9 Innings
A Baseball History Reader
J. Manning, Editor
Issue # 6: September 19, 2006

Cooperstown ... Curt Flood and the Reserve Clause ... Battling Bullpens ... If Teddy Ballgame Hadn't Gone to War ... Ballparks: Baker Bowl ... Stats: MVP (AL) ... Year in Review: 1905 ... The 1905 World Series ... Player Profile: Luke Appling  ... Baseball Dictionary (American Baseball Congress - appeal play)
"Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona."
-- George F. Will
The crisp, green hills of James Fenimore Cooper's leather-stocking country glistened in the morning sun of mid-June 1939. Sleek and contented herds grazed the carpeted meadows. The tree-laden summits surrounding mirror-like Lake Otsego crowned a scene of matchless pastoral beauty ....
The chugging train contained baseball players whose skill and daring had carried a simple game to the pinnacle of popularity and national acclaim ....The train had a veritable army of headline-makers [like] the garrulous Dizzy Dean [and] florid-faced Gabby Hartnett .... A Pullman porter said the man he had just whisk-broomed was Ford Frick, youthful president of the National Lague, and lately a baseball reporter [;] a conductor asked for the autograph of Johnny Vander Meer, first pitcher to hurl two successive no-hit games.
....From distant big-league cities to the west and south the conglomerate family of baseball had assembled for the pilgrimage and celebration of this unprecedented Centennial. Gigantic stadia in the eleven big-league cities had been closed for the day. A truce in the exciting pennant races had been called, and two players from each of the sixteen big-league clubs had been dispatched to participate in a special all-star game.
....When the special train scraped to a whistling halt, its load of celebrities poured forth on parade before the inflated population. A holiday spirit, almost like circus day, blanketed the entire scene .... Hundreds of Cooperstown  natives and eager visitors ... surged onto the tracks and vied for the chance to identify the baseball dignitaries.
Of course the smiling moonface of Babe Ruth was easily recognizable. His bearlike frame towered above the others in almost dominating fashion, as it had on the diamond. Less noticeable were pint-sized Lloyd Waner, dashing Pepper Martin, gray-haired Casey Stengel, tall and careworn Walter Johnson, Eddie Collins, Grover Cleveland Alexander (Alex the Great), Honus (Hans) Wagner (the Flying Dutchman).
Scouts, more baseball writers, radio announcers and their entourages of engineers and technical helpers, photographers, newsreel cameramen with bulky equipment. Owners of big-league franchises weighted by the responsibility of a two-headed monster -- business and sport, supervisors of baseball officialdom, the umpires, and finally Joe Cook, stage comedian and baseball fan, carrying personally and for all the world to see his prime oddity of sport.
"An authentic copy of my prize possession," he announced, holding up an American League baseball, "exactly like the original in my safe at home: the only souvenir baseball not autographed by Babe Ruth!"
And so began the memorable day in baseball annals that may never quite be equaled for heart throbs and pride in a deep-rooted American institution. Many years from now, when fans and officials of the game observe baseball's birthday ... that June 12, 1939 will be the unmatchable pattern. It was a day when every living member elected to the Hall of Fame, the men who founded the institution and made it a reality, and two teams of great stars returned "home" for a gala centennial cavalcade.
....Long before the festivities began formally at noon the baseball folk had "taken over" their home. They strolled the streets and parks as though they owned the place....
....Usually when ball players assemble, there is horseplay and stinging banter, but that note was missing in this unique roundup. Rather it was a friendly family picnic. An air of nostalgia subordinated the customary jockeying and teasing. Reminiscence caught hold and held on.
Walter Johnson told a group on Chestnut Street, near the Mohican Garage, about the time that he and Ty Cobb were arrested for speeding in Detroit.
"The cop told Ty he might let him off," the Big Train recalled with a sigh, "if he would hit a couple of homers the next day. I made the mistake of ribbing Ty about it, and what a mistake, because, by George, he did hit two against us!"
....American League teams had been scheduled in the West on the previous afternoon, and some of the players and officials hurried to the baseball Mecca by automobile from near-by railroad junctions. More faces were recognized -- Cy Young, Tris Speaker, George Sisler, ... Lefty Grove, Muddy Ruel and Monty Stratton.
....Motor traffic increased to a point of congestion for the baseball county fair. Most everybody carried a souvenir bat, paperweight, pocket piece, pillow, windshield sticker, packet of post cards, centennial emblem, souvenir ashtray. Mel Ott, New York Giants' home-run hitter, carried one of the big bats all the way home to New Orleans. School had recessed at 10 A.M. The stores had closed at noon, and everyone turned out to see the flag-decked streets and pay tribute to baseball immortality.
The United States Government commemorated baseball's birthday with a special issue of three-cent stamps. Pictured thereon was a replica of an early game at Abner Doubleday Field. A total of 65 million stamps comprised the issue, and of this number one million were allotted to the Cooperstown post office ....
Across the street from the post office, the crowd was congregating before the Hall of Fame and National Baseball Museum for the dedication ceremonies. A large, high platform had been erected directly in front of the museum door which opens off the street sidewalk. As noon approached, Judge Landis, committeemen, and the game's dignitaries assembled on the platform. Some 15,000 spectators thronged Main Street and crowded toward the platform....
