By Richard Beverage
Lengthy ahead of the Brooklyn Dodgers and long island Giants introduced the key leagues to California in 1958, specialist baseball thrived at the West Coast within the type of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). Minor in basic terms in identify, the league featured excessive rivalries, a major fan base, and such destiny hall-of-famers as Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. the l. a. Angels gained 14 PCL pennants and stood because the league's most excellent franchise. This year-by-year chronicle of the l. a. Angels from 1903 to 1957 contains an summary of the PCL and a wealth of statistical details, together with an all-time participant roster, an inventory of vital crew documents, lineups, and attendance details. dependent partially on own interviews with former Angels gamers, this heritage deals a nostalgic glance again on the PCL and the earlydays of baseball within the West.
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Who was once Ray Schalk?
"`I imagine he was once a ballplayer. From someplace round here,'" acknowledged one softball participant to a customer at Ray Schalk box in Harvel, Illinois, in might 2007, as chronicled by means of baseball historian Brian E. Cooper in Ray Schalk: A Baseball Biography (August 2009; McFarland & corporation, Inc. , Publishers).
Schalk, a Harvel local, redefined the function of a catcher via improved protective talents in a occupation that spanned the useless Ball and full of life Ball eras. His trip at the base paths in significant League Baseball begun sooner or later earlier than his twentieth birthday and ended after 18 seasons with documents in video games stuck, putouts and double performs, whereas best the yankee League 8 instances in fielding percent and 9 instances in putouts. He used to be the 1st to capture 4 no-hit contests and set a list for stolen bases in a season through a catcher (30) in 1916 that was once now not damaged till 1982.
In the 1st book-length biography of Schalk, Cooper weaves in the course of the wonderful profession as a participant, supervisor and trainer, with old antidotes and a wealth of photos to offer a whole photograph of his existence and occasions. Schalk can have simply carried "The average" as a nickname; his first massive holiday happened on the age of 15 in 1908, whilst he used to be a final minute substitute at catcher for a semi-pro membership in Litchfield, Illinois. He had no error and tallied a number of assists, whereas scoring a couple of runs and notching hits in 3 at-bats.
A highschool standout in basketball, Schalk remained a semi-pro baseball megastar who might be signed for round $2 a online game. He entered the professional video game at age 18 on may well nine, 1911, with the category D Taylorville Christians within the Illinois-Missouri League. Schalk was once batting . 398 and had swiped thirteen bases by way of mid-July, however the league was once in monetary turmoil and Taylorville - to chop expenditures - published Schalk for $1,500 to the Milwaukee Brewers of the yankee Association.
His play with the Brewers drew curiosity from MLB groups and on August nine, 1912, he used to be dealt to the Chicago White Sox for $10,000 and gamers. Schalk was once within the beginning lineup days later. "Until he entered Cooperstown, Schalk categorised the afternoon of his first major-league video game as his maximum thrill in baseball," Cooper writes.
Schalk then actually grew up in public. Diminutive in stature for a catcher at 5-foot-9 and one hundred sixty five kilos, he was once usually flawed for a bat-boy in his early years with the ChiSox. He married Lavinia Graham in October 1916, with a daughter - Pauline - born in 1918 and a son - Ray Jr. - born in 1921.
As international warfare One gripped the kingdom, Schalk used to be a key participant - batting . 286 - in Chicago's American League pennant and global sequence victory in 1917. brilliant skies have been at the horizon for a potential dynasty within the making, yet a tsunami of deceit wiped issues out in 1919.
"Then there has been the Black Sox scandal. Schalk had a different point of view at the global sequence of 1919, whilst teammates conspired with gamblers and deliberately misplaced to the Cincinnati Reds," Cooper writes. "Schalk used to be the 1st of the sincere gamers - the so-called fresh Sox - to understand whatever used to be up; in the end, he may perhaps inform instantly while his pitchers overlooked his signs and once they grooved the ball to Reds hitters. "
Any lingering anger and frustration stayed contained in the center of the sincere big name. Cooper cites membership proprietor Charles A. Comiskey attempting to hinder the membership from being dismantled, whereas protecting his iconic recognition within the video game, and what occurred to greenback Weaver - receiving a life-time suspension simply because he didn't record the conferences he attended along with his Black Sox teammates - as significant the reason why Schalk maintained his personal code of silence.
"Even after the cover-up failed and Shoeless Joe Jackson and 7 others acquired lifetime suspensions, Schalk maintained his silence," Cooper writes. "That to his death day (Schalk) refused to inform what he knew concerning the scandal not just pissed off fanatics and researchers, it diluted his prominence in baseball historical past. "
By 1924, lingering accidents made Schalk a battered veteran at age 32. A 1927 photo of his gnarled correct hand really tells the tale of a participant who dons the armor of a catcher. A player-manager for Chicago in 1927 and 1928, he was once a trainer and participant (five video games) in 1929 for the hot York Giants. Schalk merely seemed in 23 video games from 1927-1929 and retired with 1,727 commonplace season shielding appearances out of 1,762 video games played.
He stayed within the video game as a trainer for the Chicago Cubs and supervisor for the Buffalo Bisons of the foreign League, Indianapolis Indians of the yank organization and - going full-circle at the diamond - for the Brewers for the final 1/2 the 1940 season sooner than calling it a profession on the age of forty eight. In 1955, Schalk won enshrinement within the nationwide Baseball corridor of reputation & Museum via a vote by way of the Veteran's Committee. His . 253 occupation batting usual is the bottom for an inductee who was once a place player.
Schalk's healthiness used to be declining precipitously through 1969 and the kin suffered a sad loss whilst Ray Jr. dedicated suicide in February 1970. On might 19 of that 12 months, Schalk, seventy seven, died of problems attributable to melanoma of the esophagus.
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Extra info for The Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League: A History, 1903-1957
Thomas won only nine games, and Hughes ﬁnished at 14–16, missing several starts because of arm problems. Percy Jones was a good addition to the staff, ﬁnishing at 16–17, but he, too, was out of action for several weeks. At the beginning of September, it looked as if the Los Angeles and Vernon teams would ﬁnish at the bottom of the league, but the Angels rallied to ﬁnish two games ahead of Oakland in sixth place and actually made a brief run at fourth-place Seattle. Vernon collapsed during this period and ﬁnished deep in last place for the ﬁrst time in that club’s history.
This was not a bad exchange for Los Angeles, either. Twombly would be a useful player for the next four years as the regular right ﬁelder. 300, but he had little power. Deal was bitter about the demotion from Chicago and spent much of the spring training period at his Pasadena home before coming to terms with the Angels. 315 while performing adequately at third. Ponder started well before a serious injury put him out of action for most of the 1922 season, while York soon departed from the scene, and Daly served a year as the regular catcher.
A controversy developed in 1928 over the Angels’ “Ladies Day” policy. The Cubs had developed the concept in Chicago, setting aside certain days of the week when female fans could enter the ballpark at no charge, and the Angels decided to follow suit in 1925. The policy seemed to stimulate attendance, and Mr. Wrigley decided to go one step further in 1928. Every day was Ladies Day at Wrigley Field, not only for Angels games but for Hollywood games as well. The other club owners protested vigorously over the loss of all the revenue from games played in Los Angeles.