Posts Tagged ‘Hans Lobert’

A Baker’s Dozen Things You Should Know About Hans Lobert

September 13, 2018

Hans Lobert with Philadelphia

1. John Bernard Lobert was born in Delaware in 1881. His father was a cabinet-maker.

2. The family later moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania (home of the Little League World Series) and then to Pittsburgh.

3. In 1903 he was given a tryout by his hometown Pirates. He was a neighbor of Honus Wagner, the two men liked each other, and Wagner, who was nicknamed “Hans” referred to Lobert as “Hans number two.”  He managed one hit, a bunt single, in 13 at bats that season, but picked up a nickname.

4. He spent 1904 in the minors then went to the Cubs in 1905, primarily as a third baseman. After a year with Chicago he was sent to Cincinnati.

5. Between 1905 and 1910, inclusive, he was the Reds primary third baseman, hitting as high as .310 and as low as .212. He did steal a lot of bases averaging 34 a season. In 1908 he stole second base, third base, and home in the same inning.

6. In late 1910 he was traded to Philadelphia (the Phillies, not the Athletics). He had a decent 1911, then was injured in 1912. While with Philly, he ran a foot race against Olympic Champion Jim Thorpe and won.

7. He had two more good years with the Phils, then was traded after 1914 to the Giants, thus missing Philadelphia’s first trip to the World Series in 1915.

8. He remained in New York through the 1917 season, then retired.

9. In retirement he coached at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY for eight seasons, then became a Giants scout. Later he managed in the minors.

10. In 1934, Lobert became a Phillies coach and remained a coach until 1942, when he became the manager. He was 42-109 in his sole year at the helm (he managed two games at Philadelphia on a interim basis in 1938, going 0-2).

11. He returned to the Giants as a coach and a roving instructor, then scouted for both the Dodgers and Giants until he died in 1968.

12. For his career, Lobert hit .274 with an OPS+ of 109, 316 stolen bases, 640 runs scored, and 23.1 WAR.

Edward G. Robinson (in cap) as Lobert

13. In 1953 the movie Big Leaguer starred Edward G. Robinson as Lobert.

1908: The End of July

August 1, 2018

Here’s the next update in my continuing look at the 1908 season (110 years on).

Bobby Wallace

With approximately two-thirds’ of the 1908 season gone, the pennant race in the American League was taking shape seriously. Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, and Cleveland all had winning records and held down the first division. The Tigers were two games up on the Browns, with Chicago 5.5 back, and Cleveland at eight behind. For Detroit, Ty Cobb was hitting .346, but fellow Hall of Famer Sam Crawford was only at .287. Chicago was standing behind Ed Walsh on the mound and 37-year-old George Davis (in his next-to-last season). Davis was only hitting .212. For Cleveland Nap LaJoie was having a down season so far (.269 with four triples), but the pitching (read Addie Joss here) was holding up. For the Browns, Bobby Wallace, their most famous player, was also having a bad season (hitting .269), but pitcher Rube Waddell was doing well (By WAR, a stat unknown in 1908, Wallace was having a terrific season. He’d end at 6.3). Among the also rans, the Highlanders (Yankees) were in last place, 25 games out.

John Titus

In the National League, five teams winning records on 31 July: Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. The Pirates were a half game up on the Cubs, two up on the Giants, 6.5 ahead of the Phils, and eight up on the Reds. St, Louis was all the way at the bottom 23.5 games out of first. The Pirates leaders, Tommy Leach, manager Fred Clarke, and Roy Thomas were a mixed bag at the end of July, but the team revolved around shortstop Honus Wagner. By 31 July, he was hitting .328 with an OPS of .939. Chicago, relying on the Tinker to Evers to Chance infield and Three-Finger Brown, was also getting good years out of Harry Steinfeldt, the other infielder, and a 21-year-old backup named Heinie Zimmerman. For the Giants it was a standard John McGraw team with great pitching from Christy Mathewson and Hooks Wiltse (with an assist from part-time pitcher, part-time coach, Joe McGinnity), and 3.0 WAR from first baseman Fred Tenney. Philadelphia played Cincinnati on 31 July and the Phillies win put the Reds another game back. Philadelphia’s John Titus was having a good year and for the Reds Hans Lobert was leading the hitters.

The season still had two months to go, two terrific pennant races to conclude, one utter memorable game to play. But it also had one of the more interesting games coming up between two also-rans in just a few days.

Opening Day 1908

April 12, 2018

Jack Coombs

Continuing with the ongoing look at 1908, 14 April was opening day. That’s a Saturday this year, and I don’t post normally on a Saturday. So here’s an early look at the first day of the 1908 season.

There were seven total games opening the 1908 season, three in the National League, four in the American League. The defending champion Cubs opened on the road against Cincinnati. Chicago won 6-5. There are a couple of interesting points about the game. First Orval Overall started the opener, not Mordecai Brown (Brown relieved). Second, the Reds got all five runs in the first inning (only one was earned) then were shutout for the remainder of the game. Third, Hans Lobert, a pretty fair third baseman, started the game in left field. For the season he played 21 games in left and 99 at third. Finally, the hitting star was Johnny Evers. He went three for three with a double, three runs scored, an RBI, and a walk.

The Giants beat the Phillies 3-1 with Christy Mathewson throwing a four hit gem. He struck out seven, walked one, and saw a shutout lost in the ninth inning. In the other NL game, the Doves (Boston) knocked off the Superbas (Brooklyn) 9-3. Brooklyn first baseman Tim Jordan hit the NL’s first home run in the losing effort.