At the stroke of noon, the picnic instantly became formal pageantry ....Landis, Mr. Baseball himself, stepped forward. The door to the Hall of Fame was about to open.
"Nowhere, other than at its birthplace, could this museum be appropriately situated," spoke the white-haired patriarch, who was named to the hall five years later. "To the pioneers who were the moving spirits of the game in its infancy and to the players who have been nominated into the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association, we pay just tribute. But I should like to dedicate this museum to all America..."
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" burst forth through the trumpets and trombones ... as Will Harridge and Ford Frick, armed with scissors, snipped the red, white and blue ribbons across the door to the museum .... A ruffle of drums and Master of Ceremonies Doyle announced: "George Wright!"
Wright, star of the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, the earliest professional team, was one of the first men chosen for the Hall of Fame. With the drum rolling between the reading of each name -- Morgan G. Bulkeley, Ban Johnson, John J. McGraw, Albert G. Spalding, Buck Ewing, Candy Cummings, "Hoss" Radbourne, Cap Anson, Charles A. Comiskey, Alexander Cartwright and "Father" Henry Chadwick, the other immortal ancestors of today's recruits were announced ....
With the introduction of Connie Mack, the door of the Hall of Fame swung open and the spare figure of the Tall Tactician himself stepped onto the speaker's platform. The sight touched the heart of every one of the 15,000 Americans massed on that Cooperstown Main Street ....
Then, through the Hall of Fame portal, one by one as they were presented, walked the mightiest stars of the twentieth century -- heroes whose deeds on the diamond were still fresh in the memory of the audience.
Honus Wagner. The Flying Dutchman, gray, wrinkled, and more bow-legged than ever, but barrel-chested and sturdy .... "I used to walk fourteen miles to see 'Coney' Mack play ball in Pittsburgh, but it was worth it," spoke the man who towers so far above every shortstop that no one ever dares compare another with him ....
Walter Johnson. What writer or painter could possibly envision a better picture of an athletic idol for old and young to admire than this bronzed, curly-haired, stalwart American citizen? His simple, spoken response reflected a deep and matchless humility which only the truly great know: "I am glad I was able to do enough to merit an honor of this magnitude."
Napoleon Lajoie. Though he had turned sixty, the big Frenchman, who thrilled thousands at the turn of the century, stepped forth with the graceful stride of an athlete .... When he said, "If you are having as good a time as I am, you are having the time of your life," he expressed for all the dead, living and future members of the Hall of Fame, the joy that comes to a man who is singled out from his fellows as a star.
Tris Speaker, next of the living statues to emerge from the Hall of Fame, spoke briefly of his happiness at being in Cooperstown. And then two distinct personalities -- Cy Young, oldest of the modern group, whose chin was high as though he still challenged any team to beat him in a ball game; and the wiry, quiet George Sisler, the youngest -- took their bows and made short speeches of thanks ....
Grover Alexander. Abandoning his usual slouch, sorrel-topped Alexander the Great stood tall and erect and strode forth to accept his honor like a thoroughbred champion, just as he had aroused himself from the bullpen in Yankee Stadium on the memorable October afternoon in 1926, and walked in to fan Tony Lazzeri and go on to win the World Series ....
Eddie Collins. "I've had some great times since coming to baseball," spoke the patrician second baseman. "It isn't easy to forget my first big-league game and those World Series battles. But, standing up here today on the same platform with these men, I had the biggest thrill of my life. Why, I'd have been happy as a bat boy for this crowd."
As the names of Willie Keeler and Christy Mathewson were read, taps were sounded ....
Babe Ruth! Out he came, the great hulk of the mighty Bambino. The black, tousled hair, the round face and dancing brown eyes, the incongruous short steps and the inevitable grunt of good nature at the uproar that greeted him. From Judge Landis to the barefoot boy perched on a telegraph pole, everybody cheered the Sultan of Swat. When the Babe talked, everybody listened .... He could chat into a mike or in front of thousands, with the utter simplicity of a fellow passing the time of day with a neighbor over a back-yard fence .... Oblivious of honors, reverence to traditions or fame, he was thinking down to the very cornerstone of the Hall of Fame. Without youngsters to aspire to a niche, the Hall of Fame would be a hollow mausoleum rather than a friendly room beyond a white, open door with a big welcome mat for ambitious boys.
"They started something here," boomed the Babe. "And the kids are keeping the ball rolling. I hope some of you kids will be in the Hall of Fame ...."
During the hour-long interlude before the ball game between current big-league stars, the Hall of Fame members remained on the platform, greeting the press of well-wishers and autograph hunters. The favorite articles for signatures was post cards bearing a photograph of a Hall of Fame plaque, one for each member.
But the star of the hour was now Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the most electrifying figure ever seen on a baseball diamond, a veritable eagle of prey in his determination to win. Cobb ... arrived just too late to make his appearance through the door of the Hall of Fame. But the great Ty soon made up for lost time, joining in the congratulations, handshaking and autographing on the platform ....
....With the door to the shrine now officially open, crowds entered quietly, reverently.
