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Thread: The Orange and Black(Sox)

  1. #1111
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    June, 1939

    On our day off, the Hawks lost, while the Red Sox and we were idle, so we're one game back, and they're still a half game behind us. This one should be good!

    June 24 - 26, 1939
    Boston Red sox (37 - 26) at Baltimore Orioles (38 - 26)


    June 24: By "this one", maybe I meant "this series." I certainly didn't mean this game. The only good thing about it was the attendance, almost hitting 64,000. Then the game started. Bill Dietrich was terrible, as it seems to me he usually is against the Red Sox, while Joe Bokina remains the non-Oriole Pitcher of the Decade as far as I can see. Red Sox 9, Orioles 0

    June 25: Jim Reninger gave up six runs in five innings. Mack Stewart and Joe Wood gave up two apiece. We allowed 16 base hits, including Jimmie Foxx's 25th home run of the year. We held leads of six and eight runs, and neither held up. And yet, at the end, we managed to fight them off despite Mike Palagyi putting the tying run on base in the ninth. Orioles 11, Red Sox 10 And best of all, the Hawks lost their fourth straight, which means that we're in a tie for first place!

    June 26: Chet Laabs doubled and homered for the visitors, and they got eleven hits. But somehow Denny kept them from scoring much, and Bob Elliott hit his fourth home run of the year. Orioles 5, Red Sox 3 We took two of three from our tough competition, and held onto a tie with the also-victorious Hawks. For the first time in two years, it's fun to be an Oriole. For the first time in more than that, it's a little bit exciting, too.

    Will joined me for lunch today. He's been doing that a lot more lately. It's a fairly easy drive from his place over to Fell's Point, and we sometimes take advantage of the restaurants and bars that have opened to serve the baseball crowd. Other times we get some food and eat in my office, which is nice too. I have plenty of lunch meetings - it's nice to have one with my son!

    Up in Boston, the Pirates and Bees played a pretty tight game, eventually won by the Pirates 10 - 8. In the bottom of the ninth, the Bees had a chance to put another on the board when pinch runner Tom Roddy rounded third base with room to spare. But he slipped and could not recover in time. Manager Casey Stengel tells the story after the game, and it has the sound of one he'll repeat for years, that he asked Roddy after the game why he was wearing his old baseball shoes with worn spikes instead of the new pair. Roddy replied that they hurt his feet. "From now on," Stengel says, "I'm going to make sure to look at the shoes of pinch runners before putting them into the game."

    * * *

    Most of the time, I really love being the general manager of a major league baseball team. Who wouldn't?

    Then there are days like today. Beginning with the 'phone call I make to Bob Quinn, of the Bees. Past the pleasantries, I'm feeling him out about Keith Agan, a former Oriole who has signed a pretty reasonable contract of just over $10,000 that will last until after the 1942 season. I'd traded him away, afraid that he would demand more of me, when I didn't have much. Now I have less in the bank - but my operating funds would let me pick up that salary if I wanted. And I'd already cleared it with Mr. Hoffberger, so that was good too.

    You see, neither of us are happy with Jim Sheehan, as his .219 average should demonstrate clearly. And if that doesn't, the fact that he's been mostly benched for the month in favor of Willard Hershberger should do it. We like Willard - but he's up for arbitration after this year. And with arbitration being what it is, we'd most likely lose him. So I'd like to move him before then. The problem is that we have nobody besides Sheehan to catch. Which leads us to Agan.

    Quinn gets a good laugh at my suggestion of an even-up trade, as he should. Willard is 29 years old, and we have him at 82/83, while Agan is 26 and 93/93. Quinn knows I didn't offer it seriously, even though I did point out that his team also has Ernie Lombardi at catcher and doesn't need 93/93 sitting on the bench. Agan's not happy about that either.

    So Quinn makes a counter offer. He'll give me Agan and $9,000 - if I add Nick Tremark to the deal.

    I start to reject it out of hand. Tremark? Tremendous Tremark? Two time All-Star, former Rookie of the Year, 26 year old Tremark? Young, relatively popular, and happy here Tremark? Ridiculous, no matter how much we'd like both the catcher and the money.

    Then I think about one more thing. Tremark is young, and popular, and happy. He's also eligible for arbitration this year, just like Hershberger. Meaning I might not get to keep him anyway.

    I tell Quinn I'll have to call him back. I have to check, which annoys me no end. But most of all, I have to think.

    * * *

    Off to the movies with Susanna, to get my mind off matters baseball. You know, sometimes I miss the days of silent films, and I'll tell you why. If you didn't want to watch and read the intertitles, you could just close your eyes and listen to the piano player, and relax, and think. Now there's no chance of that.

    Even when you see a pure melodrama such as Five Came Back.



    There's no other way to describe it - it's a disaster movie. It stars Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, and a whole lot of others. Honestly, the ending is deeply depressing - I'm not much for the Shakespearean definition of a tragedy. Miss Ball is not unpleasant, I'll admit.


    Here's Lucy!

    Overall, it ends up distracting me from baseball quite well. Which doesn't help with the Tremark question.

    * * *

    June 27 - 29, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (40 - 27) at Philadelphia Athletics (31 - 36)


    June 27: Joe calls me from Philadelphia, but I'm not around, being at the movies. Instead of just letting me read it in the papers tomorrow, he keeps calling until finally catching me. And why not? The Hawks were idle, and Al Veach won his tenth. Orioles 4, Athletics 2 That means that we're one half game in possession of first place!

    Then I asked Joe to put Tremark and Hershberger on the bench, and build his lineup as he would if they were hurt. Lou would have questioned me. Bassler would have had a two word response that ended in "no". Joe? "Whatever you say, boss."

    June 28: I called Quinn back, and asked for one more day. He agreed, but did say "tick tick" before we hung up.

    And Joe surprised me. Sure, he benched Hershberger and Tremark, just as I asked. He moved Charlie over to short, where Elliott has been playing out of position, put Snuffy Stirnweiss in at second in place of Benny McCoy - and put Elliott out in right! Well, I checked with Jeff, and we do have him listed as third base and right field. Don't know when the last time was that he actually played right, though. Jeff does - junior year of high school. Swell.

    So how did we do? We got more runs than we did hits. 3 to 2. And Bill Dietrich has something wrong with him, I don't care if he denies it or not. Athletics 10, Orioles 3

    I ask Joe to do the same one more time. "Okay boss."

    June 29: Well, it's not our bats that are at fault. Snuffy Stirnweiss gets his first major league home run, but our pitching is terrible. Athletics 10, Orioles 8 And Chicago has won the past two days, so we're a game and a half back.

    But is it because of my experiment? Or something else? And, does it matter? Hershberger and Tremark are still going to be too expensive or gone next year.

    I place the call to Quinn. I can't wait to see what Macey White has to say about this. And I'm not even sure I'll disagree with him.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  2. #1112
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    Note: Sorry about the delay - turns out that Charlie isn't the only one who makes occasional unplanned trip to the hospital.

    * * *

    July, 1939

    June Statistics

    Code:
    1939 Batting             Team    G   AVG    AB    H  2B  3B  HR   BB    K   SB  CS    R  RBI   SLG   OBP
    Gehringer, Charlie        BAL   67  .315   276   87  24   4   5   33   16    2   2   54   25  .486  .387
    Williams, Ted             BAL   67  .291   268   78   9   3  13   30   35    0   3   49   42  .493  .358
    Elliott, Bob              BAL   66  .275   251   69   9   3   5   31   26    1   0   38   45  .394  .353
    Walker, Dixie             BAL   66  .285   242   69  13   4   5   22   12    0   1   30   33  .434  .343
    Rizzuto, Phil             BAL   50  .335   200   67  11   6   1   20    8    4   2   34   28  .465  .392
    Sheehan, Jim              BAL   46  .211   171   36   8   1   3   12   23    0   0   20   18  .322  .262
    Easter, Luke              BAL   30  .241   116   28   8   1   7   15   23    0   0   22   23  .509  .328
    Heltzel, Heinie           BAL   38  .286    91   26   5   0   2    5   12    0   1    9   17  .407  .330
    Agan, Keith               BAL   38  .216    74   16   1   2   0    6    8    1   1    5    7  .284  .275
    Maitland, Luke            BAL   24  .246    61   15   2   0   3    3    9    0   0    7    9  .426  .303
    Veach, Al                 BAL   18  .250    52   13   3   0   0    1    8    0   1    7    2  .308  .264
    McCoy, Benny              BAL   23  .200    45    9   2   0   2    6    6    0   0    6   11  .378  .283
    Reninger, Jim             BAL   15  .079    38    3   0   0   0    3   16    0   0    3    0  .079  .146
    Marion, Red               BAL   16  .294    34   10   0   0   1    5    7    0   0    3    5  .382  .385
    Dietrich, Bill            BAL   16  .059    34    2   0   1   0    3   14    0   0    2    1  .118  .135
    Waldrup, Basil            BAL   20  .290    31    9   2   2   0    1    2    0   0    6    4  .484  .313
    Martini, Wedo             BAL   12  .136    22    3   0   0   0    1    6    0   0    1    0  .136  .174
    Gardner, Glenn            BAL    8  .222    18    4   0   0   0    0    3    0   0    3    3  .222  .222
    Stirnweiss, Snuffy        BAL    6  .154    13    2   0   0   1    1    3    0   0    2    2  .385  .214
    Galehouse, Denny          BAL    5  .000     8    0   0   0   0    1    4    0   0    0    0  .000  .111
    Crowson, Woody            BAL   15  .250     4    1   0   0   0    0    1    0   0    0    0  .250  .250
    Palagyi, Mike             BAL   25  .000     3    0   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Kelleher, Hal             BAL    2  .000     2    0   0   0   0    0    1    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Wojey, Pete               BAL    4  .000     2    0   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Piechota, Al              BAL    2  .000     1    0   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Stewart, Mack             BAL   16  .000     1    0   0   0   0    0    1    0   0    0    1  .000  .000
    There's no Lou Gehrig in these statistics.

    Code:
    1939 Pitching            Team     IP   ERA    G  GS   W   L  SV    K   BB   R/9
    Veach, Al                 BAL  136.0  2.91   18  18  10   2   0   92   48 12.31
    Dietrich, Bill            BAL  109.0  3.63   16  16   6   6   0   44   33 13.46
    Reninger, Jim             BAL  104.0  4.24   15  15   6   6   0   72   37 12.20
    Martini, Wedo             BAL   67.1  4.01   12   9   3   6   1   33   23 12.30
    Gardner, Glenn            BAL   56.0  2.57    8   8   4   1   0   38   10  9.80
    Palagyi, Mike             BAL   29.0  6.21   25   0   1   3   1   17   15 17.38
    Galehouse, Denny          BAL   27.2  2.28    5   3   3   0   0   12    7 10.41
    Wood, Joe                 BAL   27.0  5.00   20   0   1   0   3    8   12 14.00
    Stewart, Mack             BAL   22.0  3.27   16   0   4   1   2   13   10 13.09
    Crowson, Woody            BAL   20.1  3.54   15   0   3   2   2   12   12 13.28
    Piechota, Al              BAL    9.0  4.00    2   1   0   1   0   10    1  8.00
    Wojey, Pete               BAL    7.2  8.22    4   0   0   1   1    8    4 15.26
    Kelleher, Hal             BAL    5.2  3.18    2   0   0   0   0    2    1  7.94
    Brown, Walter             BAL    1.2  0.00    2   0   0   0   0    1    0 10.80




    Some pretty tight races on both sides. No matter how good the Giants seem to be this year, the Cards are right there with them.

    League Leaders

    American League

    Batting: Jimmie Foxx (BOS), .413
    Home Runs: Jimmie Foxx (BOS), 29
    RBIs: Jimmie Foxx (BOS), 89

    They should just engrave the most valuable player award to Foxx right now. He's 56 points better than second best in average, 14 homers better, and 29 RBIs better. Without him, Boston would be firmly in the second division. With him, they're right behind us.

    Wins: Al Veach (BAL)/Steamboat Struss (CHI)/Red Ruffing (CLE), 10
    ERA: Steamboat Struss (CHI), 1.94
    Strikeouts: Al Veach (BAL), 92

    Yes, those three win leaders could all be my rotation now. Sigh.

    National League

    Batting: Wes Lariviere (BSN), .432
    Home Runs: Mel Ott (PIT), 16
    RBIs: Calvin Chapman (STL), 59

    Wins: George Caster (NYG), 12
    ERA: Don Fisher (PHI), 2.11
    Strikeouts: Bob Feller (CIN), 95

    Willie Weston Update: Okay, forget everything I said last month. .291 certainly cracks .270, the home run stroke is returning, and he's playing a better shortstop than ever. And I keep forgetting he's 24.



