Tim Hendryx- Born in LeRoy, Illinois

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).

 

Central Illinois Born Major Leaguers

 

Timothy Green Hendryx was born on January 31, 1891, in LeRoy, Illinois to William and Nancy Neeley Hendryx. He was the fourth of six children as Alva, Sarah and Cecil were older than Tim and Ettie and Louis came later. His father was a stonecutter and later on, his family moved to Mississippi.

Nothing has been reported about his days as a youth. However, beginning in 1911(age 20) he began to play professional baseball for the Yazoo City Zoos in the Cotton State League. He was primarily a third baseman but had the ability to fill in at other spots on the diamond. Late in the season he was spotted and signed by Cleveland scout Bob Gilks to finish the season with the Cleveland Naps. At this time of his career, he was 5’9″ and 170 lbs and was right-handed. He made his debut on September 4th as a pinch runner. He played in 4 games and had 2 hits in 7 at-bats along with one sacrifice hit.

He played sparingly in Cleveland the next year and spent most of the time suiting up for the New Orleans Pelicans where he also had several injuries. In 1913, he went to Birmingham and played in the outfield with “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and Jack Graney. He did well and hit .286 in 1914. His contract was purchased on August 15, 1915, by the New York Yankees where he played in 13 late-season games, hitting .200.

He bounced around from there for many seasons with no real baseball distinction. He also continued to have marital issues and history shows he had four wives in his lifetime. After baseball, he worked as a taxicab driver for Checker Cab and also was a painting contractor.

He died on August 14, 1957, in Corpus Christi, TX.

 

For More Biographies of Central Illinois Born Major Leaguers click HERE

 

Pop Dillon born in Normal – Holds Records and Baseball Book Author

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)

 

 

Frank “Pop” Dillon -Born in Normal, Illinois

 

Frank “Pop” Dillon was born in Normal, Illinois to Levi and Mary Wright Dillon on October 17, 1873. His father owned and operated a business breeding and selling Percheron horses. At the time of his birth, the area around Bloomington-Normal was booming with canning and shipping of fruits and vegetables. This help establishes a solid income for the family.

 

 

His mom’s sisters family moved to the Normal area after the passing of the husband/dad and it was at the age of 8 that Frank met his cousin Clark and they immediately hit it off with their love of baseball. Dillon attended school in the local public education program and then attended Illinois State University in 1882. He became a right-handed thrower and a left-handed batter for the ISU Redbirds but primarily played in the outfield. He transferred to the University of Wisconsin where he played some football and became the second best pitcher on the baseball team. In 1894, he became their primary hurler and from there got some notice for professional baseball.

After the spring semester, he signed his first professional contract for the Peoria Distillers and played in 24 games and jumped to his hometown in Bloomington in 1895. Then he jumped around to Ottumwa and then Jacksonville. and back to Bloomington. By 1897, he was no longer a pitcher and was strictly an outfielder.

Things jumped to 1899 when he was purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 6 for $1500. He made his major league debut on September 8, 1899, and got two hits and scoring twice. He became a regular for the rest of the year. In the offseason, the team had a complete makeover of the roster and after five games in 1900, Dillon was released. He was signed a week later by the Detroit Tigers and hit .291 in 123 games.

He continued to play for them, however, in the offseason he came down with appendicitis and he came back only to be mired in a bad hitting slump. He got released and moved around to play for several teams with many of them in the minor leagues. It was in the California League that Dillon became a player-manager for Los Angeles. His team had a remarkable 133-78 record.

He played first base and continued to pinch hit for three more seasons. After the 1915 season, the club started looking for a new manager. Seeing the writing on the wall, Dillon retired in November. In nearly 2,200 minor league games he batted a respectable .295 with over 2,300 hits.

