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".





Your 1913 Montgomery Rebels took the field.

The Rebs of Thirteen were a younger lot, only the Pelicans fielded more youth than Montgomery, but the New Orleans birds would occupy the basement. The Rebels fans would cheer the team into sixth place and watch Todd Sloan lead the team with a .298 average. Sloan would rank in the top ten of the Southern Association, though Im not sure the top spot should have gone to a player who only appeared in 56 games, as Krafts .362 is notated.

Ernie Manning, Elmer Brown and Curly Brown led the pitching staff, winning 47 games combined.
The hearing challenged Dummy Taylor worked out of the bullpen. 

Photo of John Dobbs
Mgr John Dobbs
Managed this season by John Dobbs, the 38 year old former big leaguer has played for the Rebels the past two seasons, but this year he wont play while skippering the team. Dobbs broke into baseball in the Southern Association as a twenty year old way back in 1895. He played for Chattanooga and Mobile in the minors, then had a successful major league career for the Reds, Cubs and Brooklyn Superbas. He spent five years in the big leagues, stealing double digit bases every season. His career batting average of .263 isn't stellar, but he rapped over a hundred hits in four different seasons. Dobbs is one of the few Montgomery players who were both Chicago Orphans and Chicago Cubs - playing for the team when the new name was applied.

After leaving the Brooklyn team he went back to pitching for his hometown team, the Chattanooga Lookouts. A couple seasons there led to a chance to play and manage in Montgomery.

Alot of these guys have big league time coming, a few have already had their cup of coffee, some quite abit more than just one cup. Some of the B-ref players have question marks, but all have stats!

The regulars look to be
Palmer Snedecor? 145 games, .224 avg
OF Tod Sloan, 136 games, .298 avg, 5 hr tied for team lead, future StLouis Brown '13, '17, 19
SS, 2B Buzzy Wares 136 games, .256 avg, 4hr, StLouis Browns '13, '14
OF Heinie Jantzen 135 games .257, StLouis Browns '12
SS Cotton Knaupp 135 games, .237 avg, also w/ New Orleans in 1913, Cle '10, '11
Bill Elwert ? 132 games, .262 avg
Ernest Gribbins? 96 games, .273 avg
OF Ernie Walker 87 games, .249 avg, StLouis Browns '13, '14, '15, from Blossburg Alabama, Dixie Walker Sr's brother.
Sylvester Breen? 76 games, .200 avg
Catcher Charlie Snell 75 games, .216 avg, StLouis Browns '12 as an 18 yr old!
Catcher/1B Pat Donahue 65 games, .225 avg, Boston '08-10, Phil A's '10, Cle '10, Phil A's AGAIN '10

Pitcher Jim Bagby 64 games

Elmer Brown won 16 for us

1913 Montgomery Pitching staff
Ernie Manning 17 wins
Elmer Brown 16 wins
Curly Brown 14 wins
Charlie Case 11w-15L
Jim Bagby 8w-5L
 Dummy Taylor 1w 1L, 40 Innings pitched in 7 games between Montgomery and New Orleans.

None of the other pitchers got wins, and only Frank Sparks pitched more than three games. Future Major Leaguers Carl East and Buddy Napier each appeared in three games. Both were credited with two losses although Napiers numbers are much uglier.
Pitchers with the names of Sylvester Breen, A.Styles and Snyder rounded out the staff at various points


Photo of Jim Bagby
Sarge Bagby
Jim would also go to New Orleans in '13, and pitched for Cinci '12, Cleveland from '16-22, Pit '23 , He had been with Mgm since 1911 Billikens. With only twenty games pitched for the team, Bags must have been getting into
games somewhere else to beat out some of the other part timers. But when you are in sixth place, thats how it goes!

As a pitcher in the big leagues, Sarge Bagby would have a couple very great moments in the fall classic. He was the first pitcher to hit a home run in the world series, doing so for Cleveland in 1920 as they defeated Brooklyn.
Jim was on the mound in game five of the World Series when a line drive was hit to his shortstop with a couple runners on base. The resulting unassisted triple play was the first one in world series history, by Bill Wambsganss.
Bagby won 8 games for Mgm

Cleveland had already made him the beneficiary of the first world series grand slam in the first inning, staking him to an early lead against the Dodgers. Bagby won that game on top of the 31 regular season victories he had, and his Indians took the 1920 World Series.

Bagby would in later years be a fine umpire, and his son Jim Bagby Jr would also play major league baseball.


Catcher Pat Donahue
This guy logged several train trips between teams in 1910. After breaking in as a rookie with the Red Sox in 1908, getting into 65 games for Boston in 1909.
He rode pine the next year, getting into just one single game defensively and once more as a pinch hitter before being purchased by the Philadelphia A's in June of 1910.
The A's dealt him to Cleveland after seeing him catching in 13 games, hitting just .147. The Naps gave him two games, Pat gave them one hit, and the Indians gave him BACK to Connie Macks Athletics! Donahue got one more big league game with the A's that year. On September 5th he caught a couple innings and made it to the plate once. He struck out and his big league playing career was over.

Pat would later make a few hundred bucks by discovering Bob Feller. He had umpired a game Feller was pitching in, and called in the tip. Donahue's brother, Jiggs, was a member of the WhiteSox 1906 World Series winners.

the SABR website entry for him has this great story about his time as in Montgomery:
Donahue joined the Montgomery Rebels in 1913, and appeared in 65 games (hitting .225) before contracting “malarial fever” and returning home to Ohio in August. He flirted with a couple of Federal League clubs, but in the end returned to the Rebels in 1914, signing on May 5. He played in 109 games, with a .235 average.

He was involved in a fracas with Umpire Fifield and struck him, resulting in indefinite suspension without pay. It wasn’t the first time Donahue had come across as a little belligerent. A couple of years earlier, he’d been talked out an earlier incident in which he challenged a loud Crackers fan to meet him under the stands.
Offered a cut in salary for the 1915 season, Donahue declined to sign with the Rebels, instead entering into an agreement to play semipro ball for the Knights of Columbus in Montgomery’s City League.

Not bad! Dude had 'tude, I bet they loved him in the City League. Wish I could find out more about those teams!


When Luther Taylor joined the Montgomery Rebels in 1913 he was well into his thirties and playing out the string of a fascinating career. Known as Dummy for his lack of hearing and ability to speak, he had spent nine seasons in the Major Leagues. He started out in baseball with the New York Giants after his parents disapproved of his first sport - boxing.

Luther "Dummy" Taylor
Taylor was known to be very outgoing, it was said that he took offense if teammates didnt learn sign language so he could communicate with him. Such was the case when he was dealt to Cleveland, where he felt he was left alone, and soon found his way back to John McGraw's Giants.

Taylor was known to be a team clown, mocking umpires and joking with players on both teams. Once a team tried to use his disabilities to their advantage, attempting to steal third while Taylor was on the mound. "Those fellows thought they would take advantage of me because of my deafness. Five of them tried to steal third base and I nailed each one. I walked over to Long, the last man caught, and let him know by signs I could hear him stealing." was how Taylor related the story, implying that the runners were so loud that even being deaf he could hear them!

Once he was tossed for coaching first base in a game, he thought the game should be called due to the falling rain, so he took to the coaches box in galoshes and a raincoat. Another time he was thrown out for swearing at an umpire, mouthing silent insults that couldn't be missed by a lip-reader and prompting Cleveland manager Napoleon LaJoie say that Taylor was the first deaf-mute to be kicked out of a game for talking back to an umpire!

Next time we will cover more of the centennial team!

No comments: