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  • Bill Burgess
    ------------------------------------------------------------------Still Searching for Dates of Birth or Death

    Charles Edward Parker

    Born: September 9, 1886, Westminster, MA
    Died: ? Still alive as of April 27, 1942. Have not found his death date.

    Boston / New York sports writer;
    Saugus, MA, 13-year old, living with family, (June 16, 1900 census)
    Jamesville, MA, newspaper journalist (January 2, 1920 census)
    Rutherford, NJ newspaper writer, (April 5, 1930 census)
    Free-lance writer to many periodicals. Associate Director to Leo Casey, Director of Publicity for New York World's Fair. Committee to Celebrate President's Birthday. Infantry Paralysis Foundation. Lived Rutherford, NJ. (April 27, 1942 WWII Draft Registration)
    Graduated Saugus HS, MA, in 1907, Mt. Hermon academy, 1909, Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), 1913,
    Boston Post, 1913 - 1917, started on city staff, quickly moved on to sports staff, 1914 - 1917,
    Seved w/ 76th Div. & 5th division in WWI, w/ rank of captain, 1917 - 1919.
    Boston American, 1919 - 1922
    New York Evening Mail, 1923 - 1924
    New York Morning World, 1924 - 1927
    New York World-Telegram, 1927 - August 24, 1939

    Father: William J. Parker, born Hubbardston, MA, September, 1848; Mother: Margaret [Margurate] Smith, born Scotland, February, 1856; Wife: Florence Elyse Trueman, born New York around 1893-1895, still alive as of April 27, 1942. Charles married Elyse November 20, 1918 in Cincinnati, OH; Daughter: Ruth M., born Massachusetts around 1923;

    Photo/Entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold 'Speed' Johnson, 1933, pp. 501.---------------------------------Charles' July 19, 1920 passport photo.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-25-2014, 07:36 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Finally! At last! I found the death date of George Leonard Moreland, my oldest research subject! The last founding member of the BBWAA of 1908 that I hadn't found! Been searching for him since the 1980's, ever since I began my sports writers database.

    George Leonard Moreland

    Born: September, 1863, Pittsburgh, PA
    Died: March 5, 1936, New York, NY, age 72,---d. Bellevue Hospital, NYC, Pselisis? with somatic disease, contributory arterosclerotic cardiac disease (heart block). Buried: Flushing Cemetery (Flushing, NY)

    Pittsburgh sports writer / statistician / baseball historian / Baseball news publisher
    Cornplanter, PA, at school, (July 26, 1870 census)
    Pittsburgh, PA, age 17, painter, (June 9, 1880 census)
    Pittsburgh, PA, reporter, Daily newspaper, (June 11, 1900 census)
    Pittsburgh, PA, Baseball statistician, own office, (April 10, 1910 census)
    Pittsburgh, PA, publisher dealer, publishing Co., (January 3, 1920 census)(listed Mr. G. L Moreland)
    Detroit, MI, newspaper, sports writer, (April 26, 1930 census)(listed George L. Morland)
    Pittsburgh / Allegheny directory, reporter (1886)
    Managed Canton in Tri-State League (1890). Was the Sporting Life correspondent from Canton, OH, since 1889.
    Involved with Louisville club (1890's);
    Organized Inter-State minor League (fall, 1894).
    Pittsburgh Post, 1896
    Original member BWAA (1908), representing Pittsburgh.
    Wrote/Published baseball history, 'Balldom', 1914.
    Lived Cleveland in October 5, 1930.

    Father: Andrew, born around 1838, Virginia. Both Andrew's parents were born in VA, he was an engineer at mill; Mother: Maria (Mariah), born around 1840, Pennsylvania. Both Maria's parents were born in VA; Sister: Margaret R, born 1865, Penn.; Sister: Mary J., born 1863, Penn. (Information: 1870 Federal census.); Wife 1: Lula, born July, 1872, Pennsylvania; Son: Harry: born January, 1888, PA; Daughter: Hazle: born PA, March, 1889; George and Lula married around 1888; Wife 2: Elizabeth (Lazetta) Walker (Yetta), born Maryland, July, 1879; Son: Leonard M., born Pennsylvania, 1902?. (April 10, 1910 census); George and Lazetta married December 17, 1900, in Allegheny, PA.

    Baseball statistician, historian. Started his own statistics bureau in Pittsburgh, the George Moreland Bureau. After his death, on March 5, 1936, it was bought up by the Elias Bureau of New York City.

    A resident of Steubenville, OH, Moreland bobs up as a director/investor in the 1890 Canton Tri-State League team in 1890. By 1892 he was working for a Pittsburgh newspaper and was a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1893 he reportedly was promoted to assistant on the team and was Connie Mack's roomate on road trips.

    In 1895 Moreland successfully got hometown Steubenville accepted as the eighth and final team for the independent Interstate League with himself as manager. But after an 8-3 start, he shifted the franchise to Akron and walked away. It seems the ballpark was in a shallow between four hills, and fans stood on the hills rather than pay admission. "We knew this before the season opened," he said in the June 8th Sporting Life, "but thought there were enough people fair enough to put up and see a game."

