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Honus Wagner Rules
10-13-2005, 11:30 AM
What were the details of the Jackie Ronbinson "failed" April 1945 tryout with the Red Sox and did the Red Sox really have first dibs to sign Willie Mays and they passed on him because a scout didn't want to wait in the rain to watch Mays play?

Honus Wagner Rules
10-13-2005, 11:42 AM
I found this...


Robinson and Mays: What Might Have Been


Major League Baseball has dedicated the 1997 season to Jackie Robinson, who on April 15, 1947 broke the color line established in the 1880s. The fiftieth anniversary of Robinson’s debut features an on-field ceremony during the Mets-Dodgers game at Shea Stadium, with President Clinton scheduled to honor Robinson’s widow Rachel.

But the Red Sox could have been first.

By 1945, columnist Dave Egan and the Boston City Council were pressuring the Braves and Red Sox to integrate. Sox GM Eddie Collins insisted that the team was blameless. In his 12 years with the club, he explained, "we have never had a single request for a tryout by a colored applicant."

That was easy to fix. Legendary black sportswriter Wendell Smith brought three Negro Leaguers to town: .338-hitting 2B Marvin Williams, outfielder Sam Jethroe (1950 NL Rookie of the Year with the Boston Braves)...and rookie shortstop Jackie Robinson. During their workout with the Sox a voice in the distance, widely believed to be Collins', shouted "Get those ******* off the field."

Having refused to sign black players, the Sox worked to keep them off other rosters, too. In the summer of 1946, with Jackie Robinson tearing up the International League, Sox owner Tom Yawkey served on an owners' committee formed to study integration and other issues. The committee delivered its report at the August 27, 1946 owners' meeting -- a report so sensitive that recipients were asked to destroy their copies.

The report launched every tired, circular weapon in Organized Baseball's arsenal to defend the color line. According to Yawkey and his colleagues, baseball was being singled out by meddling publicity hounds who didn't care about blacks. Most Negro Leaguers weren't good enough for the majors. The Negro Leagues offered inferior training and produced players with no grasp of the fundamentals. Besides, Negro League contracts must be respected!

But the real reasons were buried deep in the text. Many teams profited from segregation. “The Negro leagues rent their parks in many cities from clubs in Organized Baseball. . . . Club owners in the major leagues are reluctant to give up revenues amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year." And black players would attract black fans, who would drive away more desirable white patrons: “a situation might be presented, if Negroes participate in Major League games, in which the preponderance of Negro attendance in parks such as the Yankee Stadium, the Polo Grounds, and Comiskey Park could conceivably threaten the value of Major League franchises owned by these clubs.”

Even after Robinson integrated the majors, the Red Sox rejected black players who were practically dropped in their lap. The general manager of their AA team in Birmingham, Alabama alerted them to a phenomenal prospect on the Birmingham Black Barons whose contract could be bought for only $5,000. Even though the Red Sox' local scout echoed the rave reviews, GM Joe Cronin wasn't interested...and so Willie Mays became a Giant.

The Red Sox were the last team to integrate, 12-1/2 years after Jackie Robinson's debut. By the time Pumpsie Green was called up to the Red Sox in July 1959, Robinson was long retired. Roy Campanella, Luke Easter, Monte Irvin and Satchel Paige had come and gone, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Minnie Minoso and Frank Robinson were in their prime -- and the Sox had fallen from pennant contenders to mediocrity.

Just imagine two generations of New Englanders growing up with this memory:

"FENWAY PARK, OCTOBER 1, 1951: Sparked by Jackie Robinson's first-inning steal of home and a three-run blast by rookie sensation Willie Mays, the Boston Red Sox today won their fifth American League pennant in six years, thrashing the New York Yankees, 8-3, in their one-game playoff."

iPod
10-13-2005, 11:54 AM
I found this...

Pinky Higgins absolutely refused to put blacks on the team. The only reason Pumpsie Green even made the squad in 1959 was that Higgins had been fired.

Brian McKenna
10-13-2005, 12:13 PM
It wasn't Higgins as much as it was Yawkey, Eddie Collins and the town of Boston really. Have you ever heard of any Negro league teams from Boston?