The brief tour of the museum was followed by a pause for lunch .... After lunch came the parade to Doubleday Field, just a few steps down the lane from Main Street .... The players dressed in the gymnasium of the Knox Girls' School near by, donning the varicolored uniforms of their respective teams. Ty Cobb, reverting to type momentarily, stuck a note in Babe Ruth's shoe that said, "I can beat you any day in the week and twice on Sunday ...."
Walter Johnson, who, in addition to being one of baseball's greatest pitchers, was a fine pinch hitter, batted "fungo" grounders for the all-star practice. American and National Leaguers were mixed for a picnic-style game, and then the two Hall of Famers, Eddie Collins and Hans Wagner, "chose up" for first licks by gripping hand-over-hand up the bat handle. Babe Ruth was playing catch with Cookie Lavagetto. Mel Ott warmed up with Tris Speaker. Ty Cobb enjoyed the sun and a seat behind third base.
The game itself was just a clambake affair, with skill and precision tossed to the four winds. Players were there to be seen and have fun. Line-up changes were frequent, and here is the way the big-leaguers appeared:
COLLINS: Lloyd Waner (Pirates) cf, Rupert Thompson (Braves) cf, Billy Herman (Cubs) 2b, Mel Ott (Giants rf, Hank Greenberg (Tigers) 1b, Taft Wright (Senators) lf, George Selkirk (Yankees) lf, Arndt Jorgens (Yankees) c, Stan Hack (Cubs) 3b, Cecil Travis (Senators) ss, Eddie Miller (Braves) ss, Dizzy Dean (Cubs) p, Johnny Vander Meer (Reds) p, Sylvester Johnson (Phillies) p, John Schilling (Indians) ph.
WAGNER: Wally Moses (Athletics) rf, Terry Moore (Cardinals) rf, Arky Vaughan (Pirates) ss, Charley Gehringer (Tigers) 2b, Joe Medwick (Cardinals) lf, Moe Berg (Red Sox) c, Frank Hayes (Athletics) c, Muddy Ruel (White Sox) c, Morris Arnovich (Phillies) cf, Jimmy Wilson (Reds) 1b, Cookie Lavagetto (Dodgers) 1b, Marvin Owen (White Sox) 3b, Billy Jurges (Giants) 3b, Lefty Grove (Red Sox) p, Danny McFayden (Braves) p, Johnny Allen (Indians) p, Babe Ruth ph.
Dizzy Dean pitched two innings for the Collins team, yielding no hits and fashioning two strikeouts. VanderMeer, who relieved, fumbled Wilson's bounder, after which Owen and MacFayden doubled for two runs. The large moment for the crowd, however, was when Babe Ruth strode to the plate to pinch hit for MacFayden. Easy to identify from the old "No. 3" across his broad back, the Babe drew a din of applause, and then, swinging with all his might, disappointed his well-wishers by popping weakly to the catcher.
The Collins team tied the score in the sixth when Greenberg, Wright and Jorgens singled for one run, and scored another on an infield out. But the Wagners came back with two in the sixth on doubles by Vaughan and Hayes, and a single by Arnovich.
The game was called in the seventh, enabling the baseball people to catch special trains to distant points in the nation. They streamed from the now-historic field and down the tracks in joyous groups, hastily scrawling autographs, waving goodbyes, exchanging last-minute handshakes and expressing regret that the great pilgrimage was finally ended....
-- Ken Smith
Baseball's Hall of Fame
IMAGE: Babe Ruth (right) with Connie Mack (center) during the opening of the Hall of Fame.
Curt Flood and the Reserve Clause
[A] decade of turmoil and change [in baseball] ... was launched on 16 January 1970, when Curt Flood, a 32-year-old outfielder, filed a suit against organized baseball's so-called reserve clause. Curt Flood had played 12 years for the St. Louis Cardinals and had been recognized as one of the leading players in the league; even his employers had recognized this by paying him $90,000 for the 1969 season -- one of the highest salaries in both leagues. But when that season ended, Flood was traded by the Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies -- a transaction that for decades had been taking place in organized baseball and that had been both formally enforced by the United States Supreme Court and tacitly endorsed by generations of traded players. But now here was Curt Flood charging that the reserve clause was "a contract for perpetual service" and that he did not want to go on being treated as "property ... a chattel ... a slave for a team against his will."
What was this "reserve clause" that could prompt such charged language? Actually, it was a series of clauses or terms that were part of the standard contract of every player in professional baseball. Under these terms, a player was legally bound to a team until he was sold or traded to another team, which in turn owned this player. Oh, a team might release a player and thus free him to sign on with another of his choice -- but most players were never released until their playing days were about over. And if a player didn't like a team that held him under contract, the only thing he could do was to quit professional baseball.
It does sound suspiciously like a form of slavery or at the very least like a restraint of trade ... [y]et without ever actually ruling on the reserve clause itself, the Supreme Court ... had held that organized baseball was not subject to the antitrust laws that governed the conduct of business in America. In fact, it was a form of tribute to baseball's special standing in American life that exempted it from such antitrust laws, for this same Supreme Court often ruled that other organized sports -- hockey, boxing, professional football, for instance -- did fall under the antitrust laws. Such a tribute, however, was little consolation to players who saw their salaries and movements dictated by the owners, who in turn argued that the reserve clause was the only thing that prevented the richest teams from buying all the better players -- and thus upsetting the balance that allowed so many teams to remain competitive over the years.
