Sunday, March 31, 2013


O'Malley guards the Middle Infield again in '13
Matt Buschmann
Marquis Fleming
Merrill Kelly

Braulio Lara
Adam Liberatore
Victor Mateo, 
Jimmy Patterson
C.J. Riefenhauser
Enny Romero
Juan Sandoval
Neil Schenk
Albert Suarez
Jake Thompson


Mark Thomas
Mayo Acosta
Sexton will be swingin for the Skitz this year

Infielders Robi Estrada
Shawn O'Malley
Robby Price
Cameron Seitzer
Greg Sexton
Riccio Torrez  
Outfielders Todd Glaesmann
Kevin Kiermaier
Mikie Mahtook
Ty Morrison

Looks like pretty much what we expected. A nice outfield this year with Mahtook, TyMo and new additions Glaesmann and Kiermaier.

The predictions in January weren't too far off! I picked Kelly, Rief and Thompson. Sp's Cruz and Barnese were released last week, also wrong on Paduch and Dyer. Fleming was about the only reliever I picked correctly, though Nevarez is rehabbing and may join the Skitz later.

I called Bailey and Albernaz as catchers, along with Wendt. I would have done better at this position if it weren't for Wendt being suspended for taking an Adderall! Thomas and Acosta are fine backstops, and it was a tossup as to who we got this season behind the plate.

In the outfield I knew Mahtook and Morrison would return, they looked to have unfinished business here, and Kiermaier was certainly due a promotion. I am a little surprised we didn't get Velazquez back after his injury last year, and I am sure Rogers will be along soon to round out my oufield predictions.

The infield got me, I only called Price and Sexton right - Deitrichs trade threw off the whole scenario for me. Im glad to get Omalley back, as well as Estrada, Seitzer and Torres, all should work well on the infield together.



Full Season 70 game price: $900 -saves $190

Parking pass: Free or optional VIP pass purchase

Braves Field, Pearl Ms.

Exclusive deep discounts on Atlanta Braves home games via a private web page

Participate in batting practice with players and coaches

Drawings for prizes to season ticket holders

Free Atlanta Braves museum visit

20% discount at Braves Clubhouse Store at CNN Center in Atlanta
Dedicated concession stand with discount
15% season long discount in team store
Discount in Farm Bureau Grill

Free Fun Zone wristbands for kids all season
Additional meet and greet opportunities with players
VIP Card - good for discounts at area merchants
Referral program - discounts for referring friends

Free autographed photos of former M-Braves players

Mississippi Braves road trip(s)  to Gwinnett, Rome and/or Atlanta
Daily press/game notes e-mailed
Special VIP entrance gate
VIP parking at a discount
Discount on nightly suite rentals and party areas

Discount on baseball camp
golf tournament
Early entry into park every game (15 - 30 minutes)
Exclusive lapel pin

Free behind the scenes tour
Power luncheons with Braves players and staff
Special e-mail newsletter for season ticket holders
Individual tickets to share with friends and family

Exclusive autograph session to meet M-Braves players
Monthly pre-game cocktail party
Exclusive free food and merchandise nights

magnet schedule
Crawfish boil
SciFi and Comic convention night
Hidden Valley Salad Dressing Sampling nights
Kroger coupon nights
Soccer ball giveaway

Holy Smokes! Thats a TON of FANTASTIC promotions!  

The Braves are the bus drivers, taking everyone to school on how to make fans feel wanted and appreciated. This sets the bar pretty high, looks like every team in the SL could take a lesson on how to treat their season ticket holders. Certainly this is the best value for the price, clearly blowing away every front office. No chance the Skitz repeat the "Promotions of the Year" award they picked up this offseason.

Hopefully the rest of the Southern League sees how its done and steps up to the plate to compete! That is an INCREDIBLE and SUPER value! This is the best season ticket in the league!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Breaking camp

Players are learning their assignments, making plans for roomates or wives/girlfriends/both and pondering their walkup music. The Biscuits roster will be announced Sunday so we can wait till then for 2013 player info.

The team has been given the annual coverage on WSFA, offering up views of Scott Tribble loading the new schedules at the ticket window, shots of the marquee in front of the park and stock footage of previous games. Its claimed there are more perks for season ticket sales than in previous years, but I'm not aware of any changes in the package I got from last years. The news report implies Freebie Fridays are expected to sell out, but I am skeptical.


Virgil Trucks passed away this week, the Birmingham native was 95 years of age. He started off playing for Andalusia in the Alabama-Florida league and wound up throwing a couple no hitters, winning a world series, and being an AllStar twice!
His fastball earned him the nickname "Fire" Trucks with Andalusia in 1938 and he was on his way to Detroit where he would make twenty starts in 1941. He spent more than a year in the navy where he also pitched for one of the most talented war-era teams. He tallied 177 wins in over 500 career MLB games with Detroit, the WhiteSox and others.

Virgil was an excellent pitcher and a WWII veteran



Full Season 70 game price: $795 - saves at least $250 vs per game price

Parking pass: unlisted - $7 per night
Extras: unlisted for season ticket holders
The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Fl

Pillow giveaway
Billy the Marlin Appearance
THREE different bobblehead giveaways
Giancarlo Stanton pen&pencil giveaway
Zooperstars AGAIN!
Elvis Himselvis appearance
Principal Mr.Belding appearance
TWO T-shirt giveaways
Dale Murphy appearance
John Rocker appearance
Leprechaun Wrestling on TWO NIGHTS
FOUR jersey auction nights
All You Can Eat Mondays

Southern league AllStar Game and HR Derby

Oh, and a roster stacked full of prospects. When we had a roster full of prospects I was told by Biscuit people that it meant the Skitz didnt have to schedule as many promotions. "they do that to draw people to see teams that arent any good on the field" was the line. I guess the Marlins affiliate didnt get that memo.

All in all not a bad bargain! Some very nice giveaways and some great appearances. Plus Leprechaun Wrestling - how can it be better than that?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Hundred Years Ago.....

 Before we get to the history lesson, we can cover current events! So much news coming out, I will wait until the start of next week to give an overview of how spring training ends for our team. Till then, check this out for size.



2012 Cy Young winner David Price
David Price, James Shields, Jason Hammel all are making opening day starts for their MLB teams. Just goes to illustrate the depth of pitching the Rays have had the past five seasons or so, that even the ones that got away are #1 starters.


Today we continue our look at season tickets around the league with a check of the Mobile Baybears. The Southern League Champs are the affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.


 Full Season 70 game price: $750 - save $300 vs per game price

View from Hank Aaron Stadium, Mobile Alabama
Parking pass: $150

Extras: 20% discount on team store
Free playoff tix if team makes postseason

T shirt giveaway
Beachbag giveaway
 Turn back the clock night
Jimmy Buffet night

Thirsty Thursday Concerts

I am sorry to have to break it to you, but "The Hank" is one of the worst ballparks in the Southern League, designed with the luxury boxes on field level. This keeps the fans away from the field, FAR away. Instead of being close to the action, it makes every seat seem like the cheap seats. I feel bad for the Baybears fans, who never get to see what their players actually look like. This ballpark is the reason players have numbers on their backs, without them you honestly couldnt tell them apart. 

The best view of players is the visitors bullpen, and the only place a person can see a game at what I consider a bearable view is from a seat along the very crowded left field line. Its tough to watch a game, tough to get an autograph and tough to advise anyone to pitch in on season tickets unless they are a die hard BayBears fan.


Lobstein was traded, Cruz and Barnese were given their releases, all now join the ranks of those who claim the title "former Biscuit".


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Alright then, lets see what we got in the mail!

Nice, its my season ticket package! Just what I hoped for! Thanks Bob!

Thats Bob Rabon, and in my opinion, he is the number one perk for season ticket holders. In an upcoming post I will detail what season ticket packages offer from the Biscuits, as well as the other teams in the Southern League. But for now, let me just say that Bob is The Man. He is the front office super utility man, able to cover any position and always good for a pinch hit in a clutch situation.

Bob knows everyone. I'm sure of it. He knows all the employees and staffers, all the season ticket holders - from full season fanatics to corporate suite bigwigs all the way down to the family or couple that has splurged on one the smaller package options. He knows them all by first name!

