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  • I had honestly not come across that one before. But I'm open to new information at all times.

    Bill

    Comment


    • Can you steer me to any links or sources? I'm open.

      Comment


      • Pete (pfg) contributed this:

        Bill, I was going over your Ty Cobbs postings as I had promised and came across this one on Mantle. Felt I needed to correct it. When I joined Fever in July '05 I read another post you made on Mantle ( actually having to do with Stengel and a few other things ) and you accepted my corrections graciously. With that in mind and the fact that the above post was written prior to our discussion I'll just point out some of your prior inac├žuracies.

        Mantle and Casey had basically father/son relationship. Casey's earlier quotes about Mickey made it obvious that he expected Mickey to be the greatest player who ever lived. All of the quotes were extremely flattering almost bodering on exaggeration. Mickey was also, perhaps selfishly, going to be Stengel's monument and lasting achievement. He repeated the comparison of Ott and McGraw many times.

        As much as you understand Cobb your understanding and research on Mantle is extremely limited. First, Babe Ruth was never Mantle's idol. Mickey's two idols were Stan Musial and Ted Williams. Publically, Mantle spoke highly of DiMaggio and greatly respected his skills but was almost in awe of Williams. Second, Mantle was by no means a moron. His country boy personality hid a tremendous amount of baseball knowledge. Stengel: " Sure I've heard about Mantle's being dumer than Ned-in-the-third-grade. If that's so, I could use a few more like him around. The feller is the second-best man on the club when it comes to stealing signs and he knows what's going on, with or without bubble gum." Branch Rickey on a Mantle play on Jackie Robinson: " Maturity is something that cannot be measured in years. That young man's arms and legs and eyes are young but his head is old. Mantle has the chance to make us forget every ballplayer we ever saw."

        Getting back to Casey and Mickey. Your story of Casey and Mickey is pure fiction. Stengel never wanted to get rid of Mantle nor was Mantle unsubordinate. Mantle: " Whatever Casey did, he thought he was doing right. Nothing he could have done would have provoked me to show him up in public. Even if he had slapped me in front of the whole team I would have taken it. That was the relationship; that was the understanding." Remember Billy Martin and Mantle were like brothers and Stengel was Martin's greatest hero. While Mantle probably responded better to Ralph Houk as a manager he respected Stengel. In his rookie year when Mickey was sent down to Kansas City by Stengel he accepted it. Here is the real story:

        Mantle: " Casey is in his little room with tears in his eyes. He says, 'This is gonna hurt me more than you, but-' I said 'No skip, It's my own fault.' Casey, 'It's not anybody's fault. Your nineteen, that's all. I want you to get some confidence back. Believe me I'm counting on you. In a couple of weeks you'll start hitting and then we'll bring you right up again. I promise. We need you.' "

        Tom Tresh: "I played with Mickey the last seven years until he retired. He was a special person. I once told my wife that the greatest thing about Mickey is that I never heard him say anything bad about anyone"

        Bill Skowron: " I'll tell you who I admired most on the team - Mantle. He played when he was hurt. I had the pleasure of being between Yogi and Mantle in the locker room and I'll never forget days where he had bad days, he'd cry and say 'I let people down. People paid a lot of money to see me perform.' He took the game serious. He played when he was hurt."
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Bill, by the way, Stengel often irritated many players especially by talking about them in the press. His relationship with DiMaggio was extremly tense. On one particular occasion Stengel moved DiMaggio to first base (p.46-47 Dynasty). DiMaggio was annoyed that Stengel had made the switch without coming to him first. On another occasion he benched Joe for one week. Dave Anderson (Pulitzer Prize winner) " DiMaggio didn't always enjoy Stengel, who had insulted him occasionally. So when Joe was given a rest he sat in the bullpen, instead of the dugout." DiMaggio's and Stengel's relationship reached a low point when in 1951 DiMaggio misplayed a fly ball and was pulled off the field in front of thousands at Yankee Satdium, at the start of the next inning after he had already taken his position. DiMaggio stopped talking to Stengel (p.97).

        A word about DiMaggio. I am not a Joe DiMaggio fan personality wise. I resent his ego, the way he resented and treated Mantle when he could have been helpful. Why did Tommy Henrich have to tutor Mantle in outfield play? Later, DiMaggio seemed to resent that Mickey's fame and popularity eclipsed his. Never bothered to attend his funeral etc., etc. That said those Fever members who put down his skills in favor of Mays should not do so, so quickly. First, if I'm not mistaken, DiMaggio WAS VOTED the greatest living player. Whether Mays career had ended or not when this vote was taken I'm not sure. Certainly, it is a sign of his ego that he insisted on being called that, but he didn't just make that up.

        As for Mays, his ego was no less as large. Almost an ego maniac, treated Hank Aaron almost as if he didn't exist. To that extent I love that oft quoted Mickey Mantle story of the 1962 World Series. Mickey and Willie were both having poor World Series, possibly not being able to get a rythmn due to all the rain delays. As Mantle tells it a fan yells to him as he's playing centerfield " Hey Mantle, we all came here to see whose better you or Mays. Now we want to know whose worse?' Mickey always loved that story. His humor was always somewhat self-deprecating.

