Monday, April 3, 2017

Opening Day, 1902 to 1931

It's Opening Day!

The latest issue of the ad-free American Association Almanac was published last week. It contains a balanced look at the opening day statistics compiled from a 30-year period including the years from 1902 to 1931.

This 32,000 word article is organized into three sections, each one pertaining to a period of one decade, and each of which contain essentially the same topics. For example, in the first section for the period 1902 to 1911, the introduction contains a description of each of the first four contests (there were eight teams) which took place on April 23, 1902. An emphasis was placed on these games because of their historical importance as "firsts" and so they receive more attention than in the other sections. Here is an excerpt from this section:

Mike (Elmer) Smith, the Kansas City left fielder, took top honors
for providing Kansas City’s first home run of the American Association
era, making the score 16-4. The additional fireworks came off Dunkle in the
sixth after a triple by Nance, netting the Blues their final two runs.
Both clubs had 39 at-bats and yielded three errors.
The blood-letting was complete in two hours, 15 minutes,
quite lengthy for a nine-inning game of this period.

Next, a section on team records answers the most basic questions concerning which teams were the most successful during this decade, containing the following table entitled "Combined Opening Day Records, 1902-1911." The table below shows how each team performed at home (H) and on the road (R) in terms of its wins and losses.


A sub-section describing the results of contests involving Eastern vs. Western teams (defined in the text) wraps up this introductory portion of the section.

Shutouts are covered next. Each the eight entries contains a summary of the game, as shown in the following excerpt:

6. John Halla, lhp. April 13, 1910: Louisville 6 at Columbus 0.
Giving up just four hits, John “Jack” Halla, 26, wins his third straight opener
(two are home openers) before a Neil Park assemblage of 9,900. Glenn Liebhardt, 27,
the Columbus starter, goes the distance, giving up 11 hits. Louisville scores three runs in the fourth. 
Suter “Scooter” Sullivan (3b) walks to lead off the frame, and moves up on shortstop Bill Moriarty’s sacrifice. 
Larry Quinlan (ss) boots keystone sacker Gus Soffel’s tough grounder to short, setting the table for Heinie Peitz (c/mgr.) whose hit-and-run scores Sullivan for the season’s first tally and the deciding run of the game. 
Halla contributes a single to load the bases before Joe Stanley (cf) drives in Soffel and Peitz. 
Halla strikes out three and walked two, aided by an error-free defense. 
Louisville bats .306 as only Peitz takes the collar. 
The fielding of Moriarty at short is a feature. 
The contest takes one hour, 58 minutes.
William J. Guthrie and Charles E. Van Syckle officiate.

A section entitled "Pitching Survey" is next in which a statistical breakdown of the entire sample of 77 pitchers to perform in a season opener is presented. Here, a comparison between left-handers and right-handers is offered. This is followed by the a section entitled "Advantage Pitcher" which discusses games in which one team had a sizeable early advantage.

The section "Season Opener Scoring Records: 1902 to 1911" follows. This includes run totals, in cluding averages, highs and lows, combined game totals, single-game totals and highlights of "per inning" scoring, including extra-inning games. Discussed as part of this section is the topic of scoring patterns. For example, lead changes is discussed in some depth, and the results for teams which scored first in each game is presented as a table. Finally, a survey of games which resulted in late decisions is presented. 

A substantial section on hitting records of the decade is laid out in great detail, including leader boards for teams and players. Here is an excerpt:

Hitting Records by Team: 1902-1911

    Hi Hits: 21 - St. Paul, April 18, 1906 at IND; score: STP 15, IND 5
    Lo Hits: 2 - Minneapolis, April 17, 1907 at IND
    
Hi Hits for Host Team: 18 - Louisville, April 18, 1906, defeating MIN, 11-7
    Lo Hits for Host Team: 3 - Columbus, April 23, 1902 hosting MIN
   
    Hi Batting Avg.: .467 - St. Paul, April 18, 1906 at IND (noted above)
    Hi Batting Avg./Host: .464 - Toledo, April 17, 1907 defeating STP, 8-0
    
Lo Batting Avg.: .071 - Minneapolis, April 17, 1907 losing to IND, 4-0
    Lo Batting Avg./Host: .088 - Louisville, April 22, 1903 losing to IND, 4-2