In 1889, Dillon married Blanche Ada Reitzell and they had no children. “Pop” became baseball coach at Occidental College after his major league retirement and then he bought an apple farm completely from the game of baseball. That is until 1924 when he became treasurer for the Association of Professional Ball Players of America. Dillon wrote a book titled, “How to Play Baseball and Inside Baseball.”

At the age of 57, he died on September 12, 1931, and is buried in Glendale, California.

 

Other Central Illinois bios are HERE 

 

Jake Stahl Born in Elkhart- Univ of Illinois Football Captain and MLB World Series Winning Manager

Jake Stahl Born in Elkhart

 

Univ of Illinois Football Captain and MLB World Series Winning Manager

 

He was born Garland Stahl on April 13, 1879, in Elkhart, Illinois where his parent, Henry and Eliza, opened a general store. Henry had served in the Civil War and survived the Battle of Shiloh. Garland graduated from high school (HS only went through 10th grade) in Elkhart and then went to college at the University of Illinois.

While at college, he was given the nickname “Jake” by his fraternity brothers. Being an athletic person, George Huff, the football coach, got him to try out for the team. He became an outstanding running back for the Illini and played lineman on defense. In 1902, he was named the captain of the football team and was a star on the baseball team. He was the catcher during his sophomore season and batted .441 for the year. He was a member of the Kappa Kappa Chapter of the Sigma Chi and quite the ladies man on campus. Jake was the catcher during his sophomore season and batted .441 for the year

 

 

From the University of Illinois history:

Garland “Jake” Stahl was perhaps the most famous of the University of Illinois’ early athletes. He was the captain of the 1902 Illini football team as well as a star on the baseball team. A member of the Kappa Kappa Chapter of Sigma Chi, his nickname “Jake” was given to him by a chapter member.

At Homecoming 1922, shortly after his death, the chapter’s alumni reminisced about their departed brother. One told the story of his nickname, “Garland Stahl came over from Elkhart (Illinois), and he was as green a country boy as they make ‘em. In his freshman year he joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and as he played the cornet, he was immediately made a member of the house orchestra. One night a special feature at the house was to be an orchestra program, but when the time came to begin, Stahl was nowhere to be found. The fellows searched the house and finally found him hiding away on the second floor. They dragged him down and asked him what the trouble was. ‘Aw, I ain’t got no lip,’ said Stahl, and he started to walk away, when Jack Allen, 1902, one of the musicians, stopped him with, ‘Come on, ya darn old hay jake, and play anyway.’ Stahl played, but from that time on everyone who had heard the affair called him ‘Jake’ until it just grew into his name.” (The Sigma Chi Quarterly, November 1922, 42(1), p. 62).

At a home game with Michigan in 1903, Stahl hit a game-winning homer “so hard and so high that it struck amid the upper limbs of a tree almost down to the football field.” The soft maple tree became known as the “Jake Stahl Tree” until the late 1940s when it was cut down because of advanced decay.

After Stahl graduated from the university, he played baseball for the Boston Red Sox in 1903. He later played for Washington, Chicago, New York and then became player-manager for Washington.

Player Stats:

Debut: April 20, 1903, for the Boston Americans
Last MLB appearance:  June 13, 1913, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics  Batting average .261  Home runs 31  Runs batted in 437   Stolen bases 178

Boston Red Sox win the World Series

In 1912, Jake managed the Red Sox which went by the “Speed Boys” nickname to an American League pennant-winning 105-47 season record. Facing the New York Giants in the 1912 World Series, Jake both outplayed the Giants’ Fred Merkle at first base, and, according to Connie Mack, consistently out-managed John McGraw. Jake invested his winning World Series share in his father-in-law’s Chicago banks.

Managerial record 263–270
Winning % .493

 

Personal Life

He married Jennie Mahan in 1906. She was a member of the Delta Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Theta at the University of Illinois and his classmate. Her father was a bank founder and president at the Washington Park National Bank in Chicago. Jake would work there in the offseason and always was a good employee that helped the bank thrive. Later, he would become bank president until he got in poor health. His doctors convinced him that moving to California would be better for his health but that didn’t work. He died on September 22, 1922.

