New York Giants 1941-46 [41 W, 33 L; 3.47 ERA, 302 games, 171 SO]
This 1943 cartoon is one of two Jack Sords cartoons autographed by Ace Adams in my collection. The other is from 1945.
He is buried in Friendship Cemetery, Donalsonville, Georgia.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1941, Pittsburgh Pirates 1946 [0 W, 8 L; 6.15 ERA, 52.2 innings pitched, 24 SO, 43 walks, 52 hits, 19 games, 8 games started]
This is one of two1942 Jack Sords cartoons signed by Ed Albosta in my collection. The other shows several ballplayers and was also signed by Cliff Dapper. Hockett died in 1969, twenty years before I began collecting autographs.
He is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Saginaw, Michigan.
Boston Braves 1948-50, Milwaukee Braves 1953,1961, New York Giants 1954-57, San Francisco Giants 1958-60, Cleveland Indians 1961 [126 W, 110 L; 3.34 ERA, 26 shutouts]
Detroit Tigers 1933-38, Boston Red Sox 1939, St. Louis Browns 1940-42 [130 W, 101 L; 4.42 ERA]
The first time I faced Babe Ruth was 1933. I’m a rookie with the Tigers, and he was near the end of the line, but he was still dangerous. I was in the bullpen and Bucky Harris called me in to relieve Carl Fischer. Who walks up to the plate but Ruth. First time in Yankee Stadium and I’m facing the Babe! Struck him out on four pitches. Then I got Gehrig out to end the inning. That’s two Hall of Famers, two of the greatest hitters who ever lived, and I got them both.
This is one of four cartoons autographed by Eldon Auker in my collection. The others are all Jack Sords cartoons dating from 1933, 1935, and 1938.
Watch a TV video clip of Eldon Auker talking about his memories of Babe Ruth and cheating in baseball.
He was cremated, but the location of his ashes is unknown.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1934-35, Boston Bees 1936, Philadelphia Athletics 1940-41 [30 W, 45 L; 4.93 ERA, 112 games, 231 SO]
I was a right-handed pitcher, and I had a flexible delivery, three-quarters, and I could throw side-armed. Some right-handed hitters didn’t like side-armed pitching—they’d give ground—and I found out quickly who they were. When I was with the Athletics my rookie year , there was an old pitcher on the A’s by the name of Johnny Babich. Babich had been in the Yankee organization. He kind of adopted me, helped me out. The Yankees came into Philadelphia for a series and Babich said to me, “Make sure you sidearm DiMaggio. He don’t like it, he’s not as effective.” So the first time I pitched against him, I sidearmed him twice. He took one pitch and he swung at the second one and missed it. And then, finally, I got one inside and he hit it off the wall. That was the last time I did that. You learn a lesson.
John Babich autographed this 1940 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in St. Josephs Cemetery, San Pablo, California.
Cleveland Indians 1925-26, Philadelphia Phillies 1928-32,1936, Brooklyn Dodgers 1933-35, Boston Bees 1936, Cincinnati Reds 1938 [101 W, 130 L; 4.52 ERA, 655 SO]
He is buried in Concord Cemetery, Concord, Texas.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1952-55, Cincinnati Reds 1955-56, Washington Senators 1957 [30 W, 12 L; 3.91 ERA, 222 SO]
What I remember about Joe Black was that he would never warm up in the bullpen at the rubber. He would warm up ten feet past the rubber, and I would ask him why. He said, “Because it made your arm stronger. You’re throwing harder then when you go in.” I always tried to figure that one out. But I would say to him, “What about your control? The most important thing about your control is to get it from sixty feet, not seventy feet.” He said, “Nope, this is the way I do it.” Yet when he went in, he warmed up from the mound. It didn’t make any sense to me, but he insisted on doing it.
This Alan Maver cartoon is one of two signed by Joe Black in my collection--both different and both from 1952. The other has his head in profile and is entitled "Relief for Bums."
See video clip of Joe Black in the 1952 World Series in which the Yankees beat the Dodgers.
He was cremated.
New York Yankees 1942-45, Chicago Cubs 1945-48, Philadelphia Phillies 1949-50, Pittsburgh Pirates 1950, Detroit Tigers 1950-51 [108 W, 82 L; 3.50 ERA, 690 SO]
I've always wanted to manage 30 guys like Borowy. He's one guy who doesn't need managing. You never know he's around but when you want him there he is—and he's always giving his best.
Hank Borowy signed this 1942 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Bloomfield, New Jersey.
St. Louis Cardinals 1949-52, Kansas City Athletics 1955 [20 W, 23 L; 4.73 ERA, 198 SO, 4 shutouts]
Cloyd Boyer autographed this 1950 Alan Maver cartoon.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1944-53,1956, Detroit Tigers 1953-54, New York Yankees 1954 [career: 88 W, 68 L; 3.79 ERA, 829 SO, 12 shutouts]
The Dodgers were on top of things. They were on the ball, and they got me to sign in June of 1943, right out of high school. I got a new glove and a supporter with a cup in it, and I didn’t know what the hell to do with it, and that’s the truth. I got $90 a month to go to Olean in the Pony League. I played there June and July, and when I came home, NYU offered me a basketball scholarship. I told my friend, “I can’t play for them. I played pro ball.” He said, “They don’t know. Just go.” And I went and played a year at NYU. And that year I started to mature. I weighed 1787 for basketball and weighed 205 by the time baseball season was over. And I could throw ninety-five miles an hour. NYU played thirteen games, and I started twelve of them, and I lost a couple. I lost to Army 2-1 when the center fielder made an error on the ball, and it went through his legs for the winning run. And in 1944, right out of NYU, age eighteen, I was pitching for the Dodgers.
This Alan Maver cartoon signed by Ralph Branca appeared in newspapers in 1951.
Watch a video clip of Ralph Branca singing a self-effacing song about his infamous pitch to Bobby Thompson. See a video clip of Branca getting pulled from the first game of the 1947 World Series and he shows his displeasure on entering the dugout.
New York Yankees 1939-43 [25 W, 26 L; 4.03 ERA]
He was a good second-line pitcher.
Robert W. Creamer
Marvin Breuer autographed this 1940 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Rolla Cemetery, Rolla, Missouri.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1935-41, Brooklyn Dodgers 1941, Boston Red Sox 1942-43,1946 [76 W, 57 L; 3.47 ERA, 435 SO]
He was their [Pirate's] ace relief pitcher, and a real good one.
He is buried in Westminster Gardens Cemetery, Glenwood, North Carolina.
Washington Senators 1943-44,1946-49, Philadelphia Phillies 1950-51 [26 W, 21 L; 3.92 ERA, 183 SO, 5 shutouts, .243 avg]
Milo Candini signed this 1943 Sam Davis cartoon.
See his grave marker in Park View Cemetery, Manteca, California.
New York Giants 1934-39 [36 W, 26 L; 4.25 ERA]
Clyde Castleman signed this 1935 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee.
Cleveland Indians 1942-43,1945-46 [7 W, 7 L; 4.10 ERA, 160.1 innings pitched, 77 games]
Pete Center autographed this 1945 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Hazel Green Cemetery, Hazel Green, Kentucky.
Philadelphia Phillies 1950-52, Cincinnati Reds 1952-53, Chicago Cubs 1953-55 [36 W, 37 L; 4.10 ERA, 274 SO]
In spring training of 1950 I was just another one of the boys. I got to pitch the last three innings of the last game of the exhibition season in Clearwater and we were playing the Red Sox. There was a short porch in Clearwater—it was like 220 feet from home plate—and I had the tying run on base and the winning run at home with two men out and Mr. Ted Williams came up to bat. He spread out and he squeezed that bat so hard that I could see the sawdust leaking out of the end of it. I went to work and I got a strike on him, then I deliberately missed with a pitch that he looked at. Then I threw him what Satchel called the annihilator, which was my down curve ball, and he swung through it. I had two strikes and one ball and I came in on his hands, belt high, and he took it. I gave him the best that I had to offer and he swung through it for strike three. He threw his bat straight up in the air fifty feet and stood and glared at me. And I did what I do best of all—I just looked at him and spat right at him. I turned and walked off of that rubber into the dugout and I said, "Bubba, you done made the Phillies." . . . . I found out that if I got a little bit of wax shoe polish on my fingers and then got out to the mound and took the rosin bag, I had a sticky finger. It just helped the rotation on the ball. Now, there was an umpire named Lon Warneke who had pitched for the Cardinals; he knew what it was like out there. Lon carried me into a higher dimension. He said to me, “Ever heard of olive oil? Just picture a glove in your hand and fold your hand around it. Put about four drops of olive oil in the crease, down there on the heel of your hand, and then go out there and sprinkle some rosin on it.” And you ain’t seen nothing like it in your life. I’ve got pictures in my den right now where my fingers are so black from the rosin and the olive oil. You can do anything you want to do with the ball.
Cleveland Indians 1939-40, Boston Red Sox 1941-43,1946-50,1954, Chicago White Sox 1951-53 [137 W, 103 L; 3.62 ERA, 992 SO]
Dobson had a hell of a curve and a good overhand fastball, and he always bore down.
Joe Dobson autographed this 1948 Alan Maver cartoon.
See his grave in Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida.
Cleveland Indians 1941-42,1944-47, New York Yankees 1948, St. Louis Browns 1949 [31 W, 48 L; 3.72 ERA, 286 SO]
When Lou Boudreau was guiding the Cleveland Indians, he called for reliever Red Embree to pitch to Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox. Embree asked whether he should pitch Williams low. “Yeah, you can pitch him low, but as soon as you throw the ball run and hide behind second base," Boudreau suggested.
Red Embree autographed this 1947 Jack Sords cartoon.
Chicago Cubs 1941-48, Philadelphia Phillies 1948, New York Giants 1948 [37 W, 48 L; 3.86 ERA, 432 SO]
He is buried in Shire of Rest Mausoleum, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Cincinnati Reds 1947-51,1953, St. Louis Cardinals 1953 [15 W, 23 L; 4.87 ERA, 157 SO]
Ed Erautt autographed this 1947 Jack Sords cartoon and sent the signed 1953 team-issued postcard.
Boston Bees 1938-40, Boston Braves 1941-42, Chicago Cubs 1942 [36 W, 47 L; 3.85 ERA, 176 SO]
Leif Errickson autographed this 1938 Jack Sords cartoon.
He was cremated.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1953,1955-68, Detroit Tigers 1968, Montreal Expos 1969 [104 W, 95 L; 3.48 ERA, 877 SO]
My first year in pro ball, all I had was a fast ball and curve ball — no change of speed. My first year I was up, I was sent back to New Orleans to develop an off-speed pitch. I worked on it during the first part of the 1954 season and started using it the last half of the season. When I was called up again, Mr. [Branch] Rickey said, ‘‘I hear you have a good forkball now. We’’ll see what happens.’’ And that’’s what happened. It made my other pitches better. It got them looking. Then, I developed a slider, too, and I had four pitches. They didn’’t know what to expect. I would throw it any time. It didn’t make any difference what the count was on the batter. I would throw it any time.
Watch a video clip of an interview with ElRoy Face as he reviews his baseball career, including his days in the minor leagues.
Philadelphia Athletics 1941, Cleveland Indians 1942,1946, St. Louis Browns 1946,1949-50, Washington Senators 1947-48,1951-52, New York Yankees 1950-51 [40 W, 40 L; 3.47 ERA, 245 SO]
Was it easier to pitch for the Yankees than for some other teams? Well, I’ll put it this way: you didn’t need any urging, because with the Yankees, when you walked into the ballpark in a Yankee uniform, you knew you were gonna win, in any way, shape, or form. The attitude that they had was great. Nobody dragged a wagon over there.
Tom Ferrick autographed this 1950 Alan Maver cartoon and sent two hand-signed postcards. Trade?
He is buried in Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield, Pennsylvania.
Boston Red Sox 1945-50 [65 W, 30 L; 3.64 ERA, 296 SO]
I wasn’t a power pitcher, and I didn’t throw in the nineties like most of them today. My breaking ball was a curve, and my best pitch was the sinker that bore in on right-handed hitters, and away from lefties. For me to be successful, my control had to be very good. I wasn’t going to strike out a lot of hitters. If I got four or five strikeouts a game that was a good game.
Dave Ferriss autographed this 1945 Willard Mullin cartoon.
New York Giants 1941,1943-46 [16 W, 34 L; 5.09 ERA, 136 SO]
Rube Fischer autographed this 1943 Jack Sords cartoon.
Philadelphia Athletics 1932-33, Cincinnati Reds 1934-36 [25 W, 33 L; 4.48 ERA, 135 SO]
Tony Freitas autographed this 1932 Jack Sords cartoon.
See his grave in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Sacramento, California.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1951-65, New York Yankees 1966, New York Giants 1966 [197 W, 230 L; 3.58 ERA, 1734 SO]
Branch Rickey was general manager at Pittsburgh. I was playing for the minimum salary, five thousand dollars, in 1951 and ‘52. I wanted a thousand-dollar raise and he orchestrated this thing where I flew in from Indiana and went out to his house. Branch Jr. was there. Branch mentioned to Junior, “Have the boys signed their contracts yet?” and the Twig said, “No, they haven’t. We’ve just got one under contract.” Then senior said, “That’s good, we don’t need them. We finished in last place, we can finish last without them.” And then he said, “Bob, I assume you’re one of the guys that signed your contract.” I said, “Well, I think I just put it in the mail yesterday.”
Cleveland Indians 1934-38, Boston Red Sox 1939-40,1947-49, St. Louis Browns 1941-44,1946-47 [109 W, 118 L; 3.98 ERA, 851 SO]
Denny was a good pitcher.
Denny Galehouse autographed this 1941 Jack Sords cartoon.
See his grave in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Doylestown, Ohio.
St. Louis Browns 1948-52, Detroit Tigers 1952-56, Kansas City Athletics 1957-60, Los Angeles Angels 1961 [129 W, 157 L; 3.73 ERA, 881 SO]
I played with Ned Garver both in St. Louis and Detroit. I have known about half a dozen pitchers in my life who just absolutely knew that pitching was easy. Spahn knew that pitching was easy. Whitey Ford knew that pitching was easy. All he had to do was throw the ball where he wanted to, and he had the advantage. Well, the average pitcher thinks it’s the hardest job in the world. And the harder they work at it, the harder it gets. But if you can go out to the pitcher’s mound knowing that the best hitter the other team’s got is going to make an out seven times out of 10—if you can just keep that in your brain and walk out there and move the ball up and down and in and out a little bit—you’re going to win more games than you’ll lose. Garver knew that, and Garver did that as good as anybody. Garver just knew: keep the ball down, make the guy move off the plate occasionally. Spin it up there sometimes. Oh, he was one of one of my favorites.
J. W. Porter
Ned Garver asked if I wouldn't send him a copy of the 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon (shown here). That began some back-and-forth notes between us including this note appended to the bottom of a 1990 letter of mine. I mentioned that I had just finished reading Bill Veeck's autobiography and that I had lived in St. Louis for three years about a mile east of where Sportsman's Park had been located (although it had been torn down before we lived there). In this note, Garver wrote: "Had to hold out to get $18,000 for 1951 then they paid me 17,500.00 because that was the highest paid player they had in 1950--George Sternweiss I think. Veeck bought the club in 1951 and paid me the other 500.00 when we talked contract for 1952. He was a sharp cookie. Thanks for the photo." I also have a nice 1952 Alan Maver cartoon which Garver signed twice.
New York Yankees 1924, St. Louis Browns 1925-27, Washington Senators 1928, Boston Red Sox 1929-31, Chicago Cubs 1932-34 [97 W, 164 L; 4.55 ERA, 615 SO]
This is one of my older signed cartoons. Milt Gaston autographed this 1929 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Garden of Memories Cemetery, Tampa, Florida.
