The Days of Rube, Matty, Honus and Ty

Scenes from the Early Deadball Era, 1904–1907

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About the Book

The early Deadball Era featured landmark achievements, great performances by several of baseball’s immortals, and a delightful array of characters. John McGraw won his first pennant as a manager and repeated the feat the following year with the team he later called his greatest. His Giants were praised for their playing ability and criticized for their rowdy behavior.
Meanwhile the Cubs were putting together the greatest team in franchise history, emphasizing speed on the bases, solid defense and outstanding pitching. Jack Chesbro won 41 games in 1904 by employing a new pitch—the spitball. Other pitchers began using it, accelerating the trend toward lower batting averages.
The White Sox entered baseball lore as the “Hitless Wonders,” winning the 1906 pennant through adroit use of “scientific baseball” tactics.

About the Author(s)

Chuck Kimberly is a retired contract specialist who worked for the Department of Defense. A member of SABR, he lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Chuck Kimberly
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 366
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7610-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3520-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: Peace—Except in Manhattan 3
One. 1904, National League 13
Surveying the Wartime Damage • M & M & Ms—A Tart Treat: New York • Built for Speed: Chicago • Overcoming Bad Luck: Cincinnati • Grit, Determination, Dissension: Pittsburgh • A Really Good Kid: St. Louis • Trying Too Hard: Brooklyn • When Your Team Is Hopelessly Behind, Again: Boston • A Miracle? Philadelphia • Hard Luck Ned Garvin • Irwin’s Handy Invention
Two. 1904, American League 62
A Veritable Dogfight • Winning the Big Game: Boston • A Memorable, Painful, Finish: New York • Working on a Herculean Task: Chicago • Good at Everything but Staying Healthy: Cleveland • Yes, We Can; Yes, We Can. No, We Can’t: Philadelphia • Say Goodbye to “The Crab”: St. Louis • “A Hit, a Hit, My Franchise for a Hit!”: Detroit • Royalty: Washington • Exhibition Series with a “Minor League”—No! • A Violent Year • The Odious Spitball
Three. 1905, National League 105
Make ’Em Throw the Ball • Muggsy’s Favorite Team: New York • A Baseball Warrior: Pittsburgh • Zephyrs: Chicago • In the Afterglow—Still Winning: Philadelphia • Second Only to the Babe: Cincinnati • Jack Taylor II: St. Louis • Extreme Frugality: Boston • This Recipe Ain’t So Good: Brooklyn
Four. 1905, American League 150
Spitballs! Spitball Pitchers Everywhere! • Aging Well—With an Injection of Youth: Philadelphia • Hitless? Not Quite; Wonders? Almost: Chicago • The Comedic Touch: Detroit • From Champions to “Roly-Polys”: Boston • The Answer Is Elmer Flick, .306 in 1905: Cleveland • Oh, What a Relief: New York • Mission Accomplished! Washington • The Man for the Job: St. Louis • “The Matty Show”: 1905 World Series
Five. 1906, National League 191
An Historic Season—116–36! Chicago • Bad Breaks: New York • Competing While Rebuilding: Pittsburgh • Don’t Mess with the “Kid”: Philadelphia • The Early Deadball Era’s Dave Kingman: Brooklyn • Ned Hanlon’s “Weeding Out”; Frank Chance’s Revenge: Cincinnati • Like Fine Wine: St. Louis • Bright Spots in a Dreary Season: Boston
Six. 1906, American League 232
Hitless Wonders: Chicago • Not Again! New York • A “Classic” Team: Cleveland • Lave’s Absence and Rube’s Thumb: Philadelphia • He Don’t Look Like a Hitter: St. Louis • A Fighting Team: Detroit • But He Can Hit the Ball a Long Way: Washington • Thud! Boston • The “Slugging Wonders”: 1906 World Series
Seven. 1907, National League 268
Depth: Chicago • Improved Baserunning: Pittsburgh • Working at Their Craft: Philadelphia • Gee, That Sprint Took a Lot Out of Me: New York • Dan’s Magical Elixir: Brooklyn • End of an Illustrious Career: Cincinnati • A Landing Zone for ­Ex-Pirates: Boston • A Potentially Great Player: St. Louis
Eight. 1907, American League 300
Peace and Ginger Fizz: Detroit • Connie’s Veterans Almost Pull It
Off: Philadelphia • Baseball’s Cinderella Team—The Year After: Chicago • Lajoie—Great Player, Yes; Great Manager, Not So Much: Cleveland • Unraveling: New York • As Red John’s World Turns: St. Louis • A Tumultuous Season: Boston • Best Scouting Trip Ever! Washington • Cubs Kling to Victory: 1907 World Series
Chapter Notes 341
Bibliography 353
Index 355

Book Reviews & Awards

Finalist, Larry Ritter Book Award—SABR

“A good overview of the important issues of the day…[which are] brought to life by in-depth use of primary sources…. By the end readers should have a good understanding of these stories and debates—both on and off the field—that would have occupied fans, players, and owners alike.”—The Inside Game (SABR Deadball Era Committee Newsletter)