Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. John Donaldson

Much research has been and is being done on John Wesley Donaldson, arguably the best pitcher that played the game of baseball.  The John Donaldson Network issued their first newsletter of the new year.  That caused me to take a poke around my recent haunt, the Library of Congress's Chronicling America.

The Kansas City Sun - October 20, 1917

The Kansas City Sun used this photo of Donaldson several times over the next few years, at least until October of 1920.
The Kansas City Sun - November 10, 1917

The Kansas City Sun - November 10, 1917

Miss Eleanor Watson was the daughter of Arthur and Charlotte Watson, of North Carolina.  According to the 1910 US Census Arthur was a gardener for a truck garden.  Ella, as she is listed in the census records, was a servant that did housework. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Felix Wallace

The Freeman - November 19, 1910
For other images of Felix Wallace, visit Gary Ashwill's agate type blog.

Friday, February 24, 2012

American Giants - 1913

The Chicago American Giants were on the west coast for a while in 1913. At the end of March they played and beat the University of California.

The San Francisco Call - March 20, 1913

The San Francisco Call - March 27, 1913

The San Francisco Call - March 28, 1913

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Old-Time Ball Players.

I don't typically give commentary but I thought that there should be some explanation with this post. I came across this 1896 article while doing some research on Joe Ellick. I have transcribed the players listed, as well as their occupations and residences. I did not alter the spelling from the article, so some players' names are not correct. The names link to the player pages at

St. Paul Daily Globe - February 3, 1896
Kid Baldwin - Tramp
Al Bushong - Dentist, Worcester, Mass.
"Big Chief" Roseman - Saloonist, New York
Blondie Purcell - Race trace bookmaker
Nat Hudson - Lumber, Chicago
Hick Carpenter - Pullman car conductor
Billy Holbert - United States secret service
Pete Gillespie - Coal miner, Pennsylvania
Harry L. Taylor - Lawyer, Buffalo
Paul Cook - Saloon, Rochester
Big Jim Davis - Race track employe, St. Louis
George McGinnis - Glassblower, St. Louis
Ned Morris - Saloonist, Pittsburg
Tom Dolan - Fireman, St. Louis
Joe Sommer - Covington, Ky.
Leech Mackery - Artist, Pennsylvania
"Juice" Latham - Motorman, Utica
Gus Alberts - Saloonist, St. Joseph, Mo.
Peekaboo Veach - Railroad fireman, Indianapolis
Dell Darling - Boilermaker, Erie, Pa.
Dug Crothers - Clerk, St. Louis
Bob Emslie - National league umpire
Dave Orr - Policeman, New York
Peter Browning - Saloon, Louisville
Harry Stovey - Policeman, New Bedford
Otto Shomberg - Wholesale lumber, Milwaukee
John Corkhill - Grocery, Camden, NJ
Charlie Jones - Policeman, New York
Jim Keenan - Saloon, Cincinnati
Jimmy Wolf - Fireman, Louisville
"Monk" Cline - Fireman, Louisville
Tommy McLaughlin  - Fireman, Louisville
"Brudder Bill" Gleason - Fireman, St. Louis
"Long John" Reilly - Engraver, Cincinnati
Joe Battin - Brick mason, Louisville
Jack Kerins - Barkeeper, Louisville
Phil Reccius - Sporting goods, Louisville
Ned Swartwood - Cigar drummer, Allegheny
Bill Alvord - Cigars, Toledo
Frank Fennelly - Storekeeper, Fall River
Arthur Whitney - Men's furnishings, Lowell
Jimmy Galvin - Saloon, Pittsburg
Jack Carroll - Railroad clerk, Buffalo
George Meyer - Contractor, Buffalo
Jack Milligan - Contractor, Philadelphia
Fred Dunlap - Contractor, Philadelphia
"Reddy" Mack - Saloonist, Newport
Dennis Casey - Motorman, Binghampton, N.Y.
Ed Beecher - Policeman, Hartford
P. Gilmore - Motorman, Washington
Ned Andrews - Orange grower, Florida
Jerry Denny - Men's furnishings, Norwich, Conn.
Sam Trott - Merchant, Washington
Charlie Sweeny - San Quentin penitentiary
Guy Hecker - Grocer, Oil City
"Cyclone" Ryan - Actor
Frank Lane - Advance agent for Hoyt & McKee's shows
"Silver" King - Contractor, St. Louis
John Morrill - Sporting goods, Boston
Ezra Sutton - Saw mill owner, New York state
Charlie Radbourne - Restaurant, Bloomington, Ill.
John Clarkson - Cigar dealer, Bay City, Mich.
Billy Sunday - Evangelist, Chicago
Hardie Richardson -  Hotelkeeper, Utica, N.Y.
Will White - Optician, Buffalo
"Deacon" Jim White - Liveryman, Buffalo
"Lady" Baldwin - Farmer, Michigan
Charlie Bennett - Cigars, Detroit
George Gore - Political job, New York
Moxie McQueery - Huckster, Cincinnati
James McCormick - Wet goods, Paterson, N.J.
Dan Richardson - Dry goods, Elmira
Jack Lynch - Policeman, New York
Frank Hankinson - Saloonkeeper, New York
Jack Nelson - Milk dealer, Brooklyn
Cal McVey - Contractor, California
Ross Barnes - Dealer on 'change, Chicago
James O'Rourke - Lawyer, Bridgeport, Conn.
John M. Ward - Lawyer, New York
Joe Start - Hotel, near Providence
Al Myers - Saloon, Terre Haute
Paul Hines - Burlington, Io.
Sam Crane - Base ball editor, New York
Tim Murnane - Base ball writer, Boston
Charlie Snyder - Umpire, Western league
J. C. Rowe - Manager Buffalo Base Ball club
Ned Hanlon - Manager Baltimore Base Ball club
Arthur Irwin - Manager New York Base Ball club
Jimmy Manning - Manager Kansas City club
Hugh Nicol - Manager Rockford (Ill.) club
Charles Comiskey - Manager St. Paul club
Adrian C. Anson - Manager and first baseman Chicago club, as well as leading man in "A Runaway Colt."
"Pacer" Smith - Hanged at Decatur
Thomas E. Burns - Manager Springfield (Mass.) club
Umpire John Kelly - Saloonkeeper, New York
A. Powell - Manager New Orleans club
Sam Weaver - Policeman, Philadelphia
"Dasher" Troy - Score cards, New York
Larry Twitchell - Manager Milwaukee club
Joe Ellick - Barkeeper, Kansas City

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Cool Contest

Park City Daily News - August 26, 1960

Sailors from the Seadragon (SSN-584), background, clowning around on the ice during the craft's August 1960 Arctic operation. The batter is ready to receive the first baseball ever pitched at the North Pole.
(image from NavSource Online.  All rights reserved.)

Print of the Seadragon (SSN-584) passing through the Arctic Ocean ice pack in 1960.
(image from NavSource Online.  All rights reserved.)

The following eyewitness account comes from the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation:
"World's First Baseball Game at The North Pole"

By CAPT Alfred S. McLaren, USN (Ret.), USNA '55 - 13th Company

On the 25th of August 1960, the nuclear attack submarine, USS Seadragon (SSN-584) surfaced in an open lake of water or "polynya" very near the North Pole. We were the fourth submarine in history to have reached the top of the world! I (Fred McLaren) was a young lieutenant then, with my principal duties being officer of the deck, diving officer of the watch, photographic officer, and anything else anyone more senior might wish to saddle me with.

Seadragon maneuvered to a position along the edge of the heavy sea ice field that surrounded the polynya. This was so members of our navigation team to go onto to the ice to establish the exact location of the Pole. Once this was accomplished - to a remarkable degree of accuracy, one tenth of a nautical mile - we, as a crew, prepared to play the very first game of baseball at the North Pole!

We first chose two "teams of nine players each." We then "laid out" the "baseball diamond" on the generally flat yet still quite rugged ice surface with a "base” placed at each point of the "diamond." The baseball "pitcher's mound, which is located in the center of the "diamond," was positioned at our best estimate of the North Pole. The baseball "diamond" was then aligned such that the following interesting/amusing things would occur during the course of the game. First, if the batter hit a "homerun," he would circumnavigate the world as he ran around the bases to home plate. Second, if the batter hit the ball to right field, the ball would go across the International Dateline into "tomorrow." And, if the ball player from the opposing team in "Right Field" caught the ball and threw it back towards the "pitcher's mound," he would be throwing the ball back into "yesterday!" During the game, "sliding" into the bases (on the sea ice!) took on new meaning, and we were never sure just what day we actually completed the game. The baseball we used is supposedly in the "Baseball Hall of Fame."

The following eyewitness account comes from a web-board dedicated to the USS SEADRAGON SSN 584:

I was a young LT on that voyage and knew Walt quite well. Appreciate your concern on the security classification on that trip. Actually we had 3 missions: One: operate safely submerged and at periscope depth in and around icebergs. We found these off Newfoundland. Two: attempt to transit under the icepack through the classical Nortwest Passage and map the whole area for future operations of nuclear submarines for passages under the ice from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Three: proceed to the North Pole and test (then new) single side band voice communications.

Our voyage was initially classified and we remained undetected until we cleared the NW Passage and as we entered the Artic Ocean headed to the Pole, it was unclassifed because of tactical operations randomly surfacing through the ice and communicating and after several of these procedures surfacing at the North Pole, staying three days. We even played a baseball game at the Pole (Officers/Chief Petty Officers losing to the Crew 13-10). Unique that in running around the bases, one ran around the world. Might add we had our own Navy Anti-Submarine aircraft fly overhead regularly and the Russian long range search planes (Bears) passing over frequently. Might also add that as a Navy Deep Sea Diver and Photographer that I was privileged to take the first pictures of the underside of the ice pack at the North Pole. The highlight of my Navy career.

So to answer your concerns... no, that part of the voyage was not classified and we did send out letters to family and friends with a SEADRAGON logo on the envelope as your father described most mailed from Nome Alaska, our first liberty port after more than 40 days at sea. Might add that I had the pleasure of having lunch recently with the then Commanding Officer of SEADRAGON, Cdr George Steele (now Vice Admiral (Retired)

Thanks for the pleasant memories.

Glenn Brewer Captain, USN (RET)