    He partnered with the fiercely independent Al Buckenberger - the old Pittsburgh manager - to purchase the "outlaw" Wheeling (WV) club for the 1896 season, but Buckenberger jumped ship to manage the St. Louis Nationals after Wheeling earned NL protection status. Moreland survived some minor league skulduggery and stayed on as an active director.

    Moreland's Pittsburgh newspaper work and Pirate scouting work continued. In late October 1899, Moreland broke the story that Barney Dreyfuss was going to combine the Louisville and Pittsburgh franchises. Under Dreyfuss, coincidentally or not, Moreland's work for the Pirates comes to an end. In 1905 he is known for "weekly averages" of players from all teams; in 1908 he publishes a pamphlet of stats which argues that
    sacrifice flies should not be times at bat; in 1909 he publishes "Moreland's Baseball Records and Percentage Book"; and by June of 1910, his weekly batter and pitcher averages seem to be the most published in the nation, always "expressly by George L. Moreland." I don't have the date of the creation of the Moreland Sports Bureau, but it would seem to be early in 1910.

    On October 25, 1910, Moreland is elected president of the Ohio-Pennsylvania League and his photo, above, runs in next day's Cleveland Plain Dealer. He quit after one tumultuous term.

    He created "Playergraphs" in 1913 which was a precurser to "Leaves From A Fan's Scrapbook" and "Daguerreotypes." His statement that Larry Cheney was the winner in relief, 4/15/1913, was picked up by many newspapers later that month. He published "Balldom: The Britannica of Baseball" in 1914, and was an authority on pitcher decisions at that time. Balldom gave season-by-season won loss totals for Cy Young (508-311), Christy Mathewson, and Eddie Plank. Moreland's list of Charles Radbourne's 1884 victories - in newspapers early June, 1916 - became the style used by the Spalding Guides for their team game logs.

    During this decade Moreland is credited with "discovering" Cy Young while "managing" Canton in 1890, and Honus Wagner while managing Steubenville in 1895. Another story makes the rounds that as Connie Mack's roommate it was his idea to make that slapping flap on Mack's catcher's mitt to fool umpires into calling strikes on foul tips.

    By the end of the decade he was the team beat writer for the Washington Herald, but complained of stomach trouble and lost so much weight that he was unrecognizable. He became a teetotaler. According to the January 5, 1939, Sporting News, page 5, the Elias Sports Bureau did the official NL stats when John Heydler became NL president in 1918, and shortly thereafter bought the Moreland Sports Bureau from someone named James Jennings.

    A note in the 1922 Sporting News says Moreland's forwarding address was 810 US Rubber Company Building, New York City.

    "Baseball historian" George Moreland wrote two articles in the mid 1930's for the Sporting News, and then seems to vanish.

    "Revolt of Players Precipitated Costly War: John Ward Led Dissenters; Cap Anson Refused to Join, by George L. Moreland. (Sporting News, January 11, 1934, pp. 5.)

    "Three Homes for the New York Giants in 51 Years, by George L. Moreland. (Sporting News, February 22, 1934, pp. 5.)

    "This department is now privileged to tell the story. It is contained in the papers of the late George L. Moreland, famed in his time as a baseball writer and authority on the game. Among his several works on baseball is the highly factual and illuminating tome "Baseballdom." (This Morning, by Shirley Povich, Washington Post, November 4, 1937, pp. 19.)

    "The bureau [Elias Brothers] also bought out its leading competitor in the East, the old George Moreland Bureau of Pittsburgh, which was acquired from James Jennings. (Sporting News, January 5, 1939, pp. 5.)
    (Al Munro and Walter B. Elias were official statisticians of the National and International leagues as well as other loops of lower classification, and dealers in all sorts of diamond averages and data.)

    NYC Death Certificate-----------------------------------------------------------------1910.--------Piqua Daily Call (OH), Tuesday, March 24, 1931, pp. 7.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-26-2014, 08:22 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Patrick James Nolan---AKA Jim Nolan

    Born: January 8, 1862, New Orleans
    Died: July 13, 1912, Galveston, TX, age 50

    Sports writer / baseball Official
    Louisville Dispatch, sports editor, ? - 1898
    Sponsored Louisville, KY 'horse and buggy' league.
    Printer/ newspaperman in Galveston, TX.

    He was the sports editor of the Louisville Dispatch and the scorer for the local team. In June, 1898, he enlisted in the US Army, and left newspaper sports work after he came out.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Frank B. McQuiston

    Born: December 20, 1865, Pittsburgh, PA
    Died: July 16, 1911, (Beachview) Pittsburgh, PA, age 45,---d. ill since February, 2011 - rheumatics.

    Pittsburgh sports writer;
    Pittsburgh, PA, clerk office, (June 17, 1900 census)(listed Frank Mcquiston)
    Pittsburgh, PA, auditor, Paper office, (April 19, 1910 census)
    (listed Frank Mcqueston)
    Graduated Pittsburgh Academy
    Pittsburgh Times, staff, 1890 - ?
    Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, sports editor, August 12, 1892? - 1895?;
    Pittsburgh Daily Dispatch, Aug 3, 1902 - June 17, 1911;
    President of Basketball League in January 7, 1903;
    Managed a news service, 1904 - 1911

    Father: William, born Pennsylvania, around 1842; Mother: Mary Ellen, born Pennsylvania, around 1847; Wife: Ida L. Rankin, born Pennsylvania, October, 1864; Daughter: Florence, born Pennsylvania, December 1893; Frank married Ida August 11, 1892 in Allegheny, PA. She was from Essene, PA. Frank got sick around February, 1911, and lost 70 lbs. He died by July 20, 1911.