    * * *

    Trade:

    Orioles get: C Keith Agan (93/93), $9,000
    Bees get: C Willard Hershberger (82/83), RF Nick Tremark (87/87)

    So let's see who I've upset by making this trade. Nick, who thought he'd at least get to have a chance to get to arbitration with his only team, and who is going from a pennant race to...not. Hershberger, who can say all the same things except for the "only team" part, plus will now go from starting to backing up Ernie Lombardi. Agan, among whose best friends is Tremark, though he'll get to start again for a contender - but it's the contender who traded him away not too long ago, and against whom he can reasonably be expected to hold a grudge. Dixie Walker, who will now have either Red Marion or Bob Elliott in right, and so will have to shade a bit further over to protect the gap. Our pitchers who will lose two of our better hitters, for one who, while he has the ability, isn't showing it as a backup this year. And millions of Orioles fans who think that I've given up on the season again, because I can't just come out and say "The money didn't work."

    Gee, when you put it that way, it sounds as though I may have made a mistake. I sure hope this is just buyer's remorse instead.

    I think I'm going to go to New York for this trip. Actually, I know I am. Susanna has said to go, even though I usually take her with me. She knows I'll have a chaperone - Jake.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  3. #1113
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    July, 1939

    So why am I in New York for this series, when there is work to be done for the Independence Day/Lou Gehrig Day celebrations back home? One, I want to see the new lineup first hand, so I can be there to take the criticism if needed. Two, because I just wrote another check to Purcell Junior, and want to get as far away from him as I can.

    And three, because Jake asked me to go with him to the World Science Fiction Convention.

    I'm going to give you the first couple of paragraphs of the Time magazine story on it...to show how wrong a major news weekly can be.

    "Sold at U. S. newsstands are about a dozen pulp magazines with such titles as Amazing Stories, Astounding Stories, Startling Stories, Strange Stories, Fantastic Adventures, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Unknown, Marvel Science Stories, Weird Tales. In the pulp trade they are known as "pseudo-scientifics" or "scientifiction." This week in Manhattan this amazing group of publications produced an amazing show: a convention of their fans.

    Scientifiction, which deals almost exclusively with the world of tomorrow and life on other planets, was inspired by Jules Verne's and H. G. Wells's fantasies."


    Well, they got the names of the magazines right. Nobody calls them "pseudo-scientifics". Not many call it scientifiction. It doesn't just deal with the future and alien worlds.

    That's just the first two paragraphs. Actually, do you know what I found? A lot of people, who enjoy the pulps, enjoy the stories, and enjoy the ideas that came from them. Sure, the Lensman series for example is set in space. Two billion years ago, not the future. It deals with invasion of one culture by another, but don't westerns do the same? Robert Heinlein's "Life-Line" (set on Earth in the present day, by the way) deals with themes of mortality and modern politics. Indeed, there's one section in Life-Line that says "There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back." Tell me how that's just "fantasies" and not to be taken seriously.

    And then, as if to prove the Time writer correct, we have our photograph of someone named Forrest J. Ackerman at the convention.



    Sigh.

    * * *

    July 1 - 3, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (41 - 29) at New York Yankees (22 - 49)


    July 1: Well, Agan went 3 for 4. And it wasn't the fault of the lineup. Yankees 13, Orioles 5

    Apparently there was some clause in the deal between the Indians and Cardinals, because they shipped Gordon Rhodes back to Cleveland today.

    July 2: Agan is 3 for 5, and his average has climbed almost forty points in two days. We're down 2 - 0 for most of the game, but get two in the eighth on Luke Easter's home run, and three more in the ninth, including Dixie Walker's inside the park home run. Orioles 5, Yankees 2 So when this lineup gets good pitching, it can win.

    And guess what? The Mechanical Man has emotions just like the rest of us. I know because they were on full view today, and they explain why he didn't finish the game, and won't play tomorrow. In the first, after Pepper Martin singled Dick Bartell to third, Bama Rowell hit another single to score Bartell. Martin went into second on what should have been a routine play, but instead spiked Charlie. Gehringer was torn up and bleeding, though after the game it turned out that he'll probably be okay in a day or two. But he didn't feel any urge to take it, and took off instead after Martin. Martin, known as a brawler, took the better part of valor and ran for the clubhouse. Martin isn't all that fast apparently, as even a gimpy Charlie got to him and the two started the fight in earnest. Both players were ejected. Charlie accused Martin of intentional spiking, to which Martin replied "If that big clown hadn't got his foot in my way‚ I wouldn't have been close to him." This, I assume, is the down side of building your team to have a lot of fun but not win so many games. Other than the "not winning so many games" part.

    July 3: And when Dietrich straightens himself out, pitches a six-hitter, we can put up eleven hits. Admittedly, the four Yankee errors helped. Orioles 5, Yankees 0 But Red Marion hurt himself, and will miss a couple of weeks, trainer Theo Weston says. Wonder if Bob Elliott will get his chance in right?

    Then I'm told that William Benswanger of Pittsburgh is calling to try to trade us - a couple of low prospects, for Mel Ott. Right fielder Mel Ott. Which I'd love to do, if he weren't making over $17,000 per year. If he's still available at the end of the month, and we're still in second place, maybe I'll have to re-think it.

    Jake and I had a great time at the convention. We're on the same train as the team, going back to Baltimore. I don't know that anybody is looking forward to Independence Day. Nobody wants to say goodbye to Lou.

    * * *

    So, here it is. Independence Day. Lou Gehrig Day. And a complete sellout crowd, which I love to see - but not for this.

    Lou is there, in his uniform. He told me before the game that it's the last time he'll wear it, unless he's doing something for the team. I tell him it's his, he can wear it for pajamas if he wants to, he can wash the car in it if he wants to. I at least get a little smile from him.

    Lou's parents are here, from New York. They're in the owner's box, along with David Howard and Sam Hoffberger. Howard still looks terrible. The commissioner and American League President Harridge will join them in the box after the ceremony, but they're to be on the field for that.

    This very proud, yet very humble, man sits at the platform next to his wife Eleanor as dignitary after dignitary parades forth to tell him what he's meant to them. Andy Snyder made the trip from Boston, just to say what it was like as a 14 year old kid selling tickets for the Orioles, and how different it was before Gehrig joined the team from after. He also brings with him a trophy engraved to Lou and signed by all 25 members of the 1939 Boston Red Sox, Eddie Collins, himself, and Tom Yawkey.

    Commissioner Kimball is there, and rambles a bit more than is strictly seemly, but still seems genuine enough in his affection for the man. Walter Johnson is there with the Senators, and makes a speech about all the great players he's been with, and how wonderful his one year with Gehrig was. He, too, brings a trophy - a silver model of Griffith Stadium, dedicated to a great competitor.

    It goes on and on. Sam Hoffberger went down to the field to speak. I was going to, but Lou understands that I don't want to - my voice isn't good to begin with, and with all this I'd be choked up for sure.

    Then it's Lou's turn. Let me just let him tell it. I can't top it.

    "Fans‚ for the past month you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for nineteen years and I have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure‚ I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known David Howard, and Sam Hoffberger? Also‚ the builder of baseball's greatest empire‚ Charles Aaron? To have spent five years with that wonderful man‚ Hughie Jennings? Then to have spent the next fourteen years with those outstanding leaders Kelly Burton, Vinnie Cormican, Johnny Bassler, and that smart student of psychology‚ the best manager in baseball today‚ Joe McCarthy? Sure‚ I'm lucky. When the Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators‚ two teams you would give your right arm to beat‚ and vice versa‚ send you a gift‚ that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies‚ that's something. When you have a father and mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body‚ it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed‚ that's the finest I know. So I close in saying that I might have had a bad break‚ but I have an awful lot to live for. Thank you."

    Bud Holt, speaking for me and all of us, officially makes the announcement that the number 4 is retired, and no Oriole will ever wear that number again. Lou waves, the crowd cheers as though he's just hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth of game seven, and Eleanor and Charlie Gehringer help him off the field.


    Lou in what became a widely-reproduced photo

    After that, there's a game, too. Does it even matter?
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  4. #1114
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    July, 1939

    The games against the Senators.

    July 4 - 6, 1939
    Washington Senators (34 - 41) at Baltimore Orioles (43 - 30)


    I've already told you about the July 4 pregame. The Senators' right fielder Johnny Rizzo is the star of the game, with his two home runs, but Snuffy Stirnweiss (in for Charlie, who's still bothered by the spiking he took last week) and Bob Elliott each hit one of their own. Orioles 6, Senators 5

    35 year old center fielder Ethan Allen joined a select group today by batting out his 3,000th base hit in a game for the Cardinals against the Reds.



    Allen spent his first eleven years in Boston, where he was one of the better center fielders in the game, though always overshadowed by the likes of Tris Speaker and Tex Jeanes. After the '32 season, he was released as just too expensive in Boston, and signed for just over half what he'd been making in the pre-Depression contract. Since then he's been a National League All-Star twice, and just last month collected his 1500th RBI. I'm told that he's kind of a clown, too, but when you have 3,000 hits, you can clown all you want. This puts the clown 12th on the all time list, 25 behind the currently inactive Tex Jeanes, another known clown. Maybe we need to send all our players to the Ringling Brothers.

    July 5: Each team gets seven hits. We get two runs, and make one error. They get one run, and make two. I like our side better. Orioles 2, Senators 1 With the second consecutive loss by the Hawks, and two straight wins by Boston, we're in a three way tie for first.

    Joe Kuhel was our first round draft choice in 1924. From 1926 - 1930 he played a total of eleven major league games for us, having the great misfortune to be a first baseman behind Lou Gehrig on the depth chart. In our wretched year of '31, I traded him to Connie Mack's Elephants, where he provided a missing piece in their world champion team that year. He never quite repeated that success, though he played for Connie through last year. Today, unable to catch on with another team, he called it quits and retired.

    Speaking of first basemen who can be linked to Lou, there's the man who was behind him in the American League for years, and has surpassed him for the last several. Jimmie Foxx today added to his long list of accomplishments by collecting his 2,500th base hit.


    Foxx, contemplative

    This year the Triple Crown winner looks destined to repeat, currently batting an astonishing .429 with 34 home runs and 97 batted in. When asked for the secret of his many successes, the man who's been on five All-Star teams out of a possible six, and won the MVP award four times, responded with a twinkle in his eye, "Clean living, and good friends who showed me how to have a good time while sober." I've heard that there was a concerted behind-the-scenes effort to get Foxx traded to New York this year, before he invoked his complete no-trade clause. Can't imagine what that crew of roughnecks and rowdies would have done to the young man.

    July 6: And now we're not in that tie any more. Carl Hubbell is the Carl Hubbell of old. Senators 5, Orioles 1 Still, just one game back, and we're not even at the All-Star break yet. On the other hand, wasn't it just two years ago that we were about ten games in front at the All-Star break, and finished third? Yes, let us all not think of that. Ever. Unless the police find Hank Barry somewhere.

    * * *

    July 7 - 10, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (45 - 31) at Philadelphia Athletics (35 - 41)


    You know, our team batting average of .267 is one of the worst in the league, certainly the worst in the first division. Our ERA is second best in the league, but a full half run per game worse than the first-place Hawks. I'm coming to think that our success this year so far is more luck than anything else.

    And I have no problem with that.

    July 7: Wow. Dietrich did well, allowing only two runs on eight hits. And we ran into the buzz saw of Spud Chandler, who gave up only two hits, both to Dixie Walker. One was a home run, even, but not enough. Athletics 2, Orioles 1

    July 8: No wasted pitching performance today. Williams is 4 for 4, and others get plenty of hits as well. Orioles 10, Athletics 3

    Susanna and I made a telephone call to Greg for his birthday. I can confirm that all the progress he and I had made over the past several years is gone now, and he's back to tolerating my existence while being the adoring son to his mother. I know what I did the first time - wish I knew what I did this time. And considering how little he's willing to talk about it, hope I find out before I die.

    July 9: Plenty of hits, Ted Williams' 14th home run, and pitching that isn't good, but is good enough. Orioles 8, Athletics 5 And then the other side. Reliever Mike Palagyi comes in, finishes the game...and pulls a muscle in his leg on just about the last pitch of the game. The trainer says he thinks he'll be done for a month. We're sending him back to Baltimore right away, but since we only have one game before the All-Star break, we're not going to send a replacement.

    Little bit of news today, along the same lines as the St. Louis last month. The other day, on the sixth, the last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany were closed by the Nazi government. I know I've made my points about American involvement many times, but if there's anything that could convince me to change my mind, it's matters such as this.

