Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jimmy Whalen in Montreal, 1906

Jimmy Whelan was very visible as one of the top pitchers in the California & Pacific Coast Leagues around the turn of the century, pitching exclusively on the West Coast from 1898 thru 1905. Carlos Bauer is in the midst of providing us with an invaluable opportunity to relive the 1900 California League day-by-day, allowing insight into how the game was played and who played it.

My own research work focuses on a day-to-day view of Organized Baseball in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from the 1890 season thru 1960. The aforementioned Jimmy Whalen had the nebulous distinction of being the Montreal Canucks’ 2nd best pitcher during the 1906 Eastern League season. Only John Pappalau displayed more intestinal fortitude. This team, usually known as the Royals but operating in disguise to protect both the guilty and innocent, was prodded to a 57-83 record by an out-of-control Jimmy Bannon (thru August 16th) and an immediately shell-shocked Malachi Kittridge, good for 7th place, 8 games ahead of the Ed Barrow managed Toronto Maple Leafs. The Toronto squad would rebound to the EL championship in 1907; while it only got worse for Montreal in 1907, relabeled the Royals, as they imploded their way to an 8th place 46-85 record.

Jimmy Whalen would last the majority of one more year in the East, pitching for Williamsport in the Tri-State League in 1907, before departing for the orange groves and sunshine of California again to close-out the year pitching twice for Oakland. His game-log for the 1906 Montreal squad was: Reach provides an “Official Record” of 12-17-.414 in 30 games pitched, 26 complete games, 333 hits allowed in 246 innings pitched, 121 runs allowed, 53 bases on balls and 71 strikeouts. Box scores, reviewed in multiple (Gazette, Star, Herald, La Presse) Montreal newspapers, the Toronto Star, the New York Times, and The Sporting News, often do not agree with each other. Hence, the ambiguity reflected above. My approximate running totals above largely confirm the “Official” numbers with one profound discrepancy, hits allowed. I’ll continue to refine this chart as the materials I’m able to access allow.

By Neil Raymond


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