine (Neilach) Bausewine, George was the first of two children to arrive in this home of German immigrants.  Depending on the US Census you read, one or both of George’s parents came from Germany.  His father was a tailor in the 1880s but had taken work as a beer bottler a decade or so later.

Big and strong, Philadelphia at this time was a baseball city and George took up the game.  Before long, George had converted from a semi-professional ball player to a salaried professional, pitching in cities such as Utica, Altoona, and Canton.  Among his teammates who, like George, would attain fame on the diamond were Walter Brodie and Jake Virtue.   He pitched to a German catcher named Honneman – and for a short time the two were known as the “Pretzel battery.”

Years later, spinning yarn, he claimed that he was the one who discovered Cy Young while pitching for Canton.

“I am the man who coaxed Denton Young out of the bushes,” said Umpire Bausewine the other day in a fanning bee. “I took the Canton team down to Tuscarawas, and we were stacked against Cy. He was a great, big country lad, 18 years old, with a world of speed and nothing else. He was drawing about $10 a month for splitting wood, and I thought I saw qualities in him that could be developed. ‘There’s a boy.’ I said to Cy’s father, ‘who aught to be playing ball. He can make more money than if he stayed here and chopped wood all his life. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be making $30 a month.’ The elder Young gasped and asked, ‘Will you pay him that much?’ And I said I would. So Cy’s father signed his first contract for him and I took him away. In his first game, against Lima, I believe those old fellows hammered him something like two dozen hits off Cy, and that night I discovered my phenom leaving the hotel with his grip – one of those old-fashioned, shiny affairs. I flagged him. He was discouraged. ‘No use for me to try and pitch against those fellows,’ he said. ‘Why, my boy,’ I told him, ‘that is nothing. All pitchers get their bumps. You stick and you’ll make good all right.’ I called on Jack Doyle to help round him up, and, giving Bausewine the wink, asked: ‘George, how many hits were made off you in your first game?’ ‘About 60,’ he said without a blush, and thus we finally persuaded Cy to take another shy at the game, and the next day he held Lima down to four hits. When Pat Tebeau came along alter and clapped his eyes on Cy he offered me $250 for his release after he had beaten Cleveland, 2 to 1, in a 15-inning game. I wanted $1,000, and finally compromised on $500. That is the true story of Cy Young’s entree into baseball.”

“Bausewine Tells How ‘Cy’ Young Was Discovered to Baseball”, Mansfield News-Journal, 13 May 1905, Page 9.

Except Young didn’t join Canton until 1889 and by then Bausewine was off the team, having been released in August, 1888 for poor pitching.

In 1889, Bausewine was pitching for Memphis, which soon disbanded, and he next pitched for London in Canada.  Four weeks after landing in London, he was released and returned home.  However, he was able to sell himself off as a prospect and the Philadelphia Athletics gave him a tryout at the end of the 1889 season.  In his month, he made six starts and one relief appearance, finishing with a record of 1 – 4.  His days as a major league pitcher were over – but he’d make it back to the majors a few years later.  He signed with St. Paul, but by mid-season he was in the box scores more often as an umpire than a pitcher.  He returned to Philadelphia where he joined a few semi-professional teams and then returned to a nomadic minor league life.

In the third inning, Knowles gave the Albany’s three more runs. Shorty Bausewine, the first man, traveled by the big-four route, Eagan made a single, Whistler struck out and Visner made a ground hit to Collins, who threw Eagan out at second. Rowe fielded the ball to Stearns and, although he fairly put Visner out at first, Knowles declared him safe. While Knowles was explaining the play to the players and the crowd, Bausewine, who was still hugging second, started on a run for home straight across the diamond. Knowles eyesight was so bad that he did not know the pitcher’s box from third base when Bausewine touched it, and he allowed Shorty to score.

“Knowles’s Work.”, Buffalo Morning Express, 27 July 1893, Page 8.

“One of the games I was pitching in was close. We had a shortstop named Nyce and he fielded a ball and threw it over the first baseman’s head. I walked over to him and said, ‘Pull another one like that and I’ll give you a beating.’ (But don’t put that in the paper.)

“Anyway, the next ball went to Nyce and he threw it over the first baseman’s head by fifteen feet. I started over to talk to him and he, remembering the threat, started to run. I chased him.

“It ended up at a brewery only a few blocks from here,” Mr. Bausewine was in the Americus Hotel. “Both of us were in uniform and dead tired. We were fined $100 each,” he chuckled, “but got it back later.”

New Head of State Police Chiefs Pitched Professional Baseball For Allentown Back in Gay ’90s”, Allentown Morning Call, 27 July 1938, Pages 5, 14.

Bausewine pitched with Albany, Syracuse and Wilkes-Barre, but eventually he wore out his welcome as a player and occasional team captain and he needed a regular job.  So, Bausewine became a police officer with the Philadelphia police department.

“It was the intention of the managers to send the team on a tour of the country. Bausewine was signed as captain and manager at a very “fancy” salary. He also received a sum of money in advance. After playing about a week he jumped his contract with the team and with Mike Grady, now of the Phillies, joined the Pennsylvania State League. This year he has signed with Germantown and the [Athletic Association of Camden] has entered the protest against him.

“Case of Pitcher Bausewine.”, Philadelphia Inquirer, 12 May 1895, Page 4.

At some point, George married and later divorced his first wife, Ella, with whom he had a son, George Bausewine, Jr.  (If you are keeping score, that’s three George Bausewines with more on the way…)  All the while, Big George was working his way up the ranks of the police department and taking leaves of absence during the summers to umpire baseball games.  In 1902, Bausewine was umpiring a championship semi-professional series when Rube Waddell decided to take the hill for Camden in the final game to win Camden the title.  He would frequently umpire college games, a few games for Connie Mack’s Athletics, and earned a solid reputation as an impartial arbiter who was able and willing to handle the rowdier elements of the games of that era.  (At 6’2″ and probably 220 pounds, he was bigger than most ballplayers.)

