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Lost Advertisements–“Big Ed” Walsh No-Hitter, Old Underoof Whiskey

7 Mar

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A 1911 advertisement for Old Underoof Whiskey which appeared in Chicago News papers the day after Edward Augustine “Big Ed” Walsh threw his first nine-inning no-hitter (Walsh gave up no hits in a 5-inning 8 to 1 victory over the New York Highlanders on May 26, 1907).  Walsh had also thrown five one-hitters, including one two weeks earlier against the Detroit Tigers.

Old Underoof commemorated that effort as well:

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The Chicago Inter Ocean said of the no-hitter:

“Never in His long and brilliant career in the box has Big Ed shone as he did on the hill in yesterday’s game.”

Walsh faced only 27 Boston Red Sox batters, but gave up a fourth inning walk to Clyde Engle.  The Inter Ocean said umpire Billy Evans’ call that led to the walk was “questionable.”  And that two plays helped preserve the  spitballer’s no-hitter:

“(T)here were two times when the monarch of all he expectorated nearly lost his charm.  Once the ball was driven out right over the second sack.  Lee Tannehill rushed back, scooped it up and threw out the runner easily.  Lee must have had a margin of at least three-eighths of an inch in his favor.  Another time Ping Bodie saved Ed’s dinner dishes by rushing in with the greatest burst of speed at his command and licking up the ball a little above his ankles.”

The other incident of note in the game took place in the third inning when Tannehill hit a line drive to right center field in the third inning, The Chicago Tribune said Red Sox center fielder Tris Speaker and right fielder Olaf  Henriksen came together “in a terrific collision” which knocked both unconscious and out of the game.  Henriksen got the worst of it, and was briefly hospitalized with a broken rib and injured ankle.  Speaker “was first to recover and emerged from the accident with a severe shaking up and a lame shoulder.”

The box score

The box score

Walsh came one batter away from joining Cy Young and Addie Joss as the only two modern era pitchers to that point to throw a perfect game–Joss’ perfect game was against the White Sox in 1908, Walsh was pitching for Chicago and only gave up one hit and struck out 15 in the loss.

Ed Walsh circa 1904

Ed Walsh,  circa 1904

Walsh was 27-18 with a 2.22 ERA in 1911, leading the league with 255 strikeouts, in a league-leading  368 and two-thirds innings.  The Hall of Famer pitched until 1917 compiling a 195-126 record and 1.82 ERA.

He supported making the spitball legal again after the pitch was banned after the 1920 season.  The Associated Press quoted him in his 1959 obituary:

“Everything else favors the hitters.  Ball Parks are smaller and baseballs are livelier.  They’ve practically got the pitchers working in straitjackets.  Bah!  They still allow the knuckle ball and that is three times as hard to control.”

Lost Advertisements–Old Underoof–White Sox, Cubs and “The Battle of the Century”

27 Jan

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An advertisement for Old Underoof Whiskey from June 16, 1910–“A Few Comparisons.”  Most of the Old Underoof ads were exclusively about baseball, but this one also mentions the biggest sports story of that week.  California Governor James Norris Gillett  (the ad misspelled it “Gillette”) had just issued an order to stop the Jack Johnson vs Jim Jeffries “Battle of the Century,” scheduled for July 4 in San Francisco.  The San Francisco Chronicle said that despite $300,000 worth of tickets having been sold, and the construction of a new stadium for the bout being nearly completed, Gillett bowed to “Pleas to the governor to stop the fight.”  The San Francisco Church Federation was the most vocal opponent to the fight.

On the same day, the Chicago White Sox and Cubs both played 14 innings.

The seventh place White Sox, behind a complete game from “Big Ed” Walsh defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 4 to 3; he also drove in the winning run with one out in the fourteenth.

The first place Cubs lost 3 to 2.  Eros Bolivar “Cy” Barger pitched a complete game for the Brooklyn Superbas, and like Walsh, drove in the winning run with one out in the fourteenth.

The fight was moved to Reno, Nevada and Johnson won by TKO in the 15th round.

The White Sox finished in sixth place with a 68-85 record.  Walsh was 18-20 and led the American League with a 1.27 ERA

The Cubs remained in first place and won the National League pennant by 13 games.  The Athletics beat them four games to one in the World Series.