 

 

Here is a great story about Stahl from the Sigma Chi history.

Born in Springfield- Johnny Schaive- Springfield Sports Hall of Fame Charter Member

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)

Check out all of the biographies HERE.

 

FIRST- I did not write this article as it is from the State Journal Register in Springfield upon the death of local sports hero Johnny Schaive. I thought it told everything that needed to be said.

 

https://www.sj-r.com/article/20090511/NEWS/305119897

 

John Schaive, one of the founding fathers of the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame and a charter member in 1991, died Monday. He was 75.

Schaive was hospitalized Monday morning and died about 1 p.m. because of a brain hemorrhage, his wife, Lesa Schaive, said in an e-mail.

John Schaive, a Lanphier High School graduate, signed with the Chicago White Sox in 1952, was released and later caught on with the Washington Senators organization. He was a minor league terror, and in 1955, he led a Class D league in four offensive categories. The next season he was in spring training with the big club.

But he spent two seasons in military service, and when he got back to baseball, he contended he wasn’t the player he once had been.

“I was a third of the ballplayer when I got to the big leagues,” Schaive said in a 1991 interview.

Nevertheless, Schaive spent five seasons in the big leagues, from 1958-60 with the original Senators (who became the Minnesota Twins in 1961) and from 1962-63 with the expansion Washington Senators.

His best major league season came in 1962 when he played 82 games and batted .253 with six home runs and 29 runs batted in. For his major league career, Schaive batted .232 in 114 games.

But there was more sitting than playing. That’s why at one point in his career, Schaive went to Senators manager Mickey Vernon and made an unusual request: He wanted to go back to the minors, where he could swing the bat.

“I was a utility player in the big leagues,” Schaive said in 1991. “I wanted to play. The guys all got a big kick out of that.”

Playing mostly in the days when there were eight teams in the American League and eight teams in the National League, Schaive spent 12 seasons in the minor leagues. He was a career .291 hitter in more than 1,100 minor league games. He hit .293 on the Class AA level and .282 in five Triple-A seasons.

Schaive even did some pitching. He was 2-3 in 13 appearances as a 20-year-old for Decatur of the Mississippi-Ohio League in 1954. Then in 1963 with York of the Class AA Eastern League, he was 2-1 in eight appearances.

Playing baseball was Schaive’s passion. He grew up a New York Yankees fan on Springfield’s north end, but his favorite player was Ted Williams. He made his big league debut in 1958 as a 24-year-old infielder at Boston’s historic Fenway Park.

“I was awed,” he said. “My first game was in Fenway Park against the Red Sox. Ted Williams was my idol. And I still remember walking into Yankee Stadium for the first time.”

Eventually, injuries caught up with Schaive, who ended his career in 1966 as a player-manager in Monterrey, Mexico. He hurt his knee, dislocated his elbow and suffered other injuries. It never lessened his love for the game.

“The highlight for me was getting up every day knowing I was a ballplayer, to have the opportunity to play every day,” Schaive said.

When his playing days were over, Schaive came back to Springfield, where he helped raise his family. He coached the Springfield Caps of the Central Illinois Collegiate League in the 1970s and was the coach when Sangamon State University fielded a baseball team.

Although he never officially worked as a scout for any professional organization, Schaive served as an area scout for his many friends in baseball. He played a role in getting professional baseball contracts for local players such as Roger Erickson (Twins), Mike Mathiot (Twins), Jerry Fry (Expos), Dan Callahan (Padres), Myron Hunter (Cubs), Loren White (Expos) and Bill Lamkey (Twins).

Samuel Dailey- Born in Oakford

 

Born March 31, 1904, in Oakford, Illinois, Samuel Dailey had a short major league career. He made his debut for the Philadelphia Phillies on July 4, 1929, in Game 2 of a doubleheader in Brooklyn. He allowed one hit but went unscored on in that game. He took his first loss on July 13th as the starter of the game in which he had 8IP/13H/8ER in the game at home facing Pittsburgh.

On August 26th he got his first career win in relief and followed that with another win on August 31st. His last game came on October 5, 1929, in which he hurled one inning and allowed 3 hits and 3 runs. In his career, he was 2-2 with a 7.54 ERA in 20 games. He started 4 games and threw 51.1 innings in the major leagues.

 

He died on December 2, 1979 (aged 75) in Columbia, Missouri and is buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Paris, Missouri.

 

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)

Born in Peoria- Norwood Gibson- Teamed with Cy Young in 1903 World Series

NEXT: June 24, 2019, Sam Dailey born in Oakford, Illinois

 

Norwood Ringold Gibson was born on March 11, 1877, in Peoria, Illinois to Nathaniel and Josephine Kuhn Gibson. His father worked for the City of Peoria as a surveyor and was a civil engineer. Both parents migrated to Illinois from Pennsylvania after marriage as Nathaniel was 16 years older than Josephine. Norwood was the middle child of five with Earl and Leigh born before him and Herschel and Louisa as younger siblings. He attended Greeley School for his first eight years of education in Peoria and then attended Notre Dame Prep School. He went to college in South Bend, Indiana at Nore Dame University and received a degree in chemistry,

He began playing baseball in earnest at Notre Dame as a pitcher. “Gibby”. as he was called, was a 5′ 10″ 165 lbs. at best. He led the Fighting Irish to the national championship in 1900 with an 8-1 record. It is from there he was signed by the Cincinnati Reds to play professionally. He played in several minor league contests (some called them exhibition games) during his first summer and was later released in August. He signed on to play for the Kansas City Blues from August 19 to September 7 where he was 2-4 in 62 innings.

In 1902, he signed across town to hurl for the Kansas City Blue Stockings who was managed by Kid Nichols (who would later become a big-time manager and future Hall of Famer). He got the needed notice as he threw two no-hitters. Nichols recommended him to the major league and he signed a contract for $3000.

He made his major league debut on April 29, 1903, while a member of the Boston Beaneaters. He was part of the pitching rotation that included Cy Young, Long Tom Hughs, Bill Dineen, George Winter, and Nick Altrock. In his rookie year, he sported a 13-9 record and a 3.19 ERA with 76 strikeouts. Boston went on to win the World Series but the manager only started three pitchers and Gibson did not play but received a ring. In 1904, he won 17 games in 270 innings and a healthy 2. ERA. He pitched with arm issues in 1905 and 1906 and was medically forced to retire with his last game on May 18, 1906.

Looking at his career numbers finds Gibson posted a 34–32 record with 258 strikeouts and a 2.93 ERA in 85 appearances, including 72 starts, 56 complete games, three shutouts, 12 games finished, and 609.0 innings of work.

After baseball, he took a job as a chemist for the Curtiss Candy Company in Peoria. It is there that the Baby Ruth candy bar appeared in 1921. Later, he moved back home to Peoria and became a desk clerk for the New National Hotel. In 1940, at age 63, when he married Mildred Platt. She died seven years later.

He died at age 82 in Peoria, Illinois on July 7, 1989, and is buried in Springdale Cemetery.

 

 

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).

Other biographies:

Allyn Stout (Peoria)                  Carl Vandagrift (Cantrall)                Dick Reichle (Lincoln)    Eric Weaver (Springfield)

Allan Simpson (Springfield)   Emmett Seery (Princeville)              Billy Rogell (Springfield) Harry Staley (Jacksonville)

Fred Beck (Havana)                  George Radbourn (Bloomington)  Daniel Dugdale (Peoria)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baseball Rules 1857

This article was NOT written by me but is from John Thorn who is the Official Baseball Historian for Major League Baseball. Check out his website called OUR GAME

 

BASEBALL RULES

 

 

The New York Clipper, first published in 1853, did not offer an illustration of baseball until 1857; until then, and for another decade, the game for the sporting set was cricket. These instructions for how novices might become “proficients” in the new game of baseball appeared in the Clipper of December 13, 1856, a few months before the thoroughgoing revision of the rules in the convention of February 1857.

The game of Base Ball is generally considered the national game amongst Americans, and right well does it deserve that appellation; not only for the healthful exercise with which it is connected, but also for the skill that is required in playing it, which has been made still more necessary by the latest rules and improvements that are now in vogue, causing it to rank, and, we think, very properly, among those games usually termed scientifically. Base Ball can be played by any number from five upwards; nine, however, is the usual number on each side. When there are five on a side, the fieldsmen are placed on the bases or goals, according to the diagram below, directions for the laying out of which are given in the rules, also appended. After tossing for the choice of innings, the party who has the choice send, through their general or leader, one of their number to the Home Base, №6. The Pitcher then pitches the ball to him, which, if he thinks he can, he strikes as far into the field as possible; be then runs as fast as he is able to Base №3. A second striker is then sent to the Home Base, who serves the ball the same as his predecessor, when the one that struck first runs from Base 3 to Base 4, whilst he (the present striker) runs to Base 3; another striker is then sent in, and so on until all the batsmen have taken their turn, when the one who struck first commences again.

As each one returns to the Home Base, after having been all around, namely, to Bases 3, 4, 5 and 6, one count is added to the score, and whichever side makes 21 of these counts with the least number of hands, or strikers, out, wins the game.

The duty of the fieldsman is when a ball is struck to run after it, and, if possible, to reach the base to which the striker is running, before him, so that he may be able to touch any part of his (the striker’s) person before he has arrived at, or whilst he is off, the base; or, if the ball is struck in the air, he should endeavor to catch it at the first bound or before it touches the ground; in either case, the batsman or striker would be out. When three strikers are put out by any of these means, the whole side is out; they then exchange places with their opponents, each taking an innings alternately until the number of counts (21) necessary to complete the game is made. The duty of the Pitcher is to pitch the ball to the striker, and also to pick up the ball when struck, if nearest to him; and, in fact, to perform the same duties in all respects like the other fieldsmen. We think that these instructions, in connection with the following rules and diagram, will enable those who wish to learn the game, to do so; until, by practice, they become proficients; when that desirable end is accomplished, we have no doubt but they will continue to follow it, both for exercise and amusement.

Rule 1. The bases shall be from Home to second base 42 paces; and from first to third base 42 paces, equidistant; and from Home to pitcher not less than 15 paces; i.e. 21 paces from the center of the field to each base.

2. The game to consist of 21 counts or aces, but at the conclusion, an equal number of hands must be played.

3. The ball must be pitched, not thrown for the bat

4. A ball knocked outside the range of the first or third base is foul. (Range from Home, i.e., the ball must be knocked down the field and not sideways. The striker’s stand is at the Home Base.)

5. Three balls being struck at and missed, and the last one caught, is a hand out; if not caught, it is considered fair, and the striker bound to run. Tips and foul balls do not count.

6. A ball being struck or tipped, and caught either flying or on the first bound, is a handout.

By September 19, 1857 baseball was featured on the cover, even if the Clipper’s masthead had not yet changed to reflect America’s new favored sport
7. A player must make his first base after striking a fair ball, but should the ball be in the hands of an adversary on the first base before the runner reaches that base, it is a hand out; the ball must be fairly in hand, and the base touched.

8. Players must make the bases in their order of striking, and when a fair ball is struck and the striker is not put out, the first base must be vacant, as well as the next base or bases, if similarly occupied. Players must be put out under these circumstances in the same manner as when running to the first base.

