A bit of a deviation from players but this manager from Springfield has some really cool things in his background.


  • Barrow was the first executive to put numbers on player uniforms.
  • He also announced the retirement of Lou Gehrig’s uniform number, the first number to be retired.
  • Barrow was also the first executive to allow fans to keep foul balls that entered the stands.
  • Barrow was also the first to require the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the United States’ national anthem, before every game, not only on holidays.
  • In May 1950, an exhibition game was played in honor of Barrow, with Barrow managing a team of retired stars.
  • Barrow was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1953.
  • On April 15, 1954, the Yankees dedicated a plaque to Barrow, which first hung on the center field wall at Yankee Stadium, near the flagpole and the monuments to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins. The plaques later moved to the stadium’s Monument Park.
  • Barrow was an able boxer. He once fought John L. Sullivan in an exhibition for four rounds




Edward Grant Barrow (May 10, 1868 – December 15, 1953) was an American manager and front office executive in Major League Baseball. He served as the field manager of the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox. He served as business manager (de facto general manager) of the New York Yankees from 1921 to 1939 and as team president from 1939 to 1945, and is credited with building the Yankee dynasty.Barrow was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.

Born in a covered wagon in Springfield, Illinois, Barrow worked as a journalist and soap salesman before entering the business of baseball by selling concessions at games. From there, Barrow purchased minor league baseball teams, also serving as team manager, and served as president of the Atlantic League. After managing the Tigers in 1903 and 1904 and returning to the minor leagues, Barrow became disenchanted with baseball, and left the game to operate a hotel.

Barrow returned to baseball in 1910 as president of the Eastern League. After a seven-year tenure, Barrow managed the Red Sox from 1918 through 1920, leading the team to victory in the 1918 World Series. When Red Sox owner Harry Frazee began to sell his star players, Barrow joined the Yankees. During his quarter-century as their baseball operations chief, the Yankees won 14 AL pennants and 10 World Series titles.

Barrow was hospitalized on July 7, 1953 at the United Hospital of Port Chester, New York and died on December 15, at the age of 85, due to a malignancy. His body was kept at Campbell’s Funeral Home and interred in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester County, New York.



Elkhart – Illinois Born “Boys of Summer” Series- Jake Stahl and Tommy Thompson

Continuing on with the Illinois born major league players takes me to a Logan County small town of Elkhart. I found an interesting tidbit that I didn’t know in the story of Jake Stahl. Here are two players born in Elkhart.

Here is a link to previous Illinois Born players.






 ThompsonTommy  Rupert Lockhart “Tommy” Thompson was born in Elkhart, Illinois on May 19, 1910. He made his debut as an outfielder for the Boston Braves on September 3, 1933. He went 0-for-4 with one walk in his team’s 14 inning loss to New York.

He went on to play for the Boston Braves (1933–36), Chicago White Sox (1938–39), and St. Louis Browns (1939). He made his last major league appearance on June 9, 1939. In his career he batted .266 with 9 home runs and 119 runs batted in. He may have put it all together in 1945 when he was in the Pacific Coast League playing for the San Diego Padres as he batted .346. 

His Transaction Review

September 2, 1933: Purchased by the Boston Braves from Albany (International).
December 4, 1936: Traded by the Boston Bees with Tiny Chaplin and cash to San Diego (PCL) for Vince DiMaggio.
October 5, 1937: Drafted by the Chicago White Sox from San Diego (PCL) in the 1937 rule 5 draft.
April 27, 1939: Purchased by the St. Louis Browns from the Chicago White Sox.

He died at the age of 61 on May 24, 1971 and is buried in the New Auburn Cemetery, Auburn, California. 

JakeStahl   Garland “Jake” Stahl was born on April 13, 1879 in Elkhart, Illinois as the the third son of Henry and Eliza Stahl. He grew up to be 6’2” and 195 lbs and many considered him a beast, particularly on the football field. He graduated from high school (which was 10th grade) and went to work at the family store while attending the University of Illinois. While there, the football coach, George Huff, encouraged him to tryout for the football team.

  He made the team and quickly became a two-way football star with a great season 1901. He was named captain of the team in 1902. Football was not the only sport he excelled at as Huff was also the baseball coach and made Stahl his catcher. He batted .441 during his sophomore season.

He graduated with a law degree in 1903 from the University of Illinois. He clearly was a good student but he wasn’t with adventure and a keen interest in females.  The University of Illinois yearbooks of the time contain two references to Jake’s social activities, including a poem describing his carriage ride with a young woman named Clara. Jake met his future wife, Jennie Mahan, at the university.


 He graduated from the University of Illinois as a Kappa Kappa member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Stahl made his major league debut as a catcher on April 20, 1903 for the Boston Americans. In 1904 he was traded to the Washington Senators and they converted him to first base.

  His best season was probably 1910 when he led the American League in home runs with 10 as a player for the Boston Red Sox but also fanned 128 times.  He played from 1903-1913 with four different teams.

 He was known in baseball circles as a player that went through the motions and had a large tendency to loaf as a player. He last played on June 13, 1913 for the Red Sox. In his career he hit 31 homers, drove in 437 runs, stole 178 bases and ended with a .261 batting average.

