“Ee-Yah”

The Life and Times of Hughie Jennings, Baseball Hall of Famer

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About the Book

Baseball player and manager Hugh Ambrose Jennings was the kind of colorful personality who inspired nicknames. Sportswriters called him “Ee-yah” for his famous coaching box cry and “Hustling Hughey” for his style of play. But to the nearly 100 other men from northeast Pennsylvania who followed Jennings from the coal mines to the major leagues, he was known as “Big Daddy,” not for his physical stature but for his iconic status to men desperate to escape the mines.
The son of an immigrant coal miner from Pittston, Pennsylvania, Jennings himself became a miner at the ripe old age of 11 or 12. He eventually became a mule driver, earning $1.10 per day and dreaming of getting $5 per day for playing baseball on Saturday afternoons. From the rough-and-tumble world of semi-pro baseball to the major leagues, Jennings was driven to succeed and fearless in his pursuit of his dream. He joined the Baltimore Orioles in 1894 and went on to become manager of the Detroit Tigers during Ty Cobb’s heyday. Jennings’ story is emblematic of how the national pastime and the American dream came together for a generation of ballplayers in the early 20th century.

About the Author(s)

SABR member Jack Smiles is associate editor of the Sunday Dispatch in Pittston, Pennsylvania. He lives in Wyoming, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Jack Smiles
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2202-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8428-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

1. The Mule Driver      7

2. Escape from the Mines      14

3. Hughie at the Falls      22

4. Harry von der Horst Finds a Manager      28

5. Foxy Ned      32

6. The Big Four      39

7. The Beginning of a Dynasty      45

8. The Temple Cup      55

9. The Greatest Shortstop in the Land      65

10. Hughie the Honeymooner      77

11. The Big Four, No More      85

12. From Cornell to Brooklyn      93

13. Philadelphia Freedom      97

14. Back to Baltimore      104

15. The “Ee-yah” Man      111

16. Cobb      116

17. 1907: The Year of the Tiger      124

18. The 1907 World Series      134

19. The Greatest Race Ever      145

20. Three Straight Pennants      152

21. A Wreck and a Wedding      160

22. Hugh Jennings, Esq.      170

23. The Tigers Are Tamed      177

24. Hughie the Giant      181

25. The Long Decline      188

26. The Saint in Uniform      193

27. Hughie in the Hall      200

Appendix A: 1896 National League Hitting Leaders      205

Appendix B: Playing Career Statistics      208

Appendix C: Managerial Career Statistics      209

Chapter Notes      211

Bibliography      217

Index      219

Book Reviews

“an excellent choice…well written and thoroughly researched”—The SABR Deadball Committee Newsletter.