Women in Baseball- Required Charm School

The following text was taken from the charm school guide located in the collections of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.

 

When you become a player in the-American Girls Baseball League you have reached the highest position that a girl can attain in this sport. the-American Girls Baseball League is getting great public attention because it is pioneering a new sport for women.

You have certain responsibilities because you too are in the limelight. Your actions and appearance both on and off the field reflect on the whole profession. It is not only your duty to do your best to hold up the standard of this profession but to do your level best to keep others in the line.

The girls in our League are rapidly becoming the heroines of youngsters as well as grownups all over the world. People want to be able to respect their heroines at all times. The All-American Girls Baseball League is attempting to establish a high standard that will make you proud that you are a player in years to come.

We hand you this manual to help guide you in your personal appearance. We ask you to follow the rules of behavior for your own good as well as that of the future success of girls’ baseball.

In these few pages, you will find many of the simple and brief suggestions which should prove useful to you during the busy baseball season. If you plan your days to establish an easy and simple routine, so that your meals are regular and well balanced, so that you have time for outside play and relaxation, so that you sleep at least eight hours each night, and so that your normal functions are regular, you will be on the alert, do your job well, and gain the greatest joy from living. Always remember that your mind and your body are interrelated, and you cannot neglect one without causing the other to suffer. A healthy mind and a healthy body are the true attributes of the All-American girl.

Beauty Routines

Your ALL-AMERICAN GIRLS BASEBALL LEAGUE BEAUTY KIT Should always contain the following:

  • Cleansing Cream
  • Lipstick
  • Rouge Medium
  • Cream Deodorant
  • Mild Astringent
  • Face powder for Brunette
  • Hand Lotion
  • Hair Remover

You should be the best judge of your own beauty requirements. Keep your own kit replenished with the things you need for your own toilette and your beauty culture and care. Remember the skin, the hair, the teeth and the eyes. It is most desirable in your own interests, that of your teammates and fellow players, as well as from the standpoint of the public relations of the league, that each girl be at all times presentable and attractive, whether on the playing field or at leisure. Study your own beauty culture possibilities and without overdoing your beauty treatment at the risk of attaining gaudiness, practice the little measure that will reflect well on your appearance and personality as a real-American girl.

Suggested Beauty Routine

“After the Game”

Remember, the theAll-American girl is subjected to greater exposure through her activities on the diamond, through exertion in greater body warmth and perspiration, through exposure to dirt, grime and dust and through vigorous play to scratches, cuts, abrasions and sprains. This means extra precaution to assure all the niceties of toilette and personality. Especially “after the game,”the All American girl should take time to observe the necessary beauty ritual, to protect both her health and appearance. Here are a few simple rules that should prove helpful and healthful “after the game.”

  1. Shower well and soap the skin.
  2. Dry thoroughly to avoid chapping or chafing.
  3. Apply cleansing cream to face and remove with tissue.
  4. Wash face with soap and water.
  5. Apply skin astringent.
  6. Apply rouge moderately but carefully.
  7. Apply lipstick with moderate taste.
  8. Apply eye makeup if considered desirable.
  9. Apply powder.
  10. Check all cuts, abrasions or minor injuries.

If you suffer any skin abrasion or injury, or if you discern any aches or pains that do not appear to be normal, report them at once to your coach or chaperone or the person responsible for the treatment and first aid. Don’t laugh off slight ailments as trivialities because they can often develop into a serious infection or troublesome conditions that can handicap your play and cause personal inconvenience. See that your injuries, however slight, receive immediate attention. Guard your health and welfare.

Additional Beauty Routine

“Morning and Night”

In the morning, when you have more time to attend to your beauty needs, you will undoubtedly be enabled to perform a more thorough job. Use your cleansing cream around your neck as well as over the face. Remove it completely and apply a second time to be sure that you remove all dust, grease and grime. Wipe off thoroughly with cleansing tissue. Apply a lotion to keep your hands as lovely as possible. Use your manicure set to preserve your nails in a presentable condition and in keeping with the practical needs of your hands in playing ball.

Teeth

Not a great deal need be said about the teeth, because every All American girl instinctively recognizes their importance to her health, her appearance and her personality. There are many good tooth cleansing preparations on the market and they should be used regularly to keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy. A regular visit to a reliable dentist is recommended and certainly, no tooth ailment should be neglected for a moment.

Body

Unwanted or superficial hair is often quite common and it is no problem to cope with in these days when so many beauty preparations are available. If your have such hair on arms or legs, there are a number of methods by which it can be easily removed. There is an odorless liquid cream which can be applied in a few moments, permitted to dry and then showered off.

Deodorant

There are a number of very fine deodorants on the market which can be used freely all over the body. The most important feature of some of these products is the fact that the fragrance stays perspiration proof all day long. These deodorants can be used especially where excess perspiration occurs and can be used safely and effectively without retarding natural perspiration. The All-American girl is naturally susceptible because of her vigorous activities and it certainly pays dividends to be on the safe side. Deodorant keeps you fresh and gives you assurance and confidence in your social contacts.

Eyes

“The Eyes are the Windows of the Soul”

The eyes indicate your physical fitness and therefore need your thoughtful attention and care. They bespeak your innermost thoughts. They reflect your own joy of living, or they can sometimes falsely bespeak the listlessness of mind and body. Perhaps no other feature of your face has more to do with the impression of beauty, sparkle, and personality which you portray.