But Curt Flood, backed by the Major League Baseball Players Association, challenged that assumption in 1970 in the United States District Court in New York City .... The District Court soon ruled that it could not overturn the decisions of the Supreme Court regarding baseball; Flood appealed this decision to the US Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the District Court; Flood then appealed to the Supreme Court itself. It would be 1972 before the Supreme Court ruled that since baseball remained exept from antitrust laws, the reserve clause was legal; however, the majority opinion went on to call this exemption an "aberration" and called on Congress to reconsider the special status accorded organized baseball -- since even its most devoted fans could hardly deny that it had become a business....
Curt Flood, meanwhile, sat out the 1970 season -- a considerable sacrifice for a player of his salary level. In November of that year, however, assured that it would not prejudice his suit still being appealed, he signed with the Washington Senators when they acquired his contract in a trade with the Phillies. (Yes, it included the reserve clause.) So in the immediate sense, baseball began the 1970s as usual. But the first strike of change had been thrown....
-- Joel Zoss & John S. Bowman
The National League: A History
IMAGE: Curt Flood goes to court.
Battling Bullpens
(Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1969). Never in the history of baseball have two bullpen crews battled in such an utterly wacky season-long war. Both sides engaged in hit-and-run guerrilla tactics, wielding such devastating weapons as cherry bombs, dirt balls, and stones. One side even resorted to chemical warfare.
The battle cry was sounded after relief pitcher and prankster Moe Drabowsky went from the Baltimore Orioles to the fledgling Kansas City Royals in the expansion draft of 1969. Throughout the year, Drabowsky rallied the Royals' bullpen troops while O's pitchers Pete Richert and Eddie Watt directed the Baltimore corps' retaliatory measures.
On May 10, 1969, Moe launched the first commando raid on the O's bullpen during a night game at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. The Royals' bullpen squad synchronized their watches for an assault at 2130 hours ... or about the fourth inning. The attack force consisted of pitchers Wally Bunker, Bill Butler, Mike Hedlund, Jim Rooker, and catcher Buck Martinez.
....Drabowsky recalled[:] "We blackened our faces with burnt cork and wore dark jackets. Our pockets were loaded with simulated hand grenades -- rocks and dirt balls. We snuck around the corner of our bullpen in right center, darted through the trees in center field behind the scoreboard, crept and crawled through the grass, and maneuvered into a strategic position behind the Baltimore bullpen in left center.
"When we were all in place, I gave the signal and we opened fire. Bombs away! We kept our arms in shape by grenading the bullpen. The rocks hit the roof and back wall of their shelter and made a hell of a racket. You should have seen them jump. They were cussing and screaming in rage over the sneak attack."
Two days later, the O's launched a counteroffensive. In the third inning of an afternoon game, Richert and Watt slipped behind the scoreboard and outfield hedge and lofted an earsplitting firecracker that sent the startled Royals leaping out of their bullpen shed.
....The O's counterattack backfired. Since Richert and Watt were not as experienced as Moe in waging war, their afternoon raid was clearly seen from the press box by reporters -- and Harry Dalton, the Orioles personnel director. When he saw two O's caps bobbing behind the hedge, Dalton telephoned bullpen coach Charlie Lau and told him in no uncertain terms, "No more foolishness."
The Baltimore bullpen expected Drabowsky to retaliate. He didn't disappoint them. When the Orioles walked into the visitors' clubhouse in Kansas City five days later, they were repulsed by a horrible odor. The sneaky Moe had placed a foul-smelling chemical in the ventilation system.
Early the next morning, hours before game time, Richert and Watt sought revenge. They painted the Royals' bullpen pitching rubbers and plates black and orange, the Orioles' colors.
Drabowsky felt duty-bound to strike back again. This time he was accused of putting sneezing powder in the air-conditioning system of the Baltimore clubhouse because the Orioles were sneezing as they suited up for the game.
This provocation did not go unanswered. When the Royals went out to their bullpen the next day, they discovered that the roof of their shelter was no longer dark green. It was bright orange ... with the words Go Birds printed on the roof.
Moe fired the final salvo of the year. On the first day of the 1969 World Series in Baltimore, a plan circled over Memorial Stadium and pulled a banner with a message directed to the O's bullpen crew: "Good luck, Birds. Beware of Moe."
-- Bruce Nash & Allan Zullo
The Baseball Hall of Shame 3
If Teddy Ballgame Hadn't Gone to War
The Second World War and perhaps the Korean War ... had the most profound effect on the lives and careers of major league players. Great hitters like Joe DiMaggio (three seasons), Hank Greenberg (three seasons), and Johnny Mize (three seasons) all lost significant portions of their major league careers to military service. No player, however, gave up more of his major league career than Ted Williams, who missed the equivalent of five seasons while serving in World War II and the Korean War.
