Friday, July 4, 2014

Patriotic Skitz-O-Matic! Reinforcements, Paterson Derby, History

Patriotic Skitz-O-Matic!

On Friday the Biscuits return to Riverwalk, after a ten day road trip that saw them seeing Stars in Huntsville and wrestling the Smokies in Tennessee. Struggling to cling to a .500 winning percentage, Bradys Boys have slipped in the standings after taking a beating from the top teams in the North Division.


Not sure if they were marching in or on horseback, but we did get some help.

To start off, its addition by subtraction to send "Snapback" Moore and Angel "of Death" Sanchez to greener pastures.

As a bonus we get Kes Carter, first rounder who gets to show off what he can do in centerfield. We get to see catcher Jake DePew, who hit his first homer in Double-A on Tuesday. Both will offer welcome rest to regulars at worst and quality play at best. Nice!


Crazy World, ain't it?
Now we add pitcher Cory Burns to the mix. Burns has major league experience, 17 games with the Padres in 2011 and 10 appearances with the Rangers in 2012. With over 110 career saves in the minors, the Biscuits would appear to have a new closer, at least until Durham needs a long relief man.

I see this as a positive sign, that the parent club has listened to the manager and gotten a player we need. A rarity, but hopefully this is a step towards rebuilding the Biscuit bullpen.

First Baseman Jeff Malm was sent to Hudson Valley, I guess the Renegades needed him. Malm was getting squeezed by Cameron Seitzer's hogging of playing time at first. Jeff will likely be back pretty soon.

In Malm's place we get Albert Suarez. AJ retuns to Montgomery where he made two starts last season. Suarez has been stellar in his three starts for Charlotte this year, and was due to be promoted after spending three seasons in the Florida League.

Biscuit Rotation a Rotating Door
A constantly fluid situation, the starting pitchers for the starters for the next series are likely Floro, Garvin, Albert Suarez, Victor Mateo and Mike Colla.

Who knows if we can expect to see any more Jimmy Patterson starts, with over 130 career games JP has only been called on for 13 starting assignments. Jim has a 4.17 ERA this year, which matches his ERA for Montgomery last year.


The home run derby at the AllStar in Chattanooga was held at historic Engle Stadium, the original home of the host Lookouts.

When I suggested to team officials that Montgomery would enjoy a similar opportunity at historic Paterson Field, I was told that "logistics" would be the biggest obstacle.

The team would need permission from the Southern League office, which they could probably get - I mean, Chattanooga got it right?

No, apparently the issue is the facilities.


Not so much the clubhouse or the dugouts, though they are old school small. Not the ticket office, which could function easily with a couple laptops and printers. No concern about the rest rooms, frankly old Paterson has cleaner toilets than some others I have seen in newer parks in the league!

It seems the concern would be more about the food preparation areas, or so I was told.

I think there is a chance that is not really the case, as we are talking about the Biscuits here. The team that is a front for selling ballpark food service catering carts -  having the game at Paterson would be an ideal chance to showcase the versatility of their product to a wider audience of potential customers than any other game.

Not to mention they are missing a chance to charge for the Derby as a separate event!

Likely the killing blow to having the AllStar Home Run Derby at Paterson Field? No luxury suites with air conditioning for a June game. The bottom line would be hurt by not having the suites, so thats the deciding factor.


 The longest game in Biscuits history happened last night - 16 innings and 5:15 to play the Smokies. Not bad, plus we won, but not the longest in Montgomery history. It came up about eight minutes and three innings too short!
 The longest game....
A Tie? Dang, and I felt like we were just about to score!

JULY 4 1920
Montgomery, AL

"Grey Sox Win Opener From Atlanta Team -
Mason Lets Visitors Down With Three Widely Scattered Hits Sunday -

In a slow long drawn out game, the Montgomery Grey Sox yesterday captured the opening game of a series with the Atlanta Crackers, at Southette Park. Mason pitching for the Grey Sox was practically unhitable, holding the Atlanta team to three widely-scattered hits and shutting them out.
The two teams play a double header today.

Besides the pitching of Mason, the other features of the game were the timely hitting of Shortstop Cunningham and Catcher Williams of the Grey Sox and the fielding of the First Baseman Cunningham of the same team.

The Grey Sox team is composed of the best negro base ball players in the South, and put up a splendid article of base ball. An overflowing crowd witnessed the game."

JULY 6 1904
Southern league umpire Dan Pfenninger mobbed at a game in Bham.

A veteran umpire on southern diamonds, Dan Pfenninger is known as an ump who will call a forfeit if a team or its fans become unruly.

Known as the Dean of Southern league umpires, Vinegar Dan was recognized as having a quick wit - once when a hitter griped to about a called third strike saying "You missed that one, Dan" Pfenninger replied "Well I just saw you miss two, so I guess I'm having a better day than you are"

JULY 5 & 6 1906
Montgomery Senators pitcher Will Breitenstein shuts out Nashville on two hits. His victory is short lived, as Barons starter Irving Wilhelm pitches a perfect game on the next day, against Montgomery!

Vinegar Bill Breitenstein is a Southern circuit hurler who along with his more successful older brother Ted, spent a combined 16 summers toeing the rubber in the south after the turn of the century. Ted threw a No-Hitter in 1898 for Cincinnati on the same day that Jim Hughes tossed a NoNo for Baltimore - the first time two no hitters were thrown on the same day in MLB.

Bill Breitenstein wins 11 and loses 11 for Montgomery and Shreveport during the 1906 season.

JULY 6 1920 
Montgomery, AL
"Montgomery Wins Fourth Straight - 

Atlanta Proves Easy for Local Colored Team; Birmingham Comes Next - 

The Montgomery Grey Sox of the Southern Colored League won their fourth straight victory over Atlanta yesterday, 6 to 5.

The features of the game was the hitting and the pitching of Myles for the locals. The visitors scored on him in the second, but after this inning he held them in check until the ninth when the visitors staged a rally and scored three runs, but the locals scored in their half of the ninth and won the game.

 The Grey Sox are still tied with the Knoxville Giants for first place in the league standing and if Knoxville lost yesterday the locals will take first position. The Knoxville team is rated as the fastest team in the league but they are having a hard time in keeping the lead.

The Giants went down to defeat before the Birmingham Black Barons Saturday, but won a double header from them yesterday. The Grey Sox will have two days off and then they will meet the Birmingham Black Barons for games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, all of these games to start at 4 o'clock.

The Birmingham aggregation is composed of Cubans, eleven of whom do not speak the English language, and the general report is that they are a fast, hard hitting bunch of players."

JULY 7 1906
Leroy "Satchel" Paige is born in Mobile, Alabama.

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