    "Frank B. McQuiston, once one of Greater Pittsburg's best known sporting writers, is lying seriously ill at his home in Beechview. Mac has been conducting a correspondence bureau for a year or more. (Sporting Life, March 18, 1911, pp. 10.)

    "Frank B. McQuiston, one of the newspaper lads with the team, is having a rough siege with rheumatics." (Sporting Life, April 12, 1911, pp. 14.)

    Frank B. McQuiston, known to hundreds In the baseball realm as a versatile writer on diamond topics, is slowly convalescing from a severe illness. Forced to bed in February, Mac has fought disease most gallantly. Has dropped 70 pounds, is a trifle disfigured, but withal cheerful and determined to double-cross his enemy. (Sporting Life, June 17, 1911, pp. 7.)

    "Another of the 'Old Guard' gone, said a newspaper man of the valley, commenting upon the death of Frank B. McQuiston, a well known newspaper man of Pittsburg, who died in that city this week. "McQuiston is the sixth of a small coterie of newspaper men with whom I was associated to die since the association was first formed a decade ago. Ten years ago I was connected with the editorial staff of the Pittsburg Dispatch, and of the bunch which constituted the force then, six of the most prominent ones have passed over the great divide--Jim Israel, George Welshons, Edgar W. Hassler, Clarence Moar, Billy Long and now Frank McQuiston--every one of them too young to die when summoned by the Rider of the Pale Horse. All were bright, brilliant, great hearted fellows--men whose newspaper work had a distinct bearing and influence in shaping public affairs in this portion of the State. Every one of them died in harness, and about the only inheritance they left was a record of duty well done. It is a melancholy fact that every force of a great daily newspaper ten years hence is likely to find more than half of them dead. No profession exacts so great a toll upon the vital energies, and few indeed are enabled to stand the rapid pace of daily newspaper work to the alloted end. (Charleroi, PA, Thursday, July 20, 1911, pp. 2.)

    The death of Frank McQuiston took from the ranks of Pittsburg's paragraphers a brilliant base ball reporter, whose fame was known the country over. Mac's ability was early appreciated by Harry Pulliam. The latter declared that McQuiston's tactics appealed to him. Harry often slipped Mac a tip just to observe his artistic handling of the same. (Sporting Life, August 5, 1911, pp. 2.)

    Pittsburgh's The Index obituary, July 22, 1911.

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  • Bill Burgess
    James Jerpe---AKA Jim Jerpe

    Born: March, 1885, Pennsylvania
    Died: January 16, 1917, Pittsburgh, PA, age 31,---d. at home

    Pittsburgh sports writer / editor;
    Pittsburgh, PA, 15-year old, (June 12, 1900 census)(listed Gerpe)
    Pittsburgh, PA, editor, newspaper, (April 15, 1910 census)
    Pittsburgh Sun-Dispatch, sports writer,
    Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, sports editor, 1913? - 1915.
    In 1914, he became blind as early as June 27, 1914.

    He was the traveling correspondent for the Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, and traveled with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He started to have trouble with his eyes around May, 1914, and his sight steadily declined through September until by October, he was completely blind.

    Father: Andrew H., born Sweden, March, 1860, died July 1, 1913, Norwalk, OH, emigrated to US, 1881; Mother: Anna Stomberg, born Sweden, November, 1859, emigrated to US, 1880, died May 28, 1937; Wife: Eva J. Thompson, born Pennsylvania, 1887?; Son: James Andrew, born Pennsylvania, January 25, 1909, died October, 1988, Pittsburgh, PA; Jim married Eva around 1908. Andrew married Anna around 1885.

    Pittsuburgh Press' obituary, January 16, 1917.--------------------------------Sporting Life obituary, January 27, 1917, pp. 3.

    Sporting News' obituary, January 25, 1917, pp. 5.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting Life, June 27, 1914, pp. 2.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Ralph R. Brackbill

    Born: October 29, 1904, Lancaster, PA
    Died: July 3, 1985, Columbia, MD, age 80

    Baltimore sports writer;
    Lancaster, PA, 5 years old, (April 19, 1910 census)
    Lancaster, PA, 15 years old, (January 2, 1920 census)
    Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Sun, reporter, (April 2, 1930 census)
    Baltimore, MD, newspaper news reporter, (April 13, 1940 census)
    Moved to Baltimore, MD around 1925.
    Baltimore Evening Sun, bowling editor, 1926-61; assistant sports editor, 1962;
    Baltimore [Bowling] Alley Owners Association, secretary, 1943
    Specialized in bowling sports coverage.

    Father: William R., born Pennsylvania, December, 1871; Mother: Amanda, born Pennsylvania around 1880; Wife: Helen M., born around 1907, Pennsylvania; Daughter: Barbara S. Marecki; Daughter: Valerie Johnston, born Colorado, around 1936;

    ---------------------------Baltimore Evening Sun obituary, July 10, 1985, pp. G7.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Joseph Merriken Cummings---AKA Joe Cummings

    Born: April 5, 1865, Baltimore, MD
    Died: October 27, 1951, North Quincy, MA, age 85,---d. at Quincy Hospital (MA), after a brief illness.

    Baltimore / St. Louis sports writer;
    Baltimore, MD, 20-year old bar-tender, (June 9, 1880 census)
    Graduated Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA)
    Baltimore journalist, (June 2, 1900 census)
    Baltimore News, sports writer/editor, 1892 - September 3, 1906?
    Official scorer for Baltimore Eastern League team.
    St. Louis Sporting News, managing editor, 1906-10
    St. Louis newspaper editor, (April 22, 1910 census)
    Worked for George Moreland in Pittsburgh, August 5, 1911 - December 30, 1911.
    Was appointed secretary of the Texas League, December 30, 1911, succeeding Brice Hoskins, of St. Louis.
    Manager in the Democratic National Committee, living in Washington, DC (January 16, 1920 census)
    Auditor for motion picture distributor, (lived in Quincy in Norfolk County, MA), (April 25, 1930 census)
    Lived in Quincy, MA, 1921? - October 27, 1951; tried insurance business in 1925 in Boston.

    Father: Patrick, born Maryland around 1834; Mother: Mary, born Virginia or Pennsylvania, around 1830; Wife: Edith F., born Pennsylvania, February, 1869, Edith died November 1, 1910; Son: Lester M., born June, 1891, Maryland; Son: Allan F., born January, 1892, Maryland; Daughter: Dorothy L., born September, 1896, Maryland. Joe married Edith around 1888;

    Wife 2: Alice D. Fitch, born Connecticut, July, 1891; Daughter: Ruth M., born Jefferson City, MO, October 2, 1916; Ruth married Michael Gerard Crowley around 1947. Ruth was a graduate of Quincy (Mass.) High School and Simmons College, class of 1938. She died June 25, 2008 at The Gables in Rutland, VT. Her name at that time was Ruth C. St. Onge.
    Joe married Alice around 1912.
    "It was a great pleasure to us to renew acquaintance at Quincy Saturday with Joe Cummings, an old Baltimore sporting writer at the time we visited his city in the 90's and saw Boston and Baltimore play many great and exciting series, especially that of '97, when the "Royal Rooters" came into existence.

    "Joe" now lives in Quincy and is in the insurance business in Boston. He was a high-class newspaper man and we have no douibt he is showing like qualities in business." (Live Tips and Topics by "sportsman"; Boston Daily Globe, May 11, 1925, pp. 9.)
    Spring Wedding Planned
    Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Cummings of North Quincy announce the engagement of their daughter, Ruth M. To Michael Gerard Crowley, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Crowley of Medford.

    Miss Cummings is a graduate of Simmons College, and her fiance, recently discharged from the Army Air Force, served for 3.5 years in the European theatre.

    The wedding will take place in the Spring. (Daily Boston Globe, December 8, 1946, pp. A15.)

    Spalding's How To Score a Base Ball Game, 1919

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Patriot Ledger obituary (Quincy, MA), October 29, 1951, pp. 7.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Andrew Brown Rankin, V---AKA A. B. Rankin & June Rankin

    Born: September 20, 1851, Welsh Run, PA
    Died: April 25, 1930, Brooklyn, NY, age 78,---d. Kings County Hospital, after a short illness.

    New York sports writer;
    New York Herald,
    New York Mercury,
    Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1894 - 1916ish
    New York World, 1895 - 1930
    Chambersburg, PA, 8-year old, (July 18, 1860 census)
    Ramapo, NY, clerk, stationer, (August 24, 1870 census)
    Brooklyn, NY, reporter, (June 9, 1880 census)
    Brooklyn, NY, journalist, (June 6, 1900 census)
    Brooklyn newspaper journalist, (April 15, 1910 census)
    Brooklyn newspaper reporter, (January 20, 1920 census)

    Father: Andrew Brown Rankin IV: Born: October 9, 1821 Greencastle, PA, d. October 3, 1890 Long Island, NY. Inventor, Editor, Lawyer; Mother: Elizabeth, born Pennsylvania, around 1830; Wife, Annie, born Brooklyn, September, 1861; Had 2 daughters, Elizabeth (Betty), born in Brooklyn around 1895, and Margaret, born Brooklyn around 1901. Son: Andrew B., born June, 1889; Son: Herbert, born New York, June, 1892; Daughter: Elizabeth, born New York, August, 1894; she was business manager of Women's Day from 1939 to 1959 if you want exact dates); Daughter: Marguerite, born 1900.

    Started his baseball writing on New York Sunday Mercury, summer, 1875, & New York Herald, 1876-89, He served as official scorer for the New York Metropolitans, 1880-83, and for the Giants, 1883-89.
    His brother was very well-known in baseball circles, William M. Rankin, who died March 29, 1913.
    Was a newspaper reporter in 1920, according to 1920 US census.

    Andrew Brown Rankin, V was nick named "Jun" for Junior. He was a sports writer and editor for the New York Herald and the New York World during the turning of the other century. He loved team sports, world series, cigars, and boxing. He traveled with all of the teams. Jun's daughter followed in his steps by becoming business manager of "Women's Day" Magazine from the 1930's-1950's.