    July 10: Last game before the break, and we're in pretty good shape, even if Baltimore still appears third out of eight on the standings list. Well, not any more. Al Veach has a good day, striking out twelve, Bob Elliott homers, and we end the first half in a good way. Orioles 4, Athletics 1 We're now tied for second - with Chicago, one game behind the first place Red Sox. And with Steamboat Struss out for a couple of weeks, that doesn't look good for the Hawks. And with us playing them four games next week, it looks better and better for us.

    * * *

    Back in New York again, to watch the 1939 All-Star game. The one with the ceremonial first pitch thrown out not by a Yankee hero, but by a local boy made good in another city. Lou Gehrig, of course, to a rousing ovation. I notice that he didn't take to the mound, but stood well in front of it when throwing to starting American League catcher Frankie Hayes.

    Then came the introductions. Here are the players this time around. See if you can spot the common thread in the National League outfield.


    The American League


    The National League

    That's right. Frank Doljack, Josh Kress, and Ducky Medwick. All former Orioles or Oriole farmhands. This year we only put three All-Stars on the American League team, with Charlie making his fifth trip, while Veach is back for the fourth straight time and Ted Williams is a rookie here.

    And do you know the one that I think makes me happiest? Hard Luck Jake Farenchick, 39 years old, who is possibly having one of his best years at 9 - 6, 3.13, finally makes the game. "Did you ever think it would go this way, back when you got sold to us?" I ask him before the game. "I knew I could pitch. I knew I was better than a lot of those guys back on the Originals." He looks around the stadium, sees Yankee manager and game coach Babe Ruth talking with Lou. "But this? Not sure I saw this coming."

    Then, the game.


    Scene from Yankee Stadium, 1939 All-Star game

    Happy to say that my nephew Willie, in his third straight All-Star appearance, goes two for four with two doubles and seems really happy in Yankee Stadium. Happier still that Charlie and Ted both get hits, though Al doesn't get into the game. And Athletics third baseman Freddie Lindstrom just has an amazing day, going 4 for 4, and we pull out the win. American League 4, National League 3

    As for the usual owner/general manager shenanigans, the only thing that really happens is that Bill Berswanger keeps trying different combinations of players, hoping he'll find the one that will get me to take Mel Ott. It's almost funny by the time we're done.

    Without Ott, my team is doing better than I could have reasonably expected following the last two years. And we're on a pace that might possibly even get us out of debt by the end of the season. We'll go back in when we make another payment on The Loan, but still. And if we can somehow pull it all out and win the pennant, the extra money would be even better.

    But with Ott, we won't make as much profit since we'll have to pay his salary - but we have a better chance at that pennant, and World Series ticket revenue.

    I tell Bill to get back to me before the trade deadline. We'll see.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  5. #1115
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    Okay I have 2 questions since I missed a month or 2 or reading during basketball season.

    #1 What happened with Greg the first time?

    #2 What happened to your scientific baseball manager?

    If these can be quickly answered that would be great.

  6. #1116
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    MD
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    jshaw: Greg hasn't been able to entirely forgive Charlie for his drinking and other activities a decade ago. Most recently he's received his doctorate and is continuing for post-doc work at California Berkeley.

    Manager Hank Barry was a con man who'd never done some of the baseball work prior to Baltimore, and used his position as manager of the Orioles to enrich himself on the team's credit. Charlie fired him but gave Hank a head start in exchange for not embarrassing himself for hiring him in the first place, so most people think he was fired because the team wasn't winning.

    Glad to have you back! Thanks for reading.

    * * *

    July, 1939

    And we're back for the second half of the season. Sure, I'd like to be in first, but a .600 winning percentage is not bad at all. That would translate to 92 wins, and seeing as how that would be a ten game improvement over last year, I'd have to take it. Particularly with the...unique...challenges we've faced this year.

    July 14 - 16, 1939
    Detroit Tigers (40 - 41) at Baltimore Orioles (48 - 32)


    July 14: Before the game starts, we had a little ceremony, based on something I saw at the World's Fair. (What, you didn't think I spent all three days at the All-Star game without going, did you?) Anyway, they did this thing wherein they buried a "time capsule", with a lot of stuff from our modern era, for the future to dig up and see what they shall see about us.


    The ceremony in New York

    They'd said some months ago that they were going to do it, and I thought as an idea it was tops, so we're doing one too. We're just going to bury ours under home plate - after the game is over tonight.

    But beforehand, we have a small ceremony dedicating it. Bud and I have been working for some time on what would go into it, and stadium announcer David Dorsey made the announcement as each item was placed.

    First, I insisted that we include one of Lou Gehrig's uniform shirts. I have no doubt he'll be remembered forever, but this should make it even more certain. We announced this one last, though, to get the proper crowd response. We also included a program from today's game, a wire recording of a greeting from Mr. Hoffberger, an NRA Eagle window sticker, a bottle of Coke, a fountain pen, a lady's hat, a Mickey Mouse cup, a deck of cards, fifty dollars in various denominations, some magazine articles on economics, politics, philosophy, and chemistry, a news reel, a copy of Life magazine, and a Bible. And on my way in this morning I stopped and picked up the latest issues of some comics for Chuckie, and got spares, so Action #14, Adventure #40, and Detective #29 are in there too.

    One thing, though. I took back the program, and filled out the scorecard before putting it back. Almost ended up putting a blank one in after all, because we had a 9 - 2 lead going into the ninth, and ended up yielding seven runs in that frame. We then got close to scoring in the bottom of the ninth, but Charlie was thrown out at the plate. But in the tenth, Dixie Walker singled home Basil Waldrup, who'd just singled and stolen second, and it ended all right. Orioles 10, Tigers 9 (10)

    July 15: Roy Parmelee held us to four hits total, and at one point had us with one hit and no runs and trailing 1 - 0. Keith Agan's home run changed that, and Al Veach won his thirteenth before a sellout crowd. Orioles 3, Tigers 1

    July 16: Luke Easter homered again, Basil Waldrup tripled twice, and Bill Dietrich seems to have found his delivery again. Orioles 8, Tigers 1, and a second straight sellout crowd to witness it too! Which still means that our debt is ridiculously high, but compared to where it's been, we're both in the money and have a lot of what it takes to get along.

    Today in Brooklyn, Lefty Grove took the mound for the 660th time in his major league career, with 659 of them being starts. He was up against Cotton Pippen, a pretty darned good 28 year old who's had the misfortune of being on some really bad Athletics and Dodgers teams. Grove could commiserate. When it was over, Grove had allowed three runs on nine hits, and hit one of the two Cardinal home runs en route to a 5 - 3 win. This makes him 8 - 3 this year, and 300 - 222 for his career. He's had three twenty win seasons, has a career ERA of 3.64, has struck out over 2700 batters, and should be a shoo-in for Cooperstown when he's eligible.

    Next we get to go on the relatively rare eight game road trip, with two series of four games each, in Chicago and Detroit respectively. And we take our trip as the sole possessor of first place, by one game.

    * * *

    July 17 - 20, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (51 - 32) at Chicago Hawks (50 - 33)


    July 17: This is not the way we wanted to start. Tied at five after seven innings, Wedo Martini in relief can't get anyone out, and we lose Hawks 10, Orioles 5. Worse still, Bill Dietrich, just one day after getting it straight, is reporting severe pain in his shoulder. Theo is sending him home for further evaluation, but it looks as though Dietrich will be out for at least a month. This will bring Al Piechota back up - and while we're at it, it gives us a fine reason to send Martini down and try George Washburn, currently 9 - 2, 2.86 in Norfolk, in our bullpen.

    Some mighty big news around the city today. The Republican National Committee has decided that the 1940 Republican Convention will be held right here in Baltimore. Just like the Democrat Convention in '32, this shows that our town is growing in population and importance. I'm vain enough to believe that some of that growth has been because of our little baseball team showing that this is a major league city in every way. Besides, you can't prove otherwise.

    July 18: Well, it took a three run home run by Charlie in the top of the ninth, but we did it. Orioles 7, Hawks 5 This puts us back to one game ahead of Chicago, and a half game up on Boston, who was idle yesterday.

    July 19: That, on the other hand, could have gone much better. Al Veach didn't have it, and reliever Mack Stewart only offererd relief to the fans of Chicago. Hawks 8, Orioles 3

    July 20: Remember Tuesday when we got a three run home run in the top of the ninth to win? Well, today, they did it in the bottom. Welcome to the bigs, George Washburn. Now go home. Hawks 5, Orioles 4 This drops us to one game back, but in third place.

    Remember Bill Knickerbocker, used to play for us? I traded him to Boston? Well, the fans in Beantown are pretty upset with their Braves, while the Red Sox are having a fine year. The Braves are over 25 games back and going nowhere. And part of the reason is the fielding of Knickerbocker and Tony Lazzeri. Lazzeri is one of the rare players who plays every day and yet has a fielding average below .900. Knicks is not far behind - or rather, not far ahead.

    So today in the sixth, Knickerbocker booted another one. And a fan, name of Bill Sullivan, jumped out of the stands and ran to him and threw a punch at him! The umpires straightened it out, and Sullivan was taken to jail - apparently to the cheers of hundreds. Wait, let me clarify. He got the cheers for punching Knicks, and the police were booed for arresting him. Casey Stengel after the game defended the fan for coming onto the field. "Hell, if he'd have thrown something at Knickerbocker, he'd have probably booted it." Nothing like the support of your manager.

    Just kidding about sending Washburn down. For now.

    * * *

    July 21 - 24, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (52 - 35) at Detroit Tigers (40 - 47)


    The Tigers have lost six in a row, including our three last week. This is catching them at the right time, I hope.

    July 21: So, how many times over the past nineteen years have I said something similar to this? Rookie Al Piechota pitches well enough to win. And the offense fails him. Tigers 3, Orioles 0

    July 22: And when I've said that, it's usually followed by something like today. Glenn Gardner gives up one fewer than Piechota, but today we get hits, including Bob Elliott's ninth home run. The three Tiger errors help. Orioles 6, Tigers 3

    You know, I think it's time for a movie. And I'm tired of reading the news of the world, and thinking of politics. So it's really time for a movie.



    Hell’s Kitchen, with Ronald Reagan and the Dead End Kids. Basic overly-dramatic drama, a movie with a message when I have no desire to hear a message. I wish more movies would take producer Sam Goldwyn's advice - if you want to send a message, call Western Union. It doesn't help that the movie's a remake of a Cagney film from '33, and one of the Dead End Kids' own films from just last year. Reagan seems pretty good, though.

    July 23: Luke Easter, Ted Williams, and Dixie Walker each hit home runs. We have a 5 - 0 lead after 2 1/2 off Lefty Gomez. And then...Tigers 8, Orioles 7 Al Veach can't get out of the bottom of the third. And Williams doesn't make it much further, being ejected from the game in the fourth after arguing a call with the home plate umpire. "Charlie, the kid was right," I hear on my nightly 'phone call, "but I didn't go out there to protect my player. I went out there to protect the ump. I thought Williams was going to kill him. And then when he left the field to all the boos? I think the fans know what that gesture means, and it's going to cost him I'm sure."

    I may have a problem here.

    July 24: Well, that one wasn't even close. Whatever Joe Schaute was doing with the pitchers earlier in the year, he'd better try to do it again. Tigers 15, Orioles 6 Pretty terrible road trip, isn't it? And yet we're only two games back.

    Good thing.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  7. #1117
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    July, 1939

    Back home again for the rest of the month. Let's see how close we can get to the break even point before the trade deadline. And even more - let's see if I need to pick up Mel Ott to give us an offense.

    July 25 - 27, 1939
    Philadelphia Athletics (43 - 47) at Baltimore Orioles (53 - 38)


    July 25: Well, not if we're going to get offense like that. Every player on our team gets at least one hit. Luke Easter only has one, but it's a home run. Keith Agan goes 4 for 4. Waldrup and Pete Fox, up from Norfolk or Charlotte or wherever I had him, is filling in in right field, and they're the only ones who don't drive in at least one run. And Piechota, after two hard luck starts, gets his first major league win. Orioles 14, Athletics 2

    Philly's reliever Ray Boggs reports to Doc Prescott before the game with very bad pain in his back. Actually, Connie sends the batboy to the Doc to ask him to come see Boggs. He's quickly taken to Union Memorial, where it's revealed that he has ruptured a disk in his back and is done for at least two months, probably the whole season.

    July 26: Much closer. In fact, ex Negro-leaguer Leon Day has the win in the bag. Fortunately for us, he doesn't get called on to pitch after the seventh, and we score three in the eighth and one in the bottom of the ninth. Orioles 7, Athletics 6 On the other hand, we did almost the same - Gardner was okay through seven, then Mack Stewart yielded 4 in the eighth to give Day that lead.

    July 27: Connie sends another former Negro leaguer against us in Bill Byrd. He just has the misfortune to face Al Veach on a good day. Orioles 5, Athletics 2 And we pick up another game finally, and move to second place, one game behind the Hawks, who are back on top.

    * * *

    July 28 - 31, 1939
    New York Yankees (33 - 61) at Baltimore Orioles (56 - 38)


    July 28: Don't see that much any more. Pepper Martin actually tripped Ted Williams as he rounded third in the fourth. Williams still scored, but had a few words with Martin, who returned them lovingly. Williams got the last laugh by hitting the first pitch he saw two innings later into the harbor. Orioles 9, Yankees 4

    July 29: Martin had a few words for our team again before the game started. Williams returned them, strongly, and accompanied them with appropriate gestures and body language. Red Marion and Luke Easter got between the two, leading to Martin letting fly with some words about the color of Easter's skin. Charlie told me later that he thought Easter was going to go after Martin, and an ugly scene would have gotten uglier. But apparently Easter, calmly, said, "That's one home run from me today. Guaranteed. If you want more, keep talking." I'm told that Charlie then told the rest of the dugout the story. It showed, as it was one home run from Easter, one from Bob Elliott, one from Williams, one from Marion, and two from Charlie himself. Yes, we got six home runs, while Al Piechota allowed only seven hits total. Orioles 9, Yankees 1

    I call the police after the game to let them know that I may need a few more at the park tomorrow. Just in case of further rowdiness.

    July 30: Well, we only got one homer today, from Keith Agan. But Glenn Gardner held the Yanks to only six hits, and we rolled over them again. Orioles 7, Yankees 1 And no real problems from the rowdies today - makes me wonder what they're up to.

    July 31: Agan goes deep again, and Veach pitches okay, but Babe Ruth has simmered his team down and they pull even after nine. However, Orioles 5, Yankees 4 (11) And I'll not be picking up Mel Ott - particularly as we're tied for first again.

    * * *

    July Statistics

    Code:
    1939 Batting             Team    G   AVG    AB    H  2B  3B  HR   BB    K   SB  CS    R  RBI   SLG   OBP
    Williams, Ted             BAL   93  .310   371  115  14   5  18   38   44    0   3   67   60  .520  .370
    Gehringer, Charlie        BAL   91  .311   370  115  30   7   8   48   20    3   3   77   33  .495  .389
    Elliott, Bob              BAL   94  .270   363   98  12   7  11   40   32    1   0   56   70  .433  .342
    Walker, Dixie             BAL   92  .280   336   94  15   5   8   33   20    0   1   42   46  .426  .343
    Easter, Luke              BAL   58  .235   230   54  11   1  18   25   42    0   0   42   49  .526  .307
    Rizzuto, Phil             BAL   50  .335   200   67  11   6   1   20    8    4   2   34   28  .465  .392
    Heltzel, Heinie           BAL   66  .274   197   54   7   3   2   19   32    1   2   26   22  .371  .341
    Sheehan, Jim              BAL   51  .213   183   39   8   1   3   12   25    0   0   22   18  .317  .261
    Agan, Keith               BAL   64  .238   181   43   6   2   3   18   14    2   2   19   26  .343  .303
    Waldrup, Basil            BAL   40  .261    88   23   4   5   0    5    2    1   0   11   12  .420  .309
    Veach, Al                 BAL   26  .230    74   17   5   0   0    1   13    0   1    8    2  .297  .240
    Maitland, Luke            BAL   34  .246    69   17   3   0   3    5   11    0   0    7   12  .420  .316
    Marion, Red               BAL   23  .288    59   17   4   0   2    9   12    0   0    6    9  .458  .382
    McCoy, Benny              BAL   23  .200    45    9   2   0   2    6    6    0   0    6   11  .378  .283
    Reninger, Jim             BAL   17  .111    45    5   1   0   0    3   17    0   0    3    0  .133  .167
    Dietrich, Bill            BAL   19  .116    43    5   1   1   0    3   16    0   0    3    1  .186  .174
    Stirnweiss, Snuffy        BAL   22  .317    41   13   1   2   2    4    7    0   0   13    8  .585  .370
    Fox, Pete                 BAL   18  .325    40   13   1   0   2    2    4    0   0    9    7  .500  .357
    Gardner, Glenn            BAL   13  .303    33   10   1   0   0    0    6    0   0    7    5  .333  .303
    Martini, Wedo             BAL   13  .136    22    3   0   0   0    1    6    0   0    1    0  .136  .174
    Galehouse, Denny          BAL   12  .143    21    3   0   0   0    1    4    0   0    1    2  .143  .174
    Maier, Bob                BAL    8  .455    11    5   2   0   0    0    1    0   0    1    3  .636  .455
    Piechota, Al              BAL    5  .273    11    3   0   0   0    0    3    0   0    2    2  .273  .273
    Crowson, Woody            BAL   20  .167     6    1   0   0   0    0    1    0   0    0    0  .167  .167
    Palagyi, Mike             BAL   27  .000     3    0   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Kelleher, Hal             BAL    5  .000     3    0   0   0   0    0    2    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Stewart, Mack             BAL   26  .000     2    0   0   0   0    0    1    0   0    0    1  .000  .000
    Wojey, Pete               BAL    4  .000     2    0   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Brown, Walter             BAL    4  .000     1    0   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Code:
    1939 Pitching            Team     IP   ERA    G  GS   W   L  SV    K   BB   R/9
    Veach, Al                 BAL  194.1  2.87   26  26  14   5   0  145   71 12.55
    Dietrich, Bill            BAL  134.0  3.09   19  19   8   7   0   57   37 12.36
    Reninger, Jim             BAL  122.0  4.06   17  17   8   6   0   87   40 11.73
    Gardner, Glenn            BAL   91.2  3.04   13  13   6   1   0   69   26 11.29
    Galehouse, Denny          BAL   68.0  4.50   12  10   6   2   0   33   23 12.71
    Martini, Wedo             BAL   67.2  4.66   13   9   3   7   1   33   25 12.90
    Wood, Joe                 BAL   42.0  4.07   29   0   1   0   4   15   21 13.93
    Piechota, Al              BAL   33.0  2.18    5   4   2   2   0   30   11 10.91
    Stewart, Mack             BAL   33.0  6.00   26   0   5   1   3   16   22 17.18
    Palagyi, Mike             BAL   31.0  5.81   27   0   1   3   2   18   16 16.84
    Crowson, Woody            BAL   26.1  3.76   20   0   4   2   3   13   14 11.96
    Kelleher, Hal             BAL    9.2  3.72    5   0   0   0   0    6    4 15.83
    Wojey, Pete               BAL    7.2  8.22    4   0   0   1   1    8    4 15.26
    Washburn, George          BAL    5.0  5.40    6   0   2   1   0    6    5 14.40
    Brown, Walter             BAL    4.1  4.15    4   0   0   0   0    1    1 16.62




    League Leaders

    American League

    Batting: Jimmie Foxx (BOS), .402
    Home Runs: Jimmie Foxx (BOS), 37
    RBIs: Jimmie Foxx (BOS), 102

    Foxx slumped. Still could easily beat Ruth's 54 home runs in a season if he has two more decent months, though. I think Lou's 201 RBIs are safe.

    Wins: Al Veach (BAL), 14
    ERA: Steamboad Struss (CHI), 2.35
    Strikeouts: Al Veach (BAL), 145

    National League

    Batting: Mickey Haslin (CIN), .368
    Home Runs: Mel Ott (PIT), 21
    RBIs: Joe Medwick (BRO)/Hal Trosky (CIN), 76

    Three behind Ott for the home run lead? Phillies catcher Josh Gibson.

    Wins: George Caster (NYG)/Fred Archer (STL), 15
    ERA: Bill Phebus (CIN), 2.39
    Strikeouts: Bob Feller (CIN), 117

    Willie Weston Update: Average goes up, average goes down. And lately, team goes down too.

    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  8. #1118
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    MD
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    1,479

    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    August, 1939

    Oh, yes, just one trade to mention from a couple of days before the deadline. A little deal between the two Bostons. Nothing important, I'm sure.

    Bees get: RP Rankin Johnson (65/77), RP Julio Gonzalez (69/83), C Mickey Owen (68/78)
    Red Sox get: LF Wes Lariviere (91/91)

    Yes, that Lariviere. How many could there be? The one who's batting .391, which is substantially down from where he's been most of this year. Rumors are that he's not happy about the deal, for some odd reason. He goes from so far in the basement that he can't see the cellar windows, up to 3 1/2 behind for first place, and even that is mostly a slump. And did Eddie Collins pull a coup here or what? Three may-bes, but probably won't. Frankly, if I were ever going to protest a trade to the Commissioner, I think this would be the one. The thing is, I don't think anyone held a gun to Quinn's head, so as much as I'd like to see it invalidated, I can't ask for it.

    Oh, did I mention where the team is playing this week?

    August 1 - 4, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (60 - 38) at Boston Red Sox (55 - 40)


    August 1: Denny Galehouse, who's good but not great, against Joe Bokina, who's great. And yet, when it's all done, it's my favorite score from long ago. Orioles 3, Red Sox 2

    Al Elias‚ founder of the Elias Sports Bureau and for many years the official statistician of the National League and International League‚ died today in New York City at age 67. Don't think I ever met the man. Sorry, just have nothing much to say other than a couple of sad and mildly tasteless statistics and death related puns which were originally here and which I've now excised. While leaving this to remind me to grow up sometimes.

    August 2: Another pitcher's duel, and our starter Piechota matches their Bill Miller. But Joe Wood doesn't, and gives up RBIs to Foxx and Lariviere in the eighth. Red Sox 2, Orioles 0 Still, Chicago loses for the second straight day, so we maintain the one game lead we picked up yesterday.

    Mack Stewart wasn't really impressing, with his ERA of six, so we swapped him out with Pete Wojey, who's been pitching in Norfolk to an ERA of 1.84.

    August 3: Elliott and Agan hit home runs, but it's not enough against Frank Bennett. Red Sox 5, Orioles 3 Good thing Cleveland beats Chicago for the third day in a row.

    August 4: Wow. Luke Easter goes 3 for 4, which accounts for half of our total hits. Two of his three are home runs with nobody on. So Al Veach for eight and Pete Wojey in the ninth have to beat that. And they do. Hersh Martin leads off the fourth with a double. And that's it for Red Sox hits. A one-hitter! And it couldn't have come at a better time. Luke Easter 2, Red Sox 0

    Three days after the Orioles' inaugural season started, I signed a nineteen year old third base prospect named Ralph Michaels from the minor league team in Kansas City.


    Michaels in Kansas City

    He played in 33 games, not quite an Original Oriole but pretty close, and like a lot of his teammates, wasn't ready and didn't know what he was doing. He batted .184 that year. He was called up at the end of the season for each of the next three years, got into ten games each season, and didn't really demonstrate that he was any better than that. It wasn't until 1928, when I traded away Willie Kamm, that he got to play - and in 111 games that year batted .366. The following year it was up to .368, and his career was on its way. Except for one thing - he was good, in Baltimore. That meant I needed to trade him while his value was high, because I wouldn't have been able to afford him. He's since been to Cincinnati, and the Red Sox, and back to the Reds, and this year he was signed by the Yankees but traded to the Bees. And now...he's released, and he's done. A lifetime average of .334 is nothing to be upset about, and he earned two World Series rings with us. A good kid, who's now 37 and has to be called a good man. Baseball needs more of him.

    And then the Bees also released someone who actually was an Original Oriole. Andy Snyder's best man, Nick Tinsley, is cut from the team after only playing in 3 games this year. The last couple of years he was the regular second baseman for them, but he's been replaced by a man with the high-society name of Rodney McClaverty. Tinsley was even worse than Michaels that first year - I admit it, I don't even need to check my records to find that I used to make fun of him as a prime example of why our team was terrible. Funny thing, though - I didn't take into account just how good the man was. Not as a player, certainly - if he retires, it'll be with a lifetime .271 in 14 years, of which only three saw him play more than 100 games per. 17 major league home runs isn't going to get him into Cooperstown, either. No, I mean as a man. In his case, as a man who's been attending school in the off seasons. A particular school. The Gettysburg Theological Seminary. He's now and has been for a while Reverend Tinsley.

    But Reverend Tinsley is looking for either a church to pastor, or a team to pick him up.

    We're heading back home to try to make up some more of that money I have to pay every month. What fun that will be.