A simple little exercise for the eyes and one which does not take much time can do much to strengthen your eyes and add to their sparkle and allure. Turn your eyes to the corner of the room for a short space of time, then change to the other corner, then gaze at the ceiling and at the floor alternately. Rotating or rolling your eyes constitutes an exercise and your eyes will repay you for the attention that you give to them. There are also vitamins prescribed for the care of the eyes. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of vegetables. We all know well that the armed forces found carrots a definite dietary aid to eyesight. Use a good eyewash frequently and for complete relaxation at opportune moments, lie down and apply an eye pad to your eyes for several minutes.

Hair

“Woman’s Crowning Glory”

One of the most noticeable attributes of a girl is her hair, a woman’s crowning glory. No matter the features, the clothes, the inner charm or personality, they can all suffer beneath a sloppy or stringy coiffure. Neither is it necessary to feature a fancy or extravagant hairdo because a daily program for the hair will help to keep it in healthful and attractive condition.

Neatness is the first and greatest requirement. Arrange your hair neatly in a manner that will best retain its natural style despite vigorous play. Off the diamond, you can readily arrange it in a softer and more feminine style, if you wish. But above all. keep your hair as neat as possible, on or off the field.

Brushing the hair will help a great deal more than is realized. It helps to stimulate the scalp which is the source of healthful hair growth. It develops the natural beauty and luster of the hair. And it will not spoil the hairdo. When brushing, bend over and let your head hang down. Then brush your hair downward until the scalp tingles. Just a few minutes of this treatment each day will tend to keep your scalp in fine condition and enhance the beauty of your “crowning glory”.

Mouth

Every woman wants to have an attractive and pleasing mouth. As you speak, people watch your mouth and you can do much, with a few of the very simplest tools, to make your mouth invitingly bespeak your personality. Your beauty aids should, of course, include an appropriate type of lipstick and a brush. They should be selected with consideration and care.

With your lipstick, apply two curves to your upper lip. Press your lips together. Then, run your brush over the lipstick and apply it to your lips, outlining them smoothly. This is the artistic part of the treatment in creating a lovely mouth.

Patient practice and care make perfect. Open your mouth and outline your own natural curves. If your lips are too thin to please you, shape them into fuller curves. Now, use a tissue between your lips and press lightly to take off excess lipstick. If you wish to have a “firmer foundation,” use the lipstick a second time and use the tissue “press” again.

Caution: Now that you have completed the job, be sure that the lipstick has not smeared your teeth. Your mirror will tell the tale, and it is those little final touches that really count.

Hands

The hands are certainly among the most expressive accouterments of the body. They are always prominent and noticeable and while feminine hands can be lovely and lily white, as described in the ads, the All­American girl has to exercise practical good sense in preserving the hands that serve her so faithfully and well in her activities. Cleanliness and neatness again come to the fore. Your hands should be thoroughly cleaned and washed as frequently as seems desirable or necessary, and especially after games, they should be cleaned to remove all dust and grime. Soap and water and pumice will do this job to perfection. Then a protective cream should be applied to keep hands soft and pliable and to avoid cracking and over-dryness. Your nails should be gone over lightly each day, filing to prevent cracks and splits, oiling for the cuticle.

The length of your nails, of course, depends largely upon the requirements of your play. Keep them neat and clean and your hands will always be attractive.

Face

“All Beauty Comes From Within”

To the theAll-American girl, who is exposed to the elements, to the sun, to the wind and to the dust, it is most essential that every precaution be taken for the care of the skin. It should be covered with a protective substance of cream or liquid, depending entirely upon whether your skin is dry or oily. If it is dry, the cream type is recommended and if it is oily, you should use the liquid type. A good cleansing cream can serve as a cleanser, a powder base, a night cream and also a hand lotion. It is a good idea to have such an all-around utility cream on hand at all times and to use it regularly for these purposes.

FOR YOUR COLORING – again it depends on your particular complexion and whether you have an abundance of natural color tones or need very little coloring. You can determine this in keeping with good taste to acquire the necessary results. People who are naturally pale, of course, need the coloring to help their complexion.

 

NEXT: Rules of Conduct

Women in Baseball Wednesday  Rules of Conduct

THE RULES OF CONDUCT FOR PLAYERS AS SET UP BY THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRLS PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL LEAGUE

 