“I wish to congratulate president J. Ed Grillo of the American Association on his selection of George Bausewine, the former pitcher, now a member of the Philadelphia police force, as one of his umpires for next season. Bausewine is an exceptionally well fitted man for this trying position and will prove one of the Silk O’Loughlin sort, a many the argumentative players will find always their equal. He combines native intelligence, fairness, and firmness, and from experience knows how to do with and handle men. When Bausewine was a member of the old Syracuse Stars on several occasions he acted as an umpire in game played in this city and was a success.”

“Capable and Fearless Umpire”, Wilkes-Barre Record, 23 March 1904, Page 11.

George Bausewine - UmpireIn 1904, he was added to the ranks of the American Association umpire lists.  In reading through scores of articles giving descriptions of games, Bausewine didn’t suffer arguments all too easily and was regularly attacked by players, managers, owners, and fans – people hurled insults, mud, cushions, and even pop bottles at him.

“During the second inning of the second game President (George) Tebeau, who was on the bench, kicked against Bausewine’s rulings on balls and strikes. This was followed by an argument. Bausewine gave Tebeau fibve minutes in which to leave the field. The order was complied with, but Tebeau went to the office where Bausewine’s street clothes were kept and threw them out on the field. A fist fight between the umpire and the president after the game was averted by the interferene of outsiders.”

“Bausewine Was Firm and Tebeau Suffered”, Indianapolis Journal, 05 May 1904, Page 8.

“Umpire (George) Bausewine of the American Association Staff, was the centerpiece in a shower of pop bottles at Minneapolis, and the riot was not quelled until W. H. Watkins made a personal appeal for peace. Lovely job – this thing of umpiring!”

“Baseball Notes.”, Pittsburgh Press, 22 July 1904, Page 12.

He survived, though, and was so well thought of that he was hired to umpire National League games, joining the ranks of men like Bill Klem, Bob Emslie and Henry O’Day.  After one season there, however, his job with the police force required more of his attention and so he left the major leagues to umpire in local leagues, or the Pennsylvania State League.

A disgraceful exhibition of rowdyism which almost resulted seriously for George Bausewine, Philadelphia’s policeman umpire, marred the second game of the Tri-State series in [York] with Lancaster. Bausewine was set upon by a mob of 500 men and boys, infuriated at his sending Captain-Manager Weigand to the bench in the first inning for “talking back.” Half a dozen police clubbed right and left in the crowd and fired shots in the air, while members of the York team hustled the umpire to a street car in which he was taken direct to his hotel. There were broken heads in the crowd and Bausewine, who was felled by a chair thrown from the grandstand, suffered painful injuries. It was a circus day in York and there were several thousand spectators at the game.

“Mobbed the Umpire”, Buffalo Times, 28 April 1907, Page 38.

After cutting back on his baseball obligations, Bausewine was rewarded for his work on the police force by being promoted to lieutenant, having risen from patrolman and reserve forces to sergeant prior to gaining the role of lieutenant of the fourth district.  After 30 years with the force, he took a position as the police chief of Hollywood, Florida – a suburb south of Fort Lauderdale.  After three years in Florida, he returned to Pennsylvania taking the role of police chief for Norristown.

George BausewineMost of his fifteen years in Norristown were generally quiet, but 1944 was a year he’d probably rather forget.  In February his son George, who had risen through the ranks managing midwestern coal companies, died of a heart attack in Cincinnati.  His grandson, Lieutenant George Bausewine III was recovering from injuries sustained when the USS Helena was sunk by the Japanese in the Battle of Kula Gulf.  And, that summer, Police Chief George Bausewine was convicted of collecting $50 each month in “protection” money to keep slot machines running in a local club.  He was eventually sentenced to between four and twenty-three months in prison, but that conviction was later overturned on appeal.  He retired for the rest of his days.

After his short marriage to Ella, George Bausewine remarried in April 1900 to Emma Allblaster.  They had two children, Emma and Harry.  George and Emma’s days together in retirement didn’t last long.  On the morning of July 29, 1947, Emma went into their bedroom and found George dead of a heart attack.

George Bausewine, 78, former minor league baseball umpire and police chief of Norristown for 14 years, died today. His death, apparently after a heart attack in bed this morning, brought to an end a colorful career. Bausewine was deposed as chief of Norristown police in 1944 while he was on trial on charges of accepting a bribe to permit the operation of slot machines. He was sentenced to serve four to 23 months following convition but in April, 1946, the Pennsyvania supreme court reversed the conviction and set him free.

Nine years ago this week George Bausewine was elected president of the Pennsylvania Chief of Police Assn. at the state convention held in Allentown.

It was then that Bausewine recalled for newsmen that he was a baseball pitcher in Allentown in 1893. He had pitched two years before for the Philadelphia Athletics club and his arm had gone bad. He played with Allentown in the old Pennsylvania State league and after the club broke up he umpired in the American Assn. and later in the National League.

“Geo. Bausewine, Ex-Norristown Chief, Dies”, Allentown Morning Call, 30 July 1947, Page 3.


1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 US Censuses
Philadelphia Death Records
Pennsylvania Marriage Records


“Stolen Bases”, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 05 June 1887, Page 2.

“Bausewine Once An Idol of Fans”, Altoona Times, 21 May 1907, Page 10.

“Ten Innings at Canton.”, Altoona Times, 20 April 1888, Page 1.

“Baseball Notes.”, Pittsburgh Daily Post, 18 August 1888, Page 10.

“Sporting Gossip.”, Buffalo Evening News, 18 June 1889, Page 4.

“Pickups”, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 10 July 1889, Page 6.

“The Association Reserves”, Lawrence Daily Journal, 27 October 1889, Page 7.

Saint Paul Globe/Chicago Tribune box scores (1890)

Reading Times box scores (1893)

“Knowles’s Work.”, Buffalo Morning Express, 27 July 1893, Page 8.

“Base Ball.” Camden Morning Post, 12 September 1895, Page 1.

“Notes of the Courts”, Philadelphia Inquirer, 16 November 1897, Page 7.

“‘Rube’ Waddell Won the Championship for Camden”, Camden Courier Post, 29 September 1902, Page 6.

“Grillo’s Umpires”, Pittsburgh Press, 22 February 1904, Page 10.

“Capable and Fearless Umpire”, Wilkes-Barre Record, 23 March 1904, Page 11.

