The 2012 American Association Wall Calendar: Now Taking Orders

Featuring 12 unique photographs, many from private collections, of American Association baseball images,
the 2012 American Association Almanac calendar will be another prize-winner, one the baseball fan in your
household will gain from all year round.

The 2012 American Association Almanac wall calendar is being offered again this year,
printed on the same heavy stock as last year’s edition, a feature which really sets it apart from the
flimsy calendars most of use on a daily basis. As in past years, the 2012 version of the calendar
sports another great lineup of photos from each of the league’s eight original teams, along with loads of info.

You’ll find a balanced assortment of players, teams and venues from the old American Association represented.

As in the past, featured photos are accompanied by detailed descriptions sure to spur your curiosity.
Each week is marked by the birthday of a former American Association player;
care was taken during the selection process to make sure that even the most obscure players would appear in this lineup.

Included in this year’s calendar is a full-color view of Milwaukee Athletic Park (later known as Borchert Field).
It is a stunning look at this long-lived American Association ball yard and is truly “suitable for framing.”

The calendar is a versatile tool. It is designed to be hung where it will be viewed with ease.
But it also works well as a desk calendar, with ample room for recording important appointments and other notations.

At $25 (postpaid) this calendar is priced higher than standard offerings, but its value is enhanced by its contents.
And remember, proceeds from the calendar are invested back into the American Association Almanac.
Your contribution helps me meet my increasing production costs.

Makes a great gift for the upcoming holidays!

To order, contact me at pureout@msn.com

To see what how pages of the calendar are designed, go to my website at http://www.almanacfield.com and click on the tab “2012 Calendar” then scroll down and you will find a link. Not sure why the hyperlink inserter on this blogsite isn’t working, but I’ve tried numerous times to insert a functional link and it just won’t cooperate with me today.

Please contact me with questions or assistance in ordering at pureout@msn.com. Paypal accepted. Happy to answer any questions.

Published in: on November 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Harry Harper’s Minneapolis No-hitter in 1915

Yesterday, May 19, 2011, was the 96th anniversary of a no-hitter by Harry Clayton Harper of Hackensack, New Jersey. From a pitcher’s standpoint, any no-hitter is extraordinary. But history would dictate just how special this gem was. On the surface you have two struggling teams, crosstown rivals whose fans grabbed the local streetcar to head over to the opposition’s city and have a raucous time watching baseball. But it would prove to be a landmark game in the six-decade history of the storied rivalry between the St. Paul Saints and Minneapolis Millers. Here is what I wrote about the event for an upcoming article I’m having published on the 1915 American Association season, slightly edited to provide context:

Sitting at 14-14 just a month into the 1915 season, the St. Paul Saints made the jaunt over to Minneapolis for a matinee against the Millers. And it was then that a funny thing happened on the way back to their season resurrection. On Wednesday, May 19, a rangy, just-turned-20-year-old southpaw named Harry Clayton Harper took the hill for the Millers at Nicollet Park and reeled off a no-hitter. The gem would become the only Millers vs. Saints no-hitter ever in the American Association. The final score: 4-0. The eleventh Minneapolis victory of the season next to 14 losses, it was surely a boost to everyone in the city. Despite Harper’s no-hit heroics, the club did not rebound, losing eight of their next ten. It would be several weeks before Harper and his Miller teammates could come through with anything resembling a celebration. Could the sparkling event have been foretold? Perhaps the baseball gods were atoning for an earlier lapse on their part. On May 11, Harper struck out 16 Columbus Senators enroute to an extra-inning loss at home, just a sign of the times for Pongo Joe Cantillon‘s men. At least, in Harper, there was something bright about the season after all, and maybe there was something to look forward to in Mudville.

