Saturday, January 14, 2006

Gehrig, Ruth Pace Yanks

Babe Ruth chased home the winning run with a screaming line drive single in the 9th inning of yesterday's getaway game. The hit scored Ben Pascual with the game winner and setup Cy Moore for a save in the bottom of the 9th. Earlier, Gehrig and Charleston had exchanged three run homes, first Gehrig in the 5th, Charlie in the 7th. Ben Taylor's single tied it at 1-1 in the 4th after Tony Lazzeri's double opened the scoring in the 2nd.
NYY    010    030    001 -  5  9 0 WP - Shocker S - Moore
HBG    000    100    300 - 4 10 1 LP - S. Cooper
HR - Gehrig, Charleston
After the game, the players attended the Mayor's Gala to raise funds for Black History event in March in Harrisburg. Colonel Strothers, Giants owner, ruled the dance floor as he maneuvered his 300 pound frame gracefully around the dance floor with his wife and any other woman that he chose. Charlie was the most imposing figure on and off the floor. Fats Jenkins - other than the Colonel - appeared to be the smoothest dance; while Kenny Gardner seemed to be the most successful in wooing the ladies. A grand time was had by all.    

Friday, January 13, 2006

Giants Win Third Series of Season

NYY 302 000 000 - 5 9 1 LP - Hoyt
HBG 004 001 21x - 8 13 1 WP - Corbett S - Lucas
HR - Ruth, Dixon 2 (3), Charleston
The Giants spotted the Yanks a five run lead featuring a gargantuan homer by Babe Ruth before roaring back with some long distance clouts of their own - two by Rap dixon and one by Oscar Charleston. Waxey Williams and ol' Ben Taylor each posted three hits apiece.
The series concludes Friday with Urban Shocker trying again to post a victory for the Bombers and Daltie cooper toiling for the Giants. The Hilldale Club arrives for a three game set over the weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Koenig's Hitting Sparks Yanks to Comeback Win, 7-6

If not for a couple of base running faux pas the New York Yankees might still be batting and scoring runs. Down four going into the top of the 9th this afternoon at West End Grounds, the first eight Yankee batters reached base safely. Singles by pinch hitters Gazelle & Paschal opened the inning followed by long hits by Combs, a triple, and Koenig, a homer, a walk to the Babe and then singles by Gehrig, Meusel and Lazerri. The game was kept interesting when Gehrig was tossed out at third and Meusel was picked off first. Mark Koenig had 4 hits and 9 total bases in the contest.

In addition to Koenig, Tony Lazzeri homered for the visitors; Oscar Charleston & Ben Taylor had circuit clouts for the home team. Gisentaner, Carter and Pritchett all failed in the 9th with Wilbur Pritchett taking the defeat; Herb Pennock lucked out with the win; while Wilcy Moore earned the save.

NYY     000       002       005 – 7 13 0 WP – Pennock Save - Moore

HBG     200       000       220 – 6 11 0  LP - Pritchett        

HR – Charleston (3), Lazzeri, Taylor (1), Koenig


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

5th Straight Triumph for Jints - 7 of 10 to start 2006-I

The streaking Harrisburg Giants beat the New York Yankees 3-2 at West End Grounds this afternoon before 1,970 fans. Fats Jenkins 8th inning single proved to be the game winner. Babe Ruth was held hitless for the visitors and, in fact, made the final out with two men on in the 9th. Red Ryan did the heavy lifting pitching 7 innings but Cliff Carter came on and picked up the win and Lucas came on to retire Ruth and get the save. Yankee ace hurler Wilcy Moore took the defeat.


NYY    000 100 100 – 2 11 0 LP – Cy Moore

HBG    000 110 01x – 3 10 0 WP – Carter Save – Lucas

HR – none


The series resumes tomorrow with Three Finger Gisentaner on the hill for the home team and the Yanks sending the wily Herb Pennock to the mound.


In other news, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis has appointed a three person panel consisting of William Hulbert, Ban Johnson and Rube Foster to hear the protest regarding the three potentially ineligible Giant players. The Giants have not represented the players as having played for the Harrisburg Giants but feel that their being on the roster of other Harrisburg teams predating the Giants should qualify them for inclusion on this composite Giants team. Both Frank Grant and Clarence Williams played for the Harrisburg Ponies in 1890 while Satchel Paige pitched for and against the Giants in exhibition games in the 1950s. A decision by the panel is expected within the week. In the meantime, Frank Grant knocked in the 2nd run and scored the 3rd and winning run in today’s game.


Giants Bomb Yanks 10-5; Beckwith & Dixon Homer

The Harrisburg Giants captured the series opener versus the 1927 New York Yankees behind a murderous 13 hit attack featuring John Beckwith’s fourth homer of the young season. After the game Yankee owner Jake Ruppert and Ed Bolden owner of the Hilldale Club, the Giants next opponent, filed a protest with regard to player eligibility on the Harrisburg roster. Both of the opposition owners feel second baseman Frank Grant, catcher Clarence Williams – both new additions to this year’s club – and pitcher Satchel Paige (currently in an extended spring training) should be prohibited from further action as Giants since they never played for Colonel Strothers club or any subsequent Poles, Dixon or Felton owned franchises. A decision by a yet to be appointed panel is expected shortly.

On the field Oscar Charleston pounded three hits to lead the barrage including a double and a steal and Daltie Cooper pitched well enough to win a complete game. Babe Ruth homered for the Yanks as they jumped out three to nothing in the first. The Giants, consistently hitting throughout the contest, caught and passed the visitors in the 5th inning. Bob Meusel also homered for the New Yorkers. 2,001 fans witnessed the Giants 4th consecutive victory. Twice last year the Giants won five in a row and they will send Red Ryan to the hill tomorrow to try to match that streak.

NYY     300       000       011 –   5   7 0 LP – Urban Shocker

HBG     012       022       03x – 10 13 0 WP – Daltie Cooper 1-0

HR – Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, John Beckwith (4), Rap Dixon (1)



Monday, January 09, 2006

Giants win 3 of last 4 to capture series with Yanks

In action late last week and over the weekend the Harrisburg Giants, having dropped the series opener Thursday at the Grounds, captured three of four contests against the New York Yankees of 1937 to win the series and finish their initial week of the 2006-I season at 5-3. This is particularly encouraging since their opponents for the week – the Yanks and the St. Louis Stars – were the Giants biggest nemesis in 2005-II. Last year the Giants were 2-8 against these two clubs and, in the season finale, the Stars captured the Hoverter-Reed Trophy.


In wrapping up the first week; the Giants lost the opener to the Yanks, 7-6, on Thursday and were clobbered Friday night 9-2. In that game, however, Bill Dickey was injured on the base path and did not appear behind the plate over the weekend. Lefty Gomez struggled, walking five and hitting two, but with excellent offensive backing was able to hurl a complete game for the Bronx Bombers. George Selkirk’s three run eighth inning homer put the game out of reach. Gisentaner did not pitch badly but he took the defeat for the Giants.


NYY    000      210      042 – 9 11 1 WP – Lefty Gomez

HBG    000      100      010 – 2   5 1 LP – Lefty Gisentaner

HR – Selkirk


On Saturday, the sun rose again and the now 2-3 Giants took the field in the late afternoon before a crowd of 2,871 at West End Grounds.  Geechie Corbett, off a rough start in the opener, looked in 2005 form as he yielded a first inning run but nothing more in hurling the Giants to a 3-1 victory. Geechie scattered 7 hits and issued a walk in pitching a complete game gem. The Yanks bunched their hits – getting three in the first but only one run & three more in the seventh leaving the bases full. Mack Eggleston’s two run 6th inning homer provided the margin.