 

 

Lost Advertisements–Old Underoof Whiskey, Cubs and White Sox

2 Aug

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Two more 1910 advertisements for Old Underoof Whiskey featuring the Chicago Cubs and White Sox; these appeared in The Chicago Daily News and The Chicago Examiner.

The one above “A Shift in the Scenes” is from June 20, 1910.  The Cubs were returning home after a 10-4 road trip which put them 4 ½ games ahead of the second place New York Giants, while the struggling, seventh place White Sox were heading to Cleveland for a six game series.

The one below “It’s a Rocky Road to Pennantville” appeared just 10 days later.  The Cubs, who had won four straight games after the first ad appeared, just lost five of seven to the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, cutting their lead over the Giants to a game and a half.

The White Sox would continue to struggle; they finished the season 68-85.  The Cubs would run away with the pennant, beating the Giants by 13 games.

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Lost Advertisements—Old Underoof Whiskey, 1910 Chicago Cubs

17 May

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Two 1910 advertisements for Old Underoof Whiskey which appeared in The Chicago Daily News.

The ad above appeared in the paper on May 12.  The Cubs had just won their third straight game from the New York Giants, beating Rube Marquard,  4-3, to improve their record to 11-8.

 Hugh Fullerton wrote in The Chicago Examiner, that the Cubs, “chewed $10,999.98 of beauty out of the wry-necked, knock-kneed, cross-eyed and left-handed $11,000 beauty Marquard.”  The Giants pitcher had earned the nickname in 1908 when New York paid that amount to the Indianapolis Indians for the 21-year-old pitcher.  Through 1910, Marquard was a struggling pitcher with a 9-18 record who had all of baseball questioning the Giants purchase.  The next three seasons Marquard would win 24, 26 and 23 games, helping to lead the Giants to three straight National League Championships.

The one below is from June 27.  The Cubs had beaten the St. Louis Cardinals the previous day 3-2; scoring the winning run in the bottom of the sixth on a double steal, pulled off by catcher Johnny Kling and centerfielder “Circus” Solly Hofman.  It was the team’s twelfth victory in the last fifteen games and gave the Cubs a 4 1/2 game lead over the second place New York Giants.

The Cubs would run away with the pennant, 13 games ahead of New York.

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Lost Advertisements—Old Underoof Whiskey, 1909 World Series and 1910 A.L. Race

11 Apr

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During the first decade of the 20th Century cartoon ads from Chas. Dennehy & Co., distributor of Underoof Bourbon and Rye Whiskey appeared regularly in Chicago newspapers.  Most focused on the Cubs and White Sox, the two featured today do not.

The ad above appeared after game 4 of the 1909 World Series when the Detroit Tigers evened the series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at two games apiece on George Mullin’s a five hitter;  Pirate star Honus Wagner, who would hit .333 for the series was held hitless by Mullin.  The Pirates would go on to win the series in seven games.

The one below was published on June 6, 1910 when the New York Highlanders, after winning two of three in a series with the White Sox, moved into first place.  The Philadelphia Athletics quickly overtook New York and would win the American League Pennant by 14 1/2 games.

 

oldunder1910Highlanders

Lost Advertisements—Old Underoof Whiskey, Cubs and White Sox

26 Mar

oldunder1910cubssoxmayDuring the first decade of the 20th Century cartoon ads from Chas. Dennehy & Co., distributor of Underoof Bourbon and Rye Whiskey appeared regularly in Chicago newspapers.  Most focused on the Cubs and White Sox, but other teams were featured as well.  The ads above and below are from 1910.

The first ad appeared on May 2;  The White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3. the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1.

The second appeared three days later after the White Sox lost 4-0 to Detroit and the Cubs were beaten 8-3 by the Pirates.

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Dero Austin

10 Jan

 

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Dero Austin Jr. was one of the few Negro League “players” who was born too late; he was added to the Indianapolis Clowns in 1964 to try to recreate the fame of one of his predecessors, Spec Bebop, who had top billing with the team well into the 1950s.

