Tag Archives: Ed Siever

“They Have Baseball ‘Rooting’ Down to a Science in Chicago”

26 Apr

The 1907 Chicago White Sox stayed in the American League pennant race all season, they were within one game of first place as late as September 24.

Eddie “Hotspur” McBride, the sports editor of The Buffalo Enquirer, credited some fans for the club’s success:

hotspurmcbride

Eddie “Hotspur” McBride

“They have baseball ‘rooting’ down to a science in Chicago, according to baseball fans from other cities who have taken in games in the Windy City this year.  In fact, they have their own poet laureate and every now and then he spiels off a few verses, has them printed by a committee appointed by the fans and the slips are passed through the grandstand, where at a signal they are sung in unison by the big crowds and many is the opposing pitcher on the White Sox grounds who has gone down to defeat unable to stand the awful shrieks of those singing fans.”

McBride said he received a “Dissertation on scientific rooting,” from the leaders of the singing fans “an attorney by the name of Cantwell,” and the “poet laureate,” a man named Robert Farrell:

“’A lot of rooters go to the park and just yell,’ said Cantwell.  ‘They don’t know what they yell and they don’t know why they are yelling.  They just yell because it’s customary to yell when you attend a baseball game.’”

Cantwell said:

“’That used to be the theory of rooting.  But that isn’t effective rooting.’

“’Today’s rooting is a science.’

“’When you root you root because you want to gain some effect.  For instance, you know the pitcher can be sent into the air.  So you root to send him on his balloon ascension.  But you can’t hope to do it by just exercising your lungs.’”

Cantwell offered “the most effective manner” for rooting:

“’Just yell one sentence at him for a long time. Keep it up.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t rattle him in the first inning.’

‘”If you’re a wise rooter you won’t expect to.’

“’Take (Ed) Siever of Detroit for instance.  He’s a grand pitcher, an icicle, but can be sent on a balloon ascension. How?  By yelling the same sentence at him time after time.

“’This is a good one to hand him: you can’t put it over. You can’t put it over.’

“’At first it doesn’t bother him.  Inning after inning passes and he sticks to earth. But pretty soon it begins to worry him.  You don’t yell another thing at him.  All the time it’s just ‘You can’t put it over.’

“’Thousands are now yelling that sentence.  It gets on his nerves.  He begins to lose to control.  The next thing you know he’s up in the air, you’ve got three or four runs and the game is won.’”

sievers

Ed Siever

Cantwell said the fans had gotten to Siever earlier in September:

“He was pitching in grand form.  We conceived the idea of predicting.’

“’When he went into the box we yelled:  ‘We’ll chase you in the fifth,’ He just smiled at us  All the first inning we yelled nothing else…well, we were so persistent in it that finally it began to tell:’

“’In the fifth inning the Sox scored six runs, drove Siever from the box.  Wild Bill Donovan finished the game which we lost, 9 to 6.”

Cantwell got a couple key details wrong—Siever lasted until the seventh in the September 3 game, although he did allow six runs in that inning, and he was relieved by George Mullin, not Donovan.

The Detroit Free Press said the group totals around 150 in total and was primarily comprised of employees of the Chicago Board of Trade.

McBride claimed that Charles Comiskey said the rooters were “worth ten games a season for the Sox.”

Cantwell told McBride:

“(T)he men in the stands can win every doubtful game.”

The rooters and the White Sox fell short, finishing in third place, five and a half games behind the champion Tigers.

“Pitchers Should be Taught how to Sleep”

24 Sep

Edward Tilden Siever had a theory about one of the greatest dangers facing pitchers:  how they sleep.

Edward Siever

Edward Siever

The Kansas native did not begin playing professionally until he was 24-years-old in 1899, and was 18-14 as a rookie with the Detroit Tigers two years later.  He injured his arm that season, had a sub .500 record the next three seasons with the Tigers and St. Louis Browns, and went to the American Association with the Minneapolis Millers in 1905. 

Siever’s arm recovered sufficiently to post a 23-11 record with the Millers and was purchased by the Tigers the following spring; he was 14-11 in 1906.

He was having the best season of his career in 1907; finishing with an 18-11 record and a 2.16 ERA for the American League Champion Tigers.  It was during that season that he told The Detroit Times about his theory:

“Pitchers should be taught how to sleep.  Don’t laugh, I mean that More than one good pitcher has lost his arm because he did not know how to sleep correctly.”

Siever claimed that fellow Kansan, St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Charlie “Dusty” Rhodes, missed much of 1906 with a bad arm brought on by the manner in which he slept:

“(Rhodes) used to rest his head on it when he was sleeping.  It deadened the muscles…No ballplayer should ever rest his head on his arms when he is sleeping.  It’s more dangerous than the average young man imagines.  Many a ball player loses his whip and doesn’t know how to account for it.  I’ll bet that’s the real reason in many a case.”

Charlie "Dusty" Rhodes

Charlie “Dusty” Rhodes

The Chicago Cubs defeated Siever in his only World Series appearance in 1907, and after a 2-6 start in 1908 he was sold to the Indianapolis Indians in the American Association; he pitched three more seasons in the minor leagues. 

He remained a popular figure in Detroit and worked for the city’s public works department until he died of a heart attack in 1920.