1912WorldSeries  He was a player/manager and guided the Red Sox to a World Series Championship in 1912. For his managerial career he was 263-270.

NOTE: This was one of only four World Series to go to eight games, and the only best-of-seven Series to do so. While the 1912 Series was extended to eight games due to a tie game being called on account of darkness, the 1903, 1919, and 1921 World Series were all best-of-nine affairs that happened to run eight games.

MGR NOTE: Stahl was ejected 8 times in his managerial career.


He was fired the next season due to a disagreement with management. Many people around baseball believed it was a mistake to fire Stahl but he ended his baseball career and retired to banking. He joined his father-in-law and the Washington Park National Bank. He became very successful in that business but soon came down with an illness. He died of tuberculosis at age 43 in Monrovia, California on October 18, 1922.






Exterior view of Washington Park National Bank, located at East 63rd Street and South Evans Avenue in the Woodlawn community area of Chicago, Illinois.




Here is the same bank in 2015.





SABR Article

Retrosheet on Stahl

Where is Elkhart, Illinois?

Elkhart is a village in Logan County, Illinois, United States. The population was 443 at the 2000 census.

Village Website

Elkhart Historical Society


Early history from wikipedia

In some respects the history of Elkhart dates from the first settlement of James Latham at Elkhart Grove (Elk Heart) in the spring of 1819. From the very earliest times Elkhart Hill has been the scene of activity. James Latham’s house, and later Richard Latham’s place on the brow of the hill further south, were stops on the early stage routes from Springfield to Bloomington, and here travelers were received with true pioneer hospitality. In later days, Abraham Lincoln, David Davis, John T. Stuart and others, when traveling the judicial circuit frequently tarried overnight at Elkhart Grove. In about 1820, James Latham also built a horse mill at the Grove. Before this, the early settlers had been compelled to go to Edwardsville to mill. During the mill’s existence, settlers came a great distance to get their grinding done and frequently camped overnight waiting their turn.

A town site was at one time projected by Aquilla Davis. But nothing definite was done in that direction until the Alton & Sangamon (now the Chicago & Alton) railroad came through in 1853. Once the tracks were laid, an old horse mill, owned by Seneca Woods, was brought from Springfield by William Mozee and converted into a warehouse. This was the first building in the town of Elkhart. In 1855, John Shockey, of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, laid out the town, which was surveyed by County Surveyor Conaway Pence on April 11 of that year. Christian Shockey and John Rinehart were chain carriers, Wm. F. Elkin and A. E. Constant were witnesses to the survey, and the town was given the name of Elkhart City to distinguish it from Elkhart Hill and Elkhart Grove. The same year Mr. Shockey erected a large, frame hotel. J. R. Saunders also built a brick store and offered the first general stock of goods for sale in the town. A few goods had been for sale in the old warehouse, but no regular stock had been kept. Quite a number of houses were built that same summer, and the town experienced quite a growth spurt during the later 1850s. J. R. Saunders served the first postmaster and railroad agent, and William Rankin was his assistant. In 1858, John Gibbs erected a warehouse. Shockey’s 16-acre (65,000 m2) addition was added to the original town in January 1858. Rigney’s addition was laid out in 1863, and Thompson’s addition was added in 1865. A small district school house was moved into the town in 1856, which gave way to a larger structure in 1865.

For many years Elkhart was one of the largest shipping points on the C&A Railroad. This was due in part to the large stock farms of John D. Gillett. The town was incorporated Feb. 22, 1861 by special legislative charter. The first officers were James Rigney, president; W. M. Helm, clerk; T. H. Cantrall, treasurer; L. D. Dana, justice; Martin Buzzard, constable; and A. H. Bogardus, street commissioner. A Methodist church was built in the village in 1863, a Catholic church in 1864, and a Christian church in 1867. Captain A.H. Bogardus was a resident of Elkhart at the time he was crowned American Wing Shot Champion and when he won the world championship medal in London in 1875. A new rail depot was built at Elkhart in 1888.

Like many frontier towns, Elkhart has had its share of fires. The nearby residence of the rancher John D. Gillett was destroyed by fire on Feb. 14, 1871, although he rebuilt on the same site. On March 2, 1891, Gov. Richard J. Oglesby’s residence was consumed by fire. A new residence was erected by Gov. Oglesby but on a site further to the south and east, now known as Oglehurst. Gov. Oglesby died in this home on April 24, 1899. On May 24, 1889, lightning struck the Crang Building, which was occupied by the Hughes & Mendenhall General Store. The fire spread to adjacent buildings and destroyed most of the commercial buildings in the village. In all, the fire destroyed ten businesses and one home.

In 1885, the town was incorporated as a village under the general laws of the state, relinquishing the special legislative charter. The first board under the new incorporation consisted of Henry Stahl, C. P. Bridges, A. H. Bogardus, C. B. Taylor, David Lippet and Luther Wood. A handsome new library building was erected in 1904, the gift of the Gillett family. Elkhart was a station on the Illinois Traction System, which was built through the village in 1904. 