Bob, or one of his emissaries, sent the package out to those of us who didnt pick them up at the Biscuit Basket last week. 
FULL DISCLOSURE: I accused the Skitz on twitter of not letting me know about pickup times, but they did indeed send out a letter that included the info. I disregarded that letter because the first few paragraphs were attempts at selling me extra tickets. I've got season tickets so I chucked the letter as if it were just a mass mailer. whoops! My Bad!

Included are:
two vouchers for giveaways, one bobblehead and one lunch bag. The bobbleheads are usually great quality but the Lunch Bag Giveaway is sponsored by AUM, who sometimes sponsor cheaper items to hand out at the gate, though they had a winner with the Monty Bobblebank last year.

Season Ticket Holder ID card, good for free admission to road games for the Skitz.

$25 Food Card - good for twenty five bucks worth of free food or drink. But only at the concession stand, not the specialty carts where the real food comes from!

Magnet Schedule. A must have, there should be a law that teams have to offer these.

70 Regular Season Game Tickets - one for each game on the home schedule.

One Opening Day ticket - good to bring a friend to the first game!

VIP Buffet Pass -Free food. IF you can get there early enough to get any. Last year, we waited until the second inning and found a line from HELL. I hope they have improved on the Very Impatient Patron Buffet of last April.

Season Ticket Holder Info Handbook - basically a pamphlet form of the website info, parking, driving directions, perks for season ticket holders, etc.


Will Deadhead Cole Figueroa be a Biscuit in '13?
Players are beginning to prepare to break camp, twitter is abuzz with guys looking forward to their assignments. Much is written about who is going where, but I will eschew speculation now and stick to my January roster predictions. For the most part those are still the guys I expect here, though a few have gotten other gigs (Lobstein) or found other plans (Wendt).

I am sure that by this time next week Golden Corral will have been ravaged by tanned and hungry Double-A ballplayers fresh from Florida back fields.

Before long we will see the green grass and learn the travel roster for the team as they get away from the games that dont count and move on to the ones that do!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Springtime, I love it!

My brain is still a bit fried from Arch Persons research, I was thrilled to find a few pieces that fit together and establish a possible career timeline for this player, to point out a connection that may have gone unnoticed before. I even got an "excellent work" tweet from MLB historian John Thorn, which is no small praise indeed!

To that end, I can offer this addition to my Archie Persons research. A valuable nugget, Archie was born on the fourth of February 1884 in Minnesota and got married in Oregon in 1912. He and his wife had three sons, one each year starting in 1914. His dad Archie Sr passed away in '48. Arch himself died in January of 1970.

Its nice to put together a real picture of who the guy was, as all players are people and have their own stories and families beyond the stats and numbers left in boxscores.
 sources include:
 a website detailing social security numbers of the deceased (uh, ok?).


On the subject of umpires, how long before all umps on the field are required to wear helmets? All base coaches have to wear them. Hitters have to wear them, even on deck. John Olerud had to wear one while playing first base or risk death. Umpires are often positioned at the same distance or sometimes closer than those folks, all of whom have been found to be enough at risk to require headgear.

Maybe the Umpire Union would object, but I am sure they could be bought off by the powers that be. Maybe we can offer up an extra pair of umpire jobs at every MLB game down both outfield lines. I would rather employ more umpires than have instant replay - hell its probably cheaper than a hundred digital cameras in every ballpark.

Plus, what instant replay is going to teach us in ten years = Eyes are better than cameras.

Baseball wants a zero tolerance drug policy.

Tim knows how to relax and enjoy a CD
Wow, thats so 1990s. In the decade when states are deciding how, not if, to make pot available to its citizens the Commissioner wants a Zero Tolerance policy of the type that has been shown to be ineffective for the past twenty years.

In a related story, the Commish decides that Cd's really do sound better than cassettes.


Just got the invite for the Meet the Biscuits event, glad to see its at the ballpark again this year. There have been times it was held at a local mall, but I think it looks really bush league to have a Double A team wearing jeans and road jerseys meeting fans at the mall.

Also its one of the rare moments when the team gives love to the season ticket holders. Free drinks and snacks at this event are almost the only time they hand out freebies!

Oh, its April 3rd. Be sure to be there!