Spec Bebop, circa 1952

Spec Bebop, circa 1952

Austin quickly joined  James “Nature Boy” Williams as one of the most popular members of the barnstorming team, but the Clowns were well past their heyday when they filled ballparks across the country.  Occasionally they still drew well, in Austin’s first season, 1964, 15,797 fans saw the Clowns in Chicago’s Comiskey Park on July 10; across town 13,556 fans watched the Cubs play the San Francisco Giants.

Austin would usually bat first in each game, replicating Eddie Gaedel’s appearance for Bill Veeck’s Saint Louis Browns in 1951–occasionally Satchel Paige would pitch to Austin.  While he appeared in publicity photo’s playing the field, he never appeared in the field during a game.

Satchel Paige pitching, Dero Austin at the plate.  Comiskey Park 1966

Satchel Paige pitching, Dero Austin at the plate. Comiskey Park 1966

Austin never became as popular as Bebop, and the Clowns continued playing to smaller crowds in smaller towns until they disbanded in the 1980s.

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Austin stayed with the Clowns well into the 70s and by 1974 was billed as the team’s manager.  The 31-inch tall Grandfield, Oklahoma native died in July of 1987 at age 39.

“Say, Rube, he ain’t Quite Dead yet”

16 Apr

In 1912, Arthur Irwin told William A. Phelon of The Cincinnati Times-Star:

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Irwin

“Rube Waddell was even a richer card than was usually supposed and nobody unless he were to put it all down in a large, thick book will ever have an actual summary of the things G. Edward said and did during his long career in the fast company.”

Irwin said Waddell, despite his reputation for erratic behavior “had a kindly heart, always open to the cries of the unhappy, and especially gentle towards the ladies.”

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Rube

He told Phelon a story about  a dance they both attended in Philadelphia:

“Mr. Waddell arrived early and was quieted by being presented with a gorgeous badge denoting him as floor marshal. Armed with this, Mr. Waddell was as nice and polite as Lord Chesterfield himself and gave no trouble. The managers soon ceased to worry about Rube—and were given other things to trouble them.

“About midnight a prizefighter named Seiger of some repute as a rough, hardy slugger, came into the hall and at once started making war medicine.”

According to newspaper accounts, there were at least four fighters named Seiger or Sieger who had bouts in Philadelphia during the first decade of the 20th Century—the most prominent were both lightweights: Joe Seiger and Charley Sieger

Irwin picks up the story:

“Inside of ten minutes I had to go in and help the floor committee drag him off some inoffensive fellow who hadn’t kowtowed to his sovereignty. About 10 minutes later we had to sally in again and rescue some well-dressed gentleman from Seiger’s clutches. ‘Better cut it out,’ said I ‘you are looking for a trimming and you will get it, sure’

‘”Ain’t nobody on this floor goin’ to hand it to me,’ jeered Seiger, and back he went, shouldering through the throng.”

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Rube

A minute later, Irwin said:

“I heard loud noises and then the thud of fast falling blows. In I rushed and beheld Mr. Seiger going rapidly round the floor under the mighty fists of Rube Waddell. Before the Rube’s gigantic strength and pile driving blows the prizefighter was helpless. Seiger was receiving a frightful beating, but he had it coming to him and no one interfered. Finally, Seiger fell against the wall, and the Rube, his eyes blazing with murderous delight, simply hailed blows upon the dazed and bleeding pugilist. Just as he was drawing back his great fists for another wallop, there was a shrill shriek and a woman fainted.”

Waddell turned away from the boxer, and:

“(R)an to the spot where the girl had fallen and picked her up. He bore her to an anteroom, poured ice water on her forehead and cared for her like a trained nurse till she revived.”

Someone told Waddell, as he administered to the woman:

‘”Say, Rube, he ain’t quite dead yet.’

“Rube shook his head, ‘Chivalry,’ said Waddell, ‘comes before pleasure. I ain’t going to move from here till this lady gets her thinks back. Soon as she’s all OK I’ll go finish him but I won’t stir a step till then.”

“The Town seems to be for the Most Part Against the Home Team”

31 Jul

In Early May, on his way to horrible 45-87, 11th place finish in 1894, Washington Senators manager Gus Schmelz told The Washington Star he knew who was to blame:

“This capital of the United States of America is possessed of less pride regarding the national game than any other city in the country. The town seems to be for the most part against the home team, while in every other place the situation is just the reverse.”

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Schmelz

Schmelz said it was “hard enough” to build a winning team with “the solid support” of local fans:

“Every man in the profession understands the difficulty of playing in Washington, and it is an undisputed fact that if a good player should be released by a club at the present time, he would prefer signing with any other team in the league than the local one. It is almost impossible for our organization to secure the services of a good man.”

Schmelz said it wasn’t just the fans who were against his club:

“Umpires, as a general rule, in other cities give close decisions in favor of the home club, but here they seem to think they will be backed up for doing otherwise.”

He said the fans were so against his club, that in a game with the Grooms on May 1:

“Another sample of animosity was displayed when the ball rolled under the gate in Tuesday’s game. Somebody opened the gate and aided the Brooklyn player to quickly field the sphere.”

Bill Hassamaer was held to a single on the play; in that same game, with a 2 to 1 lead in sixth inning, umpire Billy Stage called Brooklyn’s Dave Foutz safe on a close play at first—Washington players led by team captain Bill “Scrappy” Joyce and George Tebeau “kicked determinedly”  resulting in a forfeit of the game to Brooklyn.

Schmelz said the fans also had a lack of appreciation for Joyce:

“Washington has been howling for years and years because its ball club has not had a wide-wake captain, but now that it has one who is not afraid to stand up for the interests of the team the cry is on the other side. In my opinion, Joyce has done no more kicking than was justified, and every objection made by him was the result of the most intense provocation.”

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Scrappy Bill Joyce

And of course, he blamed the press:

“Then there are certain newspaper correspondents, who, after accepting the hospitality of the club, take delight in sending dispatches to their papers utterly false and derogatory to the Washingtons.”

As an example he cited a story The Star carried in April when The New York Giants were in town; Schmelz said it “contained not a word of truth” and was “meant to injure” Senators owner J. Earl Wagner:

“There are some close-fisted people in every line of business. If all reports are true, the baseball profession has a few in the vicinity of the capital city. When manager (John Montgomery) Ward took his men out to the Washington Park the other morning for practice that President Wagner telegraphed from Philadelphia telling them they could not use the Washington grounds. This is very mean treatment, especially as the New York club gave Wagner $7,500 a few weeks ago for a $750 battery.”

 

Wagner, like Schmelz, denied the story. The “$750 battery” was Jouett Meekin and Duke Farrell—sent to New York in February for Jack McMahon, Charlie Petty, and $7,500.

While not presenting an alternate scenario, Schmelz said when the newspapers reported that Joyce and other Washington players “dared Mr. Stage” to award the forfeited game to Brooklyn that idea “originated in the mind” of a  writer.

He also had a problem with the way The Star  was “abusing the management” of the Senators when they did not provide refunds for the 1,700 fans at the forfeited game:

“(O)ur men were on the field and ready and anxious to continue play. Those people (in the press) do more to injure the sport than anything else I know of.”

Schmelz had a final message for the fans:

“We are using every endeavor to give Washington a winning ball club, but that will be impossible unless we receive the same loyal support from the patrons that is such a prominent feature elsewhere and is so utterly lacking here.”

The Senators finished 45-87 in 1894; Schmelz managed the team until June 7, 1897, Washington was 155-270 during his tenure.

“The “$750-dollar battery” were probably worth their actual $7,500 price tag. Farrell appeared in 116 games, hit .287 and drove in 70 runs, and Meekin was 33-9 with a 3.70 ERA for the second place Giants.

“Baumgardner Ought to be one of the Greatest Pitchers in Baseball”

30 Jul

Two things were certain after George Baumgardner’s major league debut—a 4 to 1 victory over the Big Ed Walsh and the Chicago White Sox—he had talent, and he was a bit odd.

The Chicago Tribune said:

“He had a lot of speed.  The best thing he had was splendid control.  He seemed able to cut the ball across any portion of the plate except the middle, and he seldom gave the Sox a chance to belt a good one, yet he was getting them over for strikes.”

The Chicago Daily News said Baumgardner was told it was a big deal that he had beaten Walsh:

“’Who is this fellow Walsh?’ he asked.  He was told that Big Ed is considered by many the greatest pitcher in the game.  ‘If he’s so good why don’t some National League clubs draft him?’  Inquired Baumgardner innocently.  He has since been told that the American League, in which he promises to earn fame, is a major organization just like the National.”