By the way, Mr. Honus Wagner Rules, I would appreciate the source of that quote. I'd like to keep it in my files. Thanks.

oscargamblesfro
10-13-2005, 12:22 PM
it was probably all 3...i've never heard about collins' racism, but higgins was real bad- the worst of the three

probably the first guy in the boston organization who wasn't a bigot was sixties/ seventies gm dick o'connell, an underrated g.m. who really built up the club after the ghastly teams in the early/ mid 60's ,who actively worked hard to counter that image of the franchise by drafting guys like george scott, rice, ben ogilvie, and cecil cooper.

Brian McKenna
10-13-2005, 12:27 PM
Many would say that Yawkey's was the worst

because he had the $$$$$$$$$ and the power and he was THE community leader.

oscargamblesfro
10-13-2005, 12:32 PM
well, at any rate, i would hardly call him "a community leader"- he spent much of his time in south carolina or someplace like that, and despite all of the jimmy fund stuff, which is laudable wasn't exactly engaged in the everyday issues here... he also wasn't from boston.

Brian McKenna
10-13-2005, 12:37 PM
I think a community ties itself to a ballclub and that ballclub intertwines itself into the community. There is a lot of back scratching both ways and the $$ flow all around, much of which is rarely if ever publicized. Considering this, any owner would be an integral member of the community - whatever the semantics of the term community leader.

oscargamblesfro
10-13-2005, 01:08 PM
that yawkey, higgins, and apparently collins were racists is inexcusable, despicable, and a matter of history. it is a shame that my hometown's team was the last to integrate. yet to say " the town of boston really" is what is known as a generalization. i for one do not believe that this matter was only a problem there and not in new york, philly, st. louis, or any other city. i highly doubt that baltimore is any more of a paragon of racial tolerance. as for no negro league teams, i really don't know why there weren't any: that may be due to the fact that boston has a small black population. i have no idea.

there are bad racial problems in boston, which are tied in with class, and which in turn are also handdowns from lesser, but still potent prejudices inflicted on irish and italian groups for their religion and for being immigrants. i know this as well as any poster on this board, probably more so with the busing problems of the 70's that i experienced as a young kid. there is a lot of subtle racism and segregation there to this day. no one in their right mind would deny that. my fiancee is black and native american, and while we got rude stares in boston, some of the other places we've been have been [I]a lot worse. i would highly caution anyone about the old adage about sticks and glass houses.

iPod
10-13-2005, 01:28 PM
No, I agree; it was Eddie Collins, Joe Cronin, and Pinky Higgins all working together. Yawkey himself I think had little to do with it. But Higgins was the worst. If he hadn't gotten fired, who knows how long the Sox would have stayed segregated?

The "get those ******* off the field," remark was probably made by either Cronin or Collins, although some people think Yawkey himself said it.

There's a book all about this, "Shut Out" by Howard Bryant. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's really interested in the history of integration in the majors, focused around the Sox specifically.

Page 52 of that book; "As a final act in the spring of 1959, he [Higgins] had sent Pumpsie Green back to the minors in a spiteful, last-second gesture. The Red Sox struggled early in the season with poor infield play, and Larry Claflin, a columnist for the Boston Record American, asked Higgins if he would bolster the infield by recalling Green, who, in the minors, was hitting over .300 and playing solid defense. Higgins responded by calling Claflin a '****** lover' and spit tobacco juice on him."

Barnstormer
10-13-2005, 01:58 PM
Boston does seem to have a peculiar history of race and sports, at least in baseball and basketball. While the Sox were the last to integrate, the Celtics were the first team to draft an African-American player (Chuck Cooper). The Celtics also had the first black coach, but then I also remember the oddly white teams of the mid-80s (Bird, McHale, Ainge, Walton). Not sure what to make of it all.

Brian McKenna
10-13-2005, 02:26 PM
there are bad racial problems in boston, which are tied in with class, and which in turn are also handdowns from lesser, but still potent prejudices inflicted on irish and italian groups for their religion and for being immigrants. i know this as well as any poster on this board, probably more so with the busing problems of the 70's that i experienced as a young kid. there is a lot of subtle racism and segregation there to this day. no one in their right mind would deny that. my fiancee is black and native american, and while we got rude stares in boston, some of the other places we've been have been [I]a lot worse. i would highly caution anyone about the old adage about sticks and glass houses.

I shouldn't have implied otherwise - the problems are prevalent throughout the United States.

oscargamblesfro
10-13-2005, 02:38 PM
I shouldn't have implied otherwise - the problems are prevalent throughout the United States.


it's cool...

