Cleveland Indians 1955-57, Detroit Tigers 1958-67, Los Angeles Dodgers 1968, Chicago Cubs 1969-70 [75 W, 72 L; 3.25 ERA]
I was fortunate. I could throw a baseball.
I received this autograph as a gift in the early 1970s. It was obtained in-person on Feb. 12, 1960.
See his grave marker in San Gabriel Mission Cemetery, San Gabriel, California.
St. Louis Cardinals 1940,1943-52, St. Louis Browns 1953 [132 W, 92 L; 2.92 ERA, 901 SO]
Harry Brecheen would buzz anybody; he was a mean pitcher, a tough competitor.
Harry Brecheen autographed this 1949 Alan Maver cartoon. I have two other signed cartoons by Maver from 1948, a duplicate different 1949 Maver (entitled "Winning Hand in Card Game"), a 1945 Jack Sords cartoon, and a 1944 Sam Davis cartoon. I'd be willing to dicker on a trade for either of my duplicate signed 1948 or 1949 Maver cartoons.
He is buried in Rosedale Cemetery, Ada, Oklahoma.
Philadelphia Athletics 1947-51, Cleveland Indians 1951-53 [44 W, 48 L; 4.07 ERA]
Lou pitched under a lot of stress. He was a very hard worker. Had he been fully healed [from war injuries] there is no doubt in my mind he could have become another Lefty Grove. Lou won 25 games that year. In fact, he went 13-0 before anybody in the league knew how to hit him.
This Alan Maver cartoon is one of two signed by Lou Brissie in my collection. This is from 1950 and the other is from 1951.
New York Yankees 1943,1946-51,1954-57, St. Louis Browns 1951-52, Chicago White Sox 1953, Washington Senators 1953 [85 W, 69 L; 4.11 ERA, 766 SO]
I lived on the threshold of maybe being pretty good, but I was wild. The strike zone, the further up you go in baseball, gets smaller and smaller. I was off the plate a lot, and I led the league two or three years in a row in bases on balls and hit batsmen. I did manage to get a raise every year, though, because I was prone to win a few games.
Tommy Byrne signed this 1950 Alan Maver cartoon.
See a video clip of Byrne in the seventh game of the 1955 World Series.
See his grave in Wake Forest Cemetery, Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Boston Red Sox 1944-46, St. Louis Browns 1948, New York Giants 1948 [6 W, 8 L; 4.53 ERA, 39 SO]
Clem Dreisewerd autographed this 1944 Sam Davis cartoon.
He is buried in Lake Lawn Cemetery and Mausoleum, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Detroit Tigers 1946,1948-54, Chicago White Sox 1955, Cleveland Indians 1955, New York Yankees 1955, Baltimore Orioles 1955 [59 W, 74 L; 4.37 ERA, 687 SO]
Ted Gray autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
He was cremated.
Cincinnati Reds 1934-39, New York Yankees 1940, Brooklyn Dodgers 1940-41, Philadelphia Phillies 1941 [29 W, 48 L; 3.88 ERA, 384 SO]
This 1937 cartoon is one of two Jack Sords cartoons in my collection signed by Lee Grissom. The other is also from 1937 entitled "Shutout Specialist."
He is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery, Corning, California.
St. Louis Cardinals 1952-56, Philadelphia Phillies 1956-57, Cincinnati Reds 1958, Pittsburgh Pirates 1959-63, Baltimore Orioles 1964-65 [136 W, 113 L; 3.63 ERA, 1575 SO]
I probably got more famous from losing the perfect game in thirteen innings than if I had won it in nine!
Harvey Haddix autographed this 1948 Alan Maver cartoon.
See his grave in Asbury Cemetery, Catawba, Ohio.
Chicago Cubs 1933,1935-36, Brooklyn Dodgers 1937, St. Louis Browns 1938, Detroit Tigers 1942-44 [33 W, 40 L; 4.16 ERA, 337 SO]
Roy Henshaw autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.
