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  • Philip De Catesby Ball:

    Owner: St. Louis Browns, January, 1917 - 1932

    Born: October 22, 1864, Keokuk, IA
    Died: October 22, 1933, St. Louis, MO, age 69,---d. Buried Bellefontaine cemetery, St. Louis, MO

    Father: Charles J.; Mother: Caroline Parkison; Wife: Harriet R., born Indiana, February, 1866. Married Philip around 1886. Daughter: Margaret Ball Cady, born Texas, May, 1890 , died, June 12, 1951, St. Louis, MO, of cancer, age 62, wife of William R. Cady.

    In 1916, Robert Lee Hedges sold the Browns to Philip DeCatesby Ball, who owned the St. Louis Terriers in the by-then-defunct Federal League. Philip de Catesby Ball, ice-manufacturing tycoon and principal stockholder of the Feds' St. Louis Terriers, pays a reported $525,000 for the Browns and replaces manager Branch Rickey with his own Fielder Jones.

    Four years later, Ball allowed the Cardinals to move out of dilapidated Robison Field and share Sportsman's Park with the Browns. This move was one of many that eventually doomed the Browns; Cardinals owner Sam Breadon and general manager Branch Rickey (a former Browns manager) used the proceeds from the Robison Field sale to build baseball's first modern farm system--which eventually produced several star players that brought the Browns more drawing power than the Cardinals.

    The 1922 Browns excited their owner by almost beating the Yankees to a pennant. The club was boasting the best players in franchise history, including future Hall of Famer George Sisler, and an outfield trio - Ken Williams, Baby Doll Jacobson, and Jack Tobin - that batted .300 or better in 1919-23 and in 1925. In 1922, Williams became the first player in Major League history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season, something that would not be done again in the Majors until 1956.

    Ball confidently predicted that there would be a World Series in Sportsman's Park by 1926. In anticipation, he increased the capacity of his ballpark from 18,000 to 30,000. There was a World Series in Sportsman's Park in 1926 - the Cardinals upset the Yankees. St. Louis had been considered a "Browns' town" until then; after 1926 the Cardinals dominated St. Louis baseball, while still technically tenants of the Browns. Meanwhile, the Browns rapidly fell into the cellar. As well as winning the World Series, St. Louis evolved to a "Cardinals'" town.

    Phil's bio/photo (right) as they appeared in 1933's
    Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson

    --------------Missouri Death Certificate.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-08-2011, 03:15 PM.


    • Emil Edwin Fuchs: AKA Judge Fuchs

      Owner: Boston Braves, February, 1923 - 1936

      Born: April 17, 1878, NYC
      Died: December 5, 1961, Boston, MA, age 83---d. after 10 week illness

      President (1927-35), Managed his own team in 1929. Lost over $1m during his tenure. Formerly a wealthy NYC attorney, he paid $550,000. for his team, and was $300,000. in debt when he sold the team. Although not required to legally, he later paid off the debts. Had been a NYC magistrate (1915-1918). Graduated NYU law school.

      Signing Babe Ruth for his Boston Braves, February 26, 1935. Colonel Jake Ruppert on the right.

      ------------------------------------------------Conferring with his team manager, Bill McKechnie, 1930-36

      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-15-2009, 07:39 AM.


      • Philip Knight Wrigley:

        Owner: Chicago Cubs, 1932 - 1977

        Born: December 5, 1894, Elkhorn, WI
        Died: April 12, 1977, Elkhorn, WI, age 82

        Father: William Wrigley, born September 30, 1862, Philadelphia, PA, died: January 26, 1932, Phoenix, AZ; Mother: Ada E., born New York, around 1864, died December 16, 1959, Pasadena, CA.

        Inherited Wrigley gum business (1923) & Cubs team (1932) from father; refused to install lights at his ballpark, only park without nightgames. Avoided limelight. Incredibly honest, generous. Loved baseball with all his heart.

        Took over the reigns from his father as president of the Cubs in 1932 and remained in that role until his death in 1977…His teams won four NL pennants (1932, '35, '38 and '45)…Known for being generous to his players…Given credit for keeping Wrigley Field free of lights during his lifetime…Instituted the Chicago experimental laboratory program, the first such baseball school…Initiated use of loudspeakers so that fans could hear the lineup changes and other announcements…Insisted that some tickets be made available every day for walk-up purchases by fans…Installed scoreboard that showed ball-strike count, as well as hit/error decisions…Instituted the AAGPBL (All-American Girl's Professional Baseball League), the immensely successful women's hardball league, which played during and after WWII.
        Philip K. Wrigley: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        Philip Knight Wrigley sometimes also called P.K. or Phil. Born in Chicago, he was an American chewing gum manufacturer and executive in Major League Baseball, inheriting both those roles as the quiet son of his much more flamboyant father, William Wrigley Jr. After his father died in 1932, Philip presided over the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, and also the family hobby, the Chicago Cubs, as owner until his death. He passed the title of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company President to his son William Wrigley III in 1961.

        While the gum industry prospered, the Cubs grew less competitive over the decades, with a brief flurry of success (although no championship) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although resisting installing lights at Wrigley Field, he was innovative in other ways. In 1961 he abolished the traditional field management/coaching structure and instead hired a "college of coaches". This anticipated the specialization of coaches that is taken for granted nowadays. His one mistake was in rotating the various coaches as a "head coach", an approach that confused the team and invited constant media ridicule, largely due to the lack of apparent improvement in the team's won-lost ratio. However, many young players came through that system, and they were ready to play at a notably improved level soon after Wrigley made one of his best decisions, when he dropped the head coach idea and hired Leo Durocher as the manager in 1966.

        During World War II, Wrigley founded the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as a promotional sideline to maintain interest in baseball as the World War II military draft was depleting major-league rosters of first-line players. The AAGPBL was immortalized in the 1992 film A League of Their Own.

        Like his father, P.K. was a strong believer in maximizing media coverage. Starting in the 1920s, the Cubs' games were covered extensively on the radio, sometimes by competing stations at the same time, for minimal fees. In the post-World War II era, when baseball was booming, Wrigley continued this practice, allowing WGN-TV to carry all the home games as well as a significant number of road games. Some owners were aghast at Wrigley's "giving away the product", but it paid manifold dividends in the long run, as the evolution of WGN-TV into a superstation developed a truly nationwide fan base for the Cubs, which has resulted in nearly constant sellout crowds at "Beautiful Wrigley Field", regardless of the fortunes of the team at a given time.

        P.K. was a fairly visible presence with the Cubs in his younger years, but was seldom witnessed attending games during his final few decades of ownership, making his presence known mostly through memos and sometimes full-page newspaper ads. Early 70s utility player Pete LaCock was best known for being the son of TV personality Peter Marshall and for his unique sense of humor. The Sporting News once reported that he had made a trip to the Wrigley Building and asked for an audience with Mr. Wrigley. P.K. asked him what he wanted, and LaCock answered, "Nothing. I just wanted to see if you really exist!"

        After the deaths of himself and his wife, his son William III took over both enterprises. The Cubs were sold to the Chicago Tribune company in 1981, ending over 60 years of Wrigley association with the team, save the name of the ballpark itself, which remains Wrigley Field.

        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------October 17, 1951

        Phil's bio as it appeared in 1933's Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, pp. 50.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-03-2011, 02:12 PM.


        • William Louis Veeck, Sr. (rhymes with wreck)

          Owner: Chicago Cubs, 1918 - 1933

          Born: January 20, 1878, Boonvelle, IN
          Died: October 5, 1933, Chicago, IL, age 55---d. influenza/leukemia

          Louisville sports writer, Chicago President (1918-33)

          Bill's bio/photo (below) 1933's Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
          edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, pp. 50
          .----------------------------L-R: Tom Shibe, Judge Landis, William L. Veeck, September 10, 1929

          Saturday, February 25, 1933 Catalina Island, CA: William Veeck, Chicago Cubs president,
          talks things over with Cubs Manager Jolly Cholly Grimm as spring training begins.
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-13-2009, 08:05 PM.


          • Clark Calvin Griffith:

            Owner: Washington Senators, 1920 - 1955

            Born: November 20, 1869, Clear Creek, MO
            Died: October 27, 1955, Wash. DC, age 85

            ML pitcher (1891-1914)
            New York Highlanders' manager, (1903 - 1908)
            Cincinnati Reds' manager, (1909 - 1911)
            Washington Senators' manager (1912-20)

            Wife: Ann Robertson Griffith, born Scotland in November, 1876, died October 13, 1957 in Washington, DC. Her family immigrated to US in 1880.

            Clark Griffith: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
            Clark Calvin Griffith nicknamed "the Old Fox", was a Major League Baseball pitcher (1891 - 1914), manager (1901 - 1920) and team owner (1920 - 1955).

            Griffith entered the American Association in 1891, pitching 226 ⅓ innings and winning 14 games for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Reds. He began the following season with the Chicago Colts, and in 1894 began a string of six consecutive seasons with 20 or more victories, compiling a 21-14 record and 4.92 ERA. Griffith lowered his ERA over the following years to a low of 1.88 in 1898, the lowest mark in the league.

            Griffith won 20 games for his 7th and final time in 1901 as a member of the Chicago White Stockings in the nascent American League; it was also the first year he assumed managerial duties. His success extended beyond his own play as the White Stockings won the AL title with an 83-53 record.

            Griffith phased out of playing in the following years while taking the managerial helm of the New York Highlanders (1903 - 1908), Cincinnati Reds (1909 - 1911) and Washington Senators (1912 - 1920). He finished his managerial career with a 1491-1367 record. His 1491 wins ranked 19th all-time as of 2005.

            Griffith owned the Washington Senators from 1920 until his death in 1955, during which time he became known for his dislike of night games and also for his faith in young players. He twice entrusted 27-year-old players to manage his teams (Bucky Harris in 1924 and Joe Cronin in 1933). Griffith's wagers appeared to pay off, as the Senators won the pennant in both years under their new youthful managers.

            One of Griffith's most trusted friends and respected scouts was Joe Engel, who he placed in charge of the Chattanooga Lookouts at Engel Stadium. Engel was the first to scout Cronin for the club and said, "I knew I was watching a great player. I bought Cronin at a time he was hitting .221. When I told Clark Griffith what I had done, he screamed, "You paid $7,500 for that bum? Well, you didn't buy him for me. You bought him for yourself. He's not my ballplayer - he's yours. You keep him and don't either you or Cronin show up at the ballpark." Cronin became the best player on the World Series winning Senators club in the early 1930s and even married Griffith's niece.

            When Griffith died, ownership of the club passed into the hands of his adopted son, Calvin Griffith, who led the charge to have the club moved to Minnesota and become the Twins.

            Clark Griffith was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

            Some of his player photos

            Clark's bio from 1933's Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, pp. 44.-------------------------------------------1933


            around 1908-------------------------------------------------------Clark Griffith family, November 24, 1925, Washington, DC

            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-03-2010, 05:16 PM.


            • Frank Joseph Navin:

              Owner: Detroit Tigers, 1904 - 1935

              Born: April 18, 1871, Adrian, MI,
              Died: November 13, 1935, Detroit, MI, age 64.---d. Suffered heart attack while horse-riding.