NYY    100      000      000 – 1 7 0 LP – Red Ruffing

HBG    001      002      00x – 3 7 1 WP – Geechie Corbett 1-1

HR – Eggleston


The action moved 45 miles down the road to Lancaster’s Rossmere Base Ball Park on Sunday due to Pennsylvania’s Blue Laws prohibiting professional baseball in Harrisburg on Sundays. Promoter Tommy Shield’s excellent hospitality was enjoyed by 3,472 fans in the Red Rose City. As usual the Sunday offering was a double header; and the Yanks could not grab either encounter from the home standing Giants.


Ping Gardner started and struggled through six stanzas yielding four runs on 7 hits and three walks including two doubles to DiMaggio and one to substitute catcher Jorgens, Meanwhile the Giants were pounding Pearson for 16 hits and 11 runs featuring a bases clearing double by Ben Taylor. Counting Poles pinch hit single … all nine positions in the batting order contributed at least one hit. Rap Dixon led the way with three hits including a double, two steals, 2 runs and a ribbie.


NYY    102      002      000 –   4   7 1 LP – Monte Pearson

HBG    420      000      50x – 11 16 0 WP – Ping Gardner 1-0

HR – none


In the nightcap, the Giants won an exciting game with some two out bottom of the ninth magic when Beckwith singled (for his fourth consecutive hit) and Rev Cannady followed with his second double of the game. This action came after the Yanks chipped away with solo runs in the 8th and 9th to tie the game at 7-7. The Giants had jumped out in front with a four spot in the first triggered by a DiMaggio blast and the Giants found themselves trailing for most of the game. The Brown Bomber – John Beckwith – knocked in 5 runs sparking the comeback prior to scoring the game winner in the ninth. Beckwith struck two towering home runs. Reliever Lucas pitched 6 strong innings of relief to keep the Yanks from pulling away while Beckwith did his stick work.


NYY    410      000      011 – 7 11 0 LP – Bump Hadley

HBG    012      020      201 – 8 14 0 WP – Sam Cooper 2-1

HR – DiMaggio, Beckwith 2 (3)


This week the 1927 Murderer’s Row Yanks visit Cottage Hill Field where the Giants will set up shop. Following the Yanks in will be the 1925 champion Hilldale Club of the Eastern Colored League. The Giants schedule does not get any easier.  


Friday, January 06, 2006


Presently there are 213 players inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Of them, 153 began their careers during baseball’s segregated era and 60 began their careers, including Jackie Robinson, during baseball’s integrated era. Of the 153 players from the segregated era, 18 (12%) are former Negro League players. Of the 60 players from the integrated era, 25 (42%) would previously have been relegated to the Negro Leagues.


In 2000, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, intent on rectifying the situation to the extent merited by player performance, sought proposals for a $250,000 study of the Negro Leagues. In 2001, the Baseball Researchers and Authors Group (BRAG) were selected to carry out the landmark study. In 2005, the study was completed and findings reported to the Hall. In turn, the Hall appointed a blue ribbon panel to recommend and ultimately select players deemed meritorious of induction.


4800 players participated in the Negro Leagues. 94 players (2%) were given very serious consideration and, of those, 31 players (and 8 other figures) have been identified and remain under consideration for induction. A decision on which ones (if any) will be selected will be made in late February 2006.


It is my strong personal belief that all 31 players (and 8 others) should be selected for the following three reasons:


  1. All of the players were exceptional talents and performed at the very top 1% of all players appearing in the Negro Leagues. A case for statistical merit can be made for all 31 players.
  2. All 4,800 players who appeared in the Negro Leagues suffered in varying degrees due to the lack of opportunities for them to pursue a career in organized baseball. This exercise will likely never be repeated, at least not in this format, and to deny any now – at this late stage (after having been passed through a screen that eliminated 99.4% of their contemporaries) – would be to add to that suffering. While, conversely, to induct all of them would serve, in a small way, to ease some pain and provide for some semblance of harmony.
  3. Even if all 31 were to be inducted, the percent of players in the Hall whose careers began during the segregated era who toiled in the Negro Leagues would still be far short (49 of 184 or 27%) of the percent of players whose careers began since integration who would have been Negro Leaguers under the segregated arrangement.



