June Cass

17 Sep

World War I cost Daniel June Cass his shot to play in the Major Leagues.

Born in Scotland, South Dakota June 25, 1894, Cass hit .336 in 28 games for the Des Moines Boosters in the Western League in 1916. After hitting .284 the following season with Des Moines Cass was purchased by the Washington Senator.

Cass joined the Senators in Augusta, Georgia for Spring Training and according to the Associated Press was set to make the Clark Griffith’s team, but for his draft status:

“Based on the fact that he is in class 1 of the draft and his number in the order of liability is so low, being in the first 400, that there is no assurance he would be able to remain with the Griffmen more than a month or two…if retained the Washington club would have to pay $3000 for Cass under the agreement with Des Moines, and the pilot (Griffith) figures it would be poor business policy.”

Although the article went on to say Cass would probably not be able to displace any of the starters, his speed alone would have benefitted Washington’s aging outfield.  (No stolen base records survive for his Western League tenure, but Cass was always mentioned as one of the best base stealers in the league in contemporaneous newspaper accounts)

Cass was returned to Des Moines and hit .327 in 24 games before reporting to Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois on June 6.  Cass served the remainder of the year.

Cass returned to Des Moines for 1919 season, and got off to a good start hitting .308 and leading the league in stolen bases through 80 games.  It was also reported by the Associated Press that the Senators again had an interest in purchasing Cass.

In late July 0f 1919 Cass developed a case on tonsillitis, developed quinsy and died on July 28.

Advertisements

One Response to “June Cass”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dave Altizer | Baseball History Daily - April 4, 2013

    […] story said Reds manager Clark Griffith, unable to find Altizer, contacted “Nixey” Callahan, who was playing in Chicago’s City […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s