“Bausewine Was Firm and Tebeau Suffered”, Indianapolis Journal, 05 May 1904, Page 8.

“Baseball Notes.”, Pittsburgh Press, 22 July 1904, Page 12.

“Premier Umpire Quits”, Minneapolis Journal, 23 July 1904, Page 21.

“Long Schedule Kept”, New York Tribune, 15 December 1904, Page 9.

“Now It’s Reserve Bausewine”, Philadelphia Inquirer, 03 October 1905, Page 11.

“Mobbed the Umpire”, Buffalo Times, 28 April 1907, Page 38.

“Philadelphian Police Chief of Hollywood”, Fort Lauderdale News, 16 January 1926, Page 9.

“A Real Veteran”, Mount Carmel Daily News, 14 November 1929, Page 1.

“Geo. Bausewine, Ex-Norristown Chief, Dies”, Allentown Morning Call, 30 July 1947, Page 3. (Photo used from here…)

“On Trial”, Chambersburg Public Opinion, 04 April 1944, Page 1.

“Judge Rules Out 4 of 6 Indictments Against Officer”, Chambersburg Public Opinion, 04 April 1944, Page 1.

“Former Chief of Police is Sentenced to Prison”, Chambersburg Public Opinion, 10 June 1944, Page 6.

“Cincinnatians On Helena”, Cincinnati Enquirer, 08 July 1943, Page 7.

“Helena Survivor is Good Swimmer”, Cincinnati Enquirer, 20 July 1943, Page 6.  (This is an excellent first person account of what it took to survive the sinking of the USS Helena told by George Bausewine III.)

“Geo. Bausewine 3D Dies in Ohio at 54”, Philadelphia Inquirer, 05 February 1944, Page 14.


Baseball History for March 20th

<— MARCH 19     MARCH 21 —>


1853 Bill Stearns

Covered in MLB Profiles (Vol. 1) 1871-1900, Stearns went 13 – 64 in his career and once held the record for most losses without a win in a season (0 – 11) – 1872. Played all five years in the National Association, but never with a team of any skill (contributing to his record).

A DC native, Stearns was a Civil War vet and after his death was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

1864 Pete McShannic

Pittsburg native, played with the Allegheny squad in 1888 and got in 26 games, but wasn’t much of a hitter… His obituary says that he begain playing at 11 and actually spent more time in the bigs than his baseball record suggests.

1864 Dan Mahoney

Briefly played with Cincinnati (1892) and Washington (1895), but couldn’t keep jobs when injuries to his throwing arm limited his ability to play. His post career life was tragic – shot in the eye in 1897 and finally committed suicide six years later having guzzled carbolic acid. (MLB Profiles, Vol. 2)

1865 Mike Griffin

Fine centerfielder and leadoff man for Baltimore and Brooklyn in the 1880s and 1890s, was still a productive hitter and basestealer (just shy of 500 SB). Was on the wrong side of a management change and left the majors after 1898. Went into the brewery business with his father-in-law, but a few years later he caught pneumonia and died at 43.

1867 Emil Geiss

Lost his only start in 1887 with Cap Anson’s Colts; also played first base and second base in other games. His brother, Bill, was a major league player, too.

1870 John Buckley

Played in four games as a pitcher for the Buffalo Bisons in the Players League in 1890 – otherwise, he had several seasons in the minors for a decade.

1871 Paul Russell

Three games with the Browns in 1894; a few years in the minors after that.

1871 Joe McGinnity

A story that would require a book – hero of the early 1900s Giants, then kept pitching regularly in the Eastern League at Newark after that. A sidearmed throw that allowed him to throw a rising fastball; it gave him control. movement, and barely taxed his arm.

1875 Paddy Greene

Villanova grad; played with three teams over two seasons (1902, 1903), but didn’t leave a mark in his 24 major league games.

1879 Rube Vinson

Outfielder for Cleveland and Chicago in the first decade of the AL… According to his wikipedia page, he died falling while cleaning second story windows.

1882 Tom Stankard

Holy Cross grad; played football and baseball. Only got in two games with the Pirates in 1904, but played a decade in the minors.

1882 Harry Armbruster

Long time minor leaguer – Connie Mack gave him a shot with the 1906 Athletics, but it didn’t work out. However, he had a successful decade-long career in the minors.

1883 Pep Clark

15 games with the 1903 White Sox – batted .308 in those games. You’d think he might have gotten another chance. Anyway – he would up with Milwaukee in the American Association for the next thirteen seasons. Clark was associated with the Brewers for a long time – finished his life in Wisconsin, too.

1885 Hosea Siner

Beaneater for ten games in 1909. Got three hits in 25 trips (two walks) and was destined to a life in the low minors near his native Indiana.

1887 Walter Schmidt

Fine defensive catcher, very mobile, who earned his stripes in the PCL playing for San Francisco. The Pirates bought him after the 1915 season and he became one of the better catchers in the NL – though by the time he was a rookie, he was already 29. Still – he frequently showed up on defensive leader lists and was recognized for his strong throwing arm that cut off the running game. Played until he was nearly 40, remaining in great shape and contributing even as a back up in his last season, playing for the Cards in 1925. Returned to the PCL and played for four more seasons, including logging 108 games as a 40 year old for Seattle. Stayed in the Bay Area, passing on at his home in Modesto, CA on the Fourth of July in 1973.

1888 Les Backman

Cards pitcher in 1909 and 1910 – actually appeared to have gotten better in 1910, but was dispatched to the minors for more seasoning. In a few years, he decided he was done with baseball, went back to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (then called Rose Polytechnical) in Terre Haute to finish his engineering degree. He later signed on to work for the architectural firm of Elzner and Anderson.

Backman pitched professionally under the name of Barton as a member of the Portsmouth Cobblers in the Ohio State League in 1909, earning notice. When he signed to pitch with Robison and the St. Louis Cardinals, he had to stop playing college ball – that after setting a team record by batting .445 as a sophomore. Robison and Billie Gilbert saw Backman pitch and lose, “…but he showed so much in spite of poor support that he was bought for $3000, the price conditioned on his making good.” (“Browns Improve”, The Sporting News, 8 July 1909, Page 4.)