              Wife: Grace Shaw, born around 1879, died October 27, 1960, Detroit, MI.

              Detroit Tigers' owner (1908-35); Became half-owner (1907), Started as a bookkeeper/cashier in Detroit state insurance agency. Later, entered law office of his brother, Thomas J. Navin, and took law classes. Admitted to Michigan state bar. In 1903, asked to help run Detroit club for owner, S. F. Angus. He purchased $5,000. worth of stock in club, when Bill Yawkey bought team. Navin became almost half-owner in 1907.

              Bill Yawkey was the owner of the Detroit Tigers from 1903 to 1919. Hew inherited the team from his father, William Yawkey Sr., who had bought it earlier that year. Yawkey only had a limited interest in running the club, and let President Frank Navin handle most matters. He sold Navin almost half of the club in 1908, and receded completely into the background after that, although he remained the Tigers' principal owner.

              He was the uncle and adoptive father of Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey. He died at age 43, a victim of the influenza epidemic of 1919. After his death, Frank Navin bought out from Yawkey's estate the small amounts of share required for him to become the controlling owner, while the remainder of the shares were sold to Walter Briggs and John Kelsey, two businessmen who had made their fortune in the automobile industry.
              Frank Navin: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
              Frank Joseph Navin was an American accountant, lawyer, and professional sports owner. He was the principal owner of the Detroit Tigers in Major League Baseball for 27 years, from 1908 to 1935. He also served as vice president and acting president of the American League.

              Born in Adrian, Michigan, Navin was one of nine children of Irish immigrants. He attended the Detroit College of Law and worked as both a lawyer and accountant. Navin became president of the Detroit Tigers in 1903 and rose to principal club owner on January 9, 1908. Some of his key acquisitions included Ty Cobb, Hughie Jennings, and Mickey Cochrane, which helped the Tigers win five American League pennants (1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, and 1935) and a World Series championship in 1935. In 1912, he established Navin Field, named it after himself. He partially sold the club to Walter Briggs.

              Navin died at age 64 in Detroit, Michigan, one month after the Tigers won their first championship title. He had been riding one of his horses at the Detroit Riding and Hunt Club when he suffered a heart attack. Navin was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan where the family mausoleum was decorated by Corrado Parducci and is guarded by two tigers by American animalier Frederick Roth.

              Bibliography: Burton, Clarence. "Frank J. Navin," The City of Detroit, Michigan: 1701-1922, vol. III. Detroit: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1922. pp. 772-75

              Frank's bio/photo (below left) as they appeared in 1933's Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, pp. 36.

              -------Owner Frank Navin, 1933

              Conferring with his manager, Ty Cobb, 1921-22, Navin Field, Detroit.

              Frank Navin, Judge Landis, Mickey Cochrane: September 5, 1934.------------------------------------------------------------September 21, 1935: Frank Navin, Judge Landis.

              With Ty Cobb, signing his 1911 contract.

              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-18-2012, 01:23 PM.


              • Thomas Austin Yawkey:

                Owner: Boston Red Sox, February, 1933 - 1976

                Born: February 21, 1903, Detroit, MI
                Died: July 9, 1976, Boston, MA, age 73, d. leukemia, cremated, ashes scattered over Winyah Bay, SC
                Tom Yawkey: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                Thomas Austin Yawkey, born Thomas Austin (February 21, 1903 - July 9, 1976), was an American industrialist and Major League Baseball executive. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Yawkey became president of the Boston Red Sox in 1933, and was the sole owner of the team for 44 seasons, longer than anyone in baseball history.

                He purchased a struggling team after the infamous Babe Ruth transaction, dedicating his time and finances for the rest of his life to building winning teams. His teams' best seasons occurred in 1946, 1967 and 1975 when the Red Sox captured the American League pennant, and then went on to lose each World Series in seven games against the St. Louis Cardinals (1946, 1967) and Cincinnati Reds (1975). He would never achieve his ultimate goal of winning a World Series championship.

                Charges of racism
                Yawkey has been accused of being a racist for his apparent reluctance to employ African American players with the Red Sox, including passing on signing Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson. It was not until 1959 that the Red Sox became the last Major League team to field an African American player (Pumpsie Green), 12 years after Robinson's rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers (and almost three years after Robinson's retirement in 1956).

                Yawkey was a generous and popular man and proved a strong voice in major league councils. He also served as American League vice president between 1956 and 1973. He died in Boston at 73 years of age; his wife, Jean R. Yawkey, became president of the club following his death. The street in Boston that Fenway Park is on, Yawkey Way, is named after him.

                A chain of islands off the coast of Georgetown, South Carolina make up the Yawkey Heritage Preserve, a nature preserve formed from land willed to the DNR by Tom Yawkey. It consists of North and South Islands and a majority of Cat Island. [4]

                Tom Yawkey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

                Bryant, Howard. Shut Out: Race and Baseball in Boston, New York: Routledge, 2002
                Halberstam, David. Summer of '49, New York: William Morrow and Company, 1989
                Shaughnessy, Dan. The Curse of the Bambino, New York: Penguin Books, 1991

                Tom's bio/photo, 1933's Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
                edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, pp. 30.

                Ted Williams signing contract, February 3, 1956: $110,000.

                October 3, 1946: Tom Yawkey and Joe Cronin Watching Ball Game

                Tom Yawkey (l) and Joe Cronin (c), respective owner and club manager of the
                Boston Red Sox, watch the Brooklyn Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals at Ebbets
                Field during Game 2 of the 1946 National League Championships. The two men are
                scouting for the Sox, for the winner of the NL Championships will meet the Red Sox
                in the World Series.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1940: Tom Yawkey / Eddie Collins (Red Sox GM)

                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-12-2009, 10:17 PM.