New York Yankees 1911-13, St. Louis Browns 1915 [2 W, 4 L; 2.46 ERA, 49 SO]
1911. It was all a big surprise. I pitched a couple of good games with a semi-pro team and a friend of mine noticed that I looked like a pretty good pitcher. He was a banker down on Wall Street and he used to go up to the Yankee games two or three times a week so he knew the manager Chase pretty well. I lived right next door to this guy, this banker, in Ossining, New York. He went down to the ballgame one day and had a talk with Chase. He told Chase he had a pretty good looking ball player up at home and he asked Chase if he could bring (me) for a tryout with the team. Chase said 'Yeah, bring him down.' So a couple of days later I got down there and had a tryout. Chase called the catcher over, he says, 'Take this young boy and have him practice a little bit to see what he's got.' The catcher reported to Chase and it must have been good results, 'cause Chase said 'Can you come down tomorrow?' I practiced with 'em three days - fourth day I had a New York Yankee uniform on. I met Chase in the clubhouse. He said, 'See that locker over there ?' I said 'Yeah.' Chase said 'Your uniform is in that locker. You put that on this afternoon and go out with the regular ballclub' —— Chase was a wonderful guy! He was very easy to get along with...I was just a poor boy struggling along, just got out of school, I was about nineteen. He invited me up to have dinner with he and his wife. He had a beautiful wife. She was a wonderful woman. She cooked me a darned good meal! Chase, I thought he was the greatest. I think he understood baseball players, he must have understood me.
See his grave in Dale Cemetery, Ossining, New York.
Detroit Tigers 1929-36, St. Louis Browns 1936-37, Washington Senators 1938, Detroit Tigers 1944 [63 W, 87 L; 5.03 ERA, 441 SO]
Babe Ruth couldn't hit Chief Hogsett with a handful of sand.
Chief Hogsett autographed this great Tigers cartoon and also a 1944 Jack Sords cartoon in my collection.
He is buried in Brownell Cemetery, Brownell, Kansas.
Boston Red Sox 1940-41,1946-50, Detroit Tigers 1951 [40 W, 32 L; 4.31 ERA, 250 SO]
No mystery what happened to me. I just couldn't stand playing for Joe McCarthy, that's all. He just about took the love of baseball out of me. Whatever I had left went out the window in 1951 when I played for Rogers Hornsby in Seattle. Those two guys may be in the Hall of Fame but they were miserable to play for. To me, you have to stay loose to play baseball effectively. Those two guys were what we now call control freaks. You didn't dare crack a smile in the dugout. That's not the way I played. So I quit.
Earl Johnson autographed this 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Cleveland Indians 1946-47, Chicago White Sox 1949-50, Washington Senators 1950-51, New York Yankees 1951-54, Baltimore Orioles 1954-55, Philadelphia Phillies 1955, Pittsburgh Pirates 1957, St. Louis Cardinals 1957 [49 W, 44 L; 4.05 ERA, 446 SO]
We were playing the White Sox in Yankee Stadium August 8, 1953, and I was pitching against Virgil Trucks. I had a no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning. Bob Boyd, a little left-handed hitter with the White Sox, he hit a line drive over Billy Martin’s head, a clean hit, for a double, and I got the next two guys out. I threw the pitch where I wanted it to Boyd, down and in, a strike on the inside part of the plate. And he hit the ball good. I’m glad he did. I’m glad he didn’t bloop it or something. You take your hat off to him. To get a no-hitter you’ve got to earn it. He got a base hit and he earned it. I knew I had a no-hitter going. Anybody who’s pitching a no-hitter—if they tell you they don’t know it, they’re kidding you. The dugout was pretty normal, but nobody talks to you very much when you’re going with a no-hitter—the kind of leave you alone. They believe it’s bad luck to mention it. Everybody in the park knows you’ve got a no-hitter going, plus you. They’re all pulling for you naturally. It was Ladies’ day, I can remember that, and there were about 70,000 people there. I won the ball game three to nothing, I think. I got a one-hitter, but it cost me some money. Because that was a Saturday, and the next night I could probably have been on “The Ed Sullivan Show” if I’d pitched a no-hitter. If you pitched a no-hitter in those days, you usually picked up a few bucks by going on Ed Sullivan’s show.
Bob Kuzava autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
See video clip of Kuzava in the 1952 World Series in which the Yankees beat the Dodgers.