Detroit Tigers 1939-41 [3 W, 1 L; 4.03 ERA, 30 SO]
This 1941 Jack Sords cartoon was autographed by both Floyd Giebell and Marius Russo. He was cremated.
New York Giants 1954-55, San Francisco Giants 1958, Pittsburgh Pirates 1959-60, Minnesota Twins 1961, Kansas City Athletics 1961 [11 W, 9 L; 5.39 ERA]
I don't only want to sit around, just hoping. I want to play. I want to belong. This is wonderful. Every game's a Rose Bowl game. I still can't believe that Willie Mays is real. He just has to be a figment of someone's imagination.
Paul Giel, on
his rookie season
See his grave in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Philadelphia Phillies 1945-46 [1 W, 1 L; 9.56 ERA, 8 SO; played in N.B.L. 1947-48, N.B.A. 1949-50]
Don Grate autographed this 1945 Jack Sords cartoon. He wrote that he had never seen this before and asked if I might send him a dated copy, which I did.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1943-47, Pittsburgh Pirates 1948-50, New York Giants 1952 [40 W, 48 L; 4.54 ERA, 451 SO]
Hal Gregg autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon. I also have a signed similar 1945 Sords cartoon entitled "Winning Giant." Sords used the same portrait copy.
He was cremated.
New York Yankees 1954-58, Kansas City Athletics 1958-59,1962, Cleveland Indians 1960, Cincinnati Reds 1960, St. Louis Cardinals 1960 [61 W, 41 L; 3.62 ERA, 443 SO]
See Bob Grim in a video clip of the October 4, 1955 final game of the World Series in which the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees.
See a video clip of Grim in the seventh game of the 1955 World Series.
He is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas.
St. Louis Cardinals 1941,1946-47 [2 W, 2 L; 4.50 ERA, 20 SO]
When I had Grodzicki at Columbus in 1941, I thought he was the best minor league pitcher I ever saw.
John Grodzicki autographed this 1947 Jack Sords cartoon.
He was cremated.
Chicago White Sox 1940-49 [63 W, 73 L; 3.78 ERA, 374 SO]
Orval Grove autographed this 1943 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
See his grave in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Sacramento, California.
New York Giants 1935-41, St. Louis Cardinals 1941-44, Cincinnati Reds 1944,1946-49, Pittsburgh Pirates 1949-50 [143 W, 114 L; 3.68 ERA, 709 SO]
This Willard Mullin cartoon autographed by Harry Gumbert appeared in newspapers in 1939.
See his interesting grave in Wimberley Cemetery, Wimberley, Texas.
Cleveland Indians 1928-47; Manager—Cleveland Indians 1961 [223 W, 186 L; 3.80 ERA, 1160 SO]
Because I went straight from Newark to Cleveland there were many people who resented my being on the club, some because I was black, some because they thought I would take their job. But there was the Cleveland pitcher, Mel Harder. He was the guy that was always nice to me.
This 1935 cartoon is one of three Jack Sords cartoons in my collection signed by Mel Harder. The others are from 1934 and 1942.
He was cremated.
New York Giants 1947-50 [29 W, 29 L; 5.02 ERA, 167 SO]
They put in Clint Hartung, the Hondo Hurricane, who was supposed to be the greatest thing that ever lived when he came up. Only as it turned out, he wasn’t much of a hurricane. He wasn’t even a gale. He was just a little whistle storm.
Clint Hartung autographed this 1949 Alan Maver cartoon.
St. Louis Cardinals 1947-50, New York Giants 1950-56, Philadelphia Phillies 1957-59 [109 W, 89 L; 3.81 ERA, 689 SO]
Through the first half of the  season, the Giants had been inconsistent because they could count on but two pitchers, Maglie and Larry Jansen. Jim Hearn had been wild high all the time, and Leo couldn’t pitch him. But in July Hearn changed from pitching overhand to below three-quarters, and he started throwing strikes. And when he started throwing strikes, he began winning. Now they had three good pitchers.
He was cremated.
Cleveland Indians 1926-40, Washington Senators 1940, St. Louis Browns 1940,1944, New York Giants 1940 [158 W, 156 L; 4.41 ERA, 677 SO]
Babe only hit a total of five home runs off me, so I guess that wasn't too bad considering that he hit 714 before he quit.
This Tom Paprocki cartoon signed for me by Willis Hudlin appeared in newspapers in 1937.
He is buried in Hazlehurst Cemetery, Hazlehurst, Mississippi.
Washington Senators 1940-42,1946-52, Boston Red Sox 1952-54 [104 W, 152 L; 4.28 ERA, 734 SO]
Cal Hubbard was a great bug guy, and a good umpire. I’m pitching a game in St. Louis one night and I’m having my problems, can’t get them out, and about the fourth inning they bring in somebody else. I’d been arguing with Cal all during the game, and as I leave the field, I walk by home plate and tell him, “Cal, you were terrible tonight. I never saw you miss as many pitches as you did tonight. That’s the worst I ever saw you umpire.” He says, “Sid, my night must have been better than yours, because you’re leaving and I’m staying.”
This 1940 Jack Sords cartoon signed by Sid Hudson is one of four in my collection. The others are also Sords cartoons from 1940 and two from 1941, one of which depicts several players which was signed by Hudson, Doc Cramer, and George Archie.