Eleven home runs were hit during this decade, and each one is documented in considerable detail, as shown in this excerpt: 

8. Barry McCormick (2b), Milwaukee (vs. STP), April 14, 1909.
The Brewers made it a 6-0 lead over the Saints in the seventh after 
McCormick’s three-run jolt off “Little Chief” Louis LeRoy  at Athletic Park. 
Some 6,000 fans craned their necks skyward as “the pill floated serenely over 
he 8th Street fence for a homer,” driving in Dan McGann (1b) and Pep Clark (3b). 
Batting sixth in the order, McCormick had himself a day at the plate,
with three hits and seven total bases in addition to scoring a pair of runs. 
Milwaukee won, 9-5.


The decade section wraps up with a comparison of attendance data showing which teams led the league in which years, cumulative totals, and rankings for season totals.

The same pattern for the presentation of the data for the next two decades is used.

Here is a look at the cover for this issue, showing the front cover (right) and the back cover (left).



For more information on this fascinating issue
and how you can subscribe to the
American Association Almanac,
please contact the editor
at this email address:

pureout@msn.com

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Just for fun: It stood for over 50 years as host to the American Association's Milwaukee Brewers. Built in 1888, Borchert Field, originally Milwaukee Athletic Park, had a storied past. This photographic image served as the basis for one of the most attractive ballpark postcards of the pre-War era. Here is the photo, followed by the postcard.



This little item can cost you big time if it's a seller's market. Just ask me. It appears on the back of my book, The American Association Milwaukee Brewers, published by Arcadia in 2004.



And always remember: The past did not take place in black and white....

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Colorful Firsts (...names, that is)

Just for Fun

After finishing up the task of compiling the complete player roster for each Season Opener for American Association teams from 1902 to 1911, the notion of doing something "light" crossed my mind. It occurred to me that the first names of this era were often colorful ones. Here is a sampling of some of a handful of them. All told, 438 players (pitcher included) comprised the Opening Day rosters for the eight teams comprising the American Association during the league's first decade. (Please note: each name appears as it is listed on baseball-reference.com):

Chick, Jap, Shad, Quait, Heinie, Rivington, Bruno, Sylvester, Rip, Chappie, Pep, Boileryard, Bunk, Gavvy, Dode, Jiggs, She, Hobe (HO-bee), Peaches and Steamer.

The corresponding surnames: Chick Autry (see photo below), Jap Barbeau, Quait Bateman, Heinie Peitz, Rivington Bisland, Bruno Block, Sylvester Loucks, Rip Cannell, Chappie Charles, Pep (Harry) Clark, Boileryard Clarke, Bunk Congalton, Gavvy Cravath, Dode Criss, Jiggs Donahue, She Donahue, Hobe Ferris, Peaches Graham, Steamer Flannigan.   

What's YOUR favorite? 

Chick Autry, appearing for the first time in the uniform of the Minneapolis Millers in 1915. Prior to that he was long associated as a first baseman for the St. Paul Saints. A goodly handful of player from either St. Paul or Minneapolis later joined the Millers or Saints, respectively, choosing to play for the crosstown rival team and earning what has been dubbed the dubious moniker of "Twin Cities Turncoat." (photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections)

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Season Openers: 1902 to 1931

Work began in September for the Spring 2017 issue of the American Association Almanac (paper; $24/yr or $42/2 yrs by subscription). It will present a detailed analysis of both the player records and team records for 120 American Association Season Openers during the period 1902 to 1931. The following 30 years will be published the following year. Here is a listing of the results of those contests, followed by a sample section from the main database.

