Tag Archives: Dazzy Vance

Lost Advertisements: Hank DeBerry for Mail Pouch

22 May

deberrymailpouch

A 1928 ad for Mail Pouch Tobacco featuring Brooklyn Robins catcher Hank DeBerry:

“Baseball causes more nerve strain than most people think. That’s where Mail Pouch fits in so well. I find that a pinch of Mail Pouch is soothing to my nerves, steadies my work behind the bat, and is the most satisfying chew I know of.”

He caught Dazzy Vance with the New Orleans Pelicans in 1921 and joined the Brooklyn Robins together the following year, they remained together in Brooklyn until DeBerry’s release after the 1930 season.

Before what turned out to be their final season together, the Robins were training in Atlanta, Vance talked about his relationship with his catcher with Ralph McGill–then a sports writer for The Constitution who later became the paper’s editor he was called “The Conscience of the South” as an outspoken anti-segregationist and was awarded the  Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964:

Vance said of DeBerry:

“There are other good catchers, but none of them suit me like Hank. He and I have been together for nine years now. I don’t guess there is another battery in baseball that has been together as long as we have.

“He’s caught every game for me in these nine years except a few he missed  when he was out with a broken thumb. That knuckle ball got away from him and broke that thumb. But at that he is the only man who can catch it when it comes in there just right.”

Not everyone shared Vance’s opinion of DeBerry.  After DeBerry was let go, William H. Ritt, who wrote a column for King Features’ Central Press Association told a story about when Vance signed for $25,000 in 1929 and his salary “was a National League topic” of conversation:

“‘Here,’ chuckled Pie Traynor, ‘comes the other half of that $26,000 battery.’

“‘Pie,’ answered the unperturbed Hank, settling down on the Pirates bench, ‘maybe Dazzy gets the top dough and maybe my pay isn’t so hot, but this is a big sight better than being down on the farm rousing at 3 a.m. to wrestle with the cows.”

 

Lost Advertisements–Famous Ball Players–Farmers & Merchants

24 Apr

farmersandmerchantsad

An October 1925 advertisement for California’s Farmers & Merchants Bank:

Famous Ball Players who are depositors in the Farmers and Merchants

Dazzy Vance, Brooklyn, Leading pitcher of the National League

Jimmy Austin, the St. Louis Browns

Ernie Johnson, with the New York Yankees

Hervey McClellan, with the Chicago White Sox

George Sisler, manager of the St. Louis Browns

Ken Williams, of the St. Louis Browns

One of Farmer’s  Merchants depositors, Hervey McClellan, had an unusual distinction on June 14, 1922, while filling in at shortstop after his Chicago White Sox teammate, and fellow bank customer, Ernie Johnson was hit by a pitch and left a game against the Philadelphia Athletics.   The Sox, behind Urban “Red” Faber, took 6 to 3 lead into the eighth inning.

Hervey McClennan

Hervey McClellan

Then, according to The Chicago Tribune‘s Irving Vaughan, McClellan was responsible for “Possibly the most unusual feature of the afternoon,” when:

 “(He) started his high diving by muffing (Cy) Perkins‘ roller.  (Chick) Galloway then grounded to (first baseman Earl) Sheely who heaved to second, but McClellan neglected to cover.  This put runners on the two far corners and both counted when McClellan threw to the grandstand on (Jimmy) Dykes‘ grass cutter…What McClellan did was notch three errors on three consecutive batters…two runs scoring on the blunders and providing a close score.”

The Box Score

The Box Score

McClellan, who played six seasons with the White Sox, died a month after this advertisement appeared.  He had been ill for more than a year, suffering from  complications from two gall stone surgeries.