    After writing for the Herald and Mercury, he wrote on golf and boxing for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1894 to 1916ish, and New York World (1895 to 1930). He worked until death for the New York World.

    His children were: Andrew (1889), Herbert (1892), Elizabeth (1894; she was business manager of Women's Day from 1939 to 1959 if you want exact dates) and Marguerite (1900).

    Internet genealogy

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------appeared in 1889 book.--------------------Brooklyn Eagle obituary, April 26, 1930, pp. 24.

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  • Bill Burgess
    John Peter Campbell

    Born: August 18, 1850, Hackensack, NJ
    Died: February 11, 1914, Philadelphia, PA, age 63,---buried Philadelphia, PA, February 14, 1914.

    Philadelphia sports writer;
    Graduated Pennington Seminary (Pennington, NJ), 1868
    Township of New Barbados, NJ, 9-year old, (June 22, 1860, census)
    Student at Law in Hackensack, NJ, (August 26, 1870 census)
    Philadelphia journalist, (June 9, 1880 census)
    Philadelphia Item, baseball editor, ?April 15, 1877? - May, 1890; ? - August 25, 1894.
    June 1, 1888 - Elected Secretary of Philadelphia Amateur Baseball Union
    October 25, 1890 - Connected with Pilling's Museum in Boston, MA
    Veteran and official scorer of the Philadelphia Athletic Club, March, 1894
    While still an editor of the Phil. Item, traveled to Chicago to supervise the Alba Heywood Comedy Company, August 25, 1894.
    On January 21, 1900, he was Manager of the Grand Fraternity of the Philadelphia Press Bureau.

    Father: Samuel L., born New York; Mother: Ellen, born New Jersey; Wife: Myra Goodwin, died October 15?, 1892, New York. She was a well-known actress. They may have married in Philadelphia, PA, 1889.

    -----------------Appeared in 1889 book

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  • Bill Burgess
    William Boss McVicker

    Born: July 8, 1886, Pittsburgh, PA (date confirmed by June 5, 1917 WWI Civilian Draft Registration.)
    Died: August 25, 1959, Allentown, PA, age 74

    Pittsburgh sports writer;
    At school, Allegheny City, PA, (June 13, 1900 census)(listed Wm B Mcvicker
    Pittsburgh Dispatch, newspaper reporter, (April 23, 1910 census)(listed William B Mcvicker)
    Lincoln (Neb.) State Journal, telegraph editor, ? - January, 1916
    Associated Press, night editor, February, 1913? - January, 1916
    Newspaperman in Pittsburgh (Press Publishing Co.), PA (June 5, 1917 WWI Civilian Draft Registration)
    Mill labor, (January 5, 1920 census)
    Allegheny County, Dormont borough, campaign director, advertising (April 16, 1930 census)
    Pittsburgh, PA, Campaign Director, Finance Company, (1940 census)(listed William B McVicker)
    Worked for Ketchum, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA (April 27, 1942 WWII Draft Registration)
    Lived in Allentown, PA, 1929 - 1959
    5'5.5, 155 lbs., blue eyes, red hair

    Father: James M., born Allegheny City, PA, August 21, 1844, died June 20, 1909; Mother: Ellen Porter Campbell (Nellie), born November, 1844 in Ohio; Father James married Mother Ellen September 29, 1867; Wife: Hilda Schuck, born PA, April 15, 1891, died May, 1976, Allegheny, PA; William and Hilda married around 1921; Sister: Emma M., born PA, November, 1877; Sister: Nellie, born PA, August, 1880; Brother: Robert, born PA, February, 1890. His father had been a railroad conductor.

    Pittsburgh Post Gazette obituary, August 26, 1959, pp. 17.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Albert R. Rainovic---AKA Al Rainovic

    Born: October 27, 1922, West Allis, Wisconsin
    Died: January 5, 1992, Milwaukee, WI, age 69,---d. natural causes

    Milwaukee sports writer / sports cartoonist;
    WWII, 1943
    Attended American Academy of Art (Chicago, IL),
    Attended University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI), (degree in Sociology)
    Milwaukee Journal, sports cartoonist, 1952 - 1969
    University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI), sports information director
    Publisher of the Midwest Diamond Report print publication.

    Al Rainovic was a famed sports artist in the "Milwaukee Journal" for nearly 20 years. In the 1950's and 1960's, readers of the Milwaukee paper would turn to the sports page every day to see what Rainovic would come up with next.

    Perhaps you remember Rainovic, but then again, probably not. Details of a person’s life seem to fade away over a period of time. Rainovic was a sports cartoonist for the Milwaukee Journal from 1952 to 1969. That was during an era, from the ‘30s through the ‘60s, when major newspapers all over America utilized that form of art on their sport pages. Rainovic was one of the best in the country, most assuredly the best ever for any Wisconsin newspaper.

    George Pollard, the Kenosha artist who did all that artwork for the Braves and Brewers, was an exceptional talent of national acclaim, but he was a portrait artist, not a cartoonist. It’s a different art form.

    Frank Marasco, the Milwaukee Sentinel sports cartoonist, was also fairly well known in this area, but he was nowhere near Rainovic in talent or in production. Al’s artistic creations appeared in the Journal sport pages an average of four times each week. Multiply that by 52 weeks out of the year and times 18 years and you’ll get roughly 3,600 sports cartoons, each unique, all entertaining and informative, like the few reproduced on these pages.