Honus Wagner Rules
10-13-2005, 03:33 PM
Boston does seem to have a peculiar history of race and sports, at least in baseball and basketball. While the Sox were the last to integrate, the Celtics were the first team to draft an African-American player (Chuck Cooper). The Celtics also had the first black coach, but then I also remember the oddly white teams of the mid-80s (Bird, McHale, Ainge, Walton). Not sure what to make of it all.

I think the 1980s Celtics were just random chance. Bird, McHale, and Ainge were all all-star caliber players. It's not as if they played in front of more deserving African-American players. Plus, Dennis Johnson and Robert Parrish were also key members of those 1980s championship teams.

Honus Wagner Rules
10-13-2005, 03:37 PM
Can imagine Williams, Robinson, and Mays all on the same team? :eek:

Steve Jeltz
10-14-2005, 03:25 AM
Can imagine Williams, Robinson, and Mays all on the same team? :eek:

Also imagine Al Kaline, Carl Yastrzemski and Hank Aaron in the same outfield. This could have been the Phillies starting outfield in the late 1950's and 1960's.

64Cards
10-14-2005, 09:11 AM
Yawkey, as the owner, has be the person ultimately responsible for the Bosox reluctance to integrate. Now in the late 40's they had a hell of a team, if they had won the last game of the season in 48 & 49, they would have won 3 pennants in 4 years, so maybe they felt there was no reason to upset the apple cart, so to speak. Plus the Yanks weren't adding any black players either [but they had a much deeper and stronger farm system.] Yawkey should have instructed his GM, farm director or whomever in the early 50's to go out and sign some black players and get a leg up on the Yanks.

Yawkey making the HOF is a total mystery to me. I've heard he was a terrific guy, a lot of fun to sit around and drink with. But in all of his years owning the Sox, they made a grand total of 3 trips to the WS and as mentioned, they were the last team to integrate. I know he was born in South Carolina around the turn of the century, so regarding intergration his attitude was no different than virtually everyone he grew up with, not to mention a hell of a lot of others in the supposedly more enlightened North. But still, he could have done the right thing, whether it be for competitive reason or because it was the fair thing to do.

oscargamblesfro
10-14-2005, 10:21 AM
i think ultimately yawkey left a mixed legacy, with good points and bad. part of the reason he's in the hall, a big part, is the 43 years as a team owner, the fact that he was a well- liked guy, the charity, and cronyism. in boston, the regard for the yawkey legacy has greatly changed, especially since the family sold the team a few years back.

good points:
1.the charity work, which is indisputably a point in the guy's favor.
2. the fact that he renewed enthusiasm for the game in a city that is one of baseball's hotbeds, a city that had had 2 awful teams for a long time. i mean, have you ever looked closely at the boston franchises in the 20's ? they are hideous! the braves at least had occasional stars passing through like sisler and hornsby. some years, the red sox' best players included hacks like phil todt! any list of the worst clubs ever has to include some 20's/ early 30'ssox teams, they had FIFTEEN straight losing years prior to that. i'm kinda surprised that no team moved out of there till '52, especially the red sox. though yawkey's way of rebuilding the sox was a typical " rich kid" way of doing things ( not too dissimilar from ruppert , steinbrenner, etc.) keep in mind that yawkey came from $, and in fact an uncle was one of the tigers' 1st owners. he finally did authorize the construction of a farm system that did bring some of the great 40's players to the sox. and putting money into the team and to get good players is a plus for the guy.
3. rebuilding fenway in the 30's
4. yawkey was generally and genuinely beloved by most of his players, and was one of the more generous owners of his time. definitely not a cheapskate.


bad points
1. obviously the racism.
2. the use of an old boy network that produced horrors like higgins, and hiring billy herman to be manager simply because herman had been one of his favorite players.
3. the same generosity also led to a country club atmosphere in the time between the great teams of the 40's until the 67 club with dick williams. oftentimes, hard decisions about personnel weren't made.
4. favoritism, especially with yaz.
5. immediately after his death, the club was ruled by his widow, haywood sullivan, and buddy leroux, who tried to run the team on the cheap, signing no significant free agents for years after bill campbell and torrez, drove the good pitchers out of town, including the icon tiant, jenkins, lee, etc because they weren't conservative apple pie types, and interfered with the day to day (on the field) operations of the club, and NUMEROUS other mistakes.
.

64Cards
10-14-2005, 01:18 PM
Very good analysis, Oscar. I remember reading in "Ball Four" where Bouton quoted one of the players saying something to the effect that Boston was the ultimate country club team to play for, if you hit .260 with 20 hr's you got a fat raise, same thing if you were a medicore pitcher. They didn't start turning things around till Dick williams came there in 67 and kicked some ass.