Veck knew how to cool folks off in the outfield!
There are 21 Day games on the schedule for the Biscuits this year, including the announced start times for away games played by the Skitz. What kinda person schedules some of these day games in the southern league? That total counts away games, yes, but its the Biscuits who are guilty of some of the most brutal start times. Sundays in August games are at 2pm.... Heatstroke anyone?


From the end of April until the start of June there are only SIX night games at home. So the month with the best weather chances we are playing the fewest games.

How does the schedule get worse every year? What do we keep doing to piss off the league schedule maker? What does it take to get a decent schedule, it really isnt that hard now that we go to Pensacola instead of North Carolina. Seriously, someone needs to spend a few days working on this in the offseason.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Odd Arch Persons

Odd Arch Persons.....


When My Blog Becomes a Book


Deciphering Montgomery's Most Obscure Baseball Card

A conversation about the T-206 tobacco cards reminded me of one of Montgomery's former players. We had four entries into the tobacco set that year 1909, the T-206s are well known for their high priced stars and the super rare Honus Wagner card. Also they are popular among collectors for the cards in that set which illustrate the minor leagues, the Southern League portion of 48 being a huge batch of player cards. The Persons-Montgomery card is one of the more desirable of the Southern League-rs.

Montgomery had a nice team back then, we were known as the Senators, or alternatively the Climbers for our outfield hills at the local ballparks on Madison Ave's Cramton Bowl, as well as the lesser field used on Federal Drive near Capitol Heights Jr High. Four of our guys were included, infielder Jimmy "Hub" Hart, third baseman/manager Ed Greminger, shortstop/second baseman Ike Rockenfeld and......... Arch Persons.

Cramton Bowl ca 1920s, home of the 1908 Montgomery Senators & 1909 Montgomery Climbers

Arch Persons.

As I researched Montgomery baseball a few years ago, I found a serious lack of info on this guy. Other than the fact that a google search shows that Arch Persons was the name of Truman Capote's father. Originally his son was named Truman Streckfus Persons and from an affluent Alabama family, but later took the name Capote. So lets consider the possibility.... could a Montgomery ballplayer be related to one of Americas most famous writers?

Indeed Arch Persons and Lillie Faulk are the names of the parents of Capote, author of "In Cold Blood" and much more.

Lillie Mae Faulk
Capote's father, Archulus "Arch" Persons, worked as a clerk for a steamboat company. Persons never stuck at any job for long, and was always leaving home in search for new opportunities. The unhappy marriage gradually disintegrated. After his parents divorced, five-year-old Truman was brought up in Monroeville, Alabama. 

I have alternatively seen Capote's father described as a "non-practicing lawyer", "traveling salesman", "con man", "Svengali in a white linen suit" and "well educated ne'er do well". For an interesting example of Persons entrepreneurship, be sure to check out this story about his efforts in Monroe County Alabama's Depression era entertainment business.

Arch Persons and young Truman Capote


Killing the theory though, Archulus Persons, Truman's father, married Lillie Mae Faulk in 1923 when he was 26. That would mean Persons would have been about 12 when the T-209 set came out. I would say that rules out the Montgomery ballplayer as being the father of Truman Capote.

I am not the only blogger to come to this conclusion - this person also found the same search results and came to the realization that there were more than one Arch Persons in the South at the start of the 20th century. He breaks down whats accepted about the career of Arch Persons, marking the stops as Arch moved west from Montgomery to Little Rock to San Antonio and Oklahoma City before finishing up his baseball career in the Western Canadian league. Other than his .279 batting average, there isn't much info to go on - in fact we dont even know what position he played for the Climbers, though he was an outfielder by the time he ends up in Canada, where he wins the batting title.

On the Baseball Reference page for the 1909 Montgomery Climbers, Persons is the only player with "unknown" as a birthplace on the roster list!

We can say that it is highly unlikely that the Arch Persons pictured on the T-209 card is Truman Capote's father.  However it is within the realm of possibility that it could be his grandfather or other relative.

 The Tuscaloosa News gives us this in an interview with Arch Persons, Trumans father.
Persons said he wanted to let the paper know of Capote's local connection.