TABLE OF CONTENTS for Previous Articles





   Al Papai born May 7, 1917 in Divernon, Illinois. He made his first appearance in the major leagues on April 24, 1948 with the St. Louis Cardinals as a pitcher. In that game he came in to pitch the 9th inning with the Cardinals trailing 5-2. He got the first batter to groundout, then Hal Jeffcoat hit a homerun off of him. That was followed by a fly out, a walk and a caught stealing. Here is the BOXSCORE for that game.


He went on to play for the Browns, Red Sox and White Sox in his career. He was primarily a knuckleball pitcher. In his only major league full-season he went 4-11 with a 5.06 ERA for the helpless Browns. In parts of four seasons, he posted a 9–14 record with a 5.37 ERA in 88 appearances, including 18 starts, eight complete games, four saves, 70 strikeouts, 138 walks, and 239 ⅔ innings of work.His last appearance was September 1, 1955 with the Chicago White Sox.  Papai died in Springfield, Illinois, at the age of 78.


Where is Divernon, Illinois?  Divernon is a village in Sangamon County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,201 at the 2000 census, and 1,131 at a 2009 estimate. It is part of the Springfield, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.

PerryPat   William Patrick Perry (Pat Perry)  born on February 4. 1959 in Taylorville, Illinois. He made his debut in the major leagues as a lefthanded pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals on September 12, 1985. In his debut he pitched four innings and allowed two hits with no walks and three strikeouts. BOXSCORE.

His last game was on September 30, 1990 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his career, he went 12-10 and a 3.46 ERA along with 131 strikeouts in six seasons.

Where is Taylorville, Illinois? Taylorville is a city in and the county seat of Christian County, Illinois, United States. The population was 11,427 at the 2000 census, making it the county’s largest city.




21 Dec 1926, New York, New York, USA --- Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Joe Wood and Dutch Leonard, four of the best known players in baseball, were named by Commissioner K.M. Landis in making a new scandal in the national pastime. These four men, according to a statement Landis issued were involved in a deal wherein Cleveland was to "throw" a game to Detroit, Sept. 25, 1919. By so doing it was pointed out, Cleveland could not be nosed out of second place in the American League and it would help Detroit to finish third. Ty Cobb, manager of the Detroit team, related that Dutch Leonard, pitcher, had made wager with Joe Wood, Cleveland pitcher, that Detroit would win against the Clevelands. Tris Speaker, manager of the Clevelands denies any knowledge of bet. Cobb and Speaker, recently resigned from "baseballdom." Herbert B. "Dutch" Leonard, pitcher of the Detroit Tigers, implicated in the baseball expose. --- Image by © Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS

   Emil John “Dutch” Leonard was born in Auburn, Illinois on March 25, 1909. He made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on August 31, 1933. In that game he came in to relieve in the first inning after the starter gave up a ton of runs. He pitched 7.1 innings and allowed eight hits and four runs. BOXSCORE Leonard played for 4 different teams and was a 5-time All Star. In a 20-season career, Leonard posted a 191–181 win-loss record with 1170 strikeouts and a 3.25 earned run average in 3218 1⁄3 innings pitched. He was a six-time All-Star selection.

On July 4, 1939 Leonard pitched a complete game and the Senators defeated the New York Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. At the conclusion of the first game, Lou Gehrig delivered his famous “luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech.

During the 1945 season, Leonard was part of what was possibly the only four-man rotation in baseball history to have been all knuckleball pitchers. Reportedly, after facing Leonard, Jackie Robinson once said: “I am glad of one thing, and that is I don’t have to hit against Dutch Leonard everyday. Man, what a knuckleball that fellow has. It comes up, makes a face at you, then runs away.”

Leonard died on April 17, 1983 at the age of 74.

Where is Auburn, Illinois?  Auburn is a city in Sangamon County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,317 at the 2000 census, and 4,445 in 2009. It is part of the Springfield, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Continuing our series on Illinois Born “Boys of Summer”.





Earl Homer Sheely was born on February 12, 1893 in Bushnell, Illinois.



He went into baseball as a first basman and made his debut for the Chicago White Sox on April 14, 1921. He was a major leaguer for 10 seasons with eight of them for the White Sox.

Sheely finished sixth in voting for the 1925 American League MVP, playing in 153 games with having 600 at-bats, 93 runs, 189 hits, 43 doubles, 3 triples, 9 home runs, 111 RBI, 3 stolen bases, 68 walks, .315 batting average, .389 on-base percentage, .442 slugging percentage, 265 total bases and 26 sacrifice hits.

He currently ranks 92nd on the MLB list for career sacrifice hits (189).

Over nine seasons, Sheely played in 1,234 games and had 4,471 at-bats, 572 runs, 1,340 hits, 244 doubles, 27 triples, 48 home runs, 747 RBI, 33 stolen bases, 563 walks, .300 batting average, .383 on-base percentage, .399 slugging percentage, 1,782 total bases and 189 sacrifice hits.



Where is Bushnell, Illinois?

Bushnell is a city in McDonough County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,221 at the 2000 census.