St. Louis Cardinals 1938-46,1949-51, New York Giants 1952-53, St. Louis Browns 1953 [108 W, 82 L; 3.01 ERA, 821 SO, 21 shutouts]
I signed a contract to play in the St. Louis Cardinals chain. But they didn’t keep the promises they made to me, and so I got out of the contract. I went about playing semipro ball in Lexington, Kentucky, where I won sixteen games in a row. Frank Rickey, the St. Louis scout who had signed me and Branch Rickey’s brother, came by and asked me if I would be willing to go to spring training in 1937. I said, “On one condition: You have to pay me what I’m making now and a bonus.” Somehow I wound up signing again. The bonus this time was for two bird dogs. Frank Rickey said they was both broken in. He said they were good dogs and ready to hunt. I brought them home, and one of them got out that night. I have never seen him since. I’ve been told that I wasn’t the only one that happened to. Maybe that dog was used over and over again, who knows? I started to play with Columbus, Ohio, the St. Louis Cardinals farm club. It was my first year in professional baseball. I won ten games and lost four. I had a good curveball and a good fastball, too. St. Louis promoted me to the major leagues the next year. That 1938 Cardinals team had Pepper Martin, Johnny Mize, Enos Slaughter, Paul Dean, Bill DeLancey, Terry Moore, Mort Cooper, and Joe Medwick. Not too shabby a bunch of players. Early on I was out in the bullpen, and I was called in to pitch. The starter was in trouble. I crossed through the outfield. Joe Medwick was there in leftfield. You know what he shouted out to me? “Now’s your chance to go back to Columbus.” Wasn’t that something to say to a young player? I hate to say it, but that’s exactly what happened.
This is one of three cartoons autographed by Max Lanier in my collection. This is a 1940 Jack Sords and the others include a 1950 Alan Maver and 1952 Tom Paprocki.
He is buried in Dunnellon Memorial Gardens, Florida.
Cleveland Indians 1933-36, Chicago White Sox 1937-47, New York Giants 1948 [117 W, 124 L; 3.56 ERA, 155 complete games]
He was a good ballplayer.
This 1935 Jack Sords cartoon is one of two in my collection signed by Thornton Lee. The other is a 1936 cartoon.
Philadelphia Phillies 1943-44 [1 W, 0 L; 5.87 ERA, 5 games, 15.1 innings pitched, 1 SO]
Rogers Hornsby McKee autographed this 1943 cartoon.
St. Louis Cardinals 1952-53,1956-60, Pittsburgh Pirates 1960-62, New York Mets 1962 [90 W, 88 L; 3.85 ERA]
Vinegar Bend Mizell autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Cleveland Indians 1954-58, Detroit Tigers 1959-63, Chicago White Sox 1964, Kansas City Athletics 1965 [101 W, 80 L; 3.43 ERA, 932 SO]
He was a great bullpen [pitcher]. We could bring [him] in in the ninth inning or the eighth inning and [he] would stop the opposing team.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1947, Washington Senators 1950 [3 W, 8 L; 6.42 ERA, 15 games, 67.1 innings pitched, 21 SO, .231 avg]
Steve Nagy sent me this nice autographed 3.5x5 photo. He autographed a 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Cincinnati Reds 1944,1952-60,1962-66, Kansas City Athletics 1961, Los Angeles Angels 1962 [135 W, 117 L;3.90 ERA, 1372 SO, 20 shutouts]
Joe Nuxhall autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Rose Hill Burial Park, Hamilton, Ohio.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1951,1953 [1 W, 2 L; 7.34 ERA, 12 games, 5 games started, 30.2 innings pitched, 35 hits, 21 walks, 14 SO, .222 avg.]
There wasn't a day for three weeks when my picture wasn't in the paper. I guess the name Paul Pettit has a certain ring to it.
Paul Pettit autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Detroit Tigers 1945,1948, Chicago White Sox 1949-61, San Francisco Giants 1962-64 [211 W, 169 L; 3.27 ERA, 193 complete games, 1999 SO, 38 shutouts]
Billy probably threw harder than anybody for a guy his size, he had a real big delivery, nice to look at, and he had overcome a lot. I understand he had had epilepsy . . . .he was a nervous little guy.