9. A player shall be out if at any time when off a base he shall be touched by the ball in the hands of an adversary. The ball must be held after the man is touched; if the ball drops it is not a handout.

10. A player who shall intentionally prevent an adversary from catching or getting a ball is a handout.

11. If two hands are already out, a player running home at the time a ball is struck cannot make an ace if the striker is caught out.

12. Three hands out, all out,

13. Players must take their strike in regular rotation, and after the first round is played, the turn commences at the player who stands on the list next to the one who lost the third hand.

14. No ace or base can be made on a foul strike.

15. A runner cannot be put out in making one base when a balk [1856 typo fixed — jt] is made by the pitcher.

16. But one base allowed if the ball when struck bounds out of the field.

17. The ball shall weigh from 5–1/2 to 6 ounces, and be from 2–3/4 to 3–1/4 inches in diameter.

There is an Umpire appointed to keep the game and to decide all disputes and differences relative to the game, from whose decision there is no appeal. (In case the Umpire cannot decide, all plays should be considered fair for the hand in; the opinion of the players on a doubtful play should never be asked.)

 

 

Born in Jacksonville- Harry Staley

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)

Allyn Stout (Peoria)

Allan Simpson (Springfield)

Fred Beck (Havana)

Carl Vandagrift (Cantrall)

Emmitt Seery (Princeville)

George Radbourn (Bloomington)

 

Harry Staley

Major League Debut June 23, 1888

 

Harry Eli Staley was born on November 3, 1866, in Jacksonville, Illinois and went on to become a major league baseball player. He made his debut on June 23, 1888, with the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. His first few years, he started slow. In 1889, he led the league in pitching losses with a 21-26 record and led with 30 wild pitches.

He went on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates and later the Boston Beaneaters where he had good success. In his last year in baseball, He played for the St. Louis Browns in 1895. His last game was on June 30, 1895. He finished with a career record of 136 wins and 119 losses along with a 3.89 ERA. He was a known strikeout pitcher an finished with 746.

His one real claim to fame came on June 1, 1893, when he drove in nine runs batted in off his bat, a record for most RBIs in a game by a pitcher that stood for over 70 years until equaled by Atlanta Braves pitcher Tony Cloninger in 1966.

Staley died on January 12, 1910, in Battle Creek, MI.

 

 

Born in Lincoln- Dick Reichle- Professional Baseball and Football Player

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)

NOTE: This is posted on June 13th, 52 years after his death. 

 

Richard Wendell Reichle was born in Lincoln, Illinois, on November 23, 1896, to George and Anna. His family resided on a farm in Logan County in Illinois after immigrating over from Germany. He had three sisters and a brother that all worked on the farm along with a servant named Samuel.

Dick graduated from Lincoln High and went on to the University of Illinois where he played baseball and football. He was part of the 1921 championship baseball team in 1921. He did have some time away and he served in World War I. After his graduation from college, it didn’t take long before his baseball talent was discovered and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers on June 7th.

He began in the lower levels by playing first base in the Three-I League (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana) and hit .337 with six homers and 11 stolen bases in 93 games. He was brought up, thanks to scout Mike Donlin’s insistence, to the Brooklyn team on August 17th. He made his major league debut on September 19th in the first game of a doubleheader.

He went 0-for-4 in the contest but got two hits the next day and a double the game following. He batted .250 in six games before the season ended. He had no errors in those games. In 1923, he became the regular center fielder and on May 18th drove in three runs with a triple and a double. He had another game where he was 4-for-5 and knocked in two runs.

During the offseason, he played in the National Football League in six contests at the end position (he was named 2nd team all NFL pros by Colliers Magazine) and in 1924 he played for the San Antonio Bears. However, he broke his leg at Spring Training and it appeared to heal quickly but his baseball abilities appeared to diminish. He retired in 1925.