The Backman boys – there were three brothers – were all athletes. Lloyd played football at Cincinnati and West Virginia before becoming a building commissioner (and 32nd level Mason) in Portsmouth, Ohio. In addition to baseball, Lester captained his football team. (“Rose Poly Captain”,Indianapolis Sun, 22 Jan. 1908, Pg. 6) After college, Stanley was the assistant football coach at Cincinnati. (“Death Calls Athlete”, Portsmouth Daily Times, 3 December 1915, Page 10.)

1890 Mellie Wolfgang

White Sox pitcher of little note for five seasons in the 1910s, but gone before things got REALLY bad… Wolfgang wasn’t a bad sixth starter for a couple of years there…

1891 Joe Boehling

Richmond native plucked out of the Richmond semi-pro leagues… Apparently, the sporting editor of a DC paper saw him pitch and sent a tip to Clark Griffith. Griffith sent Boehling to Chattanooga and then Worcester, where he was 14 – 8 in the New England League. In 1913, he started his career with eleven straight victories – nine of them starts – before he finally lost to the Browns in mid July. (Sheridan, Hal. “Rise of Senators’ Southpaw Equals Mushroom Growth”, Canton Daily News, 9 August 1913, Page 6.)

He suffered a knee injury in August, 1914 taking him out of the game and requiring surgery in the off-season. (“Joseph Boehling”, Sporting Life, 19 December 1914, Page 1.) He also had to change his throwing motion – umpires said his motion was unfair to baserunners, leading to frequent balks (a record setting six in 1915). The change in his motion affected his control – he allowed “…more free passes than all the sporting editors of the country have issued in 13 years.” (John J. Ward, “Who’s Who on the Diamond”, Baseball Digest, 1917, Volume 19 Issue 5, Pages, 502-503, 531-532.)

In mid-1916, the Indians took a chance at upgrading the team mid-season and sent outfielder Elmer Smith and infielder Joe Leonard to the Nationals for Boehling and outfielder Danny Moeller. Boehling, who had previous success against the two Sox clubs, failed to earn the necessary wins down the stretch and Cleveland faded to the second division in September. (Ed Bang. “Cleveland in Critical Mood”, Sporting Life, 30 September 1916, Page 6.) By 1917, poor performances and getting on the wrong side of the manager led to being sold to Toronto in the Eastern League, but the deal with never finalized. (“Joe Boehling Goes to Minors”, The Free Lance – Richmond, VA, 31 July 1917.)

He listed his employer as the Cleveland Indians when he filed with the draft board for World War I, but his baseball obit says he retired for two seasons before trying (unsuccessfully) to pitch for Cleveland in 1920. In 1918, for example, he was back on the Richmond Battle Axe semi-pro team again. (“Back With Amateurs”, The Milwaukee Journal, Page 51.)

At his peak, the tall and strong lefty had a decent fastball and a sneaky change of pace.

A merchant in the seed and feed business in Richmond after his playing days, married Gertrude Stumpf after returning to Virginia. Died falling off his second story porch – must have been a heck of a fall as he crushed his ribs – at the age of 50. (“Necrology”, The Sporting News, 18 September 1941, Page 14.)

1893 Johnny Butler
1894 Bill Stellbauer
1907 Vern Kennedy
1911 Charlie Moss
1912 Clyde Shoun
1915 Stan Spence
1921 Bill Peterman
1925 Al Widmar
1927 Jim Willis
1928 Jake Crawford
1931 Hank Izquierdo
1933 George Altman
1936 Jim Golden
1937 Kenny Kuhn
1941 Pat Corrales
1943 Steve Dillon
1944 Bob Taylor
1944 Steve Blateric
1948 Chuck Seelbach
1951 Terry McDermott
1952 Rick Langford

Called out as a spitballer by his catcher, Jim Essian.

1952 Greg Terlecky
1954 Steve McCatty

Jim Essian called him out as a spitballer, too.

1954 Paul Mirabella
1960 Mike Young
1963 Dana Williams
1963 Rick Parker
1965 Chris Hoiles
1966 Blas Minor
1970 Will Brunson
1971 Manny Alexander
1972 Jason McDonald
1977 Joe Fontenot
1978 Mike Bynum
1979 Wilfredo Rodriguez
1985 Jonny Venters

Looked like a future relief ace and then his wing blew up. Hope he makes it all the way back. (In 2019 Paul writes, “He did!!!”)

1989 Todd Cunningham
1990 Brad Hand


1933 Dan Burke
1934 Herm Doscher
1935 Bill Holbert
1938 Bob Fothergill
1943 Heinie Wagner
1947 Mike Mowrey
1951 Roscoe Coughlin
1952 Harry Bay
1953 John Brackenridge
1956 Ed Smith
1957 Ezra Midkiff
1958 Gene Dale
1962 John Black
1966 Johnny Morrison
1968 Clyde Shoun
1969 Jim Clark
1970 Jack Flater
1981 Gee Walker
1984 Stan Coveleski
1996 Jim Pendleton
1999 Paul Toth
2001 Luis Alvarado
2012 Mel Parnell
2015 Harley Hisner


1934 Babe Didrickson pitches for the Philadelphia A’s in the first inning of a spring training game against Brooklyn. She walks one, but retires three batters without allowing a run.


1937 Homestead gets Josh Gibson and Judy Johnson from the Pittsburgh Crawfords for $25,000 and a couple of lesser lights. (NationalPastime.com)

1954 Milwaukee trades Dave Cole and cash to Chicago for SS Roy Smalley. This, of course, made room on the Cubs for Ernie Banks…

1980 Seattle signs free agent Lenny Randle.

1993 New York (NL) signs undrafted free agent Octavio Dotel.

2006 Boston sends Bronson Arroyo to Cincinnati for Wily Mo Pena.

2009 Houston signs Pudge Rodriguez

Baseball History for March 19th

<— MARCH 18     MARCH 20 —>


1868 Samuel “Skyrocket” Smith

Played about half a season with the Colonels in 1888 as a first baseman. Tall rangy guy, became a firefighter in St. Louis after baseball until his untimely death at age 48.

1874 Roy Evans

The first MLB player from Emporia State University in Kansas… Among the greatest con artists to play – constantly stealing advance money and leaving bills behind. A FABULOUS SABR bio was written by Brian McKenna.

