Monday, March 10, 2014

Mgm welcomes Christy Mathewson, Skitz News weakly!

Way back in 1918, the season was being overshadowed by the War in Europe, and folks were starting to scale back their travel.

A side of that included sports teams, the Cincinnati Reds decided to take spring training a little closer to home. Here at Camp Sheridan, the YMCA workers got together and decided to invite a major league team to have its spring training here.

The YMCA and City Council sent Cinci owners the offer of free spring training, the Y and the city covering the bill if the Reds would hold spring training in Montgomery. It was felt that the Reds spring games would help in boosting the YMCA's war effort as well as entertaining the soldiers at Camp Sheridan.

The Reds acccepted the Montgomery proposal. The team arrived on March 12th under manager Christy Mathewson and trained at the park known at the time as "The Coliseum", near where Garrett Coliseum is now.
1918 Cincinnati Reds

The Reds face All-Army teams from Camp Sheridan, the NY Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians. The visiting teams would also play the All-Army teams, often in a doubleheader.

Montgomery baseball fans were in for a treat, as the Reds had some recognizable players!

Hal Chase
Hal Chase

Back for a second go round in Montgomery is Hal Chase, the superstar who is known to throw a game and would eventually be banished from baseball. Later in the season Chase will be fined and suspended by manager Mathewson for lackluster play and a mysterious $50 payment to pitcher Jimmy Ring after a Reds loss.

Edd Roush
Future Hall Of Famer Edd Roush is the Reds star centerfielder.
Edd Roush

Roush will have an 18 year career and hit .323 lifetime, but when he is in Montgomery he is 25 years old and the defending NL batting champ.

Roush is with the Reds as a part of the trade that also brought them...

Christy Mathewson - Superstar, pitcher and Reds Manager.

Christy Mathewson
Matty retired from pitching after 1916, moving to managing full time, at the Reds helm for the third season when he gets to Montgomery.

Before this season ends, Mathewson won't be their manager - he is drafted and given a commission in the Chemical Warfare Division, where he is among a group accidentally gassed. He survives and returns to the States but wont manage again.
Matty in service

Known as "Big Six" for his ability to pitch out of trouble the same way the 6th NY Fire Brigade was able to put out fires, Christy is one of the deadball era's pitching superstars.

Mathewson popularized the screwball, known as the "fadeaway" because of its movement away from right handed hitters. Matty won 373 games with a 2.13 ERA in his career and is considered one of the best pitchers of his or any other era. He was inducted into Cooperstown in 1936.

MATTY SPOTS BLACK SOX
Black Sox
Oddly, its Matty who would uncover the 1919 Black Sox scandal.

While attending the world series he sees Hal Chase in the lobby of a hotel as Chase meets with players from the White Sox. With this in mind, Mathewson discussed the possibility of a fix with sportswriter Hugh Fullerton and they agree to circle the names in their scorecards if they saw suspicious play during the game. Mathewson is disgusted and forwards his findings to the league, washing his hands of the scandal and those involved.

OTHER GUYS
There are of course, the usual assortment of classic baseball names - Greasy Neale, Hod Eller, Heinie Groh, Lena Blackburn, Ivey Wingo, Snipe Conley, Rube Bressler, and even Manuel Cueto.
When checking in at the hotel, after all those names, the desk clerk probably thought utility man Harry Smith was using a fake name, but didn't want to ask. In fact, its Lee Magee, whose real name was Leopold Hoernchemeyer who is using the false name!


BISCUIT NEWS
Weekly - weakly...
Seems to be the only chatter for the 'Skitz lately, once a week one thing sneaks thru and it aint much to go with.

This week we have the Cup Design!
Thanks to Casey Ivy for tweeting the pic - good job!

In years past there have been mostly good cup designs, but that one season they put the Health code on the cup was such a bust, beer drinkers have worried ever since. Fears abated, nothing left to worry about on the brew front except the price!

TIX COMING
The season ticket packages are at the printers, and could be available as soon as this week - or so I was led to believe. Check back...


Pitching Prediction...
Turn your guesses in on who the Rays starting pitcher is for the Rays-Biscuits matchup.
Could Kelly face Skitz?
When asked, I guessed Enny Romero, Merrill Kelly or another likely Durham bound arm getting a last look.

The person asking - Uncle Mikey - suggested Erick Bedard.
I have my doubts about Bedard, idk if they want to risk more mileage on the veterans arm. I think its a perfect time to get a last look at a young guy on the cusp of making the squad.
So, who do you guys think it will be?


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