Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Herbert T. "Hub" McGavock

According to Baseball-Reference.com, Herbert T. "Hub" McGavock played for the Indianapolis Jewell's ABCs in 1919, for the 1920 Nashville Giants, and finally for the 1921 Montgomery Grey Sox.

Several years before that he played for the Black Sox of the Capital City League in Nashville, Tennessee.

I haven't done much research, but it appears the Capital City League was formed around 1913 and carried the name through at least 1919.

The first I find of Herbert McGavock in the newspapers is as a player for the Black Sox.

Nashville Globe - May 23, 1913

He shows up again about four years later, still playing for the Black Sox.

Nashville Globe - June 8, 1917

Huzzah, the Globe has included a photo of Hub.

Nashville Globe - June 8, 1917

It seems that not soon after that Uncle Sam came calling and Herbert T. McGavock registered for the Draft.

Registration State: Tennessee; Registration County: Davidson; Roll: 1877599; Draft Board: 1
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls.
Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.

He was assigned to Camp Greene in North Carolina to be a butcher.

Ancestry.com. U.S., Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918, Select States [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: War Department, Office of the Provost Marshal General, Selective Service System, 1917– 07/15/1919.
Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Service, 1917–1918.
ARC ID: 578684. Textual records. Records of the Selective Service System (World War I), Record Group 163.
National Archives at Atlanta. Atlanta, Georgia. U.S.A.

After his stint in the Army he went back to baseball.  The following (from GenealogyBank.com) shows him in the outfield with Turkey Stearnes.

New Orleans Item - May 21, 1921

I lost his trail until he passed away in 1954.

Ancestry.com. U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Interment Control Forms, 1928–1962. Interment Control Forms, A1 2110-B. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774–1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, College Park, Maryland.

image from Kathleen Fleury Bilbrey
from FindAGrave.com
used with permission

As usual, I'm sure that there is more research to be done on Herbert T. "Hub" McGavock, both about his personal life and his baseball exploits.

More information on the Capital City League of Nashville can be found in the Nashville Globe from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America site.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pitchers and Catchers Report

Pitchers and Catchers Report.  After a long, cold winter, these are the words that baseball fans like to hear.

Last evening on Twitter @SABR retweeted @mighty_flynn's tweet on an early use of the term "pitchers and catcher(s) report".

Baseball in old newspapers. That caught my eye.  The link led to a clipping from Newspapers.com which I've copied below.

The Indianapolis News - March 18, 1907

@mighty_flynn is T.S. Flynn, Social Media Director for the Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR, one of the more active chapters.  T.S. did a nice job qualifying his tweet.  It was earliest instance of the phrase that he had found.  Not the definitive "it is the earliest instance".

He used one set of tools, I thought I should use a another set and see if I could get a different result.  I turned to GenealogyBank.com and found the following from a few years earlier.

Plain Dealer - February 22, 1905

There might even be an earlier mention of the phrase.  I didn't find one over at Chronicling America.

Now to be very clear: this is not about one upping another researcher.  This is not about being first or better.  This is about adding to the collective knowledge of baseball.

Is this important?  Sure, on some level.  But what I got out of this is a new (to me) baseball researcher that I can learn from and perhaps call on in the future.  Thanks, T.S.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Groundhog Day

In honor of Groundhog Day, let's see some articles about Shadow Ball.

I found my first reference to Shadow Ball in an article about the tour of Japan in late 1913.

Evening Post (Charleston, SC) - December 31, 1913

The practice carried on for several decades.

Omaha World Herald - September 15, 1945

It wasn't just confined to baseball, but softball got in the act.
Omaha World Herald - July 28, 1952

And not just pantomiming having a ball, but some were led to believe that special glowing equipment would be used.
Morning Olympian (Washington) - July 29, 1940

Not so, as it turns out.

Morning Olympian (Washington) - July 31, 1940

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

“Bloomer Girls” in Clinton county, New York - a partial bibliography

I came across Barbara Gregorich's book Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball, Volume 1 the other day.  It reminded that I had done a bit of research on the "Bloomer Girls" in Clinton county, NY.  This was originally posted on my Mark's Ephemera blog almost four years ago.  Since I published that article the site move out from under the links.  I've corrected it there and have copied it over here.

For more information about "Bloomer Girls" the Library of Congress has a sampling of articles from historic newspapers.

Library of Congress

“Bloomer Girls” in Clinton county, New York - a partial bibliography

from the NYS Historic Newspapers site ( http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/ ) arranged chronologically

“Local Paragrams.” The Plattsburgh Sentinel 18 July 1902: 5.
Available from http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn85026976/1902-07-18/ed-1/seq-1.pdf

“Saranac Lake Wants Girl Baseball Team.” Plattsburgh Daily Press 31 August 1920: 7.
Available from  http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn84031094/1920-08-31/ed-1/seq-7.pdf

“Saranac Lake Wants Girl Baseball Team.” The Plattsburgh Sentinel 31 August 1920: 1.
Available from  http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn88075736/1920-08-31/ed-1/seq-1.pdf

“Bloomer Girl Star Praised By McGraw.” Plattsburgh Daily Press 6 August 1926: 2.
Available from  http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn84031094/1926-08-06/ed-1/seq-2.pdf

“Bloomer Girl Star Praised By McGraw.” The Plattsburgh Sentinel 6 August 1926: 5.
Available from http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn88075736/1926-08-06/ed-1/seq-5.pdf

“Six Members of Bloomer Girls Team Injured.” The Plattsburgh Sentinel 10 August 1926: 4.
Available from  http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn88075736/1926-08-10/ed-1/seq-4.pdf

“Reds Look Like Contenders In 1940 Campaign.” Plattsburgh Daily Press 9 January 1940:2.
Available from http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn84031094/1940-01-09/ed-1/seq-2.pdf

“Vermont Team, Bloomer Girls To Play In City.” Plattsburgh Daily Press 10 September 1942: 2.
Available from  http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn84031094/1942-09-10/ed-1/seq-2.pdf

“Burlington Athletics to Meet Cards; Bloomer Girls the Old Timers.” Plattsburgh Daily Press 12 September 1942: 2.
Available from http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn84031094/1942-09-12/ed-1/seq-2.pdf

Barcomb, Peg.  “Old Rouses Point.” The North Countryman 7 April 1977: 3.
Available from  http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn84031178/1977-04-07/ed-1/seq-3.pdf

lithograph, 1904
Library of Congress

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


We call them errors. But they were referred to, for a while, as muffinisms.

We don't known how many muffinisms the Olympics made, but the score wasn't in their favor.

Cincinnati Daily Gazette - August 31, 1869

Prizes by Peck and Snyder, including a huge pretzel to a player for excellence in "muffinism."

New York Herald - April 25, 1869

Alleged muffinisms, the call for a "dead" ball, and explanations as to what "muffs" aren't.

Cincinnati Daily Gazette - August 11, 1869

images from GenealogyBank.com

Mails and Morals - or more Cigarette Pictures

While digging around the digital archives of GenealogyBank.com for articles on cigarette cards, I came across an article that centered around the dead letter office of the Post Office Department.  The article describes what the dead letter office does with objectionable material.  I found the last paragraph, describing the process of manufacturing cigarette cards, to be most interesting and I've transcribed it below.
  The cigarette manufacturers entered into arrangements with photographers by which the pictures were turned out on an enormous scale.  The photographers went into the market and purchased all the photographs suitable for their purpose that they could get, including portraits of actresses, dancers and event society women in ball costume.  Girls were even hired to pose.  The photographs obtained were mounted in sized matched on huge cards, 100 or more on each.  Each card was placed before the camera and reproduced on a smaller scale.  From the resulting negative whole sheets were turned off, the little photographs being afterward cut apart and delivered to the cigarette manufacturer.  In this simple manner they could be reproduced by millions.

The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) - November 30, 1895

15 years later the cigarette cards were still going strong.

The Palestine Daily Herald (Texas) - June 2, 1910

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cigarette Pictures in the news

The Hauls of Shame website has a nice post on Mort Rogers' score cards.  A bit rich for my wallet, although I like looking at them.

It did cause me to take a peek through various old newspapers for cigarette cards, though.  Not all cigarette cards featured base ball players or other athletes.  There was a bevy of beauties.  Maybe too much bevy was showing for some people.  Also included are some games that the youth were playing with the cards.

I've arranged the articles chronologically. 

Concerned about his parishioners' morals...
New York Herald - March 4, 1886

Street walkers...
New Haven Register - June 21, 1886

In the clink...
Philadelphia Inquirer - July 1, 1887

Up in smoke...
Trenton Evening Times - September 30, 1892

Just one camera?
Omaha World Herald - November 11, 1894

Bay City Times (Michigan) - October 27, 1895

Ah, flipping...
New York Herald - March 8, 1896

Countries had a say...
Columbus Daily Enquirer (Georgia) - March 6, 1900

Schools were voicing their opinions...

Boston Herald - May 5, 1910

Pitching cards.  Just like pennies... (a bit blurry, but that's the best I could find)
Pawtucket Times - September 17, 1910

And then a look back (from 1925) ...

The Boston Herald - June 21, 1925

images from GenealogyBank.com