New American Association Website

I’m pleased to announce a new domain name for my principal website concerning the history of the American Association. Because the registration on the old name (www.aaalmanac.com) expired July 3, I ran into quite a snag, and thought I had even lost my website …. again! Thankfully the problem has been solved and my website is now at http://www.almanacfield.com

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Four Ballparks in Four Days in One Series

The other day while compiling early attendance data for the St. Paul Saints and Minneapolis Millers during the years 1902-11 I noticed two interesting occurrences. Bear in mind that during the first several years of their entry in the American Association, the Saints and Millers regularly engaged in the practice of the daily alternation of venues during their scheduled series. For example, if a series of games was scheduled for May 6-9, the two clubs would play a game at Minneapolis (at either Nicollet Park or Minnehaha Park, their Sunday venue) on May 6, then on May 7 their game would be played at St. Paul (at either Lexington Park or Downtown Park, the latter also known as either Pill Box Park or Lennon Field). On May 8 the series might return to the Minneapolis site, and May 9 the series might end up in St. Paul. For what it’s worth, the two things I observed are the following:

During a stretch of games between July 1-5 when the Saints and Millers had their second scheduled series of the 1904 season, the two clubs played in four different parks in four days. The series started July 1 at Nicollet Park, moved to Downtown Park July 2, was played at Minneapolis’ Sunday venue, Minnehaha Park (or it’s elongated name, Minnehaha Driving Park) on July 3, and finally back in St. Paul at the Saints’ alternate venue (usually used on Sundays at this time) Lexington Park on July 4. The July 4 game was the first of a twin bill, the second game of which went back to Minneapolis to be played at Nicollet Park. Hence there were actually five games played in five parks, but Nicollet Park being the starting point for the series cannot be considered a “different” park; however, the second game being played at a different place requires that all the gear belonging to the players would still have to be moved, and as a result there were five actual changes in venue during a span of four days for the Millers, and actually seven for the Saints (having played at Downtown Park vs. on June 30, and back at Downtown Park after the series with the Millers). Obviously the proximity of the Millers and Saints, combined with the unusual practice of alternate scheduling, created this unique situation, and was something I had never come across before in my observations of the movement of teams in the American Association.

The largest crowd on hand for one game of the Millers vs. Saints series in 1904 came July 24 during their third series of the season when 7,110 filled Lexington Park. This figure represented the largest single game attendance mark for either venue during the 1904 crosstown series during the 1904 season. The largest crowd either club played before during the 1904 season came at West Washington Street Park in Indianapolis when 12,950 filed in for a Friday matinee between the Millers and the Indians on June 17. In the clash between two second-division teams, the visitors came away the winner by a score of 4-1.

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Introducing the 2010 American Association Wall Calendar

2010AACalSampleWeb
A popular item in the past among my subscribers, this handsome and practical wall calendar contains many features sure to get the attention of the baseball history fan in your life…or you! With gift-giving season approaching, this handcrafted calendar is the perfect choice for the “hard to please” on your list.

The principal attraction of the 2010 American Association calendar is the unique set of photos it includes. Each month is highlighted by one historic American Association photograph, which is described in detail. Photos are taken from private collections and are reproduced with permission. Every effort is made to ensure the best possible quality for the reproduction of these valuable and often rare photographs.

Upgrades for this year make this the best calendar offered since 2004, its first year. One color photo is included in this version of the calendar, something new for this year. In addition to the weekly featured player birthday is a monthly player death date in honor of the most influential players in the history of the league.

Each month of the baseball season includes a “fun fact” for key dates in American Association history. You are sure to learn something new and exciting!

This year I have taken it upon myself to design and produce the calendar, a unique challenge in itself. Having full control of this process has made the calendar a more substantial product, one you will be able to use with ease as you mark all 365 days of the upcoming 2010 calendar year. It will also allow me to get the calendar distributed in a more timely manner than in the past.

Remember, your contribution goes to supporting the research endeavors of the American Association Almanac, an important vehicle for vital historical writing dedicated to improving the landscape for students of baseball history.

Please consider ordering a calendar this year, either for your personal use or as a gift, even for your organization’s next raffle. Please contact me at pureout@msn.com if you would like to place an order. Cost is $20.00 plus $2.00 shipping. Free shipping for those interested in a one-year-subscription the American Association Almanac.

Thank you!