According to the 2010 census, Bushnell has a total area of 2.138 square miles (5.54 km2), of which 2.13 square miles (5.52 km2) (or 99.63%) is land and 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.37%) is water.
The town was founded in 1854 when the Northern Cross Railroad built a line through the area. Nehemiah Bushnell was the President of the Railroad, and townspeople honored him by naming their community after him. The railroad later became part of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, which continues to operate through Bushnell under the name Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Bushnell was also served by the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway, now the Keokuk Junction Railway. Amtrak trains pass through the city but do not stop.

Beginning in 1908, the Truman Pioneer Stud Farm in Bushnell was home to one of the largest horse shows in the Midwest. The show was well known for imported European horses. The Bushnell Horse Show returned in 2004 and has become one of the better draft horse hitch shows in the tri-state region. The Bushnell Horse Show features some of the best Belgian and Percheron hitches in the country. Teams have come from many different states and Canada to compet

The Nagel Brothers of Bushnell were the first to invent a process of making rolled oats without having to steam the oats. Up until this time, the oats were first steamed to separate the groat from the hull. The patent for this new process was later sold to the Quaker Company.

Bushnell is home to Vaughan & Bushnell hammer factory and Kitchen Cooked Potato Chips.


Continuing with my series on Illinois Born major league players we find four from Olney, Illinois which is the home of the White Squirrel. Be sure to check that information out at the bottom of the article.


Illinois Born- OLNEY


Glenn Brummer



Glenn Edward Brummer (born November 23, 1954, in Olney, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball catcher.

Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1974, Brummer made his Major League Baseball debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on May 25, 1981, and appeared in his final major league game on October 6, 1985.

He played in 178 games with 347 at bats and collected 8 hits and 27 runs batted in for a .251 batting average. He had four career stolen bases but no more remembered than on August 22, 1982 he stole home with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Cardinals a 5-4 win over the Giants.

Brummer was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals team that defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1982 World Series.



Ollie Pickering

OlliePickering   Oliver Daniel Pickering (April 9, 1870 – January 20, 1952), was a professional baseball player and is noted as the first batter in American League history while playing for the Cleveland Blues in 1901. (NOTE: The 1901 season was the first season that the American League (AL) was classified as a “major league”) He went on that season to hit .309 and scored 102 runs for Cleveland. He played outfielder, primarily in center field, in the Major Leagues from 1896 to 1908. He would play for the Philadelphia Athletics, Louisville Colonels, Cleveland Spiders, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, and St. Louis Browns. Upon his retirement from playing the game, he became an umpire and later retired in Vincennes, Indiana.

The term “Texas Leaguer” is often attributed to the debut of Ollie Pickering, either in the majors or the Texas League, who came to bat and proceeded to run off a string of seven straight bloop hits leading fans and writers to say, “Well, there goes Pickering with another one of those “Texas Leaguers”.

A Texas Leaguer (or Texas League single) is a weakly hit fly ball that drops in for a single between an infielder and an outfielder. These are now more commonly referred to as flares, bloopers or “bloop single.” Most colorfully called a ‘gork shot’. 


Dummy Murphy

DummyMurphy  Herbert Courtland “Dummy” Murphy (December 18, 1886 – August 10, 1962) was a shortstop in Major League Baseball. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1914.
Murphy started his professional baseball career in 1912. The following season, with the Thomasville Hornets of the Empire State League, he batted .338 and was drafted by the Phillies in September. He started 1914 as a major league regular. However, he batted just .154 in nine games and made eight errors in the field. He was released in May and went to the Jersey City Skeeters, where he batted .235 the rest of the season.

Murphy spent the next few years in the minor leagues, mostly in the Pacific Coast League. In 1920, he was a player-manager for the South Atlantic League’s Charlotte Hornets. He retired soon afterwards.



Stan Royer

RoyerStan Stanley Dean Royer was born August 31, 1967 in Olney, Illinois and attended Charleston High School in Charleston Illinois. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves coming out of high school but chose to attend Eastern Illinois University. and recieved ab economics degree, In 1988, he was draft by the Oakland Athletics. He was traded in 1991 along with Felix Jose and a minor league player to the Cardinals for Willie McGee.

He played first base and third base for St. Louis from 1991 through 1994. In a four season career, Royer was a .250 hitter (41-for-164) with 21 RBI in 89 games, including four home runs, 10 doubles, and 14 runs scored. He also played in the Oakland, St. Louis and Boston minor league systems from 1988–1994, hitting .270 with 72 home runs and 417 RBI in 707 games.

Royer is President of Claris Advisors, an investment advising and wealth management firm based in St. Louis.


Where is Olney, Illinois?



Olney is a city in Richland County, Illinois, United States. The population was 8,631 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Richland County.

According to the 2010 census, Olney has a total area of 6.664 square miles (17.26 km2), of which 6.66 square miles (17.25 km2) (or 99.94%) is land and 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.06%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,631 people, 3,755 households, and 2,301 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,498.4 people per square mile.


White Squirrels

Olney is known for its population of white squirrels. There are two hypotheses about how there came to be white squirrels in Olney.