    As I reviewed Rainovic’s caricatures of Crandall, a couple of things came to mind. First, that the form of journalism and art of sports cartooning, like Margaret Mitchell’s Old South, is “Gone with the Wind.” Today, it is considered too time consuming to create such artwork, and correspondingly, too expensive. Editors also say it’s old fashioned. I don’t particularly agree with that. Secondly, poor Rainovic, who died in 1992, has been all but forgotten by his fans, his friends and the people he worked for.

    When Rainovic died on January 5, 1992, there was unbelievably nothing about his death in any local print or electronic media. He worked for the Journal for most of two decades, and during that time his features were among the most viewed in the paper, as good as any in the country. Yet the paper did not print any kind of story or obituary. It was difficult to understand. And since there was no family, there was no death notice, either.

    The reason why Rainovic left the Journal is also obscured by the mists of time. He was still fairly young, only 47. His works were popular with the readers; he was hard working and dependable, well liked, so it’s difficult to think that he was let go for cause. One guess is that since the art form of sports cartooning was dying out in newspapers everywhere, the Journal’s powers-that-be determined they no longer had any need for Rainovic’s talents (What’s the phrase about it being a cruel world?).

    In any case, after Rainovic left the paper, he worked as a freelance artist. His drawings appeared in many local publications and magazines, and in sports books such as on the cover of the Milwaukee Brewers Media Guide. He also started and operated his own little baseball magazine, which he called The Diamond Report. It was a fine, newsy publication, yet if you didn’t know the background, you’d never know Rainovic had anything to do with it. He wrote all the articles, yet did not put his byline on any of them. On all of his drawings in it, his signature was too small to be read without a magnifying glass. He didn’t even have his name on the masthead as publisher, editor or whatever. He put the magazine out six times a year, and as I recall, charged only about $5 for a subscription. I think the expense of printing and the postage cost him more than he made from the subscriptions, and there was no advertising.

    I met Rainovic for the first time in 1971, after he had left the Journal and was employed as the sports information director for the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Al worked for Athletic Director Tom Rosandich, and one of his main duties was putting out the Athletic Department’s newspaper. I had known Tom and his wife, Sally, for many years. Sally was from my hometown, Hurley, and Tom had originated the Paavo Nurmi Marathon up there. He later started and operated the U.S. Sports Academy in Mobile, Alabama.

    One day Tom asked if I’d like to help edit their paper, as Al was getting swamped with handling it among all his other duties. I told Tom that I’d like to talk to Al about it first, to get his thoughts on the matter. I did, and Al couldn’t have been more receptive and nice about it. We became not only work associates, but also very close friends.

    Al loved to golf, and we enjoyed many a round together. He particularly liked Greenfield Park, probably because it was short and suited to his game, and also because it was close to where he lived in West Allis.

    We’d also often go to Brewers games together. One day he called and asked if I’d like to go to a game with him and a friend of his. When I met them at Ray Jackson’s prior to going to County Stadium, I was surprised as to the identity of his pal. It was Ken Keltner, the old Cleveland Indians third baseman and the man attributed with stopping Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.

    Keltner and Rainovic were quite alike, both soft spoken, both very unobtrusive and modest. I went to several games with the two of them, and not once did I see anyone who recognized them or asked for an autograph.

    The person Al admired above all in his profession was Willard Mullin, the famed New York World Telegram sports artist. Mullin was the most famous sports cartoonist in America. His caricatures were almost always featured on the cover of Sporting News. He was responsible for creating the image of the Brooklyn Bum, as well as that big chested New York Yankee Pinstriper and the St. Louis Cardinal Swifty. If you saw a Mullin drawing and one of Rainovic’s side by side, you’d note the resemblance in style.

    One day, I think it was in the early ‘70s, Al invited me to drive down to Chicago and meet Mullin, who was visiting there. I couldn’t make it, and I’ve always regretted it. Mullin died a few years later.

    Al spent very little on himself. Whatever he made from his job with the Journal, and later from UW-M, he used to take care of his mother and father (Mary, who died in 1988, and Thomas, who died in 1979).

    I often witnessed this exceptional concern he had for others, even small animals and birds. One afternoon we were playing golf at Rivermoor GC near Waterford, Al sliced his drive into a wooded area. We both walked into the wooded area to find his ball. After a few minutes, Al spotted a baby bird chirping away on the ground, which we assumed had fallen from its nest or had been abandoned. Al spent some time looking for the nest, with the tiny creature in his hands, but found nothing. So Al decided to stop to find some way to help the bird. I quit, too, and the two of us went back to my car and drove into town, looking for a vet. We found one who promised to care for it until it was able to fly away on its own.

    Even though he paid all the bills for himself and his parents, food, utilities, taxes, everything, and did all the work around the place, he kept the telephone number of the home in his father’s name. Prior to 1952, it was listed as “Rainovich,” not “Rainovic.” I don’t know if this was a typo error by Ma Bell, or whether the family changed the name.

    On the occasions I visited him, I was always amused at the chaos. Rooms were filled to the ceiling with boxes of books, magazines and old newspapers. He had every edition of Sport Magazine, the Baseball Digest and Sports Illustrated. Many of the materials dated back to the 1800s. I asked him why he had so much clutter in his house. He said where else was he to keep everything? He took me out to the garage, where there was no room for his car. It, too, was filled eight feet high with boxes of books and junk.