Following the 1942 season, the 24-year-old Williams joined the Marines, becoming a fighter pilot. In both of the previous two seasons he had led the league in batting, runs scored, walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. In 1941 he batted .406, a level that has not been matched by any player since, while in 1942 he won the first of his two Triple Crowns. In 1946 Williams returned to baseball and demonstrated, at 28, that his skills were undiminished. He hit .342, leading the American League in runs scored, walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage while hitting a then career high of 28 home runs.
In 1952, the Korean War put Williams's career on hold once more. Early in the 1952 season he got in 10 at-bats, and late in the 1953 season 91 more. In between, he was flying combat missions in Korea, making life difficult for international communism.  In his next full season, 1954, Williams once more proved, at age 35, that he was still among the best in the game. He batted .345 with 29 homers while playing in only 117 games, but nevertheless managed to lead the American League in walks and on-base percentage.
Assume there was no interruption in Williams's career and that he had only hit as well as he did after each interruption during each interruption. Certainly this is conservative, since it is likely that he would have had some monster seasons between the ages of 24 and 28. The following table illustrates what might have been (with the speculative seasons in italics).
The addition of the five seasons that Williams lost to military service would make him the all-time leader in runs scored (over Ty Cobb with 2,245), RBI (over Hank Aaron with 2,297), and walks (over Babe Ruth with 2,056). It would also allow him to join the 3,000-hit club and move him into third place on the all-time home run list behind only Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. It is even possible (given that he hit 29 homers in his last season) that he might have stuck around a few years longer to take a run at Ruth's mark of 714 home runs.
-- Doug Myers & Bryan Dodd
Batting Around
Ballparks: Baker Bowl
The Phillies' 1895-1932 lodge blared baseball's first cantilevered [grand]stand .... Baker Bowl's wooden seats tied center field to the left field line. Distances to left (335 to 341 feet, depending on the year) and center (408) seemed more or less commonplace. Antithetic were right-center (300) and right field (272), where convention hit the dirt.
...."How tough are Phillies fans?" announcer Bob Uecker [asked] ... "They go to the airport to boo bad landings." The Hump, a hillock under which a Philadelphia and Reading Railroad tunnel rent center field, could be more benign. Righty Ed Delahanty thrice batted over .400, twice went six-for-six, and whacked four inside-the-parkers on July 13, 1896. He hit one ball so hard it split in two. Another broke a second baseman's leg ....
A visitor might see lightning split the flagpole, swimming pool fill the clubhouse basement*, and circus horse dive off a platform into a pond near third base. "They had it all," Bill Dyer said: crusades, midget auto racing, donkey basketball, roller and ice skating, and police and fire department parades. Sadly, on August 8, 1903, 500 people jammed a railing atop the third-base stands to watch a fight on 15th Street. The stands collapsed, killing 12 and injuring 200.
Baker Bowl closed .... The Phillies sued ....
In 1904 ... the Phillies returned to Baker Bowl .... Grover Cleveland Alexander threw four 1915 no-hitters, had a league-best 90 shutouts (including '16's record 16), and won an NL-tying 373 games (with Christy Mathewson). "He led the NL in strikeouts four straight years," said then-Phils manager Pat Moran, "in ERA three times, and winning percentage" -- with a 272-foot fence. No wonder that Alex[ander] went back to drinking.
In 1915, Baker Bowl hosted its only World Series. On October 15, Alex[ander] beat Boston for Philly's sole pre-'80 Classic victory. "The other highlight came the next day," [Allen] Lewis noted. "Woodrow Wilson became the first president to throw out the first ball at a Series." (Wife Edith, the real fan, kept score.) By 1918, most teams had traded wood for steel and concrete. In a revealing nihilism, the Phillies traded Alex[ander] to the Cubs. They then proceeded to become the wretched of the earth.
The 1919-38 Quakers won 1,129 games, lost 1,889 .... Exceptions: Cy Williams won three home run titles, and Gavvy Cravath a fifth. Frank O'Doul '29 turned 254 hits into a .398 average. Rule: Erskine Mayer '14 yielded Honus Wagner's 3,000th hit. In 1933, Philly drew 156,421 mourners -- 2,031 per date. Managers came and went: Jack Coombs, Cravath, Bill Donovan, Kaiser Wilhelm, Art Fletcher, Stuffy McInnis, Burt Shotton, Jimmy Wilson, and Hans Lobert ....
....On April 12, 1909, [Connie] Mack [and the Athletics] fled Columbia Park for new digs at 21st Street and Lehigh Avenue. "Once Shibe Park opened," recalled Dyer, :"it was only a matter of time until the Phillies became a tenant." Baseball's first concrete and steel park made Baker Bowl look more Jurassic than it was. In 1927, ten right-field bleacher rows collapsed and hurled two hundred people onto Huntingdon Street. One man was trampled to death; 41, hospitalized ....
.... On June 30, 1938, baseball's last wooden park took a final strike three.
-- Curt Smith
Storied Stadiums

* The swimming pool existed for a time prior to World War I -- ed.

Named after Philadelphia Phillies owner William F. Baker.
