Saturday, October 01, 2005

Back In Business

Back In Business

I returned yesterday from my semi-annual research trip up to Sacramento to work for a week at the State Library, passing through Oakland to catch the PCL Reunion there.  I spent a couple of hours talking with friends and other researchers, including Mark Macrae, coach John Herbold, Cuno Barragan, Chuck Christiansen, Doug McWilliams, Carl Haas and Dick Beverage, among others.  Carl Haas, the Missions expert par excellence, I meet for the first time.  

The purpose of the trip was to do research, and on Monday morning I found myself in the State Library up to my eyeballs in microfilm.  I had several objects to accomplish while up there: Find several scattered box scores for my early California League project that I couldn’t get from the resources here in Southern California; find out when Jimmy Whalen pitched for Marysville in 1900 (he appeared in a team photo); and, if I had any time left, continue with my documentation of every professional baseball league in the state (I have some fourteen pages of leagues so far).

One unexpected find happened.  As many of you know, baseball guides up until the 1950s did not publish stats for players who did not appear in (generally) less than ten games.  When I published my PCL Cyclopedia, I scoured box scores in The Sporting News for those less thans.  

Many times I could find information on those players, but sometimes you just couldn’t figure out who the player was.  One such player was a pitcher named St. Louis who appeared in one game for Sacramento in 1935.  I was unable to find anything about the player in Sacramento papers, and cosigned pitcher St. Louis to the unknown soldier file.  

My last day at the State Library I spent going through the Eureka paper documenting professional leagues that played in and around there.  I knew it to be a hotbed of baseball, and wanted to see what was happening each and every year.  (In 1924, the San Francisco Seals had a team in the league, managed by one-time Seals manager Nick Williams, and had Gus Suhr and Jimmie Reese on the roster.)

In looking to see what was happening in 1936, I came across the headline on the Sports Page: “Wes St. Louis Strikes Out 17.”  Somewhere over the next several weeks the paper mentioned that he was a former Coast Leaguer, which confirmed that he was one and the same player who had appeared for the Sacramento club the year before.

This morning I checked the California Death Index, and now have the following biographical data for Wesley T. St. Louis:
Born: November 12, 1911  California
Died: June 18, 1968  Del Norte Co., CA

As Yogi Berra once said: “You can see a lot by just looking…”


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