The Retro Sheet

Official Publication of Retrosheet, Inc.

Volume 5, No. 4 December 1998

Table of Contents

View from the Vault
Greenberg and Interleague Play
Pirates Suspend Capt. Carey; Fire 2 More Veterans
John McGraw's $100 Raise
Orioles Request Assistance from Retrosheet
Hornsby Fired as Browns Manager
The Sacrifice Fly
Strange and Unusual Plays
Hidden Ball Discovered
Hodges' Plea Foils Hidden Glove Trick
How Frank Farrell Offered American League Park for the Use of the Giants
Dodger Pitchers at Work for Alston
Yanks - Browns in Scuffle
Ted Williams "Retires"
Giants' Coach Asks Police Aid in Pittsburgh
Television in the Dugout
Cobb the Competitor
Radical Defensive Alignments
Managers Mix It Up
Short Items
The Scoreboard
View from the Vault
David W. Smith, President

As we come to the close of another year, it is conventional to summarize the big events of the last 12 months. We have done a lot this year, for example, passing the 50,000 mark in total games entered, gathering thousands more game accounts from many sources and increasing our visibility with the general public as well as many Major League teams.

However, this is also a good opportunity to think of ways to improve the organization in the coming year. To me there is one area where we must do better, and that is the distribution of our data. I have written many times about the need for careful proofing before we release data files and I still believe that is essential. However, what has been lacking is the follow through to get the proofed and posted on our web site. The bottleneck is that everything has to go through the central clearing house, which means me. I hereby pledge that for 1999 I will make the completion of proofing and the posting of data files my highest priority. Lots of people have given many hours of help in this proofing work and I have been pleased to accept it. More will be needed and I will not be bashful about asking; this is just too important to be left to languish. Major League Baseball completed a marvelous season in 1998. This is a great time for us to remind fans that the history of the game is important too.

Happy holidays to the Retrocommunity.

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Greenberg and Interleague Play

The last issue of TRS carried an article concerning interleague play as discussed in the late 1950s. Hank Greenberg was the originator of the idea and our crack staff has tracked down the information. In May 1954, Greenberg, then GM of the Indians, offered a plan for games that count in the standings to be played between all NL and AL clubs.

Greenberg's plan included four games between each AL and NL club, with two at home and two away. The intraleague contests would be cut from eleven to nine (home and away) to accommodate these new games. However, that arrangement would have to be modified each year since the eight game inter-league sets would add 32 games while the intraleague reductions would only account for 28 games. Greenberg said that the details could be worked out later but the idea was to have a home and away engagement with each club. He said that the 154 total should be kept as season statistics were based on that season total.

Greenberg offered some arguments in favor of the concept: "It would add spice to the schedule in a year where one team makes a runaway of the race, more or less killing off fan interest, an interleague schedule would help keep baseball interest alive. It should prove especially beneficial to second-division clubs.

"Fans in Cleveland read about the Musials, the Kiners, the Jackie Robinsons, Robin Robertses and the many other stars in the NL, but never get to see them. An interleague schedule would bring them all into Cleveland. I see nothing whatsoever detrimental about an interleague schedule."

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Pirates Suspend Capt. Carey; Fire 2 More Veterans

Pittsburgh, Aug. 14, 1926 - Three faces long familiar to Pirate fans will be missing when the Pittsburgh National League club takes the field today. Capt. Max Carey, Babe Adams and Carson Bigbee, the three oldest members of the club in point of service, yesterday passed out of the Pirate picture as a result of dissension among the players and the managers over the question of whether Fred Clarke, former manager and now Vice President of the club, should continue to occupy his place on the players' bench as assistant to Manager Bill McKechnie.

The three veterans, two of whom - Carey and Adams - Clarke developed, were said to have led a movement to oust Clarke from the bench. Carey, acting as spokesman, declared some of the players felt that "two bosses do not get the results that one can." The management's reply to this was quickly forthcoming. Adams, hero of Pittsburgh's successful fight for the World Championship in 1909, and Bigbee, who from 1917 until an attack of sinus trouble handicapped him in 1923, played sensationally in the outfield, were unconditionally released.

Carey, with the Pirates for sixteen years and long known as one of the league's most adept base stealers, was suspended without pay pending action on waivers which have been asked upon him.

Opinion among baseball followers here seems fairly unanimous in agreeing that the management's drastic action will little affect the chances of the Pirates in their quest for their second consecutive National League pennant. They pointed out that Carey, stricken with influenza prior to the spring training season, has played far below his usual form in the field this year.

Adams has been used almost exclusively as a relief pitcher for several years while Bigbee, after a short stay in left field at the start of the season, was benched and has been used only as a pinch hitter and utility outfielder since.

Observers pointed out also that the departure of the three will bring the Pirate squad below the major league limit, providing opportunity, should the management decide to do so, to acquire additional strength from the minor leagues.

Pittsburgh, Aug. 17 - Marked only by a heated clash between Max Carey, deposed captain, and Manager Bill McKechnie, the investigation of President John A. Heydler into the local team's row ended here this afternoon. No statement was made by President Heydler, but his secretary, Cullen Cain, informed newspaper men, who were barred from the meeting, that the league would make a statement tonight.

The only clash of the meeting occurred between Carey and McKechnie, whose raised voices could be heard through the wall into the next room, set aside for newspaper men.

Pittsburgh, Aug. 18 - Max Carey, fleet outfielder, has been claimed on waivers by Brooklyn, Pittsburgh National officials announced today. With the expiration of the waiver time limit today, Sam Dreyfuss, treasurer of the Pirates, announced Carey would go to Brooklyn for the waiver price of $4,000. Brooklyn and the New York Giants were the only teams putting in a claim for Carey, Dreyfuss said.

[Max Carey's first game as a Brooklyn Robin was on 8-23-1926. He played cf against his former team in Pittsburgh and went two for three with two walks and two runs scored. "He who laughs lasts, laughs best."]

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John McGraw's $100 Raise

NY Evening World, July 30, 1926 - Hughey Jennings and John McGraw often get a laugh by recounting their famous holdout when they were going to school at St. Bonaventure while playing with the Orioles in the summer. Both were recognized stars. Each received a salary of $2,500. To earn that salary they often slipped out of their rooms in the mornings and worked for hours experimenting with new plays and certain batting weaknesses…

Young Jennings and young McGraw decided they were underpaid. They fumed and fretted until their minds were made up to "strike for higher wages" as it was called then. The word "holdout" was not known.

They communicated to Manager [Ned] Hanlon their decision, explaining that if they did not get an increase they would stay on at St. Bonaventure and earn their keep by coaching the college baseball team.

"Come to Baltimore," Hanlon wired them finally, "and I think I can get you a little raise. Take no definite action until I see you."

"And what do you suppose we got?" laughingly asked McGraw. "Twenty-six hundred dollars. He raised us each one hundred for the year!"

They signed because they wanted to play baseball.

Today ballplayers do not stick to the game simply because the lure is so great they cannot stay away. For a college boy it is a nice, pleasant way of earning a good income for a few years. To others it is a liberal education in travel and observation. It is a recognized profession. They can take it or leave it.

It is very difficult to produce great artists under these conditions… The game is a jealous mistress. It will not smile on those who trifle or throw it aside for momentary whims.

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Orioles Request Assistance from Retrosheet

Orioles PR Director John Maroon spoke at the recent meeting of the Bob Davids Chapter (Baltimore-Washington) of SABR. Three Retro board members attended the meeting and had an interesting discussion with John. He told of his plans for an updated and expanded Orioles record book for internal use in which he would like to include "everything." The problem is that it is difficult to compile all-time lists from the paperwork that they have.

That's where Retrosheet comes in. We have all modern Orioles' games except one day computerized awaiting verification. We are missing the doubleheader at Philadelphia on 8-31-1954. We have copies of all Orioles' scorebooks and there are no missing pages in those books. The Orioles scorer attended the Cleveland at New York series instead of the Orioles at the end of August 1954. Maybe he thought that the Indians/Yankees series would be more interesting since they were in the middle of a pennant race.

What we need are volunteers to track down the differences from the Official Daily Record kept by MLB. Players' season totals will be checked electronically and discrepancies will be listed. The volunteers will read the daily record (provided for you) and compare it to the daily Retro record (also provided) to find the day where the problem starts. Then we can find the difference in the play-by-play for that game and fix it.

This is a different way of approaching data validation than we have done in the past. We have always released a complete season at once; now we are talking about a complete team for close to three decades. It presents an interesting challenge since we are only checking the one team.

This project will give Retrosheet much more visibility in the MLB community. John Maroon is already a SABR supporter and talks to his colleagues about the organization. This will add Retrosheet to his vocabulary when he does.

If you are interested, please contact Dave Smith.

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Hornsby Fired as Browns Manager

Boston, 6-10-1952 - Bill Veeck, president of the St. Louis Browns, fired Rogers Hornsby as the club's manager. Veeck said that Hornsby was "unreasonable" dealing with the players. Hornsby and Veeck had disagreed two days ago over an incident in a game. Veeck called from St. Louis (where he was listening to the game on radio) to tell the skipper to protest an umpire's decision during the doubleheader.

"No one is going to tell me how to run a ball club on the field," said Hornsby. "I carried out his orders and the umpire reminded me that a protest in the AL must be registered before the next pitch is thrown." This was the fourth time Hornsby had been removed as manager and the second time he was dismissed as the Browns' skipper.

