Updated Baseball Fever Policy

Baseball Fever Policy

I. Purpose of this announcement:

This announcement describes the policies pertaining to the operation of Baseball Fever.

Baseball Fever is a moderated baseball message board which encourages and facilitates research and information exchange among fans of our national pastime. The intent of the Baseball Fever Policy is to ensure that Baseball Fever remains an extremely high quality, extremely low "noise" environment.

Baseball Fever is administrated by three principal administrators:
webmaster - Baseball Fever Owner
The Commissioner - Baseball Fever Administrator
Macker - Baseball Fever Administrator

And a group of forum specific super moderators. The role of the moderator is to keep Baseball Fever smoothly and to screen posts for compliance with our policy. The moderators are ALL volunteer positions, so please be patient and understanding of any delays you might experience in correspondence.

II. Comments about our policy:

Any suggestions on this policy may be made directly to the webmaster.

III. Acknowledgments:

This document was based on a similar policy used by SABR.

IV. Requirements for participation on Baseball Fever:

Participation on Baseball Fever is available to all baseball fans with a valid email address, as verified by the forum's automated system, which then in turn creates a single validated account. Multiple accounts by a single user are prohibited.

By registering, you agree to adhere to the policies outlined in this document and to conduct yourself accordingly. Abuse of the forum, by repeated failure to abide by these policies, will result in your access being blocked to the forum entirely.

V. Baseball Fever Netiquette:

Participants at Baseball Fever are required to adhere to these principles, which are outlined in this section.
a. All posts to Baseball Fever should be written in clear, concise English, with proper grammar and accurate spelling. The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum; when abbreviation is necessary, they should be either well-known (such as etc.), or explained on their first use in your post.

b. Conciseness is a key attribute of a good post.

c. Quote only the portion of a post to which you are responding.

d. Standard capitalization and punctuation make a large difference in the readability of a post. TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS is considered to be "shouting"; it is a good practice to limit use of all capitals to words which you wish to emphasize.

e. It is our policy NOT to transmit any defamatory or illegal materials.

f. Personal attacks of any type against Baseball Fever readers will not be tolerated. In these instances the post will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the personal attack via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue personal attacks will be banned from the site.

g. It is important to remember that many contextual clues available in face-to-face discussion, such as tone of voice and facial expression, are lost in the electronic forum. As a poster, try to be alert for phrasing that might be misinterpreted by your audience to be offensive; as a reader, remember to give the benefit of the doubt and not to take umbrage too easily. There are many instances in which a particular choice of words or phrasing can come across as being a personal attack where none was intended.

h. The netiquette described above (a-g) often uses the term "posts", but applies equally to Private Messages.

VI. Baseball Fever User Signature Policy

A signature is a piece of text that some members may care to have inserted at the end of ALL of their posts, a little like the closing of a letter. You can set and / or change your signature by editing your profile in the UserCP. Since it is visible on ALL your posts, the following policy must be adhered to:

Signature Composition
Font size limit: No larger than size 2 (This policy is a size 2)
Style: Bold and italics are permissible
Character limit: No more than 500 total characters
Lines: No more than 4 lines
Colors: Most colors are permissible, but those which are hard to discern against the gray background (yellow, white, pale gray) should be avoided
Images/Graphics: Allowed, but nothing larger than 20k and Content rules must be followed

Signature Content
No advertising is permitted
Nothing political or religious
Nothing obscene, vulgar, defamatory or derogatory
Links to personal blogs/websites are permissible - with the webmaster's written consent
A Link to your Baseball Fever Blog does not require written consent and is recommended
Quotes must be attributed. Non-baseball quotes are permissible as long as they are not religious or political

Please adhere to these rules when you create your signature. Failure to do so will result in a request to comply by a moderator. If you do not comply within a reasonable amount of time, the signature will be removed and / or edited by an Administrator. Baseball Fever reserves the right to edit and / or remove any or all of your signature line at any time without contacting the account holder.

VII. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for Baseball Fever:

Most concisely, the test for whether a post is appropriate for Baseball Fever is: "Does this message discuss our national pastime in an interesting manner?" This post can be direct or indirect: posing a question, asking for assistance, providing raw data or citations, or discussing and constructively critiquing existing posts. In general, a broad interpretation of "baseball related" is used.

Baseball Fever is not a promotional environment. Advertising of products, web sites, etc., whether for profit or not-for-profit, is not permitted. At the webmaster's discretion, brief one-time announcements for products or services of legitimate baseball interest and usefulness may be allowed. If advertising is posted to the site it will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the post via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue advertising will be banned from the site. If the advertising is spam-related, pornography-based, or a "visit-my-site" type post / private message, no warning at all will be provided, and the member will be banned immediately without a warning.

It is considered appropriate to post a URL to a page which specifically and directly answers a question posted on the list (for example, it would be permissible to post a link to a page containing home-road splits, even on a site which has advertising or other commercial content; however, it would not be appropriate to post the URL of the main page of the site). The site reserves the right to limit the frequency of such announcements by any individual or group.

In keeping with our test for a proper topic, posting to Baseball Fever should be treated as if you truly do care. This includes posting information that is, to the best of your knowledge, complete and accurate at the time you post. Any errors or ambiguities you catch later should be acknowledged and corrected in the thread, since Baseball Fever is sometimes considered to be a valuable reference for research information.

VIII. Role of the moderator:

When a post is submitted to Baseball Fever, it is forwarded by the server automatically and seen immediately. The moderator may:
a. Leave the thread exactly like it was submitted. This is the case 95% of the time.

b. Immediately delete the thread as inappropriate for Baseball Fever. Examples include advertising, personal attacks, or spam. This is the case 1% of the time.

c. Move the thread. If a member makes a post about the Marlins in the Yankees forum it will be moved to the appropriate forum. This is the case 3% of the time.

d. Edit the message due to an inappropriate item. This is the case 1% of the time. There have been new users who will make a wonderful post, then add to their signature line (where your name / handle appears) a tagline that is a pure advertisement. This tagline will be removed, a note will be left in the message so he/she is aware of the edit, and personal contact will be made to the poster telling them what has been edited and what actions need to be taken to prevent further edits.

The moderators perform no checks on posts to verify factual or logical accuracy. While he/she may point out gross errors in factual data in replies to the thread, the moderator does not act as an "accuracy" editor. Also moderation is not a vehicle for censorship of individuals and/or opinions, and the moderator's decisions should not be taken personally.

IX. Legal aspects of participation in Baseball Fever:

By submitting a post to Baseball Fever, you grant Baseball Fever permission to distribute your message to the forum. Other rights pertaining to the post remain with the ORIGINAL author, and you may not redistribute or retransmit any posts by any others, in whole or in part, without the express consent of the original author.

The messages appearing on Baseball Fever contain the opinions and views of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of Baseball Fever, or of the Baseball Almanac family of sites.


Sean Holtz, Webmaster of Baseball Almanac & Baseball Fever |
"Baseball Almanac: Sharing Baseball. Sharing History."
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What Happened?

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  • What Happened?

    I have been looking over some stats from early 1900s and 1800s and I see so mnay players who would play 2 or 3 really good games, and then never play ever agin. While looking at this, I can only ask myself "What Happened?" Anyone know why?
    "I don't like to sound egotistical, but every time I stepped up to the plate with a bat in my hands, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the pitcher."
    -Rogers Hornsby-

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
    -Rogers Hornsby-

    Just a note to all the active members of BBF, I consider all of you the smartest baseball people I have ever communicated with and love everyday I am on here. Thank you all!

  • #2
    You could make more money doing something besides baseball. Jeff Tesreau was a very good pitcher who had 5-6 good years with the New York Giants and he decided after an argument with John McGraw to hang up the spikes and go into the steel industry.


    • #3
      Originally posted by slidekellyslide
      You could make more money doing something besides baseball. Jeff Tesreau was a very good pitcher who had 5-6 good years with the New York Giants and he decided after an argument with John McGraw to hang up the spikes and go into the steel industry.
      i'm not sure if that's true. in the 1870's, an average skilled worker's income was somewhere between $500-$700. professional ballplayers, in the same years, were making more than that for only eight months work. george wright made $1400 for the red stockings in 1869. the lowest paid members of the red stockings were making $800. total team payrolls in 1870's ran somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 for teams that usually only carried a dozen players. while there were later pressures that helped to curb salary inflation and the advantages that players had when negotiating their salary, i think it's safe to assume that major league ballplayers of the era where making a good living.

      while i don't have an answer to the original question (and if i had a few names or examples, i could probably come up with a more specific answer), i'd say that the main reason you have so many players from the 19th cent who only played in a handful of games is because of the nature of the game at the time. the game was still developing and being organized. you had teams coming into leagues, playing a few games, and dropping out. so those players only got into a handful of "major league" games. you had massive player revolving. a guy might bolt a team from the na to go and play with a team in an unorganized professional circuit. the team will then fill that hole with a guy from a local amatuer team and he'll only get into a few games in the "major leagues". players from out west might not enjoy living in the east so after some time in the aa or nl, they might go home and play in california or texas or whatnot. the teams in the majors where still developing a system to recognize the best players and funnel them onto their teams so, as the system developed, players who really don't belong in the "major leagues" are being replaced by better players. so these guys would also have truncated careers.

      add all that up and you have a lot of guys with short careers.


      • #4
        The average ML ballplayer has always made more than the average American employee. Those who were in a special position to find a top-notch job may have chosen that job over ML baseball but that was not very common.

        Others who dipped into the game had lifelong plans to practice medicine or dentistry or enter the family's business.

        The game was much harder in the 19th century:
        No health insurance
        Injuries meant being replaced without pay
        Little to no hope of employment at career's end

        As noted, the urban movement was in its infancy. Many country boys, southerners or westerners just didn't take to the east or city life. Many had families that were pulling them away as well.

        Importantly, baseball players were not viewed as society's elite gentlemen. They were viewed, treated and developed their own sense of self for what they were - itinerant young males with a host of habits and characteristics which were not wholly embraced.

        All this is just from the supply side. They were hired, used and disposed of at the capitalist's whim. Baseball in the 19th century was in perpetual flux - whole minor league clubs rising to the ML level, leagues coming and going, cities coming and going, teams coming and going, expansion, contraction and a host of other instabilities.

        Having a few good games is not enough. A ballplayer must have someone who believes in him and is in his corner. First, an individual must be hired by another. Then, he must show something to someone or have an important someone in his corner. Lacking a combination of this, mixed with the day to day requirements of fielding the best team it was easy to dispose of new faces, whether that proved fortuitous or not.

        There was no disabled list for decades in baseball. If a solid ballplayer was hurt, they had to be replaced on the roster for a short time. Many managers were there own GM well into the 1930s. They had to have tentacles out throughout the country looking for young talent. These men and/or local talent would be brought in fill temporary gaps. In some instances they might latch on to a job, in others they may not.


        • #5
          Some players made very good money by getting "hired" by a town as a means to get the player onto the town team. In Walter Johnson's biography Baseball's Big Train (written by Johnson's grandson, incidentally), it mentions that Johnson was hired by a town and was paid well by them for basically doing nothing except pitching for the town team on weekends. This was out west, far from any major league cities. Almost every town or city of any size at all had a team, and weekends were set aside for the baseball game against a neighboring town. These games were heavily attended (and bet on) and were the weekly entertainment for many of these places. As mentioned previously, many of these players, even when offered a professional contract, didn't wish to leave. Perhaps they tried it for a few games, then decided it was better back home. Although major league players were paid more than the average worked, many large minor league teams paid as much, so a lot of decent players may have tried it in the bigs but decided to return home, where they could be close to family and still earn as much, or close to it, playing ball.
          You see, you spend a good deal of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time. J. Bouton


          • #6
            bkmckenna's answer was great and covered all of the possiblities.

            Here's a player example for you:

            FRED KETCHUM 1899 Louisville CF 15 games .295 Average

            Now for the rest of his story.

            He was the heir apparent to replace CFer Dummy Hoy who was in his mid-30's. He played all of these games on the road too due to a fire at Louisville's ballpark. What happened was the NL contracted from 12 teams to 8 teams in 1900. Louisville was dumped so this rookie now had to compete with 5 outfield veterans on the Pittsburgh team (including Honus Wagner) and was released.

            Connie Mack "borrowed" him from Pittsburgh and sent him to Wilkes-Barre of the Atlantic League. That team folded with Ketchum leading the league in hitting. Mack did give him a trial in 1901 with his Philadelphia-AL team. After only his fifth game, Connie Mack released him because his team was playing poorly and changes had to be made.

            Ketchum moved on to Kansas City of the Western League where he starred for several years. He earned good money, didn't have to fight every day for his job, and even planned on retiring in Montana to become a minister. One spring morning he was found dead in his hotel room. He had a heart attack while working out to get ready for spring training. He was only 32.

            I'm sure there are hundreds of other stories of players who struggled in the early days of ML baseball just like this one.
            "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
            "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."


            • #7
              As a side note to TonyK's comments - the Western League and hence the American League's rosters in 1901 are littered with men who were downsized from the NL in the 1899 contraction.