This Tom Paprocki cartoon appeared in newspapers in 1950. I also have a 1951 Alan Maver cartoon that was signed by Billy Pierce.
St. Louis Cardinals 1939, Chicago Cubs 1940-41, Philadelphia Phillies 1943-47, Cincinnati Reds 1947-54 [119 W, 154 L; 3.60 ERA, 31 shutouts, 806 SO]
I didn't go along with it [Phillies manager Ben Chapman had instructed pitchers to throw the ball at Jackie Robinson when there were two strikes in the count]. I never believed in throwing at a guy.
This is one of two Alan Maver cartoons autographed by Ken Raffensberger in my collection. This is a 1952 cartoon and the other is from 1950.
He is buried in Mount Rose Cemetery, York, Pennsylvania.
St. Louis Cardinals 1938, Pittsburgh Pirates 1944-47, Brooklyn Dodgers 1948-54 [127 W, 84 L; 3.43 ERA, 956 SO, 17 shutouts]
When I was three years old, before we moved to Viola, we lived in a little town with about eighty people, called Wild Cherry, Arkansas. I had an uncle who had been off in the First World War; he was wounded pretty badly and he didn't get back for a few years. I was three years old when he got back and he had never seen me. He came up to me and said, "Young man, what's your name?" I was very bashful as a kid and still am, but I said, "I'm not gonna tell you." He pulled out a nickel from his pocket and he said, "I'll give ya a nickel if you tell me your name," and I said, "Preacher." . . . .Now, the reason I said Preacher, my mother told me, was because of the Methodist minister in our town. We had a little church and he'd come there twice a month and preach and then he'd have another town about four miles over that he'd preach at. But he lived by us and he had a one-horse buggy. He and his wife didn't have any children and everywhere they went they took me with them in that buggy. My mother thought I associated liking the preacher with what I'd like to be called. And she thought that was why I said Preacher Roe. Anyway, it stuck.
This is one of two Alan Maver cartoons that Preacher Roe signed. This one appeared in newspapers in 1952 and the other one is from 1950. I also have a signed 1943 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Howell County Cemetery, Chapin, Missouri.
New York Yankees 1939-43,1946 [45 W, 34 L; 3.13 ERA, .213 avg]
He was a left-hander with a sidearm fastball that sank. He was good in the [Yankee] Stadium because right-handers couldn't get the ball in the air off him.
This 1943 cartoon signed by Marius Russo is one of two in my collection. The other is a 1943 Jack Sords cartoon.
He was cremated.
Cleveland Indians 1955-59, Chicago White Sox 1960-62 [55 W, 46 L; 3.36 ERA, 858 innings pitched, 837 SO; American League Rookie of the Year 1955]
I had a big follow-through; I really drove off of the mound when I delivered the ball. In fact, I used to wear a basketball players’ kneepad on my right knee because when I’d follow through, very often I would hit my left elbow against my right knee. That’s how hard I was throwing; I used to put so much behind each pitch that my body was swung way out of position after I delivered the ball. I used to throw balls that I never saw reach the plate, and when they were hit I had to look around to see where they were going. Very often I simply didn’t see the ball after I’d let it go. I suppose that’s what happened when I was pitching to Gil McDougald that night in Cleveland. I had retired Hank Bauer and Gil was the second batter of the game. He hit through the box a lot, but I never worried about the ball being hit back at me; I just never allowed myself to. So I fired it in there, heard the crack of the bat, looked up and I can remember seeing the ball coming right into my eye. Boy, it had got big awfully fast and it was getting bigger. There was really nothing I could do about it. It hit me flush in the eye and as soon as it hit I remember saying to myself, “Saint Jude, stay with me.” I went down and I knew enough not to move; I just lay there. I never lost consciousness. I could hear everybody around me. I knew I was bleeding because I could taste the blood. I remember putting my finger in my ear to see if I was bleeding out of the ear, since I knew that if you had a concussion or a fractured skull you’d be getting blood out of your ear. My nose and my mouth were filled with blood and I remember somebody sticking a towel in and I said, “Hey, get that towel out, you’re going to choke me.” I was conscious the whole time, and lucid, and calm; I think I was the calmest one out there. They