Happy Birthday, Billy Clingman

Today is the birthday of an American Association star. William Frederick Clingman was born November 21, 1869 at Cincinnati, Ohio. The switch-hitting righty stood 5’11, and weighed in at 150. He was 32 years of age in 1902, his first year in the American Association. As club manager and regular shortstop for the sixth-place Milwaukee Brewers that year, he hit a resounding .308 in 530 at-bats, delivering 20 doubles, 7 triples and 3 home runs. By that time, Clingman was a seasoned veteran, starting his major league career in 1890 with the Cincinnati Nationals. Rounding out his tenure in the American Association with the Columbus Senators in 1903, St. Paul Saints in 1904 and Toledo Mud Hens in 1904-06, Clingman found a home in this league, a place where he could utilize his talents while entering into the twilight of his career as a ballplayer. Clingman died at Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati on May 14, 1958, but he’d lived a good portion of his final years in Louisville, Kentucky where he owned a print shop and an engraving business called Clingman Engraving Company, retiring in 1947. He is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. Happy Birthday, Bill.

Fall Almanac Proceeding Apace

Wish I’d been doing a better job keeping current with the blog here, but life intervenes.

On the front burner is work on the American Association Almanac for Fall 2007. It’s another big issue, will wind up at least 31,000 after the death notices are added. There are multiple topics, all dealing with the 1910-12 Minneapolis Millers. I didn’t have room to include 1912 in the Summer issue so the Fall issue starts off with the 1912 team and its offensive characteristics. The pitching of the 1910-12 Millers will occupy the remainder of the issue. For the 1910 team I include a comparison with the league’s top pitching team, the Toledo Mud Hens. While I don’t expect another issue of the Almanac to surpass the Summer issue in overall quality, this will be a very solid issue, maybe a bit heavy on the statistical angles. Either way, it will fill a nice of baseball history that will hopefully lead to further inquiry. Baseball during the deadball era was an especially fascinating subject of American culture that had a host of fascinating aspects.

A few of the starting pitchers that are examined in this issue include “Long Tom” Hughes, Nick Altrock, Roy Patterson and the Big Finn, Lou Fiene, all of whom contributed to the 1910 Miller team. The legendary Chicagoan Hughes led the league in wins (31), winning pct. (.721) and bases on balls (129) and strikeouts (222).

Dominic Castro

John Castro of Phoenix, Arizona emailed me the other day to mention that his grandfather, Dominic Castro, was a catcher in the old American Association. Here are Dominic’s numbers with the first American Association team he played for, the 1944 St. Paul Saints, which finished in 4th place with a record of 85-66 under Ray Blades:

Games Played at Catcher: 127 (84%)
Games Appeared In: 128
At-Bats: 389
Runs: 35
Hits: 80
RBI: 42
2B: 9
3B: 3
HR: 3
BB: 23
SO: 55
SB: 1
BA: .206

Castro would have caught for Otho Nitcholas, Ernie Rudolph, Loy Camp, Cy Buker, Bill Webb, Walt Tauscher, Art Herring and the like. Look ’em Up!

Castro’s number with the 1945 Kansas City Blues (seventh place, 65-86, under Casey Stengel):

Games Played at Catcher: 31 (21%)
Games Appeared In: 34
At-Bats: 95
Runs: 5
Hits: 16
RBI: 11
2B: 2
3B: 0
HR: 0
BB: 7
SO: 10
SB: 0
BA: .168

Some of the pitchers Castro may have pitched against were Clarence Marshall, Edson Bahr, John Orphal, Elmer Singleton, John Moore, Gale Pringle, Joe Valanzuela, Fred Pepper, Charlie Cozart, etc. Marshall led the league in complete games with 15 while sharing the league lead in walks allowed with his moundmate Ed Bahr with 107. Look ’em Up!