None of the players seemed unhappy. Said one, "I woke up today with a bad headache. Well, the headache's gone now." Later that day, the players presented Veeck with a silver trophy topped with a batter swinging a bat. The trophy carried the inscription: "To Bill Veeck for the greatest play since the Emancipation Proclamation." Ned Garver made the presentation.

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The Sacrifice Fly

The rule regarding the sacrifice fly has changed during the RetroYears. An understanding of the rule is important for us to have correct data files. Here is the history of the rule. Through 1925, any fair fly ball that scored a run was credited as a sac fly (the modern rule). However, in 1926 the rule was changed to allow a sacrifice on any fly ball that advanced any runner. That meant a fly to rf that advanced a runner from 2b to 3b was a sac fly even if it was foul. This rule was in effect through the 1930 season. The rule was changed again for the 1931 season. This time there was no sacrifice allowed on any fly balls regardless of runner advance. This rule lasted through the 1953 season. The modern rule was instituted in 1954: a sacrifice fly is awarded on a fair fly ball that scores a run.

The input program does not understand these changes yet. The check program is aware of these rules and will complain if the wrong rule is applied.

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Strange and Unusual Plays

RetroVolunteers Mike Grahek, Tom Shrimplin, Wayne Townsend and Lance Wilcox contributed to this section.

4-25-1912 NY1 @ PHI - In the sixth inning, Fred Snodgrass led off with a drive past 3b, which rolled down the line to the fence. Snodgrass thought umpire Cy Rigler had called the ball foul and therefore did not run. The ball was relayed by Gavvy Cravath to 1b for a 7513 putout.

4-25-1912 SLN @ CHN - As the top of the third began, a fire broke out under the rf bleachers. Without interrupting the game, Cubs trainer Doc Semmens, rushed out of the clubhouse, limbered up the hose, and made an unassisted play that retired the blaze in quick order while SLN catcher Jack Bliss was busy flying out to lf.

6-30-1923 CHA @ CLE - Cleveland rookie 3b Rube Lutze played both ends of the twin-bill at ss. Wayne Townsend reports this as new information as none of the baseball encyclopedias that he owns give Lutze credit for any games at ss in his career. By the way, the rookie handled nine chances flawlessly.

7-1-1926 NY1 @ BRO - In the bottom of the first, Rabbit Maranville singled. Gus Felix reached on a bunt single. Babe Herman hit a grounder towards shortstop that struck Maranville for an automatic out and a single for Herman. Zack Wheat into a force out but the throw to 1b was late. Meanwhile, Felix tried to score from 2b on the play and was caught in a rundown for the following play: 64(1)/FO/DP.2XH(325)

7-2-1926 NYA @ WS1 - With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fourth, Danny Taylor hit a grounder to Lou Gehrig who stepped on the bag and threw home for a very unusual double play: 3(B)2(3)/GDP

7-10-1926 CLE @ NYA - In the bottom of the sixth the Yanks had a runner on 3b and two out. The Indians decided to pass Ruth but he stepped out of the batter's box trying to hit one of the intentional balls. Umpire Owens called Ruth out; the Babe was not happy and threw the ball into the lf bleachers. Miller Huggins also protested the call to no avail.

7-10-1926 BRO @ CHN (G1) - In the bottom of the fifth the Cubs had runners on 1b and 2b with no one out. Sparky Adams fanned but had to be thrown out by Charlie Hargreaves and the runners advanced. Now there is a radical difference from modern rules. K23.2-3;1-2

7-14-1926 NY1 @ PIT (G1) - In the top of the fourth, George Kelly was on 1b. Travis Jackson hit back to the mound and Joe Bush threw to 2b. However, the umpire got in Eddie Moore's way as he was trying to make the play at 2b and Kelly was safe. Yikes!

7-22-1926 CHA @ NYA - The Yankees sixth inning was eventful. With runners on 1b and 3b and one out, Tony Lazzeri batted. A foul tip off Lazzeri's bat struck catcher Buck Crouse and caused a fractured thumb. He left the game. As Lazzeri struck out, Ben Paschal stole 2b [ K+SB2 ]. Mike Gazella batted and on ball four the two base runners pulled a double steal. However, ball four was a wild pitch so Paschal scored from 2b and Gazella reached 2b. W+SBH;SB3.2-H(WP);B-2

7-24-1926 BRO @ PIT (G2) - Zack Wheat led off the second inning with a fly ball to deep rf. A fan in the front row stretched his hands over the railing and caught the ball. Wheat was allowed a home run.

7-26-1926 PIT @ BRO - As Glenn Wright stepped to the plate to start the top of the eighth inning, the U.S. Navy dirigible Los Angeles flew over Ebbets Field. A sign of future events, perhaps?

7-27-1926 NYA @ SLA - Hank Severeid led off the Yankee fifth with a single. With Herb Pennock at the plate, Severeid attempted to steal 2b. However, Pennock tried to block Wally Schang's throw to cut down Severeid. Pennock was called out for interference and Severeid was sent back to 1b.

8-2-1926 CHN @ BRO - The Robins had Babe Herman on 1b with one out in the fifth inning. Zack Wheat doubled and Herman advanced to 3b. However, the Cubs appealed at 2b and Herman was called out for failing to touch the bag.

8-2-1926 SLN @ NY1 - We have many instances of unassisted double plays. On this day, we acquired an interesting version. The bases were loaded with Redbirds in the eighth inning and Specs Toporcer hit a line drive to cf. Ty Tyson caught the ball, ran in and touched 2b thus doubling up Tommy Thevenow. 8(B)8(2)/LDP

8-2-1926 NYA @ CHA - With Yankees on 1b and 2b, White Sox hurler Walter Beall tried to catch Willie Kamm sleeping off 2b. However, Beall's throw went into cf and Kamm scored. John Grabowski tried to go from 1b to 3b on the play but was thrown out. PO2(E1).2-H(UR);1X3(835)

8-6-1926 NYA @ CLE - The Indians had Luke Sewell on 2b and Ray Knode on 1b with one out in the eighth inning. Pinch hitter Cliff Lee hit a fly ball to cf. Earle Combs tried to double Knode off 1b and Sewell ran to 3b. Gehrig took the throw and relayed to the plate to prevent Sewell from scoring. However, Lou made a wild throw, scoring Sewell and allowing Knode to advance to 2b. 8.2-H(E3/THH)(NR)(UR);1-2

8-19-1926 BRO @ SLN - In the fifth inning the Robins had runners on 2b and 3b and ran themselves into a double play. Taylor Douthit hit to Chick Fewster at 2b. Fewster threw to the plate to get Rogers Hornsby and catcher Hank DeBerry relayed to ss Johnny Butler to get Douthit (the batter) at 2b. FC4/DP.3XH(42);BX2(26)

8-20-1926 SLA @ NYA - The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the first inning. Hank Severeid grounded to Charlie Robertson at 3b who stepped on the bag forcing Tony Lazzeri. Robertson then threw home to double Bob Meusel for a weird GDP. The totals for the half inning were three runs (two earned), two hits, and three errors. 5(2)2(3)/GDP

8-26-1926 NY1 @ PIT - In a game where Paul Waner had six hits in six trips to the plate, Pirates pitcher Lee Meadows was guilty of a baserunning goof. With Meadows on 2b and Waner on 1b with one out, Kiki Cuyler grounded to 3b. Fred Lindstrom threw to George Kelly to force Waner. Meadows stopped between 2b and 3b to watch the play and Kelly's return throw to Lindstrom doubled up the hurler. Meadows surrendered five runs in the next half inning. 54(1)5(2)/GDP

8-26-1926 NY1 @ BRO - In the top of the ninth Ty Tyson singled. Heinie Mueller hit back to pitcher Leon Williams who threw to 1b. However, Tyson never left 1b and was tagged out [ FC1.1X2(13) ]. Paul Florence doubled to move Mueller to 3b. Florence failed to touch 1b and was out on appeal at 2b. 74.2-3

9-10-1926 CIN @ PIT - In the bottom of the first inning, the Bucs had runners on 1b and 3b with no outs. Kiki Cuyler sent a fly ball to Cuckoo Christensen in rf. Christensen lived up to his nickname by muffing the fly; however, he recovered in time to force Paul Waner at 2b. Fred Brickell scored on the play for a most unusual sac fly: 96(1)/FO/SF.3-H

4-14-1955 MLN @ SLN - The Cardinals apparently scored the winning run in the tenth inning when Bill Sarni walked and was forced by Bob Stephenson. Frank Smith hit a grounder to Dave Jolly who threw wide to 1b and Stephenson went to 3b. Wally Moon singled past 1b and Stephenson scored. When Smith failed to go to 2b, Hank Aaron's throw to Danny O'Connell turned Moon's hit into a force play and the third out. Bill Virdon won it in the eleventh with a homer.

4-30-1970 DET @ KCA - In the top of the 6th, Cesar Gutierrez tripled to leadoff the inning. Kansas City pitcher Bill Butler threw to first on an appeal that Gutierrez had missed the base, but he threw the ball away, allowing the run to score: OA.3-H(E1/TH1)

5-27-1974 CHA @ NYA - In the top of the third, the White Sox had runners thrown out at the plate (72) on consecutive singles to left. The first runner retired was Jorge Orta, trying to score on a hit by Dick Allen who took second on the throw home. Allen was then thrown out on Bill Melton's single to end the inning.

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Hidden Ball Discovered

In the March edition of The Retro Sheet, we published a chart with Bill Deane's list of known hidden ball tricks. Since then others have been discovered and we are pleased to present another.

On July 20, 1926, the Brooklyn Robins were in Cincinnati. In the top of the fourth, Johnny Butler occupied 2b and Charlie Hargreaves 1b with two outs. Hargreaves had just singled. As Butler took his lead, Reds third baseman Babe Pinelli threw the ball, which he had concealed, to shortstop Frank Emmer. Butler was eventually tagged out after a return throw to Pinelli. POCS3(565)

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Hodges' Plea Foils Hidden Glove Trick

Brooklyn, Sept. 8, 1956 - With play about to start in the Giants' half of the eighth inning, Gil Hodges was spotted conducting a frantic search for his prized first-baseman's mitt that he had tossed on the Dodger batrack on leaving the field after the seventh. The batboy retrieved another glove from the locker room that was brand new and not broken in yet. Hodges was unhappy at the prospect of using it in a close game but had no choice.

The Dodgers' public address announcer requested the return of the glove without result. At the start of the ninth inning another announcement was made. This time Hodges offered a new glove in exchange with "no questions asked." A short time later a person came down to the edge of the dugout and handed the glove over. He received in return the new mitt that Hodges had used for an inning. A baseball was also given to the fan.

The Dodgers held to the "no questions" policy. They allowed the man to leave unidentified and prevented a photographer from recording the glove exchange.

By the way, Brooklyn beat the Giants, 4 - 3.

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How Frank Farrell Offered American League Park for the Use of the Giants

The fourth ballpark at Coogan's Bluff called the Polo Grounds was used from 1890 through April 15, 1911. In the early morning hours of April 16, the wooden park burned to the ground. The bleachers were all that was left of the structure because there was a gap between the bleachers and the rest of the grandstand. The fire could not get to the bleachers because of this gap.

The following is a partial account of the events that led to the Giants using Hilltop Park, home of the American League team, while their new home was built. The account was first published in the New York Evening Telegram.

Bereft of their own home by the fire the Giants were immediately proffered another home by Frank Farrell, owner of the New York American League club, and have accepted his manly offer.

While the flames were raging at the Polo Ground, bringing destruction to the most admirably arranged baseball plant in the United States, whose sole drawback was its lack of fireproof structure, Harry Stevens, by dint of much search with the long distance telephone, learned that Mr. Farrell was in Atlantic City.

He aroused him from sleep and told him that the stands at the Polo Ground were burning and probably would be totally consumed. "Would you have objection to the Giants using American League Park?" said Mr. Stevens over the telephone.

"Use it," was the reply, "why, they can have it today." Mr. Farrell at once dispatched a message to "Tom" Davis, secretary for the Highlanders, who was in Philadelphia, to go to New York at once and prepare American League Park for a game. Mr. Davis left on the first train out fo Philadelphia.

As it happened no game could have been played but if the weather permits there will be a contest this afternoon between Brooklyn and the Giants at American League Park, and there will be continuous National League baseball at the same place on all dates which the Giants were to have played at the Polo Ground until that time when the old home has been rebuilt or a new one has been substituted.

That the Polo Ground was held in such sentimental affection among the thousands of baseball enthusiasts of this city has never had such opportunity to be demonstrated as yesterday, when the news of the destruction of the grandstand had spread throughout every section of Greater New York.

It mattered not one cent's worth whether the baseball fan had a leaning toward the Giants, or the Highlanders, or the Cubs, or any other club of the major leagues, the fact was in evidence that one of the historic spots of the city had been swept by fire and the expressions of sympathy for John T. Brush and the Giants were universal.

Mr. Brush has repeatedly stated that he would build the handsomest and most substantial baseball structure in the world if he were assured that the Polo Ground would be unmolested. He would erect a structure which would be thoroughly fireproof from its foundation stones to the apex of its roof.

Colonel John A. Whalen has said that not a moment's delay would ensue in repairing the damage and erecting a stand which would be a monument to baseball in New York, were it not for certain influences which have tried to destroy the baseball property by cutting an unnecessary street through the field.

The American League club has been driven from its present home by the encroachment of the city upon the suburb. The Polo Ground happens to be located at a point where it is fairly easy of access from all parts of Manhattan and there appears to be no pressing demands for the space which it occupies.

Grant that professional baseball is a private enterprise, it is also an accepted fact that it is a public institution and the very fact that it is a private enterprise compels the owner to assume all the burden of financial risk to provide entertainment for the masses at prices which are within ordinary reach.

The greater New York becomes as a city, the more it should provide in some way for the recreation of its population. The more neglectful the city becomes in that respect the greater some day will be its regret.

