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TGP news and notes: 3/17/2021

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Philadelphia Phillies Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all!

Of course, we are all aware of the famous Irish Meusel, Phillies outfielder that played for the team for three years right after World War I. Meusel would go on to have a better career once he left Philadelphia, but his move away from Philadelphia to the New York Giants caused quite the stir. From his SABR biography:

Giants manager John McGraw coveted Meusel, and Phillies owner William Baker was willing to part with him for the right price. In 1920 the Giants had paid $95,000 for Philadelphia’s star shortstop Dave Bancroft, sparking public outcry against Baker for weakening his team for money. This time Baker tried a different tactic. Meusel was benched on July 23, 1921, allegedly for “indifferent playing,” and Baker declared: “Meusel’s playing days are over. We are out to trade him and already have offered him to New York, Boston and Pittsburgh. The club giving most in exchange will get him. We want players, however, and not cash.”

Two days later, Baker announced that he had traded Meusel to the Giants for Curt Walker and Butch Henline. Philadelphia fans were stunned and outraged. Sportswriter Jimmy Isaminger explained: “Nobody believes that the Phils would be foolish enough to send a topnotch player, whose release in the hot pennant fight … would command anything from $50,000 to $100,000, to the wealthy and liberal Giant owners for two minor leaguers.” Surely cash was part of the deal. According to later reports, the Phillies received between $30,000 and $75,000 in the transaction.“ In cold blooded fashion,” Baker “takes from his team every star that flashes into view and passes it along … in exchange for gold,” said sportswriter Frank G. Menke.

Quite the shady deal indeed. The biography goes on to state that commissioner Kenesaw Landis was in the middle of investigating the Black Sox scandal, otherwise he “later told sportswriter Fred Lieb that if he had known all the inside details of the transaction, he never would have sanctioned it.”


On to the links.

Phillies news:

MLB news: