Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

I want to wish all the readers of Minor League Researcher the very best for the new year, and thank all of you for reading, commenting and helping out out in all the various way that you have.
Happy New Year!

An Update on His Central California League Research by Bill Williamson

Hi Carlos;

Hope you have a great football weekend and a Happy New Year.

A bit of background about my Central Cal research:

I got interested in the Central Cal League of '10 and '11 when it was mentioned at a Minor League Committee meeting at the San Diego SABR Convention in 1993 and over the years was aware that others had looked into the League as well. Both Larry Zuckermann and Rick Smith had said at Roth Chapter meetings that it was an area of interest for them. Never did get into any fine points of their research with them, though.

About 10 years ago, with time on my hands in the East Bay, I paid a visit to Public Libraries in Oakland, San Leandro, and Hayward. Only in San Leandro was I able to find any box score accounts of any Central Cal games - four or five for each year. What seems very unusual, is that none of the Oakland papers did a very good job in reporting the League - they concentrated on the PCL and the Cal State with hardly a mention of the Central Cal.

This year I was finally able to get to the State Library in Sacramento and came away with a good deal more info from a number of newspapers. The Richmond Daily Independent covered the local nine pretty well when it started publishing in early June of 1910, but by then about 10 games had already been played. Now am awaiting to see if I can get the Richmond Terminal and the Alameda Evening Star through Interlibrary loan.

Like you mentioned, there's a question of just how many League games were played - the Reach Guide and the Minor League Encyclopedia do not match. Speaking of the Reach Guide of 1910, right under the Standings is a team batting table. So somewhere at sometime someone had all the info to put these numbers together. It would be interesting to know what the source of it was and what ever became of the original data.

Right now I have about 40% of the box scores for the 1910 season - less for 1911. Hope to hear from my local Library that they have some more microfilms for me so I can get back on the project.


From The Sporting News, May 31, 1902

From The Sporting News, May 31, 1902.

Sunday in the South:

There are three Sunday towns in the Southern League— New Orleans, Shreveport and Memphis.  Sunday ball could be played in Little Rock, but the management declines to try it on.  The games goes in Memphis, but in Nashville Tennesseans won’t stand for it like they do in the Bluff City.

I always assumed, not being from the South, that baseball would not be played on Sundays in the South until later.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Taking the Next Three Day Off

Taking the Next Three Days Off

I will be taking a college football vacation for the next three days.  When I return, I will have a number of things that I have to get to, including more material sent to me by David Barker, and a revision and additional work on Jay Hughes that was researched by Alan O’Connor that I just haven’t been able to get to because of my series on early California Baseball.

This morning I posted the note from Bill Williamson, and rushed out of the house to do a series of errands.  One of the thing I wanted to mention is the 1910 and 1911 Central California League.  The standings that appeared in The Minor League Encyclopedia were compiled by a researcher in Detroit named Ed Hasse, I believe.  Before he died, my friend Larry Zuckerman tried to verify the standings when he was compiling his book on California ballparks (as yet unpublished), and found that no matter how many papers he searched he couldn’t come up with the same standings that Hasse did.  So he called up Hasse to find out his sources.  According to Larry, Hasse gave him the names of newspapers that Larry was unable to find either at the State Library or at Berkeley.  Now I don’t know if Ed Hasse was just blowing Larry off, or invented the standings out of whole cloth.  Minor league baseball researchers are a strange breed in some cases.  It should be interesting to see what Bill Williamson comes up with in the end.  These two Central California Leagues seasons I have been placing on the back burner for some time.  Two years ago, when I put together the 1910 and 1911 San Joaquin Valley League season, I drove around that small section of the Central Valley in the summer heat, adding some 2,500 miles on the car.  The reason I put the Central Cal League on the back burner is because nobody in their right mind would want to drive that many miles around the East Bay with traffic the way it is today.

See’ya in a few days!  (Unless I get bored in the mean time…)

A Research Update by Bill Williamson

Hi Carlos:

Just to bring you up to date on what I'm doing, I've found that of the Utah Digital Newspapers on line that the Ogden Standard is a veritable treasure trove of box scores. The 1901 issues have most of the games for the Intermountain League that so far have had no final stats. In fact, I've printed them out and am in the process of putting together the batting and pitching numbers - now being in limbo with the Central California League of 1910 (waiting for some microfilms through interlibrary loan).

Some things about the Ogden paper (good and bad) are:

- first names of many of the players are to be found in write ups on non game days

- the number of games played that have so far been located do not match the won/lost record listed in the Minor League Encyclopedia - particularly in regard to the Park City teams which seems to have folded in mid season and played only about half the number of games that the Encyclopedia suggests.

- stolen bases were not always listed in all of the boxes.

- once during the season(about 25 games in) the paper published a pretty good list of batting stats for the most of the league; and some ten games later put out a table of the Ogden team's batting.

- with a little work, I think a 95% accurate batting table can be arrived at - pitching is another thing - sometimes it's a guess when the starter was relieved and just how many of the totals should be credited to him and how many to the reliever

The compilations should be finished soon and I'll send them on to you then.

Just today in checking the 1900 Ogden paper, found that most of the players of 1901 team had in fact played in Ogden in 1900 in a so called "independent league".

Anyway, that's where I am right now and I'm glad that you put out the links to the papers. Hopefully others will get involved as we inch closer to getting a complete record of ALL the minor leagues.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sandy Consuegra Passed Away in November

I just learned from Dick Beverage's Pacific Coast League Potpourri that Sandy Consuegra, who pitched one season in the Coast League, passed away in Miami, Florida on November 18 of this year.

I don't remember having seen him pitch in the Coast League, but do remember him pitching for the White Sox when my father took me to a game at Comiskey Park in 1955. I don't remember much, but do remember he came in late in the game.

I put together his career record, but could not find anything for two seasons, 1959 and 1960. I couldn't find him pitching in Cuba in the winter league those season, either, so he migh have been retired, and then came back for one last fling. If anybody can shed light on this, please get in touch with me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Some Exciting News About Newspapers Online from Bill Williamson

Some Exciting News about Newspaper Online from Bill Williamson

Carlos: The Winona State University's digital newspaper archive can  be accessed either from SABR or directly at Skin=Winona&BP=OK&GZ=T&AppName=2 It looks like a great many box scores were published in the papers.  In 1911 two teams did not finish the season and in 1912 the whole  league disbanded early. As far as I know, no averages have ever been  published for either year. I wasn't unable to find any final stats  for 1911 or 1912, but did come across a 25 game or so table of  batting for the 1912 season. It was in the Winona Daily Republican- Herald on June 13, 1912 page 1. The batting pct. is cut off when you  enlarge the column, but the rest is there including EBHs. Some other papers I've found on line are - New York state papers at: newspprs.htm#Mic Brooklyn Daily Eagle at: Utah Digital Newspapers at: also the ProQuest ones through SABR. Bill

Carlos: After writing last night, I remembered another archive that I've come  across - The Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection, though I've  never found much Baseball info in any of the papers that have been  added so far. These guys it seems were too busy writin' about diggin'  for gold, choppin' down trees, punchin' cows, and runnin' snake oil  adds to write about ball games. Other papers will be put up in the  future, so maybe there's hope. The Archive can be found at: Bill

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Note on Researching California Baseball Leagues

A Note on Researching California Baseball Leagues

Only within the last couple of years did I decide to research California baseball in depth. When I began my project of compiling a PCL encyclopedia some fifteen years ago, I kept coming across references to other leagues that were playing ball throughout the state. At first I’d make a metal note of the leagues, then I began to note it down on what ever sheet of paper I had in front of me at the time. Still later I began writing the leagues down on pieces of paper, and tossing them into a file folder.

Then, about two years ago, I began to get serious, and started going through papers like the Sacramento Bee to photocopy standings of leagues. I expanded that to other papers throughout the state. And so, along with the pieces of paper in the file folder, I began to compile a spreadsheet listing every league I came across in the state. Every time I traveled up to the state library in Sacramento, I’d take whatever time I had left at the end of my trip to concentrate on a different area of the state.

Gradually, I expanded the spreadsheets to look like the below sample from the 1920s. Some of you out there, in looking over the chart, might sneer that “they’re only semi-pro leagues!” I view them as independent leagues. Some were better than others, and some paid their players better than D leagues in O. B., and for many years served as feeder leagues for the PCL, when the PCL was virtually independent of the major leagues.

During the 1920s, the San Francisco Seals had a club for its young recruits in the Humboldt County/Redwood League. Players who spent time there included Jimmie Reese and Gus Suhr. The club was managed by future Seals manager Nick Williams.

The 1928-36 California State League in northern California was considered semi pro, but they New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Red had farm clubs in the league for several seasons. Players on the way up (like Tiny Bonham) played in the league; players whose O. B. careers had finished (Harry Hooper and Justin Fitzgerald) spent several years in the league; players between gigs (Vince DiMaggio come to mind) appeared in the league. The league over time created its own stars, like Gene Camozzi and Jerry Coleman, Sr. (the father of the former Yankee infielder and broadcaster). These were leagues where the young player could hone his skills against hardened veterans, and the place where those veterans could have a few last hurrahs.

Many of these leagues continued for years, in some cases a couple of decades, like the Placer-Nevada League.

In my compilation, I have not included city leagues save for two instances: The 1896 San Francisco City League, because it pretty much became the 1896 California League; and the 1927 San Francisco City League, because it was singled out as an "outlaw league" by baseball commisioner Judge Landis.

From the late 1800s through the mid-1950s pro baseball in California you could find anywhere and everywhere, and that was the primary reason the state produced so many major league players during those years. Now, largely, that breeding ground has shifted to Latin America.

Click on Images to Enlarge League Charts

A Sample of California Baseball Leagues in the 1920s

Monday, December 26, 2005

Baseball in Early California, 5

Baseball in Early California, 5

The California League moved south to Los Angeles in 1892, but that wasn’t the save all it was cracked up to be, and owners constantly companied about the expense of traveling south.  Los Angeles was not the big city it would become only a decade later.  In 1892, the population still remained below 100,000.  But the expense of travel was nothing compared to what would befall the league the following season.

The Panic of 1893 not only destroyed baseball in California, it destroyed the West.  The Panic was the worst financial crisis the hit the United Sates up to that time.  It was precipitated by tariff measures put in place in 1890, and a run on gold reserves.  Over 500 banks went belly, up to 18% of the population (higher in the West) were unemployed at the height of the downturn.

The California League struggled through the first-half, but only got to mid-August be for disbanding.  The players who were thrown into the street waited around for something to happen— and it did.  A month later the Central California League reorganized and became the New Central California League, with two new clubs in San Francisco, another in Oakland, and a new team in San Jose to go along with the two strongest clubs in the old league, Santa Rosa and Petaluma.  The new clubs were staffed primarily by out-of-work California League players.
The league finished out its season, and players looked forward to 1894 in hopes that the economy would recover.  But it didn’t.  It got worse, and those who could hook up with clubs in the East did, those who couldn’t remained sidelined.  Even independent clubs ceased to exist.
In March, the Amateur Interathletic Baseball League was formed just to keep the game alive, but the 3-club league only survived a month.  After week one, it was noted that some players were being paid, and the “Amatuer” was dropped.  
Players who were stuck out here on the Pacific Slope waited for owners to put some sort of league together in 1894, even a Central California-type league, but nothing happed as April turned to May, and May to June, and so on…  Finally, the players themselves, in early August put together their own league, patterned after the Players League of 1890.  This new league they christened the California Players League, and began play on August 19, and struggled through September, and then died without a whimper after games played on October 10.  Oakland and Sacramento dropped out after only one game.  
The economy became so bad that even railroads failed, including the Northern Pacific and Union Pacific.  It became so bad in 1895 that one would be hard pressed to find a game of baseball being played in the state.  
By 1896 the economy began to pick up ever so slightly, and so did baseball.  On June 8, The San Francisco City League played its first games.  The games were fairly well attended, and that gave rise to the formation— under the guidance of former Oakland owner Col. Tom Robinson— of the 1896 version of the California League.  Two of the San Francisco City League teams formed part of this new aggregation, and the City League folded.  Even though only a Sunday-only league, the circuit was very unstable, with even the eventual pennant winner, Stockton, not quite making it to the finish.  
California went baseball-mad in 1897, but not one league could be found in the state.   The Hearst paper, the San Francisco Examiner organized a state baseball tournament, one that lasted months.  Every city and town in the state sponsored at least one club.  The tournament directly led to the return of processional baseball league in the state.

While the economy in 1898 was roaring, and by spring, entrepreneurs formed two six-team professional leagues, the California League and a league called the Pacific States League.  While the Pacific Coast League of today doesn’t recognize it, the fact is that one can trace— very directly, I might add— the league’s roots back to these two leagues.

The California League began play on March 26, and the pacific States League began the next day.  Two leagues with twelve teams could not be sustained in California at the time, and so after a month the two leagues combined to form the nine-club (Fresno replaced Watsonville in August) Pacific Coast League.  

Even though the league survived its first season, everyone realized that it wouldn’t survive its second unless changes were made.  Henry Harris, who managed the old Haverly Theater club, was brought into the league to reorganized the league for 1899.  (It should be noted here that the PCL, until Alan Baum became president, regarded 1899 as the official founding of the league, and so stated in the baseball guides.)  

Harris first lopped off a couple of clubs, brining the number down to six strong clubs, made the league a Saturday and Sunday league, and changed its name to the California League.  At the end of August, San Jose disbanded, and so the league was forced to drop Watsonville for scheduling purposes, though the team did continue playing ball as an impendent club.

Baseball retuned to the central valley in 1899, with the revival of the San Joaquin Valley League, and Southern California had its first really organized league.  

The Southern California League completed its 28-game schedule without a hitch, with San Bernardino edging the San Diego Fullers for the league title.  The Jim Morely owned Los Angeles Angelinos would go on to join the California League two years later, and continue in the Coast League as the “Looloos” and eventually as the Los Angeles Angels.

Tomorrow I will write about how I got involved in this project of California baseball. And, then, if I’m still pissed off, I’ll review The Golden Game, The Story of California Baseball by Kevin Nelson.

Click on Images to Enlarge League Charts

Sunday, December 25, 2005

To All Our Readers

Today, I just like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah,
& all the best for 2006.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Baseball in Early California, 4

Baseball in Early California, 4

After the successful 1887 season, the California League expanded its schedule to run from March 31 through December 2.  Stockton replaced Sacramento in the league, with the new Banner Island Park serving as the Stockton venue.  The league’s other entrants were all Bay Area clubs, though the Oakland club never played any games on the East Bay. Some games, however, were played in Sacramento and Santa Cruz during the new, longer season. The league also expanded its games played to nearly 70 per club, up from the scheduled 45 of the previous season.  Games on Saturdays began to be played.

At the end of April, the Cal League got a challenge from yet another upstart California State League, but after seven weeks the State leaguers folded.  But what was noteworthy was the first incarnation of the San Joaquin Valley League, which existed off and on until World War II changed the face of independent ball in the United States.

For the following season, the California League continued to add games to its schedule, with Oakland and San Francisco playing 94 games, and the two “country teams” playing 92 games.  More important than the number of games was the steep increase in batting that took place in 1889.  The California League generally had been a pitchers’ league, with league batting averages below .200, sometimes well-below the .200 mark.  In 1887, the league batting average jumped up to .246, but dropped in 1888 to a paltry .190 BA.  In 1889, not only did the batting average of the league increase to .247, but home runs increased from 15 to 73.

I have found one game played by a league called the California Sate League— between San Juan Missions and Santa Cruz— but so far have not investigated it further.  The same is true for the Northern California League of that season.

The California League, for 1890, found itself almost alone in the state, yet the popularity of the game in the areas where the league played was so great that it let the league expand its schedule to over a 140 games per season.  The weekly schedule ran from Thursday through Sunday.  

In the Central Valley, a league by that name was formed, and completed its season, but did not return the follow year.  A new Central California League took the name and formed an unwieldy alliance in and around the Bay Area that turned out to be popular enough to continue the next season.

In the meantime, the California League continued its steady progress, and for the first time in its history came back with the same compliment of clubs, and a schedule only slightly increased.  League batting averages continued high in 1891 (.235) and coverage in the papers (indication strong attendance) increased.

The Central California League came back in 1892 as a much more compact six-team circuit, and finished its season on a very successful note.
The California League experimented with a split schedule in 1892 for the first time, and increased its schedule to 174 and 177 games.  The San Jose Dukes finished the first season by edging the Los Angeles Angels by a percentage point, but fell to last in the second season, some 14½ game off the pace.  Los Angeles won the second half by 3½.

This brings us to the downfall of baseball in the state, and I will deal with that in my next post.

Click on Image to Enlarge League Chart

Friday, December 23, 2005

Baseball in Early California, 3

Baseball in Early California, 3

In 1886, both the California and California State leagues fielded teams, with the State League being the first to start the season on March 14.  The California League began play on April 4.  The California State League secured Central Park in San Francisco, while the California was relegated to Alameda Athletic Park in the East Bay, making the State League appear the stronger of the two leagues.  But on after games on May 2, Col. Tom Robinson pulled his Oakland G & M club out of the league, joining the rival league two weeks later.  The Oakland G & Ms replaced the Star Club of San Francisco which went belly up on after playing on Sunday, May 2.

The California State League stumbled on— after the G & M defection— as a three-team circuit until they picked up Stockton at the end of August.  Stockton blew up in late October, and the league limped to the November 7 finish.  The California League fished strong on November 28, and looked forward to 1887.

Also of note in 1886 was the formation of the Southern California League.  I know very little about this league other than the two box scores I have come across.  That will be for a later time.  But a league that incorporated two clubs from San Luis Obispo and a club from Tulare seems interesting to say the least.  

In 1887, the competition to the California League came from the second incarnation of the Pacific Coast League.  The PCL disbanded after Decoration-Day games with the Stockton Ahrendt & Gumpertz (or more commonly, “A & Gs”) club running away with the league championship  the league up to that point with an 8-1 record, and every other club below .500.  The proposed league was set up as a direct threat to the established California League, in that they stated that they would be importing players from the East, and would present a better brand of ball than the older league.  Things, however, worked out the other way, and the released PCL players of note were picked up by California League clubs.  And never again was their a serious challenge to the superiority of the Cal League.

Baseball in other parts of the state thrived in 1887, along with the California economy. That led to the founding of leagues that would be around for years and years: The Central California and Northern California  leagues, both of which functioned as feeder leagues for younger players, and for older players on the way down.

Note: With the Holidays upon us, this recounting of early California baseball will take me a few day longer than I expected.  In the mean time I will post the other leagues I have come across in m y research.  Please be aware of the fact that I have not as yet determined how many teams played in the 1889 California State League or the Northern California League.  My time up at the State Library ran out on me, and will have to wait for my next trip up north.

Click on Image to Enlarge League Chart

Early California Leagues & Clubs, 1888-97

Early California Leagues & Clubs, 1898-99

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Baseball in Early California, 2

The season of 1884 represented the beginning of the first golden age of California baseball, one that would last until the Panic of 1893 shut down baseball all over the state. And for several years, I might add.

After the multiple box-office failures of 1883, the 1884 season took almost forever to get started, with bats finally being crossed on July 27. The league concluded its season with all clubs crossing the finishing line on November 23. (An October rainout was rescheduled for November 27, after the season closed, but never came off.)

The 1884 season consisted of ten Sunday contests, and the California League would remain a Sunday-only affair until 1888, when the population centers would support more baseball. It also marked the first appearance of the great Haverly [Theater] team, and the first great California-bred pitcher, Billy Incell, who went 8-0 for the Haverlys, and led the league with 107 strikeouts.

For the first time ever, the same clubs came back for an encore season in the California League in 1885. The league got an early start (on February 1), but could only make through the May 24 games of a schedule that envisioned finishing in up in late November.

I don’t know if the cause of the collapse was anyway related to the completion it received by the California State League, which began play on May 10, but it could not have helped. The State League itself folded in within a few weeks (June 7), it could boast a first for professional baseball in California. Fred McKenzie of the Sacramento Union club came in to relieve Andy Piercy— one of the first great stars of 19th century baseball— pitched three innings of ball, good enough to pick up a save though he gave up 4 hits and 2 runs, and in doing so became the first African-American to pitch in a professional league in the state of California. McKinzie played for independent teams in and around Sacramento for a number of years. He also appeared in the California and California State leagues in three seasons.

Fred McKinzie

1885 Sacramento (California State)
1886 SF Californias (California State)
1887 Sacramento Altas (California)

Tomorrow I will continue with the 1886 season, a season in which the state had both the California and California State leagues, and the point where John Spalding’s pioneering work, Always On Sunday, picks up the California League story.

Note: I noticed a couple of omissions in the league chart that I published yesterday, which I had entered into my book by hand but had not typed into the chart itself, so I will correct it here in this post.

Click on Image to Enlarge League Chart

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Baseball in Early Calirornia, 1

Baseball in Early California, 1

While most historians trace the beginning of organized teams to the San Francisco Baseball Club-Red Rover contest on February 22, 1860 (with Sacramento Baseball Club versus the Union Club of the same city squaring off later in the day), the game can be traced back to 1852 when the California Alta noted a “town ball” game played in San Francisco.  In my research, I came across a series of three games played by the Robinsons against the Parkers (the Robinsons taking two out of three games) beginning on May 18, 1859, so I wouldn’t at all be surprised for some one to come up with earlier contests, especially since I found this note from the Petaluma Journal: “This game [baseball] is fast becoming a favorite in this locality.  Scarcely a day passes but parties may be seen participating in it.”

