Friday, October 11, 2013

This week in 1913 - Mrs. Havenor Resigns

After a week of reporting bad news, it's back to chronicling the Brewers' 1913 campaign.

As the pennant-winning Brewers were heading out to Denver to face the Western League champions for the minor league crown, big things were happening back home in Milwaukee. On October 10, 1913, the club announced that team owner Agnes Havenor was stepping down from her position as president.

Mrs. Havenor had taken charge of the Brewers at the beginning of the 1912 season, upon the death of her husband Charles. At the time, she was one of the only women to run a professional baseball club. Now she was leaving her active role.

She tendered her resignation at a meeting of the Brewers' board of directors. A. F. Timme, who had been the team's vice president under her, took over Mrs. Havenor's vacated position. Milwaukee alderman Cornelius Corcoran was made vice president and Louis M. Nahin was selected as secretary and treasurer.

Havenor wasn't leaving the team altogether; she would remain the club's controlling stockholder and a member of the board of directors. The other members of that board from that point on were Timme, Corcoran, Nahin and Frank Fitzgerald.

Speaking of her retirement to the Milwaukee Journal, Mrs. Havenor had this to say:
"My one ambition was to give Milwaukee a pennant-winning ball team. Having succeeded at this, and also having demonstrated a woman's ability to attain her ambition, I am willing to step out of active management of the business. I shall always be an ardent admirer of the game. In closing I would like to thank the Milwaukee people—especially the Milwaukee women fans—for the support which they have given me in my venture during the past two years, and I fell confident that my successors will endeavor to keep up the standard, which together with the co-operation of the fans, players and my business associates, I have been able to maintain."
Her tenure in charge might have been short, but her legacy was outsized. It had been her decision to fire manager Hugh Duffy and elevate popular third baseman Harry "Pep" Clark to a player/manager role, a decision widely credited with bringing the Brewers their first pennant.

Agnes Havenor should be remembered as an exceptional team president. "A woman's ability", indeed.

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