Rex Hamann
Editor/Publisher of the American Association Almanac

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 10:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Finding the Missing Colonels: Louisville’s Complete Active Rosters, 1902-1906

The 1902 Louisville Colonels

The 1902 Louisville Colonels

Several months ago the American Association Almanac realized that a substantial problem with respect to the early history of the American Association was the lack of information on players from the Louisville Colonels team. So the Almanac set about to remedy this by undertaking an overhaul of the roster listings already published in various sources. The primary aim was to determine accurate first names and to separate the Louisville record from the combined record for those players who spent their season with another team aside from Louisville. Among the more interesting highlights contained in this issue of the Almanac are:

1. The identification process for the Colonel player named Jimmy Hart as James Jeremiah Hart.

2. The effects of Louisville’s 1905 Trolley Car Crash in Kansas City

Below are excerpts from the latest issue of the American Association Almanac in which these, and a host of other topics, are discussed in this substantial and comprehensive look at the early history of this historic baseball club.

Idenifying “Jimmy Hart”

Hart’s case presents an interesting example of how a player’s records can be attributed to the wrong team, and it is often difficult to prove. Minor Leagues Database, lists Louisville’s Hart as “Hub Hart.” Initially his entry on the 1903 roster was taken at face value, but doubt crept in as additional information came to light. The June 6 Sporting Life contained the following phrase which conflicted with MiLD (Minor Leagues Database): “There is also a contention about Hart, late of Columbus…,” but it wasn’t immediately clear which Hart played with Columbus. This clue led to the temporary identification of this player as James Burton Hart based on information in MiLD. It was later shown that MiLD’s database had it wrong in this case as well.
The player in question is actually James Jeremiah Hart, born at St. Paul, Minnesota. For this player MiLD shows no record, but a listing in a 1904 Louisville Evening Post provided his middle name, which led to a search on ancestry.com verifying his occupation as a professional ballplayer. Additional information found in the Louisville Courier-Journal corroborated the information found in the Post; the latter also indicated his first professional team was Tacoma, possibly of the Pacific Northwest League in 1898, however, this could not be substantiated.
The confusion arose from the fact there are four entries for players by the name of “James Hart” listed in MiLD who could have been on the Louisville squad during this time period. The entry for James Burton “Burt” Hart was a possible match given his birthplace, listed as Lone Tree City, Minnesota (Brown County), a possible connection with his reported winter residence of Eau Claire, Wisconsin (given their geographic similarity). However, Burt Hart’s profile data didn’t match up with the information from either local newspaper.
One entry in MiLD, listed simply as “James Hart” (assigned the code “hart–001jam”). This entry contained no profile information, critical for comparative purposes, other than his name and the nine teams he played with from 1901-1911; hence, this entry was a sort of “wild card” as it was/is possible he was the player in question, based on his American Association ties via his reported affiliation with Columbus in 1902-03 and Minneapolis in 1903.
A “process of elimination” evolved as all available resources were considered. A look through the Almanac’s 1902 Columbus notes helped shed some light. A roster listing for the Columbus Senators published in the April 23, 1902 edition of the Columbus Citizen showed a “Jim Hart” at a height of 5’9.5” and a weight of 178; these figures corresponded with those in the Louisville Courier-Journal, thus connecting the Columbus Hart with the Louisville Hart.
The Almanac was then able to compare a clear facial photo from the March 30, 1902 Columbus Dispatch with a perfect studio image of the Louisville team players (without their caps on, greatly enabling the process of using a photo to ID players) from 1903. This process verified this was the same player, James Jeremiah Hart, as corroborated by a witness.