    * * *

    August 5 - 7, 1939
    Detroit Tigers (47 - 53) at Baltimore Orioles (62 - 40)


    August 5: We put up six runs off Roy Parmelee, and led 6 - 1 after four. That's the end of the good news, except for the attendance. The last time we played the Tigers they put up 15 on us too. Tigers 15, Orioles 8

    August 6: The good news is the win, and Luke Easter's 21st home run. Orioles 6, Tigers 5 The bad news is Easter's chase after a pop fly in the sixth that led him to fall into the home dugout - and not get caught by his teammates in time to avoid a painful landing on his shoulder. A landing that, after the game, was revealed to be a minor dislocation, that will keep our leading home run hitter out of the game for the next two or three weeks, probably. But I'm more concerned about him not being caught. Teammates are supposed to do that sort of thing. I'm going to have to talk to McCarthy and see if there's more going on than I've been hearing. I'm also going to have Reggie Otero come up from Charlotte to sit on the bench and back up Luke Maitland.

    August 7: Sure, half our team is tired, and I had to check with my manager to see if there's dissension in the ranks toward our one colored player. But on the positive side, we're going against Lefty Gomez, and that's always a good thing for us. Orioles 8, Tigers 2, and we actually expand our lead to three games! And better still, it's our second consecutive sellout, and the boys get a day off tomorrow before hosting the Indians. I need that day to talk to a few folks, see if I can nip any problems in the bud.

    * * *

    Bill Veeck called me today. I always feel so old when I get off the 'phone with him. He's 25, has a world champion team, and has changed the course of American history. I'm over twice that age, and have an ulcer and a lot of debt. As a very wise man once said, "It is a sobering thought to me that, when Mozart was my age, he'd been dead for eighteen years.

    Anyway, Veeck was calling to ask me questions about money, and specifically stadium finance. You and I know that I'm the last person who should be asked about this, and I say as much. "Nonsense," he says. "You're in debt now, sure, but you've done a pretty decent job of weathering the Depression up 'til now. Plus, you've got the best attendance in the game. That's what I'm interested in, anyway." And for a half an hour, he interrogates me about attendance, and the thought that his slightly bigger stadium will enable him to bring in a lot more money. And a lot more money would equal a lot better free agents, and a lot more pennants.

    It can, certainly. On the other hand, we both point out the Yankees, who have a great big stadium and haven't finished in the first division in years.

    Turns out that the real reason he's calling is to ask my opinion. "I know that a bigger, good stadium is better than a smaller, equally-good one. So I've figured out a way to make the current plans we have even bigger." Then he goes off into talks of debentures and selling shares back to a dummy something-or-other and my eyes glaze over. Not that I don't understand it, just that it's never been my cup of tea. But the upshot is this - he can get a stadium comparable in size to Memorial, or Yankee. But to do it, with the money he has now, won't work. But he thinks he could do it if he could get someone else to pony up some cash. Now, he's got some ideas for selling whole corporate sections to local companies, and making them extra spiffy for the fat cats who can come out. He doesn't much like the people it'll attract, but he surely likes the money.

    But he also thinks he could do it with a buy in from Connie Mack. The Phillies would own the stadium, the Athletics would rent from them, but since they'd own maybe 30% of it themselves the rent wouldn't be too bad. And both teams would have a really big, nice, showpiece of a location to play in.

    I'm sure Connie would be a fine tenant. I would rather not have the Athletics this close to us with a showpiece stadium, but that's my own selfishness and I know it. My biggest question for him is what he'd do if one of the two teams can't make it in Philadelphia - would Connie just sell out his shares and go? Would the Phillies have the money to buy them?

    He tells me he's going to have to think more about it. I remember being 25, and have sons of my own, so I know he's fooling himself - he's already made up his mind, he just needs to convince Connie. Who will probably insist the place be called Shibe Park.
    Last edited by birdsin89; 10-30-2014 at 10:59 AM.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  9. #1119
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    August, 1939

    Oh boy.

    Here are the highlights. Colleen was late coming in today. Will was having lunch with me in my office. He says he likes the time with the old man - I think he just likes getting away from work. Martin is getting to be a bit more of a high-pressure job than he'd anticipated, back when he thought it was just going to be flying airplanes.

    Colleen came in, and I saw that she was hiding another shiner, and not very well this time. Will saw it too. I asked her if she had a baseball game, and she looked blank before remembering to say yes. In other words, she could have lied to us. Or she could have forgotten it.

    He decided on the former, and said he'd be happy to take care of it if she'd tell him who did it. Which was, while a nice offer, somewhat tactless, even for a man not yet 30. She said it was none of his business, and left the office.

    And I saw the look on his face as he watched her. I said a bit ago that I know what it is to be young. I know that look.

    Be careful here, son. Be very, very careful.

    * * *

    August 9 - 11, 1939
    Cleveland Indians (54 - 50) at Baltimore Orioles (64 - 41)


    On our day off, the Hawks won, to close the lead to 2 1/2. I love having a lead in August, no matter how small it is.

    I also got to have my talks around the team, about the Easter incident. I'm very happy to report that I'm told that there is no problem, no dissension, caused by Easter or anyone. Why didn't they catch him, then? Innocent mistake - because Keith Agan was telling a joke, and it must have been a pretty good one, because nobody, including the manager, was watching the field! They hadn't wanted to admit it, and I understand that. But even Easter doesn't think there's any problem, so I'm going to call this one settled. Now, what I'm going to do about a team who aren't paying attention to the game, on the other hand...let's just say that Lou wouldn't have allowed that. And when I'm done, neither will McCarthy.

    August 9: They got more errors than hits off Al Veach, and both Pete Fox and Keith Agan got three hits each, while Charlie was 5 for 5. Orioles 7, Indians 0 And the Hawks lost, and it was a sellout crowd. Nice day all around.

    The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Wally Moses to a seven year extenstion that will keep him in the Queen City through 1945. Moses is 28, in his prime, is slumping to .314 this year after batting .355 in '38. And he's going to earn "in his prime" money - $29,400 over those years. Just about a $5,000 raise per year, and the man who's become "Mr. Red" is probably worth it.

    August 10: Another sellout. Home runs by Agan and Fox. And Galehouse allowed ten hits, but only one run to cross the plate as we rack up a darned fine seven double plays against them. Orioles 3, Indians 1 If it weren't for the fact that Al Piechota stuck his foot out from behind the screen when throwing some bp and took a line drive off it, it would be about perfect. He'll miss a couple of weeks, but until Bill Dietrich is ready to come back, I don't see any need to call anyone up.

    Long time ago Oriole farmhand Ted Trevail has had a busy couple of days. He was released by the Reds yesterday, probably so they could afford Wally Moses. Today he was picked up by the Pirates. By my count this makes his fifth major league team, seventh separate organization, and two of those were repeats, so it's his ninth time changing uniforms. Which is kind of odd to me, because every time he's been given a chance, he's done well with it, and has a lifetime batting average of .318 over 1100 games in the bigs. I remember that I traded him because I was set at third base - at the time, we had Willie Kamm with Ralph Michaels in Norfolk, and Trevail wasn't going to do much but sit on the bench.

    August 11: Remember how I've spoken of perfect days? Forget about it. Jake Farenchick holds us to only four hits. Jim Reninger gets the start for us, and while he's by no means bad, he's not good enough. Indians 3, Orioles 1 And worse still - Dixie Walker bangs a foul ball off his knee. Doc Prescott says he chipped the cap, and should rest it for about a month. Walker is only batting .269, which isn't bad for him, but he's already got 9 home runs, which is the most in a season for him. He was never the speediest man around - his time in center field was more a testament to his desire to work hard and us having Ted Williams and Nick Tremark in the corner slots. When he comes back, I wouldn't be surprised if it was as a right fielder, as there's a lot of space to cover in center. Basil Waldrup will go in his place, while Stan Spence, a young outfielder who we think has a bright future for us, will come up and watch from the bench.

    Or rather, he'll meet us in Washington, where we begin our longest road trip of the year. Twelve games over fourteen days, including three in Chicago. This is a big test for us - if we come out of it all right, I have to like our chances for the pennant. And boy, did I think it would take longer than one year after 1938 before I said that.

    * * *

    August 12 - 14, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (66 - 42) at Washington Senators (48 - 59)


    August 12: Another wholly imperfect day. Senators 10, Orioles 5

    Pittsburgh Pirate Chuck Klein, yet another of our former outfielders, had a pretty good day today against the Cardinals at Sportsman's Park. That is, he got a single. A double. A triple. And not one, not two, but three home runs! So, hit for the cycle, and slammed three, bringing his total this year to 17. Klein is 34, and seems to have rejuvenated himself somehow. It's surely not the success around him that's doing it - the Pirates' batters are pretty good, but their team ERA is 4.98! And sure enough, even with Klein's eruption, with the Bucs putting up nine, they lose 10 - 9 to the Cardinals, who have a six run ninth inning.

    August 13: Ah, our offense found its way back, with five doubles among Elliott, Williams and Maitland. And even better, a good performance from Veach. Orioles 6, Senators 4

    August 14: Even if you didn't count the unearned runs they scored, Tommy de la Cruz beat us. With them? Senators 9, Orioles 2 not the way I wanted to start a long road trip. If we're going to not make money, I'd prefer we at least make some big strides in holding a lead.

    * * *

    Susanna and I are getting ready for our big date. No, not the movies, though we're both looking forward to that. This year the Baltimore United Charities folks are having their annual ball in November, and a special one in August to commemorate their 25th anniversary. I never knew what a great deal purchasing that tuxedo jacket was all those years ago. And I never realized how often I'd have to have it let out and re-tailored as I got older, either.

    Anyway, that will come on Friday. In the meantime, we've got three more games to listen to. Against the team that's fewer than two games behind us, and that The Sporting News now, in their revised predictions, think could finish the year tied with us - at worst, and more likely ahead of us.

    August 15 - 18, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (67 - 44) at Chicago Hawks (65 - 45)


    August 15: Well, I can't fault them. Reninger and Wood give up eleven hits, but only three runs. But they're against Steamboat Struss, who yields five and one, respectively. Hawks 3, Orioles 1

    The Phillies' Josh Gibson was apparently eligible for arbitration as of yesterday. Today he's not, signing a very reasonable 3 year deal with the Phillies for only $8,100. Personally, I think he sold himself a bit short. He's batting his career high at .274, has just eclipsed his previous high in home runs by hitting number 21, and is only 27. And he's one of the most popular players on the Phillies now, with both the colored and white sections of town having adopted him as their own. Anyone who can win over fans in Philadelphia is doing something right. Don't get me wrong, he's still facing plenty of hard words, and sometimes harder actions, both at home and on the road. But he's handling it with a dignity, a grace, that's both heartening to see, and helps put the lie to some of the things being said about him and his comrades. My guess, though I don't know for sure, is that he might just be giving Veeck a gift for a couple of years, and planning on breaking the bank come '41.

    August 16: That was unusual. Glenn Gardner and Bill Lee are in a scoreless pitchers duel through seven innings. Then we explode for five runs in the eighth on Keith Agan's triple, Ted Williams' double, and Red Marion's three run home run, among others. This should clearly be enough. So instead they get three in the bottom, and our bullpen almost loses it in the ninth. Orioles 5, Hawks 4

    August 17: Ah, the kind of day in which you're glad to be alive. Twelve hits, ten runs, and Al Veach shuts them down. Orioles 10, Hawks 0 And possibly best of all - now there's a day off for tired men, as they'll travel to Cleveland for three more against top competition.

    * * *

    And so we had the B. U. C. anniversary ball. And no matter how I look in my shrinking tuxedo, I look better than David Howard, whose own clothes appear to be growing on him. It's fun to see Daniel and his wife again, and all my rich and powerful friends who aren't really friends but we all pretend once a year. But I go home with the thought of a wasted-away David Howard, and try to reconcile that with the man who led the office in "Yes, We Have No Bananas", and fail utterly.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  10. #1120
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    August, 1939

    I got two telephone calls tonight. One is about the game in Cleveland. I'll get to that. The other was from Taylor Redfern at the News-Post.

    George Durant has died.

    Redfern isn't asking me for my reaction. He's just calling as an associate, with news before it hits the streets. But he knows about some aspects of my...tumultuous...past with Durant. Not all of it. Heck, aside from my wife, Dale Lockman, Jeff Gardner and I, nobody knows all of it. I haven't even put all of it into these notes.

    Durant, the man who was my boss when I was a secretary trying to figure out where I belonged in the world. Who gave me more generous time off to tend to my family than almost any boss around. Who encouraged me, while still criticizing me when I needed it.

    Durant, who gave me a chance to run a team, something far beyond where I should have been. And who kept me there, no matter how bad it was in those first two years.

    On the other hand, Durant, who embezzled from the team. For the best of intentions, to be sure, but embezzled nevertheless. Durant, who forced his way back into the game and used his power to needle me at every opportunity. Who took over the team, put himself in charge of it, and almost drove me out just because my health wouldn't take it. Who probably, in that way, took years off my life.