                • --------------------------------------------------------------------------The Shibe Family

                  Benjamin Franklin Shibe:

                  Co-Owner: Philadelphia Athletics, 1901 - 1922

                  Born: January 28, 1838, Philadelphia, PA
                  Died: January 14, 1922, Philadelphia, PA, age 83

                  Sporting News' Obituary, by James C. Isaminger, January 19, 1922, pp. 2.

                  Benjamin F. Shibe (January 23, 1838 - January 14, 1922) was an American executive in Major League Baseball who was half-owner of the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 until his death. Frank Leonardo Hough was a 25% owner until he died September 15, 1913. He then sold his shares to Connie Mack.

                  He is credited with the invention of the machinery to make standard baseballs. Shibe Park was named in his honor from 1909 to 1954, at which time it was re-named Connie Mack Stadium.

                  Partner of Al Reach in sporting goods, bought into the Philadelphia baseball franchise, when AL first formed in 1901.

                  Ben Shibe: December 16, 1910

                  Thomas Stevenson Shibe: (son of Ben)

                  Owner: Philadelphia Athletics, January 14, 1922 - February 16, 1936

                  Born: January 13, 1866, New Jersey
                  Died: February 16, 1936, Philadelphia, PA, age 70
                  Buried: West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, PA[/B]

                  Tom inherited both the club/Reach company upon the death of his father, Ben in 1922.

                  Tom came into the AL in 1901 when he bought stock in the Athletics their first year in the AL.

                  However, the Shibes controlled the Reach company, makers of sporting goods and athletic equipment, and Tom turned over to his brother John the general management of the ball club.

                  He played amateur ball until 1891, and until 1918, put on a uniform and worked out with the Athletics on their training trips.

                  Since his concern made the baseballs used in the AL, he contended that the over-abundance of home runs was due to a decline in pitching, shorter fences and freer swingers.

                  Tom was a member of the Penn Athletic club, the Merchants' and Manufacturers' and other clubs in Philadelphia.

                  2 shots of Tom Shibe.

                  Ida Virginia Shibe: (wife of Thomas)

                  Owner: Philadelphia Athletics, July 11, 1937 - August 30, 1950

                  Born: June 17, 1871, Pennsylvania
                  Died: May 13, 1952, Philadelphia, PA (Germantown), age 71[/B]

                  Ida inherited the club upon the death of her brother-in-law, John, in 1937. She sold the Athletics club to the Mack brothers, Roy/Earle, August 30, 1950, thus finally ending the Shibe family's interests in the Athletics. She had bequeathed some of her stock to her children, and those interests were also included in the Mack buyout of the Shibes.

                  Roy/Earle Mack paid a total of $1,750,000. to acquire full ownership rights to the Athletics. Included in the buyout were Mrs. Connie Mack, Sr., Connie Jr., the heirs of the Shibes; Ida Shibe, Mrs. Mary Reach, Mrs. Elfrida Macfarland, and her 2 sons; Benjamin S., and Frank S. Macfarland.

                  -------------------Tom Shibe------------------------------Tom Shibe------------------------Ida Shibe---------------------Ida Shibe

                  John D. Shibe: (son of Ben)

                  Owner: Philadelphia Athletics, February 16, 1936 - July 11, 1937

                  Born: November 20, 1873, Philadelphia, PA
                  Died: July 11, 1937, Philadelphia, PA, age 71---d. pneumonia[/B]

                  John inherited the club upon the death of his brother Tom in 1936.

                  The younger son of Ben, who died in 1922, John was vice-president and secretary of the Athletics. He was in charge as GM of the business end of the club.

                  He spent a small fortune on speed boat racing. For years he tried to win the American cup, but never succeeded. His friends called him the Thomas Lipton of speed boating.

                  He devoted his time to the business management and left the league affairs to his brother, Tom and Connie Mack. At the close of seasons, he turned his attention to hunting. He was associated with the Athletics since 1901.

                  --------------------------John Shibe--------------------------------------John Shibe
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-30-2011, 02:28 PM.


                  • John Tomlinson Brush:

                    Owner: New York Giants, 1903 - 1912

                    Born: June 15, 1845, Clintonville, NY
                    Died: November 26, 1912, St. Charles, MO, age 67

                    Originally owned Cincinnati baseball franchise & was a stock holder of the New York Giants baseball franchise. He also owned Indianapolis of the minor American League.
                    John T. Brush: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                    John Tomlinson Brush was an American sports executive who was the owner of the New York Giants franchise in Major League Baseball from 1890 until his death. He also owned the Indianapolis Hoosiers in the late 1880s, and the Cincinnati Reds from 1891 to 1902. Under his leadership, the Giants were revived as a franchise after a decline during the 1890s. Brush was also a leader in the formation of the rules that govern the modern World Series. He was one of 11 executives who were honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame on a Roll of Honor in 1946.

                    Born in Clintonville, New York, Brush was orphaned at age 4 and was raised by his grandfather until he left to enter business college at age 17. During the Civil War he enlisted in the First New York Artillery in 1863, and after the war's end he went into business running clothing stores in Albany, Troy and Lockport, New York. He moved to Indianapolis in 1875, eventually opening a department store, and became involved in local baseball as a means of promoting his store. He built a ballpark in 1882, and it became home to the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the American Association for their only major league season in 1884; they played in the Western League before that circuit folded after the 1885 campaign.