1881 Billy Maharg

Speaking of crooks… Billy Maharg was a small time boxer, baseball player who was an insider to the fixing of the 1919 World Series.

Bill Lamb wrote this excellent bio:

1884 Clyde Engle

Utility player whose flyball was dropped by Fred Snodgrass in the 1912 World Series. He scored the tying run and helped Boston win the final game of the World Series.

1884 Bobby Messenger

Pride of Bangor, Maine. Played for White Sox from 1909 to 1911 – quick outfielder, but the Sox didn’t need more Hitless Wonders at that time. Got in one game as an emergency outfielder for the Browns in 1914. Spent better than a decade in the minors.

1887 Tex Covington

Born William Wilks, pitched two years with the Tigers in 1911 and 1912… Was actually born in Tennessee, must have moved to Texas after that. Spent a number of years in the American Association, Southern Association, and Western Association before returning to Denton, Texas. Brother, Sam, also played in the majors.

1891 Rube Schauer

Born in Odessa, Russia with the handle Dimitri Ivanovich Dimitrihoff, he had a rather meteroic rise to the big leagues. Family moved to the Dakotas just after the turn of the century; the Giants won a bidding war to sign him. He was allegedly singled out for fame by none other than Rube Waddell, who was pitching in the Northern League in 1913. He wasn’t always alert to the people he faced – didn’t make an effort to study the batters and patterns of other players, and got a reputation for being a little light between the ears – hence the nicknane.

Terry Bohn penned his SABR Bio:

1894 Red Torkelson

Chester Leroy must have been a ginger – he had gone 31 – 9 with Marshalltown in a D level minors, so the Indians gave him a few chances to pitch. He wasn’t horrible, but he was dispatched to the Southern Association for a while. Eventually the Chicago native returned home until he passed away in 1964.

1894 Bill Wambsganss

You probably know why he’s famous, and he hated it. A good player for a number of years, but the only thing people remember about him is one play – the unassisted triple play in a World Series game. For some, it stinks to be the answer to a trivia question.

After a long career, he even managed in the AAPGL for a season, he retired to Cleveland living into his 90s.

His SABR Bio was inked by Bill Nowlin:

1897 Elmer Bowman

Bob Bennett’s SABR bio would tell you he had just two plate appearances in the majors in 1920, he had a fine minor league career and later worked as a electrician in the movie industry.

1908 Gee Walker

Gerald Walker was a Mississippi man, went to The University of Mississippi, and was a fine outfielder for the Tigers in the 1930s. His career lasted into the war years with the Reds. Popular with the fans for being a bit of a clown, the act didn’t go over as well with his management, which is how he was traded from Detroit to the White Sox, and later (as he got older) to Washington, Boston, and Cleveland.

Once hit for the cycle on Opening Day – in reverse order – in 1937.

1915 Joe Gonzales

Spanish pitcher who grew up in San Francisco, pitched briefly for the Red Sox after graduating from USC, then was traded back to the Seals for Dominic DiMaggio… After baseball, was a high school teacher and coach, and a long time NFL Field Judge.

Bill Nowlin penned his SABR Bio:

1927 Richie Ashburn

A fine outfielder with a strong arm; a fine hitter with a remarkable eye and speed on the bases; a popular broadcaster with the Phillies to the very end.

1931 Paul Smith

Light hitting first baseman with Pittsburgh when not doing service time in the military in the 1950s.

1935 Fritz Brickell

Son of Fred Brickell, who played on the Pirates in the 1927 World Series… Signed by Yankees out of Wichita State University, played briefly there in 1958 and 1959, later released but among the initial members of the 1961 Los Angeles Angels. Injuries ended his career quickly; cancer took his life at 30.

1940 Pete Smith

Got three at bats with the Red Sox in 1962 and 1963.

1947 Garry Jestadt

Short career with Montreal, Chicago, and San Diego from 1969 to 1972. Mostly a third baseman, spent two seasons in Japan.

1947 Angel Mangual

Fourth outfielder on a team that won the AL West four times and three World Series titles. Originally signed by Pittsburgh, moved to Oakland as the player to be named later in the Mudcat Grant trade in 1970.

1947 Don Rose

Stanford grad, brief career pitching on 1971 Mets and getting 16 appearances and four starts with the 1972 Angels. Was one of many bodies included in the Nolan Ryan trade… Finished career with Giants in 1974.

1948 Paul Powell

First round pick of the Twins in 1969, made club in 1971 but only briefly. Traded to Dodgers for Bobby Darwin, appeared in last ten games of his 30 game career with the Dodgers in both 1973 and 1975.

1953 Tim Corcoran

Cal State – LA grad who played first base with the Tigers, then became a baseball nomad. After playing with Minnesota, Philadelphia and the Mets, hung up cleats. Hit .341 with the Phillies in 1984 over 208 at bats…

1955 Mike Norris

Decent pitcher with As in early 1980s – won 22 games with team in 1980. Abused arm gave out by 1983, though he made a comeback and pitched relief in 1990. Wikipedia notes that he may be the only A’s picher with wins in three different decades.

Has beaten many teams, arm demons, cocaine, and cervical myelopathy… I miss him.

1962 Ivan Calderon

I remember him as a talented outfielder and hitter who, when he was on track, was scary good. He just wasn’t scary good every year.

Free agent signee of the Mariners in 1979, traded to Chicago in 1987 and had a few good years. Was then traded to Expos for Tim Raines… Career degenerated because of injuries and was out of baseball after 1993. Didn’t get to enjoy retirement long – was murdered in a bar fight in 2003.

1963 Chuck Jackson

Brief cups of coffee in a long minor league career between 1987 and 1994.

1964 Jeff Hamilton

Dodgers prospect who never lived up to his billing in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

1966 Tony Scruggs

Got in five games for the Rangers in 1991. And then gone.

1968 Pete Young

Expos pitching prospect who failed in two brief tries in 1992 and 1993. Won only decision in relief…

1971 D. T. Cromer

Batted over .300 in two short stints with the Reds from 2000 to 2001, with 7 homers in 100 at bats. But struck out a third of the time, and apparently people noticed that. Now, nobody would blink at the strikeout numbers and just marvel at the power. Went to Japan for a while. Brother, Tripp, is also a major leaguer.