"Truman's grandfather, the late Arch Persons Sr., was head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alabama for 10 years from 1898 to 1908," he said. Today Persons is a Vice President of Sales of the Watling Scale Company of Chicago

So there are indeed multiple people who go by the name "Arch Persons" wandering around L.A. (Lower Alabama, as its known down here!). I have seen it said that investigating the Persons family in genealogy uncovers Arch Persons III and even IV. Probably unlikely that the third and fourth would be playing baseball in Montgomery in 1909. Also unlikely is that the former Chemistry Prof would take to wandering west over the course of the next four years, though his exit from UofA in 1908 would let him join the team in time for the baseball season.

Which thumps us right back to square one. No idea who this guy is, and no farther along than any of the internet researchers who have pondered the possibility before me. But I do have a new wrinkle to add, a theory to consider on Archie Persons the Montgomery Senator and Climber.

Its possible someone ASSUMED the name Arch Persons in order to play baseball.
Vintage postcard view of Cramton Bowl in Climbers era


It would have been easy to get a job playing ball with any name, even into my own lifetime. Maybe not in todays world of background checks and drug tests, but just ask Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez if you can go a season or two being called a different name without being found out!
It was common for players to use assumed names, especially so in the that era and in the south. Even as many as ten years after Persons disappears from baseball its accepted that banned players turn up in the south on lesser teams with new names. 


Archie Persons - 1912 Western Canada League photo


However, as good as the Assumed Name theory sounds, it doesnt hold water when a more likely suspect can be offered. From the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine Vol.6 October 1904,
 "June 1st, Archie Persons '05 varsity left fielder, signs with Oskaloosa in the Iowa league"

He does not appear on the stats for the 1904 Oskaloosa Quakers stats, which doesnt surprise me because rookies had a terrible time getting into games back then. Especially in October.

However, in a nice surprise, the 1905 Quakers team has a "Pearsons?" listed! They show him with 98 games and a very nice .304 batting average, 114 hits in under a hundred games is a stat most players would take if given a chance. The SABR site has him listed as Unknown Pearsons on the '05 Quakers page.

If we look at Pearsons as an accepted alternate spelling for Archie's last name, we may have a hint of his abilities in Caduceus of Kappa Sigma, in which Wisconsin frat brother Archie Pearsons is mentioned as "...received prominent positions..." on the student Athletic Board and goes on to say "Bro Pearsons is a member of the gymnast team, and played left field on the 'Varsity baseball team, which received such commendable praise last spring"

And if there were still any doubt remaining, consider this item.......

The Feb 1909 issue of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine says
"Archie Persons, who was on the 05 team, is now playing with Montgomery in the Southern League"
Archie turns up in Eu Claire Wisconsin newspapers in 1910 and again in 1914 owning a general store and still very much interested in baseball. It seems he was very popular and in spite of history not knowing much about him, someone must have, for in 1910 the S.F.Call included this article on Feb 12th.

Our man Archie gets a little press. Very little.

So now we see what happened in 1910. Though just barely, only two players are listed for the 1910 Stockton Baby Senators. However I think we can add a third in Arch Persons. In fact, Baseball Reference dot com already HAS an Archie Pearsons playing for Sacramento for 35 games in 1910.

In the newsletter for the Texas League, I found this in their section "This Day In Texas League History", printed in 2008 it was a mention of our mystery man from his days after leaving Montgomery.
 May 24, 1911 One day after gathering 23 hits, San Antonio got 18 more, yet lost to Oklahoma City 6-5 in 11 innings. Pinch hitter Archie Persons, who had been released by San Antonio earlier in the season, delivered the winning hit for the Mets in the final frame.

Going with the Pearsons spelling, we find the 1912 Vancouver Beavers show "Ed Pearsons?" on the stats list. Ten hits, all singles, .270 average for two teams... wait, TWO TEAMS? Clicking on "Ed" shows that he has plenty of other numbers, and yet they fit in with the missing stats on Archie Persons and Pearsons pages.




We have seen that before coming to Montgomery where he would be known as Arch Persons in 1908, this player seems to have started as Wisconsin University where he starred as the varsity left fielder through 1905. His frat brothers misspell his name as "Pearsons", setting a theme that will run throughout his career.

Upon turning pro he joins the '05 Oskaloosa Quakers and has a great rookie season with the name Pearsons.