AKA Huntingdon Street Baseball Grounds (1895-1913), the Cigar Box, the Band Box
Cost: $80,000 in 1887 (Architect: Al Reach)
Stats: Most Valuable Player (AL)
1911: Ty Cobb (DET) ... 1912: Tris Speaker (BOS) ... 1913: Walter Johnson (WSA) ... 1914: Eddie Collins (PHA) ... 1922: George Sisler (SLB) ... 1923: Babe Ruth (NYY) ... 1924: Walter Johnson (WSA) ... 1925: Roger Peckinpaugh (WSA) ... 1926: George Burns (CLE) ... 1927: Lou Gehrig (NYY) ... 1928: Mickey Cochrane (PHA) ... 1931: Lefty Grove (PHA) ... 1932: Jimmie Foxx (PHA) ... 1933: Jimmie Foxx (PHA) ... 1934: Mickey Cochrane (DET) ... 1935: Hank Greenberg (DET) ... 1937: Charlie Gehringer (DET) ... 1938: Jimmie Foxx (BOS) ... 1939: Joe DiMaggio (NYY) ... 1940: Hank Greenberg (DET) ... 1941: Joe DiMaggio (NYY) ... 1942: Joe Gordon (NYY) ... 1943: Spud Chandler (NYY) ... 1944: Hal Newhouser (DET) ... 1945: Hal Newhouser (DET) ... 1946: Ted Williams (BOS) ... 1947: Joe DiMaggio (NYY) ... 1948: Lou Boudreau (CLE) ... 1949: Ted Williams (BOS) ... 1950: Phil Rizzuto (NYY) ... 1951: Yogi Berra (NYY) ... 1952: Bobby Shantz (PHA) ... 1953: Al Rosen (CLE) ... 1954: Yogi Berra (NYY) ... 1955: Yogi Berra (NYY) ... 1956: Mickey Mantle (NYY) ... 1957: Mickey Mantle (1957) ... 1958: Jackie Jensen (BOS) ... 1959: Nellie Fox (CHW) ... 1960: Roger Maris (NYY) ... 1961: Roger Maris (NYY) ... 1962: Mickey Mantle (NYY) ... 1963: Elston Howard (NYY) ... 1964: Brooks Robinson (BAL) ... 1965: Zoilo Versailles (MIN) ... 1966: Frank Robinson (BAL) ... 1967: Carl Yastrzemski (BOS) ... 1968: Denny McLain (DET) ... 1969: Harmon Killebrew (MIN) ... 1970: Boog Powell (BAL) ... 1971: Vida Blue (OAK) ... 1972: Dick Allen (CHW) ... 1973: Reggis Jackson (OAK) ... 1974: Jeff Burroughs (TEX) ... 1975: Fred Lynn (BOS) ... 1976: Thurmon Munson (NYY) ... 1977: Rod Carew (MIN) ... 1978: Jim Rice (BOS) ... 1979: Don Baylor (CAL) ... 1980: George Brett (KCR) ... 1981: Rollie Fingers (MIL) ... 1982: Robin Yount (MIL) ... 1983: Cal Ripken (BAL) ... 1984: Willie Hernandez (DET) ... 1985: Don Mattingly (NYY) ... 1986: Roger Clemens (BOS) ... 1987: George Bell (TOR) ... 1988: Jose Canseco (OAK) ... 1989: Robin Yount (MIL) ... 1990: Rickey Henderson (OAK) ... 1991: Cal Ripken (BAL) ... 1992: Dennis Eckersley (OAK) ... 1993: Frank Thomas (CHW) ... 1994: Frank Thomas (CHW) ... 1995: Mo Vaughn (BOS) ... 1996: Juan Gonzalez (TEX) ... 1997: Ken Griffey (SEA) ... 1998: Juan Gonzalez (TEX) ... 1999: Ivan Rodriguez (TEX) ... 2000: Jason Giambi (OAK) ... 2001: Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) ... 2002: Miguel Tejada (OAK) ... 2003: Alex Rodriguez (TEX) ... 2004: Vladimir Guerrero (ANA) ... 2005: Alex Rodriguez (NYY)
Year in Review: 1905
In a pitcher's year which saw only two regular .300 hitters in the American League, the Philadelphia team batting average of .255 was good enough to score a league-leading 617 runs and bring Connie Mack his second championship in four years. The White Elephant's return to the top after two years, and their jump from a 1904 fifth-place finish, came about via Harry Davis' team-leading .284 batting average and the arms of southpaws Rube Waddell and Eddie Plank, who again turned in excellent years but were complemented by the development of Chief Bender and Andy Coakley into reliable starters. The foursome, although mostly accounting for a team ERA of 2.19 and capturing almost every statistical pitching category, had to take a back seat in team earned run honors to the Chicago White Sox, who walked off with the crown on a brilliant 1.99 performance.
Although Chicago's pitching was rich enough to make the race a photo-finish between themselves and the Athletics, the first three months of the campaign saw the struggle for first place between Chicago and the heavy-hitting Cleveland team. The two swapped the top spot through July, and the Athletics paced themselves in a close, third-place berth. Cleveland dropped off after playing-manager Nap Lajoie, the league's best hitter in 1904, was sidelined in July with blood poisoning, and, on August 2, the Mackmen double-timed ahead of Chicago into first place. With Cleveland fading away, and Chicago's weak hitting catching up with them, the Athletics widened the gap in August and seemingly iced away the crown.