    And Durant, who when that failed, turned his attention to threatening my family.

    Which made him one more thing. Durant, who died in the prison cell where I helped to send him.

    I don't think I could tell Redfern how I feel about it. I'm not sure myself. I did what I felt had to be done. I have no regrets for that. I do have regrets on what I had to become in order to do it.

    But in the end, I protected my family. I protected the team, and in a way my friends.

    And I'm still here, while he's been in prison for four years, his failing health preventing him from exacting any revenge. Which, now, he never will.

    Susanna brings me a small drink when I tell her. She has one too. We toast the man who gave me my start, and who got us where we are today. We haven't seen that version of him in almost twenty years, but we toast his memory. And make plans to attend his funeral.

    What else can we do?

    * * *

    August 19 - 21, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (69 - 45) at Cleveland Indians (59 - 55)


    Looks fairly clear that this won't be the team to overtake us in the standings this year. And having said that...

    August 19: Jacob Farenchick just dominated us, and Denny Galehouse did not return the favor. Indians 8, Orioles 0 Sure do look forward to Luke Easter coming back.

    The lowly Athletics have something to celebrate. Shortstop Billy Rogell, with the team since 1930, today drove in the 1,000th run of his career. Since collecting his 2,000th base hit last year, he's made four trips to the disabled list, and was never exactly the healthiest ballplayer to begin with, but you can't argue with a career of 2,164 hits, 1,098 runs, and now 1,000 driven in, can you?

    August 20: They got three in the bottom of the eighth. We got our three in the sixth, but we added one in the first and one in the last. Orioles 5, Indians 3 We remain one game ahead of the Hawks.

    Lou and Eleanor came over for dinner today after church. He looks just the same as he always has. But when we sit to eat, he has to place the glass down after each sip. I never thought it would happen so fast. He didn't either. He keeps up a game face, but he's trying to fool Ellie and Susanna. And maybe, a little, me. Which is funny, as the three of us know what's going to happen far more than he does.

    He asks me about Durant. Then he tells me about Durant, and me, and some of the things he's noticed over the years and of which he's never spoken. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that mind...and it's an observant one.

    August 21: Well that was just ugly. Indians 10, Orioles 2 At least we get three in New York to come back to the winning side. And Scooter Rizzuto is going to join us there, because regardless of what Doc Prescott says, we need his bat in our lineup. The Doc isn't happy about it, and wants him out for the rest of the year. Rizzuto basically said nuts to that, and I have to agree. Plus, Luke Easter will be making the trip as well. Might be nice to have our real team on the field again.

    * * *

    The funeral is on our travel day. None of the boys on the team come. The baseball establishment doesn't show - embarrassed by having the American League's second president dying in prison, I'm sure. The news reports barely mention Durant's role in getting the Orioles to Baltimore, instead focusing on his war profiteering and other criminal activities. At one point, I turn to Susanna and quote the Bard. "The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones."

    Requiescat in pace, Mr. Durant.

    * * *

    The Hawks lost on our travel day, so we're a game and a half up, and face them when we get home later in the week. Meanwhile over in the NL, the Cardinals have won eight of their last ten games...and dropped from half a game in front to a game and a half behind the red hot Giants, who've won all ten. The two teams have nine more games against each other this season, three this month in the Polo Grounds and six in September in Sportsman's Park. Wow, pennant races in both leagues - I'm not used to being part of this.

    August 23 - 25, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (70 - 47) at New York Yankees (41 - 77)


    August 23: Al Veach gives up four runs, two earned. Ted Williams smashes his twentieth home run, and his tenth water cooler. And Bobo Newsom got a measure of revenge on us. Yankees 4, Orioles 2 Good thing the Indians beat the Hawks.

    August 24: Galehouse was terrible, allowing six. But we tied it up. And then lost it in the bottom of the ninth. Yankees 7, Orioles 6

    News from Europe. You know, there are those in our country who say that diplomacy is always the answer. Sometimes diplomacy produces peace. Sometimes it produces three countries voting to divide up a fourth. And sometimes, like yesterday, it produces the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin have agreed to divide Europe between Germany and the Soviet Union. The nations of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, eastern Poland and Bessarabia, along with a part of Romania will go to the Soviet Union, while Lithuania and western Poland will become part of Germany. And yes, I admit freely that my isolationist stance doesn't really have a good solution to matters such as this.

    August 25: The final game of the road trip sees Luke Easter return to the lineup. "I wanted to have him stay and meet us in Baltimore, but he wasn't going to hear of it, Mr. Aaron," McCarthy tells me. Good, we can use a little fire from our players now and then. Bill Dietrich is back in the bullpen too. We're getting healthy at the right time, I hope.

    And it shows. Easter returns with a 2 for 4 day, a home run, and four driven in. We still allow the tying run in the bottom of the ninth, but then get one in the tenth to avoid the embarrassing sweep. Orioles 8, Yankees 7

    It almost doesn't go that way. Basil Waldrup sends a ball that takes Joe DiMaggio to the wall - and almost beyond, as he slams into the outfield fence. McCarthy tells me that the ball hit the wall near DiMaggio and caromed a good twenty feet away. But somehow, as Waldrup coasted into second, DiMaggio crawled maybe three feet, came up with the ball, and threw to Bartell on the outfield grass, who fired to second baseman Bama Rowell to get Waldrup. Nobody quite knew how it happened, but Ted Williams had a suggestion when he saw that Yankee right fielder Charlie "King Kong" Keller was taking a roundabout route to check on DiMaggio, and appeared to kick something to the outfield. Williams told McCarthy, who told the umpire, who started out to see what it was. Then Keller noticed, and broke into a run to get to the wall first. Other Yankees joined him, and the ump tried to no avail to determine what the object was. "I know d--n well what it was," Williams said after play resumed. "It was the real baseball, the one that Waldrup hit. Sometimes batting practice balls get left out on the field, and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that that's what DiMaggio threw in."

    Good thing we won. Better thing that we're headed home.
    Last edited by birdsin89; 10-30-2014 at 11:14 AM.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  11. #1121
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    August, 1939

    It is, in fact, great to be back home. It's greater still to be back home for a ten game home stand, with seven of them against your closest competitors. And a home date on Labor Day doesn't hurt either. It's almost the end of August, but I think we're finally going to get out of debt for a while. Maybe then I can consider re-signing Basil Waldrup and Hal Kelleher. Or not.

    August 26 - 28, 1939
    Chicago Hawks (70 - 50) at Baltimore Orioles (71 - 49)


    One game ahead of Chicago, and two ahead of Boston. And nobody in our league is out of it yet, unlike in the NL, where Pittsburgh and Boston are calling it a season.

    August 26: Rizzuto and Waldrup don't get hits. Everybody else does, including Luke Easter's team leading 23rd home run. Oh, yes, and Ted Williams doesn't like not leading the team in that category, so he hits three homers to catch up! Orioles 8, Hawks 2 Need I even mention that it's a sellout crowd, too? Oh, what a glorious day.

    I should be happy, shouldn't I? And of course I am, but not unreservedly. I could see that when Williams came back to the bench from his first home run, nobody on the team congratulated him. The second time, I saw him jawing with his own teammates. And the third time, I couldn't quite make out the words from where I was sitting, but I have no doubt the fans around the dugout could - and I could make out the parents taking their sons away from that section of the seating. I'm going to get complaints about this one, aren't I? And it's happened before, too.

    The future has arrived. By which I mean, a major league baseball game has been televised!


    One of the cameras

    Having learned some lessons from the Princeton game earlier this summer, NBC brings two cameras to the game, which allows much closer tracking of the ball on the screen. The signal is sent to a tower at the top of the Empire State Building, where it is then beamed to probably hundreds of television sets around the New York area, including the one at the Fair grounds. Dodgers' broadcaster Red Barber has a great day and apparently lots of fun with it, and it doesn't hurt that the Dodgers beat the visiting Pirates 5 - 3.


    The managers meeting, on camera

    August 27: Ten hits in the game. Total. And Al will have to wait to try to get that nineteenth win. Hawks 2, Orioles 1

    Former star Joe Sewell has called it a career at age 40.


    Sewell in his early days with Cleveland

    Sewell has been a part time player since being released by the NL champion 1936 Cardinals. But his lifetime .323 average and 3,100 base hits don't begin to tell his story. There's also his baseball schools, in which he's helped some youngsters who wouldn't have otherwise had much of a chance to play ball to get that chance, and to get to meet some major leaguers to boot. I know Lou worked with him from time to time, and always spoke highly of the man and his organization. I hear that there are some players in the minors who owe their start to Sewell's school. I know there are players in Japan who owe him a lot, since he took some friends and went to that country in the early thirties, showing them how baseball is supposed to be done.

    And on a personal note, Willie Weston has told one and all how great the aging Sewell was to the young man brought in to replace him a couple of years ago. "A lot of what I have right now I owe to that man," said the young player nicknamed "Gentleman Will". "He showed me some of the fine points of shortstop that would have taken me years to pick up on my own." Apparently Walter Briggs has taken notice - Sewell has been asked to begin coaching in the Detroit minor league system, with an eye toward managing some day. And if that doesn't work, there is always the baseball school.

    August 28: Orie Arntzen holds us to two measly hits. In the bottom of the second, Bob Elliott walked, moved to second on a ground ball out by Charlie, and scored on Basil Waldrup's single. Ted Williams singled the inning before that. And that's it.

    But it's enough. Bill Dietrich returns from his injury to blank them on six hits. Orioles 1, Hawks 0 We took two of three, and our lead...still stands at one, as Boston has leaped past Chicago in the standings. Well, we get them for four at the beginning of next month.

    * * *

    And now, what's supposed to be the break between our major competition. Which usually means we go into a three game slump.

    August 29 - 31, 1939
    Washington Senators (55 - 68) at Baltimore Orioles (73 - 50)


    August 29: Jim Tobin faces Jim Reninger. The current Oriole does much better. The three home runs, by Easter, Gehringer, and even Waldrup, go a long way, and we take a relatively easy one. Orioles 8, Senators 0 And stay one game in front, as the Red Sox win too. Only 54,000 show up for the game, which keeps us from quite crossing into the black today, though we're only a couple hundred short. Tomorrow for sure, and for the first time all year, we'll be able to start thinking about...well, about every dollar we earn going to pay down The Loan, really.

    Roy Lewis in Norfolk called me today. I assumed it was going to be about which of his players would be coming to Baltimore when the season ends. Instead, it was to tell me that Benny McCoy won't be among them, as he's broken his wrist.

    August 30: Well, we out-hit them. Does that help? Senators 6, Orioles 3 13 base hits, but Lon Warneke spread them out just well enough for us to accomplish nothing. Well, nothing except breaking into the black with a month to go! And who knows, if we pull off a pennant, that World Series money would be a big help too. Though with our loss today, we've dropped into a tie with streaking Boston.

    So with that Susanna and I celebrate with a trip to the movies. To see a remake of one from back in '25. Well, not really. We see The Wizard of Oz, with Judy Garland.



    Lots different from the silent version I saw back in 1925. Still doesn’t follow the books all that well.

    August 31: Ted Williams hit two to take the team lead in home runs from Luke Easter, and Al Veach had an easy time collecting win number 19. Orioles 11, Senators 5 19 is a career high for Veach, tying his second season, and the twentieth that I'm sure he'll get in September would be the first time he gets to such rarefied air.