Not content to lie around during the winter reflecting on a good first season of major-league baseball, Reichle trained with the Milwaukee Badgers of the National Football League and played as an end in six of the team’s games, one of the few men to play both baseball and football at the highest level of play.

Reichle lived his retirement years in the St. Louis area with his wife and three children until his death on June 13, 1967.

 

Check out more Central Illinois biographies HERE.

 

 

Eliza Green – First Female MLB Official Scorer – Hired by the Cubs, But it Was a Secret

Who Was Eliza Green?

Note: The Chicago White Stockings in this biography eventually became what is known today as the Chicago Cubs. 

 

 

 

 

  Eliza Green was born in 1852 in Rochester, New York to parents that migrated to the United States from Nottinghamshire, England which is the home of Robin Hood. On her street in Rochester was the Anthony family where she was taught by the youngest sister of the group Mary (she went on to be a headmistress at several schools). Eliza became close friends with Mary’s sister Susan B. Anthony. Later in life, Susan B. Anthony would become a leader of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. It is documented through newspaper articles that Eliza was a frequent visitor at the Anthony home and quite possibly had some pointers on women’s rights.

 

In 1869, Eliza married Silas Grover Williams who was a decorated Civil War veteran as he served with General William Sherman and was part of the “March to the Sea” led by the general. After the war, they moved to Chicago, Illinois and purchased a house that was directly across from the baseball field where the Chicago White Stockings played baseball. They had two children, Charles Green Williams in 1871 and Sarah Estella in 1876. “Stella”, as she was called, died in her youth. Charles would become treasurer of the ball club in his later years.

Eliza loved baseball and would attend as many games as she could. She would always strike up conversations with people and they would debate whether plays were to be deemed a hit or an error. These people were known as “kickers.” She was so knowledgeable about the game that Eliza was on a first name basis with owner Albert Spalding. He noticed that even the players that were complaining would seek out Eliza and ask her thoughts on the scoring of certain plays. Spalding had the idea that maybe he should name her the official scorekeeper of the team. There had never been a female in the role in the major leagues. The issue for Spalding was that Eliza was a female and fans, news reporters and the entire world would ridicule him if he hired her to be their scorekeeper. So they concocted a plan that would allow her to do the job without anyone else knowing it. Eliza became the official scorekeeper for the Chicago Cubs and she filed her scorebook as E.G. Green (no one seemed to know that Green was her maiden name).

Cap Anson, the manager of the team, was not given the details of who the scorekeeper was and Eliza would sit at most games with Cap’s wife, Virginia, and discuss the game without any notice of her doing the job. She always kept the score even before being hired. After the games and when she went home, she would have her son take an envelope to be mailed and it went back to the stadium as the official scorekeeper’s decision. He didn’t know until years later that his mom was doing the job. She did the job from 1882 through 1891. During that time, many players would still seek her out to see if she agreed with the scorekeeping decisions being made. She would give her rationale and the players went away satisfied. They had no clue that they were talking to the actual scorekeeper of the team.

Eliza’s husband died in 1895 and she married John Albert Cole Brown in 1896. He was Secretary-Treasure of the team at the time of her marriage. He died two years later and her son, Charlie, had the fortune of being Secretary-Treasure for the Chicago Cubs when they won the World Series in 1908.

She married Homer M. Daggett in 1903 who came from a prominent political family in Massachusetts. Eliza had always had a keen interest in politics and was National Secretary of the Women’s Relief Corps for seven terms and was its president in 1918-1919. She became an alternate delegate to the 1920 Republican Convention which was being held in Chicago and was selected to be part of the committee to inform Warren G. Harding he had the nomination for President of the United States. Women received the right to vote on August 26, 1920.

 

Following the teachings of her best friend Susan Anthony, she became the first woman to run for mayor in Massachusetts but lost. She has been photographed in front of the White House with President Coolidge. Her husband died in 1925 and she continued her cause for women until she died in 1926 of breast cancer. She is buried in Chicago, Illinois.

 

 

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