Thursday, September 10, 2015

Storti With the 'Doc', 1937

On June 2, 1937, Brewer third-sacker Lin Storti was struck in the foot by a foul tip and taken off the field for medical attention. The photo published in the Milwaukee Journal the following day provides a fascinating look into a seldom-seen area of the ballpark.

Storti Has 'Tire' Trouble

Lin Storti, Brewer third baseman, was struck on the left instep by a foul tip from his own bat Wednesday night and had to leave the game. Doc Buckner, trainer, is shown giving first aid in the clubhouse. An X-ray will determine Thursday whether a bone is fractured. Shilling replaced Storti. (Journal Staff Photo)
Storti's foul tip added injury to insult for the Brewers; while he was in the clubhouse, his team was busy losing their tenth game in a row.

I don't know if I've ever seen this angle of the Orchard's clubhouse. Storti appears to be sitting on a long wooden bench, as though trainer Doc Buckner was treating him in the dugout.

I wish the resolution of the photo was a little higher; it would be great to get a better peek at all the medicine bottles lined up in a row.

Looking at this photo, I'm also struck by two uniform details, the first being Buckner's cap.

We know that in 1936 the Brewers wore a blue cap with a squat block red "M" logo. The year before, they wore the same cap, only with the red monogram trimmed in white. The logo on Doc's cap is neither of those; it is a sans-serif "M" in what appears to be white.

So where did the cap come from? Buckner had been with the Brewers since 1920, and it very possibly have come from one of those earlier Milwaukee crews. Could it have been left over from some other club in Doc's long career? That seems less likely; a quick look at his Negro League stats shows that of fourteen teams he played for, only the Schenectady Mohawk Giants could plausibly have been identified by an "M", and they seem to have only worn blank caps. More research is needed.

The other interesting element is Storti's sleeve. It appears to have piping running down from the shoulder to the cuff.

That could just be a trick of the light or an artifact caused by poor reproduction; this is, after all, a rough scan of a crude photocopy of the original newspaper page. Or it could indicate a detail of the Brewers' uniforms that I just haven't seen before.

The Journal did an amazing job chronicling the Brews' history, their photos giving us a peek into the past while raising intriguing new questions for us to pursue.

And just in case you were wondering, Lin's X-ray came back negative. He was back in the lineup for the next game and went 3-5 with a home run as the Brews beat the Toledo Mud Hens and snapped their losing streak at eleven games.

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