    Because there were then and even today are hardly any records about the family or Al’s youth, I know little of where he went to elementary or high school, how he got started as an artist or anything about his service years. I do know he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, went to UW-M where he earned a degree in Sociology, had a brother who had been killed in the service, and one sister who lived in California. He was also an active member of the Baseball Writers of America, Milwaukee Chapter.

    I recently discovered something else that he never mentioned to me. Some of his drawings are now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I also learned that Al had won a number of awards and commendations for his work. Often today, when I see and hear these cockamamie sports stars bragging about how wonderful they are, I think of modest Al, so opposite.

    Thus far, I’ve told you a bit about Al Rainovic the man. How can I not comment on his wonderful accomplishments as well? As the words “cartoon art” implies, his work combined the popularity of comic book art (also in its heyday then) with the zany world of sports. His drawings were original, lighthearted and informative, yet full of power, with a life of their own. They lit up a newspaper page in a way that an ordinary photograph could not do.

    Sometimes his drawings were of a single person; other times they could encompass several figures, in every pose imaginable. He blended the skills of an artist with the commentary of a columnist. Because of their visual impact, people would cut out his works and tape them on the refrigerator or on a wall, something they would never do with an ordinary story or column. Although his favorite was baseball, his works covered many sports, football, basketball, boxing, track and field, horse racing and many more.

    He even actually made images out of words, taking hundreds of them, and by bending the letters, making some heavier than others, and all with a marvelous ingenuity, used them to form pictures. My favorite is one he made at Christmas, 1958. It’s a huge Christmas card that filled the top half of the page. The entire picture, all the images, is made up of words, hundreds and hundreds of them. He was, of course, fortunate to be working in an era of so many great sports figures, including such Wisconsin icons as Warren Spahn, Hank Aaron, Vince Lombardi, on and on, for him to draw.

    During the summer of 1991, Al started having heart problems. It got so bad that he was hospitalized for a time at the Veteran’s Hospital in Wood. I visited him several times, the last one of which he told me they were sending him home. I assumed he was getting better. This was not so.

    I still remember the night he died. It was in January, and as always in Wisconsin, it was freezing outside. My wife and I had gone to bed around 11 p.m. Later, the phone rang shocking me awake at about 2 in the morning. The caller identified himself as a police officer from the city of West Allis. This doubly shocked me. Getting a call from the police in the middle of the night would frighten anyone, and in this case, we had a daughter living in West Allis, which made it worse. He then said he was at the home of Al Rainovic, and he was dead, apparently of natural causes, and that there was a note on the table next to the bed saying that if he died, that I should be notified. It also said that all of his possessions, except the home, which had been willed to the hospital, were to go to me.

    I got up and went over there. I thought about the sister out in California who hadn’t been mentioned in Al’s note. I appreciated the fact that Al thought enough of me to will me all of his belongings, but I felt morally that his sister had the right to them. So I called her. Apparently, they were somewhat estranged. She said she didn’t want anything to be sent to her, but asked me to sell everything and send a check instead.

    And although my wife and I sold all his thousands and thousands of sport books, magazines and materials, I did not sell his original drawings. Instead, I tried to find a home for them.

    I first tried the West Allis Library, and they declined, and then tried the Milwaukee Public Library, and they, too said they had no use for them. I eventually tried the UW-Milwaukee Library, and they accepted them. They are there now, in the Library’s archives, and are available for public viewing.

    They are the sole legacy of a very talented, kind and gentle man.

    ------------------------Highland Memorial Park Cemetery, New Berlin, Wisconsin.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1947 Milwaukee State Teachers College yearbook.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Charles Coverdale Park---AKA Charlie Park

    Born: May 1, 1911, Harrison, IN
    Died: December 13, 1997, Wrightwood, CA, age 86 (unconfirmed)

    Los Angeles sports writer;
    Lived Indianapolis, IN (January 3, 1920 census)
    Lived Glendale, CA, no job (April 14, 1930 census)
    Burbank, CA, newspaper, sports editor, (April 13, 1940 census)
    Glendale News-Press, sports editor, 1935 - November 21, 1946
    Los Angeles Sentinel, sports writer, June 14, 1951
    Los Angeles Mirror News, sports writer, October 21, 1949 - April 2, 1961
    Los Angeles Times, sports writer, February 23, 1962 - October 30, 1967
    Charlie also served as official scorer for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the late 50's.
    Charlie married Ethel Ware. His middle name was his mother's maiden name.

    Father: Joseph M., born Indiana, around 1887, was assistant newspaper city editor in 1930 in Glendale, CA; Mother: June Coverdale, born Indiana, around 1888; Brother: Don P. was born Indiana, around 1915; Wife: Ethel E., born South Dakota, around 1911.

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  • Bill Burgess
    William Baxter Wreford

    Born: May 31, 1887, Detroit, MI
    Died: May 8, 1944, Detroit, MI, age 57,---d. at home.