              Catcher24 - the book also talks about Clark Griffith who made a ton of cash as a hired gun for Missoula, Montana one winter, taking the mound against the local rival.


              • #8
                I don't recall that particular section about Griffith, but I did find the sections on Johnson's early years in pitching (before his professional status) very interesting. I had known that just about every town had a team, but I didn't realize until reading the book how important it was to the population to field a good team. I also found it intriguing that even after Johnson had become a top star (THE top star?) in the majors, he still went home every fall and pitched in the town game versus the big rival.
                You see, you spend a good deal of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time. J. Bouton


                • #9
                  Henry Schmidt

                  Schmidt was 29 years old when Brooklyn manager Ned Hanlon discovered him pitching in the Pacific Coast League. In his only ML season, he went 21-13 for Brooklyn in 1903. The Texan returned his 1904 contract unsigned, with a note that simply said, "I do not like living in the East and will not report." Adamant in his refusal to continue in the majors, he returned to the West Coast, where the lifestyle better suited him.
                  "(Van) Mungo and I get along fine. I just tell him I won't stand for no nonsense, and then I duck."
                  Casey Stengel


                  • #10
                    Lee Richmond is a good example of this. He pitched from age 22-26, with three games in 1886 when he was 29 with the Red Stockings of the AA. He quit baseball to become a doctor (Field of Dreams, anyone? ) Sure, his career record was 75-100, but the Ruby Legs stunk from 1881-1882, and were half decent in 1880 when he went 32-32. Neutralize his stats on, and he goes 258-87 with a 2.33 ERA before he hits 27. He was also the "hurler" of the first perfect game in the history of pro ball.


                    • #11
                      I don't have much to add here, just wanted to say that this is one of the best threads I've read on BBF in a long time.
                      Thanks very much for the info!
                      "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hellborn
                        I don't have much to add here, just wanted to say that this is one of the best threads I've read on BBF in a long time.
                        Thanks very much for the info!
                        Same here, I actually thought that I should PM each member who offered info on this topic, then I saw your reply.

                        So as a mod, (not that my opinion has more impact that yours hellborn... because it doesn't!) I just wanted to simply say, "Thank you!"

                        It is threads like this that remind me when some other members claim "this site is going down the drains".. Simply put, they are wrong. We have a very nice group of members who share information beyond anything that I could contribute!

                        Great questions DEMAND great answers!



                        • #13
                          How about Perry Werden, professional ball's single season home run king prior to 1920? A St. Louis boy who broke in as a pitcher with the Maroons in 1884- went 12-1 with a 1.97 ERA and never pitched another game in the majors. He DID come back as a slugging first baseman for a very short career in the early 1890s peaking in 1893 when he hit 29 triples, still third all time, and then disappeared after that season, popping up for one last season in 1897 with Louisville when he hit .302, second only to Fred Clarke among the regulars (part time rookie Honus Wagner hit .338). Werden was a great talent and one of the most powerful men of his era, capable of playing a long and productive major league career, had he wanted to.

                          What happened to him? He fell in love with Minneapolis, pure and simple, moved there, lived the rest of his life there, and became one of the pillars of the community. He played for the Minneapolis Millers in 1894 to 1896, the first two years in old Athletic Park which featured 250 foot foul lines, Werden hit .417 with 42 homers in '94 and topped that by hitting .428 with 45 homers and 179 runs scored in '95. That year the Millers hit 219 homers as a team-think how long that mark lasted!

                          After his 97 major league campaign in Louisville, he went right back to Minneapolis and played with the Millers (along with Roger Bresnahan, Deacon Phillippe, Germany Smith, and Bill Hutchison) in mostly second division clubs until his retirement. The Western League changed its name to the American League in 1900 and guess who led the league in homers? Perry Werden with nine. When the AL became major in 1901, Minneapolis was left out and played a season with the remnants of the Western League before becoming a founding member of the American Association in 1902. That season was Werden's last as far as I can figure out.

                          I think it very cool that a player would sacrifice his big league career and near stardom because he'd rather play in a smaller town that he liked better. Three cheers for Perry- great arm, great bat- a lifetime major league winning percentage of over .900 and a lifetime slugging average over .400, who else can say that?
                          "Here's a crazy thought I've always had: if they cut three fingers off each hand, I'd really be a great hitter because then I could level off better." Paul Waner (lifetime .333 hitter, 3,152 lifetime hits.