Brian McKenna
10-14-2005, 01:27 PM
good points:
1.the charity work, which is indisputably a point in the guy's favor.
2. the fact that he renewed enthusiasm for the game in a city that is one of baseball's hotbeds, a city that had had 2 awful teams for a long time. i mean, have you ever looked closely at the boston franchises in the 20's ? they are hideous! the braves at least had occasional stars passing through like sisler and hornsby. some years, the red sox' best players included hacks like phil todt! any list of the worst clubs ever has to include some 20's/ early 30'ssox teams, they had FIFTEEN straight losing years prior to that. i'm kinda surprised that no team moved out of there till '52, especially the red sox. though yawkey's way of rebuilding the sox was a typical " rich kid" way of doing things ( not too dissimilar from ruppert , steinbrenner, etc.) keep in mind that yawkey came from $, and in fact an uncle was one of the tigers' 1st owners. he finally did authorize the construction of a farm system that did bring some of the great 40's players to the sox. and putting money into the team and to get good players is a plus for the guy.
3. rebuilding fenway in the 30's
4. yawkey was generally and genuinely beloved by most of his players, and was one of the more generous owners of his time. definitely not a cheapskate.

.

Yawkey purchased the team within a week after he received his inheritance in 1933. Spent $1M for the club, $1.5M on renovations and, then, another million to buy Lefty Grove, Joe Cronin, Lyn Lary, Moose Solters, Bill Werber, George Pipgras, Rick Ferrell, Carl Reynolds, Wes Ferrell and Jimmie Foxx, among others. The franchise had been decimated over the previous 13 years.

He loved the game - taking batting practice, hanging around the field and rubbing elbows with the players like a groupie. But I don't see how above points 2, 3 and 4 make him unique. Enthusiasm gets renewed whenever a team starts winning. That can happen anywhere. Fenway had to be refurbished sooner or later. Yawkey just had the $$ to do it during the Depression. Every baseball team, sooner or later, will have their stadium redone. The farm system was going to happen no matter who was head of the company. Every team gets good players from their system. It's no more a plus for Yawkey than anyone else. I don't think he was the lead scout. In fact, in recent memory I can only recall Charlie Finley who did much of his grunt work.

Who cares if his players loved him? That doesn't make him any better than say Comiskey. Who cares if a bunch of guys who make a good deal more money than the Average Joe liked their boss? Ballplayers have always had their butts kissed from the moment they started showing some talent. Maybe Yawkey was such an easy touch because he never had to work for his money. Many owners come from running other businesses; thus, learning their management skills in a different fashion. I think Yawkey eventually figured out he had to back away from the players and let the front office deal with them.

With that said I wish Baltimore had had an owner who, for one, stuck around that long and who brought so much passion to the game.

oscargamblesfro
10-14-2005, 02:06 PM
well, i never claimed it made him unique, i'm sure there's other owners of whom similar things could be said...

regarding your points-

if i was a player back then, or even now, forgetting about salaries and what not, i would still rather play for an affable owner than a tyrant like steinbrenner, andrew freedman, etc. and i think it DOES make him better than comiskey, at least regarding financial matters. i'm not going to get into the 1919 thing, but comiskey was indeed a cheap guy, and in my view, though i know things like this happen all of the time, i find it highly hypocritical that a former ringleader of the player's league was such a tightwad...i'd rather have a boss i liked wouldn't you? i had one when i was a kid once, a real sour jerk who called me a mick, among other things, and although it didn't hurt or anything, calling me a mick was about the nicest thing he said. i'd rather work for a job that maybe pays less than put up with such nonsense.

people were claiming that ballplayers were overpaid in 1876. they will still be claiming that in a hundred year's time, it is perennial and not likely to change any time soon. that being said, while ballplayers were overpaid in yawkey's time as opposed to the average person, a lot of them were still working off -season jobs to make ends meet. i see nothing particularly wrong with yawkey or any other owner overpaying for players in that era. some of these men were underpaid back then.

i agree with you that players are way overpaid now, and i think both players and owners, as well as the baseball union, ARE greedy, self- centered, and so on. but think of it. you had no union, and congress saying the reserve clause is valid, giving baseball a special ( and probably unconstitutional) exemption. whatever their flaws, and i know they have them, unions are better than NO unions. regardless of how any one feels about their jobs, i think we'd all like the right to seek a new one if we're unsatisfied instead of being beholden to just one. a lot of how we feel about unions and this issue in general is tied in with our own backgrounds, politics, etc..

