I recently posted about Satchel Paige, Casey Stengel and Hack Wilson playing in York.
The information came from “Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Rorbert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball before Jackie Robinson.”
Well, there’s more about York in Timothy M. Gay’s fascinating book.
In 1935, squads led by Dizzy and Paul Dean played a game against Negro Leaguers in York.
According to the book, legendary slugger paced the Negro Leaguers to an 11-1 thrashing of Dean’s boys.
“Cool Papa Bell claimed years later that his squad stung Diz for four early runs, with Gibson tagging tape-measure home runs in the first and again in the third. ‘THe peoplestarted booing,’ Bell told John Holway, ‘and Diz went into the outfield for a while; he hated to just take himself out of the game.’”
After the game, according to Bell, Dean walked by the dugout and said, “Josh, I wish you and Satchel played with me ‘n’ Paul on the Cardinals. Hell, we’d win the pennant by the fourth of July and go fishin’ the rest of the season.”
Also, that night, Connie Mack was in the crowd.
According to newspaper reports at the time, York residents weren’t happy with the white barnstormers.
Gay concludes, “If only the good people of York had realized that evening how many future Hall of Famers they’d had the privilege of watching.”
For the Southpaw’s money, York’s Eagle Park hosting Connie Mack, Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean, Josh Gibson, Cool Poppa Bell, Judy Johnson and Daffy Dean, has to be the greatest collection of baseball talent in this city at one time.
The book doesn’t say whether Hall of Famers Judy Johnson and Ray Dandridge played in the game, but they were on Satch’s team.
I’d be willing to bet that if you could have those three pitchers, Gibson batting third, Bell leading off, Johnson and Dandridge in the infield and Connie Mack at the helm, you’d win the pennant with whatever other talent you had around you.
I picked up Timothy M. Gay’s “Satch, Dizzy and Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson” earlier this year.
I finally got around to reading it this week.
What do I find on page 43?
A reference to York.
According to the book, Satchel Paige and several legends of the Negro Leagues – including Double Duty Radcliffe – played in a 1932 series against a group run by Casey Stengel (after his playing career, before his managerial posts).
The series was played in several cities.
“The series started in York, Pennsylvania, a favorite barnstorming venue because it was roughly equidistant from Baltimore and Philadelphia; the tour then crossed the mountains to Pittsburgh, Altoona and Cleveland.”
According to Gay, Paige pitched in the fourth game. The Negro Leaguers won five-of-seven against the big leaguers.
Stengel wasn’t the only star on his squad. Hall of Famer Hack Wilson – who still holds the Major League record for runs batted in over a single season – was among the players.
More history posts
More local baseball history.
More local history.
More books in York.
Editor’s Note Did You Notice is a weekly look at some interesting numbers during the season.
Did you notice …
Justin Upton and Michael Morse are playing like Babe Ruth. Literally. Each of them has as many home runs as three teams combined. The Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals have just two home runs apiece.
The Houston Astros have attempted just one stolen base attempt this year. Twenty-five year old J.D. Martinez is the culprit. It’s the only stolen base of his career.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies lead all of baseball with 10 swiped bags.
Everyone knows Chris Davis is having an impressive start to the season, with 17 runs batted in, but the New York Mets’ John Buck has 14 runs batted in. He’s driven in just under a third of the team’s 46 runs.
Is it really too soon to joke about Steve Irwin’s death?
Guess who’s hurt again? Yep, this guy.
So would the O’s really be wise to lock up another young star?
Remember Brian Roberts and Nolan Reimold? Well they showed up in a big way on Opening Day.
Robinson Cano has a new agent. You’ll never guess who it is.
Player of the day
No one else comes close: Yu Darvish was fantastic.
Stat of the day
RA Dickey walked four batters on Tuesday. He only did that twice last year.
For better or worse, this is the new Roy Halladay.
Do you believe in magic? Schmuck does.
The Capitol Gang
I continue to root for this guy.
Bats, Balls and Buccos
A former part owner is criticizing the man who runs the Pirates.
Blast from the past
As a Red Sox fan stuck in Pennsylvania, I have made an effort over the years to see a few games when the beantown bunch travel to Baltimore. But since I moved to the state in 2001, I’ve found myself in a predicament.
Despite being an in-division rival, I find myself rooting for the Orioles. And as the team has progressed in the last two years, I have found it easier to enjoy having a winning baseball team within an hour drive.
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter (left) and players lineup prior to the game as they were introduced during opening day against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Reuters Photo
When the two teams cross paths, I will always be loyal, but there’s something about Camden Yards and the great fan base the city, and Cal Ripken Jr., has created that’s addicting.
Watching giddy O’s fans rally behind Buck Showalter and Adam Jones after years of finishing at the bottom of the AL East has been compelling. Ticket prices aren’t astronomical, and Baltimore has utilized their farm system and held on to players like Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and Manny Machado.
So I ask, is it wrong to cheer from afar? Am I crossing an ethical line of true fandom?
You be the judge.
Here’s a stream-of-consciousness recap of Opening Day:
Clayton Kershaw dominated on the mound and hit a home run for the Dodgers.
Don Drysdale hit two Opening Day home runs in his career, as many as Hank Aaron.
Aaron tied Babe Ruth’s record with a homer on Opening Day in Cincinnati in 1974.
Traditionally, the Reds have opened every season at home because they were the first professional franchise.
Two of baseball’s biggest record holders are next on our list. John Clarkson holds the all-time record for wins in a single season.
Meanwhile, Babe Ruth held nearly every home run record at one point in his career. And he was a damn fine pitcher, to boot.
Lefty Gomez set a record for winning six straight World Series games, but might be more remembered for his zany actions.
Hal Newhouser is one of just one of twenty pitchers to have been awarded an MVP award. He won two. Continue reading