He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Waco, Texas.
Philadelphia Phillies 1941-42,1946-47, Cincinnati Reds 1948 [31 W, 56 L; 3.92 ERA, 221 SO]
This 1942 cartoon autographed by Tommy Hughes appears to be the work of Willard Mullin.
He is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hanover, Pennsylvania.
Boston Red Sox 1941-44,1946-49 [96 W, 54 L; 2.95 ERA, 693 SO]
Hughson was some pitcher when he was right. He had a good fastball, and he could throw just about any pitch you can name.
This 1943 cartoon autographed by Tex Hughson looks like the work of cartoonist Sam Davis. I also have signed cartoons drawn by Jack Sords (1941 and 1942) and Alan Maver (1942 and 1949). I have an extra 1949 signed Maver cartoon that I would dicker on a trade.
See his grave in San Marcos Cemetery, San Marcos, Texas.
New York Giants 1947-54, Cincinnati Reds 1956 [122 W, 89 L; 3.58 ERA, 842 SO]
I was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox but they didn't honor my contract, so Judge Landis made me a free agent. I signed with the Salt Lake City Bees after that and then wound up with the San Francisco Seals.
This 1950 Alan Maver cartoon is one of three in my collection autographed by Larry Jansen. The others include a 1948 Jack Sords and 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
He is buried in Visitation Cemetery, Verboort, Oregon.
Boston Braves 1950,1952, Milwaukee Braves 1953-58, Baltimore Orioles 1959 [40 W, 23 L; 3.78 ERA, 319 SO]
I’ll always remember my major league debut, in 1950 vs. the Phillies. I came in from the bullpen thinking, “You made it—you made the ML.” So few do. The batter was Dick Whitman. I was told to pitch him low. I did and he hit the ball right between my legs into center field for a base hit. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.
Cincinnati Reds 1928-36, St. Louis Cardinals 1936-38, Philadelphia Phillies 1940-43,1946, Boston Red Sox 1946-47 [101 W, 165 L; 4.09 ERA, 840 SO]
This 1943 cartoon is one of two autographed by Si Johnson in my collection. The other is a 1932 Jack Sords cartoon. He also generously sent me four different autographed photos. On this cartoon, Si wrote: "This picture is Sylvester Johnson. We were on the same club in Phillies. I will send you some pictures of me. Syl has passed away several years ago. we were real fast friends. I will sign it if it is OK with you." He was a more than generous signer.
See his grave in Sandwich Cemetery, Sandwich, Illinois.
Chicago White Sox 1953-58 [40 W, 36 L; 3.65 ERA, 198 SO]
Bob Keegan autographed this 1954 Alan Maver cartoon.
Chicago White Sox 1934-37, Detroit Tigers 1938-39, St. Louis Browns 1939-41, Washington Senators 1941, Cleveland Indians 1942-44, Philadelphia Phillies 1944-45, Cincinnati Reds 1945 [104 W, 132 L; 4.68 ERA, 691 SO]
Vernon Kennedy autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Mendon Cemetery, Mendon, Missouri.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1944-45,1947-48,1951-52, Cincinnati Reds 1953; Manager—San Francisco Giants 1969-70, Atlanta Braves 1974-75, New York Yankees 1982 [32 W, 25 L; 4.14 ERA, 150 SO]
I started with the Dodgers in 1944. I was nineteen. I was a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I was a starting guard on the basketball team and a starting pitcher in baseball. Howie Haak was a lieutenant commander at the pre-flight school at Chapel Hill, and he used to umpire our games when I pitched. I guess Howie Haak saw something he liked, because he was continually asking me to consider a tryout with the Dodgers. He said, “If you don’t like it, you can always come back.” I left Raleigh on the train and went to Penn Station. I took a cab over to 215 Montague Street, and Mr. Rickey was waiting for me. We talked for about an hour, and he said, “What kind of bonus do you want?” I picked what I thought was a ridiculous figure out of the hat. I said, “Five thousand.” Without flinching, he said, “That’s fine.” And he yelled at Jane Ann Jones, his secretary, to bring a contract. And for many years, I was known as Rickey’s boy. Many years later I asked him, “If I had asked for more, would I have gotten it?” In a kidding sort of way, he said, “You’ll never know, will you?” I remember the first game I pitched in. It was 1944. Mickey Owen was the catcher. We must have been seven runs behind, and it was late in the game. The bases were loaded, and no one was out, and Owen came out to the mound. He had never seen me pitch before. He said, “Don’t pay any attention to the fingers I’m putting down. Just throw fastballs.” I was primarily a curveball pitcher, but I guess he figured, “Here’s a young college kid, nineteen, he’s probably wild, and the game’s out of reach.” And so I got the first two hitters out, and the next guy hit a double and knocked in all three runs. The next morning I got a note from Mr. Rickey asking me to be in his office at ten o’clock. He said, “What kind of pitches do you have?” I said, “I have a fastball, a curveball, and a change-up.” He said, “How many curves did you throw last night?” I said, “I didn’t throw any.” He said, “How many fastballs?” I said, “I threw twelve.” He asked why I didn’t throw any curves or change-ups. I said, “Because Mickey Owen told me not to.” He said, “That’s your first lesson. You’re the boss out there. The catcher only suggests, and you have to approve it. If you don’t like it, change it.” And that was my first lesson from Mr. Rickey.
