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An Ernie Nevers Mystery.

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  • An Ernie Nevers Mystery.

    In his three seasons as a pitcher for the St. Louis Browns, Ernie Nevers did nothing to distinguish himself as a player of great accomplishment. His MLB career record for that period locked down at 6 wins, 12 losses, with an ERA of 4.64. Oh, sure enough, Nevers gave up two of Babe Rurh's record-setting 60 home runs in 1927, but you have the feeling that the Bambino would have picked up the slack off some other pitcher, had Ernie Nevers never come along.

    As most people know, Ernie Nevers is best remembered as one of the great football players of the early 20th century, a football player on the same level as the great Jim Thorpe. Pop Warner, his equally legendary football coach at Stanford, described Ernie Nevers as "the football player without a fault." The NFL wasn't anything close to what it is now back in the 1920s and early 1930s, but Nevers made his mark there too. After playing for Stanford in the 1925 Rose Bowl (The Indians, not Cardinal, lost to Notre Dame, 27-10, in that one!), Nevers went on to play a couple of NFL seasons for the Duluth Eskimos and later, after his Browns baseball days, he served as a playing fullback/coach for the Chicago Cardinals from 1929-1931.

    All that being said, here's the mystery. - When Ernie Nevers died on May 3, 1976, an article in the Duluth Herald reported that Nevers was survived by his wife, Margery, and one daughter. There was no mention of a reported son named Gordy Nevers, who played minor league baseball in the Kansas City Athletics system, or of a grandson named Tom Nevers, a first round draft choice of the Houston Astros in 1990. Tom Nevers played for 13 years years as a minor leaguer before he retired after the 2002 season.

    I cannot quote to you any linking sources on the son and the grandson, If I could link these two generations to Ernie Nevers, in fact, it wouldn't be a mystery. I've just heard things about them over the years and I was reminded of them when I came across a Wikepedia article today that places the fact of their actual relationship to the great Ernie Nevers in question.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Nevers

    Plain and simple: Does anyone out there know the truth? Are Gordy and Tom Nevers the son and grandson of Ernie Nevers? I don't really care to contact either to ask them such a question.

    If you know anything, please leave a post on this thread.

    Thanks.

    Bill McCurdy
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-14-2008, 02:45 PM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  • #2
    New York Times, 5/4/1976

    wife - Margery
    son - Anselmo
    duughter - Tina Gallison

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    • #3
      curiouser and curiouser.

      Originally posted by bkmckenna View Post
      New York Times, 5/4/1976

      wife - Margery
      son - Anselmo
      daughter - Tina Gallison
      Does this report rule out the possibility of a son named Anselmo Gordon Nevers?
      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bill_McCurdy View Post
        Does this report rule out the possibility of a son named Anselmo Gordon Nevers?
        I think there is a good chance that Anselmo was called by a different name throughout his life.
        Last edited by Brian McKenna; 02-14-2008, 04:19 PM.

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        • #5
          Neither the AP nor the UPI obits mention anyone other than his wife, daughter and sister (of course, this information was probably provided by his family, so perhaps there was a falling out). I find it interesting that the UPI story said he was 72 and the AP had him as 73.

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          • #6
            Mystery solved

            According to a June 10, 1958 UPI story, the Kansas City A's signed Ernie Nevers - real name John Gordon Nevers. His great-uncle was football great Ernie Nevers.

            Associates gave him the nickname Ernie in honor of his illustrious uncle when he first entered at Missouri. The nickname is used more often than his real name.

            I presume the other Nevers would then be Ernie's great-grand nephew.
            Last edited by dave_heller; 02-14-2008, 11:05 PM.

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            • #7
              Thank you, Dave Heller!

              Thanks to another skillful probe by our Dave Heller, another Brownie mystery is quickly put to rest. In this complex, uneasy world, wouldn't it be great if more issues came with this kind of swiftly found, clear-cut resolution?

              I grew up reading and watching too much Sherlock Holmes. Nothing eluded the grasp of the great British detective. We don't have Mr. Holmes on board, but we do have Dave Heller.

              On that note, it makes me wonder what the greatest unresolved Browns mystery really is. I imagine it has something to do with Ken Williams.

              Eh, Dave?
              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bill_McCurdy View Post
                On that note, it makes me wonder what the greatest unresolved Browns mystery really is.
                I think that's a tough one to narrow down. Anyone who starts down the road of research on any given season could come up with all sorts of mysteries. It seems to me that a lot of things go unknown because the papers at the time (1902-1953) only reported on certain subjects and there were many things that helped shape seasons that never made it into the newspapers. Also, there were not many in depth interviews with players. It wasn't until the 1970s when oral histories gained popularity that we began to get more information from the players themselves. And as for all the players who had passed on by then, we'll never know their answers to many questions.

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                • #9
                  One more aspect of the Ernie/Gordon Nevers mystery ... there is a Gordon in the Missouri lineup in 1952 ... an Ernie in 1957 ... in college ball for SIX years ?? Maybe he was in the service or something in between ??

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