                    When the National League put the St. Louis Maroons franchise up for sale after the 1886 season, Brush bought it and relocated the team to Indianapolis. He renovated his ballpark, adding a special celebrity box which attracted such figures as President Benjamin Harrison, poet James Whitcomb Riley, and future novelist Booth Tarkington. In 1888 he offered a tryout to Bud Fowler, but ultimately decided not to challenge the sport's color line. Brush also devised a salary scale system which was designed to curtail player salaries, a move which helped contribute to the breakaway Players League in 1890.

                    When the Indianapolis team folded after the 1889 season, Brush was compensated with $67,000 and a share of the Giants franchise, along with a promise of the next available team; he quickly acquired the Reds club after its financial collapse during the three-league competition of 1890. Instead of relocating, he kept the team in Cincinnati, and survived a challenge from a short-lived American Association competitor, the Cincinnati Porkers. Brush frequently was at odds with sportswriter Ban Johnson of the city's Commercial Gazette, and in an attempt to reduce the writer's local influence he helped Johnson become president of the new Western League – a move which eventually backfired when the league achieved major status as the American League in 1901, with Johnson remaining as president.

                    As chairman of the NL's executive committee, Brush took a lead role in combating the AL, joining with Giants majority owner Andrew Freedman to sabotage the AL's Baltimore club by offering the managing jobs of the New York and Cincinnati teams to John McGraw and Joe Kelley respectively; Baltimore was forced to relocate to New York after 1902, eventually becoming the New York Yankees. The acrimony also contributed to controversy in the selection of a new NL president in 1902, as the Giants supported incumbent president Nicholas Young against Albert Spalding, who favored better relations with the AL; in the deadlock, both candidates were forced to withdraw, with Harry Pulliam being selected as a compromise choice. Freedman left baseball shortly thereafter, with Brush taking over as majority owner and team president, selling his interest in the Reds for $180,000 to a group headed by Garry Herrmann. When the Giants won the 1904 NL pennant, Brush refused to allow the team to meet Boston's defending champions in the World Series due to his animosity toward Johnson; a permanent agreement between the leagues was eventually made after meeting some of Brush's conditions, and the Giants won the 1905 World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics.

                    However, Brush's health deteriorated quickly after becoming majority owner in 1902, as he suffered from locomotor ataxia, a nervous system affliction, as well as rheumatism. The Giants won another pennant in 1911, the same year in which he oversaw the reconstruction of the Polo Grounds. Brush attended World Series games as the team again advanced in 1912, but his failing health was apparent, particularly in the aftermath of an auto accident that September 11 in which his car was struck by a truck and overturned, causing two broken ribs. After the Series he left by train to recuperate in California, but died in his private car near Louisiana, Missouri; his car was detached and rerouted to St. Louis, and his body was returned to Indianapolis. His funeral was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, with accompanying Masonic rites. He was succeeded as Giants president by his son-in-law, Harry Hempstead.

                    Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia (2000). Kingston, NY: Total/Sports Illustrated. ISBN 1-892129-34-5.
                    Reach Official American League Base Ball Guide (1913). Philadelphia, PA: A.J. Reach Co.
                    Allen, Lee. The National League Story (1961). New York, NY: Hill & Wang.
                    Allen, Lee. The American League Story (1962). New York, NY: Hill & Wang.

                    SABR biography
                    New York Times obituary
                    Indiana Historical Society: John T. Brush Collection
                    John T. Brush - A Power in BaseballPDF (34.3 KiB) - by John B. Foster
                    Retrieved from ""

                    article: John Brush by John Saccoman

                    A sufferer from locomotor ataxia, a painful disease of the nervous system that caused him to walk with two canes, John T. Brush was a successful retail magnate who owned the New York Giants from 1903 until his death in 1912. Though the Giants became the most valuable franchise in professional sports during his tenure, and he was generally regarded as the most influential magnate in the National League's executive sessions, Brush was not well-liked by players or the press. "Chicanery is the ozone which keeps his old frame from snapping," wrote one critic, "and dark-lantern methods the food which vitalizes his bodily tissues."

                    John Tomlinson Brush (some suggested the T stood for "Tooth") was born in Clintonville, New York, on June 15, 1845. Orphaned at age four, John lived with his grandfather until going to Boston at age 17 to seek his fortune in the clothing business. After serving with the First New York Artillery during the Civil War, he opened a department store in Indianapolis when he was only 30 years old. Brush's first contact with baseball came in 1887 when he bought into the upstart Indianapolis Hoosiers of the National League as a means of advertising his store. In 1889 he formulated the "Brush Classification Plan," under which players were placed into one of five groupings based on both on- and off-field performance. Each class had a corresponding salary cap—Class A players could earn $2,500 annually, and the salaries decreased $250 in each lower class so that Class E players could earn $1,500. The plan, which was approved by Brush's fellow owners, caused a backlash among the players, leading directly to the formation of John Montgomery Ward's Players League.

                    The NL dropped Indianapolis in 1890 so Brush bought stock in the New York Giants and became owner of the Cincinnati Reds the following year. In Cincinnati he came under fire from Ban Johnson, then a local sportswriter. When the newly formed Western League was searching for a president in 1894, Brush interceded to make sure Johnson got the job, thus ending criticism from the young reporter's pen. The two continued to lock horns, however. Brush still owned stock in the Indianapolis franchise of the American Association, and Johnson criticized his shady dealings involving the rosters of the AA Hoosiers and the NL Reds. The upshot was that the Cincinnati owner was forced to divest himself of his stock in the Indy club. Prior to the 1898 season Brush floated another "Brush Rule" past his fellow owners, this one stating that any player who addressed an umpire or fellow player in a "villainously filthy" manner would be brought before a three-man disciplinary board and banished for life if found guilty. The players received the rule about as well as Brush's 1889 edict limiting their salaries, and it had about the same lasting impact.

                    In 1901 Brush attended a meeting with fellow NL owners Andrew Freedman of New York, Frank Robison of St. Louis, and Arthur Soden of Boston at Freedman's estate in Red Bank, New Jersey. Earlier this quartette had decried syndicate baseball, but now they were formulating a plan for an even larger syndicate, the National League Base Ball Trust, which would hire all managers and assign players to teams that would no longer be individually owned. The four robber barons proposed that the former owners would hold shares in the trust, with Freedman receiving a 30% share, his three compatriots receiving 12% each, and the others not present receiving less (the Brooklyn ownership would receive only 6%). The syndicate plan died on the vine because, not surprisingly, it didn't gain the fifth vote necessary for approval.

                    On August 12, 1902, Giants owner Freedman announced, "I will turn the inside affairs of the business over to Mr. Brush, as I have little or no time to give to baseball, while Mr. Brush will be able to devote practically all his time to the game." In retrospect it seems clear that Brush had favored New York all along. In 1900 the Giants purchased Christy Mathewson from Norfolk of the Virginia League. When the rookie did nothing to distinguish himself in three games, Freedman sent him back to Norfolk where he went 21-2. After the season Brush drafted him for the Reds, then "traded" him to the Giants for sore-armed Amos Rusie, who hadn't pitched since 1898. Mathewson, of course, went on to win 372 games for New York, while Rusie didn't win a single game for Cincinnati.

                    Brush purchased the Giants outright from Freedman in 1903. At the time the department-store mogul still owned the Reds and also owned the American League's Baltimore Orioles, and the rash of personnel transactions that preceded the sale of his Cincinnati and Baltimore shares positioned New York to be a juggernaut for the first third of the twentieth century. The most important of those moves was the signing of John McGraw away from his own Orioles to manage the Giants, but he also released from their Baltimore contracts future Hall-of-Famers Roger Bresnahan and Joe McGinnity, both of whom signed with New York. When the loaded Giants ran away with the NL pennant the following year, Brush (with prodding from McGraw) became responsible for the cancellation of the 1904 World's Series. "There is nothing in the constitution or playing rules of the National League which requires its victorious club to submit its championship honors to a contest with a victorious club in a minor league," he announced.

                    Brush lived to see his Giants play in three World's Series (1905, 1911, and 1912). Shortly after the last of those fall classics, he was thrown from an automobile in Harlem and sustained a serious hip injury. On November 26, 1912, while en route to a sanatorium in Southern California for recuperation, Brush died aboard a train as it was passing through Missouri. He was survived by his second wife, stage actress Elsie Lombard, who was 25 years his junior. Brush's obituary in The New York Times described him as "one of the wisest and ablest counselors in the National League."

                    Note: A slightly different version of this biography appeared in Tom Simon, ed., Deadball Stars of the National League (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, Inc., 2004).

                    Nemec, David. The Great Encyclopedia of 19th Century Major League Baseball. Donald Fine, 1997.
                    Solomon, Burt. Where They Ain't. pp. 217-218. The Free Press, 1999.
                    Sowell, Mike. July 2, 1903. Macmillan, 1992.
                    Total Baseball. Total Sports, 1989
                    Ward, Geoffrey C. and Ken Burns. Baseball: An Illustrated History. Knopf, 1994.



                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-28-2011, 05:26 PM.


                    • William Frazer Baker:

                      Owner: Philadelphia Phillies, 1913 - 1930

                      Born: April, 1866, Pittsburgh, PA
                      Died: December 4, 1930, Montreal, Canada, age 64,---d. heart attack

                      Secretary to NYC Controller Bird S. Coler (January 1, 1898 - 1902),
                      Worked on Wall St. (1902-05), Appointed Municipal Civil Service
                      Commissioner (1905 - December 31, 1908), Brooklyn, Queens Police
                      Commissioner (January 1, 1908 - December 20, 1910).

                      William F. Baker, after whom the ballpark, Baker's Bowl, was named unofficially, was a penurious owner who believed he should not have to invest any of his own money in the ball club when he ran it from 1913-30.

                      Haughty and imperious, the former New York City police commissioner became the Phillies’ president in 1913. During his seventeen years at the helm, the Phillies dropped from their position as a consistently competitive club to become a doormat of the National League. Never a baseball man, Baker believed the team should pay for itself. To accomplish this, he traded stars for lesser players and large sums of cash, incurring the wrath of Phillies' fans. Baker also allowed the ballpark to deteriorate badly. And at the same time, he renamed the park in his honor and called it the "Baker Bowl."

                      ----------------------------------------------------------October 8, 1915: Mrs. Baker throws out 1st. ball of 1915 World Series. Mr. Baker is sitting to her left.

                      ----------------------------October 8, 1915:

                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-12-2009, 07:26 PM.


                      • Powel Crosley, Jr.

                        Owner: Cincinnati Reds, June, 1936 - 1961; President (1934 - 1946)

                        Born: September 18, 1886, Cincinnati, OH
                        Died: March 28, 1961, Cincinnati, OH, age, 74,---d. heart attack

                        Wife: Mrs. Powel Crosley, died July 3, 1955 in Cinncinnati, OH. She was 43. They were married in October, 1952.

                        GetImage.pdf---Sporting News' Obituary, April 5, 1961, pp. 26, by Pat Harmon. ---Wikipedia: Powell Crosley

                        Industrialist, manufacturer of radio sets & appliances, former auto maker, head of Crosley Broadcasting Corp., developer of radio station SLS.