        Bill, let me give you another perspective on Mantle, one that will never show up in the statistics. Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times columnist: "he's the last of the Yankees and he might have been the best of them...considering night games, the slider, the trappers mitts, and the fact that he would have been a certified cripple in any other industry." Now Murray hit the nail on the head, not with regard to who was the best Yankee that honor clearly belongs to Ruth and possibly DiMaggio. But Murray mentions something most who know little about Mantle fail to understand
        Sure he could have taken better care of himself or perhaps sit out a game or two like most other players until his injuries healed, but that was not why Mantle never became the greatest of all time. Mantle played from the very beginning, from 1951 on as a crippled ballplayer. Forget about his childhood, the osteomyelitis which almost caused him to have his leg amputated.The disease is a chronic inflammation of the bone which can be arrested but never completely cured. End result,at best, is arthritis. Add to this the 1951 injury which Mantle said hampered him throughout his entire career contributing to many of his 17 major injuries.

        No Bill, it was not stubborness, inability to control his drinking or whatever that made Mantle fall short of what was projected of him. Mickey Mantle probably played 75% healthy throughout his entire career and he played in a park which mimimized his statistics. As great as Willie Mays was from 1951-1962 Mickey Mantle was the greatest player in baseball. For the sabermatricians talk to Bill James. For the traditionalists read all the quotes, some of which I presented in previous posts. Bill you admire Cobb, Sultan - Ruth, HWR -Wagner, others Mays, Williams, Charleston. All this is good. As we say, I'll take Mantle any day of the week, injured or not.

        All this is why I think Mantle holds the fascination even to this day. Next to Ruth he has become the greatest baseball hero of all time ( and you can throw all that black/white stuff out the window ). Some recent posts have gotten into the role model controversy, especially with regard to Babe Ruth. I'll just quote Bob Costas: " In his last year, Mickey Mantle, always too hard on himself, finally came to accept and appreciate the distinction between a role model and a hero. The first he often was not, the second he will always be. "
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        P.S. None of us can be experts in everything. Your knowledge on Cobb is absolutely amazing. Stick to your own turf (only kidding) LOL
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Bill to Pete,

        Thanks for your always deep, thoughtful posts. I had forgotten that old post on Mickey. I don't remember where I got those opinions, to be truthful. I do believe I read them somewhere.

        The Dimag thing: That vote by the sports writers was conducted in 1969, baseball's centennial or something like that. That is where they voted DiMag the greatest living ballplayers. He apparently was quite taken with it. Willie was still playing, and perhaps not his peak self in 1969.

        I also believe I got part of my believes from Casey's book, Casey at the Bat, 1961, where he left Mickey off his all time team. He chose Speaker, Cobb and DiMaggio as his American League picks! For him to do that in 1961 raised a lot of hackles! Why would the old professor so humiliate his own protege like that, Pete?! Mickey was clearly embarrassed and said, "Well, those guys are great ballplayers." Tried to deflect the pointed omission.

        So that is partly my thinking. But I do think I'm going to delete that part of the post. I do defer to you on Mickey perceptions, since you obviously have done your homework on Mick much more than I ever will.

        So thanks for the good head's up on Mickey, again.
        Thanks for your always deep, thoughtful posts. I had forgotten that old post on Mickey. I don't remember where I got those opinions, to be truthful. I do believe I read them somewhere.

        The Dimag thing: That vote by the sports writers was conducted in 1969, baseball's centennial or something like that. That is where they voted DiMag the greatest living ballplayers. He apparently was quite taken with it. Willie was still playing, and perhaps not his peak self in 1969.

        I also believe I got part of my believes from Casey's book, Casey at the Bat, 1961, where he left Mickey off his all time team. He chose Speaker, Cobb and DiMaggio as his American League picks! For him to do that in 1961 raised a lot of hackles! Why would the old professor so humiliate his own protege like that, Pete?! Mickey was clearly embarrassed and said, "Well, those guys are great ballplayers." Tried to deflect the pointed omission.

        So that is partly my thinking. But I do think I'm going to delete that part of the post. I do defer to you on Mickey perceptions, since you obviously have done your homework on Mick much more than I ever will.

        So thanks for the good head's up on Mickey, again.
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Pete to Bill:

        Bill, thanks for you gracious response. I only know so much about Mantle because I grew up playing ball in New York and was part of those great Mantle, Mays, Snider debates. I've also mentioned in one of my original posts that I have a friend ( who, in fact, I'm playing golf with tomorrow ) who played with Mantle in his last year. He's provided some interesting insights not only about Mantle but other players at that time. As you know I never made it out if the mid-minors. Competition back then was awesome.