as for rebuilding the team, it may not make him unique, but it's still a big plus.chicago, new york, and maybe philadelphia were big enough cities to support 2 clubs. based on population, i don't think boston and st. louis justified 2 teams in those days. i don't know - ask a st. louis fan or ask a philly fan. when you factor in TWO dreadful clubs for a long time, i do think you need to give credit to someone who comes along and rescues one of those clubs. and renewing enthusiasm depends on the team...cities react differently to renewal of competitive clubs. take oakland..they've been up and down there, but even when they're great they don't draw, possibly because of the proximity of the giants.

as for parks- they get renewed -if the team's got the cash. farm systems...yeah eventually, sure...but keep in mind that the idea was pioneered by the cardinals and then the yankees. poorer clubs like the browns or senators weren't able to have nearly as many of these minor league satellites. i give yawkey some props for eventually realizing that developing and not just purchasing players is vital.

WJackman
10-14-2005, 04:54 PM
The city of Boston was not racist toward African-American players. Boston had a number of black teams in the 20s and 30s. The Providence (RI) Colored Giants were the second half champs of the 1931 Boston Twilight League - an organization that likely had about 30 players with big league experience.

The Philadelphia Colored Giants started barnstorming New England in 1923 and were huge draws virtually everywhere they played in the 20s and 30s. It wasn't unusual to find 6,000 or 7,000 fans show up for their games, especially if Bill Jackman was pitching for them. Eventually the team was based out of Boston and became the Boston Colored Giants. The frequently played in Fenway Park and Braves Field; Jackman being the first black hurler to work in both parks.

Jackman played in New England rather than the more formal Negro Leagues because he was so well accepted by the white fan mass in New England. He was a legend and likely the equal of Satchel Paige in both ability and longevity, pitching professionall from 1917-1952.

It was also not unusal for the traveling black teams like the Pennsylvania Red Caps to tour New England. In 1928, and again (I think) in 1932, the famed Lincoln Giants traveled to New England to play series with the Jackman's Philly Giants.

On time up in Biddeford, Maine, a heckler from the all-white crowd started hurling racial comments toward the beloved Philly Giants. A couple of innings later black smoke started billowing over the centerfield fence; originating from the parking lot. Seems the other Mainers went out and tourched the car of the fellow heckling the Aftican-American players.

Major league baseball may have been racist but New England wasn't.

Brian McKenna
10-14-2005, 08:20 PM
Mr. Fro

Sure, I'd love to have a nice boss. I used to have one that called me every morning and cussed me out. It was his motivational tool. I agree with you to a point about Comiskey but... It was a different era - business was done much different back then. I hate to judge considering those factors.

I'm not saying Yawkey was a bad guy. In fact, I try very had to just view history in a positive (economic term meaning what happened happened) sense without putting any normative values on things. I often think if I had all that money I would buy a team and do the groupie-type things like Yawkey.

I never said ballplayers were overpaid and I strongly fell that they are not. The industry produces a lot of money and the talent fully deserves its fair %. And that % is significant. To me, they are in no way overpaid. The money is there. I wish my line of work had that kind of money floating around but alas I was born too slow and, frankly, a baseball whipping at me at 90 mph scares the hell out of me.

I agree about the draws in Oakland. It was pathetic, especially, around the time Billy Martin came in. Hell, I live in Baltimore and they never drew well until the 1980s.

I hope one day we can start to give you guys a fight again. And, as in every year, I hope you beat the Yankees every time out.

Brian McKenna
10-14-2005, 08:35 PM
The city of Boston was not racist toward African-American players.

.

No city in this U.S. can make that claim. That is just wishful thinking, or civic pride or something you tell your kids so you can sleep at night.

I'm sorry but Paige pitched against the top competition of the day. Jackson was no where near his equal on the mound.

I appreciate the recount of Negro league ball in Boston - much of it I didn't know.