From the early 1860s through the 1870s, a number of clubs were formed in the state, though the vast majority were in the Bay Area, and those clubs formed the basis of the first baseball league in the state, the Pacific Coast League in 1878.  

(Some papers called it the Pacific League, but the only paper that covered baseball in depth called it by the former name, though late in the season, they began calling it the Pacific League on occasion.  After the season, the league officially c hanged its name to the Pacific League.)

The fist league was a ragtag operation, with according to some accounts players would even take a smoke while on the field. And the following season (1879), the league could not get its act together, and a rival league, the California League, beat the Pacific League out of shoot, and in doing so became the premier league in the West.

In the early days of California baseball, park owners became the organizers of leagues.  In other words, one league would be associated with one park, and play most, if not all, its games there.  One league in  the Bay Area would play at Recreation Grounds in San Francisco and the rival league would play its games at the Oakland Grounds in Oakland.

Over the winter, a couple of eastern clubs traveled out to the coast, including the famous Hop Bitters.  A number of players like the weather on the coast, and remained out here for the 1880 season. Fan interest was astonishing, and that led to one of the classic minor league seasons, a success both on the field and at the box office.

The 1880 California League no doubt the best minor league of the 19th Century (and totally missed by every historian to date), and probably the best minor league ever as far as pitching is concerned.  Who pitched in the league: Pud Galvin, Grasshopper Jim Whitney, Jim Devlin (the one expelled from the major leagues), and Bill Sweeney.  Even “The Only” Nolan couldn’t make it in the league, and was forced to pitch in the rival Pacific League.  The Pacific League started the season, once again, late, and wound up being “the other league.”  (One interesting aspect of the Pacific League was that at their winter meeting on January 24, 1880, the league directors chose Pacific Coast League as their official name, only to become known universally as the Pacific League once the season began.  Go figure!)

In 1881, the Pacific League finally got its act together, changed its name to the New California League, and wound up as the premier league in the state.  The leagues became leagues with almost only California players, but by then the play of Californians had reached a pretty high level.

By 1882 the novelty had pretty much worn off, and salaries to attract eastern players had completely dried up.  The only league that played that season was the California League (a three-team affair) which was formed with one club from each of the 1881 leagues, and the independent National club.  The league only played two games before folding, though the individual teams played throughout the summer and into the fall.  (I am not even positive that the league lasted past its first week, but during its first month of scheduled games the game for the third week conformed to the schedule.  Week two had a non-league club playing a league club at Recreation Grounds.  After week three, The California Spirit of the Times stopped printing the league schedule in its pages.)

1883 was only slightly better.  The California League was reformed with almost all new clubs, and began play at the newly constructed Recreation Park on April Fools Day.  Play continued through July 8, when the league disbanded.  The Nantic club was taken over by Woonsocket Rubber Company, and continued as the Woonsocket club.

At the end of July, the Recreation Park ownership decided to form a new league, the California State League, with clubs outside of San Francisco, but that only lasted three weeks.  Finally, the Recreation Park people decided to have a tournament for the Championship of California, but that also fizzled out after a few weeks of games.

Tomorrow I will continue with the 1884 season.  The below chart lists all the leagues that I have found— and the teams that comprised those leagues.  The 1886 Southern California League and the 1887 Central Coast League may have had more teams, but so far my work on those two leagues is far from complete.

Click on Image to Enlarge League Chart

Early California Leagues & Clubs, 1878-87

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

An Update to the Minor Lg. Register, Minor Lg. Stars from Bob McConnell

Bob McConnell, who is on the DL for a month, sent me the following update:

Frank E. "Cap/Pop" Dillon is listed as having played for Peoria in 1894. According to the compilation done by Ray Nemec, the club he played for was Des Moines in the Western Association.

Extend Bobby Veach’s Career Record by a Season

From The Sporting News, November 26, 1931:

I stumbled across this note in the “Caught on the Fly” column:

“One year of sandlot ball was enough for veteran Bobby Veach, who played the outfield in the majors for many years. Veach was a member of a Detroit independent team last season, but the other day he came forth with the announcement that he was through and would seek a managerial berth with a minor league club next season. ‘It’s as tough breaking into the sandlots after a career in the big leagues as it is breaking into the majors from the sandlots,” the old-timers declared.’

Note: Prior to the Second World War, many, many players continued their careers after finishing with Organized Baseball. Often they would make more in independent leagues, industrial leagues, and independent teams. The independent would pay these players much more than a minor league club could or would offer. Black Sox players did that, Buck Weaver played in the Chicago City League up into the 1930s, while Cicotte pitched in the Detroit City League and Hap Felsch in local Milwaukee leagues. Hal of Famer Harry Hooper played and managed in the independent Sacramento Valley and Caifornia State League until 1933. Jim “Hippo” Vaughn, whose major league career ended in 1919, extended his pitching career until 1937 in independent, industrial and the Chicago City League.

If there is anybody out there with access to Detroit papers, it would be great if you could put together his stats for 1931 and in 1918 (after the WWI work or fight order, and joined lunch pail crowd at American Car in Detroit for the rest of the year). Failing, that, it would be nice to at least know the team he played for, and if it was the Detroit

The above career record is from The Historical Register, published by Baseball Press Books. Used, obviously, with permission.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Monday, December 19, 2005

How the Game Began, 2

How the Game Began, 2

While I’m no self-proclaimed expert on early baseball, the note I posted yesterday by Waller Wallace appeared to me to be significant in several ways:

  • The first thing that caught my eye was the spelling of “baseball.”  In the first edition of Bill James’ Historical Abstract, James made a big deal about how sometime in the late 1930s or 1940s the spelling of baseball changed from “base ball” (two words) to “baseball” (one word).  With Waller Wallace using one word in 1883, I began looking around at other California game accounts, notes, etc., and found that, at least, out here in California “baseball” was invariably preferred over “base ball.”  My speculation is: That the two terms were regional in origin, and that the California spelling won out in the end.

  • Lately there have been several researchers who have taken the game back to much earlier dates.  I believe John Thorn has the game cited in print as early as the late 1700s.  Stick and ball games could probably be traced back to the beginning of man, if we had the source material.  What I find interesting is that a person who was contemporary to the actual event, or came along shortly thereafter, believed the game to have been created at such and such sport on such and such date.  What he states is that the game played on the field in 1883 bore a very close resemblance to the game played by those men at the pre-Madison Square Garden lot in 1842.  The implication being that games played prior to that were markedly different, albeit with the same name.  In other words, the group around Chadwick at The Clipper viewed the 1842 date as the origin of the game.

  • Also implicit in his note is the reason that he wrote it: By the 1880s there must have been speculation on the origins of the game, and Wallace wrote his article to set the record straight.

In summing up, I’m sure that the name “base ball” can and will be traced back even further in the future, but the game we see on the field today is very much akin to the one played in 1883, and the one formulated on the grounds of an empty lot in Manhattan in 1842.   The game then was much like softball, but the difference between softball and baseball is not that great in the overall scheme of things.  Apparently, other games named “baseball” prior to that were markedly different.  And I think we have to give the nod to those who were there at the time.

Tomorrow, I’ll get back to firmer footing— early California baseball, and the first leagues in the state.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

How the Game Began

How the Game Began

In doing research on the early California League, I stumbled across the following note in the September 1, 1883 issue of The California Spirit of the Times & Underwriters Journal:

"The game of baseball as now played dates back to 1842, when a number of gentlemen of New York city, including Col. James Lee, Dr. Ransom, Abraham Tucker, James Fisher and W. Vall, used to play on the vacant plot of ground where the Madison Square Garden now stands. The Knickerbocker club of that city, organized September 23, 1845, was the original one from which the succeeding clubs derived their rules of playing. The first match game was played June 19, 1846 in Hoboken, N. J., the contestants being the Knickerbocker and New York clubs."

Note: This short note was written by Waller Wallace, the baseball editor of the paper for many, many years. Wallace began his career with the
New York Clipper, the paper of record for baseball in its early years, under the tutelage of Henry Chadwick. Wallace was also a ball player himself in early life, and then, when he came to California from New York,became scorekeeper and historian of the early game in the state of California. I’ve also seen him appear in the occasional box score. Wallace came to the state from New York in the 1860s, and by the 1880s people at the time considered him the father of California baseball. He was the one who first encouraged eastern clubs to tour the West Coast during the off season.

Tomorrow I will go into analysis of the above note, and then follow that up with some notes about early baseball leagues in California. And then may go on and write about the book, The Golden Game, which I must say I found disappointing on many levels.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

From Dick Thompson: The 1933 Cape Code League Batting

Friday, December 16, 2005

From Davis Barker: The 1931 Piedmont League, Pitching Less Thans

Thursday, December 15, 2005

From Dick Thompson: The 1931 Cape Code League Batting

Note: As Dick pointed out to me in his note that accompanied these stats, the Cape Cod League of those years allowed professionals to play: "Looks like about a dozen guys with big league time in the league, and since pro players were allowed in the league then, some of them had already been in the bigs."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

From Davis Barker: The 1928 Utah-Idaho League, Batting & Pitching Less Thans

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Early Coast League Statistical Record, 1903—1957

As Reviewed by Bob McConnell

Bob McConnell wrote this review of my book some time ago, and submitted it to the Minor League Committee, by the chair, for some reason, chose not to publish it, so I am posting it here with a sample page.

The Early Coast League Statistical Record, 1903—1957
by Carlos Bauer

310 pages, published by Baseball Press Books, San Diego, CA

As the title of the book indicates, it covers statistics of the Pacific Coast League from 1903 thru 1957. The complexion of the league changed in 1958 due to the invasion of the major leagues into the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, thus the 1957 cutoff date. In the introduction Bauer states that he intends to publish a second volume covering the post-1957 period at a future date.

The main feature of the book consists of year-by-year stats as follows:

A. League standings with club managers and Win-Loss records

B. Batting stats (Position, G, AB, R, H, 2B, 3B, BR, RBI, SO, BB, SB, Avg) by club. Only pitchers with 100+ AR are included. RBI, SO and RB not included for early years.

C. Pitching stats (G, GS, CG, ShO, Sv, W, L, Pct, IP, H, R, ER, SO, BB, ERA) by club. ER and ERA are calculated for the early years, using a method explained in the introduction.

D. Batting stats for players with two or more clubs.

E. Pitching stats for pitchers with two or more clubs.

F. Listing of all managers.

Standings for several seasons have been revised from those published originally in guides as a result of extensive research.

Stats are included for LESS THAN players whose stats were not included in the averages published in the guides.

Additional features:

A. Introduction by Chuck Stevens who played in the PCL for many years.

B. Introduction by Roger Osenbaugh who pitched in the PCL for many years.

C. Introduction by author detailing his methodology of compiling the statistics contained in the book.

D. Year-by-year list of league presidents and secretaries.

E. League playoff results.

F. Year-by-year league leaders in all batting and pitching categories.

G. Evolution of league batting and pitching records (player who established record in 1903 and each player who established new record thru the years)

H. Year-by-year club attendance starting with the 1919 season. Table includes the names of the ballparks each year.

Sample Page

Click on Image to Enlarge

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Word from Our Sponsor

A Word from Our Sponsor

Here are the books I have published since I started Baseball Press Books. All are still in print, and for sale. Every month or so, I’ll post this price list for the connivance of new readers, and those I’ve missed on my mailing list. These are some of the best baseball books ever published, and, needles to say, should be in every baseball fan’s library.

Price List for Baseball Press Books Titles:

  • The Early Coast League Statistical Record, introduced by Chuck Stevens & Roger Osenbaugh
A complete Pacific Coast League encyclopedia, for years 1903-1957. Major essays on how it was to be a player, by former Coast League players Chuck Stevens & Roger Osenbaugh. Complete stats for every player in the league, presented in year-by-year, team-by-team format, with 13 batting categories and 15 for pitchers. Also included leader boards, season and lifetime record holder, league officials, playoff records and attendance figures for the 1919-1957 period by club. Many of the statistics have never been published before.
310 pages $39.95 from Baseball Press Books

  • The Historical Register Fourth Edition, compiled by Numerous SABR Members
This work presents the complete career records( major, minor and independent leagues, even semipro( of baseball greatest players, from Alexander Cartwright through Ryne Sandberg. In all, career records of 740 players. Every Hall of Famer, including Negro Leagues players, and virtually every near Hall of Famer that ever donned spikes. The most complete career records ever published( by far! Literally thousands of new lines of never-before-published data. There has never been a book like this one! Now in Fourth Edition!
460 pages $49.95 from Baseball Press Books

  • The New SABR Guide to Minor League Statistics, edited by Carlos Bauer & Bob McConnell
A guide to the material contained in virtually every baseball guide since 1877, giving page number and what stats included by league. This new listing includes stats contained in the Baseball America Almanac. Also listed are final league averages for The Sporting News & Sporting Life, and what box scores were published yearly by those two papers. Additionally, there is a twenty-page list of final league averages that have been compiled by individual researchers, and microfilm holdings at selected libraries around the country.
206 pages $21.95 from Baseball Press Books

  • The All-time Japanese Baseball Register, by Carlos Bauer
For the first time ever in English: The complete statistical record of all the great Japanese and American players who appeared in Japan since the inception of the Japan Pro Baseball League in 1936 through the 1999 season. Over 950 players career records in Japan, all with complete stat lines (13 categories for batters, and 15 for pitchers) in an easy-to-read format.
320 pages $29.95 from Baseball Press Books

  • The 2003 Japanese Major & Minor League Statistic Report
For the Second Year: The complete statistical record of every player who stepped onto the field in Japan. Complete statistics: 13 categories for batting; 17 categories for pitching. Additionally, complete bio material: Full name, date of birth, height, weight, bats, throws. Everything a guide should be. Used by the majority of major league clubs.
64 pages $13.95 from Baseball Press Books

  • The 2002 Japanese Major & Minor League Statistic Report
For the Second Year: The complete statistical record of every player who stepped onto the field in Japan. Complete statistics: 13 categories for batting; 17 categories for pitching. Additionally, complete bio material: Full name, date of birth, height, weight, bats, throws. Everything a guide should be. Used by the majority of major league clubs.
64 pages $13.95 from Baseball Press Books