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Dodger Pitchers at Work for Alston

During the 1955 season, one Brooklyn pitcher each day was assigned the task of keeping a pitching chart. Manager Walter Alston devised this project that was kept on special ruled paper and placed in binders that traveled with the club.

Each pitch was identified by a symbol: a dot for fast ball; a cross for a curve; a circle for a slider; and a rectangle for a change-up. Balls and strikes were noted, with swinging strikes and foul balls indicated as well. Hits and outs were categorized as grounders, flies or liners. A play was listed for each batter in similar fashion to the RetroCodes.

After the game the chart-keeper itemized pitches by innings and type of pitch. Whether the pitcher was ahead or behind in the count was also tabulated for each batter.

Alston devised the concept when he was the manager of the Montreal club in the International League (1950 through 1953). He used the information to work with the pitching staff on improving their control and also to observe patterns in opposing hitters. The skipper thought that the act of keeping the chart was a good way for his pitchers to learn tendencies and see how to pitch to opponents.

At the bottom of the page is a photo of one chart as published in The New York Times. Note that some of the commentary in the caption is incorrect. Note also that Hank Aaron did not connect that day.

Pitchers at all levels chart opponents now. It is common to see a pitcher in the stands at a minor league ballpark keeping the chart. This is another innovation by the Dodger organization that has become standard practice in baseball.

Retrosheet has pitch-by-pitch game accounts for the Brooklyn team as early as 1947. These accounts are from the scorebooks of Allan Roth, who might be considered the godfather of all Retrosheet volunteers. We were very fortunate to acquire copies of all of Roth's sheets from when he started with the Dodgers through the end of his career when he worked for NBC. This has given us a great wealth meticulously kept game accounts of many Dodger games as well as the "Game of the Week" and post-season contests.

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Yanks - Browns in Scuffle

St. Louis, 4-28-1953 - A fight that saw punches flying on the diamond and bottles flying from the stands marred an extra inning contest between the Yankees and the Browns. The battle around 2b in the tenth inning caused a 17-minute delay. It took a threat of forfeiting the game and two appeals from the St. Louis manager before the aroused crowd checked their anger long enough for the last two batters to be retired.

In the top of the tenth, Gil McDougald tried to score from 2b on a ball hit back to the mound. Brownie hurler Harry Brecheen tossed to Billy Hunter for the force out and Hunter relayed to catcher Clint Courtney. The throw beat the runner but McDougald crashed into the catcher causing Courtney to drop the ball.

In the latter half of the frame, Courtney led off with a drive off the rf wall. Clint tried to stretch it to a double but Hank Bauer's perfect throw beat him to the bag. Courtney slid high into Phil Rizzuto but the Scooter held the ball. Rizzuto limped off having been spiked in two places on his right leg. The rest of the Yankee infield surrounded Courtney and the battle started. Both benches got involved and many blows were landed in the fracas. One or two bottles were thrown, which were quickly followed by a hailstorm of flying debris. Many of the New Yorkers left the field, refusing to be open targets. The police were not visible during the melee.

After the final out the bottle tossing resumed as the Yankees walked to the dressing rooms. Outside, angry fans were dispersed by police and two police cars escorted the team bus to the hotel.

Four days later the Browns and Cardinals released a joint statement announcing that all beverages would be served in paper cups as soon as it was possible to make the changeover. The St. Louis public safety director had recommended the action to the clubs.

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Ted Williams "Retires"

Boston, 9-26-1954 - Ted Williams said farewell to baseball today. "I've had enough. This is the end of it," Ted said. Red Sox GM Joe Cronin expressed his feelings that "it's a long time between now and spring training."

Williams chatted cheerfully with reporters. "The game is getting tougher all the time. Don't forget that 25 or 30 percent of our schedule this year was played in doubleheaders where the lights went on during the second game and that's not counting the night games. There's a million things I've wanted to do, never had the time to do and I'm going to tackle some of them now."

Editor's note: At that time, Teddy Ballgame had 366 career homers. Cronin's prediction was correct. Williams played six more years, hitting 155 more dingers and leading the AL in average twice, on base pct three times, and slugging once (including all three in 1958).

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Giants' Coach Asks Police Aid in Pittsburgh

NY Evening World, July 13, 1926 - While the Giants and Pirates waited impatiently for the drizzling rain to cease so that a ball game would be possible, wild rumors spread throughout Pittsburgh that a fist and skull battle royal was imminent among the players.

Earlier in the day, the Pittsburgh papers had commented rather sarcastically on Frank Snyder's not being with the team, the intimation being that the big catcher was afraid to show up and give Jack Onslow a return engagement after Snyder had licked him in New York. Snyder broke his hand in hitting Onslow and has been out of the game for three weeks. This morning, though, Snyder showed up at the Giants' hotel intimating that Onslow could get all the satisfaction he wanted.