The first is that in 1902 William Stroup was out hunting and shot a gray female squirrel. The shot knocked the two babies out of a nest, and he brought them home to his children. They were later sold to Jasper Banks, who put them on display in front of his saloon.

The second is that George W. Ridgely and John Robinson captured a cream colored squirrel and then raised several litters of them before bringing a pair to Olney in 1902. Mr. Ridgely sold the pair to Jasper C. Banks for $5 each. Mr. Banks made a green box for his albinos and displayed them in his saloon window.

In 1910, the Illinois legislature passed a law prohibiting the confinement of wildlife, and they were released into the woods.

In 1925, the city passed a law that disallowed dogs from running at large. In 1943, the squirrel population reached its peak at 1000, but now the population holds steady at around 200.

In the mid-1970s, John Stencel, instructor at Olney Central College, received a small grant from the Illinois Academy of Science to study the white squirrels.

A squirrel count is held each fall. Both white and gray squirrels are counted in addition to cats. The number of squirrels has dropped causing concern. When the white squirrels dip below 100, they are concerned about genetic drift, or changes in allele (gene) frequency, which may reduce genetic variation and therefore speed up the extinction of a small population.

In 1997, the Olney City Council amended its ordinance which disallowed dogs from running at large to include cats. The 1997 squirrel count realized a decrease in cats. They are hopeful this will have a positive effect on the white squirrel population.

White squirrels have the right-of-way on all public streets, sidewalks, and thoroughfares in Olney, and there is a $750 fine for running one over. The police department’s badge even has a picture of a white squirrel on it. The white squirrel has proved to be an enduring symbol of Olnean pride, and stands as Olney’s most defining feature.

The population of white squirrels makes Illinois the only state to have populations of white as well as black squirrels, the latter residing in the Quad Cities area.

Continuing with my series, today I focus in the Springfield area and find a few small towns with major league players in their history. I am making a conscious effort to stay away from the Chicago area and focus more on the small town and a few of the larger downstate cities and their history.








William “Bill” Krieg





Born in Menard County


William Frederick Krieg (January 29, 1859 – March 25. 1930) was a Major League Baseball player from 1884 to 1887.
Krieg was born in Petersburg, Illinois. He played college baseball at the University of Notre Dame and then started his professional baseball career in 1883, in the Northwestern League. In 1884, Krieg played in the Union Association, which is now considered a “major league.” and made his professional debut on April 20, 1884 and  he batted .247. During the following season, he had short stints with four different ballclubs: two minor league teams based in Hartford and the major league Chicago White Stockings and Brooklyn Grays. In 1886, he split time with the Washington Nationals and the Eastern League’s Hartford Dark Blues.

Krieg started 1887 with Washington. On opening day, he hit a home run, however, he batted just .253 in 25 games and was released in midseason. He played his final major league game on June 15, 1887. In his career, he played in 141 games with 535 at bats, 127 hits, 29 doubles4 home runs, 37 runs batted in and 4 stolen bases along with a .237 batting average  Afterwards, he joined the Northwestern League’s Minneapolis Millers and batted .402, which was the second-best total in the circuit.

Krieg played in the Western Association in 1888 and would remain in that league for most of the following decade. In 1889, he batted .326 and then joined Milwaukee in 1890.In 1892, he won his first batting title while playing in Milwaukee. Krieg had a career season with Rockford in 1895. During that campaign, he batted a robust .452, with 237 hits, 14 triples, and 11 home runs to lead the Western Association in all four categories. He won another batting title the following year, at .350. In 1897, he hit .340. In 1898, he became the player-manager for the Burlington Hawkeyes, but his batting average slipped to .297. In 1899, he was player-manager for the Bloomington Blues.

Krieg’s playing career ended in 1901, when he was 42 years old. The following season, he managed in the Southern Association and then retired from the game. Early in his career, he had been a catcher, outfielder, and first baseman – he played the majority of his MLB games as a catcher – but he ended up being primarily a first baseman later in his career. He won three batting titles in the minor leagues. Krieg’s lifetime minor league batting average was .335, and Bill James considered him to be the best minor league baseball player of the 1880s.

Krieg died on March 25, 1930, at the age of 71 and is buried in Chillicothe, Illinois.


Where is Petersburg, Illinois? Here is the wikipedia entry:

Petersburg is a city in Menard County, Illinois, United States, on the bluffs and part of the floodplain overlooking the Sangamon River. It is part of the Springfield, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,299 at the 2000 census, and 2,185 at a 2009 estimate. It is the county seat of Menard County.Petersburg is located approximately two miles north of New Salem, the original settlement where Abraham Lincoln first settled when he came to Illinois.