American Association Results of Season Openers:
1902 to 1931*


April 23, 1902
Columbus 5 vs. Minneapolis 0
Indianapolis 5 vs. Milwaukee 4
Kansas City 16 @ Louisville 6
Toledo 8 vs. St. Paul 7 (10.5.2)

April 22, 1903
Columbus 2 @ Toledo 0
Indianapolis 4 @ Louisville 2 (10)
Kansas City 8 vs. Minneapolis 4
Milwaukee 10 vs. St. Paul 7

April 20, 1904
Indianapolis 6 vs. Kansas City 3
Louisville 9 vs. Milwaukee 1
Minneapolis 5 @ Toledo 4
St. Paul 7 @ Columbus 1

April 19, 1905
Columbus 6 vs. Minneapolis 1
Kansas City 8 @ Toledo 3
Louisville 10 vs. St. Paul 3
Milwaukee 5 @ Indianapolis 4

April 18, 1906
Kansas City 6 @ Columbus 2
Louisville 11 vs. Minneapolis 7
St. Paul 15 @ Indianapolis 5
Toledo 7 vs. Milwaukee 2

April 17, 1907
Columbus 6 vs. Milwaukee 4
Indianapolis 4 vs. Minneapolis 0
Louisville 6 vs. Kansas City 4
Toledo 8 vs. St. Paul 0

April 15, 1908
Columbus 5 vs. St. Paul 4
Indianapolis 4 vs. Kansas City 2
Milwaukee 2 @ Louisville 1
April 16, 1908
Toledo 5 vs. Minneapolis 4

April 14, 1909
Indianapolis 4 vs. Toledo 2
Louisville 6 vs. Columbus 1
Milwaukee 9 vs. St. Paul 5
Minneapolis 2 @ Kansas City 0

April 13, 1910
Kansas City 10 @ Minneapolis 5
Louisville 6 @ Columbus 0
Milwaukee 2 @ St. Paul 1
Toledo 5 @ Indianapolis 0

April 12, 1911
Indianapolis 1 vs. Milwaukee 0
Kansas City 4 @ Louisville 3
Minneapolis 7 @ Toledo 4 (10)
April 15, 1911
Columbus 2 vs. Minneapolis 1 (9.5.1)

April 10, 1912
Columbus 10 vs. Kansas City 8
Minneapolis 6 @ Louisville 4
St. Paul 7 @ Indianapolis 6
Toledo 6 vs. Milwaukee 5

April 10, 1913
Indianapolis 21 @ St. Paul 13 

Louisville 7 @ Kansas City 1
Minneapolis 8 vs. Columbus 1
April 12, 1913
Milwaukee 2 vs. Toledo 0 (8.5.1)
 

April 14, 1914
Indianapolis 4 vs. Cleveland 0**
Kansas City 6 vs. Minneapolis 3 

Milwaukee 4 vs. St. Paul 0
April 15, 1914
Louisville 7 vs. Columbus 2

April 15, 1915
Indianapolis 10 @ Cleveland 1**
Louisville 3 @ Columbus 0
Milwaukee 6 vs. Minneapolis 4
St. Paul 11 @ Kansas City 5

April 18, 1916
Columbus 4 vs. Kansas City 0
Minneapolis 2 @ Louisville 1
St. Paul 4 @ Indianapolis 1
Toledo 4 vs. Milwaukee 2

April 11, 1917
Indianapolis 6 vs. Toledo 5 (10.5.0)
Kansas City 3 vs. Minneapolis 0
Louisville 4 vs. Columbus 2
Milwaukee 4 vs. St. Paul 0

May 1, 1918
Indianapolis 9 @ Columbus 0
Minneapolis 3 @ Kansas City 2
St. Paul 10 @ Milwaukee 1
Toledo 3 vs. Louisville 2

April 23, 1919
Columbus 1 vs. Kansas City 0 

Indianapolis 2 vs. St. Paul 1
Louisville 14 vs. Milwaukee 2
April 26, 1919
Minneapolis 10 @ Toledo 2

April 14, 1920
Columbus 6 @ Louisville 1
Minneapolis 8 @ Kansas City 2
St. Paul 3 @ Milwaukee 2 (10)
Toledo 1 @ Indianapolis 0

April 13, 1921
Indianapolis 3 vs. Columbus 2 (8.5.2) 

Louisville 5 vs. Toledo 4
Milwaukee 6 vs. St. Paul 1
April 14, 1921
Minneapolis 2 @ Kansas City 1

April 12, 1922
Columbus 5 vs. Milwaukee 4 (13.5.2)
Kansas City 5 @ Toledo 4 (10) 