The 1905 Trolley Car Wreck in Kansas City, Missouri

As if the team hadn’t been through enough adversity, including what was described as a “narrow escape” from a railroad accident in June, a tragic event unfolded on the streets of Kansas City. On August 31 an accident with potentially fatal consequences took place involving several key players who had boarded a streetcar after the final game, an 8-2 win, of their final series against the Blues.
Eight of Louisville’s best had boarded the ill-fated trolley, bound for their hotel where they would prepare for a trip to Toledo. As the electric vehicle rode the rails toward Kansas City’s downtown it began to gather speed to an extent which alarmed the suddenly wide-eyed passengers. The trolley had no brakes! A terrific collision ensued which resulted in injuries to the eight Colonels. Those most seriously hurt were Ed Kenna (“the Pitching Poet”) and Bill “Hen” Clay, while Charlie Stecher, Roy Brashear, Larry Quinlan, Orville Woodruff (who had battled malaria), and manager Suter Sullivan were “badly bruised.” The men were taken shortly thereafter by ambulance to a hospital.
Within a few days it was reported that Brashear and Clay were mobile
only with the use of a cane, but that Stecher thought he’d be able to take his next turn on the hill. Quinlan expected to be back in action upon the club’s return to Louisville September 7.
Several days later Kenna was still recovering back in Kansas City. His
injuries consisted of two broken ribs, a wrenched left arm, and a “badly lacerated” face. The critical fear was that he could lose his left eye. The Louisville Times wrote, “All the players feel confident that Kenna will recover from his injuries and be able to play ball again next season, but state that he was badly injured in the wreck.” Edward Benninghaus Kenna was the son of Democratic U.S. Congressional Representative and Senator from West Virginia John Edward Kenna (by his second wife, Anna Benninghaus) who served in the U.S. Congress from 1883-93. The “poet pitcher” died of died of heart failure on March 22, 1912 at the age of 34; he was an editor of the Charleston (WV) Gazette.
The Times described the events as seen through the players’ perspective: “All the players place the blame for the accident on the motorman…They claim that the car was coming down grade at an excessive rate of speed and that the motorman did not ring the bell to give warning of the approach,” when it collided with another vehicle.
Stecher did not immediately recognize the extent of his injuries. According
to the Times, “Stecher stated that he did not know that he was injured until after he had reached the hotel, when he found that he could not walk.”
Clay may have escaped death. Hitting .378 and leading the league at the time of the accident, he sustained a “severely wrenched back,” and both his arms were in bad shape. He recalled being under the fender of the careening car, stating with some alacrity,

“It was then that I grabbed hold of the fender to protect my life. I certainly had an experience that I hope I will never again be so unfortunate as to have. I was dragged over fifty feet, and I was so rapidly losing my strength that if the car had not been brought to a standstill when it was I am certain that I would have been killed.
(Louisville Times, Sept. 4, 1905)

As Clay continued his wry retelling, he seemed almost lighthearted in delivering this articulate, yet sardonic, account:

“Say, but that certainly was a bad accident. It looked to me as though that motorman did not only want the right of the tracks, but also desired to take up the street. As soon as I struck the ground I saw the fender and ducked more adroitly than if Rube Waddell was sending one of his swift ones over the pan. It missed my head by the fraction of an inch and then I managed to get hold of the fender. Every step seemed hours and the torture was something terrific. I never thought that I would escape. When the car was brought to a standstill I managed to get out, and walked over to a fence and sat down on the grass.
I was bleeding from head to foot, and did not think that I would live more than a minute. Finally the motorman walked over to where I was sitting and, placing his hand on my shoulder, asked, ‘Are you hurt?’ Say, what do you think of that for nerve? It took me about five minutes to recover from that speech, and when I did, I said, ‘No, I don’t look like it, do I?’
I then asked the motorman why he didn’t ring the bell, and don’t you know that he has not answered me yet. Then I got up, staggered over the street curbing. The sound of the ambulance bell was like music.
(Louisville Times, Sept. 4, 1905)

The Times detailed Clay’s status:

Clay is suffering from injuries all over his body. His hands are tied up, and it is all that he can do to walk around with the aid of a cane. Enough skin was torn off his hands, legs and face, in his long-distance slide, to cover every ball used in the American Association, according to his assertion. In Toledo he underwent an X-ray examination, and it showed he was badly injured, especially his hands.

Other players, and editors, looked back at the event with levity. As reported in the Times,

“Brashear says that he will never again take such chances as he did in that ride. ‘The next time I find a wagonette going fast where any car lines are near you will find me doing the duck act. Right out of the rear end for me.’”