Immediately, Roger Bresnahan, acting as manager while McGraw is in Louisville, asked for police protection for the New York players.

Fred Clarke, Vice President of the Pirates, issued an indignant statement in which he said the Giants are resorting to New York tactics and that they need have no fear of Pittsburgh taking any such advantage of the visitors as he claims is done at the Polo Grounds.

The whole trouble started over the Pirates' razzing Snyder and Hughey McQuillan from the bench during the series at New York [in mid June]. They went so far as to comment disparagingly on Snyder's domestic affairs in San Antonio. After two days of it, Snyder demanded that Onslow, coach of the Pirates, stop it. Upon Onslow's refusal, an hour before one of the games in New York, Snyder knocked him down three times. In doing so he broke his hand and has been out of the game since.

Several of the Giants are willing to take up Snyder's fight if necessary, but Pancho declines this assistance. He is willing to meet Onslow with one good hand.

The feeling is bitter and intense but Fred Clarke insists that the New York team needs no police protection. While deploring Onslow's lack of opportunity to get even at New York, he says the Pirates will see that the New Yorkers get a square deal on the diamond here.

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Television in the Dugout

On 5-24-1953 the Dodgers scored 12 runs in the eighth inning in Philadelphia. Earlier in the game Brooklyn pitcher Russ Meyer blew his top over what he thought were bad calls by plate umpire Augie Donatelli. Manager Chuck Dressen tried to calm down Meyer without success. Meyer stormed at Donatelli then back to the mound where he tossed the resin bag into the air. When it came down on his head, Donatelli had had enough and ejected Meyer. Before play resumed, the arbiter also tossed Billy Loes from the dugout.

When Meyer went to the bench, his actions were broadcast live on television. The exact action was not noted. Commissioner Ford Frick indicated that turning cameras into the dugout during a game was an invasion of the players' privacy. "I have always felt," stated Frick, "that a fellow has certain private rights; that the dugout is more or less his home while he's at the ballpark and that the TV cameras have no business focusing on things that occur there."

How does Ruppert Murdoch feel about that?

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Cobb the Competitor

Anyone who saw the movie Cobb knows that the Georgia Peach was a "gamer." Even after he retired from baseball he always looked for an edge. At the first Old Timers Game at Yankee Stadium in 1947, Cobb came to bat for the American League Stars amid thunderous applause. Physically he was a lot older, balder and paunchier than his last appearance at the Stadium but his brain was the same.

As Cobb stepped up to the plate he turned to Wally Schang, catching for the Yankee Stars, and spoke in a friendly manner: "Wally, it's so long since I've had a bat in my hands that I'm afraid I might accidentally strike you when I pull back to swing. Would you mind backing up and giving me a lot more room than you used to do in the old days?"

Once he had the catcher moved back out of position Cobb thoughtfully dropped a bunt. He desperately wanted a hit, whether by muscle or guile. The fact that he failed is a result of his diminished physical skills, not his competitive mind.

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Radical Defensive Alignments

Shifty Lou Boudreau is well-known as the manager of the Indians who decided on an unusual defense during the 1946 season when Ted Williams came to bat. Boudreau placed six of the seven fielders on the right side of second base in an attempt to retire Teddy Ballgame. The St. Louis Cardinals used the ploy in the 1946 World Series.

In 1956 Boudreau was the manager of the Kansas City Athletics. During a series in Yankee Stadium in early June, Boudreau positioned his team in a similar, but not as radical alignment against Mickey Mantle. Left fielder Bill Renna played infield in the shortstop hole, center fielder Johnny Groth played left field, and the other five fielders were on the right side of the playing surface. There is a photo of this positioning in the June 7 edition of the New York Times.

On June 15, manager Birdie Tebbetts of Cincinnati used a four-man outfield against the New York Giants' Willie Mays. This happened with two out and the bases empty in the ninth inning of a tied game. Mays popped out to shortstop in that situation.

The next night Tebbetts put up a five-man infield defense against the Giants in a bunt situation. With Ed Bressoud on 1b after a lead off single in the tenth and Al Worthington at bat, second baseman Johnny Temple and third baseman Ray Jablonski played on the infield grass about 40 feet from the plate. Left fielder Frank Robinson played the "normal" third base position while the other two outfielders played medium depth in the alleys. The first baseman and shortstop played their conventional stations. Against this deployment, Worthington swung away and hit an easy fly to center.

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Managers Mix It Up

Cincinnati, July 5, 1955 - Manager Birdie Tebbetts of the Redlegs and Harry "The Hat" Walker of the Cardinals battled with their fists as part of this day's baseball exhibition. Players from both teams joined in and both bosses were ejected along with Redbird catcher Bill Sarni. The fight was preceded by an argument between umpire Jocko Conlan and Tebbetts. The arbiter had been talking to Sarni and Paul LaPalme at the mound. When Conlan returned to the plate Walker joined the conversation.