Other notables from Petersburg:

William Taylor Davidson, newspaper editor; born in Petersburg
Edgar Lee Masters, lawyer and author (Spoon River Anthology); boyhood home is still preserved and open for visits
William B. McKinley, United States Senator from Illinois
Ann Rutledge, allegedly Abraham Lincoln’s first love; buried in Petersburg’s Oakland Cemetery





Carl Vandagrift




Born in Sangamon County


Born in Cantrall, Illinois, Vandagrift attended the University of Illinois before his entrance into the baseball world. The 5’8″ infielder got his chance at age 31 to play professional baseball with the Indianapolis Hoosiers with his debut on May 19, 1914 as a second baseman. He appeared in 43 games and accumulated 136 at bats with 34 hits for a .250 batting average along with 4 doubles and no triples or homers. He walked 9 times and struck out 15 at bats. In th field, he was a butcher with 10 errors in 28 games at second base. They moved him to third and short for the other fifteen games and he had 4 errors for a total of 14 in 43 games. He played his last game on October 5, 1914. His life was short as he died on October 9, 1920 at the age of 37. He is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana.



So if he played for the Indianapolis Hoosiers, How can we say he played in the major leagues? Here’s your answer.


When the Federal League opened for business in 1914 as a challenger to the two major leagues, one franchise was placed in Indianapolis. Primarily owned by oil magnate Harry F. Sinclair, this team won the Federal League championship in 1914 with an 88–65 record. The team played at Federal League Park. The team’s roster included future Baseball Hall of Fame members Edd Roush and Bill McKechnie.

Although the Federal League had placed a team (the Tip-Tops) in Brooklyn, from the outset Federal League officials felt they could more effectively compete commercially against the American and National leagues by placing a team in Manhattan. All attempts were effectively blocked by principals of the two existing Manhattan teams (the New York Giants and the New York Yankees). Federal League executives decided to relocate the Indianapolis franchise to a major city in the New York metropolitan area, and Newark was chosen. Although the team was named the Newark Peppers, the team actually played at Harrison Park, in the town of Harrison, New Jersey, across the Passaic River from downtown Newark. (As part of the franchise transfer, Indianapolis outfielder Benny Kauff, who was the Federal League batting champ in 1914, was placed with the Tip-Tops.)

The team finished in 5th place with a won–loss record of 80–72. The Peppers were disbanded when the Federal League went out of business after two seasons.

Interesting sidenote: Team infielder Rupert Mills “played” the non-existent 1916 “season.” A clause in his 1915 contract guaranteed him a salary for the following year as long as he continued to show up at the park, suited and ready to play for the team. Mills fulfilled his contractual obligation, coming to the empty park each day and performing a physical workout to remain in playing condition.


Where is Cantrall, Illinois? This is the wikipedia entry for Cantrall.

As of the census of 2000, there were 139 people, 53 households, and 40 families residing in the village. The population density was 545.3 people per square mile (214.7/km²). There were 55 housing units at an average density of 215.8 per square mile (84.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.28% White, and 0.72% Asian.

There were 53 households out of which 43.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.0% were married couples living together, 3.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.5% were non-families. 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the village the age distribution of the population shows 25.2% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 113.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $45,000, and the median income for a family was $45,417. Males had a median income of $49,375 versus $21,719 for females. The per capita income for the village was $21,610. There were none of the families and 1.4% of the population living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and none of those over 64.

Hope you enjoy Illinois Born “Boys of Summer” Series



George Whiteman

Started Over Babe Ruth

George (Lucky) Whiteman was born in Peoria, Illinois on December 23, 1882 the child of a German immigrant mother and father formerly from  New York . Early in his life as a teenager he felt the urge to move around and see the country. He and a partner began touring the United States as a diving acrobat team to make money and travel. That was a fine life until his partner died from a dive and Whiteman quit immediately and began looking for a different career.

Instead of writing this, I found a very well written article about Whiteman from the SABR biographies written by Jon Daly.  HERE is the article.



Continuing the series.



George Moriarty

George Joseph Moriarty was bon on July 7, 1884 in Chicago near the Union Stock Yards. He went on to become a major legue third baseman along with an umpire and manager in the major leagues. He made his debut on September 7, 1903 at the age of 19 for the Chicago Cubs. In his career, he played for four teams with 248 career stolen bases which included 11 of home plate. He played his last game with the White Sox on May 4, 1916.

He then turned to umpiring from 1917-1940 except in 1927-1928 he was the manager of the Tigers. He was one of the AL’s most highly regarded umpires in his era, working in the 1921, 1925, 1930, 1933 & 1935 World Series (as crew chief in 1930 & 1935), as well as the second All-Star Game in 1934.
On a memorable Memorial Day in 1932, Moriarty worked behind the plate for a Cleveland Indians home game against the White Sox. When several Chicago players took exception to his calls, he challenged them to settle the dispute under the stands of League Park after the game. Pitcher Milt Gaston took him on first but Moriarty knocked him flat, breaking his hand. Several White Sox, including manager Lew Fonseca and catcher and future AL umpire Charlie Berry, took him on in turn. The next day, AL president Will Harridge issued numerous fines and a 10-day suspension for Gaston.




John Romonosky 

Born in Harrisburg, Illinois on July 7, 1929,  John Romonosky became a right-handed pitcher for three seasons in Major League Baseball, appearing in 32 games for the 1953 St. Louis Cardinals and the 1958–59 Washington Senators. His minor league baseball career spanned 13 seasons between 1949 and 1961.

