No announcement yet.

Historical, Archival Photographs

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Badge714
    I deleted my photos of Rube Waddell's gravesite under the impression I could find a better place for them. Alas, I couldn't, so I'm reposting them here. I subsequently found out that another Hall-of-Famer is also buried at the very same cemetery here in San Antonio - Ross Youngs. That's got to be a first, no? Anyway I went out to Mission Burial Park last Friday and yesterday to commune with the dead. Rube was born on Friday the 13th and died on April Fool's Day, 1914, at age 37. Youngs died at age 30. May they rest in peace.


    Leave a comment:

  • BSmile
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Since then I've found another version of the photo with the original wire tag which confirms the September 9th date.

    Leave a comment:

  • Honus Wagner Rules
    Gabby and Scarface.

    Leave a comment:

  • GiambiJuice
    Al Capone in the front row of a White Sox-Cubs charity game, 1931


    Leave a comment:

  • Crosley Fielder
    Cool pic of Crosley Field from the Sun Deck. I took the picture two days after the last game there in June of 1970.

    Leave a comment:

  • Crosley Fielder
    Cool picture....I took it.

    Cool picture of Crosley Field from the Sun Deck. I took this photo two days after the last game there in June of 1970.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    Calvin Robertson Griffith:

    Owner: Washington Senators, 1955 - 1960
    Minnesota Twins, 1961 - 1984

    Born: December 1, 1911, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Died: October 15, 1999, Minneapolis, MN, age 87

    Inherited team from his uncle, Clark Griffith on his death (1955). Transferred Senators from long-time home, Wash. DC to Minneapolis (1961).
    Sold Twins to Carl Pohlad for $36 million, 1984. Son, Clark tried to buy'em back for $120.m, no go.

    Clark Griffith was the owner of the Washington Senators. He refused to integrate his team for seven years after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. During the 1940s, Griffith talked to Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson about playing for the Senators. Ultimately, however, Griffith did not sign them because he did not want to give up the $100,000 in stadium rentals that was receiving each season from Grays during their heyday in Washington in 1942 and 1943. Griffith's failure to integrate his team alienated his loyal black fan base and ultimately doomed his team in Washington.

    Wikipedia: Calvin Robertson Griffith (December 1, 1911 - October 20, 1999), born Calvin Robertson in Montreal, Canada, was a Major League Baseball team owner (1955 - 1984). He was famous for his devotion to the game and for his sayings.

    He was the nephew of Clark Griffith, who raised Calvin from the age of 11. After Calvin's father died a year later, Clark adopted the boy. The senior Griffith owned the Washington Senators from 1920 until his death in 1955; upon his death, the team passed into the hands of Calvin, who had worked up through a variety of positions with the team, starting as a batboy, and serving a brief stint under Joe Engel and the Chattanooga Lookouts at Engel Stadium.

    Under Calvin Griffith's ownership, just a few years after his father's death, Calvin moved the Senators to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota in 1961. They were renamed the Minnesota Twins. Famous for his sayings ("He'll either be the best manager in baseball - or the worst," he said when he gave a young Billy Martin his first manager job), one of his most infamous landed him in trouble in 1978, drawing charges of racism. Speaking at a Lions Club dinner in Waseca, Minnesota, Griffith was quoted as saying:

    "I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don't go to ballgames, but they'll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it'll scare you to death. We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here."

    When his quote was reported in the Minneapolis Tribune, Griffith offered a conflicting defense: that his quotes had been taken out of context, that he had been misquoted entirely, and that he was joking, trying to get a laugh out of the crowd.[1] His best player, Rod Carew (already in a bitter contract dispute with Griffith), immediately declared he no longer desired to be "another ****** on (Griffith's) plantation." That off-season, Carew was traded to the California Angels.

    In 1984, buffeted by the changes in baseball brought about by free agency, Griffith sold the Twins to Minneapolis banker Carl Pohlad; Griffith wept at the signing ceremony.

    Griffith died on October 20, 1999 at the age of 87. Ironically, he was buried back in Washington, D.C., a city he rarely visited after he moved the Senators to Minnesota, and as a result made him one of most disliked figures in Washington sports.
    September 28, 1954: L-R: Calvin Griffith, Clarence Miles, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, Clark Griffith. At the meeting of American League club owners at the Hotel Commodore. The meeting was called to discuss the "situation" of the Philadelphia Athletics and the possibility of transferring the A's franchise to Kansas City.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-09-2009, 03:17 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    Walter Francis O'Malley:

    Owner: Brooklyn/LA Dodgers, 1950 - 1976

    Born: October 9, 1903, Bronx, NY
    Died: August 9, 1979, Los Angeles, CA, age 75

    Wife: Kay, born April 12, 1907, died July 12, 1979, Los Angeles, CA; Son: Peter.

    Wikipedia article
    Dodger lawyer (1943-50), deprived Brooklyn fans of their beloved team when he moved the Dodgers to LA (1958). LA's hero was Brooklyn's arch super-criminal. By 1950, owned majority of stock, after muscling Branch Rickey out of the Dodger Presidency.

    Was the type of businessman of the most despicable sort. Conniving, deceptive, obfuscating, selfish, manipulative, opportunistic in the ugliest ways. Should have been forced by Commissioner to sell his shares to the borough of Brooklyn, and thus bought-out in full, been required to start a new team from scratch, where ever he felt best for himself, instead of being allowed to kidnap a valued team from its rightful home.

    There can never be redemption for a black-heart of his ilk. He and Charles Comiskey will forever be the shame of baseball.

    Among the most influential club owners of the early expansion era and is widely recognized as the catalyst, through his move west, in Baseball's expansions of 1960, 1961, 1969 and 1977…From 1941-49 served at the Dodgers' general counsel, then served as principal owner from 1950-69, and chairman of the board from 1970-79…Gained control of the Dodgers in 1950...In first seven years the Dodgers won four pennants and a World Series, leading the league in attendance…Maintained tremendous player development program installed under the Rickey regime…Moved the club to Los Angeles in 1957 and persuaded Giants' President Horace Stoneham to follow…After moving into Dodger Stadium in 1962 the club annually attracted more than two million spectators and in 1979 set a major league mark by drawing three million…In 1977 the Dodgers were valued at $50 million, or twice the value of the average major league franchise.

    O'Malley was doing work for the Brooklyn Trust Company, which held the mortgage on Ebbets Field and controlled the Ebbets estate. O'Malley did mostly forclosure work. When Branch Rickey became president, the Ed McKeever block was for sale, The Brooklyn Trust Company talked to Rickey about buying it. Rickey didn't have the required capital and John Smith, president of Pfizer Chemical was brought in. O'Malley jumped in with a piece as well. The three partners Rickey, Smith and O'Malley bought the 25% Mckeever block. Later they bought the 50% Ebbets block giving them 75%, with a McKeever daughter, Dearie Mulvey owning the other 25%. After John Smith passed away, O'Malley convinced Mrs. Smith to allow him to vote her shares. He also convinced Mrs. Mulvey to vote with him as well. After the 1950 season Rickey was voted out as General Manager and President. He was still a stockholder, but he lived on the salary he made as President and G.M. There was a partnership agreement that said the other partners had to be given a chance to match any sale.

    O'Malley knew Rickey had to sell to meet his commitments and offered the price as Rickey paid at the start. Rickey found an outside buyer who offered $1,000,000. O'Malley always claimed it wasn't genuine but couldn't take the chance and paid the higher amount. From that moment on any time anyone in the Dodger offices mentioned Rickey's name they were fined $1.00.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-25-2013, 07:51 AM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    Charles Hercules Ebbets:

    Sole Owner: Brooklyn Dodgers, 1898 - January 12, 1912
    Co-Owner: January 12, 1912 - 1925

    Born: October 29, 1859, Greenwich Village, NY
    Died: April 18, 1925, Brooklyn, NY, age 65,---d. at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, NYC, NY, after having suffered heart disease several years.

    Charles bought a small amount of stock in 1890, became the Secretary of the ball club (1896), & was elected President of the ball club even though only a minor stockholder (1898). He had originally owned 10% of the stock in the Baltimore team baseball franchise.

    Wikipedia: He was born in New York City, and was a draftsman and architect who designed numerous New York City buildings. He also served on the Brooklyn City Council for four years, and in the New York State Assembly for one. Ebbets first job with the Dodgers was as a bookkeeper in 1883, and he became a shareholder in 1890. Charles took an active role in marketing the sport to families, and took over team operations in 1898. He also managed the Dodgers that year, and the team finished tenth. Ned Hanlon, the owner and manager of the Baltimore Orioles, bought some of the remaining stock in the team after the 1898 season, and took the best Baltimore players to the Brooklyn team. They won pennants in both 1899 and 1900.

    In 1905 Hanlon wanted to move the team to Baltimore, but Ebbets bought out his shares. He is credited with inventing the concept of the rain check, and proposing a player draft favoring teams which finished low in the standings. He financed the building of Ebbets Field in 1912 by selling half his shares in the team to the McKeever Brothers. The Dodgers won pennants in both 1916 and 1920. Ebbets died of heart failure at age 65 in New York City, and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------September 25, 1916.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------Pat Moran/Wilbert Robinson/Charlie Ebbets

    Edward J. McKeever:

    Co-Owner: Brooklyn Dodgers, January 2, 1912 - May 27, 1925.
    President of team: April 18, 1925 - May 27, 1925.

