Results tagged ‘ Connie Mack ’

Time travel….1910

10258640_510189719103131_8560875975986433485_nDuring the first decade of the 20th Century cartoon ads from Underoof Bourbon and Rye Whiskey appeared regularly in Chicago newspapers. The image above is referring to pitcher and future Hall of Famer “Chief” Bender’s win in game 1 of the 1910 World Series. Bender gave up 3 hits and one unearned run as the Philadelphia Athletics beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 in a mind-blowing one hour and 54 minutes. The Athletics would eventually go on to win the World title beating the Cubs in 5 games. (back then it was the best of 5) I find it interesting to note that the attendance for this particular World Series game was 26,891. We should contemplate and consider the fact that if a modern team averaged that many paying customers they would be threatening to move to Montreal.

Welcome to another edition of virtual time travel. Imagine the possibilities! Your father wakes you up, drunk as a skunk on Old Underoof Whiskey and asks you if you would like to take in the first game of the World Series that afternoon. ticket(You can tell because his eyes are blood-shot, and he stumbles a bit on a toy train you had left on the floor; unlike other drunks though, he is happy and generous when on the drink.) Oh boy! You throw on your knickers and knee socks, comb your hair and you feel like the king of the world. Mom has breakfast ready and you take a sip of Ol’ pops coffee and immediately regret it. Mom had been getting on Pop’s case for drinking too much so he simply put the hootch in his coffee thinking that this would pacify her. She knows what he’s doing, of course, because of the overwhelming whiskey stench. (and secretly hoping that his generosity will carry over for purchase of that suit she saw in the window the other day- although the 22.50 price tag was a bit steep.) No matter. He is having none of this nonsense because today we are taking in a ball-game.  The eggs and toast are quickly gorged and after giving Mom a kiss on the cheek, out the door you go. You both walk a couple of blocks, hang a left, Pop gets a shoeshine for a nickel….and there it is…Shibe Park!

number 1 song

a very popular movie of the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmie Foxx…greatest Athletics hitter of all time.

1985-topps-circle-k-7-jimmie-foxx-baseball-cards-n-2e8a X is the first
Of two x’s in Foxx
Who was right behind Ruth
With his powerful soxx.

Ogden Nash, Sport Magazine 

In the 1930’s, Jimmie Foxx socked more homers than any other player. A fearsome power hitter whose strength earned him the moniker “The Beast”, Jimmie Foxx was the anchor of an intimidating Philadelphia Athletics lineup that produced pennant winners from 1929-31. The second batter in history to top 500 home runs, Foxx belted 30 or more homers in 12 consecutive seasons and drove in more than 100 runs 13 consecutive years, including a career-best 175 with Boston in 1938. He won back-to-back MVP Awards in 1932 and ’33, capturing the Triple Crown in the latter year. Called “the right-handed Babe Ruth.” Foxx became a baseball legend because of his enormous strength. In Comiskey Park, he hit a ball over the double-decked stands, clearing 34th Street. His gigantic clout in Cleveland won the 1935 all-star Game. In Yankee Stadium, he hit one into the left field upper deck where it broke a seat! A strong, powerful hitter, he was menacing looking at the plate.

He had great powerful arms, and he used to wear his sleeves cut off way up, and when he dug in and raised that bat, his muscles would bulge and ripple.   

After years in Philadelphia playing under the penurious Connie Mack, he finally started making good when he was traded to Boston. Tom Yawkey, who always paid his players well, even gave Foxx a share in gate receipts. Universally liked, almost everyone loved him, from Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth to Ted Williams. (Ted Williams even claimed that Jimmie could drink 15 glasses of scotch whisky and not be affected) He always went out of the way to befriend new teammates and rookies.

In July of 1967, after years of bad investments and ill health, Foxx died on the way to the hospital after he choked on a piece of meat in the backyard of his brother. By that time, he was a beaten and broken man, and those close to him felt that Jimmie had finally just given up, and did not have the will to live anymore. It was a very sad ending to a simply great guy. 

jimmies grave

The origin of the elephant…a big middle finger to the Giants.

mackele1 When the A’s joined the American League in its first year of existence in 1901, team owner Benjamin Shibe wasted little time in offering exorbitant contracts to star National Leaguers, in effect raiding them of their talent. John McGraw, who had managed the Orioles in the AL but flipped over to the Giants of the National League, was disgusted by Shibe’s actions, but thought that spending so much money was going to tank the team. And so, while speaking to a reporter in 1902, McGraw stated that Shibe had a “big white elephant” on his hands. The term, popular back then, described something that looked nice but whose upkeep made it impossible to take care of. Connie Mack heard what McGraw had said and showing that he had an outstanding sense of humor, ordered all Athletic’s gear to carry a white elephant on it.  When McGraw started that White Elephant “joke” way back in the war days he was paving a way for the Athletics to seize on a motto and trade-mark that is to-day recognized as one of the very best titles for a ball club to have. McGraw, however, never meant that expression to be taken as a joke. “Muggsy” was exceedingly bitter against the American League, Ban Johnson and other league officials those days and it was not said in any spirit of good feeling that the name of White Elephant was plastered on the Athletics.

By the time the 1905 World Series came around, it was obvious that the A’s were a profitable franchise. And so, in playing a practical joke on McGraw, before Game 1 of the Series, McGraw was given a statue of a white elephant  at Columbia Park in Philadelphia. According to spectators John McGraw, the surly manager hammed it up this time, as he “doffed his cap and made a deep bow to the hooting spectators.”

 The elephant was replaced as the team mascot in 1963 by then-owner Charles O. Finley in favor of a Missouri mule (it was also rumored to have been done by Finley in order to attract fans from the then heavily Democratic constituents of Missouri by replacing the traditional Republican mascot to one associated with Democrats). In 1988, the elephant was restored as the symbol of the Athletics and currently adorns the left sleeve of home and road uniforms. The elephant mascot returned briefly in the mid-’80s, under the name Harry Elephante. In 1997, the elephant returned, taking its current form.