THE MANAGEMENT SETS A HIGH STANDARD FOR THE GIRLS SELECTED FOR THE DIFFERENT CLUBS AND EXPECTS THEM TO LIVE UP TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT WHICH RECOGNIZES THAT STANDARD. THERE ARE GENERAL REGULATIONS NECESSARY AS A MEANS OF MAINTAINING ORDER AND ORGANIZING CLUBS INTO A WORKING PROCEDURE.
ALWAYS appear in feminine attire when not actively engaged in practice or playing ball. This regulation continues through the playoffs for all, even though your team is not participating. AT NO TIME MAY A PLAYER APPEAR IN THE STANDS IN HER UNIFORM, OR WEAR SLACKS OR SHORTS IN PUBLIC.
Boyish bobs are not permissible and in general, your hair should be well groomed at all times with longer hair preferable to short hair cuts. Lipstick should always be on.
Smoking or drinking is not permissible in public places. Liquor drinking will not be permissible under any circumstances. Other intoxicating drinks in limited portions with after-game meal only, will be allowed. Obscene language will not be allowed at any time.
All social engagements must be approved by a chaperone. Legitimate requests for dates can be allowed by chaperones.
Jewelry must not be worn during game or practice, regardless of type.
All living quarters and eating places must be approved by the chaperones. No player shall change her residence without the permission of the chaperone.
For emergency purposes, it is necessary that you leave a notice of your whereabouts and your home phone.
Each club will establish a satisfactory place to eat, and a time when all members must be in their individual rooms. In general, the lapse of time will be two hours after the finish of the last game, but in no case later than 12:30 a.m. Players must respect hotel regulations as to other guests after this hour, maintaining conduct in accordance with high standards set by the league.
Always carry your employee’s pass as a means of identification for entering the various parks. This pass is NOT transferable.
Relatives, friends, and visitors are not allowed on the bench at any time.
Due to the shortage of equipment, baseballs must not be given as souvenirs without permission from the Management.
Baseball uniform skirts shall not be shorter than six inches above the knee-cap.
In order to sustain the complete spirit of rivalry between clubs, the members of different clubs must not fraternize at any time during the season. After the opening day of the season, fraternizing will be subject to heavy penalties. This also means in particular, room parties, auto trips to out of the way eating places, etc. However, friendly discussions in lobbies with opposing players are permissible. Players should never approach the opposing manager or chaperone about being transferred.
When traveling, the members of the clubs must be at the station thirty minutes before departure time. Anyone missing her arranged transportation will have to pay her own fare.
Players will not be allowed to drive their cars past their city’s limits without the special permission of their manager. Each team will travel as a unit via the method of travel provided for the league.
FINES OF FIVE DOLLARS FOR FIRST OFFENSE, TEN DOLLARS FOR SECOND, AND SUSPENSION FOR THIRD, WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE IMPOSED FOR BREAKING ANY OF THE ABOVE RULES.

Women in Baseball Wednesday- AAGPBL- Formation History

Note: With major league players off to World WarII and minor league teams becoming non-existant, the time was ripe for women to play baseball. The fan base was ready and willing for this new sport.

 

All American Girls Professional Baseball League

 

By the fall of 1942, many minor league teams disbanded due to the war. Young men, 18 years of age and over, were being drafted into the armed services. The fear that this pattern would continue and that Major League Baseball Parks across the country were in danger of collapse is what prompted Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing-gum mogul who had inherited the Chicago Cubs’ Major League Baseball franchise from his father, to search for a possible solution to this dilemma. Wrigley asked Ken Sells, assistant to the Chicago Cubs’ General Manager to head a committee to come up with ideas. The committee recommended a girls’ softball league be established to be prepared to go into Major League parks should attendance fall due to franchises losing too many quality players to attract crowds.

With the dedication of a group of Midwestern businessmen and the financial support of Mr.Wrigley, the All-American Girls Softball League emerged in the spring of 1943. The League was formed as a non-profit organization. A board of trustees was formed which included Philip K. Wrigley; Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Dodgers President and General Manager; Paul V. Harper, Chicago attorney and trustee for the University of Chicago and Chicago Cubs attorney; and Ken Sells, who was named President of the League. Midway in the first season of play, the board of trustees changed the League’s name to All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL) to make it distinctive from the existing softball leagues and because the rules of play were those of Major League Baseball. However, the retention of shorter infield distances and underhand pitching caused some controversy in the media about “Baseball” in the League name. Thus, at the end of the 1943 season, the official League name was again changed to the more descriptive All-American Girls Professional Ball League (AAGPBL). This title was retained until the end of the 1945 season when All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL) was again adopted and retained through 1950. It was during this time period that overhand pitching and smaller ball sizes were adopted. When independent team owners purchased the League at the end of the 1950 season, the official League name was changed to the American Girls Baseball League (AGBL), but popularly it continued to be identified as the All-American League or the All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL). Through the organization of the Players’ Association in1986, and through their efforts to gain recognition by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988, the league has now come to be recognized as what it was in actuality: the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).

The first major issue facing the trustees was to establish what game of ball was going to be played by the women and to define the rules for this new brand of ball. Chicago Cubs’ scout, Jack Sheehan, former player and part-time scout for the Cubs, and Vern Hernlund, supervisor of recreation for the Chicago Parks Department, worked with Ken Sells to write the new set of rules for the League. Since the only organized ball for women in the country was softball, they created a game which included both softball and baseball. There were semi-pro women’s softball teams of quality women players in Chicago and many other urban centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The skill of these teams provided a logical basis for the use of a 12-inch softball and underhand pitching. They wanted, however, to liven up the game. In an effort to increase hitting and spotlight base running and fielding, they extended the length of softball’s base paths and pitching distance. They also incorporated men’s base running rules by allowing runners to lead off and steal bases. Softball at the time included 10 players. This new game would parallel men’s baseball in a number of players and types of equipment.