1974 Rocky Coppinger

Orioles and Brewers pitcher who kept getting chances because he had a live arm despite lack of major league success. Gave up last of Mark McGwire’s 583 homers.

1974 Jason LaRue

Catcher with Reds, Royals, and Cardinals – and a pretty good one. Career curtailed by issues with concussions – the last received when on the wrong end of a Johnny Cueto kick during a brawl in 2010.

1977 David Ross

Paul Bako with power – a catcher with great skills and a lot of stickers on his suitcase. One day will likely manage, no?  (And now a Chicago Cubs hero.)

1981 Jose Castillo

Looked like he might be a hitter with the Pirates ten years ago, but never got better… By 2008, he was a nomad, and by 2009 he was out of a major league gig.

1982 Landon Powell

Oakland prospect of about six years ago – got three tries and couldn’t make it stick.

1984 Matt Downs

Skilled with the glove hit some in 2011 with Houston, but otherwise was struggling to hit .200, which ended his major league days.

1988 Clayton Kershaw

The new Sandy Koufax.


1902 Tom Burns
1926 Bill Hutchinson
1928 Tom Lovett
1931 Joe Gannon
1934 Ray Jansen
1936 George Newell
1937 Otto Williams
1944 Joe Dunn
1944 John Kelly
1949 Truck Eagan
1952 Lefty Thomas
1954 Charlie Babb
1954 Frank Fahey
1955 Ed Hovlik
1955 George Stultz
1964 Pop Lloyd
1969 Josh Swindell
1972 Gordie Hinkle
1973 Walt Leverenz
1974 June Greene
1974 Tony Murray
1976 Bert Gallia
1981 Zinn Beck
1989 Joe Malay
2000 Dewey Williams
2003 Joe Buzas
2011 Bob Rush
2011 Tom McAvoy


1970 Not a good story… In a spring training game, Cleveland first baseman Ken Harrelson fractures his leg and is out for most of the season. Bad for baseball, good for the PGA, though.

2002 Happy Birthday to the YES Network, which carries Yankees and Nets games (at the time).


1932 The Giants sell Freddy Leach to Boston.

Leach, who had hit over .300 in six of the previous seven seasons, did what a lot of 34 year old guys do – stopped hitting like that – and was out of the bigs at the end of the season.

1953 Pittsburgh signs bonus baby twins Eddie and Johnny O’Brien.

The O’Briens were remarkable Seattle area athletes, adept at baseball and basketball. In college, the two teamed up to beat a Harlem Globetrotters team that was not clowning around… Johnny is listed as the first college player to score 1,000 points in a season. They appeared in both NIT and NCAA tournaments.

The two were both excellent baseball players, too – and Branch Rickey signed the two to play for the Pirates. They each played five seasons as middle infielders. When their baseball careers ended, they both returned to Seattle running various sports camps – Eddie went on to be the athletic director and baseball coach at Seattle University.

As you might imagine, they are the answer to the trivia question: What are the first twins to suit up for the same team in the same game?

1974 Detroit trades veteran Jim Perry to Cleveland, while Cleveland sends Rick Sawyer and Walt “No Neck” Williams to the Yankeees. New York sent Jerry Moses to the Tigers, and Detroit sent Ed Farmer to the Yankees.

I miss trades like that.

1984 Chicago releases Fergie Jenkins.

Fergie was great in 1982 but less so in 1983 and was done the next spring. It was sad, of course, because the Cubs won the NL East that season…

1990 Atlanta buys veteran third baseman Vinny Castilla from Saltillo of the Mexican League.

1991 Toronto signs free agent Alfredo Griffen.

2002 Texas trades Justin Duchsherer to Oakland for Luis Vizcaino.

For a few years, Duchsherer was a valuable arm in the bullpen. Moved to the rotation in 2008, he was a ten game winner when his wing decided he wasn’t destined for a long career. Made five starts in 2010 and then it was over…

Happy Birthday, Adair (Paddy) Mayes!

Adair (Paddy) Mayes spent a week on the Phillies roster in June, 1911, playing in five games, only two in the field.  A left handed hitter and right handed thrower, Mayes was likely the first player in MLB from Oklahoma.

Adair Bushyhead Mayes was born on 17 March 1885 to George Washington Mayes and Sarah Jane (Taylor) Mayes.  (Though, when he filled out his WWII registration card, he used the B. as an initial only…) On his social security death record, it suggests he was born in 1887… Adair was the second of three Mayes boys, Felix (Soggie) and Lindsay grew up in the same household.  Sarah must have had a son by another man – James Nicodemus was born in 1873 and living with the Mayes boys.  Mayes spent much of his youth on a Cherokee reservation – according to the Cherokee rolls of 1902, Mayes and his two siblings were 1/32nd Cherokee.  As such, a number of references to Adair in the papers referred to his Native American background.

Not only a fine baseball player, Adair’s speed was put to use on the Tahlequah football team as their left halfback.  He played baseball locally, usually in Muskegon, until he was noticed by scouts and signed to play with Shreveport in the Texas League.  When the seasons ended, he would return home to run amateur or semi-professional teams in Oklahoma.  For a couple of years, his brother Lindsay would play in teams either with Adair, or on competing teams in the same region.

Paddy Mayes, a half-breed Indian, who starred in the outer garden for the Shreveport, Texas League Club last season, sent on his signed contract to the Phillies yesterday. Mayes was another recruit scooped up in the scout dragnet by the Phillies’ talent-discoverer, and his is said to be a good one. With Mayes in line, the Quakers now have enough outfielders to make up a healthy looking outer garden patch. If some of the youngsters are as good as they are said to be then it’s all off with such stars as Sherwood Magee, Dode Paskert and John Titus.

“Phillies Sign Injun”, Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 December 1910, Page 10.

As you might guess, going from Oklahoma to Philadelphia was likely not an easy switch – so he spent much of his time quietly participating in practices and then mostly keeping to himself in the evenings.

Paddy Mayes is about the quietest individual who was every in a Phillies training camp, and Dooin says he has seen a few.