But the White Sox hung tight and started melting away the Athletic's lead until, on September 28, it stood at three percentage points with Chicago coming into Philadelphia for a three-game set. The tired Athletics rallied their forces to take two of the three games to all but finish Chicago -- a job which was done by the lowly St. Louis Browns, who beat the hitless wonders twice in the final week to allow the Athletics to walk in with a two-game margin championship.
Chicago['s] consolation came in Ed Walsh, the spit-balling wonder, who opened his major league career by winning eight of eleven decisions while posting a 2.17 ERA. The Detroit Tigers moved from seventh to third on the arms of George Mullins, Ed Killian, and Wild Bill Donovan. But a more important event was the arrival of young Ty Cobb, who hit .240 as a part-time outfielder. While the Tigers were moving toward the light of day, the 1904 championship Boston Red Sox pulled a reversal and were never in the race .... Despite the addition of hard-hitting Jesse Burkett from St. Louis, only Jesse Tannehill provided consistency on the mound for the Beantowners. Bill Dinneen flattened out at 14-14 after a 23-victory season, and 38-year-old Cy Young posted his worst record since breaking into baseball in 1890. Cleveland's Lajoie, the holder of a partial season's .329 average, surrendered the batting title to teammate Elmer Flick, who was joined in the magic .300 circle only by New York's Willie Keeler ....
In the National League, John McGraw kept his Giants on top from April 23 on to repeat as champions. Pittsburgh kept within striking distance for most of the summer and made a move to close the gap in August but fell back in the fall .... The Giants again possessed the most powerful attack in the league, featuring Mike Donlin's .356 clouting. Roger Bresnahan hit .302 and handled a mound staff which included 32-game winner Christy Mathewson, 20-game aces Red Ames and Joe McGinnity, and solid starters Hooks Wiltse and Dummy Taylor. Pittsburgh received .363 batting from Honus Wagner and good pitching from Sam Leever and ... Deacon Phillipe, but was simply unable to put all the pieces together. Wagner himself was unhorsed after two years as batting champion by Cincinnati's Cy Seymour.
--David S. Neft, Richard M. Cohen, Michael L. Neft
The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball (22nd ed.)
The 1905 World Series
After a one-year interruption, the World Series resumed with a dazzling exhibition of pitching dominance. The rested Giants downed the tired Athletics in five games, with each game incredibly being a shutout. Mathewson established himself as an early Series hero by tossing three whitewashings at the Athletics while teammate McGinnity accounted for New York's other shutout. In the phenomenal pitcher's battle, Philadelphia's only three runs of the Series came in Bender's second-game win. The victory, in addition to avenging the senior circuit's loss in 1903, was a great personal satisfaction to McGraw, who got the one-upmanship in his long-standing feud with American League President Ban Johnson. (The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball 2002, David S. Neft, et al.)

New York Giants (4) v Philadelphia Athletics (1)
October 9-14
Baker Bowl (Philadelphia), Polo Grounds (New York)

Game 1: New York 3, Philadelphia 0
Game 2: Philadelphia 3, New York 0
Game 3: New York 9, Philadelphia 0
Game 4: New York 1, Philadelhia 0
Game 5: New York 2, Philadelphia 0

NEW YORK: Red Ames (p), Roger Bresnahan (c), George Browne (of), Bill Dahlen (ss), Art Devlin (3b), Mike Donlin (of), Billy Gilbert (2b), Christy Mathewson (p), Dan McGann (1b), Joe McGinnity (p), Sam Mertes (of), Sammy Strang (ph). Mgr: John McGraw

PHILADELPHIA: Chief Bender (p), Andy Coakley (p), Lave Cross (3b), Monte Cross (ss), Harry Davis (1b), Topsy Hartsel (of), Danny Hoffman (ph), Bris Lord (of), Danny Murphy (2b), Eddie Plank (p), Mike Powers (c), Ossee Schreckengost (c), Socks Seybold (of). Mgr: Connie Mack

Christy Mathewson and the rest of the Giants pitching staff threw four shutouts and had a combined ERA of 0.00. (Mathewson pitched three of the shutouts, striking out eighteen, walking one, and allowing fourteen hits in 27 innings.)