The second major issue facing the trustees was to find the talented women playing softball or baseball across the country. Jim Hamilton, 30-year veteran player, manager, owner, and Chicago Cubs’ scout was hired as the Head of Procurement to locate and sign women from all over the United States and Canada. In Canada, the driving force was Johnny Gottslieg, former defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks National Hockey Team in the 1920s and 1930s.

Gottselig, a native of Regina, Sask., was managing the Blackhawks’ Kansas City farm team in 1942. He had many contacts among sporting figures in the provinces, one of whom was a Regina-based hockey scout named Hub Bishop. Bishop was responsible for signing Mary “Bonnie” Baker, All-Star catcher for the South Bend Blue Sox, and other highly skilled players from the many popular softball leagues which existed in Canada. Johnny Gottselig became the first manager of the Racine Belles in 1943 and managed his team to the first recognized World Championship of the newly organized AAGPBL. Wrigley already had an established recruitment network in place from his ownership of the Cubs and had sports connections throughout North America. Jim Hamilton, with several assistants, was responsible for procuring players from California to New York. Many players were screened from the Chicago Softball League and other existing softball leagues throughout the country. Bill Allington, former minor league player and then a coach in the California leagues, was also an active scout for the All-American League. Allington became the manager for the Rockford Peaches in the summer of 1944 and remained as a manager in the league throughout the league’s existence.

By sending out scouts and setting up try-outs in dozens of major cities, Wrigley attracted hundreds of women from all over America and Canada who were eager to play in this new professional league. Of these, only 280 were invited to the final try-outs in Chicago where 60 were chosen to become the first women to ever play professional baseball.

Team Formation

Wrigley originally envisioned that Major League baseball parks could profit from having the women play on the dates the men’s teams were scheduled to be on the road. He calculated this would maximize the use of the parks which were now only utilized 50% of the time. He approached other Major League owners, but the idea was not well received. Four non-Major League cities were selected that were in close proximity to the League headquarters in Chicago and close to each other. The cities chosen were Racine and Kenosha Wisconsin, Rockford, Illinois, and South Bend, Indiana. Arthur Meyerhoff, Wrigley’s advertising director, was given the responsibility of coordinating operations with city officials and civic leaders in the communities. A projected budget was developed. Wrigley agreed to fund half the cost of operating each team and all over-budget expenses. The host city directors agreed to pay the other half of projected operating costs.

Teams consisted of fifteen players, a manager (coach), a business manager, and a woman chaperone. It was believed that by acquiring notable men sports figures as managers for the girls’ teams, there would be greater curiosity and interest by the public. The first managers selected were Johnny Gottselig; Bert Niehoff, former Major League player and minor league manager; Josh Billings, former Major League player; and Eddie Stumpf, former Milwaukee Brewers catcher.

Spring training was set for May 17, 1943, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. All the players stayed at the Belmont Hotel close to Wrigley Field. The final selection process began on the first day. League officials systematically scrutinized each player. They were tested on playing their field position, throwing, catching, running, sliding and hitting. At the end of the day, no one wanted to answer the phone for fear of being told they would have to pack and go home. Those who survived the cut were signed to professional league contracts which stated they were not to have any other employment during the baseball season. Salaries were high for many of these young players, some as young as 15. In many cases they were making more than their parents who had skilled occupations. Salaries ranged from $45 to $85 a week plus. Those who were signed not only had to be highly skilled players, they also had to comply with high moral standards and rules of conduct imposed by the League.

In addition, femininity was a high priority. Wrigley contracted with Helena Rubenstein’s Beauty Salon to meet with the players at spring training. After their daily practices, the women were required to attend Rubenstein’s evening charm school classes. The proper etiquette for every situation was taught, and every aspect of personal hygiene, mannerisms and dress code was presented to all the players. In an effort to make each player as physically attractive as possible, each player received a beauty kit and instructions on how to use it. (See Charm School and Rules of Conduct for details).

Mrs. Wrigley, Wrigley’s Art Designer, Otis Shepard, and Ann Harnett collaborated to design special uniforms for the League. Ann Harnett, Chicago softball star and the first girl to sign a contract with the league, became a model for the new uniforms. The one-piece short-skirted flared tunic was fashioned after the figure skating, field hockey, and tennis costumes of the period. Satin shorts, knee-high baseball socks and baseball hat completed the uniform. Each city had a different colored uniform and its own symbolic patch decorated the front of the uniform.

 

Next: The Charm School

Women in Baseball – Central Illinois Gals

One of the earliest memories that I have was in kindergarten when the teacher asked us to write what you want to be then you grow up. I remember putting ‘athlete’. I remember putting that, and my teacher said, “You can’t be an athlete, Sarah.” She was a nun. I went to Catholic school. I remember her telling me that, and I was so disappointed. I said, “but why not?” And she said, Girls aren’t athletes, Sarah. Only boys are athletes.”

In 1988 by Sarah Gascon (from “A Game of Their Own” by Jennifer Ring)

Sarah Gascon is now a world-class handball player for the USA

 

The Women in Baseball movement is real. It took the movie that was directed by the late Penny Marshall called, “A League of Their Own” to revitalize this topic. In fact, this movie is the highest-grossing baseball movie ever made. It is just ahead of the Jackie Robinson movie “42”. There are women now playing in colleges, leagues, and lower levels of the game. There are umpires that are female in the minor leagues along with baseball executives in the major leagues. There is a long history of women that have been owners of major league teams with varying degrees of success including Helene Robison Britton as the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals for six years beginning in 1912.