Minneapolis 9 @ Louisville 8 (12)
St. Paul 3 @ Indianapolis 0

April 19, 1923
Columbus 3 @ Toledo 2 (10)
Louisville 4 @ Indianapolis 0
Minneapolis 10 @ Milwaukee 3
St. Paul 8 @ Kansas City 5

April 15, 1924
Columbus 6 vs. Kansas City 2 

Indianapolis 10 vs. Minneapolis 8
Louisville 6 vs. St. Paul 4
Toledo 5 vs. Milwaukee 3
 

April 14, 1925
Columbus 7, St. Paul 0
Kansas City 6 @ Indianapolis 1
Louisville 3 vs. Milwaukee 2
Toledo 3, Minneapolis 1

April 13, 1926
Indianapolis 5 @ Kansas City 4
Minneapolis 6 vs. Columbus 5
Toledo 12 @ St. Paul 4
April 14, 1926
Louisville 10 @ Milwaukee 5

April 12, 1927
Kansas City 8 @ Columbus 5
Milwaukee 9 @ Toledo 2
Minneapolis 1 @ Louisville 0 (12)
St. Paul 1 @ Indianapolis 0

April 10, 1928
Indianapolis 5 vs. Minneapolis 4 (12.5.2)
Milwaukee 11 @ Columbus 10 (10)
St. Paul 3 @ Louisville 2 (12)
Toledo 2 vs. Kansas City 2 (12)

April 16, 1929
Indianapolis 10 vs. Milwaukee 6 

Kansas City 8 @ Louisville 2
Minneapolis 21 @ Columbus 4
Toledo 5 vs. St. Paul 3 (11.5.2)

April 15, 1930
Columbus 8 vs. St. Paul 2
Indianapolis 3 vs. Kansas City 2
Louisville 11 vs. Milwaukee 2
Toledo 9 vs. Minneapolis 1

April 14, 1931
Milwaukee 15 @ Columbus 10
Minneapolis 10 @ Louisville 4
St. Paul 8 @ Indianapolis 3
Toledo 4 vs. Kansas City 0


_____________________________


*Please note the following:

Winner Listed First

“@” - at

Extra-innings stated in parentheses and expressed in decimal form, e.g., 10.5.2 = game ended with two out in bottom of 11th inning

_____________________________

**The Toledo Mud Hens moved to Cleveland for the 1914 and 1915 seasons. 






______________________________________________________________________________

JUST FOR FUN: Here are a few suggestions for developing these data to become more familiar with the early history of the American Association:

1. Develop a won-loss record for each team, and separate it by decade.

2. Compare Eastern teams vs. Western teams. Eastern teams included Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville and Toledo. Western teams included Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

3. Compare scoring within each of the three decades.

4. Find the five team’s greatest run totals.

5. Find the top five game’s run differentials.

6. List each extra-inning game by year and by team.

7. List each shutout game.

8. Identify various intra-season and inter-scoring patterns, such as when each home team won its season opener, or when one team scored the same number of runs in subsequent seasons.



_______________________________________________________________________



_______________________________________________________________________


Team Names:
Columbus Senators
Indianapolis Indians
Kansas City Blues
Louisville Colonels
Milwaukee Brewers
Minneapolis Millers
St. Paul Saints
Toledo Mud Hens (1902-1913; 1916-1931); 

known as the Cleveland Spiders (1914) and Cleveland Bear Cats (1915)

_______________________________________________________________________

This record was created in preparation for the Spring 2017 issue of the American Association Almanac which will present a complete analysis, including team records and player records, of each of the American Association’s first 30 season openers.



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ballparks of Indianapolis, Part 3

Hot off the presses! (actually, just my faithful -- usually -- little laser-jet printer) This issue of the American Association Almanac breaks new ground, offering a statistical record of the American Association games played at West Washington Street Park, home of the Indianapolis Indians from 1905 to 1931. Three back pages are dedicated to the all-time records achieved at Washington Park. Finally, a "Gone With the Great Majority" section provides a brief necrology of former American Association players.