    Born: March 19, 1859, Brooklyn, NY
    Died: May 27, 1925, Brooklyn, NY, age 66---d. after a week of influenza/pulmonary edema

    Stephen W. McKeever:

    Co-Owner: Brooklyn Dodgers, January 2, 1912 - March 7, 1938.
    President of team: 1933 - March 7, 1938.

    Born: October 31, 1853, Brooklyn, NY
    Died: March 7, 1938, Brooklyn, NY, age 84,---d. pneumonia, after a week

    Charles H. Ebbets invited the McKeevers--Steve and Eward--to join his enterprise when he moved to a new location in Brooklyn. They assumed half of the stock. When Mr. Ebbets and Ed McKeever died a peculiar condition developed. Neither side would give in. Stephen McKeever became desperately ill. Eventually, he recovered and the National League appointed Walter F. (Dutch) Carter to serve as arbitrator.

    Carter gradually became convinced of the soundness of Stephen McKeever's judgment and collaborated in choosing the sturdy old Irishman as president.

    Stephen tried to run away from home at the age of nine and become a drummer boy in the Union army but his father's cane reduced that ambition.

    He and his brother, Edward, formed a contracting and building company. They specialized in sewers and asphalt paving. Later they constructed houses. Mr. Ebbets turned to them when about to build Ebbets Field. They took stock in the ball club in lieu of cash and erected a baseball palace.

    C. H. Ebbets remained president until the day of his death. McKeever was vice-president and Steve was treasurer. They worked successfully and in harmony. The death of two of the 'Big Three' threw the club's affairs into a turmoil with one-half the stock in controversy between three sets of heirs.

    A bitter fight was waged until 'Judge' McKeever recovered his heath and assumed active charge. He succeeded Frank B York as president. Steve McKeever was 57 years old before he ever had any connection with organized baseball. At the turn of the century he owned fast harness horses, but did not dabble in baseball until 1912.

    Before the 'Judge' took the helm a meeting of the Brooklyn directorate rivaled the best act of a comic opera. Attorneys-at-law, representatives of banks and stock-holders who voted their own stock assembled, but shares were held so evenly that nothing could be accomplished. President John A. Heydler, on behalf of the National League, finally effected a compromise that turned out satisfactorily to all concerned.

    January 2, 1912: Brooklyn Dodgers president Charles Ebbets announces he has purchased grounds to build a new concrete-and-steel stadium to seat 30,000. When he became pressed for his funding, he offered selling half the team to Ed and Steve W. McKeever, Brooklyn construction contractors, for $100,000 to complete the ballpark. They, along with Ebbets, functioned as a harmonious trio, with Charles serving as President, with Ed serving as VP, Stephen as treasurer.

    Charles Ebbets died of a heart attack, April 18, 1925. Ed McKeever took over as President immediately. While attending Charles funeral, Ed caught a cold, and within a week of the funeral, Ed died of pneumonia, on May 27, 1925. At this time, the only other person with Dodger stock was Steve McKeever, who held onto his stock until his death in 1938. His daughter Helen McKeever Darvey held onto her inherited 25% interest until 1945, when she finally sold out to O'Malley.

    Along with Dodger President Branch Rickey and Long Island insurance executive Andrew J. Schmitz, Walter O’Malley purchases 25 percent of the shares of Dodger stock from the estate of former part-owner Ed McKeever. When Dodger President Charles Ebbets was in the process of building Ebbets Field, which opened in 1913, funds were running thin, so instead of paying cash to the contractors — headed by brothers Ed and Stephen McKeever — he offered them 50 percent of the shares of Brooklyn Dodger stock. After Ed McKeever’s death, just 11 days following the passing of Ebbets, the shares went into a family trust. O’Malley said on November 1, 1944, "It has been known for some time that the Ed McKeever block was for sale to anybody acceptable, and we just thought it was a good idea to pick it up now."

    Ed McKeever/his wife (Jennie Veronica), Charles Ebbets:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Stephen McKeever/Ed McKeever:
    Opening Day, 1913.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------NL owners meeting, Feb. 11, 1913

    ----------L-R: Charles Ebbets, Wilbert Robinson, Stephen McKeever, Edward McKeever: October 6, 1916, World Series.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-09-2010, 08:39 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    -------------------------------Some Prominent Team Owners:

    Horace Charles Stoneham:

    Owner: New York Giants / San Francisco Giants: 1936 - 1976

    Born: April 27, 1903, Newark, NJ
    Died: Januray 7, 1990, Scottsdale, AZ, age 86

    Wikipedia: Horace C. Stoneham (April 27, 1903 - January 7, 1990) was the principal owner of Major League Baseball's New York/San Francisco Giants from the death of his father, Charles Stoneham, in 1936 until 1976. During his ownership, the team won National League pennants in 1933, 1936, 1937, 1951, 1954 and 1962, a division title in 1971, and World Series titles in 1933 and 1954.