People are way off in their assessment of major league baseball being racist. The facts are true but the context is way off. Baseball is just a very, very, very small microcosm of society. Baseball in no way deserves the level of antipathy that exists. I can't believe the people who love the game the most, bad mouth it so much. I guess that is human nature to find more faults with what we love than with what we don't (holding it to a higher standard so to speak). It is a complement to the game that people regard baseball as being above it all.

oscargamblesfro
10-14-2005, 08:36 PM
i don't think yawkey was either a totally good or totally bad guy, i think he was fairly complex- the racial stuff and the cronyism is surely a negative, but he also had good points too.


as for me, i also wish the orioles were competitive again. i actually liked the game more in the 80's than i do now, when you usually didn't know at the beginning of the year who would wind up in 1st place. from 81 until the tigers won again in 87, every team except cleveland won the division. admittedly part of this is the inevitable "old fogeyism" that i find myself slipping into as i get older ( just turned 35) i miss that.

when i first got into the game, the orioles ( along with new york) were the club to be feared and respected because they were always in the hunt. they have a beautiful park, and it's a shame that angelos and his meddling have ruined such a smart and classy franchise.what's worse is that the team has been so boring , for the most part- the 70's orioles never were. i hope the franchise turns things around and the a.l. east can be more of a dogfight again.

my brother and several friends have been to camden ( i never have) and always praise the friendliness and knowledge of baltimore fans.

Brian McKenna
10-14-2005, 08:49 PM
Don't you sleep Mr. Fro. I think I miss the 1970s more. I was young (almost 40 now) but boy we had some good teams and all I ever thought about was playing third base for the Orioles like Brooks.

On your end I was a big Yaz fan and Luis Tiant - man he was fun just to watch. Didn't understand why Fisk left.

I've always viewed you guys as hard. Your papers rarely say anything nice and you always seemed to have problems with the great ones - Williams, Rice, Fisk, Greenwell, Boggs - sure I'm missing someone. You get a lot of bad press for not having a black player until 1959 but the Tigers didn't field a black regular until two years later.

I went to Fenway once - neat place.

WJackman
10-15-2005, 05:49 AM
"I'm sorry but Paige pitched against the top competition of the day. Jackson was no where near his equal on the mound."



Well, the name was Jackman, not Jackson, and you don't have the first clue who he pitched against. He was often referred to as the Black Walter Johnson and John McGraw compared him to Babe Ruth, saying he would be willing to pay $50,000 to the man who could turn Jackman white.

The only difference between Paige and Jackman was the hype.

yanks0714
10-15-2005, 07:45 AM
Can imagine Williams, Robinson, and Mays all on the same team? :eek:

It goes even further. The BoSox HAD Ruth and Tris Speaker. They traded/sold both away. They had a shot, actually the inside track to Joe Dimaggio, and blew it. They had a shot at getting a young Willie Mays and blew it off due to racist leanings.

Look at it this way:

Speaker and Ruth together until Tris retired; Ruth on his own unti '35; Dimaggio arrives in '36 and Williams joins him in '39; Mays joins them as Joe D retires after '50. Throw in Jackie playing for them from '47 to '57 and you had the nucleus of a Dynasty that would have bumped the Yankees from the top.

Only the Boston red Sox could do that.

Brian McKenna
10-15-2005, 08:02 AM
"I'm sorry but Paige pitched against the top competition of the day. Jackson was no where near his equal on the mound."



Well, the name was Jackman, not Jackson, and you don't have the first clue who he pitched against. He was often referred to as the Black Walter Johnson and John McGraw compared him to Babe Ruth, saying he would be willing to pay $50,000 to the man who could turn Jackman white.

The only difference between Paige and Jackman was the hype.

Who said he was the best? Your local newspapers? School kids? Sparky Anderson?

As Mr. Riley's book The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues says, "Most of his career was spent with independent teams of lesser status..."

Did you take your meds today? You're having delusions of grandeur for someone else.

WJackman
10-15-2005, 08:30 AM
Who said he was the best? Your local newspapers? School kids? Sparky Anderson?

As Mr. Riley's book The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues says, "Most of his career was spent with independent teams of lesser status..."

Did you take your meds today? You're having delusions of grandeur for someone else.


Just what I expected from the current crop of SABR stat geeks and computer freaks. Bill James says... John Holway says... Jim Riley says...

Let me ask you this, do you have any opinions of your own? Ever done any original research? I doubt both.