Clyde King autographed this 1951 Alan Maver cartoon.
St. Louis Browns 1939-41,1943-47, Boston Red Sox 1948-49, New York Giants 1950-51, New York Yankees 1951 [95 W, 103 L; 4.24 ERA, 613 SO]
Jack Kramer autographed this 1944 Sam Davis cartoon.
He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1950-57, Los Angeles Dodgers 1958-60, Detroit Tigers 1960, Pittsburgh Pirates 1960-61, New York Giants 1962 [77 W, 56 L; 3.63 ERA]
The Dodgers signed me because Charley Dressen, who was the pitching coach at the time, fell in love with me for a reason I’ll never know. He said I had a great slider. I never threw a slider in my life, but if he said I had one, that was okay with me. What he saw was that my ball sunk a little bit, even in those early days, and he was the one who pushed Rickey to sign me.
Watch a brief video clip of Clem Labine winding up to pitch.
He was cremated.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1950-51,1954-67 [162 W, 147 L; 3.77 ERA, 119 complete games; National League Cy Young Award 1960]
We were playing the Phillies and I was on the bench alongside Nellie King, a comic. It was one of those games where every call by the umpire was hairline and could have gone either way. Both benches began to ride the umpires and the language got pretty strong. Every time the plate umpire called a strike, it looked as though he was pointing at Nellie. And Nellie would stab himself in the chest with a finger and give it the "Who, me?" routine. We were warned to stop. I noticed the cluster of runs go up on the scoreboard and I pointed just as the umpire turned my way. He threw me out. I've been told that this was the report he filed: "I knew that Law was an elder of the Mormon Church. There was so much bad language that I didn't think it proper for him to hear it. So I ejected him."
Cincinnati Reds 1939 [0 W, 0 L; 9.53 ERA, 5 games, 5.2 innings pitched, 4 SO]
Wes Livengood autographed this 1950 Bill Ballard cartoon. I think I obtained this cartoon image in a trade and then sent it to Wes to sign.
He is buried in Salem Cemetery, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Detroit Tigers 1937, Philadelphia Athletics 1940, Detroit Tigers 1945 [0 W, 2 L; 6.88 ERA, 35.1 innings pitched, 12 games, 3 games started, 8 SO]
Pat McLaughlin autographed this 1937 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Earthman Resthaven Cemetery, Houston, Texas.
Boston Braves 1922-25, New York Giants 1926 [14 W, 29 L; 4.78 ERA, 89 SO]
Hey McNamara, I'm sending you to the local hospital tonight. I'm having that bat surgically removed from your shoulder!
Casey Stengel (after McNamara struck out looking at 3 straight pitches)
I used to have a record book listing all my autograph acquisitions containing mail request information (date sent/received) or items purchased or traded. I may still have it, but if so, it is buried deep because I can't find it now. Without it I'd be hard pressed to recall if I got this Tim McNamara autograph by mail, purchase, or trade. I think it was the latter.
See his grave in St. Charles Cemetery, Blackstone, Massachusetts.
Detroit Tigers 1941-42,1946, Chicago Cubs 1946 [3 W, 1 L; 4.77 ERA, 60.1 innings pitched, 28 SO, 28 BB, 71 hits]
Hal Manders autographed this 1942 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Waukee Cemetery, Waukee, Iowa.
Chicago White Sox 1946-48,1956, Philadelphia Phillies 1949-52, Brooklyn Dodgers 1953-55, Cincinnati Reds 1956, Boston Red Sox 1957, Kansas City Athletics 1959 [94 W, 73 L; 3.99 ERA, 672 SO, 13 shutouts]
My nickname from high school was Monk, and then one day when I was with the Phillies, I got into a deal with Dascoli, the umpire, right here in Brooklyn. Jackie [Robinson] stole home, and Dascoli called him safe, and Andy Seminick and I both thought he was out, and if you go by the pictures, Jackie slid on the first-base side of the plate and never did touch the plate. Dascoli called him safe, and I proceeded to get all over Dascoli. In fact I grabbed him, and he pulled away from me, and I pooped a couple of buttons off his coat, which cost me a three-day suspension. I got fined a couple hundred bucks. And after that game, Bob Carpenter hung “the Mad Monk” tag on me. He had another name for me, “Russell the Redneck Reindeer.” I was a real competitive guy, and I don’t like to lose, no, and when I walk out there to the circle, I think I’m the best son of a gun there is, and I just don’t like to lose.
He is buried in Peru City Cemetery, Peru, Illinois.
Cleveland Indians 1936,1938-43, St. Louis Browns 1943,1946, Philadelphia Phillies 1946 [57 W, 58 L; 4.22 ERA, 10 shutouts]
This 1940 cartoon is one of three different Jack Sords cartoons autographed by Al Milnar in my collection. The others are from 1939 and 1943.
He is buried in All Souls Cemetery, Chardon, Ohio.
Philadelphia Phillies 1935-40,1945-46, Pittsburgh Pirates 1947 [45 W, 89 L; 4.49 ERA, 314 SO, 5 shutouts]
Mulcahy pitched a great many games for the terrible Phils and lost a great many: eighteen in 1937, twenty in 1938, sixteen in 1939, twenty-two in 1940. From the frequency with which the notation "Losing pitcher—Mulcahy" appeared in the box scores, he came to be called Hugh (Losing Pitcher) Mulcahy.
