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Ted Sullivan

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  • Ted Sullivan

    just thought this guy should get a thread - never see him talked about - was around promoting the game for over 40 years - played college ball with comiskey - signed commy to his first pro contract - started the first true minor league - the northwestern lg in 1879 - big in the union association - any one have info on him

  • #2
    Was he from Ireland?
    Last edited by runningshoes; 03-20-2006, 06:26 AM.
    "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
    Carl Yastrzemski


    • #3
      nineteenth century stars say probably yes around 1851 - family came to us in 1860


      • #4
        You may already know this, but I have him referenced in a book as the manager of the traveling Rabbits of Dubuque that.........
        once had a league to play in but had beaten all other clubs so badly that the league had collapsed around them. Ted Sullivan, one of baseball's entrepreneurs (he discovered Old Ross Radbourne), a pitcher had become a manager. Born in County Clare, Ted had played baseball since school days with a big Chicago-born Irishman named Charles Comiskey, and now he had Charles on his club (at $50 a month) as center fielder, third baseman and occasional pitcher.
        That's all this book has on him.

        Baseball Almanac has him as not having attended college.

        If I find anything else I'll let you know.
        "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
        Carl Yastrzemski


        • #5
          1878 started the dubuque rabbits - signed commy to first contract - started northwestern league to have consistent competition for rabbits - joined commy in stl in aa as mgr for chris von der ahe - then became investor, manager, promoter and recruiter for union assoc in '84 - around minors until about 1920


          • #6
            Nothing in The Sporting News or proquest?
            "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
            Carl Yastrzemski


            • #7
              Ted Sullivan

              I have found some info on him, since he was responsible for bringing "Dummy" Hoy to the Washington Senators in early 1888. He published "Reminiscences of a Scout" in Baseball Magazine, February 1910. (I hope to read it at the NBL's Giamatti Librarty.)

              He appears to have been a colorful character. A conversation with Chris Von der Ahe, the buffoonish owner of the St. Louis Browns, gave rise to the indispensible term "fan." (According to one etymology, that is!) In The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, there's a passage quoting some vintage references to that conversation. (See pages 185-187.)


              • #8
                Timothy Paul 'Ted' Sullivan:

                Born: March 17, 1856, County Claire, Ireland
                Died: July 5, 1929, Washington, DC, age 73---d. had suffered a stroke on June 22, Gallings Hospital. Buried Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Milwaukee, WI

                Baseball pioneer;
                Arrived in US, 1860 at the age of 4.
                Attended St. Louis University
                Attended St. Mary's College (Kansas)

                Brian McKenna has supplied a great amount of information on him.---

                Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                Kansas City Cowboys (1884), as player

                As Manager
                St. Louis Browns (1883)
                St. Louis Maroons (1884)
                Kansas City Cowboys (1884)
                Washington Nationals (1888)

                Timothy Paul "Ted" Sullivan (March 17, 1851 – July 5, 1929) was an Irish-American manager and player in Major League Baseball who was born in County Clare, Ireland.

                After attending Saint Louis University, he managed four teams during the 1880s, one of which was the 1884 St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association, who finished with an astonishing 94-19 record. He began the year with a 28-3 record, but moved on in midseason to manage another UA team, the Kansas City Cowboys; Fred Dunlap took over in St. Louis, compiling a 66-16 record as the Maroons won the UA pennant in the league's only year of existence. Kansas City was a dismal 3-17 when Sullivan took over managerial duties, going 13-46 the rest of way. During his time in Kansas City he also made his only three field appearances, playing two games in right field and one as a shortstop; he collected 3 hits in 9 at bats. He didn't manage again until the 1888 Washington Nationals, then 10-29, hired him to finish out the season. He led the team to a mark of 38-57, and ended his major league career with a record of 132-132. Sullivan later managed in the minors, including a stint with the Nashville Tigers of the Southern League in 1893.