  • Early Dreams, by David Nemec
Noted baseball researcher David Nemec has written what can only be described as one of the great works of baseball fiction. Even if you are not one for fiction, this book will change your mind. Early Dreams captures the way of life of 19th Century ball. Reads as if it were non-fiction. And, with all books by David Nemec, you will learn a great deal of history. This will someday be viewed as a milestone in baseball fiction.
174 pages $15.95 from Baseball Press Books

  • The Coast League Cyclopedia, by Carlos Bauer
Patterned after the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia. Every batter, pitcher & manager, with complete stat lines, plus standings, league leader boards, etc. Complete biographical information for every PCL player, 1903-57.
1,160 pages, 3 volumes $125.00 from Baseball Press Books, includes postage Only several copies remain

  • The Senior League Encyclopedia, compiled by Jay Walker
This work presents the complete history and complete statistics for the Senior Baseball League of 1989-90 and 1990-91. The two-year experiment failed, but many well-known players participated, including Amos Otis, Willie Aikens, Pete Lacock, Ozzie Virgil, Jon Matlack, Milt Wilcox, Len Barker, and a long etc. Contents include a history of the league, team profiles, teams statistics, player, pitcher and manger register sections.
170 pages $22.95 from Baseball Press Books

  • World Series Baseball, by Carlos Urbano
A baseball board game, played with either a scientific calculator or three ten-sided dice (not included). This game comes with game boards on cardboard, instructions, and 32 all-time great teams. Also included are instruction for rating player teams and leagues. Fabulous for recreating minor league seasons & Negro League all-star teams. A unique item from the infamous Carlos Urbano.
60 pages $9.95 from Baseball Press Books

All books are shipped Media Mail, and shipping & handling is $5.00 for first book, and then $2.00 per book (Canada $5.00 per book). All orders must be in U. S. Funds. California residents must include 8.25% sales tax. E-mail us for other rates:

Make all checks of money orders out to Baseball Press Books & send to:

Baseball Press Books
P. O. Box 22493
San Diego, CA 92192-2493

Sunday, December 11, 2005

This Week in the California League, September 17—September 23, 1900

This Week in the California League, September 17—September 23, 1900

This week, the San Francisco Wasps edged to within ½ game of the leaders, in one of the tightest pennant races ever in the California League. The fall scheduling— with no game in the interior on Saturday— and two doubleheaders on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Gilt Edge club came to San Francisco to play the Oakland Dudes. Jay Hughes had one bad inning, the second, giving up 3 runs, and took another loss, making it six straight losses of games he started. Doc Moskiman pitched a shutout. Bill Drennan hit an inside-the-park home run in the seventh inning. Final score 4-0.

On Sunday, San Francisco and Stockton spilt a double header, San Francisco winning the morning contest 6 to 5, with the winning run scored with two out in the tenth inning. Both Jimmy Whalen and Tom Fitzpatrick pitched the entire game for their respective clubs. Whalen’s record dropped to 18-16.

In the afternoon tilt, Stockton— behind manager George Harper— turned the tables by a 4-1 score. Ham Iburg gave up 2 runs in the first, and then 2 other scores in the fourth and sixth innings, on a home run by first baseman Julie Strieb.

At Oakland, Red Held hit an inside-the-park home run and Chief Borchers pitched well enough for Oakland to prevail in the morning. Brick Devereaux pitched for the visitors, giving up 6 runs on 11 hits. Final score 6-3.

Back across the bay, Sacramento managed to eke out a 5-4 game to remain, if just barely, in first place. Demon Doyle almost lost the game in the eighth inning by giving up 2 runs on 3 hits, letting Oakland tie the score at 4. In the bottom half of the inning, Truck Eagan score the winning run on Frank Bowman’s sacrifice fly.

Of note, the San Francisco Examiner stated that Truck Egan’s seventh home run of the season— hit in the second inning— was only the second ball ever hit over the left-field fence at Rec Park.

To get a better view of the Standings & Leaders, click on image.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

An Update on George Hodson From Reed Howard

An Update on George Hodson From Reed Howard

Reed sent me this update on what he has been able to put together to date on Hodso, and lists years (with dates), teams, sources and W-L records . Because Reed does research only through the 1900 season, he summarized Hodson’s record after 1900.

Hodson George S.* (b. Hodgdon) ;b.1870,? PA
d.1/9/24,San Rafael CA;("Bio.Com.01/03)

Win-loss records in parenthesis
1887 8/6-10/8 Phil.-PA R R PhilAmat p

1888 Phil.-Solar Tips Indep ("PhilPress"7/8/88)
6/6-6/11 Buffalo Int of,p (0-1)

1889 5/14 Phil.-Giants MidSts p;game thrown out
7/8-7/24 Dover DeSt p,of;of Hartford? (5-1)
7/29-8/29 York MidSts p (8-2)

1890 5/13-7/23 Altoona EIntSt p,of;("SL"5/2/91) (11-9)

1891 5/14-9/8 Jamestown NY-Pa p (19-19) 1892 4/30-5/7 Buffalo East p (0-3)
5/23-8/17 Altoona PaSt p,of;led wins, 21 (21-12)

1893 5/3-6/14 Altoona PaSt p;24;5'7";150# (11-6)
7/19 Harrisburg PaSt p;("Phil.Inqu."3/19/93) (1-0)
Bellafonte PA Indep ("SL"7/29/93)

1894 5/2-7/31 Scranton PaSt p (22-10)
8/3 Scranton East p (0-1)
8/9- 12 g. Boston NL p (4-4)

1895 5/4-5/22 Philadelphia NL p (1-2)
6/12-9/15 Providence East p,of 20-8

1896 5/1-9/10 Providence East p;'96Res. (26-15)

1897 4/29-9/2? Providence East p;'97Res. (21-14)

1898 5/6-7/6 Providence East p (6-9) (other record 5-7)
7/28-9/10 Utica NYSt p,of (8-5)

1899 4/27-7/3 Scranton Atl p (7-12)
7/13-9/10 Hartford East p,of (12-5)

1900 4/27-5/4 Hartford East p (1-1)
5/11-9/4 New Haven CtSt p (pitched under name of George Little) (22-11)

After 1900, George Hodson went 76-85, making his career record: 298-225

Friday, December 09, 2005

Old Business Made New, 3

Old Business Made New, 3

The final part of the material sent to me by Bob McConnell:

The New SABR Guide to Minor League Statistics, 2nd Edition will be ready in several months.  This is a must publication for all minor league researchers.  It will be sold by SABR.  Watch for a date of publication in the SABR Bulletin.  [Actually, it sold out, but I do have a few copies that I retained for Baseball Press, and can be order from me—cb]

There appeared an article in the latest Baseball Research Journal, issue 31, by David Chrisman, entitled “Early RBI Leaders in the International League.”  The author included a table listing the seasonal RBI leaders (that varied from 4 to 19 per year) from 1884 through 1921.  In 1922, the league began publishing RBI totals in its official averages.  (The league officially changed its name from the Eastern League to International League in 1912.)

After the article appeared, several people wrote me questioning Chrisman’s figures.  

In those days, box scores did not include RBI in those days. Therefore, it is difficult, if not impossible, to compile RBI from game stories.  While a researcher may have no problem with a low scoring game, in high scoring games the game story did not go into sufficient detail on all the scoring for reasons of space.

Chrisman is not a member of our committee; however, he has recently been added to our mailing list

Note: To my knowledge, Chrisman never responded to Bob McConnell’s challenge in any forum.  

