August 2, 2021

Ginger Beaumont Honored in David Stalker’s Baseball Memorial Series

August 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

BeaumontSMOn July 19th, 2015, a two-sided monument was unveiled honoring Ginger Beaumont. The event took place on a sunny afternoon at beautiful Beaumont Field in Burlington, Wisconsin. The monument dedication was followed by Burlington’s Baseball Hall of Fame Induction, which Beaumont has been a member of since 2012.

Bill Milatz, chairman of Burlington’s Baseball Hall of Fame committee was master of ceremony. He thanked the many from Burlington and surrounding area that made the monument possible. Granddaughter of Beaumont, Jean Cognato, was introduced along with her daughter Julie Roden, both traveling from out of state to attend.

Jean gave thanks and shared stories and warm memories of her grandfather through out the afternoon. A couple things she mentioned was that “Grandpa Beau” taught her how to throw a baseball hard, not like a girl. He once embroidered a tablecloth during a game, to help steady the nerves. That tablecloth may now be viewed at the Heritage Museum in Racine, WI, courtesy of Jean.

Dennis Degenhardt gave thanks to SABR members that contributed. He said that most of that support came from Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field Chapter. They take much pride in their former player.

The speedy Beaumont played baseball in Rochester and the surrounding area, but it was in Waupun Wisconsin where he became known through out the state and captured the attention of Connie Mack.

On Tuesday, July 28, 1896, just days after Beaumont’s 20th birthday, the Waupun Times newspaper announced four new members to join the team for the 1896 season. Beaumont of Rochester and Adkins of East Troy were amongst the names. Ginger Beaumont and Merle “Doc” Adkins lived about ten miles from each other. They attended and played baseball together at Beloit College, and from the years 1896 to 1898 the Prison City team in Waupun. Adkins pitched and Beaumont caught.

The box score in the newspaper that day showed visiting Fond du Lac with a 12 to 5 lead in the seventh inning. Beaumont hit a three run homer to highlight a six run inning and bring the team within one run. Then in the last half of the ninth inning, with the score tied, and two outs, Beaumont steps up to the plate. The crowd began shouting for another home run. He connected and the ball sailed away. As Ginger crossed the plate, with his second home run in the game, his teammates rushed out to greet him at home, picked him up and carried him around the diamond. He became a fan favorite right from the start.

Finishing the season Waupun traveled to Beaver Dam, playing at the fair grounds. Pink Hawley, the Beaver Dam native who just returned home after winning 22 games for Pittsburgh took the mound for Beaver Dam. Ginger showed he could pitch, striking out eight, and narrowly losing the game 5 to 4 to a big leaguer.

On July 28, and July 29, 1897, the Page Fence Giants played in Waupun. Giants pitcher George Wilson struck out 15 batters. However, Beaumont did well against him in both games, getting a hit and scoring two runs in the first game, and collecting two hits in the second. Giants won games, 7 to 4 and 10 to 1. After the games, Giants player Wood joined the Prison City Team, pitching and playing second base.

By 1898, Waupun was one of the top teams in the state. With future major league catcher John Kleinow joining the team, Beaumont split his time between catching and playing second base. On one account, the Waupun Times, referred to Beaumont as “Butch”.

On August 23, the newspaper stated that yesterday Beaumont played his last game with Waupun and would finish out the season wearing a Milwaukee uniform, playing under Connie Mack. In his 24 games with Milwaukee, he batted .354 and played in the outfield.

The following spring he made his major league debut on April 21, 1899 with Pittsburg of the NL. He finished that season with a .352 batting average. In 1903, the first game of the modern day World Series was played in Boston. As a member of Pittsburg, Beaumont made history of being the first batter. Boston’s Cy Young was on the mound with Lou Criger catching.

Both Beaumont and Criger have now been honored in this Baseball Memorial Series. Beaumont in Burlington, and Criger in his hometown of Elkhart, Indiana. Both mention their 1903 World Series play on their memorials; both include their friends name Cy Young, and both had their granddaughters who think the world of their grandfathers attend their dedications.

In 1907, he joined the Boston Doves. He batted .322 and led the league in hits for his fourth time, with 187. It was his last season batting over .300. Ginger remained with Boston through 1909.

In somewhat of a homecoming, he joined the Chicago Cubs in 1910. He became a member of a team that would eventually have four members in the National Baseball Hall of Fame that included Mordecai Brown, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance. The team played in its fourth World Series in a five-year span. As the Cubs dynasty ended, so did Beaumont’s major league career, as he made his final at bat in the World Series.

BeaumontBackLG

David Stalker (left), Beaumont’s granddaughter Jean Cognato (center) Beaumont’s great granddaughter Julie Roden.

Seven out of his twelve years he batted over.300, finishing his career with a .311 lifetime average. This happened in an era when pitching dominated the game. Ginger, later in his life stated that his eight years with the Pirates were his favorite.

After baseball he purchased a 180-acre farm in Honey Creek, Wisconsin, just miles down the road from Rochester. He named the farm, Center Field Farm. He was a choir director at a Honey Creek Baptist Church, and did some auctioneering. He was a kind man who was known to happily help anyone. He was as good off the field, as he was on.

He was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1951. Pitchers from the first modern day World Series of 1903, Cy Young and Deacon Phillippe, both traveled to Milwaukee to join in the festivities honoring Beaumont. Connie Mack, who signed Beaumont to his first professional contract, also attended.

In 2011 he became a member of the Racine Count Sports Hall of Fame in Racine, Wisconsin. The following year he was inducted into Burlington’s Baseball Hall of Fame.

On July 19, 2015 Ginger Beaumont became a member of David Stalker’s Baseball Memorial Series. After the ceremony, Jean Cognato kissed her hand and then set it on the granite baseball that sets on top of the memorial. Her smile was as bright as her Grandpa Beau’s red hair. Later she said that she has never been prouder.

The monument reads: (Front side, with portrait by Linda Boettcher)

This memorial is dedicated to the life of Clarence H. Beaumont. (With “Ginger” under the portrait.) Born in Rochester, WI, July 23, 1876 to Thomas and Mary Beaumont. He made his major league debut Apr. 21, 1899 and his big league career lasted from 1899 to 1910. Beaumont married Norma (Vaughan) Beaumont in Nov. 1901. They raised two daughters, Marion and Janet, and one son, Charles. Ginger played 8 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, three with the Boston Nationals and one season with the Chicago Cubs. The owner of the Pirates nicknamed him “Ginger” due to his red hair. In 1903 Beaumont became the first batter in the World Series flying out to centerfield off Cy Young. He would retire after 12 seasons and return to Honey Creek where he lived on his farm called “Center Field Farm.” In 1951 Beaumont was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. Beaumont died at 79 on Apr. 10, 1956. His obituary in the Sporting News called him, “One of the game’s all-time great outfielders.”

(Backside, includes full body etching by Linda Boettcher)

12-year career totals from 1899-1910
(Career stats listed)

Collected 6 hits in 6 times at-bat scored 6 runs without a hit leaving the infield in 1899.

National League batting champ with a .357 average in 1902. He was 2nd in home runs in 1903.

Led the NL 4 times in base hits and once each in runs and total bases. In the NL’s top 10 in batting average in 7 of his 12 years.

Donated July 19th 2015 by: The Burlington Historical Society, Fans of Beaumont, David J. Stalker and Archie Monuments

David Stalker

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