Jackman, despite pitching about 20 games in the offical Negro Leagues - and those coming when he was close to 40 years old - was named to the often mentioned 1951 All-time All-Star squads. Do you think that reputation was earned from those 20 games in the 1935 and 1936?

leecemark
10-15-2005, 08:56 AM
--So Jackman was a legend of the semi-pros the way Paige was a legend of the Negro Leagues. He confirmed his greatness by a brief period of success in the Negro Leagues when close to 40, the same way Paige confirmed his by his success past 40 in the majors. I think you can see why most are going to see Paige as better.
-- BTW, McGraw was once of the opinion that Rube Marquard was the best pitching talent on the planet. He was wrong then. He may well have been this time too (although 100,000 had become the going rate for the very best talent by the 20s if thats when McGraw made his comment). OTOH, I'm guessing Jackman was your Grandpa or something, so your partisanship is understandable.

WJackman
10-15-2005, 10:26 AM
Paige was the legend of the Negro Leagues the same Dizzy Dean was the legend of the National league; because they themselves perpetuated that legend by smoozing writers and providing good ink.

Jackman was "semi-pro" rather than Negro League because he favored living in Boston where he found the social injustices less restrictive. The fact that he was at least a decade older, and possibly 15 years older, than Paige was the reason he did not play in the majors. The Boston African-American papers campaigned for Jackman's major league inclusion once the color line was broken.

Jackman played with and against all of the same people that Paige did. Legend has it that Jackman defeated Paige in two of the three contests they faced off in. When Negro League researches cannot account for gaps in the various careers of players, they would do well to look for them in New England.


SABR has fallen to crap because it has become too much of fan-based, and not a true research organization (other than the smaller core based researcher it has always had).

Baseball history should be about pushing yourself to the limit in order to gather information. It shouldn't be about being able to do a google search.

Bill James says....

csh19792001
10-15-2005, 03:55 PM
Paige was the legend of the Negro Leagues the same Dizzy Dean was the legend of the National league; because they themselves perpetuated that legend by smoozing writers and providing good ink.

Jackman was "semi-pro" rather than Negro League because he favored living in Boston where he found the social injustices less restrictive. The fact that he was at least a decade older, and possibly 15 years older, than Paige was the reason he did not play in the majors. The Boston African-American papers campaigned for Jackman's major league inclusion once the color line was broken.

Jackman played with and against all of the same people that Paige did. Legend has it that Jackman defeated Paige in two of the three contests they faced off in. When Negro League researches cannot account for gaps in the various careers of players, they would do well to look for them in New England.


SABR has fallen to crap because it has become too much of fan-based, and not a true research organization (other than the smaller core based researcher it has always had).

Baseball history should be about pushing yourself to the limit in order to gather information. It shouldn't be about being able to do a google search.

Bill James says....

As per your usual, outstanding work.

Lamentably, only a small handful here care (or know) much beyond the statistical realm. I surmise you're busy with research/writing, so the infrequency of your presence here is entirely understandable, but still unfortunate.

WJackman
10-16-2005, 09:08 AM
Cannonball Will Jackman -
The Least Known Best Pitcher Ever

Cannonball Will Jackman’s longtime battery-mate Burlin White fashioned a letter to the sports editor of the Brockton Enterprise, detailing their winter of 1926-27 playing in Florida. About a particular game, White wrote: “It was a grand ball game, and the Giants won, 3 to 2, before a capacity crowd of local fans that jammed every available inch of space around the playing field. At least 5,000 people must have crashed through the walk-over gates last night, although they tell us 3,200 cash customers were present."

"With elongated Bill Jackman on the mound for the Giants, the Bearded Wonders kept splitting the atmosphere with their swishing bats most of the time. The children of David jumped on Bill in the first inning, gathering three hits for two runs. Thereafter, however, Mistah Jackman preceded to underhand his opponents to death. While the shades of night were falling fast, Jackman sent the white pill through the celebrated Alpine village with rare abandon, although he forgot to shout 'Excelsior.’"

In July of '27, Boston Daily Traveler writer Herb Finnegan dubbed Jackman one of the best pitchers in the country, "... Walter Johnson, Flint Meadows and Grover Cleveland Alexander notwithstanding..."

In 1930, the Taunton [MA] Daily Gazette called Jackman "...the world's greatest colored pitcher," crediting him with a 1929 record of 48-4 with two no-hitters.

According to James A. Riley's "Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues," Jackman was "52-2 one season with the Giants, bested Satchel Paige twice in two outings," earned "$175 a game" and $10 per strikeout in his prime.

John McGraw once said that if he could sign Jackman, his biggest dilemma would have been deciding whether to use him as a pitcher or as an everyday player, because he was such a dangerous hitter. That was never said of Paige.

On July 31, 1929, Jackman tossed a two-hitter against Reading of the Boston Twilight League. He fanned 13 and homered in both games of a double-header.