The Indian goes to bed every night at 9 o’clock and is never seen talking to anyone but Joe Mowrey. Paddy went to a moving picture show Friday night, and therefore was a little late in getting back to the hotel.

When he came in the door Dooin called him over and said: “I don’t like to see you keeping such late hours (it was then only 9:45), and the people who sleep in the room below you say they are unable to sleep because of the racket you make.

“The clerk says that the guests in the room below complain that there is dancing, singing, and carrying on in your room every night until early in the morning. I don’t like that sort of thing, and you will have to behave.”

Charley had handed this out without cracking a smile, and Mayes looked as though he had lost his best friend.

“Mr. Dooin, I haven’t done anything,” said Paddy. “I think it must be some one else.”

Mayes then took the elevator and the bunch roared. Dooin says Mayes’ answer was more than he has said before since he has been in camp. – Philadelphia Times.

“Sporting Review”, Lincoln Star, 19 March 1911, Page 8.

Mayes had a decent spring training with the Phillies, all teasing by his manager and teammates aside, where he made the team as a backup outfielder.  However, he never got in any action and was frequently dispatched to the minors.  Mayes wasn’t always happy (or interested) being shipped all over the country and would hold out.  After fighting with Galveston management in May, he was returned to the Phillies at the beginning of June and wound up playing with the major league team for a week.  When his time was up, he was sent back to the minors – and continued to be a problem for the minor league teams to which he was assigned.

Paddy Mays, the Irish-Indian, sent by the Phillies to Mobile, did not last long there. Mayes has now been with Galveston, Austin, and Mobile since Fogel bought him from Shreveport. It is said he keeps his carpet bag packed waiting his next assignment.

“Dope For Fans”, Butler Citizen, 19 July 1911, Page 7.

The fast outfielder took a job playing with Beaumont in the Texas League, then Selma in the Cotton States League, and finally Macon in the South Atlantic League before returning to play ball in Muskegon for 1914.  Mayes went into the family business after the 1914 season but a couple of years later he got the itch to play again – so he signed with the Tulsa Producers for 1917.  That having failed, he began working as a salesman for a grocer.

Adair Mayes Trivia:  Will Rogers once used Mayes as a character in a story he was telling about Mexican calf ropers.  Mayes was quoted by Rogers as saying that professional baseball with the Phillies was what he expected – a lot of really good baseball players.  Rogers said that the same applied to his expectation of meeting and watching the Mexican calf ropers – he figured they’d be really good at it.

Adair Mayes Trivia (2):   He got his nickname, Paddy, because he was born on St. Patrick’s Day.

Adair B. (Paddy) Mayes, 78, died yesterday afternoon at his home at 722 Vandeventer. He was a retired employee of Continental Oil Company in Ponca City, Okla. He attended the Cherokee Seminary at Tahlequah, Okla., and for a number of years played professional baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was born March 17, 1885 in Mayes Country, Okla., the son of George Washington and Sarah Jane Taylor Mayes.

Survivors include the widow, Estella of the home; one daugther, Mrs. (Stella) Marie Kittrell of Fayetteville; one brother, Lindsey of Locust Grove, Okla., and one grandson.

Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday in Moore’s Chapel. Buriel in Farmington Cemetery.”

“Obituary: Adair B. (Paddy) Mayes”, Northwest Arkansas Times, 29 May 1963, page 8.


1900 US Census
1910 US Census
1920 US Census
1930 US Census
1893 Oklahoma Territory Census
Cherokee Roles of 1896, 1902
WWI US Draft Registration Card

“Tahlequah Wins”, Vinita Daily Chieftan, 29 November 1907, Page 1.

“Paddy Mayes and His Braves Here”, Muskogee Times-Democrat, 24 September 1910, Page 7.

“Phillies Sign Injun”, Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 December 1910, Page 10.

“Sporting Review”, Lincoln Star, 19 March 1911, Page 8.

“Donohue Released Bradford.”, Houston Post, 27 May 1911, Page 5.

“Several Selma Players Report To Other Clubs”, Montgomery Adviser, 29 July 1913, Page 9.

“Paddy Mayes is Now a Producer”, Tulsa Daily World, 13 February 1917, Page 6.

Will Rogers. “A Day on a Big Ranch”, Montgomery Advertiser, 29 November 1931, Page 11.

“Obituary: Adair B. (Paddy) Mayes”, Northwest Arkansas Times, 29 May 1963, page 8.


Baseball History for March 18th

<— MARCH 17     MARCH 19 —>


1854 Oscar Walker
1861 Mort Scanlan
1870 Chappie Snodgrass
1874 Joe Bean
1874 Jimmy Callahan

Nixey – signed originally by the Phillies in 1894, sent to the minors for seasoning… The Colts scooped him up in 1897 (Cap Anson’s last season) and he pitched well – winning twenty games twice. Like many of the Chicago Nationals, then called the Orphans after Anson retired, Callahan was scooped up by the AL White Sox for whom he pitched until 1903. However, Callahan was too good to play just a third of the games – he would play in the outfield or shortstop or third base when not on the hill. As he hit his 30s, Callahan might be a second baseman or left fielder.

Somewhere around 1905, Callahan got the idea that he didn’t want to just play – he wanted to own a team. He had been a player-manager; he saw both sides of the industry. So, he bought a semi-pro team in Chicago and made some money doing that. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with Ban Johnson, so he was suddenly added to the ineligible list. However, after five years away from the game, he had had enough of ownership and ran into Charles Comiskey, who offered him a position at the top of his organization. Problem was, of course, that Callahan didn’t think he was done as a player – so he made the team as an outfielder and three rather impressive seasons. And, he managed the Sox again for a few years.

After his career was over, the popular man became a contractor who built the waterworks for the Great Lakes Naval Station. (Who knew? I used to sell to that place in a previous life.)

