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  • #61
    Gee. 75 years of hindsight makes one appear such a wise fellow. Put yourself in January, 1931. Take away the perception that Chase's bad reputation was as common knowledge as it is today.

    Lou Gehrig had only 5 seasons under his belt. At that moment, Bill Terry was looking awful good after his .400 1930 season, and his stellar glove. And Sisler was seen as a god.

    So Babe's choices were not seen as out of line. No, not at all. Lajoie/Collins were seen as top of the line. And Babe fully knew that Ed Barrow also chose Lajoie/J.Collins on HIS all time team. And all had Wagner. So, Babe was really sending his message to Barrow, who would do the deciding of the next Yankee skipper. And that was never lost on Babe. So he crafted his team in such a way that Big Ed could never question his judgment, or tactical chops.

    Sadly, Babe's strategy path was not in the cards. Big Ed was not open to him as a candidate. In his autobiography, 1951, he so emphasized that Babe was never on the long list in the search. He said so only about 3 times. And I still feel that Big Ed should have been a bigger man than that. I see Ed's point very clearly, but simply disagree with his acumen. That's my prerogative.

    And just to prove my point on Chase, below is a list of the prominent BB figures who put Prince Hal on their teams. However, I do disagree with all of them, and would have banned Hal from my ballpark.

    Sam Crane April, 1918 (ML player/sports writer)
    John Sheridan 1928 (sports writer)
    Babe Ruth January, 1931
    Walter Johnson 1934
    Hugh Fullerton 1935 (sports writer)
    Jack Kofoed 1935 (sports writer)
    Bill Dinneen 1938
    Fred Logan 1938 (clubhouse custodian)
    E.A. Batchelor 1939 (sports writer)
    William Klem 1939 (umpire)
    Zach Wheat 1941
    Bill Coughlin 1941
    Nick Altrock 1942
    Tris Speaker 1944
    Frank Graham 1947 (sports writer)
    Art Shires 1947
    Clark Griffith 1952
    Tom Connolly 1953 (umpire)
    Bobby Wallace 1954
    Nap Lajoie 1956
    Casey Stengel 1959
    Fred Clarke 1961
    Sam Crawford 1961
    George McBride 1964
    Davey Jones 1964
    Jimmie Austin 1964
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-17-2007, 09:49 AM.

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    • #62
      --Chase was well known as a crook long before 1931. Ruth was an active player when Chase was throwing games and to suggest he wasn't aware of what kind of man Chase was is ludicris.
      --Maybe it was too early to pick Gehrig an all time team (although he was already clearly better than Chase). There were plenty of other much choices available; Anson, Brouthers, Conner, Beckley, Chance, Konetchy, McInnis, Daubert, Fournier, Bottomley......well actually almost anybody would have been a better choice than Chase.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by leecemark
        --Chase was well known as a crook long before 1931. Ruth was an active player when Chase was throwing games and to suggest he wasn't aware of what kind of man Chase was is ludicrous.
        --Maybe it was too early to pick Gehrig an all time team (although he was already clearly better than Chase). There were plenty of other much choices available; Anson, Brouthers, Conner, Beckley, Chance, Konetchy, McInnis, Daubert, Fournier, Bottomley......well actually almost anybody would have been a better choice than Chase.
        Yes, I understand that. But even though Chase was a known crook, it wasn't as publicized then as it is today. Chase was eased quietly out of the game in 1919, with absolutely no PR. Baseball's 3 man commission didn't want to undermine public confidence in the game.

        Chase was so slick, that even though Christy Mathewson had his number as Cinc. manager and fired him, John McGraw STILL picked him up for his team. Chase played for Matty in 1916, 1917 AND 1918, before Matty had seen enough. That says volumes of how covert Chase worked his poisonous evil.

        Here is what Ed Barrow wrote in his autobiography in 1952.

        "Gehrig was no Hal Chase. Indeed no one but Chase ever was. In agility and quickness of movement, Chase was in a class by himself. As a fielding first baseman he was unmatched and without any doubt whatsoever the greatest who ever lived. But by his crooked actions and the black mark he left on the game he should have adorned, he does not belong in the company of honorable men. Consequently, I have not given him any consideration in my all-time rankings."