On this blog, I will try to touch on the many aspects of baseball and the role women played in it. It will likely begin around September 10-20.

The following schedule has been set:

  • August 7- AAGPBL Formation History
  • August 14- AAGPBL- Rules of Conduct
  • August 21- AAGPBL- Charm School
  • August 28- none
  • September 4 and every Wednesday- Player Bios from Central Illinois players

 

I want to be sure to feature those that were born around Central Illinois that played professional baseball in the AAGPBL. If you know of someone that needs to be featured, send me a message. I currently have a list of local gals that I may feature if I can find enough information from my research.  They will be done in a random order but here is the player list and the city they were born in. Also, the names in parentheses are their married name and many played before marriage.

  • Amy Irene Applegren – Peoria
  • Helen Westerman (Austin)- Springfield
  • Mildred Baker- Peoria
  • Mary Rudis (Bestovic)- Springfield
  • Lila Burk- Peoria
  • Bonnie Cooper- Tremont
  • Elizabeth Dailey- Peoria
  • Carol Damon- Peoria
  • Betsy Wanless (Decker)- Springfield
  • Loretta Flessner- Peoria
  • Betsy Gerring- Peoria
  • June Gilmore (Hawton)- Peoria
  • Mabel Holle- Jacksonville
  • Irene Ives- Peoria
  • Esther Luman (Kelly)- Peoria
  • Irene Kerwin- Peoria
  • Ruth Miller- Jacksonville
  • Janice O’Hara- Beardstown
  • Rose Folder (Powell)- Springfield
  • Mary Elizabeth Farrow (Rapp)- Peoria
  • Marilyn Akin (Shambaugh)- Peoria
  • Emily Stevenson- Champaign
  • Ruth Waca- Peoria

If you know family members of any of these players please alert them to this site and if they want to send copies of memorabilia or talk to me about their relative playing baseball, that would be awesome! [email protected] 

Several of these women are included in the Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball book and I will be using that for biographies. It is a great book from author Leslie A. Heaphy and I recommend it for your reading if you want much more on this topic.

I will be featuring an article about the Peoria Redwings (1946-1951) and the Springfield Sallies (1948).

 

ENJOY!

This is the final post on major league players born in Central Illinois. I could have included many of the stars of the game from these counties such as Jim Thome, Joe Girardi, Robin Roberts, Ben Zobrist, Dick Schofield and many more. I made the decision to stick with the lesser-known players. Here are some of their bios. In a few months, I will begin a series on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) and highlight the girls and teams from the Central Illinois area. If you have any personal information on those ladies, feel free to send me a message. 

I hope you have enjoyed this series.

John Louis “Lou” Johnson was born in Pekin, Illinois on  November 18, 1869. In his major league career with the Phillies, Johnson posted a 1–1 record with a 6.06 ERA in four appearances, including three starts and two complete games, giving up 22 earned runs on 44 hits and 15 walks while striking out 10 in 32 ⅔ innings of work.

Red Dorman was born as Charles Dwight “Red” Dorman in Jacksonville, Illinois on October 3, 1900, and played for the Cleveland Indians for 28 games during the 1928 Cleveland Indians season. He made his debut on August 21, 1928, and doubled in his first at-bat. He hit .364. in that season.

Joe Sullivan was born on September 26, 1910, in Mason City, Illinois, and the family moved west towards the State of Washington shortly after his birth. He played five seasons in the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers (1935–1936), Boston Red Sox (1939–1940), Boston Braves (1941), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1941). In five major league seasons, Sullivan had a record of 30–37 with a 4.01 ERA. A knuckleball specialist, Sullivan once pitched 12 straight innings of scoreless relief.

Darby O’Brien was born on September 1, 1863 – June 15, 1893) He played outfield for the New York Metropolitans in 1887 and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Grooms from 1888–1892. O’Brien developed lung problems during his playing career and continued to play, despite his ill health. When he reported to spring training for the 1893 season, the team found that he was too ill to play and sent him to Colorado to try to recover. They played a benefit game to raise money for him. He died later that year of typhoid fever at the age of 29 in his hometown.

Bernie Neis was born in Bloomington, Illinois on September 26, 1895. He played for the Brooklyn Robins, Boston Braves, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox between 1920 and 1927. He later managed in the minor leagues in 1932 and 1933. His lifetime average was .272 with 25 home runs.

Jim Cox was born May 28, 1950, in Bloomington, Illinois. He played for the Montreal Expos between 1973 and 1976. He batted and threw right-handed. In a four-season career, Cox was a .215 hitter (66-for-307) with three home runs and 33 RBI in 110 games played, including 33 runs, 11 doubles, two triples, and three stolen bases.

James Abner “Stub” Smith was born in Elmwood, Illinois on November 24, 1873.  He played in few games for the Boston Beaneaters in 1898 and got one hit in ten at-bats.

Roy Ogden Wise was born in Springfield, Illinois on November 18, 1923. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1944 Pittsburgh Pirates season appearing in two games on May 12 and May 13. He finished with a 9.00 ERA and one strikeout.