Tebbetts stepped around Conlan and started swinging. Walker wrestled Tebbetts to the ground and the teams charged into the fray. Ted Kluszewski, Cincinnati's 230-pound first baseman, grabbed the 160-pound Solly Hemus with one hand and held off two other Cardinals with the other. Policemen rushed onto the field to restore order. Tebbetts was bleeding from the mouth when the combatants were separated.

The Reds manager was angry over what he considered stalling tactics by the Cardinals with the score tied and two out in the ninth. Conlan told reporters after the game that he was about to tell LaPalme to pitch or he would call automatic balls. "Then Walker came to the plate and the managers called each other a few pet names, not 'Birdie' or 'The Hat', then swung on each other. It sure was a dandy while it lasted - wasn't it?"

The Reds won with two runs in the ninth and the managers were each fined $100 for their tussle by NL President Warren Giles, who attended the game.

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Short Items

Tigers in Danger from Train Fire
"Hot Box" Threatens Detroit Players

St. Louis, Aug. 11, 1926 - Last minute discovery of a "hot box," which threatened to throw a wheel, narrowly averted disaster early today on a Wabash train carrying the Detroit Tigers here for their two-game series with the Browns.

The "hot box" was on the car carrying Ty Cobb and all his first string players and soon had the regulars hopping out of their berths onto the hot floor in their pajamas, their eyes smarting from the smoke which filled the car. The Pullman was removed at Decatur, Ill., and the players taken care of in other cars.

Scalpers Reaping Harvest on Cards-Pirates Series
Prices of Tickets Soar for Games Between National League Contenders

St. Louis, Aug. 28, 1926 - Ticket scalpers lifted their heads here today as the demand became feverish for admissions to tomorrow's doubleheader opening the "Little World's Series" between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals. Pittsburgh sits atop the National League standing, while the Cards, who a few days ago crowded the Pirates out of first place, now rank third.

Several days ago it was announced that the entire park was sold out for Sunday's games. Since then tickets which ordinarily cost from $1.35 to $1.75 at the ballpark have been quoted by the scalpers at from $5 to $15. One man was arrested today and confessed that he had resold a block of reserved tickets for tomorrow's contests at a fancy price.

New Rules to Curb Intentional Passes

In 1955, a new rule concerning catchers was adopted. This dictum required the receiver to stay within a box 43 inches wide until the ball had left the pitcher's hand. The previous catcher's box was a triangle formed by the extension behind home plate of the 1b and 3b foul lines joined by a third leg that measured sixteen feet.

The purpose of the new law was to discourage the intentional walk. At the start of the season, most pitchers and catchers did not consider the rule a success. However, on May 1, Giants' right fielder Don Mueller reached out for Bob Hooper's fourth wide one and stroked it to lf for a single. Reds catcher Smoky Burgess protested that Mueller had stepped out of the batter's box but umpire Frank Secory said no. Mueller found a way to make the intentional pass more difficult than pitchers thought it to be.

Giants Get a Surprise

5-31-1953 - "Everybody off!" The Giants were startled by those words as they rode the train to Philadelphia for a game at Connie Mack Stadium. The train stopped in Newark to pick up Bobby Thomson and Frank Hiller. While waiting for the train Thomson learned that wet grounds had caused the game to be postponed. The team left the train and caught the next one back into NY after the team Secretary checked with the Phillies to verify that the game was off.

McQuillan Held in Contempt

July 30, 1926 - Hugh McQuillan, pitcher for the NY Giants, was adjudged in contempt of court today on the grounds that he failed to pay $700 alimony to his wife. A separation action, which she brought against him, is now pending. She charged abandonment and claimed he was attentive to a girl who took a prize in a Bronx beauty contest. Attorneys expect McQuillan to pay the money and thus escape imprisonment.

"Cause I'm the Taxman"

Washington, June 30, 1932 - Rogers Hornsby, manager of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, lost a decision before the Board of Tax Appeals today on a plea for deficiencies of $8,653 in 1926 and1927.

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The Scoreboard

Editorial assistance provided by Shelley and Tim Vincent

Here is our usual edition-ending feature: the report on group activity since the last issue of TRS. The smallest number of games entered in a single week during this period was 85 and the highest was 287.

Total Games in Computer (All Years before 1984)         50.826
Games Entered since last Report                          1.488
Days since last Report (9/27/98 to 11/28/98)                63
Games Entered per Week (9 weeks)                         165.3
Games Entered per Day (The Fisher Index)                  23.6

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Page Updated: 12/6/98

Copyrighted: Retrosheet, 1998