IMAGE: The 1905 New York Giants
Player Profile: Luke Appling

Nickname: "Old Aches and Pains"
Born: April 2, 1907 (High Point, NC)
ML Debut: September 10, 1930
Final Game: October 1, 1950
Bats: Right        Throws: Right
5' 10"  183
Hall of Fame: 1964 (Baseball Writers, 189 votes on 225 ballots, 84%)

Played forChicago White Sox (1930-1950)
All Star 1936, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1947

A fan favorite -- a 1969 fan poll voted him the greatest living White Sox -- Appling was Chicago's shortstop for nearly twenty years. He signed with the Southern Association's Atlanta Crackers after two years of college and was sold to the Chicago Cubs in 1930. He was dealt to the White Sox that same year. Early in his career, Appling's fielding was suspect. But at the plate he developed into a highly productive hitter known for his ability  to fend off numerous pitches to get to one he liked. (Appling is said to have fouled off seventeen pitches in a particular at-bat before hitting a triple.) As is the case with many outstanding contact hitters, Appling hit only 45 homers during his career. In 1936 he won the AL batting title with a .388 average -- the first batting title won by a White Sox player -- and one that was decided in the second game of a September 24 doubleheader with Cleveland, in which he went 4-for-4. (The .388 mark remains the highest by a shortstop in baseball history.) He garnered his second in 1943, batting .328, and hit .300 or better fifteen times in his career. Appling set Major League records for a shortstop for games played and double plays, and American League records for putouts and assists. The 2,218 games he played at short surpassed Rabbit Maranville's mark of 2,153. In 1950 he was released by the Chisox so that he could manage the Memphis Chicks (SA). Two years later, The Sporting News named him manager of the year. And in 1967 he served a stint as interim manager of the Kansas City Athletics when Alvin Dark was fired. Appling was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964 by special vote. (In 1953, his first year of eligibility, he received just two votes.)
Appling was a hypochondriac, earning the nickname "Old Aches and Pains." But there was nothing imaginary about the injuries he suffered during an exhibition game on March 27, 1938, when he broke his right leg in two places while sliding into second.
Due to military service, Appling missed all of the 1944 season and most of 1945.
In 1936 Appling set career highs in hits (204), runs (111), RBI (128), slugging (.508), and OBP (.474). His 27-game hitting streak that year remained a White Sox record until broken by Albert Belle in 1997.
Appling was replaced as the White Sox shortstop by Chico Carrasquel, who was, in turn, replaced by Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio.
In the first annual Cracker Jack Oldtimers Classic, held July 19, 1982, 75-year-old Appling hit a home run off Warren Spahn in a 7-2, five-inning triumph for the AL.
-- J. Manning
"Luke Appling was the leader of the team. He was a nice man who would help me and the other younger players learn the ropes. When Chico Carrasquel joined the team to take his place at short, Luke helped him like a baby. They'd work extra time and during games he'd help position him. So even as a rookie, Chico was a tremendous shortstop. Appling was 41 years old, but he had hit over .300 the past 6 years and about 15 times in his career. He didn't play much in his final season but he could still give pitchers fits. He had amazing instincts and could always place the ball through positions vacated by infielders when they moved. He was so impressive. I never saw a batter who could hit so many foul balls -- up to a dozen. I think he enjoyed doing it. In Chicago, they'd get after players for giving balls to fans, so Luke said, 'I'll cost them a few dollars in today's game.'"
-- Bob Cain (1950)
We Played the Game
Baseball Dictionary
American Baseball Congress
Headquartered in Battle Creek, MI, the ABC was founded in 1935 to support amateur baseball in the U.S. (It now has foreign affiliates.) It's seven divisions are named for major league players.
American Baseball Guild
A players' union organized by Boston attorney Robert Murphy in 1946 which gained some concessions -- including payment of spring training expenses, known as "Murphy money" -- before a failed strike that same year led to its dissolution.
American League
One of the two current major leagues, the AL was founded in 1901 by former sportswriter Byron Bancroft "Ban" Johnson and initially consisted of teams in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Washington DC. As it has not been in existence as long as the National League, it is sometimes referred to as the "junior circuit." There are several differences between the two leagues; the best known current difference is the existence of a designated hitter (adopted in 1973) in the AL. The AL presently consists of fourteen teams in three divisions: The East (Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Toronto Blue Jays), the Central (Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins), and the West (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers).
American Legion Baseball
Founded in 1926, this American Legion-sponsored program for 15-18 year-olds concludes with an annual eight-team World Series tournament.
antitrust exemption
The 1922 Supreme Court decision that exempted baseball from the antitrust laws -- an exemption not enjoyed by other professional sports. The Curt Flood Act (1998) revoked portions of the exemption pertaining particularly to labor relations.
ant killer
A grounder hit so hard that it would kill insects in its path. First used: Chicago Inter-Ocean, July 7, 1874.
Aparicio double
A walk and a stolen base. A sequence of events that seemed relatively common when shortstop Aparicio came up to bat. First used: New York Times, Sept. 27, 1959.
Popular baseball board game created in 1931 by J. Richard Seitz that is now available as a computer game. The name is derived from the original American Professional Baseball Association.
(1) When the catcher or pitcher request that the home plate umpire consult the first-base or third-base umpire to determine whether the batter swung (or "offered") at a pitch, in which case a strike would be registered; (2) when a player for has been subjected to disciplinary action asks to plead his case to the commissioner's office.
appeal play
A play that must be made in conjunction with an appeal, and prior to the delivery of the next pitch. "If a baserunner neglects to touch a base when running, it is the responsibility of the defensive team, not the umpire, to claim the violation. Tio make an appeal play in a dead-ball situation, the pitcher must first put the ball back in play by stepping on the pitching rubber, then stepping off the rubber and throwing the ball to a teammate who tags the base in question. At this point the umpire decides if the runner is safe and out." -- Dickson Baseball Dictionary.  The same process takes effect if the defensive team believes a baserunner left a base too early.