Hank Martyniak, now 82, pitched against Jackman in the Taunton Twilight League championship of '42, and says Jackman was as fast as anyone he ever saw. Jackman beat Martyniak, 19, and his team 2-0, fanning 16. Jackman was 45 years old at the time.

Gordon Ross of Keene, NH, who just passed at 87, batted against Robin Roberts, and told me Jackman, who was middle-aged when he faced him after World War II, was better.

Printed the Baltimore Afro American, on Saturday, June 1, 1935:

"The Eagles exhibited a pitcher of top class Sunday in big Will Jackman, six-foot-two underhand right-hander. Jackman stepped into the breach in the first game with a startling relief performance and then came back in the second game to replace Jim Reese after the later had thrown to only two batters. ”

And from the same paper, eight years later: "The Watertown Arsenal A.A. baseball club has several colored aces, among them Will Jackson [sic], former Philadelphia Giants ace pitcher, who in his hey day put many a four-figured white pitcher to shame…[he] one pitched exhibition games all over the eastern seaboard, demanding and getting from $500 to $800 a game against white semi-pro teams."

In the New York Times of July 17, 1944, there's an article about Jackman beating the Brooklyn Bushwicks, 3-1, at Dexter Park. That's notable for two reasons: Jackman was 47, and the Bushwicks were the premier semi-pro outfit of the era.

In 1952 and '53, when the Red Sox front office was finally preparing to break their self-imposed color barrier, Jackman was one of the former Negro Leaguers they would consult on whom they should sign. The Boston Guardian and Boston Chronicle, Black weeklies, documented these meetings.

By Bijan C. Bayne. Bayne is the author of "Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball,” available on Amazon. Check out his blog, www.bbayne.com.





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EdTarbusz
07-26-2007, 01:50 AM
The reason behind the tryout was pretty simple: Boston councilman Isidore Muchnik (sp?) told the Red Sox brass that if they did not make any effort to look at black players, he would see to it that the club would not receive their annual exemption to play games on Sunday. He must have had the pull to make that happen because the try-out was held.

csh19792001
02-16-2012, 03:55 PM
The reason behind the tryout was pretty simple: Boston councilman Isidore Muchnik (sp?) told the Red Sox brass that if they did not make any effort to look at black players, he would see to it that the club would not receive their annual exemption to play games on Sunday. He must have had the pull to make that happen because the try-out was held.

Another thread of real historical value we'd hate to see erased due to bandwidth constrictions.

westsidegrounds
02-16-2012, 05:37 PM
The reason behind the tryout was pretty simple: Boston councilman Isidore Muchnik (sp?) told the Red Sox brass that if they did not make any effort to look at black players, he would see to it that the club would not receive their annual exemption to play games on Sunday. He must have had the pull to make that happen because the try-out was held.

Isadore Muchnick (1908-1962), Boston City Council member 1941-1947. The law was that the City Council had to unanimously approve the Red Sox' exemption, so ...

Macker
02-16-2012, 05:49 PM
BTW -- member WJackman passed away a few years ago. He was one of the best researchers I have ever known.

csh19792001
02-16-2012, 08:38 PM
BTW -- member WJackman passed away a few years ago. He was one of the best researchers I have ever known.

SABR's Tribute to the Late Dick Thompson (http://rockymtn.sabr.org/sabr.cfm?a=cms,c,854,40)

To reinforce Macker's sentiments...Dick Thompson was one of the FEW LEGIT authors that ever graced this trifling little site.

botolph
06-27-2012, 08:21 AM
SABR's Tribute to the Late Dick Thompson (http://rockymtn.sabr.org/sabr.cfm?a=cms,c,854,40)

To reinforce Macker's sentiments...Dick Thompson was one of the FEW LEGIT authors that ever graced this trifling little site.

Dick Thompson would have been quite proud (I hope) that his research is being used in a current exhibit in Boston on black baseball before Robinson.

The Color of Baseball in Boston (http://www.afroammuseum.org/exhibits.htm)

"The Color of Baseball in Boston," tells little-known stories about players of color and teams who distinguished themselves from the 1800s through the mid 1900s. The exhibit celebrates Boston’s long and proud tradition of amateur and semi-professional blackball. In the years following the American Civil War, baseball grew in popularity in Boston and around the nation. During the 19th and early 20th century, blacks and whites played baseball together on the same teams, while there also were teams comprised soley of men of color."