                        Crosley is a name unfamiliar to younger generations. He is probably the most unheralded of all the Famous Phis and today his name is largely forgotten by American society but if one were to step back and look at what he accomplished, one will see how truly remarkable his contributions were. Simply put, he did it all in multiple fields. Crosley is by far, Phi Delta Theta’s greatest inventor. Among his many innovations included the push button radio, the first cars to have disc brakes, the first refrigerator with shelves in the door, and the most powerful radio broadcast system in the world. In World War II his company manufactured the proximity fuse which was designed to detonate an explosive automatically when close enough to a target. It was credited by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General George Patton among others in helping to contribute to allied victory. So great was the importance of the fuse that it was regarded as the third greatest innovation brought on by the war behind the atomic bomb and the radar. Also during the war years, it was his company which built the high-power shortwave transmitters that became the “Voice of America” the official broadcasting service of the US government. In business he was the founder of Crosley Automobiles and Radios turning the corporation into one of the most profitable of the first half of the 20th Century. For the sports fan, he was the owner of the Cincinnati Reds. In fact the home of the Reds for several decades was known as Crosley Field. It was his knowledge of electronics and desire to bring people to the ball park that made him put the first lights on a major league baseball field thereby introducing night games.

                        Sporting News' obituary, April 5, 1961, pp. 26.

                        April 27, 1934-Cincinnati, OH - Powel Crosley, Jr., young radio magnate, is shown here at the control console of his new 500,000-watt transmitter, WLW, the largest broadcasting station ever built, which was dedicated recently. This operator's control is in itself a brilliant achievement in radio engineering. Through it is provided complete control and supervision, not only for the WLW transmitter, but also for the Crosley WSAL and short wave W8XAL transmitters.

                        April 17, 1944 - Automobile Industry Post-War Plans Discussed. Washington, D.C.: Various executives of the automobile industry met in Washington to discuss the resumption of automobile manufacture after the war with the WPB. Chairman Donald M. Nelson notified the motor heads that renewed passenger car production is not yet in sight. Discussing plans at the meeting are: left to right, Henry Ford II, who put himself on record as pledging that war veterans will get job preferences in the Ford plant after the war; C.E. Wilson, president, General Motors; and Powel Crosley, Jr., president of Crosley.
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-20-2010, 05:40 PM.


                        • Walter Owen Briggs, Sr.

                          Owner: Detroit Tigers, 1935-1952

                          Born: February 27, 1877, Ypsilanti, MI
                          Died: Januray 17, 1952, Miami Beach, FL, age 74

                          Bought 25% of Tigers (1920), bought another 25% (1927), bought rest of team, when Frank Navin died (1935). Made his fortune in Detroit's auto industry. Took no money out of his team, ploughing all profits back, plus own money.

                          Wikipedia article below
                          Walter Owen Briggs, Sr. (February 27, 1877 – January 17, 1952) was an American entrepreneur and professional sports owner. He was owner of the Detroit Tigers in Major League Baseball from 1935 to 1952.

                          Briggs was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan and grew up a Detroit Tigers fan. In his early youth he worked at the Michigan Central Railroad and later opened Briggs Manufacturing Company in 1908, which specialized in the manufacturing of automobile bodies for the auto industry.

                          In 1919, Briggs bought a minority share in the Tigers from longtime owner Frank Navin. He later bought enough stock to become a full partner with Navin. After Navin died in 1935, Briggs became the sole owner of the franchise.

                          As owner, among Briggs' first actions was completing major renovation and expansion plans to Navin Field. He double-decked the grandstand and converted the park into a bowl. It reopened in 1938 as Briggs Stadium, and had a seating capacity of over 50,000. The stadium is now Tiger Stadium.

                          Briggs was noted for fielding a well-paid team that won two American League pennants (1940, 1945) and a World Series championship in 1945 under his ownership. He had a reputation for being somewhat prejudiced against African-Americans, in part because he refused to sign black players (though he allowed blacks to work at his factory) and would not allow black fans to sit in the boxes at Briggs Stadium. The Tigers did not sign their first black player until 1958, six years after his death.

                          Briggs died at age 74 in Miami Beach, Florida in 1952. His son, Walter Briggs, Jr., briefly inherited the Tigers before being forced to sell them in 1956.

                          Right: Ty Cobb at a baseball game, chatting with Detroit owner, Walter O. Briggs, at Briggs Stadium, 1930's.[/B]

                          Babe Ruth and Walter Briggs take in a game at Briggs Stadium in the 1930's.
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 06-05-2011, 01:43 PM.


                          • James E. Gaffney:

                            Owner: Boston Braves, December, 13, 1912 - January 8, 1916

                            Born: March 7, 1868, NYC
                            Died: August 17, 1932, NYC, age 64,---d. cerebral hemorrhage

                            Started out a cop, started his own contracting & trucking co. Had bought team in 1913 for $187,000. Sold team on January 8,1916 to Percy Haughton & his associate for $500,000.

                            -------------------------------------------------September 30, 1914, Polo Grounds,
                            ------------------------------------------------conferring with Johnny Evers, his 2B/Mgr.


                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-28-2010, 06:30 PM.


                            • Charles W. Somers:

                              Owner: Boston Red Sox, 1901 - 1902
                              Cleveland Indians, 1905 - 1916

                              Born: October 13, 1868, Newark, OH
                              Died: June 29, 1934, Fort Cimton, OH, age 65

                              Wikipedia Article
                              Charles Somers aka Charles W. Somers, (October 13, 1868 - June 29, 1934) was an American executive in Cleveland, Ohio's coal industry who also achieved prominence in Major League Baseball. The financial resources from his business interests allowed Somers to become one of the principal founders of baseball's American League in 1901.