                Sullivan is considered a pioneer of early baseball; he founded both the Northwest League and the Texas League, both minor leagues that still exist and thrive today. Credited with discovering Charles Comiskey, he is considered by some to be the first person to emphasize the importance of scouting.[4] Comiskey joined the St. Louis Browns in 1882, and replaced Sullivan as the team's manager in mid-1883; it had been Sullivan's first managerial post, as he compiled a record of 53-26 to begin the year. Also, Sullivan was a great promoter of the game; he would tell stories of baseball's beginnings, and of its many star players. He authored books detailing these, including a barnstorming trip around the world in 1913-1914 by Comiskey's Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants. He also credited himself as the originator of the word "fan", as in baseball fan. Sullivan later became a team executive and owner.

                Sullivan died in Washington, D.C. at the age of 78, and is interred at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Washington Post obituary, July 14, 1929, pp. M19.
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-05-2010, 02:42 PM.


                • #9
                  "manager of the traveling Rabbits of Dubuque"
                  Now that sounds like something out of Dr. Suess.
                  I think that Hubkittle has something on Sullivan.


                  • #10
                    Sullivan was a minor league manager/promoter as well as an occasional manager in the major leagues. His stay with the St. Louis Browns was unhappy, but I'm not sure whether he really had more trouble with Von der Ahe than with his players, two of whom picked up cues and chased him out of a Columbus, Ohio pool room. I would guess his tenure as manager of the Senators was also disappointing, just because no baseball man ever derived much benefit from spending time with the Senators. When not running his own club, Sullivan operated as a free lance scout in the days before major league clubs had any more front office than a club president and secretary plus the manager. He would go out scouting and on a single trip sign players for various big league clubs that had given him commissions.

                    He was a colorful character indeed and had a vast treasury of stories, some of which may actually have had some truth to them, although I wouldn't bet on any of the ones featuring Von der Ahe. He published a book that I'm sure was full of them, the title of which I don't know offhand.

                    Here is an article from the Washington Post, May 20, 1894, describing his operating methods as a minor league manager.

                    “These are the days when the minor league manager begins to figure on selling the men on his team who have made the best showing. He begins now to send out glowing accounts of the remarkable fielding or batting done by this or that man, and very often he succeeds in inducing some big league manager to part with $500 to $2,500 for a player who will be patiently tried until he has lost several games and will then be turned adrift to find his way back to slower company again...

                    “Ted Sullivan, who claims Washington as his home, sells players to the big League managers every year. In that way he makes most of his money. He picks out a city available geographically and otherwise for a minor league organization, interests a few capitalists, and then begins to plan to have the city put in the league. His next move is to get a lot of youngsters at small salaries from the commons of large cities. He always runs the chance of developing one or two fairly good players from the lot, and then by a system of judicious talk and advertising succeeds in attracting the attention of the big League managers to his great find or ‘phenom.’ These managers are always on the lookout for strengthening material, and for that reason are easy victims.

                    “[Denny] Long and Sullivan are already booming some of their players this season. Nearly any day an item can be picked up which says that Tommy Niland, of the Toledos, is the coming star in his position, or that Pitcher Girard, of the Atlantas, is pitching ball good enough to win in the National League, or that Charley Stewart, of the Sioux Citys, will rank with Fred Pfeffer or ‘Bid’ McPhee in covering second base. But the big league managers are more charry this year. They are not as gullible as they have been in the past.

                    “All players had their start in slow company, but the number who graduate from those ranks and hold their own is mighty small in these days of skillful ball playing.”
                    “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes


                    • #11
                      Here's a little note from Lee Allen's old book "The Hot Stove League:"

                      "Apparently the first team to [train in] Florida was Washington in 1888, a team assembled in Jacksonville. Connie Mack was on that squad and has often recalled how the manager, Ted Sullivan, used to obtain extra service in restaurants through a ruse. Sullivan would customarily start a meal by extracting a silver dollar from his vest pocket, slipping it onto the tablecloth as the waiter's eyes popped. Then, after a meal that consisted largely of double portions, he would put the coin back in his pocket and take his leave."

                      It's probably a safe guess that Sullivan didn't eat in a lot of restaurants twice.
                      “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes


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