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Baumgardner, 1912

He was 37-47 with a 3.12 ERA in his first three seasons for Browns teams that lost 101, 90, and 88 games.

However, he was sent home by the Browns after appearing in just seven games in 1915—he was 0-2 with a 4.43 ERA.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said, the pitcher “has hit the lonesome trail of the West Virginia pines…and has been advised to go home and get in shape.”

After the 1915 season, American League umpire Billy Evans said in his nationally syndicated column that, “Baumgardner…ought to be one of the greatest pitchers in baseball, but he is not, and thereby hangs a rather interesting tale.”

Evans said:

“Baumgardner has wonderful speed and a beautiful curve.  He is fleet of foot and a corking good fielder.  There are in the major leagues today any number of pitchers rated as stars who do not possess one-half the natural ability.”

Evans said in addition to his slow start, the Browns gave up on the pitcher so easily because of the financial stress the Federal League had caused American and National League clubs:

“Baumgardner’s salary was surely $4,000 or better, because George Stovall tried to sign him for the (Kansas City) Feds.  Stovall, having managed the Browns (Stovall jumped to Kansas City before the 1914 season) was familiar with Baumgardner’s ability. There are few players who would let such a salary slip away from the without making some effort to retain it.”

Evans claimed that after they sent him home, the Browns never heard from their pitcher, and “his whereabouts during the summer was unknown,’ to the team.

“The only news ever received from the eccentric pitcher came through a St. Louis traveling man, who made the small towns in the south.  He bumped into Baumgardner in a West Virginia hamlet pitching for one of the village clubs.  He watched him perform, said he never looked better; so good in fact he could have gotten a long without his outfield.”

Evans said the man asked the pitcher if he had been in touch with the Browns:

“’I am waiting to hear from them,’ was Baumgardner’s reply.  ‘I guess if they really thought they could use me they would have me rounded up.  I ain’t much on letter writing; they don’t need to expect any word from me.”

Evans said:

“It hardly seems possible that in times of war, when big salaries were almost possible fir the mere asking, a fellow would let it get away from him (but) nothing worries the big fellow, it is easy come, easy go with him.”

Baumgardner’s 1916 season was even more unusual than 1915.  He again reported to the Browns out of shape, and struggled.

In June, the Browns attempted to sell him to the Memphis Chickasaws in the Southern Association.  The Post-Dispatch said:

“George Baumgardner of Barboursville, WV, the heart of the Blue Ridge belt, is all puffed up like a pouter pigeon because he has signed a new contract with the Browns.  All of which proves how easy it is to get Baumgardner all puffed up.

“This contract, which Baumgardner considers and asset, according to his own statement, calls for $75 a month.”

The paper said Baumgardner would have earned $200 a month with the Chickasaws, but told manager Fielder Jones:

“Who’ll ever see me pitch in Memphis?”

Baumgardner lasted just one more month in St. Louis.  He appeared in four games for the Browns and posted a 7.88 ERA before being released on July 20.

The Sporting News said the Browns attempted send Baumgardner to the Little Rock Travelers, where he would have earned $250 a month and he again said he wasn’t interested:

“But even that ($75 a month) was too much, thought Fielder Jones, so one day last week he handed Baumgardner another release, his second or third in three months, and told him positively to get away and stay away.”

Baumgardner said his right arm had “gone back on him,” and that he was going to “go back to the mountains and practice with my left arm.”

After several days he joined the Travelers.

He only lasted a month in Little Rock.  Baumgardner was 2-1 in five appearances on August 21 when The Arkansas Democrat said he was heading back to West Virginia:

“(He) says he is going home this week and stay there until next season—maybe.  Or he may come back and help the Travelers in the last few days.”

Baumgardner promised the paper he would return and “not lose more than four games” in 1917.

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Baumgardner, 1917

The Arkansas Gazette summed up his 1917 season:

“Every time “Bummie” goes out he gets a beating.”

And he didn’t keep his word.  He lost five games in 1917, winning three, before being released by Little Rock on June 7.

After winning 37 games in his first three major league seasons, Baumgardner’s professional career was over six weeks before his 25th birthday.