        Let me, at least, take a guess at Stengel's 1961 comment. First, most baseball people tend think that their era is the greatest. That's why I was always so impressed with Dickey's and Crosetti's evaluations of Mantle. They felt differently. Second, Casey was enamoured with Mantle's speed. This was one of Casey's assets when he played and certainly that of Cobb who Casey admired. I think Casey, although he probably changed his mind often, wanted Mantle to be more of that type of ballplayer. That's why he had Rizzuto spend so much time with Mickey on bunting. No doubt, if Mantle went more in that direction a lot of his BA statistics would have been higher. But then, he wouldn't have been Mickey Mantle. Third, Casey's firing by the Yankees was very abrupt and hurt him deeply. I think it left him extremly bitter. Remember, Mantle at that time was still on an upward swing. Little did anyone think that he would begin to decline only one or two years later. Stengel's link with Mantle was broken forever. Also, many at that time, credited Ralph Houk for Mantle's '61 season taking him from whipping boy to team leader. Casey must have resented that. Finally, Stengel was beginning to be criticized by many Yankee players. Not starting Ford in game #7 of the 1960 World Series is heard often. Stengel and the Yankees did not part on friendly terms

        So much for speculation. Who knows? Some Mantle trivia you may find of interest. Did you know that Mickey actually played some Major League games at 2nd, short, and third? This was in the early 50's. Since we all know he finished at first, I wonder if he played both right and left. I know he played atleast one of those. That leaves only pitching and catching.

        Regarding pitching, it's well known that Mantle wanted to pitch a game and had what many teammates claimed was a better knuckleball than Wilhelm. The famous story in that regard, retold by Jim Kaat and Bobby Mercer the other night during a Yankees telecast was as follows: Seemed like Mantle liked to grab rookies to play catch with him. One such rookie was Jake Gibbs, a catcher and great Mississippi quarterback. Gibbs decided to try catch Mantle's knuckleball without a mask. Broke his nose. True story.

        Just some trivia I hope you enjoy. I have been reading you posts on Cobb and I also find them enjoyable. Baseball is so much more than statistics.LOL
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 02:44 PM.

        Comment


        • Bill, a few days ago you invited me to read your postings regarding Ty Cobb and his teammates and wanted my feedback. Here goes.


          Let's review how this all began. I had read several other postings ( not yours ) that presented perhaps some conventional wisdom that Ty Cobb's darker side began with the abuse he received as a rookie from Matty McIntyre and his group. Explanations such as they were protecting their jobs, or those of their buddies , as was perhaps somewhat commonplace back then were given. The picture seemed to be drawn that Cobb's treatment was unfair, perhaps responsible for his darker side and implying that, in fact, he may have been heroic to have taken all this abuse.


          Now I knew something of the underlying stories ( although not an avid Cobb historian ) and something just didn't smell right with those particular explanations. So I expressed my opinion and raised some questions. You answered some of my questions, invited me to read your postings on Cobb and his teammates and wanted my feedback.


          What you did was force me ( only kidding ) to do a full days worth of research and what follows is my opinion. First, in reading your postings I must say that they were entirely fair (at least in this regard), not given to very much Ty propaganda and presented more facts than conclusions. I find this admirable. I also realize that I'm entering your turf giving this a day or so of research not the years you have given it. My opinion is now fairly well set but I am open to any comments or corrections you may have.


          What I've read from various scources was that Cobb had problems with fellow players and managers long before he went to the Tigers. Playing with the Augusta Tourists he was released, brought back, had bitter disputes with fellow players and especially the managers Con Strouthers and Andy Roth. His famous salary disputes began way back then. Cobb was described at best as self-centered and at worst arrogant. From what I read (from several sources) the Tourists tried to trade him earlier but were only too happy to trade him up to the Tigers.


          Perhaps the most telling quotes for me were by his life long friend and famed sports writer Grantland Rice. In an interview later in life with both Cobb and Rice present the following was said:

          "Almost every day I'd get a telegram from you, all of them describing your play in glowing terms. Cobb was brilliant today or Cobb stars..."

          Rice wasn't criticizing his friend but teasing him as to what a self-promoter he was. In another quote about Cobb he writes:

          " I don't know how much the Augusta affair affected Cobb. Severly, I'm sure. During those years, I found him to be an extremely peculiar soul, suspicious and combative all the way. This twisted attitude he never lost."


          So Ty is now traded to the Tigers. Again what I read the Tigers were hurting for outfielders. One scource states that they had lost one of their players to VD. This sort of confirms my original hunch that the "hazing" of Cobb had little to do with protecting friends jobs but rather everything to do with personality conflicts and/or resentment of Cobb's attitude. If minor leaguers weren't going to take his crap experienced Major Leaguers certainly weren't either.


          Now here is where we get into the area of speculation. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Was Cobb the innocent rookie whose psyche was damaged by these personally movitated oldtimers or did Cobbs antics, self-promotion and perhaps arrogance bring it upon himself? I guess it depends whether one is a Cobb supporter or detractor. My own take is that Cobb probably brought much of this upon himself.