In the American League, Cy Young picked up a win leading the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Senators. The one Washington run was a home run by Jim Delahanty. The Browns (St. Louis) knocked off the Naps (Cleveland) 2-1 with Hall of Famer Addie Joss taking the loss. Fellow Hall of Famer Nap LaJoie, for whom the team was named, went one for four with a double. The New York Highlanders (now Yankees) beat Connie Mack’s Athletics 1-0 in 12 innings. All 12 innings took two hours and 25 minutes to play. In another oddity, later star pitcher Jack Coombs started the game in right field for Philadelphia. He went two for five. The two hits led the team. For the season he played 47 games in the outfield and pitched 26.

The defending AL champion Detroit Tigers were in a slugfest with the Chicago White Sox. The final was 15-8 for the ChiSox with Doc White picking up the win. Every Chicago starter, including White, scored at least one run. For Detroit, both Hall of Famers Sam Crawford and Ty Cobb did well. Crawford was two for five with a double and two runs scored, while Cobb went two runs scored, a double, and a home run.

That was opening day 1908.

 

 

Opening Day, 1910: Cincinnati

April 9, 2010

Clark Griffith

Cincinnati finished fourth in 1909, but was in the midst of a slow rise. Under manager Clark Griffith they had come from sixth in 1906, to fourth. The problem was they were still 33.5 games out of first and 17 out of third. Apparently they were content with the steady rise, because there were very few changes to the roster in 1910. Having said that, Cincy had used 29 position players in 1909, but only the starting eight and five others played more than 20 games.

Left fielder Bob Besher, who led the NL in stolen bases in 1909, led off. Dick Egan, the second baseman, held down the two hole and first baseman Dick Hoblitzel took the third spot in the lineup. Cleanup hitter Mike Mitchell remained in right field. The only change in the starting lineup occured in the five hole where new center fielder Dode Paskert replaced Rebel Oakes (who was now at St. Louis). Paskert had been the primary backup outfielder the year before. The sixth and seventh spots remained in the hands of third baseman Hans Lobert (who, despite the movie, didn’t look like Edward G. Robinson) and catcher Larry McLean. Shortstop Tommy McMillan remained in the eight hole.

Beside Paskert on the bench in 1909 were Miller Huggins, Frank Roth, Ward Miller, and Mike Mowrey (who was traded during the season).  The new bench saw Tom Downey as the backup infielder, Tommy Clark as the new backup catcher, and holdovers Miller (the fourth outfielder) and Roth (a catcher and pinch hitter). Huggins was at St. Louis.

The pitching in 1909 had Art Fromme, Harry Gaspar, Jack Rowan, Bob Ewing, and Bill Campbell start more than 20 games and Jean Debuc did the most out of the bullpen. None had been overly great. Fromme won 19 but lost 13, Gaspar was 18-11, and the others had losing records. Fromme, Gaspar, and Rowan were back. George Suggs (over from Detroit in the AL) and Fred Beebe (from St. Louis) replaced Ewing and Campbell. Debuc was also gone.

As a team, Cincinnati hadn’t done much to improve on a fourth place finish. They’d gotten rid of one position player and a couple of pitchers, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to rally from a 33 game deficit. They were still fast and had a couple of potential .300 hitters, but nothing much else.

Next: Philadelphia (NL)

Hooray for Hollywood

February 1, 2010

Baseball and Hollywood have been very good to each other.  Baseball has given Hollywood some wonderful plot lines (and a few really awful ones too). Hollywood has showcased the game in a number of very good movies (and, again, some really awful ones). Real players have graced the silver screen on a number of occasions.  I got curious about finding out if you could field a real team from the players who have been in the movies. It turns out you can.

A couple of caveats. First, I looked for silent films first. Couldn’t find a player at every position, so I decided to stop at 1945. That made it pretty easy. Second, I wanted to player to be in a real movie, not some newsreel type short on last season’s best plays or some such thing. Also no TV and no commercials for razor blades or Mr. Coffee or any other product. Here’s what I found (there are more, but these will do for now).

1b-Hal Chase has two credits, one in 1911, the other in 1914. He plays a ballplayer in both. What, not a gambler?

2b-Nap LaJoie has one credit for a one reeler in 1903, the oldest one I could find.

ss-Honus Wagner has 2 credits, one in 1919 and the other in 1922. The 1919 flick costars Shemp and Moe Howard before they joined with Larry Fine to become the 3 Stooges. Obviously the best acted flick in the lot.

3b-Frank “Home Run” Baker has 2 credits, one in 1913 and the other in 1914.

of-Ty Cobb has 2 credits in 1917 and one in 1921. Later in the 1930’s through 1950’s he does a series of cameos on both the big screen and on TV.

of-Babe Ruth has 10 credits between 1920 and 1942. In most he plays someone named Babe Ruth, but in a 1922 movie called “Babe Comes Home” he plays a ballplayer named Babe Dugan. He is, movie-wise, most famous for playing himself in “Pride of the Yankees.”

of-Mike Donlin was the most successful of the ballplayers in Hollywood. Between 1917 and 1935 Donlin racked up 61 roles, mostly uncredited, in a lot of silent flicks and a few talkies. His most notable film was Keaton’s “The General” in which he played a Union officer.

c-Bill Dickey was in 2 flicks in the 1940s, the most famous being “Pride of the Yankees.”

p-Christy Mathewson has two credits in 1914 and 1915, neither for movies I’ve ever heard of.

 manager-John J. McGraw did two movies, one in 1914, the other in 1919. The 1914 flick was called “Detective Swift” with McGraw in the title role and included a Mrs. Hans Lobert, apparently the wife of the ballplayer.

The are surely others, but it’s not a bad list. Anybody with others to add, feel free.