Thursday, January 05, 2006


Bill Dickey’s two run 9th inning triple provided the margin in a come from behind rally launched by the Bronx Bombers this afternoon. Trailing 5-4 entering the ninth, the Yanks rallied with Crosetti doubling, Rolfe singling, DiMaggio drawing a walk. Gehrig’s strikeout interrupted the rally but Dickey followed with his three-bagger and the damage was done. Oscar Charleston closed the gap in the bottom of the 9th with a single but Cannady ended the game when he hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Grandma Murphy earned the save in relief of Spud Chandler who struggled all day but achieved the victory. Sam cooper took the defeat in relief of Red Ryan. The game was played in front of 2,709 fans.


Here is the line


NYY    010      021      003 - 7 10 0 WP – Chandler save – Murphy

HBG    000      200      211 – 6 13 0 LP – S. Cooper

HR - Gehrig

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Oscar Charleston’s two round trippers, the second of which being a game winning, two out, eighth inning grand slam, led the Harrisburg Giants to their second straight come from behind win over the St. Louis Stars. The two game to one series victory all but mathematically eliminates any possibility of the Stars defending the Hoverter-Reed Cup at the end of the year.

Leroy Matlock was on the mound when the Giants tallied the game winner but today’s loss went to Double Duty Radcliffe who – tiring after catching the second game of this series and pitching 7 2/3 innings today – loaded the bases before leaving in the bottom of the eighth. Charleston, who struck 41 homers in ’05-I, greeted the southpaw Matlock with his second homer of the game giving Lucas the win. Cliff Carter worked a scoreless ninth for a rare Giant save. A total of 2,573 fans were in attendance.

The line score:


StL       201      021      010      - 7 14 0 LP – T. Radcliffe

HBG    111      002      04x      - 9 10 0 WP – Lucas 1-0; Save - Carter

HR – Charleston 2 (2)

NOTE: In the twenties, when a Negro League team was going to play a big game against a solid group that perhaps featured several major leaguers, the two most sought after ringers to add to a lineup were always Oscar Charleston & John Beckwith. It is no surprise therefore that the Harrisburg Giants, featuring both in 1927, were the highest paid team in Negro League baseball that year.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


The Harrisburg Giants captured a stirring come from behind victory this afternoon at West End Grounds when they beat the St. Louis Stars 5-4. The win snapped a five game losing streak to the Stars and earned the Giants their initial win of the 2006-I season. Frank Grant singled in the winning run of Leroy Matlock in the bottom of the 9th inning. Sam Cooper was rewarded with the win for his one scoreless inning. Ping Gardner put in a solid eight for the Giants.


Cool Papa Bell homered for the second straight game for the visitors who managed a total of just six hits. The Giants tied the game in the bottom of the ninth when, with one out, Jenkins singled, Dixon tripled, and Charlie tied it with a long sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the 9th, Cannady led of with a double, Taylor was purposely passed and Frank Grant stroked a solid single to right to end the game. A crowd of 2,206 enjoyed the festivities.


StL       010      003      000      - 4 6 0 LP – Matlock

HBG    000      020      021      - 5 9 0 WP – Sam Cooper

HR - Bell

Monday, January 02, 2006

2006-I Season Underway

The Harrisburg Giants began the new campaign in the same fashion that they completed last year's season by losing to the Saint Louis Stars at West End Grounds before 3,192 fans. The Stars kayoed last year's twenty game winner Geechie Corbett early staking their ace, Logan Hensley, to a 7-1 lead. The Stars held on with Roosevelt Davis getting John Beckwith out in the bottom of the ninth. Beckwith, who homered earlier, represented the tying run when he was retired on a scorching grounder to John Henry Russell.
Cool Papa Bell led the Stars attack going 4 for 4, with a steal, a homer and a walk; scoring three times. Hensley was largely ineffective in his 8 2/3 innings. Here is the line score:
StL    115    001    010    9 15 0  WP - Hensley, Save - Davis
Hbg    010    013    020   7 9 0    LP - Geechie Corbett
HR - Creacy, Beckwith, Bell