In 1906 he is unknown, likely misspelled or unlisted.

At the start of the year in '07 he signs on with Decatur Illinois as a pitcher, winning six and losing four in 11 games under the name Ed Pearsons before moving on to Nashville the same season. With Nashville he gives up pitching and hits .233 in 88 games while settling back into the outfield.

1908 sees him head to Montgomery, where he would hit .280 for the sixth place Montgomery Senators and answer to the name Arch Persons.
The following season, 1909, he would start the year here as a Montgomery Climber but move on to Little Rock Ark midseason. He also finds his face appearing on baseball cards for the first time.

In 1910 he opens a general store in Eu Claire, hiring a clerk to keep shop while he is on the road playing ball, which gets a mention in his local paper.

He starts the season California, taking a job with the Sacramento Sacts for 36 games as Archie Pearsons and perhaps getting in a few games for the Stockton Ca. team as well. Later in the summer he would make the trip east to play for the Omaha Rourkes, so named for manager Billy Rourke and there he hits a disappointing .190 in just 16 games at the end of the summer. Possibly why his manager doesnt know how to spell his name properly, listing him as simply "Pearsons"
1911 rolls around and the only team to offer a job is San Antonio , which he takes until the call comes that his contract was dropped as Archie Persons. Then he picks up with Oklahoma City with the same name.

When the 1912 season starts he is in the Canadian league using the name Archie Persons where he gets into sixty games for Bassano in Canada and hits .379 to lead the league, which would be the highest mark of his career.

Leaving the Bassano Boosters midseason, he heads to the Northwestern League for the Tacoma Tigers under the name Ed Pearsons. On the tenth of August 1912 he was bought by Vancouver of the Northwest league. He finishes out the string for the Vancouver Beavers, hitting .270 in just 11 games split between Tacoma and Vancouver.

He may have attempted a comeback at age 43 as Ed Pearsons, playing in Gadsden Alabama in 1929 and Selma in 1930. If this is the same guy the comeback was a success, 101 games 8 homers and a .374 average in '29 with the lively "rabbit" ball of the post deadball era. The 1930 version was less impressive, 17 games with fourteen hits and a lowly .226 batting average.

After that, the trail goes cold.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Marching Along...

Ah the WBC continues rolling along!
Tonite I will am watching the last of the tourney games in Japan, though I will miss the enthusiastic crowds of Tokyo and from the first round in Fukuoka. Those folks know how to cheer their team on something wicked.

Speaking of wicked - Kenta Maeda is making those watching the world tournament aware of what Hiroshima Carp fans have known for a long time, that Maeda has an unhittable slider as well as a full repertoire of other pitches that are just as effective. WBC announcers ponder "if he could make it in the Majors" and I just laughed. Half the teams in MLB would gladly utilize Kenta in the top half of their rotation, and he would crack the starting five for all but a handful of teams. Yes, Kenta Maeda is wicked enough for MLB!

Tim Lincecum
Kenta Maeda

Team Japan finally opened up and hit the long ball against Cuba and look to head to San Francisco as a team that is showing the form that made them WBC champs in the last tourney.


SP Enny Romero
Welcome Enny Romero, sent to the Biscuits spring group in the first round of cuts. The lanky six foot three lefthander from Santo Domingo won five games for the Stone Crabs last year. Lost in his pitching stats is the fact that he is a .500 hitter lifetime, going two-for-four in 2008 at the no-A rookie level Dominican Summer league.

He tallied the century mark in strikeouts last year in 125 innings pitched, and has worked his way up the ladder for the Rays, spending all summer tossing for A+ Charlotte as a 21 year old. He is a 40 man roster member and played in the 2012 Futures Game. A workhorse lefty, Enny has over 100 innings pitched the past two seasons while making 51 starts for Bowling Green and Charlotte. He should be a nice top of the rotation starter for the Biscuits.


Saw Henry Wrigley wearing #73 for the Rockies in a spring game yesterday. He was up to his usual tricks, picking throws out of the dirt at first base and knocking base hits to the opposite field. He is pretty deep on the Colorado depth chart so he will most likely start the year at triple-A, barring a trade to the Yankees. Still its nice to see Henry get some national tv face time!