After his first recall from the minor leagues, Romonosky started two games for the Cardinals at the end of the 1953 campaign, earning no decisions. In fact, in his Major League debut against the Milwaukee Braves, the second game of a Sunday doubleheader at County Stadium, the game ended in a 3–3 tie after eight innings of play. Romonosky allowed three earned runs and seven hits in six innings, with two bases on balls and three strikeouts.

Sent back to the minors by St. Louis for the 1954 season, Romonosky didn’t return to the majors until July 1958 as a member of the Senators. He started five games during that month, but won only one game (losing the other four) and he worked out of the bullpen for the remainder of the 1958 campaign, appearing in 18 total MLB games. He began the next season with Washington, and worked in 12 more contests, two as a starter. He posted a career-best 3.29 earned run average that season, but did not pitch in a big-league game after July 27 and spent part of the season with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. However, in his final Major League game in September 1959, he pinch-ran for Senators’ slugger Roy Sievers in the eighth inning and scored the winning run in a 5–4 win over the Cleveland Indians at Griffith Stadium. In his career, he  yielded 97 hits and 51 bases on balls in 101⅓ major league innings, with 63 strikeouts.



Salty Parker

Francis James “Salty” Parker was born in East St. Louis, Illinois on July 8, 1912. Parker played in the Major Leagues for one month from August 13, 1936 through September 16, 1936. He appeared in 11 games, 7 at shortstop, for the Detroit Tigers, collecting seven hits and four RBIs for a .280 batting average and a .333 on-base percentage. Parker was sent to the Tigers on December 2, 1936 in a trade with Indianapolis American Association that also brought Dizzy Trout to the Tigers. Though Parker only played a month, Trout was a Major League pitcher for years, and eventually the Tigers’ ace.

After a lengthy minor league managerial career, including a stint managing Leones de Escogido in the Dominican Republic (1957–59), Parker coached for the San Francisco Giants (1958–61), Cleveland Indians (1962), Los Angeles/California Angels (1964–66; 1973–74), New York Mets (1967) and Houston Astros (1968–72) and served brief stints as manager of the Mets, where he had a 4–7 record in 11 games in 1967, and the Astros, where he had a 1–0 record in 1 game in 1972.[1] After his MLB coaching career, Parker scouted for the Angels and remained active in Houston-area baseball, coaching in the Karl Young League for many years.



Zach Monroe 

Zachary Charles Monroe was born on July 8, 1931 in Peoria, Illinois.  He was a pitcher over parts of 2 seasons in Major League Baseball (1958–59) with the New York Yankees. He made his debut on June 27, 1958 for the Yankees where he pitched 3.1 innings and allowed no earned runs with four walks and three strikeouts. BOXSCORE  He was a member of the 1958 World Series champion Yankees. An alumnus of Bradley University, for his career he compiled an 4–2 record with a 3.38 earned run average and 19 strikeouts in 24 appearance



Hank O’Day (Chicago)

Henry M. O’Day (July 8, 1859[2] – July 2, 1935), nicknamed “The Reverend”, was an American right-handed pitcher and later an umpire and manager in Major League Baseball. After a seven-year major league playing career, he worked as a National League (NL) umpire for 30 seasons between 1895 and 1927.

O’Day umpired in ten World Series – second only to Bill Klem’s total of 18 – including five of the first seven played, and was behind the plate for the first modern World Series game in 1903. Retiring at age 68 years, 2 months, he remains the oldest umpire in major league history – a fact which was not known until recently, as he routinely shaved five to seven years from his true age throughout his career. His 3,986 total games as an umpire ranked third in major league history when he retired, and his 2,710 games as the plate umpire still rank second in major league history to Klem’s total of 3,544. He is largely known for his controversial decision in a pivotal 1908 game, a ruling that still causes debate today. O’Day interrupted his umpiring career twice for single seasons as a manager, leading the Cincinnati Reds in 1912 and the Chicago Cubs in 1914. He remains the only person ever to serve full seasons in the NL as a player, manager and umpire. O’Day was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2013.

On July 8, 1901, his 42nd birthday, the fans are not happy with him as umpire because of some calls he makes. In the 8th inning, the Cardinals are leading 4-3, when the umpire calls two Brooklyn runners safe on the same play when both appear out. One of the runners ran 5-10 feet into the infield to avoid a tag on a weak grounder to first base. The second runner was clearly tagged out as he tries to advance to third base. The Cardinals argue vehemently. The fans toss bottles and jump from the bleachers to get their hands on the umpire. When order is restored, O’Day had a cut lip and both runners later score. The Cardinals lose 6-4 in the game and police had to escort the umpire to safety. It was the umpire’s birthday.

Continuing my series on Illinois born major league players.













Roy Hawes   roy_hawes


Roy Lee Hawes was born July 5, 1926 in Shiloh, Illinois. He was a first baseman in Major League Baseball, who played in three games for the Washington Senators in 1951. He had six at bats with one hit in three games. He is currently the 78th oldest living former major league player as of this writing.