Sunday, January 01, 2006

(no subject)

The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball

WASHINGTON (Nov. 18, 2005)-A major work on the Negro leagues and African-American baseball, published in association with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, will be released by National Geographic Books in February 2006. It is timed to coincide with a special series of Hall of Fame events honoring Negro league players in 2006, commencing with the announcement of any new Hall of Fame inductees from the Negro leagues and the era before the Negro leagues, in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 27.
SHADES OF GLORY: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball (National Geographic Books, ISBN 0-7922-5306-X, February 2006, $26) tells the story of black baseball, from slavery days when it was played on plantations in the pre-Civil War South to the first organized games of the mid-19th century to the glory days of the Negro leagues in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. This comprehensive, 432-page work, illustrated with more than 50 vintage photographs, details the game's rich cultural history and profiles the players, owners and fans that made baseball come alive for generations of African Americans.
The principal author is Lawrence D. Hogan, with co-authors Adrian Burgos, Leslie Heaphy, Neil Lanctot, Michael Lomax, James Overmyer, Robert Peterson, Robert Ruck and Lyle Wilson.
In his foreword, baseball historian Jules Tygiel writes, "Once the flower of a segregated African-American universe, the celebration of black baseball has blossomed into a national phenomenon. The realm of black baseball was a vibrant and colorful one. It offered a panorama of innovation and enterprise, entertainment and excitement, and unparalleled athletic achievement. Yet this spectacle resulted from and was made necessary by the nation's worst impulses: the cancer of segregation and discrimination that plagued the United States in its Jim Crow years. In recalling the Negro leagues, we honor the resiliency and creativity of an oppressed people. We also celebrate the demise of that world and its replacement by a national pastime more fully characterized by equality of opportunity."

SHADES OF GLORY is a compelling and lively history that combines vivid narrative, interesting anecdotes, biographical essays and scores of archival photographs of players, teams and evocative artifacts to recreate the excitement and passion of the Negro leagues. It traces the story of black baseball from its beginning on Southern plantations to the first great teams, such as the Cuban Giants, to the era of the vibrant barnstorming teams from the East Coast, Chicago and Cuba, to the glory days of the American league play and the decline of those leagues in the days of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.

Drawing on years of research, SHADES OF GLORY is the result of a comprehensive study on the history of African Americans in Baseball, from 1860-1960, commissioned by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and funded by a $250,000 grant from Major League Baseball. As part of this landmark study, the Hall of Fame supervised an effort to compile the most thorough and accurate statistics on Negro league players and games ever published, tracking down box scores for league-sanctioned games from thousands of entries from more than 120 period newspapers. Larry Lester and Dick Clark, co-directors of the Hall of Fame Project, were the compilers of this groundbreaking statistical record of black baseball. A 20-page statistical component is included in SHADES OF GLORY.
The book heralds the achievements and contributions of players, scouts, managers, team owners and executives as well as sportswriters and fans of the game. It locates the baseball story in the context of African-American history as a whole. Names such as "Pop" Watkins, Moses Walker, Sol White, Grant Johnson, Abel Linares, John Henry "Pop" Lloyd, "Smokey" Joe Williams, James "Cool Papa" Bell, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and many others emerge in all their glory. The book is an important contribution to sports history and a moving tribute to the players and teams that wrote a unique chapter in the annals of baseball and American culture.

Lawrence D. Hogan, a senior professor of history at Union County College in New Jersey, will give a presentation on the history of black baseball at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 21 as part of the National Geographic Live! program of lectures.

A seven-city book tour featuring Hogan, Tygiel and several former Negro league players, African-American Hall of Famers and former African-American Major League Baseball players begins on Feb. 21. The cities are Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala; Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Kansas City, Kan.; and Washington, D.C.