Years ago Wally Kuczwara, from Chicago, mad a speciality of compiling RBI totals for individual players of note.  Wally worked out of the University of Chicago’s University Newspaper Consortium, which the central depository for newspapers from allover the country.  It loans out newspapers to member universities.  At the time Wally got to know one of the security guards there, and would bring him a six-pack so he could” check out” microfilm himself, and work at home for days at a time on some such player.  He did a lot of fine work  before the powers that be caught up with him, and earning him— like Joe Jackson, who also toiled on the South Side— a lifetime ban.

What Wally explained to me about how he did his work was to get all the sources he could, and then parcel out as many RBIs as he could determine. Then “fudge” the rest.  The “fudging” is kept to a minimum by most good researchers.  But there are times when one cannot solve a problem, and then you make you’re best guess.  Usually, over the course of a season, it should not matter all that much. But as McConnell mentioned, high scoring game are always a problem.

In my first statistical compilation, the 1903 Pacific Coast League season, I found that I could pretty much determine from the game stories what inning a pitcher had been relieved in (this information was not carried in the early box scores), but a number of times was unable to determine how many were out when the pitcher in question got the hook.  What I did was make a rule that, if I couldn’t determine how many were out, I would give the pitcher relieved ⅓ of an inning, and the pitcher who came in ⅔ an inning.  While not scientifically exact, it should not make much difference over the course of a season, especially when dealing with such a small number of occasions.

I’m sure they had to make similar decisions when compiling the first Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia, and in certain cases admitted to doing so.  Of course, they compiled the encyclopedia on a deadline of something like 18 months, so they obviously could not have been expected to confirm every fact down to the nth degree of certitude. That is why corrections are still being made to the many encyclopedias out there.

At some point, I will write in depth about how and the way the 19th century major league baseball needs to be recompiled.  Let me just end this rant by saying that it should be recompiled, and that it wouldn’t be that arduous a project.

Back to my research techniques: I find problems that I can’t solve right off hand with the box scores I have.  Not only when a pitcher is relieved, but perhaps a problem with a box score.  

(In general I have found very few discrepancies in 19th century box scores, contrary to what the perception is out there.  Usually, the discrepancy is nothing more than an omission or printer’s typo.  And I’m dealing with the minor leagues, where one would assume to have an accuracy rate somewhat less than that of the majors.  So when you read somebody write that “every box score in the 19th century is different,” like Gary Gillette did in the new Baseball Encyclopedia, you can make book on the fact that they never did any 19th century compilations.)

When I compile a league, I have a blank 3 by 5 index card next to me on my desk, where I write down every problem I come across during a compilation.  Several times over the course of the season, I travel to various libraries around Southern California to dig up other newspapers to solve each and every problem.  If I need another source paper that I don’t have here, then I write the local library where the game was played, and ask for a photocopy of an additional game story.  

If none of the above works, then I fall back on that old standby— my best guess.  Or as other researchers call it: Fudging.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Old Business Made New, 2

Old Business Made New, 2

To continued with what Bob McConnell sent me:

One of the articles sent in by Art Schott, which appeared in the April, 2003 Newsletter, told about the almost full schedule played by the eight regulars on the Nashville Vols of the Southern Association.  Jamie Selko points out that the 1925 Fort Worth Panthers of the Texas League outdid the Nashville club.  Fort Worth played 155 games.  The following is a rundown on the regulars with the “Games played by Position,” with all three outfield positions broken down:

1b  Ed Konethcy— 155 G
2b  Ed Palmer—  154
3b  Bill Mullen— 151
ss  Wayne Windle— 155
lf   Ziggy Sears— 155
cf  Stormy Davis— 153
rf  Frank Eddington— 155
c  Henry Moore— 89  & Herb Smith— 77 were the only two catchers used all season
In addition, the four-man rotation started 139 of the 155 games.

George Hudson, a 19th century pitcher, is to the 300 win mark.  With a little more research, we may be able to put him over.  Contact Reed Howard for further information on how you can help, and what has been done so far.

Willie Runquist has produced a 76-page booklet on the farm clubs of the Toronto Blue Jays, 1991-2002.  It lists, in a year-by-year format, team and individual stats for all farm clubs.  It includes an alphabetical list of all players at the back, plus several other features.

You can contact Willie for cost, etc., at:

Tomorrow we will finish up on the material that Bob McConnell sent me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Old Business Made New

Old Business Made New

Bob McConnell sent me a list of items that he had passed on to his successors as Chair of the SABR Minor League Committee to publish.  They never did because, apparently, they were not interested in baseball research of any sort, or at least that’s what I got out of reading their news letters.

Today and tomorrow I will publish the items.  Today I will start with Stats Compiled & Help with Compilations:

Gary Fink is working on the Less Than 10 Games and Less Than 45 Innings pitched for the 1939 Pioneer League.  He reports that he is almost finished.  [Published here recently—cb]

Carlos Bauer has compiled batting and pitching stats for 1882 and 1912 California League.  [Since then I have also compiled stats for the California League, 1883-1899, and the 1887 Pacific Coast League—cb]

Bob Richardson has compiled batting and fielding stats for the 1912 New England League. Bob needs first names for the following players [if you can help, email me at the above address—cb]:

  • Boyd      Played 3b for the Lawrence club    Had a trial with New York Yankees of Giants.

  • A. A. “Ollie” Britton     Pitcher for Lynn club.    Also played in Southern Association.

  • Seneff  (referred to as “Sitton” on several occasions).   Pitcher for Worcester club.  Formerly played for the Syracuses, and for the Marion, Ohio, club.

Also of note, McConnell wrote to the new chair the following sarcastic note: “Ray Nemec compiles a death list which is included in each [Minor League Committee] newsletter.  Contact Ray.  The list for the April, 2003 newsletter was inadvertently omitted [italics mine].”  

Tomorrow, more things that never made it into print.  One wonders why anybody would be interested in chairing a research committee if they had no interest in research.  I guess that’s why I started this blog.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mickey Haslin's Career Record

Mickey Haslin's nephew just bought some books from me, and asked in passing if I had anything on his uncle. I didn't, but figured that he might like like a career record of his uncle. I spent a couple of hours putting it together, and thought I'd share it with all of you. His only published career record appeared in the 1937 Who's Who, so his career up to that point was not even near finished.

What I found intersting is that if he had not come back as a player in 1943, he'd have finished his career with a .322 batting average in the minors.

Click on Image to Enlarge Career Record

A Note From Karl Knickrehm

A Note From Karl Knickrehm


Thank you for bringing Larry Zuckerman's research to print. Put me down for a copy. The last time I spoke with Larry, we talked about the location of the Orange County ballpark. He was not sure where it
was. He thought that it was either at the fairgrounds or the location of where the Orange Drive In was. That would be just north of  Interstate 5 at State College Blvd., about a half mile south of Angel Stadium. He favored the Drive In location because it was more central to the population of 1929. He was a marvelous researcher who found the location in Barstow where the Anaheim Valencias played one game
in 1947, found the exact location of Wrangler Field in Las Vegas and clarified a lot of misconceptions about La Palma Park in Anaheim. He was taken from us much too soon. Of course your work is outstanding, too.

I enjoy your blog very much. Keep it up!