    New York baseball fans and media vilified Stoneham and Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley when they moved their clubs to California after the 1957 season. Stoneham was alarmed by a dramatic post-1954 drop-off in attendance at his team's historic ballpark, the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan. Impressed by the success of the Braves after their 1953 shift from Boston to Milwaukee, Stoneham decided to move his Giants to Bloomington, Minnesota, where a stadium had just been constructed for his AAA farm team, the Minneapolis Millers.

    When Stoneham confided his plan to O'Malley, the Dodger chief informed him that he (O'Malley) was negotiating to move his club – the Giants' bitter rival – to Los Angeles. He suggested that Stoneham contact San Francisco mayor George Christopher and explore moving his team there to preserve the rivalry. Stoneham then abandoned his Minnesota plan and shifted his attention, permanently, to San Francisco.

    At the New York Giants' last home game, Stoneham was confronted by fans both angry — one sign read: "We want Stoneham! (With a rope around his neck!)" — and grief-stricken. After meeting with a group of weeping youngsters who begged the team to stay, Stoneham was moved, but said: "I feel badly for the kids, but we haven't seen too many of their fathers [i.e. paying fans] around here lately."

    Writer Roger Kahn said years later, during promotional tours for his book The Era 1947-57, that the Giants' deteriorating ballpark and shrinking fan base made it necessary for Stoneham to abandon New York. He noted, however, that the Dodgers – a year removed from the 1956 pennant and two from Brooklyn's first world championship – were still profitable and O'Malley's move West was motivated by a desire for even greater riches.

    While their early years in San Francisco produced only one pennant, the Giants of the late 1950s and 1960s were one of the most talented assemblages in the National League. They included five Hall of Famers — Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry — and many other stars. The Giants were the first major league team to heavily scout and sign players from the Dominican Republic.

    But the NL was so powerful and competitive — it had far outpaced the American League in signing African-American and Latin American players — the Giants had only one pennant to show for a decade-plus of contention. Stoneham was partially to blame for this, as he squandered the resources of his productive farm system through a series of poorly advised trades, and hired as his manager from 1961-64 Alvin Dark, who had a brilliant baseball mind but a poor relationship with at least some of his minority players. Dark was fired after the '64 Giants fell just short in a wild, end-of-season pennant race but, more notably, he had made derogatory remarks to the press about Latin ballplayers during the season. (He later said he was misquoted.)

    After their initial success, Stoneham's Giants fell on hard times during the 1970s. Attendance at cold and windy Candlestick Park plummeted, and Stoneham faced financial hardship. Finally, in 1976, he put the team up for sale. The Giants very nearly moved back east, to Toronto. In addition, it was briefly rumored they considered a return to the metropolitan New York area, perhaps to a new baseball stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands. But local businessman Bob Lurie stepped in as the buyer, and the Giants remained in Northern California.

    Born in Newark, New Jersey, Stoneham died at age 86 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
    At the age of 33, he inherited team from his father Charles upon his death January 7, 1936. Had become club executive (1929). Plucked Dodger manager, Leo Durocher, from cross-town rivals in mid-season 1948. Bad attendance (1956-57), caused him to give up on his long-time home in NYC in favor of milder climes in San Francisco.
    Sporting News' obituary, January 22, 1990, pp. 53.

    L-R: Bob Carpenter (Phillies' owner),
    Horace Stoneham (Giants' owner),
    Warren Giles (NL Pres.),
    Walter O’Malley (Dodgers).
    --------------------------------------------------------------July 20, 1951, signing Leo Durocher to his contract.

    December 6, 1941: Stoneham, Eddie Brannick, Mel Ott.---------------------------July 26, 1954: Walter O'Malley, Stoneham.

    November 14, 1973: Walter O'Malley, Stoneham, Warren Giles (NL President).--------------June 4, 1957: Walter O'Malley, New York Mayor Robert Wagner, Horace Stoneham.

    Horace Stoneham, Eddie Brannick, Leo Durocher.-------------------------------------------1948: Horace Stoneham, Mel Ott, Leo Durocher.