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        • #64
          --Even if Chase were honest and even if he were the best defensive 1B ever, he wouldn't belong on anyones all time list. He was a below average hitter and that is unacceptable out of a firstbaseman.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by leecemark
            --Even if Chase were honest and even if he were the best defensive 1B ever, he wouldn't belong on anyones all time list. He was a below average hitter and that is unacceptable out of a firstbaseman.
            Agreed. But I didn't choose him, Babe did, and I gave my best guess as to why Babe chose him.

            BB

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            • #66
              Originally posted by [email protected]
              Yes, I understand that. But even though Chase was a known crook, it wasn't as publicized then as it is today. Chase was eased quietly out of the game in 1919, with absolutely no PR. Baseball's 3 man commission didn't want to undermine public confidence in the game.

              Chase was so slick, that even though Christy Mathewson had his number as Cinc. manager and fired him, John McGraw STILL picked him up for his team. Chase played for Matty in 1916, 1917 AND 1918, before Matty had seen enough. That says volumes of how covert Chase worked his poisonous evil.

              Here is what Ed Barrow wrote in his autobiography in 1952.

              "Gehrig was no Hal Chase. Indeed no one but Chase ever was. In agility and quickness of movement, Chase was in a class by himself. As a fielding first baseman he was unmatched and without any doubt whatsoever the greatest who ever lived. But by his crooked actions and the black mark he left on the game he should have adorned, he does not belong in the company of honorable men. Consequently, I have not given him any consideration in my all-time rankings."
              I think Chase's bad reputation was well known within the baseball fraternity and I can't believe that Ruth would not have known about it.

              I think the fact that Babe picked an all dead ball squad shows that he either did not want to recognize his contemporaries or that he was seriously out of step with what the owners saw as desirable players.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by wamby
                I think the fact that Babe picked an all dead ball squad shows that he either did not want to recognize his contemporaries or that he was seriously out of step with what the owners saw as desirable players.
                I don't know. Maybe. But Barrow/Ruppert had liked Huggins, and here is Huggins team, chosen in spring, 1929.

                First base--Hal Chase, New York Americans
                Second base--Eddie Collins, Philadelphia Americans
                Third base--Jimmy Collins, Boston Americans
                Shortstop--Hans Wagner, Pittsburgh Nationals
                Right Field--Babe Ruth, New York Americans
                Center Field--Tris Speaker, Boston Americans
                Left Field--Ty Cobb, Detroit Americans
                Catcher--Roger Bresnahan, New York Nationals
                Catcher--Johnny Kling, Chicago Nationals
                Pitchers--Rube Waddell, Philadelphia Americans
                Walter Johnson, Washington Americans
                Christy Mathewson, New York Nationals
                Grover C. Alexander, Philadelphia Nationals

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by [email protected]
                  What? What the . . . Where did you get that, JT?

                  In her book, My Luke & I, Eleanor Gehrig never said that? Her story was quite simple. Babe/Lou began their feud, over Mom Gehrig's snide remark that Claire dressed her own daughter, Julia, better than Babe's daughter, Dorothy.
                  Mom Gehrig made the remark to a Yankee wife, who relayed it to Claire. Clarie coersed Babe to tell Lou to tell his Mom to mind her own business. Well, no one spoke to Lou about his mom like that. That happened in spring training, 1933.

                  Thank you, thats how it all started, all this other stuff about Ruth and Elanor Gehrig pure speculation.

                  Was it possible, hell anything is possible but I'm buying the story about the mom Gerhig's comment about Claire's showing favoritism for Julia over Dorothy.

                  I don't know if this was the only thing that drove a wedge between Lou and Babe but I'm buying it was one of the factors. Unfortunate if this little sniping by the women put a distance between Babe and Lou but this is not uncommon, the ladies throwing digs at each others and the men having to take sides.
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-02-2006, 08:39 PM.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by willia[email protected]
                    Agreed. But I didn't choose him, Babe did, and I gave my best guess as to why Babe chose him.

                    BB
                    I think it simply looks as though Babe picked players who were already retired...whose careers were over. Much as I prefer to pick players....bypass the active players because their creers are over.

                    I think that is what Babe did rather than any other kind of 'intrigue'.

                    Yankees Fan Since 1957

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                    • #70
                      --Even if he restricted himself to retired players it is a lackluster list. Plenty of better candidates.