James Elfers wrote his SABR Bio:

1882 Joseph Myers
1888 Wiley Taylor
1888 Eddie Higgins
1888 Cecil Coombs
1890 Tommy Mee
1893 Russ Wrightstone
1901 Johnny Cooney
1902 Squire Potter
1911 Al Benton
1916 Eddie Lake
1916 Elbie Fletcher
1916 Hi Bithorn

First name was Hiram; he wasn’t necessarily overly happy to see everyone…

1917 Ace Williams
1918 Dick Mulligan
1919 Hal White
1919 Mickey Rutner
1924 Garvin Hamner
1925 Fred Hatfield
1926 Dick Littlefield
1928 Chi-Chi Olivo
1932 Lee Tate
1940 Tony Martinez
1941 Pat Jarvis

One time Braves starter – first strikeout victim of Nolan Ryan. Alan Morris penned his SABR Bio

1946 Van Kelly
1953 Randy Miller
1955 Dwayne Murphy
1957 Rickey Keeton
1957 Al Olmsted
1960 Matt Winters
1962 Brian Fisher
1965 Geronimo Berroa
1967 Ken Edenfield
1976 Corky Miller
1976 Scott Podsednik

A few years back, he was the topic of discussion in our fantasy baseball league. I can’t remember the circumstances, but it had to do with a White Sox trade and rhyming names and how Chicago would market things. My friend referred to him as Studriffic Podsednik – and for some reason that name stuck; and the guys in our league (led by me) followed his career more closely. The White Sox have had a lot of outfielders like Podsednik over the years for some reason.

1976 Tomo Ohka
1977 Fernando Rodney
1977 Terrmel Sledge

Saw him play a few times during spring training games and always rooted for him. One of the greatest names ever.

1981 Darren Clarke
1982 Carlos Guevara
1982 Chad Cordero
1983 Andy Sonnanstine
1983 Craig Tatum
1991 J. T. Realmuto

Another Marlin who got away. Good luck in Philadelphia…

1991 Leury Garcia


1892 Phil Tomney
1905 Dick Higham
1910 Alan Storke
1922 Herbert Jackson
1938 Hobe Ferris

I ran across him as he was a teammate of Rube Waddell in both St. Louis and later Minneapolis. Ferris was a pretty good infielder – strong armed, and could hit the ball a long way. In 1907, he allegedly hit a ball of Al Orth that not only cleared the fence and left the yard where the Highlanders played, but bounced down a street and plopped into the Hudson river.

1938 Milo Netzel
1939 Ralph Miller
1944 Frank Motz
1948 Fritz Von Kolnitz
1949 Rudy Sommers
1955 Ty Helfrich
1955 Morrie Aderholt
1960 Dixie Howell
1962 Elmer Bliss
1966 Frank Bennett
1968 Heinie Meine
1969 Jack Bradley
1969 Rafael Almeida
1970 John Misse
1970 Frosty Thomas
1971 Tony Welzer
1972 Frank Bushey
1975 Whitey Ock
1976 Paul Maloy
1979 Percy Jones
1984 Charlie Lau

Not as successful a hitter himself, but helped George Brett and others reach new heights.

1993 Joe Taylor
1993 Buck Jordan
2004 Gene Bearden
2011 Charlie Metro
2013 Earl Hersh


1942 Jackie Robinson and Nate Moreland work out for the White Sox in Pasadena. The White Sox manager, Jimmie Dykes, never made either player an offer.


1838 Washington trades Joe Kuhel to Chicago (AL) for Zeke Bonura.

1977 Minnesota signs free agent pitcher Geoff Zahn.

1981 A day Jim Essian didn’t like… The White Sox signed Carlton Fisk as a free agent.

1990 Kansas City releases Bo Jackson.

2000 St. Louis sends Joe McEwing to the Mets for Jesse Orosco.

Baseball History for March 17th

<— MARCH 16     MARCH 18 —>


1842 Reinder Albertus “Rynie” Wolters
1857 Larry Murphy
1860 Fred Pfeffer
1863 Art Hagan
1867 Ernie Beam
1869 George Hogriever
1873 Bill Gannon
1876 Daff Gammons
1881 Jim Fairbank
1883 Oscar Stanage
1885 Paddy Mayes

Born Adair Bushyhead Mayes…

1885 Bunny Pearce
1888 Ed Klepfer
1894 Ralph Shafer
1895 Lyman Lamb
1899 Charlie Root
1906 Hy Vandenberg
1912 Whitey Ock
1917 Hank Sauer
1919 Pete Reiser
1923 Pat Seerey
1944 Cito Gaston
1952 Jerry Tabb
1956 Rod Scurry
1956 Tim Lollar
1956 Rick Lisi
1959 Danny Ainge
1965 John Smiley
1968 Pat Gomez
1968 Dan Masteller
1969 Scott Brow
1971 Bill Mueller
1973 Raul Chavez
1973 Vance Wilson
1976 Scott Downs
1977 Robb Quinlan
1982 A. J. Murray
1985 Cesar Valdez
1986 Chris Davis
1989 Juan Lagares
1990 Jean Segura


1872 Elmer White
1923 Mortimer Hogan
1931 Tom Gunning
1936 Grant Thatcher
1937 Billy Murray
1939 William Burke
1944 Rube Kroh
1948 Ike Butler
1958 Bob Blewett
1959 Howard Ehmke
1960 Bob Thorpe
1962 Billy Purtell
1969 Jim Mains
1980 Bob Hooper
1981 Joe Giebel
1981 Paul Dean
1985 Ike Pearson
1993 Joe Abreu
1995 Jimmy Uchrinscko
1998 Milo Candini
2002 Lefty Bertrand
2009 Whitey Lockman
2010 Van Fletcher


2005 Congress’s Committee on Government Reform holds an eleven hour (and change) hearing regarding steroids in baseball. Among those speaking were Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, and Jose Canseco.


1901 Worcester (EL) sends Malachi Kittridge to Boston (NL) for Jack Clements.

Kittridge hadn’t played in the majors since the 1899 Senators (which had been eliminated after the season mercifully ended). Mid 1903, he was moved to Washington (again) in the AL. Must have been a reasonably skilled backstop to have appeared in nearly 1200 games behind the plate. He wasn’t much of a hitter…

1969 Atlanta sends Joe Torre to St. Louis for Orlando Cepeda.

1992 Minnesota trades Denny Neagle and Midre Cummings to Pittsburgh for (birthday boy) John Smiley.

2001 San Francisco signs free agent Benito Santiago.