If you’d care to learn more about how you can subscribe to the American Association Almanac, please contact me at pureout@msn.com or visit my website at www.americanassociationalmanac.com

Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm  Comments (3)  

Summer 2007 Almanac Nearly Complete

The Summer 2007 issue of the American Association Almanac is in the middle of being produced and is just about done. Content came to 31,000 words on the topic of the 1910-11 Minneapolis Millers with a focus on the offense. Had originally planned to include 1912 in this issue, but ran out of room and so will cover that year in the Fall issue. The Millers won the American Association pennant three straight years, so the purpose of this work is to highlight/chronicle their accomplishment. In the Fall I will also cover the pitching and defense. Had to skip the Necrology section this time around because I just plain ran out of room. One new feature of this issue is the centerfold which is printing as of right now. I wanted to consolidate the photographs onto one sheet instead of putting them on different pages, as I have six color photos digitally colorized by Matt Fulling who does such stupendous work. Because of the slowness of my inkjet printer, doing different pages on the inkjet just isn’t feasible. So until I have a color laser printer I’m going to either skip the color or just use color on one sheet plus the cover. If I can get a photo up here I will, but I haven’t had luck with posting photos in the past. If you have not yet subscribed to the American Association Almanac I hope you will consider doing so. This issue sells for $8.00 including postage which costs me $1.00, for a net cost of $7.00. Subscribers pay $6.00 per issue, or $18.00 per year, or you can save by going with the two-year plan at $32.00 per year. Plenty of solid, entertaining baseball history writing in this issue, which is by far my best work to date.

Published in: on July 11, 2007 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

That’s the Way I Saw It…

By Denver Howard

They use a lot of balls now.

As you visit the umpires at Wizards Stadium [aka Memorial Stadium, Fort Wayne, Indiana] you see them rubbing up four dozen baseballs for the game. As Major League players throw balls into the stands, baseball today uses a lot of balls. I guess they can afford it.

An interesting story in Rex Hamann‘s American Association Almanac for Spring 2007 tells about a game April 11, 1912 in Columbus, Ohio that was played using only one ball for the entire game. This is said to be a record for a professional baseball game as not a single foul went into the stand or out of the lot.

We always received one dozen balls, back in the ’50’s, for each minor league game. In 1955 Fulton, Kentucky called a game because they ran out of baseballs. Many minor league teams were on a strict budget. If a ball was hit into the stands a kid could take it to the concession stand and receive a candy bar.

Baseball has really changed.

Denver Howard
PO Box 171
Andrews, IN 46702

Note: Mr. Howard is a former long-time minor league umpire who subscribes to the American Association Almanac.

Published in: on April 13, 2007 at 8:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Problems Reconstructing the Millers’ 1910 Season

Last night I was going insane trying to figure out why I wasn’t coming up with 168 games played by the Millers as I was working on the statistical reconstruction of the Millers’ 1910 season. So I wrote Gary Fink and tried to explain. Here is his reply:

I see in Wright’s book on the Am. Assn. he has the 1910 Minneapolis team with 107 wins and 61 loses (168 games). In the team batting section he lists Minneapolis with 167 games played.
There does not seem to be any Ties that year but there could be a Forfeited games that would count in the w / l column but not in the games played.
Most likely you did not count one victory for Minneapolis. I suggest you go through the Milwaukee games first as there were no tie games so they should of played only 24 games.
I also think that they could of just not counted the wins and losses correctly, I have found a lot of errors in the totals for the teams and the players in the Am. Assn. for 1907.
In the Am. Assn. news in the “SL” after the season was over, they said there was 75 Shut Out games pitched in 1907. I found 81 Shut Out games. I went through all the boxscores again today to confirm that.

Gary Fink

Thanks, Gary. You are really on the ball, as they say.

I believe I have now isolated the problem. Minneapolis played 24 games with six of their seven opponents. They played 23 games against Milwaukee. Likely there was a forfeiture there. I’ll be exploring this further when I go to Wilson Library next week. In the mean time I’m going to be “crunching the numbers” of my 1910 Millers’ season data file. Let the fun begin!

AND PLAY BALL!!!

Published in: on April 1, 2007 at 11:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Husman enjoys Almanac

Rex:
You have outdone yourself with your latest — well researched and well written. Thanks, too, for the piece you sent along about Armory Park. Great stuff and something I did not know about. I really enjoy your detailed necrology section. How do you get that info so timely? I noted that you included Billy Klaus‘ 1953 at Toledo even though that is beyond the 1952 scope of the Almanac. FYI, Buddy Kerr was at Toledo 1953 and 1954. I tried for years to contact him, but never could.

John Husman
Team Historian for the Toledo Mud Hens

Published in: on March 29, 2007 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment