Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Unexpected Research

Unexpected Research

As I was saying earlier today, I spent the whole morning chasing down facts when I came across a short note having to do with a trolley accident that Harry Wolverton was involved in while a player with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1900. Wolverton played nine years in the majors, and then went on to a long managerial career.

In The Sporting News note it made mention of Thomas McGuire, of Vallejo, California, having had a similar accident a few years earlier. Two things jumped into my mind over my second cup of coffee, and it forced me to do some research.

The first was I couldn’t remember exactly how the Wolverton accident occurred. The second was that I had Thomas McGuire listed as Thomas A. Maguire.

The first I found in The Sporting News issue of September 8, 1900:

Wolverton Seriously Injured

Philadelphia, Pa. Sept. 6— A serious, and what may prove a fatal accident happened to Third Baseman Harry S. Wolverton last night as he was riding on a trolley car. Wolverton had boarded the car, which was crowded, to go to the Cannstatter Volks Fest celebration in Fairmount Park. Owing to the crowded condition of the car, he stood on the steps and was struck by one of the poles that stood between the tracks. Policeman McElhatton was on the car and hurried to Wolverton’s assistance. He founbd him unconscious, he having, it is thought, been struck on the head, although there were no marks or cuts to prove the theory. At the Samaritan Hospital he was found to have concussion of the brain, and it is feared his skull is fractured. Wolverton has been particularly unfortunate since he has been a member of the Philadelphia Club, having a fractured finger early in the season, and on the Phillies last trip West, being so badly hurt by a ball thrown at him by First Baseman [Dan] McGann of the St. Louis Club, that he was unable to play for a week.

The second problem— that of Maguire/McGuire— took more time, much more time than I originally expected.

In my California database, I had Tom Maguire listed as playing for the following clubs:

Tom Maguire— ss, 3b, of, 1b

1884 SF Stars (Cal)
1885 San Franciscans (Cal)
1886 SF Stars (Cal)
1886 SF Californias/SF Knickerbockers (Cal St)
1887 SF Damianas (PCL)
1892 Vallejo (Cent Cal)
1893 San Francisco (Cal)
1894 SF Californias (Cal Players)
1892 SF Haverlys (Cent Cal)
1898 San Francisco (Pac States)
1899 Oakland (Cal)
1900 Azusa (SoCal)

I picked up the “Maguire” from John Spalding’s marvelous history of the early California League. But in going back over various newspaper box scores I found that virtually all the San Francisco box scores listed him as Maguire, though he was listed as “McGuire” in the 1894 Western League, the 1896 New Pacific League, and the 1900 Southern California League. But because he played most of his career in and around the Bay Area, I— like John Spalding before me— assumed his last name to be Maguire because all the San Francisco papers called him that.

The new bit of information that set me off to take another look was the part of the note that stated he was from Vallejo, California. When I compiled the statistics for the 1892 Central California League, I was forced to get all the box scores out of the Vallejo paper, because San Francisco papers didn’t carry box scores for games played in Vallejo.

(I did most of my work on the 1892 Central California League at the State Library in Sacramento, but because their newspaper holdings for Vallejo start with 1910, I had to drive another 100 miles or so roundtrip up to Vallejo.)

Anyway, I went out to the garage, and went through my 1892 Central California League book with all the box scores, looking box scores and possible game stories for games played in Vallejo, and I found that they had him listed as “McGuire” in all the box scores, and referred to him as Tom McGuire and sometimes as just “Tom” in game accounts, not surprising, I should think, for a hometown boy.

By the time I got through determining that that Thomas A. Maguire was really Thomas A. McGuire, the morning was nearly over. But these are the turns that take place quite often when looking something up.


Blogger Rock Bauer said...

Thanks for the info on McGuire, Carlos. I had him listed on the 1896 New Pacific Lg. Portland Gladiators team, but lacked first name.
Rock Bauer

8:24 AM  

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