          " He was still fighting the Civil War, and as far as he was concerned we were all damn Yankees. But who knows, if he hadn't that terrible persecution complex, he never would have been the best player who ever lived" Sam Crawford


          To further back up my point of view Cobb had trouble not just with McIntyre and his crew but with almost the entire team. His three fights with catcher Charlie Schmidt are interesting because, at least , in the commentary I read Schmidt was basically a likeable guy. Additionally, when some posters point out that eventually "McIntyre and the other trouble makers were traded" they fail to know or acknowledge that Cobb was offered to be traded first. As you know the famous offer to Lajoie the then player manager of the Cleveland Indians was rejected by Lajoie because he believed Cobb to be a trouble maker. So my guess is that when the Tigers couln't get rid of Cobb and as Cobb's star started to rise that they decided to go the other way and trade McIntyre and some of the others.


          Bill, I could write more but Cobb is not my passion. However, I must comment again that your postings, at least, about this element of his life was pretty fair. Additionally, I was happy to learn something about that era. It seems that fights, bloddy fights were commonplace. This was so not only between players but between players and fans. The sport, some of the time , was almost out of control and Cobb I'm sure did what he needed to survive.

          We all have our baseball heroes. In reading your postings about Cobb he has grown ever more in my eyes
          as a ballplayer who put up amazing numbers. As a man who is one to really judge, especially with what happened with his mother ( and father ) just three weeks before being brought up to the Tigers. But just as though you may feel that Ty has gotten a bad rap in many stories about him I feel that McIntyre and the other players have a side to their story that I personally understand and perhaps agree with.


          Unfortunately, I see in Ty (or visa-versa) a little of Pete Rose, often a self-promoting jerk. Yet there are many on Fever and elsewhere who are big Pete Rose supporters. Not to get off the subject but I enjoyed one posters comments that he or his brother were at a card signing show and Rose was not on;y unfriendly but quite aloof. This fits in perfectly with some inside observations from some friends of mine about this pompous jackass. But to each his own.


          Rose aside, my opinion of Cobb in these incidents does not change the outstanding picture you drew of him as I player. I do have some reservations and possible negatives from my readings which I'll relate to you next week but I appreciate your insight into his life. I thought you would appreciate this last quote from, in my opinion , one of the greatest sportswriters who ever lived - Jimmy Cannon

          " He was the strangest of all our national sports idols. But not even his disagreeable character could destroy the image of his greatness as a ballplayer "


          Cannon always had a way of reducing everything to the bottom line truth. LOL
          Last edited by pjf; 10-02-2005, 06:56 AM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by pjf
            Bill, a few days ago you invited me to read your postings regarding Ty Cobb and his teammates and wanted my feedback. Here goes.


            I thought you would appreciate this last quote from, in my opinion , one of the greatest sportswriters who ever lived - Jimmy Cannon

            " He was the strangest of all our national sports idols. But not even his disagreeable character could destroy the image of his greatness as a ballplayer "
            I think that about wraps it up. They can say all that they want about Cobb, his personality, all his charactar flaws. I don't care, I'm interested in what took place between the foul lines, I want Ty on my team, on my side.

            Comment


            • Pete/Joe,

              I thank both of you for having looked over so much of my Ty stuff. It was my intention to cover the most controversial areas of his career.

              The articles of which I am most proud of, all listed in my Ty Cobb Thread, are:

              Leonard/Cobb/Speaker Affair
              Was Ty Cobb A Racist?
              Ty as Manager
              Did Ty Cobb Once Kill A Man?

              I poured endless weeks into each of these pieces, and that includes the countless hours over the years I already had done, and written up on paper.

              In fact, I still edit them when I get new details/info.

              I also agree with Pete that Ty's ornery personality far pre-dated his Dad's death/rookie hazing. He had seemingly been born a complex, overly-serious person. He was far too hyper-aggressive, and extended "competitiveness" beyond recognizable limits.

              I have always agreed with his being way too emotionally unbalanced. Mentally, he may have been sharp as a razor, but emotionally, he was way "out-to-sea". No one gets into physical altercations every week of their life, and can claim to be "normal". He wasn't normal. He had to win every discussion, could never allow himself to be called wrong, or hardly ever.

              So, kudos to your readings Pete. Always respect when one goes out of their way to find out new stuff.

              Wouldn't mind hearing your brief notes about any of my other pieces I listed above. That is if you want to. No need otherwise.

              By the way, I am almost as good on the Babe as I am on Ty. No one knows it, but if I wanted to, I could make the Babe sound as good as Ty. But Ty is more interesting due to his infamous "Dark Side".

              Thanks, again, Pete, for giving me your valuable time!

              Bill
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-02-2005, 10:26 AM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by [email protected]
                Pete/Joe,

                I thank both of you for having looked over so much of my Ty stuff. It was my intention to cover the most controversial areas of his career.

                The articles of which I am most proud of, all listed in my Ty Cobb Thread, are:

                Leonard/Cobb/Speaker Affair
                Was Ty Cobb A Racist?
                Ty as Manager
                Did Ty Cobb Once Kill A Man?

                I poured endless weeks into each of these pieces, and that includes the countless hours over the years I already had done, and written up on paper.

                In fact, I still edit them when I get new details/info.
                Bill, thanks for the compliment. I can't tell you how many articles and hours I've spent on Cobb the last several days. But knowing you I didn't want to seem unprepared, talking from the top of my head.