George (Lucky) Whiteman was born on December 23, 1884, in Peoria, Illinois. He played mainly as a left fielder for the Boston Americans (1907), New York Yankees (1913) and Boston Red Sox (1918) between the 1907 and 1918. Whiteman filled in the outfield for the Boston Red Sox whenever Babe Ruth was pitching. He finished a .271 batting average with one home run and 31 runs batted in in 85 games played.

Jack Brittin was born in Athens, Illinois on March 4, 1924. In six total games pitched in the big leagues, all in relief, Brittin had a 0–0 record with a 6.75 earned run average. He allowed seven hits, six earned runs and nine bases on balls in eight full innings pitched.

 

Got a thought? Email me at [email protected]

 

Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon).

 

As I snooped around looking for information on Robert Kinsella, I happily stumbled upon an article about his dad and the connections to baseball and some names of baseball history that he interacted with on a daily basis.

Not to forget Richard (Bob), he played in four major league games for the New York Giants in 1919-1920. He made his major league debut on September 20, 1919 and played his last contest on October 2, 1920. He was 3-for-12 in his career

 

check out the other bios HERE.

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This article is published with permission from the Sangamon County Historical Society. Check them out as they have some great research items and stories to read.

 

Richard Kinsella (baseball scout, team owner)

 

Richard “Sinister Dick” Kinsella (1862-1939) was a semi-pro baseball player, owner of Springfield’s Three-I League team and a well-known local politician. But he was famous nationally as the right-hand man of John J. McGraw, the Hall of Fame manager of the New York Giants from 1902 to 1932.

“Sinister Dick” got his nickname not because of skullduggery but because of his dark, bushy, intimidating eyebrows. (A sports writer reportedly once said “his eyebrows looked like fright wigs.”)  Nonetheless, Kinsella was a tough, old-school baseball man.

He also was a shrewd judge of talent. As a scout – at first, in fact, McGraw’s only scout – Kinsella discovered dozens of major-league baseball players, including Hall of Famers Carl Hubbell, Frankie Frisch, Freddie Lindstrom, Mickey Cochrane, and Hack Wilson. He may also have been involved in McGraw’s signing of Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity; Kinsella said he and McGinnity once played on the same team in Springfield.

Kinsella played first base during his own on-field career, which apparently was spent with town teams; businesses like the Illinois Watch Factory, Myers Brothers department store, local railroads and others sponsored teams during the period. The Illinois State Journal hinted at his playing style in an 1897 story involving a feud between Kinsella and Springfield Mayor Marion Woodruff: “Kinsella has been a power in Democratic politics in Springfield ever since the days when he played baseball and the bleachers went wild over the manner in which he stole second (base).”

Kinsella served on the Sangamon County Board of Supervisors and then was county treasurer from 1898 to 1902. He was a delegate to several Democratic national conventions, including serving as sergeant-at-arms at the 1912 convention. He also operated Kinsella Paint and Varnish for more than 50 years in Springfield.

Kinsella was among the early boosters of local minor-league baseball, starting at least in 1890 when a group of businessmen tried to raise money to support Springfield’s team in the Central Interstate League. The Springfield Senators had finished second in the Central Interstate in 1889. However, the league did not resume in 1890.

Springfield Senators, 1905; player-manager Frank Donnelly in center. (Center text says "Champions for 1905," but the Senators actually finished third in the league that year.) (Sangamon Valley Collection)

Springfield Senators, 1905; player-manager Frank Donnelly in the center. Despite references to the Senators being “champions,” the team actually finished third in the league in 1905. (Sangamon Valley Collection)

Kinsella later became a director of the Springfield Baseball Association, which sponsored a team in the Three-I League beginning in 1903. That first team was the Springfield Foot Trackers, according to baseball-reference.com; the name changed in 1904 to the Springfield Hustlers and then back to the Senators in 1905.

Most sources on Kinsella report that he became the owner of the Springfield franchise in 1904, but that is incorrect. Harry Jones owned most of the stock of the Springfield Baseball Association until fall 1905, when Kinsella challenged allegedly improper payments to the association’s secretary – Jones – and its treasurer. The legal dispute was settled in November 1905, with Kinsella paying $5,000 for 80 percent control of the team, according to newspaper reports.

As owner (or what newspapers called “the Springfield magnate”), Kinsella put together a winning organization, and the Senators were league champions in 1908 and 1910. However, his approach was to churn the team’s roster, hiring promising prospects and then, once they showed potential, selling their contracts elsewhere. Critics, many of them his Three-I competitors, said that was unfair and damaging to the league.

The Illinois State Register also crossed swords with Kinsella in 1910. Angered when the newspaper reprinted a St. Louis item suggesting Kinsella had assaulted an umpire – actually, he apparently had come to the ump’s defense – he barred Register reporters from League Park, the field at 11th Street and Black Avenue where the Senators played. The ban was to apply, Kinsella said, even if the reporters bought tickets and even at games not involving Three-I teams. (Town leagues also used the park.)

The Register responded in a June 16 commentary, one perhaps written by “sporting editor” Jimmie Dix, who was the special object of Kinsella’s ire.