Bad Henry getting used to wearing purple




probable Dothan site of Giants-Cubs game
Yesterday I mentioned the Giants vs Cubs in Dothan in 1936, Charlie Grimm references this game but his reference isnt based on what happens between the chalk lines. In his reference to that trip he is in error, he recalls being there to play the Red Sox. In fact it was the Giants, who would go on to lose the World Series that year. But we can forgive Jolly Cholly for mixing up the details of the game, its an off field memory he took away from the the wiregrass matchup. And not only is it not of the game, its not even about any of the players!

1936 Giants were World Series Bound

At that time, a batch of media types traveled with the team, including this spring tour which Grimm calls one of the highest mileage road trips known during the era of train rides. The route from Catalina to Chicago was filled with exhibition games all the way to Pensacola and northwards to the Windy City. Included on this long distance barnstorm were games in Alabama, in both Selma and Dothan. The records show an overnight stay in Montgomery for the Cubs, but no game was on the schedule the day they were here. Probably a stop at the casino and a chance for a good meal at the Exchange Hotel.

Jolly Cholly Grimm was skipper three times but only fired once!

In his book, "Baseball I Love You", Charlie recalled an incident at the Dothan hotel in which the team stayed, late in the evening screaming was heard from the room of one of writers who were traveling with the team.

Ed Burns, dignified sportswriter
Upon investigating, Cubs beat writer Ed Burns discovered fellow writer Jimmy Corcoran pinned underneath an overturned wardrobe/armoire. It is supposed that Corcoran was hiding his bottle of hooch in the wardrobe after a night out when he was upended. Burns helped the trapped Corcoran out from under the furniture, telling him "this wouldnt have happened if you were looking for a Gideon bible".

Jimmy "The Cork" Corcoran
This is the same Jimmy Corcoran who, during spring training on Catalina Island, was one of many newspapermen who took offense to the new media covering the sport.  At that time it was radio as the new method of getting fans their baseball fix. Of course, any new media upsets the guys who have been doing it old school, guys like Corcoran and Burns were offended that the radio reporter would set up at the main press table behind home plate. After the game they took their complaints to the bar and commiserated on their collective woes when Jimmy the Cork felt he had enough liquid courage to take a swing at one of the offending upstart radio men. When the intended target stepped back from the drunken punch delivered by the diminutive 140lb writer, the roundhouse right landed in the midsection of big Ed Burns!

Big Ed and Jimmy the Cork on a night out with the boys.

The intended target? From Des Moines radio station WHO, young radio man Ronald Reagan was the one who was able to dodge the drunken swipe! Grimm says a few days later the young Reagan stated he was leaving spring camp for an audition in Hollywood and was never seen again. Those wacky sportswriters.
Ronny knew how to dodge a punch or two


With spring training coming along, the talk is all about prospects. Well we have seen some prospects come thru, some bona fide some not. Here is a vid of one of this years touted MLB Prospects for 2013, Danny Hultzen of Seattle picking off a Biscuit who has thoughts of a stolen base last summer.

Next up from the archives, since we dont have game footage or pics to offer yet, is this cool bit of Montgomery Biscuits history!

Thats Jim Tocco and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler battling the CSX trains at Riverwalk Stadium in 2006. Once that train starts, you might as well hang it up, you cant hear yourself think much less anyone talking near you! A fine job they did though, they were a great team in the broadcast booth during that championship season.

Print ad from Dothan news 1936

Gabby Martinez and Mike Prochaska ca 2007

Sunday, March 10, 2013

in like a lamb

In Like A Lamb....

Giants vs Cubs in Dothan!

Quiet on the Biscuits front, too quiet.
This team's ownership simply needs to do more for its fans, both in season and during the offseason. Not hearing from the team from October thru March would certainly explain why they have seen their business fall off. Come on guys, step up!


The college game wasn't much to speak of, a cold night probably kept the crowd down. I never go, as I can't really get into that level of the game. Hard to explain, just not my bag.


The organization is holding auditions for the National Anthem and tweeted about it. I suggested they should go with the old recording of the Air Force Band doing it as instrumental. Kate Smith also has a popular recording that could be used less painfully than some of the folks that end up being selected. I hate to think who gets rejected!


Speaking of being jilted by the minor leagues, lets not forget that the subject of last weeks post is not the only mascot in town! In fact, as far as height is concerned, Big Mo is rather dwarfed by the actual namesake mascot - Monty the Biscuit.
Monty the Biscuit

Monty appears in more places than Big Mo at the ballpark. Once the season starts I will take a tally of which mascot is used where, but I am sure that the Monty sitting on the giant scoreboard is at least ten feet tall and looks down on the field with goo goo googlie eyes!
Monty in foreground on dugout & background on scoreboard (upper left)

Monty is all over the ballpark and website, but never as an actual person in a suit. While it must have been discussed early on and dismissed, since walking food with a face can border on spooky side of Puff-N-Stuff, I think there are some obvious advantages worth considering.

It would give Big Mo a foil, a competing mascot for races and promotions, and another option for Biscuit fans to snap a pic or two. How tough is it to get someone in a Biscuit costume to wander around the park?

Too Flaky?

What are Montys origins?  That depends on who you talk to, here is one side of the story.

required "intelligent design" theory option
I havent checked the facts personally, but it sounds pretty much like how things work down here, so we can probably take that account as "mostly factual" concerning the giant baked goods beginnings.


Monty got the trophy, not Mo

As for me, I am more fond of Monty than I am of Big Mo. The reason I find Monty more appealing than Mo is that I dont see any other teams using baked goods as the face of the franchise. And Monty is the face of the franchise, have no doubt. Monty appears on the uniform and the tickets and many other aspects of the teams materials made for both public and private consumption. Let me put it another way, when you get a business card from someone that works for the team, you dont see Big Mo but you do see Monty the Biscuit.

Monty peeks out from behind the M on Desmonds cap
There are many interesting features about having an anthropomorphic baked goods mascot. He has hands in the tradition of mickey mouse - white three finger and a thumb gloves. Im okay with the hands, but I wonder how Monty fares without arms.

Or legs, though he has feet. Monty wears white baseball cleats that have yellow stripes and blue laces. He never takes them off because he has such trouble tying the laces, having no arms and only three fingers on each hand.

Oh, and he is all face. He has googlie eyes, sitting at the top of his crusty biscuit head, crossed at the center which must affect his depth perception. His lips are turned up in a flaky smile revealing the buttery pat that is his tongue.
Must be a smooth talker with a butter tongue


Man those games in Japan start late! That is some serious baseball though, and I love seeing the teams with totally different styles trying to adapt quickly in tournament play.  However I do have a few suggestions for the next time they have it.

He es no Semi-Pro
I think the team that wins the world series should represent the USA. As the reigning champ, there's no reason to drag a bunch of stars out of camp when the team that holds the trophy would be able to show the WBC what the top team looks like. Well, okay, what the top team looks like three or four months after winning it all in the big leagues.

Although, it is great to see AllStar teams like Samurai Japan and team USA face the "semi-pro" guys and have trouble with them!


By Charlie Grimm

A very nice read, not exactly graduate level writing but a view into a managers mind in a different age. The references Grimm makes (probably thru ghostwriter) to the Chicago Cubs are so drastically differently slanted that its hard to admit that hes writing about the same organization that inhabits Wrigley Field today.

In fact, he states flat out that the Cubs had won 17 pennants between 1876-1945, which means they topped the league about once every four years. Thats in stark contrast to the no world series Cubs since 1945, who have been turned away annually since the end of the second world war. Futility and lovable losers are the catchphrases of todays Cubs, along with curse, billygoat and Bartman. Not so much in Jolly Chollys time, when the lighthearted team won more games than it lost as it took trains instead of planes across the league, which at the time extended only as far west as St.Louis and as far south as.... St.Louis.

Grimm relates stories of the Cubs spring trainings spent on Catalina Island, most of which was owned by the Wrigley family. He tells of breaking camp for spring in 1936 and making stops to play exhibition games along the way. One of those stops was in Dothan Alabama against the Red Sox (internet check says it was the NY Giants). I have a hard time seeing those great teams here, but its true, they played in Selma and Dothan - with no game listed in Montgomery. Ain't that typical?

A good read about the Cubs in their winning era! Hack Wilson stories abound, as well as the truth about how many times Grimm was fired as Cubs manager.