Minor league baseball in the early 20th Century in America was not the same as today. Yes, it was a step below the big leagues, but the Class A teams were only a little step from the big leagues, not the giant step it is today. Many players in these Class A leagues were in [...]
When I first started work on this article I envisioned its title as “Charles Dexter—The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, focusing on the events of August 23, 1904 and October 2, 1905. But when further research brought to light the events of December 30, 1903, I decided to change that title. Readers will see [...]
As the American Association 1904 season winded down the second place Milwaukee Brewers (79-59) entered the territory of the first place St. Paul Saints (89-46) on Saturday, September 10. The Brewers had just fallen completely out of the pennant race, having dropped their last five games in Minneapolis. Even before the game at St. Paul’s [...]
Many baseball magnates of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century had difficulties building their ballparks. Much of this was political. Even though ballparks were not built with public money, public officials could hinder—or stop—construction with zoning regulations and the placement of streets through the area where the baseball men were planning to build. [...]
Managers have been fired in baseball since the beginning, so that the Brewers would let a manager go in 1912 is not a big story. But very seldom was the situation aired out in the press as this story was. As the Milwaukee Brewer manager story of late 1912 involves a future Hall of Fame [...]
Manning Vaughan was the main baseball writer of the Milwaukee Sentinel one hundred years ago. His style was colorful and full of panache. While researching the 1912 Brewers I fell in love with his writing style. What follows is what is typical of Vaughan’s wonderful way of bringing baseball games to life in people’s parlors [...]
On the second of June 1912, an event took place that we today would find commonplace, but it was no doubt rather unusual 100 years ago. But to let us know the nature of the man involved in the story, we will need a few extra lines. Both the incident and the man are clearly [...]
On Sunday, May 26, 1912, the sixth place American Association Milwaukee Brewers opened a series against the second place Minneapolis Millers, facing future Hall of Fame member Rube Waddell. The eccentric Waddell is known to most baseball fans. Although on the downside of his career, he was still a pitcher to be reckoned with. During [...]
Oscar “Happy” Felsch was a Milwaukee boy who came to the American Association Brewers in August 1913, after playing with the Milwaukee/Fond du Lac Mollys of the Wisconsin-Illinois League. In the W-I League Felsch had hit .337, including 10 home runs, in 49 games—mostly as a shortstop. He only managed to hit .183 in for [...]
For those who read the accounts of Fred Merkle’s handling the ball hit to him in the third inning of the final game of the 1913 World Series—from the Philadelphia sport writers’ view—I have some follow up that presents the play from the New York writers’ view. One major difference is the Philadelphia writers all [...]
Below I print three descriptions of the same play from the 1913 World’s Series. After over 30 years of interviewing eye-witnesses at accidents and crime scenes, I know that people see the same incident differently, so that three sport writers might see the same play different does not surprise me. For whatever the reasons when [...]
Most ballparks now have mascots. But how many have a real live animal mascot? Perhaps the oddest I came across were the 1902 proposed mascots for the Denver and Colorado Springs teams: a live Grizzly Bear and a live Mountain Lion. Other Western League owners frowned on the idea and the bear remained the pet [...]
Many times we read stories told by players of an incident that occurred years previous. On occasion we use these in our research. But we should always be suspicious of taking these stories as the absolute truth. I would think there is almost always the basis of a true story there, but the details get [...]
I have not read a lot about Norman â€œKidâ€ Elberfeld, but between the very informative books â€œClark Griffith: The Old Fox of Washington Baseballâ€ by Ted Leavengood, and Jim Rieslerâ€™s â€œBefore They Were the Bombersâ€, plus the splendid Terry Simpkins biography on Elberfeld at the SABR Biography Project, I have a working knowledge of him. [...]
Baseball fights still occur, but very seldom are they only a two-man affair. It seems the entire team has to show up now. But in baseball’s Deadball Era I have come across a number of one-on-one fights. One of the nastiest occurred in Milwaukee on May 8, 1913. The press coverage gives us the feeling [...]
If asked, most no doubt would answer Bud Selig was the man who brought the American League to Milwaukee–and that answer would not be wrong. But 70 years before the 1970 Brewers first played at Milwaukee County Stadium, Milwaukee had a team in the American League, and Matt Killilea was a major part of the [...]
Otto H. Schomberg was born in Milwaukee on November 15, 1864. His father, Henry, (listed as Schoemberg in the 1865 City of Milwaukee Directory) was a cooper, working and living at 710 West Lloyd Street.1 Otto Schomberg first appeared in a City of Milwaukee Directory in 1880 as a laborer, living at 721 7th Street [...]