If Dick Kinsella wants to run a baseball nine, that’s all right. He is a baseball genius in the picking of players and organizing pennant-winning teams. The State Register prints the news about it. Dick Kinsella’s business in this matter is running a ball nine. The State Register’s business is printing the news. We owe that to our 17,000 subscribers, not one of whom has ever made a request that we let Dick Kinsella tell us who we shall send to report the news or how we shall report it.

Despite the Senators’ on-field success, attendance at League Park in 1910 fell short of the Three-I League’s minimum of 35,000 patrons.

Meanwhile, Kinsella had begun scouting for McGraw’s Giants in 1907. So when he was offered the chance in 1910 to head the St. Louis Browns scouting organization, Kinsella put the Senators up for sale. Getting no solid offers in Springfield, he moved the franchise to Decatur in May 1911; that December, he sold out to another Springfield syndicate, once again headed by Harry Jones.

After scouting for the Cardinals, Kinsella joined the New York Yankees staff in 1916. He later returned to the Giants organization.

Jim Sandoval, writing for the Society for American Baseball research, outlined Kinsella’s scouting secrets.

Kinsella … subscribed to newspapers in every town or city that had professional baseball. He made connections with the compilers of league statistics to get the official averages in advance of publication. He also acquired lists of players on waivers.

Kinsella once signed a player, Benny Kauff, by taking a job on a plantation near a Mississippi resort where the player and other baseball figures were holding meetings, Sandoval wrote: “While the baseball people were meeting, Kinsella was meeting secretly with Kauff.”

Sandoval debunks another characteristic Kinsella story, that he once bought the contract of a prospect for $25 and a bird dog. Kinsella did give the dog to St. Louis Cardinals manager Roger Bresnahan, but as a gift, not as part of a player deal, Sandoval wrote.

However, Kinsella was part of a spectacular brawl at a St. Louis hotel in 1915. The fight grew out of an argument between Giants catcher Larry McLean; Sandoval describes the result:

As many as six players helped Kinsella. Accounts say two chairs were broken on McLean, with Kinsella breaking a rocking chair over his head, then chasing him around the fountain in the courtyard. McLean ran away, chased by McGraw and Kinsella, and McLean escaped by jumping into a passing automobile.

Kinsella in the 1930s (SJ-R)

Kinsella in the 1930s (SJ-R)

Kinsella retired from scouting in 1930. He remained active in politics, however, and ran Henry Horner’s Sangamon County campaign for governor in 1932. In return, Horner in 1933 named Kinsella director of the state division of oil inspection, a job he held till his death in 1939.

Long-time Illinois State Journal sports editor Bob Drysdale remembered Kinsella in his “Dope Bucket” column on Oct. 15, 1939:

One of the best – and greatest – of baseball’s old guard was called out by the Great Umpire last night when Richard F. (Dick) Kinsella died. Mr. Kinsella, more than anyone else, brought baseball fame to Springfield. As a player, manager and scout, he put this city in the forefront of the game. Stars discovered by him as a scout for the New York Giants have become baseball immortals. … He saw the game grow. He helped it to grow. If scouts ever gain their deserved recognition and win places in baseball’s Hall of Fame, Richard F. Kinsella will lead them all. He was the best.

Notes

*The Rippon-Kinsella House, the Kinsella family home at 1317 N. Third St., is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. As of 2015, it was a bed-and-breakfast home.

*Richard Kinsella and his wife Mary Kathryn had four sons, three of whom died as young men. The fourth, Robert (1899-1951), played in four games for the New York Giants in 1919 and 1920.

A diamond at David Lawless Park, winter 2015 (SCHS)

A diamond at David Lawless Park, winter 2015 (SCHS)

*Some biographies give Dick Kinsella credit for building Springfield’s first baseball stadium. That appears to be overstated. League Park was created in 1902, and the grandstand was built in 1903 and improved in 1904. As a director of the Springfield Baseball Association, Kinsella no doubt played a role in the construction, but he didn’t take control of the Springfield team until late 1905. League Park’s grandstand and bleachers were destroyed by an arson fire in June 1911, a couple of months after Kinsella moved the team to Decatur. (Kinsella later wrote that he moved the team because of the fire; that was incorrect.)

The site of League Park, after lying vacant for decades — for many years, it was a periodic circus and carnival grounds — is again a baseball facility. Renamed David Lawless Park and operated by the Springfield Park District, it is the home of four diamonds.

Bob Barnes – Born in Washburn- Played for White Sox

Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon).

 

He was born as Robert (Bob) Avery Barnes on January 6, 1902, in Washburn, Illinois in Woodford County. There appears to be nothing written about his youth until he reached the minor leagues. He pitched for the Muskegon Anglers and Grand Rapid Homoners (that was the only year the team name was Homoners and I can’t find the meaning of the word) in 1924 where he was 4-4 and pitched 76 innings and allowed 86 hits and 30 earned runs. He was a lefty hurler.

He started out at age 22 playing for the Chicago White Sox and had a career of two games. On July 8, 1924, he pitched against the New York Yankees for one inning. It that game, he allowed 3 hits and three earned runs with no walks or strikeouts. His next game was on July 10, 1924, and was his last major league appearance. He tossed against the New York Yankees again with 3.2IP/1H/8ER/0BB/1K. He finished his career with a 19.29 ERA.

