More Monday Minutia

Most off-seasons are spent fixing holes in the roster, in the Reds case as mentioned earlier in the year one of the holes that would be addressed this off season would be the shortstop position, currently rumor has it that the “Bad” Alex Gonzalez was inking a contract with the Reds, perhaps it’s true and the Reds will have a world class glove at SS again (plus an on base challenged SS who has some pop… very Leo Cardenes!!)

If all this does come to rest, we’ll have to revisit it.

One thing’s for certain if Hatteberg gets 1.5 million, Gonzalez receives 4.4 million and Phillips and EE receive 2 million together that’s one cheap starting infield. Leaving cash for a RH corner OF or 1b.

Never the less, the off-season also lends folks to try and find any bit of information on the game. Back before digital information and the wonders of instant gratification in the sports world folks used to scour the press and baseball heavy publications like The Sporting News. In honor of those days we’ll throw a couple against the wall and see if they stick.

Let’s kick it off with the worries of the Reds outfield in the winter of 1897, and who the boys should keep.

They ended not keeping Hoyt in fact they made him the centerpiece of a big trade:

Traded Red Ehret, Dummy Hoy, and Claude Ritchey to the Louisville Colonels. Received Bill Hill.

Bill Hill was a pitcher, he pitched one year for the Reds and was traded for Jack Taylor another pitcher who pitched one year for the Reds, then vanished from the game in the face of the National League contraction of 1899.

In 1912 there was a buzz about the “United States Baseball League” which was forming in several cities. Quickly labeled an “Outlaw League” the league lasted one year but likely gave the future Federal League backers faith that if done properly major league baseball could be broached

Mar 16 At a meeting of franchise owners of the United States Baseball League in New York‚ the league settles on franchises in New York‚ Pittsburgh‚ Cincinnati‚ Cleveland‚ Washington‚ Brooklyn‚ Richmond and Reading‚ PA. The Washington team announces that their name will be the Senators and they expect their manager to be George Browne. The New York franchise will switch to Chicago in a week because no field can be found in New York.

Chicago Green Sox
Cincinnati Pippins
Cleveland Forest City
New York Knickerbockers
Pittsburgh Filipinos
Richmond Rebels
Washington Senators

In the mid 1920’s the doubleheader was a popular way to entice the fans to the park

Currently the Reds are on the heels of 6 straight losing seasons. In 1936 it was numbering at eight, and the Reds were feeling giddy about finally making some money.

Unfortunately for them 1937 would be a step backwards.

1937 8th place 56 – 98 .364 40-GB

1940 .267 .392 .334 .726
1941 .262 .375 .334 .709
1942 .253 .350 .323 .674
1943 .253 .344 .323 .667
1944 .260 .358 .326 .684
1945 .260 .355 .329 .684
1946 .256 .360 .328 .688
1947 .261 .377 .336 .713
1948 .263 .382 .341 .723
1949 .263 .384 .344 .728
1950 .266 .402 .346 .748

By 1949 the game had changed a lot from the deadball like atmosphere of the war year, slugging had skyrocketed and extra base hits had jumped over 1300 from 1945 to 1950.

This wasn’t lost on the press nor the cartoonists.

Meanwhile Slugger Ted Williams recognized the power of the bases on ball

In 1952 the Cubs finished 77-77 and manager Phil Cavarretta tried his best to make his teams winners.

It didn’t work; the Cubs wouldn’t finish above .500 until 1963.

For those who loved The Sporting News and read it until it was ragged eared, you must have took a gander at these before.

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