Thursday, February 4, 2010

Those Distracting Ball Park Ads, 1910

by Dennis Pajot

Editor's Note: I am pleased to welcome Dennis Pajot to Borchert Field. Dennis is a longtime baseball researcher and an active member of SABR, both Milwaukee's Ken Keltner chapter and the national group, and we are honored to have him as a contributor.

The Milwaukee Brewers had a wonderful year in 1909, being in the pennant race all season and finishing in second place behind Louisville with a 90 and 77 record. They accomplished this despite not hitting well. Outfielder Newt Randall led the club in hitting—with only a .279 average. This, of course, led the players to find excuses. The outfield wall was one that came up, as this article from the Milwaukee Sentinel of January 26, 1910, shows:

This photo taken inside the park after a game shows the right field outfield wall inside the park, giving an idea of what the players complained about:

Game aftermath, 1909 (courtesy Milwaukee Public Museum).

Team owner Charles Havenor vowed to help his players for the 1910 season:

Unfortunately, the new light green paint might have been “restful to the eye”, but it did not help Brewer hitters. The 1910 Brewers finished in 6th place, with a 76 and 91 record, costing manager John McCloskey his job. Newt Randall again led the regulars in hitting, this year with only a .271 average. No other player appearing in 100 or more games hit over .260.

****1909 and 1910 Brewer statistics taken from “The All-Time Rosters of The Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, 1902-1952”, edited and published by Rex Hamann. See Rex Hamann’s American Association site for this and other items.

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