carried me to the clubhouse and put some ice wrapped in a towel over my eye. The team doctor came in, took the towel away and looked in the eye with a light. While he was doing that I closed my other eye and couldn’t see the light. “Do I still have an eye?” I asked. He didn’t say anything. The clubhouse was very quiet. The grandstands were pretty quiet too, even though there were a lot of people in the ball park. Play had been suspended while another pitcher warmed up to take my place. “I can’t see that light, Doc,” I said. He had it right in my eye. “Look,” he said, “you’ve got so much bleeding and swelling in there I’m not surprised.” Then he covered up the eye with a bandage and I went to the hospital. When I got there they still couldn’t tell me if I’d lose the eye or not; there was too much hemorrhaging in it for them to be able to determine the extent of the damage. They told me it would take a few days. Fortunately, I didn’t lose the eye, but I had to lie absolutely still for eight days, with both eyes covered. . . . You know, people think what happened tome that night cost me my career. But they’re wrong. That had absolutely nothing to do with me losing my effectiveness. The following spring I was pitching as well as I ever did. Then I was pitching in Washington. In the third or fourth inning my arm started to bother me. I didn’t say anything. I figured it would work out. These are the mistakes you make when you’re young. Then in the seventh inning I threw a pitch to somebody and it actually didn’t reach home plate. I called Bobby Bragan, the manager, and told him I thought I’d hurt my arm, and he took me out. The next day the thing had swelled up so much I couldn’t get it through the sleeve of my coat. It turned out I had torn the tendon in my elbow. They thought that would help, but it didn’t. I pitched the rest of the year with a bad arm. I’d missed a whole year in ‘57 because of the eye injury and didn’t want to miss any more time. So I kept throwing with a sore arm. I used to tell myself not to change my delivery to compensate for the soreness. But you do change your deliver; what once was natural becomes unnatural. After the soreness went away and I could throw without pain again, I never had quite the same motion. I could still throw the good curve, but I couldn’t throw the fastball like I used to anymore. It was gone, and with it a lot of the fun of the game went for me.
He is buried in Lakewood Park Cemetery, Rocky River, Ohio.
Detroit Tigers 1940, Brooklyn Dodgers 1945 [12 W, 9 L; 4.47 ERA, 69 SO, 2 shutouts]
Tom Seats autographed this 1940 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Woodlawn Memorial Park, Colma, California.
Philadelphia Athletics 1949-54, Kansas City Athletics 1955-56, New York Yankees 1957-60, Pittsburgh Pirates 1961, Houston Astros 1962, St. Louis Cardinals 1962-64, Chicago Cubs 1964, Philadelphia Phillies 1964 [119 W, 99 L; 3.38 ERA, 1072 SO; American League MVP 1952]
I was playing in a semipro league in the sandlots around Philadelphia and a few scouts from the Phillies were looking at me. Not saying anything; just looking. They’d show up, watch, then go away. I was getting curious about what they were thinking. Then one day I found out. After a game one of them walked up to me and shook hands. “We’ve been watching you,” he said. Well, that much I knew. “You’ve got a good arm,” he said. “You’ve got a hell of a good arm. But I don’t know if you could make it in pro ball.” “Why not?” I asked. I knew what he was going to say. “You’re too small,” he said. That was in 1947. Five years later, after I’d won the Most Valuable Player Award in the American League, I met him and he laughed and said he’d made a big mistake.
Philadelphia Phillies 1947-60, St. Louis Cardinals 1960-66, Chicago Cubs 1966-67, Los Angeles Angels 1967 [193 W, 183 L; 3.54 ERA, 1697 SO, 36 shutouts]
Curt was an outstanding pitcher. If Curt Simmons had not gone into the Army and if Curt Simmons had not cut off part of his big toe with the lawn mower, Curt Simmons might have been greater than [Robin] Roberts. When Curt came up, he threw the ball as hard as anybody I have ever seen. He not only threw hard, but his ball had tremendous movement . . . .Curt had a very deceiving delivery. he had tremendous velocity, and, as I said, he had a lot of movement on the ball. He was a very good athlete.
This is one of two Tom Paprocki cartoons autographed by Curt Simmons in my collection. This is from 1952 and the other from 1950.