    Detroit sports writer;
    Attended University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
    Detroit, MI, at school, (June 5, 1900 census)
    Detroit, Secretary of Department of Commerce, (January 14, 1920 census)
    Detroit Free Press, sports writer, 1905 - March 13, 1910
    Columbia Car Co., May 11, 1910? - July 28, 1910?
    Detroit Board of Commerce, May 11, 1911? - August 28, 1914
    Detroit's Ferry Field Theater Company, (June 5, 1917 WWI Civilian Draft Registration)
    Detroit Markets Corporation, Secretary/Treasurer, October 24, 1920?
    Detroit Brick Manufacturing Association, February 5, 1916 - March 4, 1922 -
    National Association of Furniture dealers, secretary, March 4, 1922 - June 18, 1925?
    House of Representatives (1st. District of Wayne County, MI), 1931 - 1932 session
    U.S. Public Reserve for Michigan, during WWI, as assistant secretary of the Detroit Board of Commerce.
    Charter member of the Detroit Athletic Club, as a reporter.

    Father: Thomas, born around 1862, Michigan, died April 26, 1891, Detroit, MI; Father Thomas was Detroit butcher; Grand-father: William Wreford, born December 3, 1833, Morchard Bishop, England, died Detroit, MI, May 16, 1926; Mother: Elizabeth Bale Webber, born England, died around 1901; Wife: Helen A., born Michigan, around 1887; Son: William Baxter, Jr., born Michigan, around 1916;

    His grand-father was born in England and arrived in the US in 1851 in Boston, MA. He arrived in Detroit a few months later. He became known as the Father of Detroit's Meat Trade. He was a cattle buyer. He married Elizabeth August 11, 1856.

    Republican. Newspaper reporter; business executive; member of Michigan state house of representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1931-32; defeated in primary, 1932, 1934. Associated with auto industry. His father was a butcher. Butchering and cattle buying was the family businss.

    Mr. Wreford married on October 10, 1942 in Detroit, MI. Daughter: Elizabeth Ann (Vasiu);

    -----------------------His grand-father's obituary, Border Cities, MI, Monday, May 17, 1926.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Benjamin Karl Flieger, Sr.

    Born: June 16, 1925, Cleveland, OH
    Died: June 12, 2002, Rocky River, OH, age 76,---d. Fairview General Hospital

    Cleveland sports writer; Jewish
    Graduated Case Institute of Technology, 1949 [part of Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)]
    5 year old, lived Cleveland, OH, (April 9, 1930 census)
    Cleveland, OH, 14-year old, (April 2, 1940 census)
    Cleveland Press, sports writer, 1951 - September 17, 1961, (had covered high school sports until March 19, 1958, when he became their baseball writer.)
    Cleveland Plain Dealer
    Cleveland Pipers (basketball team), General Manager, September 17, 1961 - June 29, 1962
    Assistant to Art Modell, Cleveland Browns' football team, June 24, 1964 - July 2, 1969
    Business manager/travel coordinator, Cleveland Browns football team, July 2, 1969 - 1975
    Cleveland State University, athletic promotions/business manager, 1975 - July 1, 1977

    Father: Emil B., born Ohio, March 14, 1888, was yard master of steam railroad, died August, 1965; Mother: Eleanor A. Zilmer, born Ohio around 1889, died December 13, 1973, Cleveland, OH; Wife: Margaret Kenney, born July 9, 1927; Son: James R., born November 2, 1943; Daughter: Linda Kingsbury; Son: Robert; Son: Benjamin Karl, Jr., born June 14, 1958; Daughter: Anne Ramos;

    Atlanta Daily World write-up, May 29, 1977, pp. 6.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Joseph F. Trimble, Jr.

    Born: July 20, 1914, Brooklyn, NY
    Died: December 6, 1993, NYC, age 79,---d. congestive heart failure.

    New York sports writer;
    Graduated St. John's University,
    Brooklyn, NY, 5-year old, (January 10, 1920 census)
    Brooklyn, NY, 15-year old, (April 5, 1930 census)
    Brooklyn, NY, 25-year old, newspaper copy boy, (April 9, 1940 census)
    New York Daily News, copy boy assigned to city desk, 1936 - April 3, 1941, sports writer, April 3, 1941 - 1980.

    Father: Joseph F. Trimble, Sr., born New York, November, 1887; Mother: Anna V., born New York around 1897; Sister: Audrey J., born New York around 1916; Wife: Clare, born around 1914; Father was manager of cotton goods in 1930 census. Parents married around 1913. Daughter: Christina.

    Biography of the Scooter: Phil Rizuto, 1951
    Yogi Berra,

    New York Daily News' obituary, Sunday, December 12, 1993.

    March 4, 1959: New York sports writers in St. Petersburg, FL.*Top Row, L-R: Stan Isaacs, Dan Daniel, Tommy Holmes, Bill Dougerty, Len Schecter, Jim Ogle.

    Bottom Row, L-R: John Drebinger, Jack Lang, Casey Stengel, Joe Trimble, Ken Smith, Til Ferdenzi.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1944-53: Joe Trimble, James Dawson, Ben Epstein, Dan Parker.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------covering the Yankees at spring training in St. Petersburg, FL.

    February 3, 1952: John Drebinger, Eddie Brannick (Giants' executives), Allie Reynolds, Joe Trimble (New York sports writer).--------1967: Joe Trimble / Dick Young.

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