Being born and raised in Milwaukee I know we have a reputation for being thrifty, frugal, financially conservative (O.K., cheapskates!). But I found it goes back well over one hundred years. The Western League Brewers built a new park on the cityâ€™s north side at 17th and Lloyd Streets in 1895. By the next year [...]
Over the years Milwaukee has been known for a number of things it produced, most famously beer. But how many of us knew Milwaukee was the home of the tallest–and perhaps the two tallest–baseball players in the land in 1884?
My book â€œThe Rise of Milwaukee Baseballâ€ is dedicated to the ball players of the 19th Century: â€œThe great, the not nearly great, and everyone in between. Those players who set fine examples, and those who led troubled lives.â€ I had Patrick â€œPaddyâ€ Bolan in mind when I wrote of the latter players. Reading of [...]
With Matt Aber’s post regarding player nicknames still in my mind, I came across an article in the August 22, 1891, Sporting News which gave a number of team nicknames and background on the names. Most of the major league team’s nicknames and reasons for the names are well know. However, I found a few [...]
I imagine we have all done it. Found a tantalizing tidbit on a subject and decided to research it further. It sounds so exciting and newsworthy. Just find what there is to be found and put it into an article. Heck, maybe even a short book. There will be so much of interest. The big [...]
My book “The Rise of Milwaukee Baseball: The Cream City from Midwestern Outpost to the Major Leagues, 1859 -1901″ has been published by McFarland & Company. As many of you Seamheads are SABR members you perhaps saw my message at 19th Century and Deadball groups, so this post is not a plug for the book [...]
On August 20, 1892, the Milwaukee Sentinel ran an article that C.R. Conable, business manager for H.B. Thearle & Co, general American agents for James Pain & Sons, the great London fireworks kings, was in Milwaukee looking to make arrangements for the production of “the gorgeous pyrotechnical exhibition ‘The Last Days of Pompeii’.â€ The show [...]
The first games of baseball involving an all-Black baseball team in Milwaukee that I could find were played in 1879.
It is no doubt safe to say we will never see major leaguers playing an exhibition game on roller skates. Just as likely the prospect of minor league prospects risking a serious injury is considerably slimmer than winning the lottery. But in a different time–can I say a long time ago in a galaxy far, [...]
Think of it. Dwight Gooden, Tom Seaver, Bud Harrelson. All playing for the Milwaukee Mets. O.K. A bit of a stretch from what really happened–a really big stretch to be honest. But a few reports in 1888 talked of Milwaukee replacing the New York Mets franchise in the American Association.
Many cities have annual Policemen vs. Firemen baseball games. Here are the details of the first such game played in Milwaukee. My guess is a good many followed these same lines.
Almost one hundred years to the day before Bill Buckner’s error in game six of the 1986 World Seriesâ€”forever blaming him for losing the series in some peopleâ€™s mind, even though another game was playedâ€”a similar incident happened to Chicago’s Abner Dalrymple.
Anton Falch the baseball player is easy to overlook. Look him up in Total Baseball and your finger and eyes might easily pass over his 5 games in the 1884 Union Association. As with so many baseball players who filled in the gaps, Anton Falchâ€™s life was more than just a line of stats in [...]
In 1935 a team of Japanese All-Stars toured the United States, and a problem with language brought about some confusion between a player and a scout. (This article was co-authored by Dennis Pajot of Milwaukee and Yoichi Nagata of Japan.)
Separate “ugly” incidents involving Milwaukee in the final week of the 1902 Western League season marred an otherwise fantastic pennant race that included four teams.
The West End baseball club formed in Milwaukee in 1875 as a pure amateur club. For the 1876 season the club had decided to go semi-professional. Club officials explained to the public that by playing exhibition games with the leading professional clubs in addition to playing match games with amateur clubs of the country and [...]
On May 9, 1878, in Indianapolis, the Milwaukee Grayâ€™s Sam Weaver pitched a splendid game, beating the Indianapolis Blues 2 to 1. It is possible this is the first no-hitter thrown by a Milwaukee pitcher, and only the second in the National League. The reporting of this game is interesting and deserves space. The following [...]
Sunday baseball was under attack in many parts of the country in the mid-1890s, but in Milwaukee it was a popular day for amateurs to play and fans to attend Milwaukee Brewer games. But clouds were threatening this calm.