Here's a pair of sample pages which accurately represent the entire contents:

 __________________________________________________________

And here's a look at the front cover:

__________________________________________________________

The back cover is informative as well, with a focus on the role played by the Indianapolis Indians in the very first American Association night game:

__________________________________________________________

The introduction to this issue provides a framework for
how this issue fits into the realm of baseball history:

__________________________________________________________

For information on how to order your copy of this comprehensive volume,
available only through the author,
contact Rex Hamann at
pureout@msn.com

ONE FREE COPY OF THE ALMANAC FOR EACH NEW SUBSCRIPTION

__________________________________________________________

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ballparks of Indianapolis, Part 2

In January, 2016 the American Association Almanac published Vol. 12, No. 1 covering West Washington Street Park, the home of the Indianapolis Indians from 1905 to 1931. It focused on the 1905 season and provided considerable details on how the park evolved during the course of its lifetime. Here are a few peeks at its contents.

Front Cover



Back Cover



Sample Pages




Promotional Flyer



 Copies Available, Order Yours Today!
Combine with a two-year subscription ($42.00) and receive one issue free!
Rex Hamann
pureout@msn.com



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ballparks of Indianapolis: Part I of a Series

This week I am publishing (on paper) the third in a series on the American Association Ballparks of Indianapolis. Volume 12, No. 2 of the American Association Almanac for Summer 2016 will be mailed to subscribers in a few days. But because I've been so delinquent posting on this website, I wanted to provide some background on the series

The first of the set (Vol. 11, No. 2) discusses East Washington Street Park (which would have been known at the time as simply Washington Park or Gray Street Grounds). The inside front cover lists the topics and provides a diagram of the playing field and stands.


Here is an excerpt:

Introduction

    One of the shortest-lived ball parks in American Association history, East Washington Street Park, or simply Washington Park, had a colorful history. It was located on the far east side of Indianapolis and hosted the to the Association’s Indians from 1902 to 1904. The home venue of the league’s first champion, it became the stage for advancing the baseball interests of a major midwestern city. Perhaps more importantly was how it survived as the home of the Indians for the length of time that it did.
    Various challenges arose in assembling the story of such an obscure place as Washington Park. There are very few photographs which might permit comparisons with other parks. Details concerning the physical plant are buried deep within newspaper articles and are often sketchy, if accessible at all. Even the data found in box scores varied.
    And yet the story of this forgotten little place captures the imagination. While there are very few comparisons to be drawn with regard to modern baseball venues, the story of Washington Park contains various subjective angles which tie it in to the modern age. You won’t find out how much a hot dog costs, which Indianapolis brewery supplied the beer, who the architect was, or what variety of sod was used for the playing surface. Whether the home team hit like heroes there or whether there was a home field advantage...or whether this was one place the Indians were glad to put behind them
weren’t known until now.
    The prevailing sentiment is that because Washington Park was never a major league venue, it doesn’t warrant our attention. The fault of such logic is plain to students of the old American Association. In 1902, the league was an independent, diverse organization on par with many major league teams, drawing and developing talent from a broad range of ages and levels of experience. Canada-born William H. “Bill” Watkins, former manager of the National League’s Pittsburg Pirates, found “major league” challenges as perhaps the earliest kingpin of Indianapolis baseball when he led the Western League Indianapolis Hoosiers. As the Indians’ first owner and manager, he piloted the team to the league’s first championship, but it was ultimately a political defeat which forced him to relinquish his control of the club and move to Minneapolis after the 1903 season.
    In addition to presenting the origins of Washington Park, this issue features the analysis of the home statistics for the Indianapolis Indians from 1902 to 1903. Identifying home/road splits in multiple categories required an organized plan starting with a paper-and-pencil approach. Box scores from Sporting Life served as the basis for most of the data, but having online access to the Indianapolis Journal was key to confirming or disputing those records, as well as providing in-depth game reports. On the surface, this would seem simple enough, but the mere task of determining the correct number of games played at Indianapolis posed a challenge. The fact that the club played certain Sunday games at alternate venues required the separation of those stats within the season’s core database. In the end, these data were compiled, organized, and developed on a per season basis, before being analyzed and then brought to life in these pages. Ultimately, the tale of short-lived Washington Park may seem inconsequential, but faithful readers will soon recognize its value — if anything else, it fills a void.

An information flyer was mailed to nearly 100 potential customers from a mailing list developed from the SABR website.



Please contact me if you are interested in ordering the above work. I can be reached by email at pureout@msn.com