Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"The Rookies' Dream", 1936

I love this photo, printed in the Milwaukee Journal eighty years ago today.

THE ROOKIES' DREAM of spring baseball training—Lin Storti, Brewer infielder, is a veteran and knows from bitter experience that a pose like this is just a gag. He was photographed near the Milwaukee training camp at Lake Wales, Fla. (Journal Color photo)
Lin Storti was the Brewers' third baseman, settling in after his first complete season at his new position. He was a superb hitter who led the 1934 Brewers with a .330 average and an amazing 35 home runs, nine more than his closest teammate. He slumped a bit in 1935 with 29 home runs. Among the Brews, that was second only to Ted Gullic's 33, and the next-closest Brewer behind those two was Frank Doljack with a mere nine.

Storti's production did not go unnoticed around the league, and the Minneapolis Millers had tried to pry him away from Milwaukee after the 1935 season. The Brewers turned down all offers, even when Minneapolis Manager Donie Bush offered the then-amazing sum of $5,000 for him.

The Brews weren't interested, though, as manager Al Sothoron considered Storti a key to Milwaukee's chances for a pennant in '36.

With all that in his recent past, Lin must have felt pretty good on that Florida day in Spring Training. He could well afford a little gag.

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