Robert W. Creamer
Hugh Mulcahy autographed this 1940 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
See his grave in Beaver Cemetery, Beaver, Pennsylvania.
St. Louis Browns 1937,1939,1941-47, Cleveland Indians 1948, Pittsburgh Pirates 1949, Chicago Cubs 1949, New York Yankees 1951 [80 W, 82 L; 3.80 ERA]
Nothin' wrong with Muncrief.
Bob Muncrief autographed this 1941 Bob Coyne cartoon.
See his grave in Cedarlawn Memorial Park, Sherman, Texas.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1938, St. Louis Cardinals 1941, Philadelphia Phillies 1942,1948 [10 W, 8 L; 4.69 ERA, 90 games, 224.1 innings pitched, 101 SO]
Sam Nahem autographed this 1941 Willard Mullin cartoon.
Cleveland Indians 1939-40,1943-44, St. Louis Cardinals 1944 [5 W, 7 L; 3.93 ERA, 52 games, 112.1 innings pitched, 64 SO]
This 1943 Jack Sords cartoon is one of two autographed by Mike Naymick. The other Sords cartoon is from 1941.
He is buried in San Joaquin Catholic Cemetery, Stockton, California.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1935, Philadelphia Phillies 1936-39, Chicago Cubs 1939-47 [162 W, 150 L; 1104 SO, 27 shutouts, .192 avg.]
Passeau was always tough. He had a fast tailing ball he'd jam a lefthanded hitter with, right into your fists, and if you weren't quick he'd get it past you. He worked the count to two balls and one strike, then he came in with that sliding fast ball around my belt, and I swung.
This 1940 Jack Sords cartoon was autographed by Claude Passeau.
See his grave in Magnolia Garden Cemetery, Lucedale, Mississippi.
New York Yankees 1941 [4 W, 2 L; 5.06 ERA, 18 SO]
Steve Peek kindly sent me this autographed 4x5.5 photo of him. He also autographed this 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
He is buried in Crown Hill Memorial Park, Kirkland, New York.
Detroit Tigers 1937-38, Brooklyn Dodgers 1939 [16 W, 12 L; 4.75 ERA, 267.1 innings pitched, 65 SO]
Boots can win anywhere if he behaves himself.
Robert W. Creamer contended that Boots Poffenberger was "one of the oddest of odd balls." He is the only cartoon signer that trimmed the edges around the cartoon and returned it to me. He cut the edges around this 1940 Jack Sords cartoon. Strange man.
St. Louis Cardinals 1936, Philadelphia Athletics 1938-41,1948, Boston Red Sox 1941, St. Louis Browns 1943-48, Boston Braves 1948-49 [92 W, 97 L; 3.99 ERA, 747 SO, .228 avg, only major league pitcher ever suspended for throwing spitball]
On July 20, 1944, umpire Cal Hubbard threw St. Louis Browns pitcher Nelson Potter out of a game against the New York Yankees for allegedly throwing a spitball. According to this article, Hubbard said "he warned Potter half a dozen times to desist from rubbing his fingers over his mouth before letting go his pitch." Hubbard said "that Potter's failure to comply left him with no alternative other than to banish him." Hubbard said that Browns' manager Luke Sewell had fomented the controversy. Sewell had complained about Yankee pitcher Hank Borowy moistening his fingers, yet said nothing to his own pitcher about following Hubbard's orders. Potter and Sewell argued that he merely blew on his fingertips. During the flare-up, Potter offered Hubbard the ball repeatedly to prove he had no saliva on the ball. His ejection caused a "near riot" at Sportsman's Park. American League President Will Harridge suspended Potter for ten games. In his note to me, Potter told the same story almost fifty years later on this copy of a 27 July 1944 Sporting News article : "I was moistening my fingers but not throwing a spitball, mainly to get a better grip on the ball." Is this a great autograph?
See his grave in Oakwood Cemetery, Mount Morris, Illinois.
Cleveland Indians 1942-46, New York Yankees 1947-54 [182 W, 107 L; 3.30 ERA, 1423 SO, 36 shutouts; Hickock Belt 1951]
Allie Reynolds, I swear, he pitched me a whole season and never used more than the black part of the plate on the outside. I liked to pull the ball and I’d try to pull off him and he would force me to go the other way. He just would never make a mistake. Allie was the kind of guy, you would go up maybe your first time at bat on a given day, and you’d think, boy, he ain’t throwing all that hard. That curveball wasn’t all that much. Then you’d come up in the eighth or ninth in the clutch and it was like a different pitcher. He coasted, and he saved his stuff for when he needed it. Boy, then he’d just explode a fastball on you, when you hadn’t seen one anywhere near that speed all day. His curveball would get sharper all of a sudden. He’d just reach back and get it when he needed it. He was really tough.
Allie Reynolds autographed this 1948 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Boston Braves 1942,1946-51, New York Yankees 1951-55, Kansas City Athletics 1955 [139 W, 116 L; 3.49 ERA, 245 games started, 140 complete games, 51 saves, .245 batting avg; four-time 20-game winner]
Johnny Sain is a great pitcher. One of the finest I ever saw in World Series competition . . . . I don't say that Sain is a great pitcher because he throws a blazing fast ball or a startling curve or is a "freak" pitcher. I say he's great because he knows how to adapt his pitching to a situation.
Johnny Sain was a wonderful, generous signer. He even sent me signed copies of two cartoons from his scrapbooks, drawn by Ken Haag and Ron Lewis. This 1948 Alan Maver cartoon is one of three Maver cartoons. The others are duplicate 1949 cartoons. I also have a signed 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon. He also sent me autographed copies of four news clippings. What a great signer! I suspect there are a lot of Sain autographs in baseball autograph collections given his generosity to me.
He is buried in Havana Cemetery, Havana, Arkansas.
New York Giants 1939, Boston Bees 1940, Boston Braves 1941-43, Philadelphia Phillies 1943 [33 W, 50 L; 3.69 ERA, 9 shutouts]
This Jack Sords cartoon signed by Manuel Salvo appeared in newspapers in 1943.
He is buried in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Sacramento, California.
St. Louis Browns 1943,1946-48,1951, New York Yankees 1949-51, Washington Senators 1951 [37 W, 55 L; 4.45 ERA, 285 SO]
At an SABR meeting in Salt Lake City in the late 1990s, I obtained these in-person autographs from Fred Sanford.
He was buried in Salt Lake Cemetery.
New York Giants 1931-42,1946 [158 W, 120 L; 3.36 ERA, 138 complete games, 906 SO, 29 shutouts]
I couldn't hit him at all. He had a sinker . . . .[he was a] headhunter.
This 1933 Laufer cartoon signed by Hal Schumacher is one of two in my collection. The other is a 1935 Jack Sords.
He is buried in St. Josephs Cemetery, Dolgeville, New York.
Cleveland Indians 1938, Detroit Tigers 1940 [1 W, 1 L; 5.54 ERA, 17 SO]
Clay Smith sent me these two nice 4x6 autographed photos of him with the Indians in 1938 and Tigers in 1940. How thoughtful and generous! Smith autographed this 1940 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Cambridge Cemetery, Cambridge, Kansas.
St. Louis Cardinals 1947-54, Cincinnati Reds 1955, Chicago White Sox 1956-61, Kansas City Athletics 1961, Detroit Tigers 1961 [134 W, 111 L; 3.70 ERA, 727 SO, 9 shutouts]
The night we [White Sox] clinched the pennant [was my greatest day]. I came out of the bullpen in the ninth inning and threw one pitch. Vic Power of the Indians bounced the ball to shortstop Luis Aparicio, who started the game-ending double play.
This 1952 Alan Maver cartoon is one of two by that cartoonist autographed by Jerry Staley in my collection. The other is from 1950.
He was cremated.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1928, Washington Senators 1931 [1 W, 0 L; 5.66 ERA]
Walter Tauscher autographed this 1936 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Orlando, Florida.
New York Giants 1927, Cleveland Indians 1931, Brooklyn Dodgers 1932, St. Louis Browns 1935 [9 W, 20 L, 4.95 ERA]
Fay Thomas autographed this 1930 Jack Sords cartoon.
Cincinnati Reds 1939-42, New York Giants 1946-47 [47 W, 35 L; 3.26 ERA, 315 SO, 185 games, .225 avg.]
This 1940 Art Krenz cartoon is one of two autographed by Gene Thompson in my collection. The other is a 1940 Willard Mullin cartoon.
See his grave in Green Acres Memorial Park, Scottsdale, Arizona.
New York Giants 1942-47, Boston Braves 1947-49, Chicago Cubs 1950 [74 W, 84 L; 3.83 ERA, 637 SO, 13 shutouts]
He had three pitches: Hard, harder and harder.
Bill Voiselle signed this 1945 Jack Sords cartoon twice.
He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Ninety Six, South Carolina.
Washington Senators 1931-38, Boston Red Sox 1939 [71 W, 50 L; 4.36 ERA]
Monte Weaver autographed this 1933 Laufer and a 1933 Jack Sords cartoon.
Philadelphia Athletics 1934, Boston Red Sox 1935-41, Washington Senators 1942, Detroit Tigers 1942 [68 W, 72 L; 4.59 ERA, 590 SO]
We [Boston] had poor pitching, but [Joe] Cronin didn't help the pitching staff any calling the pitches. He was the kind of manager who liked to do that . . . .we had one pitcher by the name of Jack Wilson. He was a good fastball pitcher. And no curve. He couldn't get the curve over. Whenever he pitched, Cronin would just give me fastball, fastball, fastball.
See his grave in Holyrood Catholic Cemetery, Shoreline, Washington.
Detroit Tigers 1929-33, Chicago White Sox 1933-36, Cleveland Indians 1937, Brooklyn Dodgers 1939-44, Philadelphia Phillies 1945 [106 W, 95 L; 3.78 ERA, 17 shut outs, .219 avg]
Whitlow Wyatt was the best competitor. He went out there with blood in his eye and a frown on his face, and he never cracked a smile during that ball game—he was there to beat you.
This 1942 Tom Paprocki cartoon is one of four nice cartoons autographed by Whitlow Wyatt in my collection. The others are Jack Sords cartoons from 1938, 1939, and 1944.
He is buried in Buchanan City Cemetery, Buchanan, Georgia.
Chicago Cubs 1942-47, Philadelphia Athletics 1950-51, Washington Senators 1951 [79 W, 70 L; 3.52 ERA, 362 SO]
Hank Wyse autographed this 1945 Al Pierotti cartoon.
See his grave in Fairview Cemetery, Pryor, Oklahoma.