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                      • #71
                        If Babe had picked Lou in Jan., 1931, it would have been as if one of us had picked Albert Pujols on our all time team. After only 5 seasons. A little early.

                        BB

                        PS.

                        The story about the Lou/Babe feud is agreed with in the three books by Claire, Dorothy and Eleanor. And by Fred Lieb by the way.
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-02-2006, 09:41 PM.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by [email protected]
                          If Babe had picked Lou in Jan., 1931, it would have been as if one of us had picked Albert Puhols as our all time team. After only 5 seasons. A little early.

                          BB

                          PS.

                          The story about the Lou/Babe feud is agreed with in the three books by Claire, Dorothy and Eleanor. And by Fred Lieb by the way.

                          But Bill, was there any wonder or doubt about Lou at that point? I guess the critical issue could be did Ruth ever do a subsequent greatest team list especially after he was 'very retired' like in the early 40's or so? I'm thinking that that would have been a fairly common question for Babe along the lines of 'Hey Babe, whadya think you would do against Spud Chandler?'. In that vein, a question such as 'Hey Babe, who would you put on your all time team!' must have been fairly common from fans and writers alike. AND if he didn't revise it then he pretty much was happy with putting Lou on the bench and Prince Hal in his spot.
                          Johnny
                          Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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                          • #73
                            --Again, none of the women would have had any reason to share the "other story" if there was anything to it. Lieb wouldn't have either. Sportswriters didn't dish that kind of dirt in those days. We should probably drop the whole feud discussion line though. Who would have thought that a thread about what we most remember about Lou Gehrig would end up centered on whether the Babe nailed his wife or not .

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by leecemark
                              --Again, none of the women would have had any reason to share the "other story" if there was anything to it. Lieb wouldn't have either. Sportswriters didn't dish that kind of dirt in those days. We should probably drop the whole feud discussion line though. Who would have thought that a thread about what we most remember about Lou Gehrig would end up centered on whether the Babe nailed his wife or not .
                              Tom Meany, Kal Wagenheim, and any number of other Ruth biogrophers never mentioned anything about Babe cheating with Eleanor, or even speculated on it. Luckiest Man is the only book I've read where the cabin incident is mentioned, and Claire was there with them! You all are taking that story, along with Dickey's comments and making a mountain out of a mole hill.

                              If anyone would have mentioned it, it would have been Creamer. His work did as much to uncover the bad side, as much as the good side of Babe, and the cabin incident was never mentioned in there. The other incident was though.

                              As far as Babe picking his all time team. He was asked several times throughout his career and usually just didn't get around to doing it. I don't think his choices are all that bad. What's bad about Jimmy Collins at third? If I'm not mistaken Connie Mack also chose Collins. Chase was a defensive gem, and clearly Babe was asked to pick a team on the field based on their ability, not anything about the character of them men. Babe probably knew that in due time Lou would end up being #1 at first base, but at the time he had only begun.

                              Its also quite likely that Babe being a former pitcher, truly appreciated defensive play more than others did. Who knows.
                              Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 03-02-2006, 09:23 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by johnny
                                But Bill, was there any wonder or doubt about Lou at that point? I guess the critical issue could be did Ruth ever do a subsequent greatest team list especially after he was 'very retired' like in the early 40's or so? I'm thinking that that would have been a fairly common question for Babe along the lines of 'Hey Babe, whadya think you would do against Spud Chandler?'. In that vein, a question such as 'Hey Babe, who would you put on your all time team!' must have been fairly common from fans and writers alike. AND if he didn't revise it then he pretty much was happy with putting Lou on the bench and Prince Hal in his spot.
                                Can see your point. Sometimes, when one is very familiar, one doesn't appreciate it. Maybe too close to be objective. I'm just guessing. Your opinion is as valid as mine. I really have no clue.

                                Babe never gave another opinion. The 1928 book by Ford Frick, "Babe Ruth's Own Baseball Book gave another team, but it was completely bogus. The 1931 interview, which came about after a golf session with sports writers while they were hanging out is the only time I know of where Babe gave his thoughts on the subject of an all time team. But perhaps someone has better data than me. I am open if another all time Babe team can be found.

                                Remember, from 1933-39, they weren't on speaking terms.
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-02-2006, 10:32 PM.

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