From Davis Barker: The 1927 Southeastern League, Pitching Less Thans

Click on Image to Enlarge

Sunday, December 04, 2005

This Week in the California League, September 10—September 16, 1900

This Week in the California League, September 10—September 16, 1900

Games this week were played on Monday, September 10, Tuesday, September 11, and on Saturday and Sunday, September 15 and 16.

Because Admission Day fell on a Sunday, games were played on Monday in San Francisco and Stockton. Games were also played on Tuesday, making it the busiest week of the season, and served to mark the end of the summer.

In Stockton, Phil Knell show what an old National Leaguer could do by pitching a 5-hit shutout against George Harper, who only gave up 4 hits. The problem was that they led to 4 runs.

At Rec Park, Oakland won a pitchers’ battle 2-1 over the league leaders. The winning run scored on double by Frank Bowman, who was sacrificed to third by Red Held, and then score on a suicide squeeze by catcher Tony Mangerina. Doc Moskiman notched his 7th win, while Brick Devereaux took the loss.

On Tuesday, Oakland played San Francisco at Rec Park, the Wasps winning a laugher 9-zip behind the flawless pitching of Tom Fitzpatrick. Chief Borchers took the loss, bring his record down to 6-12.

Over at Stockton, the rains came in the sixth inning with the score tied at 2, Jimmy Whalen and Demon Doyle going the distance.

There was only one game on Saturday, at Rec Park, because Sacramento chose to try a doubleheader on Sunday. Tom Fitzpatrick came up with his second win of the week by pitching almost as well as he had earlier, winning 5-1 on a 5 hitter. Doc Moskiman took the loss for Oakland. Heinie Krug got a couple of hits, including a double, for the winners.

On Sunday at Oakland, Ham Iburg had his worst outing of the season, yielding 12 runs on 11 hits. Chief Borchers came back from his setback earlier in the week by giving up only 3 hits and 2 run while striking out 5 Wasps.

In the afternoon contest, the Dudes pitched Borchers again, but he gave up 5 runs in the first, and the game was ostensibly over right then. Tom Fitzpatrick also pitched for the third time that week, and managed to hang onto the 9-6 win. Both Rube Levy and Heinie Krug led the Wasp attack with 3 hits apiece. And while Borchers didn’t do much on the mound, he did get 3 hits for the losers.

At Sacramento on Sunday, both games represented extremes. The first a pitchers’ battle. Jimmy Whalen pitched a shutout, and Jay Hughes took another heartbreaking loss 2-0. The only runs were scored in the ninth inning.

In the afternoon tilt, Sacramento turned the tables in an 11-8 slugfest. Charley Doyle and George Harper began on the mound, but both gave way to Hughes and Whalen. In a season with not many home runs, this game had three: by Matt Stanley, Ernie Courtney, and Big Bill Hanlon, who extended his league-leading number to 9.

To get a better view of the Standings & Leaders, click on image.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dutch Ruether Salary Negotiations in 1928

From The Sporting News, January 19, 1928:

More on PCL Salaries:

Walter (Dutch) Ruether, veteran southpaw pitcher, recently cut adrift by the New York Yankees, has refused to sign with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, even though he was offered [a] $5,000 bonus to put his name on a contract, says a report from the Golden Gate city. [I]n addition to the bait, Ruether was offered a contract for $5,000 by the Seals officials. This was agreeable, but the veteran wanted more to sign his name to the document. He left the matter open, and is waiting to see if the initial offer will not be swelled a bit.

Note: I don’t know what he eventually signed, but apparently Ruether was happy with the outcome of negotiation, because he did in fact sign with the Seals, and went on to have a 29-7 season, his best ever in the Coast League. This is just another instance of how the Coast League took care of its players.

An Update on Pittsburg(h) From Eric Wunderman

An Update on Pittsburg(h) From Eric Wunderman

For what it's worth I found the following link on how to spell "Pittsburgh". Not that you can believe everything you read on the internet.

That being said, I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. My only criticism is that I wish there were more of it. One of the nice things about the internet is that we can, finally, easily exchange
information and research on previously esoteric topics.

eric wunderman

Friday, December 02, 2005

From Davis Barker: The 1927 Lone Star League, Less Thans

Thursday, December 01, 2005

From The Sporting News, 12-2-1926

From The Sporting News, December 2, 1926.

Just after I posted the 1926 Utah-Idaho League batting less thans, I came across this article, which I will quote in part.  Many of the players were sent there from Coast League, and served as a de facto farm system.  The old California League (1903-1915) served the same purpose in earlier years.  Also in the 1920s, the San Francisco Seals used a club in the independent Humboldt County League was used by as a farm team.  A young Gus Suhr played there before making the Seals.  The following gives an overview of its first season, and reading into it you can see that it turned out to be a struggle to keep it afloat; 1.e., it was a success to be even in shape to continue a second year.

Utah-Idaho Serves Its Purpose As Incubator for Youngsters
New Rookie Rule Adopted Permitting Only One Class A Player
By Les Goates

King Baseball, official entertainer to His Majesty, the great American Public, had a thoroughly successful inaugural season in the Utah-Idaho territory.  The Utah-Idaho started the campaign as an experiment and it proved to be a success from the start.  Class C baseball is this territory was a hazardous undertaking at most, but the enthusiasm with which the enterprise was received by the cities and towns of the Inter-Mountain section more than made up for the natural reaction which followed the removal of the Coast circuit from Salt Lake City, where it had enjoyed a run of some 11 years.  While the Salt Lake fans persisted in staying away from Bonneville [Park] in droves, there is a general spirit of optimism in the largest of the Utah-Idaho cities, regarding prospects for next season.  Experience has shown that whatever a city has been obliged to drop back a notch or two in the caliber of baseball offered its fans, it has taken a year or two for the customers to become accustomed to the drop.

The youngest of baseball leagues under the protecting wings of the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs started its kindergarten year on May 15 with Idaho Falls, Twin Falls and Pocatello in Idaho and Salt Lake City, Ogden and Logan in Utah.  These same clubs stayed with the pace to the bitter end though it was necessary to cut three weeks off the original schedule to protect the club owners against financial deficit.  This was deemed a wise move as the race was none too exciting and patronage was falling off rapidly toward the flag end of the season.  Moreover, it enabled the clubs to quit their first season in fairly good shape, with spirits running high for next year, and imbued with a determination to make the league a permanent institution.

The dire4ctors of the Utah-Idaho circuit chose to split the season [because the pennant race appeared over early on—cb] and planned a post-season series at the close of the year between the winners of the first half of the schedule and the winners of the second half.  These well-laid plans went blooey, however, when the Idaho Falls Spuds romped in with the championship for both halves.  The Spuds deserved to win the flag for unquestionably it was a great ball club than anybody ever expected would operate in the Class C league.  There have been worse teams than the Spuds in the Coast League in recent years for it was a team well equipped in every department of play and in some departments it was overflowing in talent.

William (Bill) Leard, former Coast League player, piloted the Spuds to the league’s initial championship.  Wild Bill merited the congratulations of his townspeople and the fans of the league generally for his good work in keeping his team out in front throughout the season.  For his reward, Leard was appointed manager of the San Francisco Missions of the Pacific Coast League, thereby following the lead of Nick Williams, manager of the Logan club, who was promoted to the managerial job with the San Francisco Seals.  Thus, the baby Class C league furnished two Coast league managers its first year out.

And so on....