                              At the insistence of league president Ban Johnson, Somers and Jack Kilfoyl, who owned a popular Cleveland mens furnishings store, became the first owners of the of the Cleveland franchise.

                              Kilfoyl was Cleveland's first team president and treasurer, while Somers was its vice president and main financier.

                              Somers was also the principal owner of the Boston Americans, a team which had no official nickname until 1908 (when they became the "Red Sox"), but was initially sometimes called the "Somersets" in his honor. Residing in Cleveland and traveling to Boston, Somers was also the American League's vice-president during the trade war for independence of and equality with the National League which was won in 1903 with the playing of the first World Series.

                              Somers' money helped keep some American League teams, including the St. Louis Browns, Charles Comiskey's Chicago White Sox and Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics, afloat in their first years.

                              Somers sold his interest in the Boston club in 1903 to Henry Killilea. In 1910 Kilfoyl took ill and sold his interest in Cleveland to Somers.

                              Somers invested in one of the first baseball minor league farm systems, ultimately controlling teams in Ironton OH, Waterbury CT, Portland OR, and the New Orleans Pelicans.

                              In 1915 the team was renamed the Cleveland Indians.

                              In 1916, Somers went broke with debts of $1.75 million, due to declining attendance, competition from the Federal League and bad investments, and at the insistence of his bank creditors sold the Indians for $500,000 to a syndicate headed by Jim Dunn. The creditors did allow him to retain ownership of the Pelicans for sentimental reasons.

                              After selling the Indians he successfully rebuilt his business investments. At his death in 1934 (at the height of the Great Depression) his estate was worth approximately $3 million.

                              Somers was married twice. He had a daughter, Dorothy (Mrs. W.W. Clark) from his first marriage. His second wife, Mary Alice Gilbert, survived him. Somers died at Put-in-Bay, OH.

                              Built Cleveland Park.

                              John F. Kilfoyl:

                              Co-Owner Cleveland Indians, 1900 - 1910

                              Born: September 5, 1863, Ohio
                              Died: February 17, 1913, Cleveland, OH, age 49

                              He made his fortune as a clothing/men's furnishings store magnate, and a real estate dealer. He was invited to join in the team ownership by his good friend, Charles Somers, which he accepted. Mr. Kilfoyle was associated with the Cleveland Indians, 1900-1910, along with Charles W. Somers. He sold his interests in the team to Charles Somers in 1910, for what was speculated at $400,000, due to his ill health.

                              His reasons for divesting himself of the team stock was its deleterious effect on his nervous system. It made too great strains on his emotional system.

                              He married Abby G. in 1894.

                              Alva Bradley:

                              Cleveland Indians' owner, 1927 - 1946

                              Born: February 29, 1884, Cleveland, OH
                              Died: March 29, 1953, Delray Beach, FL, age 69,---d. heart attack---Buried in Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, OH

                              Wife: Marguerite A. Andrews, born Cleveland, OH, January, 1886, died September 12, 1969, Cleveland, OH.

                              Wikipedia Article
                              Alva Bradley (born 1884, died March 30, 1953), aka Alva Bradley II, was a businessman and baseball team executive.

                              Bradley was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of M.A. Bradley and grandson of Capt. Alva Bradley. He graduated Cornell in 1908. He was president of the group that bought the Cleveland Indians in 1927 for $1 million and which sold the team to Bill Veeck in 1946

                              He was a Cleveland tycoon, with holdings in real estate, coal, transportation. At the end of the 1927, a group of Cleveland industrialists invested in the team to assume control. The group asked Alva to assume the Presidency to oversee their interests. He accepted.

                              He had graduated U. School in Cleveland, & attended Cornell U. Upon graduation from college, he looked after the many interests of his father. When he father died, he assumed control of the many family businesses.

                              Despite his many business interests, he took a very active interest in his Cleveland team, and was a total fan. He gave his GMs a generous ability to acquire players.

                              Sporting News' obituary, April 8, 1953, pp. 22.------------------------------------------------1933 Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, pp. 34.

                              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Alva Bradley/Beau Bell around 1940.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-02-2013, 01:33 PM.


                              • Donald Leslie (Don) Barnes:

                                Owner: St. Louis Browns, 1936 - August 10, 1945

                                Born: May 8, 1894, Chicago, IL
                                Died: July 20, 1962, St. Louis, MO, age 68,---d. complications after operation

                                The executor of Ball's estate finally turned to Rickey, who recruited Bill DeWitt, Sr., the Cardinals team treasurer, and Donald Barnes, president of American Investment Company, to buy the Browns for $325,000. Barnes put up $50,000, DeWitt $25,000, and the club raised another $200,000 by selling stock at $5 a share. Under new ownership the Browns fared no better on the field or the box office, so that by 1941 Barnes sought permission from the American League to relocate the franchise to Los Angeles. The meeting was held on December 8, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor that precipitated the United States' entry into World War II. Because of the sudden uncertainty in the world, Barnes was turned down, but the war did lead to the greatest moment in the Brown's history. In 1944, when the level of major league talent was severely diluted because so many players were serving in the military or alternative service, the Browns were able to win its only American League pennant. Even this moment of glory, however, failed to help the club improve its image in St. Louis. The Browns had the misfortune of meeting the Cardinals in the World Series, losing to their tenants in six games.

                                Friday, August 10, 1945, Richard Muckerman buys out Barnes' interests in Browns, giving him 50%. Barnes began finance co. at Springfield, Il (1917), 10 years later present co. was incorporated, moved St. Louis, IL.

                                --------------------------------------------------------L-R: Barnes, AL Pres. Will Harridge, former Browns' Pres. Louis Von Weise, shortly after team was sold to Barnes' group.
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-15-2010, 03:58 PM.


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