    1940-1948: Eddie Brannick, Horace Stoneham, Mel Ott.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-21-2013, 01:08 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    Charles Oscar Finley:

    Owner: Kansas City A's, Oakland A's: 1961 -1980

    Born: February 22, 1919, Birmingham, AL
    Died: February 19, 1996, La Porte, IN, age 77; Buried: Calumet Park Cemetery / Mausoleum, Lake County, Merrilville, IN

    Kansas City Athletics owner, 1961 - 1967
    Oakland Athletics owner, 1968 - 1980

    Wikipedia: Charles Finley

    One of the most flamboyant, innovative, cantankerous and controversial baseball club owners ever…Introduced orange baseballs, ball girls, a mechanical rabbit that gave baseballs to the umpires, and advocated night World Series games in an effort to boost fan interest…As his own general manager, signed Jim Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Vida Blue and Bert Campaneris, who became the nucleus of his Oakland dynasty…Shifted the club he acquired in 1960 from Kansas City to Oakland after the 1967 season…Won five straight division titles (1971-75) and World Championships in 1972-74…The A's were en route to a division title in 1981 when he sold the club to Levi-Strauss.

    -----------February 24, 1976-------------------------------September 26, 1981
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-09-2009, 05:58 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    John Louis Comiskey:

    Owner: Chicago White Sox, 1931 - 1939

    Born: August 12, 1885, Dubuque, IA
    Died: July 18, 1939, Eagle River, WI, age 54

    Inherited team upon death of his father, 1931. Rebuilt team to respectability, Appointed VP/Treasurer, 1910, 2 years later contracted scarlet fever. Was ill for the rest of his life. Weighed 380 lbs. Started farm system, installed night games lights in 1939. Died, heart disease, pneumonia.

    John's bio/photo, as it appeared in 1933's Who's Who
    in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson.

    ----------------------------------------------------With Harry Mitchell Grabiner, 1926, who later became his VP/Secretary.

    March 3, 1925 - Chicago White Sox Officials at Spring Training Pasadena, CA -
    Traveling Secretary Joseph Barry, President Louis Comiskey, and Vice President
    Harry Grabiner, of the Chicago White Sox Baseball Club, are shown left to right
    at Brookside Park in Pasadena, as the Sox opened spring training there. ----------------------------------1930's

    Harry Grabiner/Lou Comiskey

    -----------------Harry Grabiner/Louis Comiskey: 1926-----------------------------Louis Comiskey/Harry Grabiner: 1926

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-11-2009, 06:20 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    Charles Albert Comiskey:

    Owner: Chicago White Sox, 1901 - 1931

    Born: August 15, 1859, Chicago, IL
    Died: October 26, 1931, Eagle River, IL, age 72

    Wikipedia article

    Charles's bio as it appeared in 1933's Who's Who
    in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson.



    --------------1920 with William Veeck, Pres. of the Cubs.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-27-2011, 02:22 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    Christian Frederick von der Ahe:

    Owner: St. Louis Cardinals, 1892 - 1897

    Born: October 7, 1851, Hile, Prussia
    Died: June 5, 1913, St. Louis, MO, age 61,---d. cirrosis of liver, buried in Bellefontaine Catholic Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

    Made fortune in beer brewing, had famous St. Louis saloon, Also managed St. Louis Nationals in 1892, 1895-97.
    Chris von der Ahe: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Friedrich (or Frederick) Wilhelm von der Ahe was a German-American entrepreneur, best known as the owner of the St. Louis Browns of the National League which are now known as the Cardinals.

    Von der Ahe arrived in New York City but quickly moved to St. Louis, where he worked as a clerk in a grocery store. Later, he bought out the store owner and expanded business by establishing a saloon in the back of the store. Von der Ahe noticed that a number of his patrons visited the saloon after baseball games, so in 1882, he bought the bankrupt and scandal-ridden St. Louis baseball franchise for $1,800 and joined the American Association baseball league. He named the team the Browns and hired future Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey to manage the team and play first base. Von der Ahe dubbed himself "der boss president of der Prowns." He took a very active role in the team, even though he knew almost nothing about baseball. With his bushy mustache, showmanship and exaggerated German accent, Von der Ahe was the first baseball owner with a significant public persona, the predecessor of Bill Veeck and Charlie Finley in this regard.

    The Browns dominated the American Association, winning four straight league championships starting in 1885, and the baseball, beer, and other investments made von der Ahe wealthy. He made $500,000 off the baseball team alone. He set the ticket price at 25 cents, hoping fans would spend money on beer. As a result, the Browns led the league in attendance and soon had to expand his ballpark.

    In 1885, von der Ahe erected a larger-than-life statue outside of Sportsman's Park, not of any of his star players, but of himself. A sportswriter from Denver mockingly dubbed the statue "Von der Ahe discovers Illinois." Although eccentric, von der Ahe made a number of innovations, operating a farm club called the St. Louis Whites, and inventing the World Series, initially just to raise more money at the end of the season. Also, tradition holds that von der Ahe was the first to sell hot dogs at the ballpark, although some historians dispute this.