                Being a member of Fever these last several months I realize how little many of us know about so few players. There is only so much one can read and we tend to concentrate on the player of our choice accepting conventional wisdom or misguided logic on those we've done little personal research. I admire all the work you've done on Cobb.

                Right now I've noticed the new Mickey Mantle thread and while the remarks to date are extremely complimentary I've already picked up some things that I scratch my head at. I'm sure you've had the same frutration in discussing Ty. I like you know Mantle and Mays so well that I could present arguments on either side of the coin. LOL
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-02-2005, 04:31 PM.

                Comment


                • Bill, is the story about the unknown who tried out for the Tigers and had to face "Ty Cobb" true? It's hilarious
                  Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                  Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                  Comment


                  • Jeff,

                    I don't know. Baseball was colorful like that back when.

                    BB

                    Comment


                    • Interesting article....

                      http://members.cox.net/~harlowk22/atgwsobj.html

                      Some interesting derivations here:

                      Win Shares-Based Wins Above Average (WAA)
                      Code:
                      R_WAA	WAA	Name
                      001	118.3	Ty Cobb
                      002	115.8	Babe Ruth
                      003	105.7	Honus Wagner
                      004	099.4	*Barry Bonds*
                      005	097.5	Tris Speaker
                      006	093.3	Willie Mays
                      007	092.6	Ted Williams
                      008	091.5	Mickey Mantle
                      009	082.0	Hank Aaron
                      010	079.3	Stan Musial

                      "Remember, the above is based only on hitting and fielding - not pitching, that's why Cobb is ahead on this list."


                      Win Shares-Based Wins Above Replacement (WAR)

                      Code:
                      R_WAR	WAR	Name
                      001	163.2	Ty Cobb
                      002	152.9	Babe Ruth
                      003	147.1	Honus Wagner
                      004	138.8	Tris Speaker
                      005	137.7	Willie Mays
                      006	137.5	*Barry Bonds*
                      007	130.5	Hank Aaron
                      008	127.1	Mickey Mantle
                      009	126.5	Ted Williams
                      010	124.1	Stan Musial
                      Ty Cobb was the most valuable offensive player in history, and Cobb is ahead even despite being divested of his hundreds of bases advanced that he was never credited with, along with all of the other immesurables lost to the numbers to which Cobb had no equal.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by [email protected]
                        Francis Charles Richter
                        AL Reach Baseball Guide Editor-In-Chief (1901-1926, death)
                        Philadelphia sports writer (1876-1926)


                        (Sporting News, July 6, 1922, Casual Comment column)

                        1922 - "When the Boston Club gave him leeway in 1919 for his home run specialty by making him a regular instead of a pitcher, he broke the long-standing major league individual home run record, but proved such an insubordinate member of the team that Boston was glad to sell him to the New York Club.

                        Bill, this guy seems intelligent, and I'm sure you have valid reasons for posting his writings. However he either swallowed Frazee's bait, hook line and sinker, or he had a personal bias that caused him to blatantly ignore the truth. My guess is the former, but either way he is wrong.

                        Frazee blaming Ruth for Boston's 6th place finish in 1919 is just plain moronic, and nearly as stupid as the actual trade itself. He was the only reason most fans came out to see games after their horrible start, which rendered the rest of their season meaningless. Where would they have finished without Ruth; and why did they finish 6th that year? The answer is simple.

                        Pitching issues:

                        Bush's had an arm injury that continued to bother him, and he started only two games all season. Pennock pitched once during the first six weeks of the season, and Jones was out for almost three weeks. Caldwell pitched a couple good games, and then several bad ones; he was finally released that year. Only Mays was dependable in 1919 for the Sox, but we all know what happened with him. Who stepped in time after time to make emergency pitching starts for them, all while setting the all time homer record? Need I even mention the man's name? Nah, Babe is the reason they finished as high as sixth place.

                        Its true that Ruth and Barrow had issues in '19 because of Ruth's wild nights, but that situation was resolved when Ruth agreed to leave a note, letting Barrow know what time he arrived back at the hotel. Babe respected this agreement, and never lied. Barrow also never had reason to check his story, he took his word for it, after all, why wouldn't he. It was the sort "extending leash" discipline that Ruth could roll with.

                        As far as Frazee goes, and the Sox "wanting" to get rid of Ruth:

                        Frazee faced harsh criticism from all sides after the sale. In his attempt to somehow justify his financially motivated, historically retarded move, he issued statements like this, that apparently your guy bought.

                        "It would be impossible to start next season with Ruth and have a smooth-working machine. Ruth had become simply impossible, and the Boston club could no longer put up with his eccentricities. I think the Yankees are taking a gamble. While Ruth is undoubtedly the greatest hitter the game has ever seen, he is likewise one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men ever to put on a baseball uniform."

                        Ok, so lets try to understand his motivation here Bill.

                        How did Barrow feel about the move? Earlier I had mentioned that things were fine between he and Ruth after their "agreement."

                        A day or so after signing the contract of sale, Frazee called Barrow to let him know that he needed to talk to him. That night they met at the Knickerbocker hotel and had a drink.