He died on December 8, 1993, at the age of 91 years in Peoria, Illinois. He is buried in the Lacon Cemetery in Lacon, Illinois.

 

Check out the other Central Illinois biographies HERE.

 

 

Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon).

 

 

There is virtually nothing written about this player. 

 

STUB SMITH- Born in Elmwood, IL

Stub Smith (born as James Avery Smith)
Shortstop
Born: November 24, 1873
Elmwood, Illinois
Died: November 14, 1947 (aged 73)
Fall River, Massachusetts
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 10, 1898, for the Boston Beaneaters
Last MLB appearance
October 15, 1898, for the Boston Beaneaters
MLB statistics
Games played 3  At bats 10  Hits 1
Teams
Boston Beaneaters (1898)

 

I am currently researching players from the southeast counties (Crawford, Jasper, Effingham, Clay, Richland, Lawrence, Edwards, and Wabash) in Illinois. If you know of any players that were born in one of these counties and played in the major leagues, feel free to contact me.

 

[email protected]

 

Tim Hulett- Born in Springfield- Major Leaguer from 1983-1995

Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon).

 

Tim Hulett- Born in Springfield

 

Timothy Craig Hulett, Sr. (born January 12, 1960) is the head baseball coach at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was the manager for the Minor League Baseball Spokane Indians in the Texas Rangers organization for 10 years and prior to that, he was a professional baseball infielder in the major leagues from 1983-1995. He played for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and St. Louis Cardinals.

In 1978, he was draft directly from high school where he attended Lanphier in Springfield, Il. He went to South Florida and played for the Bulls and then transferred to Miami Dade College North Campus. In 1980, the White Sox selected him in the secondary phase of the draft. In 1983, he made his major league debut on September 15th. He got his first hit on September 21st as he finished the season playing in six games with five at-bats and one single. He continued with the White Sox for several seasons with 1985 being his best year statistically. In 1986, he played 150 games for the Sox.

In 1988, he was traded to the Expos and was released soon after then he was with the Baltimore Orioles through 1994. In 1995, he signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals and played in 4 games where he was 2-for-11 before he was released. He continued in baseball as an assistant coach for Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, LA and led them to five state titles. He stayed in baseball as a manager in the minor leagues beginning in 2007 and was named Northwest League Manager of the Year in 2010. Recently, he was the manager of the Philippines national baseball team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

He is currently the head baseball coach at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, LA where his assistant coaches are Tug Hulett, Joe Hulett, Jeff Hulett.

 

 

 

Dutch Leonard- Born in Auburn, IL- Great Lesson Learned from Hack Wilson

Born in Central Illinois Major Leaguers

He was born Emil John Leonard on March 25, 1909, in Auburn, Illinois to Emil and Julia Leonard. The story goes that he got the nickname from an earlier baseball player named Dutch. Leonard was a high school star in basketball and football as the school didn’t offer baseball. In the summers, “Dutch” would play on the sandlots and with semipro teams as he had an overpowering fastball.

His father was a coal miner and continually urged his son to find a better way to make a living. Emil didn’t listen, at first, as he went to work in the coal mines. That lasted three days and he knew his father knew what he was talking about. He took a different job digging ditches for the electric company in the Chicago area where he began pitching for the company team.

He was noticed for his abilities on the baseball field by the Evanston News Index and they hired him to play baseball and in 1929, the company was the city champions. Leonard had outdueled a former major leaguer in Hippo Jim Vaughn. He began to play professional baseball fulltime in 1930 as he bounced around several minor leagues teams for the next four seasons. He got a bit tired of that and went home and got a job driving a truck.

In the spring of 1933, he signed to pitch in Class A New York Penn League and went 12-15 and received the noticed of the Brooklyn Dodgers. They paid him $800 and gave him a 10-day trial. He made his major league debut on August 31 as he entered the game in relief with his team down 6-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals. He faced bases loaded and two out and proceeded to keep the Cardinals scoreless until the seventh inning. His debut was a success. The team liked what they saw and advised him to use his knuckleball more often. He ended with a 2-3 record and a 2.93 ERA.

The Dodgers assigned him in 1934 to room with their fading star Hack Wilson. Hack had many National League records o his name but was having trouble staying away from the booze. One night Wilson demanded that Leonard join his for a drink. They went to the bar and got their drinks when Wilson smacked the bottle out of Leonard’s hand and told him to stay away from booze so that he didn’t end up like Hack Wilson.

The seasons and teams flow by from there for “Dutch” as he bounced around with an array of success and failure. In 1950, he had become the oldest player in the National League at the age of 41. He had been mostly relegated to the bullpen but the Cubs gave him a job as pitching coach but was fired in 1956 with all of the miserable coaches of the Chicago Cubs.

After baseball, he became a counselor with the Illinois Youth Commission. He conducted baseball camps for rehabilitation youth. He retired at age 65. On April 17, 1983, Leonard died and is buried near his hometown of Auburn. He left behind his wife of almost 49, Rose, and two sons and one daughter.

In Summation:

Emil John “Dutch” Leonard (March 25, 1909 – April 17, 1983) was a professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a right-handed knuckleball pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1933–36), Washington Senators (1938–46), Philadelphia Phillies (1947–48), and Chicago Cubs (1949–53).