    In 1887, after a poor showing in the World Series, the ill-tempered von der Ahe threatened to withhold his players' share of the earnings. In 1891, he was also majority owner of the Cincinnati Porkers which played for part of one season in the American Association. In 1892 the team joined the National League after the American Association folded. By this time, Comiskey had lost patience with von der Ahe and left for the Cincinnati Reds. Without Comiskey, the Browns quickly became a last-place team.

    Legal problems plagued von der Ahe's ownership, especially in the later years, and in an effort to recoup his losses, in 1892 he moved to a larger ballpark, which he surrounded with an amusement park, complete with beer garden, a horse track in the outfield, a "shoot-the-shoots" water flume ride, and an artificial lake (also used for ice skating in the winter). The league, which prohibited gambling on its grounds, disapproved of the race track; so did von der Ahe's outfielders. The press called the facility "Coney Island West" and nicknamed von der Ahe "Von der Ha Ha."

    With losses still piling up, von der Ahe resorted to selling off his best players, mostly to Brooklyn. In 1898, part of the ballpark burned down during a game with Chicago, his second wife divorced him, and his bondsman kidnapped him for not paying his debts. In a highly publicized trial connected with the fire, von der Ahe lost his baseball team. The Browns changed hands twice and changed their name twice, first to the Perfectos and then to the Cardinals. The American League team known as the St. Louis Browns from 1902-1953 had no connection to von der Ahe's team aside from the name, which was designed to invoke the memory of the 1885-1889 era.

    Von der Ahe soon lost his other wealth as well, and was reduced to tending bar in a small saloon. Comiskey frequently sent von der Ahe money to help make ends meet. He died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1913. He was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, with the statue that once stood in front of Sportsman's Park adorning his grave.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-26-2011, 02:26 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill Burgess
    George Michael Steinbrenner, III:

    Owner: New York Yankees, 1973 - 2010

    Born: July 4, 1930, Rocky River, OH
    Died: July 13, 2010, Tampa, FL, age 80,---d. heart failure

    Chairman of the Board (1980-90), Principal owner (1993-2010)

    Father: Henry G., born April 15, 1904, died November 7, 1983, Westlake, Ohio; Mother: Rita H, born December 25, 1903, died February 26, 1994, Westlake, Ohio.

    Biography Resource Center:
    Source: Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement, Vol. 19. Gale Group, 1999.
    George Steinbrenner (born 1930), the Cleveland shipbuilding magnate who purchased the New York Yankees in 1973, has been one of professional sports most controversial and quotable figures. Twice suspended by baseball for legal and ethical violations, Steinbrenner nevertheless earned the respect of his fellow owners for his record of success on the field. The Yankees won multiple championships under Steinbrenner's aggressive style of leadership.

    George Steinbrenner was born on July 4, 1930, in Rocky River, Ohio. His father, Henry Steinbrenner, owned a Great Lakes shipping company. His mother, Rita, managed their home in Bay Village, the suburb of Cleveland where Steinbrenner spent his formative years. As a child, Steinbrenner delivered eggs to earn spending money. His father, a former collegiate track and field star, instructed him to work hard and urged him to try competitive athletics.

    At age twelve, Steinbrenner took up hurdling. Whenever he finished second in a track meet, his father appeared instantly at his side, demanding to know: "What the hell happened? How'd you let that guy beat you?" These scoldings instilled a perfectionist streak in the young Steinbrenner that he often cited as the key to his later success.

    Education and Early Career
    Steinbrenner was educated at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. He then went on to Williams College in Massachusetts where he continued to run track and edited the sports section of the campus newspaper. In the glee club, he stood directly behind future Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim and--by his own account--outsang him. After earning his bachelor's degree in 1952, Steinbrenner joined the United States Air Force. There he took charge of a succession of successful projects that showed his emerging leadership skills. He established a sports program and set up his own food service business on the base.

    After three years in the military, Steinbrenner got a job coaching high school football in Columbus, Ohio. He later moved on to the college level, becoming an assistant at Northwestern and then at Purdue, but his Big Ten coaching career was to be short-lived. In 1957, at the request of his father, Steinbrenner returned to the shipyard, where he was put to work counting rivets in crawl spaces. He married the former Elizabeth Zweig on May 12, 1956, and seemed set to take over his father's business. The lure of big-time sports proved too powerful, however, and Steinbrenner invested a considerable sum of money into his first pro franchise, basketball's Cleveland Pipers. The team failed, and Steinbrenner lost all his savings.