                        Frazee - "I'm going to make you mad as hell with what I have to tell you. I'm going to sell Ruth to the Yankees."

                        Barrow - "I thought as much, I felt it in my bones. You're making a terrible mistake, Harry. You know that don't you?"

                        Frazee - "Maybe I am, but I can't help it. Lannin is after me to make good on my notes. My shows aren't going so good. Ruppert and Huston will give me $100,000 for him, and Ruppert agreed to loan me $300,000. I can't turn that down."


                        "For that club in 1920 he broke the world's home run record, with the aid of the radical changes in the pitching rules, but the New York team won no pennant--owing largely to Ruth's discouraging effect on team work, though the club profited largely through his attraction as a drawing card. In 1921 he again bettered his world's record and the New York team finally won the pennant, however, not by reason of his home run hitting, but owing to the misfortunes of the Cleveland team; and that it lost the World's Series was largely due to Ruth's failure to measure up to form and expectation in that classic event.
                        What, nobody else experienced these rule changes? Only when Ruth got up to bat did they outlaw freak deliveries and trick pitches?

                        This second comment is absurd. The Yanks challenged for the division lead largely because of Ruth and his play. They took the lead in September mostly because of him. However he couldn't do everything by himself.

                        You know those "during the season" exhibition games that teams used to play. Check this out. In the middle of this run, during the season, the Yanks visited Pittsburgh (the first time Pittsburgh had ever seen him). It was at the beginning of their last western road trip, oh by the way Ruth homered in that game for Pittsburgh's fans; anyway, Ping Bodie broke his leg during that game and was out for the rest of the season. Despite Bodie's injury, the Yanks won 5 out of 6 games against Detroit and Cleveland, and took over first place again. In Chicago though, they lost three straight and fell out of the race for good. Cleveland soon passed up Chicago, and NY finished in third place (3 games out). A few days before the season ended, the Black Sox indictment news came out, and Chicago didn't have their regulars playing the final few games of the season, which is what let to their slipping, but thats beside the point.

                        I fail to see how Ruth's play in '20 cost them anything.
                        ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Bill to Randy:

                        I totally agree with you on Richter's attitude towards Babe. He DID sucker into Harry Frazee's moronic, gutless scape-goating Babe, plus, Richter was old-school deadball. He absolutely hated what the owner's were doing in re-shaping the structure of baseball, and took it out on poor Babe.

                        If not for Babe, the Red Sox might have finished in the cellar. He was the only thing which gave the BoSox any spark all season. And to sell him was the mistake of the century. Let me be clear on that. Selling Babe Ruth was the lunatic, insane decision of baseball history. And that covers a lot of ground, considering the doozies we have seen. I hope I am making myself clear on this matter.
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-16-2005, 02:06 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Francis Charles Richter
                          AL Reach Baseball Guide Editor-In-Chief (1901-1926, death)
                          Philadelphia sports writer (1876-1926)


                          (Sporting News, July 6, 1922, Casual Comment column)

                          1922 - "The recent additional disciplining of Babe Ruth by President Johnson for vile language to Umpire Dinneen, following other suspensions for offenses since his return to the game, has had a temporary quieting effect upon this inflated and ill-disciplined young man, but of the permanence of his reform there must be grave doubt, as his entire career shows that he has not the fundamental character to build real greatness in his chosen profession upon. Ruth has been spoiled by his popularity with the unthinking part of the public for excellence in one specialty: by the injudicious coddling and exploitation by his club; and by the incessant praise of the metropolitan writers--all of which he has not the brains, training or temperament to bear with becoming modesty or grace. His lack of ability to measure up fully to true greatness has been revealed throughout his career in recent years.

                          When the Boston Club gave him leeway in 1919 for his home run specialty by making him a regular instead of a pitcher, he broke the long-standing major league individual home run record, but proved such an insubordinate member of the team that Boston was glad to sell him to the New York Club. For that club in 1920 he broke the world's home run record, with the aid of the radical changes in the pitching rules, but the New York team won no pennant--owing largely to Ruth's discouraging effect on team work, though the club profited largely through his attraction as a drawing card. In 1921 he again bettered his world's record and the New York team finally won the pennant, however, not by reason of his home run hitting, but owing to the misfortunes of the Cleveland team; and that it lost the World's Series was largely due to Ruth's failure to measure up to form and expectation in that classic event.

                          Then came the famous "barnstorming" episode, in which Ruth defied both the laws of the game and Commissioner Landis, for which he drew a five weeks' suspension at the start of the 1922 season-- which marked the beginning of the end for Ruth. That five weeks' suspension was fatal to Ruth for the reason it prevented his proper development in condition and skill which comes only by participation in games; precluded all chance of equaling or making a new home run record this season, owing to his manifest decadence in batting; enabled other players to step into the home run picture, and demonstrated conclusively that he was not necessary to the New York team, as it jumped into and maintained the lead long before Ruth and Meusel rejoined it, and lost the lead not long after these two worthies got into the game, owing to the futility of their batting.