Jeff Innis  jeff_innis

Jeffrey David Innis was born July 5, 1962 in Decatur, Illinois and attended the University of Illinois and received a psychology degree. He  is a former pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the New York Mets from 1987 through 1993. He batted and threw right-handed.He  threw two different breaking balls with a deceptive movement that disconcerted opposite hitters. A workhorse out of the New York Mets bullpen, Innis led the team in games pitched from 1991–93, averaging 84 innings per season. In 1991, he became the only pitcher in major league history to appear in at least 60 games without recording a win or a save. He broke the streak recording a win in relief on the 1992 Opening Day as he set a team record with 76 pitching appearances that season. His nickname was “I-Man”.

In a seven-season career, Innis posted a 10-20 record with a 3.05 ERA in 288 games.




Ward Miller  Ward_Miller

Ward Taylor Miller was born July 4, 1884 in Mount Carroll, Illinois and became a professional baseball player who played outfielder in the Major Leagues from 1909-1917. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Terriers, and St. Louis Browns.

Miller, a graduate of Northern Illinois University, made his major league debut on April 14, 1909.He played 15 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates during their pennant-winning 1909 season and had a batting average of .143 before he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with cash for Kid Durbin. In 43 games with the Reds during the 1909 Cincinnati Reds season, he hit .310 and had nine stolen bases. In his career, he had a .278 batting average with 623 hitw and 123 stolen bases.






Ken Sears   SearsKen

Kenneth Eugene Sears was born on July 6, 1917 in Streator, Illinois and went on to play college baseball at the University of Alabama. was an American professional baseball catcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) during the 1943 and 1946 seasons with his debut on May 2, 1943.  He played with the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Browns. He had a .282 career batting average in 67 career games and batted left and threw right-handed. He played college baseball at the University of Alabama.






For previous articles click HERE.


Continuing on with my series on Illinois Born major league players finds some interesting facts. These players were all born between July 1 and July 4. For more articles on “Boys of Summer” players click HERE.


Mel Simons was born Melburn “Butch” Ellis Simons in Carlyle, Illinois on July 1, 1900. He played outfield for the Chciago White Sox for two season (1931-1932) and finished with a .268 batting average with 12 runs batted in. He hit no home runs and made his debut on April 14, 1931. At the age of 74, he died and was buried in Paducah, Kentucky.



Pete Burnside

Peter Willits Burnside ws born July 2, 1930 in Evanston, Illinois. He attended New Trier High School and graduated from Dartmouth College. He became a lefthanded major league pitcher and made his major league debut on September 20, 1955. He started on the mound for the New York Giants and lasted 3 2/3 innings allowing 3 hits and 2 earned runs with 6 walks and 2 strikeouts. He didn’t figure in the decision. He played for five teams from 1955-1963. In his career he was 19-36 with a 4.81 ERA and 303 strikeouts.



 Tom Gilles   tom_gilles

Thomas Bradford Gilles (born July 2, 1962) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Gilles pitched in two games for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1990 season. He had a 1-0 record, in 1.3 innings, with a 6.75 ERA. He played June 7th and 8th in 1990. Born in Peoria, Illinois, he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 47th round of the 1984 amateur draft.







Frank Millard

Frank E. Millard wass born in East St. Louis, Illinoius. He played second base in one game, with no hits, for the St. Louis Browns of the American Association on May 4, 1890. He died two years later, while playing for the Galveston Sand Crabs in the Texas League.


Bill Tuttle  Bill_Tuttle


William Robert Tuttle was born on July 4, 1929 in Cramer , Illinois which is near Farmington. He went on to attend Bradley University in Peoria before he enter ed the major leagues as a centerfielder. He made his debut on September 10, 1952 for the Detroit Tigers. In his 12 year career,  he hit .259 with 67 home runs and 443 runs batted in. He had 1,105 career hits before retiring on May 11, 1963. Throughout his career, Tuttle was considered one of the most reliable outfielders in the game, leading the league in putouts in 1955 and 1960 and outfield assists in 1959 and 1960.

On practically every baseball card issued for Tuttle, a large bulge of chewing tobacco is evident in his cheek. Tuttle died in Anoka, Minnesota at the age of 69, and oral cancer was in all likelihood the cause of his death. Bill was diagnosed with oral cancer five years before his death, and he put the last half-decade of his life to use in raising awareness, as an active volunteer for the National Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP) of Oral Health America.
During the last years of his life, Tuttle was facially disfigured due to extensive surgery for oral cancer. He traveled widely as a public speaker, warning major league players of the dangers of chewing tobacco. “It’s going to be pretty hard to tell someone making $4 million a year not to chew”, he admitted. “So what we’re trying to do is get it off TV.” What Tuttle was trying to do was to stop baseball players from chewing tobacco, and thus setting a bad example for the young people who watch baseball. After being diagnosed with oral cancer, he was interviewed for a Reader’s Digest article entitled “My War With A Smoke Free Killer” in which he detailed how he was introduced to chewing tobacco by a teammate while sidelined with an injury and subsequently became addicted. The article made it a point to show pictures of a disfigured Tuttle after his many facial surgeries. He died in July 1998 at age 69.