    The Sox win too. Know what that means? They're tied with us, and coming to town!
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  12. #1122
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    September, 1939

    August Statistics

    Code:
    1939 Batting             Team    G   AVG    AB    H  2B  3B  HR   BB    K   SB  CS    R  RBI   SLG   OBP
    Gehringer, Charlie        BAL  118  .295   474  140  33   8   9   54   27    4   5   87   45  .456  .366
    Elliott, Bob              BAL  122  .268   473  127  17   9  13   48   41    1   0   75   79  .425  .336
    Williams, Ted             BAL  120  .316   465  147  22   8  25   54   54    0   4   87   87  .559  .383
    Walker, Dixie             BAL  102  .269   372  100  15   6   9   34   21    0   2   45   49  .414  .329
    Agan, Keith               BAL   91  .273   286   78   9   3   5   27   25    2   2   33   37  .378  .333
    Easter, Luke              BAL   71  .236   280   66  11   1  24   29   51    0   0   51   60  .539  .307
    Heltzel, Heinie           BAL   83  .262   260   68  10   4   3   24   43    1   2   33   28  .365  .326
    Rizzuto, Phil             BAL   59  .342   234   80  12   6   2   24    9    4   3   41   31  .470  .402
    Sheehan, Jim              BAL   53  .211   190   40   8   1   4   13   26    0   0   24   20  .326  .261
    Waldrup, Basil            BAL   61  .258   159   41   6   6   1    6    3    2   1   19   17  .390  .289
    Marion, Red               BAL   45  .241   137   33   6   0   5   13   28    0   0   13   23  .394  .307
    Maitland, Luke            BAL   52  .244   119   29   5   1   4    7   23    0   0   12   18  .403  .297
    Veach, Al                 BAL   33  .247    97   24   6   0   0    1   16    0   1   11    5  .309  .255
    Fox, Pete                 BAL   30  .333    66   22   4   0   4    2    7    0   0   13   13  .576  .362
    Reninger, Jim             BAL   22  .121    58    7   2   0   0    3   21    0   0    4    1  .155  .164
    Gardner, Glenn            BAL   20  .250    48   12   2   0   0    1   12    0   0    7    5  .292  .265
    Stirnweiss, Snuffy        BAL   30  .298    47   14   1   2   2    4   10    0   0   13    8  .532  .346
    Dietrich, Bill            BAL   20  .109    46    5   1   1   0    3   18    0   0    3    1  .174  .163
    McCoy, Benny              BAL   23  .200    45    9   2   0   2    6    6    0   0    6   11  .378  .283
    Maier, Bob                BAL   23  .257    35    9   2   1   0    1    6    0   0    3    3  .371  .278
    Galehouse, Denny          BAL   18  .114    35    4   0   0   0    1    7    0   0    2    3  .114  .135
    Martini, Wedo             BAL   13  .136    22    3   0   0   0    1    6    0   0    1    0  .136  .174
    Piechota, Al              BAL    8  .188    16    3   0   0   0    0    5    0   0    2    2  .188  .188
    Otero, Reggie             BAL    6  .133    15    2   0   0   0    1    2    0   0    0    0  .133  .188
    Spence, Stan              BAL    8  .375     8    3   1   0   0    0    0    0   0    2    1  .500  .375
    Crowson, Woody            BAL   22  .167     6    1   0   0   0    0    1    0   0    0    0  .167  .167
    Palagyi, Mike             BAL   32  .000     3    0   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Wojey, Pete               BAL   13  .333     3    1   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    1    0  .333  .333
    Kelleher, Hal             BAL    7  .000     3    0   0   0   0    0    2    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Stewart, Mack             BAL   26  .000     2    0   0   0   0    0    1    0   0    0    1  .000  .000
    Brown, Walter             BAL    4  .000     1    0   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0  .000  .000
    Code:
    1939 Pitching            Team     IP   ERA    G  GS   W   L  SV    K   BB   R/9
    Veach, Al                 BAL  254.1  2.62   33  33  19   7   0  186   80 11.22
    Reninger, Jim             BAL  160.0  3.66   22  22  10   8   0  106   56 11.87
    Dietrich, Bill            BAL  143.0  2.90   20  20   9   7   0   60   39 12.08
    Gardner, Glenn            BAL  137.1  3.28   20  20   8   5   0  101   38 12.06
    Galehouse, Denny          BAL  107.0  5.05   18  16   8   4   0   52   36 13.71
    Martini, Wedo             BAL   67.2  4.66   13   9   3   7   1   33   25 12.90
    Wood, Joe                 BAL   61.2  5.11   43   0   3   2   6   25   31 14.59
    Piechota, Al              BAL   49.0  2.20    8   6   3   2   0   40   15 10.29
    Palagyi, Mike             BAL   36.0  5.50   32   0   1   3   3   19   18 16.75
    Stewart, Mack             BAL   33.0  6.00   26   0   5   1   3   16   22 17.18
    Crowson, Woody            BAL   27.2  3.58   22   0   4   2   3   14   14 11.71
    Wojey, Pete               BAL   17.0  8.47   13   0   0   1   3   16   14 19.59
    Kelleher, Hal             BAL   11.0  4.91    7   0   0   1   0    7    4 18.00
    Washburn, George          BAL    5.0  5.40    6   0   2   1   0    6    5 14.40
    Brown, Walter             BAL    4.1  4.15    4   0   0   0   0    1    1 16.62




    League Leaders

    American League

    Batting: Jackie Hayes (CHI), .365
    Home Runs: Jimmie Foxx (BOS), 39
    RBIs: Jimmie Foxx (BOS), 115

    Boy did Foxx slump this month. Down to third in batting, and while his home run lead is safe, he's only 11 RBIs ahead of Philadelphia's Freddie Lindstrom.

    Wins: Al Veach (BAL), 19
    ERA: Steamboad Struss (CHI), 2.26
    Strikeouts: Al Veach (BAL), 186

    National League

    Batting: Joey Asher (STL), .356
    Home Runs: Willie Weston (STL), 25
    RBIs: Joe Medwick (BRO), 92

    Nowhere near Foxx, but it's great that Willie has discovered power. Some of them are even over the fence.

    Wins: George Caster (NYG), 21
    ERA: Bill Phebus (CIN), 2.40
    Strikeouts: Bob Feller (CIN), 159

    Willie Weston Update: Well, he's leading the team and the league in home runs. And the team is about two games back for the pennant. I surely hope he can lead them to it again...and that Daisy and Walter can see their boy play a couple of games in Baltimore.



    * * *

    I planned to tell you about the great series against the Red Sox. I'm sure I will, whether it's great or not. But something has happened that renders it almost a moot point.

    Europe is at war again.



    We've known it was coming for some time. Years, really. I've talked about it here, we've all talked about it on the streets, and in the ball park. But still, somehow you always hope that it's not going to happen. You manage, even, to convince yourself. But it's almost as though humanity can't stand to be relatively prosperous and peaceful for too long, and now who knows how many people will eventually pay the price for it.

    God have mercy on us all.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  13. #1123
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    September, 1939

    And now for something vastly less important.

    September 1 - 4, 1939
    Boston Red Sox (75 - 51) at Baltimore Orioles (75 - 51)


    September 1: It's nice to not have to do anything to promote your games again. We've got a good, exciting team, and we're in a pennant race in September. I've got a newspaper cutout of "Trades for Two" to keep me from getting hubristic, but this is the best of times in baseball.

    So today the Red Sox take on Bill Dietrich, and within three batters they've got an inside the park home run from Wes Lariviere and a two run lead. Joe Chamberlain hit a single, and Dietrich balked him to second, and it looked bad. But he settled enough to get the final out...and then he and Joe Wood gave up nothing for the remaining eight innings. Meanwhile, Luke Easter was hit by the pitch and took first to lead off the fourth, and it sure looked intentional to me. Must have to Bob Elliott too, because he sent the next pitch into the harbor to tie the game! In the seventh, Keith Agan singled home Rizzuto, and we have our favorite score. Orioles 3, Red Sox 2

    September 2: Tied after seven, as Jimmie Foxx broke out of his slump and hit home run number 40. And then untied in the ninth, and back to tied again in the standings. Red Sox 4, Orioles 3

    September 3: Well. By the bottom of the eighth, we trail 5 - 1. A total team effort follows, with nothing more than singles and errors bringing us back to 5 - 4. More old-style baseball ties it in the ninth, and puts the winning run on third before Luke Easter grounds out. Nobody scores until the twelfth, when they put three across the plate. We get a two run homer from Bob Elliott, and runners on first and second...and then pinch hitter Heinie Heitzel grounds into a game-ending double play. Red Sox 8, Orioles 7 (12)

    Oh, very nice. The Indians were leading the Yankees today in Yankee Stadium, 7 - 4 in the eighth. The game was running late, though, after a rain delay at the start, and it was getting pretty dark. The Indians wanted to get the game in and collect the win, and so they started making outs as quickly as they could. The Yanks figured out what was going on, and Babe Ruth ordered them to stall as long as possible. You can imagine how the game looked from there. It didn't help when the Yankee fans caught on and started throwing debris onto the field, expecting that it would take time to clean it all up. Finally, disgusted with it all, umpire Cal Hubbard forfeited the game to the Indians. Let's see if this stands.

    September 4: Luke Easter went 2 for 3 with two home runs and four driven in. Unforunately, that was all we scored...and they got one more. Red Sox 5, Orioles 4

    It didn't stand long at all. Last night, AL president Harridge decided to make the Yanks and Indians play the whole game over, and make Babe Ruth and Indians manager Kelly Burton pay hefty fines. Of course, the definition of "hefty" is different for these two men - what Burton considers egregious, Ruth could probably pay with his front pocket money. Or what he used to spend in a local house of ill repute in one evening on the road, for that matter. Anyway, the two teams played two today - and the Indians won, 7 - 4 and 4 - 0.

    Four games, every one decided by a single run, but with us on the wrong side of three of them. We're now not only two games back, but we're behind the Hawks and in third place. How did this happen so fast?

    * * *

    Which is, of course, exactly the question that the world is asking. How did it all happen so fast? In the past four days, we've seen England, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany, and be declared upon in turn. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Spain and Ireland raced each other to declare neutrality. The U. S. didn't declare much of anything, but anyone can see that we're on the side of England and not Germany. I don't blame anyone for that - remember, I've been to Nazi Germany, unlike most of those who are calling for outright war now, and I know a dictatorship when I see one.

    * * *

    We had a day off today as we traveled to Cleveland to face Burton's Indians. And I got the best news I could have received, as the United States officially declared its neutrality in the European war.

    On the other hand, some less pleasant news directly affecting my family. Will and I had lunch again, and I'm left to read between some lines in ways I don't enjoy. He was just telling me of the odd coincidence over the past week or so that has seen him pulled over by Baltimore's Finest not once but twice, after having never been pulled over in his life. In neither case did the officer in question make an arrest, or even write a ticket, but I know they could have if they'd wanted to.

    Honestly, I didn't think much more of it than he did, until he left and I saw the way he looked at Colleen. And worse, the way she looked back. At which point, I remembered that Colleen's husband is a police officer, and her father-in-law is a very highly placed one too.

    Funny - it's been years since I had to have a "stop thinking with your testicles" talk to Will. Over the same girl, come to think of it.

    * * *

    September 6 - 8, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (76 - 54) at Cleveland Indians (66 - 64)


    September 6: What it really came down to is this; we made one error, and they made three. Orioles 4, Indians 2

    September 7: With both Denny Galehouse and Jim Reninger hurting, Al Piechota gets a chance, and shows some great potential to be good enough for me to trade away in three or four years when he gets expensive. And facing Red Ruffing, no less. Orioles 2, Indians 1

    September 8: And then Glenn Gardner, who should be very good, faces Jake Farenchick, who bids fair to become the Tommy Thomas of the '30s in his ability to beat us. Indians 8, Orioles 6 Dixie Walker is back and ready to play...which is great, as his replacement Basil Waldrup has a sore shoulder and will probably miss a week or so.

    We're still a game back, with the Hawks a mere half game behind league-leading Boston. In the NL, the Giants have lost five in a row to come back to earth, and the Cards have responded and are now a game behind them. I wouldn't give odds on any of the five teams ending up in the World Series - we're all too close.

    Which really is a great place to be! Though I wouldn't mind a little break coming our way.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  14. #1124
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    September, 1939

    I need to watch out for my power to put a hoodoo on someone. In the wrong hands, it could be dangerous.

    It was yesterday I said something about wanting to get a break in our three-way battle with the Red Sox and Hawks, right? Well, let's see. For the past two days, the Red Sox have lost two in a row at Yankee Stadium, where they have no business losing this year.

    Then they lost more. First baseman and super-human Jimmie Foxx was rushed to the hospital in Boston as soon as the team got off the train back from Manhattan. Whereupon they immediately removed his appendix before it ruptured. He's fine, but you don't have abdominal surgery in the evening and play ball in the next afternoon. A normal man would be out for the season. This being the Beast, he'll probably be back in two weeks.

    You know, I'd have actually preferred this not happen. Sure, I want my team to win - but against the best, and Foxx is definitely the best. Now that Lou's retired, of course.

    Meanwhile, the second and third place teams get to beat up on each other while the Red Sox face the Athletics at home. I may end up being very glad for this after all.

    * * *

    September 9 - 11, 1939
    Chicago Hawks (78 - 54) at Baltimore Orioles (78 - 55)


    September 9: Ted Williams drove in one in the first, and one in the bottom of the ninth. In between, Veach, still going for win number 20, allowed three. Hawks 3, Orioles 2 Next time, Al. The Senators lost to drop out of contention, only the second team in the American League to do so. Meanwhile, over half the NL is done, as Brooklyn today became the first team in the first division to be eliminated. With the Phillies 11 games out, they're almost certainly not going to repeat this year, and the Cards dropped the game in Brooklyn to fall to two back.

    Detroit Tigers outfielder Ox Eckhardt, on a team with little to play for, provided some excitement today by getting an eight inning double that was the 2,500th base hit of his career.


    Oscar George "Ox" Eckhardt

    Eckhardt, a four time All-Star and possessor of one World Series ring, has a darned impressive lifetime batting average of .349 over his sixteen years with the Tigers and Yankees. Of course, looking over his career, you see that the only year in which he didn't bat at least .300 was his rookie campaign in '24, and even that was a .283.

    September 10: They got two in the ninth to make it awfully close, but Dietrich held on for the win. Orioles 7, Hawks 6 The BoSox lost as well, meaning we're back to where we were when the series started - as are the Cards in their league.

    September 11: Wow! Winning 2 - 1 going into the eighth. Losing 3 - 2 going into the bottom of the ninth. Then Rizzutto singled, was singled to third by Keith Agan (who is reporting some soreness after the game, and will miss a day or two), and brought home on a ground out by Stan Spence to tie the game! Then Luke Easter came up - and if he hadn't already overcome any resentment in the fans for having had the temerity to take over for Lou, he went a long way toward erasing it today with a home run over the deepest part of the center field fence! Orioles 5, Hawks 3, and we move past the Hawks into second, still one behind.

    * * *

    Baltimore County councilman Donald Arseneau is a very powerful man in his district. So powerful that he's managed to negotiate a settlement to a long-standing problem.

    I mentioned some months ago that Gwynn Oak Park, and particularly the amusement park therein, is segregated. Perhaps now I should make that "was" segregated. After the protest there, which began back in April, Arseneau has been tireless in his work to get the park opened for the Aframericans who want to go.

    Today, triumph. Charles Langley Senior, a colored man from west Baltimore, took his son, Charles Jr., for a ride on the merry-go-round.

    Do I think this ends the fight between the races? Of course not. Do I think it's a step in the right direction? I do. Momma always raised us right in that respect.

    And do I think that Bill Veeck's decision, made to help his baseball team win games, has been a contributing factor in all of this? You bet I do.

    * * *

    A six game road trip while we watch the world change around us. Last opening day already seems so far away.

    September 13 - 15, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (80 - 56) at Washington Senators (60 - 76)


    September 13: It was actually closer than the score, but we really piled it on in the final couple of innings. Ted hit two home runs to jump past Easter for the team lead, and Gardner got a relatively easy win. Orioles 9, Senators 3 The Boston win eliminates the Athletics, leaving the first division as the only ones left, and really the top three with the only realistic chance.

    September 14: Al Veach finally gets that twentieth win, and Ted hits another home run as the team coasts. Orioles 9, Senators 1 You know, I don't mind Ted taunting the opposing city's fans, though I wish he wouldn't. I really wish he wouldn't taunt his own teammates when he does something good. Ready at any time for McCarthy to try to manage our problem child.

    September 15: This one is much closer than the others, but not because the pitching was bad. Orioles 5, Senators 3 We've now won five in a row - but the Red Sox have won four, so we're no closer than before we got to Washington. Chicago has dropped to three back, but is still very much in it.

    When Joe called to give me the report, he also mentioned that Dietrich was hurting from catching a line drive with his pitching hand. One of those reflex things that all pitching coaches try to get out of their charges, and almost always fail. In this case, it's bad enough that Dietrich is not going to make the trip to Cleveland with the rest of the team, but will stop back here in Baltimore to see Doc Prescott. Theo Weston suggests it might take a couple of weeks or more. Wonderful.

    * * *

    Well, we've been sort of holding our breath for the past two weeks, with governments taking up sides like kids on a playground, and presumably armies getting ready to fight. Yesterday the Nazi government began a siege in Warsaw in their effort to convince the world that their claim to that beleaguered land is permanent. While the Polish army is nothing to sneeze at, the first reports coming out indicate that the Germans have a new way of fighting that is just overwhelming the Polish cavalry.

    I know that Baltimore has a pretty sizable Polish contingent, concentrated mostly on the east side, north of the stadium, in Highlandtown and Canton. Mr. Hoffberger's brewery is in Highlandtown, and many of his employees are of Polish extraction. I'm told that the Polish Home Club on Broadway and others is practically in mourning, even though nothing is decided yet.

    The key word being "yet".
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

  15. #1125
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    Re: The Orange and Black(Sox)

    September, 1939

    More on the road. We're not paying off The Loan this way, are we?

    September 16 - 18, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (83 - 56) at Cleveland Indians (71 - 68)


    September 16: Jim Reninger pitched a beautiful game, one run on seven hits. Keith Agan raised his average from the low two hundreds on his arrival to where it stands now, at .302. Today he broke .300 by going 4 for 5 with a home run. Orioles 5, Indians 1 And it's a good thing the Red Sox lost Jimmie Foxx for a while, because they've now won five straight. Imagine how they'd play with him. On the other hand, Red Marion slammed into the outfield wall chasing a drive off the bat of Jack Saltzgaver, and is on the train to Baltimore two days early - and probably won't play for a while. I'm curious to see what McCarthy is going to do.

    September 17: Four runs in the ninth came close, but couldn't overcome their eight run sixth. Indians 10, Orioles 7 Worse, in that the Red Sox lost and this would have let us tie with them, instead of remaining a game behind.

    If there was any chance that the Polish people might survive the Nazis, it ended yesterday when the Russians joined in the attack as well. After all, they did agree to split the country up, so both sides need to get in as fast as they can. B-----ds.

    September 18: Well, Mel Harder is a good pitcher and wins his fifteenth. There's no shame in that. Walter Alston had a pretty big day, 2 for 4 with a double, home run, and four driven in. We again had a ninth inning rally, but again were too far back to make it work. Indians 6, Orioles 3 The Red Sox also lost, but the Hawks won again, so they're only a game behind us. Meanwhile, over in the NL, the Giants, Cards and Phillies all won, so nothing changes there. The Cardinals are one behind the New Yorkers, and the reigning champs are ten back and almost done.

    We get a day off to travel home for three, before taking our final road trip of the year. Final, that is, unless we get to visit either the Giants or Cardinals in October. Let us hope.

    * * *

    September 20 - 22, 1939
    Philadelphia Athletics (67 - 75) at Baltimore Orioles (84 - 58)


    Connie's team is playing out the string again, atop the second division. I suppose they can't complain too much - they're one of the teams to win a World Championship in the past decade. It just seems so long ago.

    September 20: Ouch. Another chance wasted. We were down 4 - 0 after two, and battled back to lead by the end of the seventh, 6 - 4. Then gave up one in the eighth, and two more in the ninth. Athletics 7, Orioles 6 And while the Sox lost their third in a row, as did we, the Hawks won, and are now only a half game behind us after yesterday's win while we sat on the train.

    September 21: This one looked a lot like yesterday. Except that the run they scored in the ninth was only enough to tie, not pull ahead. And minor league callup, pinch hitter Bob Patrick, in only his third major league at bat, hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth for the win! Orioles 6, Athletics 5, and there's a memory that young man will have for the rest of his life! And Ted hit his own 30th home run earlier.

    Meanwhile, the Sox and Hawks both won, so we don't move. But in the NL, a funny thing is happening. The Cards and Giants have both lost two in a row, so remain separated by only one game. But the Phillies have won seven in a row, and while they're now 7 1/2 games out still, they're not yet eliminated. And they're one of those teams who you'd better knock out, because if you only knock them down, they'll get back up and clobber you. This could be really fun.

    Interesting thing from outside both the game and the war today. Jake told me that his radio station, WMAL in Washington, has done a special service for the National Archives and has recorded their entire broadcast day. From the time they signed on in the morning, until the time the National Anthem played and they signed off after dark, it was all recorded onto wire recordings, and will then be converted to regular 78 RPM records for saving. I wish I'd thought to have that done months ago - we could have put some of the recordings into the time capsule.

    September 22: Young Leon Day is a really good pitcher. The only one of us who really did well off him today was his fellow former Negro Leaguer, Luke Easter, who hit home run number 29. But the game was tied at two when the ninth ended. The lights were on by the beginning of the twelfth. But when Freddie Lindstrom launched a ball into the harbor, with two men on, that was just about it. And then former Oriole Red Phillips came in to get three outs, and we've dropped back to a tie with Chicago for second at two games behind. Athletics 5, Orioles 2

    On the other side of things? The Giants lost their third straight in the Polo Grounds to the Reds, while the Cards salvaged one at Forbes to pull into a tie. The Phillies were off, so they pick up a half game and are seven back. The Cardinals have the worst of the remaining nine games, facing the Giants in the next three and the Phillies for the three after that. We, on the other hand, are on the train to New York where we'd like to do better against the Yankees than we did against the Indians or Elephants.

    * * *

    September 23 - 25, 1939
    Baltimore Orioles (85 - 60) at New York Yankees (51 - 94)


    Considering how much fun Ruth and his boys have had this year, you'd have thought they would do better in the standings. The catch is that, in this year in which baseball largely came back, they have more money in the bank than any of the other teams in baseball, and can spend freely on the free agents in the off season. And I know that part of that is because the team took the approach that, they may not win a lot of games, but fans should come see them anyway because you never know what they'll do. Plus, of course, the Babe - probably worth 10,000 tickets per night anyway. They're 36 games out of first place right now, and next year I wouldn't give a plug nickel for your chances of keeping them out of the first division if they spend their money wisely.

    September 23: Okay, we had a bad game, and made three errors. Good thing for us that they made four. It was a very sloppy game, but in it Luke Easter hit his 30th home run, and Al Veach picked up his 21st win. Orioles 7, Yankees 4 And it bought us precisely nothing, as both Red Sox and Hawks also won.

    September 24: Somebody want to tell me why our starting pitcher in a close stretch run is Rex Cecil, making his first major league start? Especially when Denny Galehouse and Al Piechota were both available? Well, it ends the way you'd expect. Yankees 6, Orioles 2 And both the Hawks and Sox have won four in a row, and we're now in third place, three games back. How can this happen?

    I suppose I should tell you that, in the other league, the Giants beat the Cards to pull back into a tie after yesterday's loss. And the Phillies have won nine in a row and are six behind them both. I don't think it's possible for them all to finish in a tie, but I wouldn't put it past the Phillies to try.

    That's enough of that, Susanna and I are going to the movies. And admittedly, it does help get my mind off matters both baseball and the world. It's called Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, with Jimmy Stewart.



    A delightful story, about idealism triumphing over cynicism and politics. So a fantasy, but a very nice fantasy. If Hollywood's going to do political movies, I much prefer this one to that wretched Gabriel Over the White House. Most of all, I prefer the studios stick to Sam Goldwyn's dictum about sending a message.

    September 25: Okay, first our game. Home runs by Ted Williams, Luke Easter, and Dixie Walker, and while Reninger isn't great, he's good enough. Orioles 7, Yankees 5

    Then, the fact that while Chicago won their fifth in a row, Boston lost, so the Hawks are one back and we're down by two. Not bad for anyone, particularly since Jimmie Foxx is somehow back to play for the Red Sox in the final six games. As I said before, he's not human.

    But it's the NL where the story lies today. First of all, the Phillies won their tenth in a row, and remain six behind. And then there's St. Louis. The Giants scored one in the top of the second, but Johnny Mize added to his league leading total and hit a solo home run to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Another New York run crosses in the sixth, but on a team with Mize, Calvin Chapman, Ethan Allen, and yes, my nephew, it's Ollie Bejma and Ollie Sax who combine to tie it in the seventh. It was beginning to get dark in Sportsman's park as the teams finished out the eighth and ninth without scoring, and even went into the tenth. Umpire Bill Klem gave very serious thought to not continuing the game after the middle of the tenth, but found himself uncharacteristically reticent to make the call. And so former Oriole Ed Barnhart came out to pitch the bottom of the tenth, after his perfect ninth. The reporters say that he had to look in pretty hard to see Babe Phelps' sign because it was so dark.

    But Johnny Mize could still see. After wasting one outside, the second pitch came in, and then went out again. Far into the dark, far into the night - and far over the fence! The Cards win, 3 - 2, on what has already been called the "Homer in the Gloaming", and take a one game lead with six left to play.

    The Cards are off to Philadelphia now to face the hottest team in the game. The Giants aren't going anywhere, either. It's September 25 and we still have six teams with very real chances of playing in the World Series. I don't even know if the Phillies were given permission to print the tickets. They'd better be now.
    Last edited by birdsin89; 10-30-2014 at 11:29 AM.
    The Orange and Black(Sox) - The Complete Saga

    Part One - The First Ten Long Years: The Orange and Black(Sox)
    Part Two - Ten More Years! (Orange and) Black Times
    The Spin-off Mini-Series: An Orange and Black Shroud

    Part Three - How Long Can This Go On? Charlie's War

    The Spin-Off: Braves New World

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