                          All this led to enormous shrinkage of Ruth's popularity with the fans, particularly of New York, many of whom turned from adulation to derision. The press, too, turned largely against the fallen idol--all of which had its effect upon a man of Ruth's limited intelligence, variable temperament, and colossal egotism, and undoubtedly led to his senseless rows with umpires, for which he has been properly disciplined by President Johnson, who threatens to repeat the dose, upon similar provocation, until Ruth either behaves or gets out. . .

                          In this event the brief reign of Babe Ruth, though highly profitable to the New York Club, will be memorable only for its evil effect upon the sport as a whole, as his constant exploitation as a home run hitter stimulated a home run craze in both public and players that led to temporary abandonment of scientific play; and militated vastly against team work and discipline; and, worst of all, made a popular hero of a specialty player who lacks every qualification of a truly great player." (Sporting News, July 6, 1922, Casual Comment column)
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                          Followup piece by same writer, Mr. Francis Charles Richter.

                          (Sporting News, October 4, 1923, pp. 4, column 5, Casual Comment column)

                          "One of the biggest factors in the complete reversal of the Yankee team form was Babe Ruth, who amply made good his promise of reform made last winter, while still smarting under the ignominy of his pitifully inadequate World Series showing. This reformation, consistently carried out, embraced both conduct on & off the field and general play. His general conduct has been exemplary, not containing even one rebuke, while his entire method of play has been both revolutionized and his conception of his place in and duties to the scene of baseball has been changed and vastly enlarged. Ruth has become tracable, obedient to his manager's slightest wish, and a team player of the first rank, always willing to subordinate himself to the common good."

                          "Instead of confining himself to his former specialty of home run hitting (He hit 41 in '23) -- Ruth has all season resorted to every style of batting suitable to the occasion, not even excepting bunting: and consequently has proven one of the greatest batsman in the Amercan League, running a season-long neck-and-neck race with Harry Heilmann of Detroit for the batting leadership. In addition his fielding has been both accurate and brilliant, and his base running excellent (17-21). Altogether a more striking and successful change was never witnessed in a star player between two seasons." (Sporting News, October 4, 1923, pp. 4, column 5, Casual Comment column)
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                          Who was Frances Richter, and why should anyone listen to his opinions? Here are a few of his credentials, as possibly the most authoritative voice of his time, along with McGraw, Mack, Ned Hanlon.

                          Introducing Frances Charles Richter, for your non-player consideration.

                          Born: January 26, 1854, Philadelphia, PA
                          Died: February 12, 1926, Philadelphia, PA, age, 72

                          Philadelphia sports writer, 46 yrs., 1872-1926;
                          Was Editor-in-Chief of Reach Official American League Base Ball Guide (1902-1926, Feb. 12, death); In those days, being a Guide editor was a position of enormous prestige/importance.

                          Mr. Richter was a noted amateur player in Philadelphia. In 1872, he started writing sports with the Philadelphia Day, eventually rising to managing editor. He moved to the Sunday World and Public Ledger in 1880, when The Day folded. He instituted the US's 1st full-fledged sports departments in the Phil. Public Ledger.

                          In 1876, the NL expelled the Phil. Athletics from the league. Consequently, Mr. Richter supported the the formation of the rival American Association (AA) in 1882. Mr. Richter founded the weekly Sporting Life in 1883, 3 years prior to the Spink Brothers founding The Sporting News, in 1886, in St. Louis, MO.

                          In 1883, Mr. Richter assisted organizing the Phillies as the NL came back to Philadelphia. He supported the Player's League in 1890, with his Sporting Life.

                          He wrote, "I have no very great cause to love the National League. What has it ever done for The Sporting Lie ... All the League ever did for The Sporting Life because it chose to act independently was to try and crush it."

                          When the AA folded in 1891, Mr. Richter was involved in several tries to break the monopoly of the NL. In 1894, he allied with Al Bckenberger, Fred Pfeffer & Billie Barnie in a failed try to revive the AA. Again in early 1900, he allied with Chris Von Der Ahe, Cap Anson & John McGraw to reform a new AA.

                          In 1901, he was named Editor-In-Chief of Reach Guide for 1902, which covered the AL. He continued in this role until he died.

                          In 1880, he started the 1st sports dept. ever in a newspaper, The Public Ledger.

                          Drew up National Agreement (1883),
                          Helped place Phil Club in AA (1882),
                          Helped place Phil club in NL (1883),
                          Helped assimilate AA into NL (1891),
                          Drew up Millenium Plan which ended BB war.

                          Mr. Richter was offered the Presidency of the National League in 1907. He declined due to his obligations to the AL Reach Guide & his own Sporting Life.

                          For many years, he was one of the official scorers for the World's Series games, sharing the honor with JG Taylor Spink, publisher of the Sporting News.

                          He founded Sporting Life in 1883, a weekly baseball paper, which became a great force in BB until he disposed of it in 1917, during the War. The motto of his publication, "Devoted to the Baseball Men and Measures, With Malice Toward None and Charity for All," sums up the character of Mr. Richter.