    Builds Fortune
    Urged to file for bankruptcy, Steinbrenner instead worked to pay off his debt. When his father retired in 1963, he took control of the family shipping business and helped turn around its sagging fortunes. With the money he made, he formed a partnership with a group of investors and bought into the American Ship Building Company. Elected to the company's presidency in 1967, Steinbrenner fetched his father out of retirement to help him run the operation. American Shipbuilding flourished under Steinbrenner's leadership and made him a multimillionaire.

    In the late 1960s, Steinbrenner began to exert his newfound influence on the national level. He used his political connections to become the chief fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, raising nearly $2 million over a two-year period. The election of Republican Richard Nixon to the presidency in 1968 made Steinbrenner fear reprisals against himself or his business. In order to hedge his bets, the shipbuilder contributed to Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign. Unfortunately for Steinbrenner, his donations violated several campaign finance laws. He eventually pleaded guilty to all counts and was fined a total of $35,000.

    Yankee Owner
    These charges came just as Steinbrenner was embarking on a new career as a major league baseball owner. In January 1973, Steinbrenner joined with a group of investors to purchase the New York Yankees for $10 million. Once baseball's hallmark franchise, the Yankees had slipped to second-division status in recent years under the ownership of CBS, and a management team headed by Mike Burke. Steinbrenner, who at first announced he would "stick to building ships" and let others run the team, promptly forced Burke out and hired Cleveland Indians' general manager Gabe Paul to supervise the rebuilding process.

    In November 1974, baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn did briefly return Steinbrenner to the shipyards when he issued him a two-year suspension for his campaign finance transgressions. In Steinbrenner's absence, Paul made a series of shrewd trades and personnel decisions that laid the groundwork for the Yankees return to prominence. By the time Steinbrenner returned from exile in 1976, the Yankees had a top-flight club poised to contend for a world title. The team won its division going away that season, then relied on a clutch ninth-inning, game-winning home run by Chris Chambliss to secure the American League pennant in a five-game playoff against the Kansas City Royals. Only a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series dampened the spirit of rejuvenation surrounding the Yankees.

    Championship Seasons
    In 1977, Steinbrenner opened his checkbook to bring in free agent slugger Reggie Jackson, the former star of the Oakland Athletics. Jackson added considerable star power and clutch hitting to the team, but also heightened dissension in the clubhouse. He had a stormy relationship with manager Billy Martin and was considered selfish by his teammates. Nevertheless, the talented, if volatile, team survived these distractions to make it to the World Series for a second year in a row. This time they were victorious, ousting the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. Steinbrenner had fulfilled his promise to bring a championship to New York.

    He brought a second world title in 1978, though again at a high cost in terms of hostility. The simmering Martin-Jackson feud bubbled over in mid-season, prompting Steinbrenner to fire his manager. On his way out the door, Martin took a few parting shots at both Jackson and the team's owner. "One's a born liar, the other's convicted," Martin observed--an apparent reference to Steinbrenner's campaign finance activity. Relations between the two men would forever be colored by this ugly incident.

    Controversial Figure
    Over the next few years, the Yankees continued to contend for the American League pennant. Steinbrenner's increasingly meddlesome management style was blamed for a lack of stability that doomed the team's best efforts. He hired Billy Martin back as manager again in 1979--only to fire him at season's end. It was the first of four instances in which the erratic Martin was invited back to take control of the club, only to be let go with assurances that he would never be hired again. In 1980, the Yankees won 103 games under manager Dick Howser, but Steinbrenner fired him after the team was beaten in the playoffs.

    In 1981, the Yankees returned to the World Series. However, after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first two games, the Yankees dropped the next three. Following Game Five, Steinbrenner called a late-night press conference to hold up a flimsily bandaged hand and announce that he had defended the Yankee honor by beating up two Dodger fans in an elevator. The Yankees failed to take a "get tough" cue from their owner and lost the sixth and deciding game. Before the game was even completed, Steinbrenner ordered the Yankee publicity department to issue an apology to the people of New York City for the club's lackluster performance.

    Decline and Exile
    The rest of the 1980s proved to be a bleak period for the Yankees and their fans. Steinbrenner signed many high-priced players, but with seemingly little regard for their adaptability to the pressures of playing in New York. Managers were put under intense pressure to succeed, subject to dismissal at any time according to the owner's whims. Three men were hired and fired during the 1982 season alone. Steinbrenner engaged in protracted contract squabbles with one star player, Don Mattingly, and publicly belittled another, Dave Winfield, by comparing him unfavorably to the departed Reggie Jackson. By 1990, the Yankees were one of the worst teams in baseball--thanks in large part to the instability wrought on the club by its owner.

    By that time, Steinbrenner's relationship with Winfield had deteriorated to the point where he reportedly hired a known gambler to dig up information that would destroy the slugger's reputation. Acting on evidence of this plot, baseball commissioner Fay Vincent suspended Steinbrenner from baseball on July 30, 1990. Control of the Yankees was handed over to limited partner Robert Nederlander for an indefinite period. Yankee management used this period of "exile" to rebuild the team's shattered minor league system and make a few judicious trades. When Steinbrenner was allowed to regain control of the team in 1993, it was once again ready to contend for a world championship.

    Successful Return
    Many observers expected Steinbrenner to return to his imperious ways and jeopardize the club's progress, but banishment seemed to have mellowed Steinbrenner. He changed his management style, showing a renewed willingness to let his "baseball people" run the team. Other than ousting manager Buck Showalter after the 1995 season, he made few personnel changes and largely avoided making the kind of public comments that had generated controversy in the past. Under new manager Joe Torre, the team capped a stellar 1996 season with a come-from-behind upset victory over the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. Two years later, the Yankees posted the best record in American League history, going 114-48. They then completed an impressive playoff run by sweeping the San Diego Padres in four games in the World Series. They won again in 1999 and 2000.

    During this period of success, Steinbrenner turned his attention more frequently toward the future of the Yankees. He lobbied city and state officials in New York for the construction of a new stadium, or at least the refurbishing of the old one. In 1999, Steinbrenner joined with New York Nets owner Lewis Katz to create YankeeNets, a merger of the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets. By 2001, YankeeNets was also the holding company for the New Jersey Devils hockey team. (Principal owners George Steinbrenner of the Yankees and Lewis Katz and Ray Chambers of the Nets and Devils retained direct control of their respective teams.) In 2001, the firm was working to launch a regional cable sports network called Yankees Entertainment and Sports.

    In 2002, the Yankees won their fifth straight American League East title, but lost to the Anaheim Angels in the division series. It was the earliest postseason exit for the Yankees since 1980. In 2003, the Yankees lost the World Series to the Florida Marlins. The following year, the Yankees once again captured the American League East title and faced the Boston Red Sox in the American League division championship. The Yankees got off to a three-game lead in the best-of-seven series, but suffered an embarrassing breakdown to lose the next four games--and the pennant--to the Red Sox.

    After the Yankees' post-season loss in 2004, Steinbrenner dropped to number 15 on the Sporting News' list of the most powerful people in sports. In 2003, he had ranked number nine, although as late as 2002, he had topped the power list at number one. Steinbrenner's high rankings year after year are a testament to his influence in the world of sports.

    Pads Payroll
    Yearning for another World Series win, Steinbrenner spent the early 2000s padding his roster, paying top dollar to recruit the game's best players. The Yankees' payroll stood at $187.9 million in 2004--the highest in the league. The Yankees' payroll was so high Steinbrenner was forced to pay a "luxury tax" in both 2003 and 2004. Major League Baseball initiated the luxury tax in 2002 in an effort to rein in player salaries and keep the richest teams from buying all the best players. Only teams that break the payroll salary cap have to pay the tax, and the money goes to the poorer teams. In 2003 and 2004, the Yankees were the only team forced to pay, shelling out more than $85 million in luxury taxes and revenue sharing in 2004 alone. The cap did not dampen Steinbrenner's pocketbook. Prior to the 2005 spring training season, the Yankees acquired pitcher Randy Johnson in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The deal garnered Johnson a two-year $32 million contract extension.

    2006 was a year of ups and downs for Steinbrenner. The Yankees became the first franchise to become valued at over $1 billion, marking a 10,000% return on Steinbrenner's original investment. Three months later, ground was finally broken for his love-coveted new stadium, scheduled for completion in 2009. But such achievements could not help but be eclipsed by the Yankees' failure to win a World Series pennant for the sixth straight year after being beaten, 8-3, by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series. Despite the disappointment, however, Steinbrenner said he would keep Torre on as manager for the 2007 season.

    In the years after he turned 70, Steinbrenner appeared to mellow. He stayed out of the spotlight, prompting rumors that he had suffered a stroke. His publicist, Howard Rubenstein, discounted the notion. "I'm on the phone with him every day," Rubenstein told the New York Times. "He lifts weights. He's in a real training program. He's really all together." A fainting incident in the autumn of 2006 gave rise to new speculation about his health, but the then 76-year-old continued to insist that he was just fine.

    Wikipedia: George Steinbrenner

    -------------------------June 16, 2005-----------------------------------------------------June 15, 2005----------------------------------------------------1992
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-29-2011, 12:29 PM.

    Leave a comment:

Ad Widget