                          He was a columnist for Sporting News from Dec. 8, 1921 - Sept., 1925. His column, Casual Comment was often addressed to administrative matters. He was always at the top of the BB world, albeit behind the scenes, working for the betterment of the game he loved so much.

                          For a long lifetime of service to BB at its highest levels, I nominate him for the Taylor Spink Award. His every waking moment was happily devoted to BB. In April, 1946, he & 11 others were elected to BB Hall of Fame as sports writers (Honor Rolls).
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-16-2005, 02:22 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Randy,

                            I posted the former post as a prelude to these remarks. Mr. Richter was a behind-the-scenes king maker. One of the most important persons ever in baseball. He started in 1876 and so we can assume he preferred scientific small ball. So he didn't appreciate what Babe was being used to do. Usher in a new, different kind of ball than he preferred or approved.

                            Now, having said that, I don't think you appreciate some of the behind the scenes intrigues of those men. They were business types. Yes, they did enjoy sports, but they still were fixed on the bottom line.

                            So they knew they needed Babe, but they didn't particularly like him. Not at all. He was tolerated, and used, but when you like someone, you treat them well, and speak well of them.

                            Jake Ruppert, Ed Barrow, Frances Richter were extremely conservative guys. So was Miller Huggins. Babe was surrounded by people very different from himself. Barrow gave Babe his "leash" only because he had to, not because he wanted to. He kind of looked down on him.

                            Those business guys loved order/control. Babe was a free thinker who could not be reigned in or controlled. And for that, he was a loose cannon. They didn't forgive him. But since his fans were financing Yankee Stadium, he had to be tolerated.

                            When Miller Huggins fined him $5,000. one time, Babe lobbied Barrow long and hard to have it given back to him. In his autobiography, Barrow admitted that he never did give it back to Babe, so long as Miller was alive.

                            All of Babe's mischief was remembered and stored away. When Huggins passed away in 1929, and Babe lobbied hard for the job, Barrow kept repeating that he never even considered Babe for the position. Ever. That was Barrow's way of telling the public what he thought of Babe.

                            Frances Richter did reverse himself in my companion piece, in 1923, but I think his true sentiments expressed themselves in his first piece.

                            Conservative guys like Ruppert/Barrow were comfortable with guys like Gehrig, Joe McCarthy, and Joe DiMaggio. Guys who knew how to keep their mouths shut, and didn't do much flamboyant, extroverted stuff. Which is boring to the fans, but beloved of old businessmen.

                            Bill

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by [email protected]
                              Randy,

                              I posted the former post as a prelude to these remarks. Mr. Richter was a behind-the-scenes king maker. One of the most important persons ever in baseball. He started in 1876 and so we can assume he preferred scientific small ball. So he didn't appreciate what Babe was being used to do. Usher in a new, different kind of ball than he preferred or approved.
                              Thats fine Bill, you're not typing stuff I don't know. I understand that Ruth's value was financial, and they tolerated his behavior because of these rewards.

                              You avoided the entire point of my original post however. Frazee's comments were absurd, and your writer bought the line of BS.
                              I don't know enough about that writer to solidify an extreme opinion on him one way or another; like I said, he seems credible enough. But some of those comments are way off base and hint towarda bias.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-07-2005, 11:08 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                                You avoided the entire point of my original post however. Frazee's comments were absurd, and your writer bought the line of BS.
                                I don't know enough about that writer to solidify an extreme opinion on him one way or another; like I said, he seems credible enough. But some of those comments are way off base and hint towarda bias.
                                Randy,

                                Let's not be naive. I thought my point was loud and clear. Francis Richter was an old-school deadballer, who didn't appreciate that the owners were using the Babe to double their net worths, and took out on poor Babe what he would have liked to take out on the owners. He was scape-goating Babe! He didn't like Babe at all. He gave away his bottom line when he wrote, "In this event the brief reign of Babe Ruth, though highly profitable to the New York Club, will be memorable only for its evil effect upon the sport as a whole, as his constant exploitation as a home run hitter stimulated a home run craze in both public and players that led to temporary abandonment of scientific play; and militated vastly against team work and discipline; and, worst of all, made a popular hero of a specialty player who lacks every qualification of a truly great player." (Sporting News, July 6, 1922, Casual Comment column)

                                I think that about tells his real feelings/attitude about what was happening all around him in his passionate love - baseball. So he let it all hang out against Babe.

                                About Harry Frazee? Again, let's not be naive. Owners have been lying to their fans since day one. Whether or not it's Walter O'Malley or Comiskey, they lie as naturally as they breathe. To cover up a sale of a popular star, moving to another city, raping the Red Sox, letting a ballpark to decline for years, refusing to invest in promising prospects, etc.

                                There were good owners. But I am very cynical. Frazee was bad but not the worst. But he was bad enough. He never cared about the Babe. Only sought to exploit him like a stock. Not much different from Babe's new Yankee handlers. If they actually cared about Babe as a person, why would they have treated him so badly for so long, and finally dump him abrumptly. Baseball devours its own. Always has. Some were better than others.

                                Bill

                                Comment

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