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VP of Operations

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Date: February 24th
'49 season notes
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I'm doing some research for my '49 replay, and I can't believe what I'm seeing with the Philadelphia A's.

It seems incredible in this day and age...but Connie Mack used just 28 players in all during that season!

Absolutely astounding.  That includes just 11 pitchers, of which eight are carded.  The remaining three were Phil Marchildon (16 IP), Jim Wilson (5 IP), and Clem Hausman (1 IP).  The A's led all of baseball with 85 CGs (one ahead of the Red Sox).

And one of those pitchers -- Bill McCahan -- was farmed out to Buffalo in June.  That, despite a 2.61 ERA in 20.2 innings.

That means I'll be operating with a seven-man pitching staff for more than half the season, since I use transactions!

It gets worse.  In real life, rookie lefthander Bobby Shantz was limited to four relief appearance during the entire month of August.  The staff had 18 CG's in those 27 games.

They followed that up by completing 18 of their final 28 games in September and October.

Amazing.



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VP of Operations

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Date: February 24th
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Looking just a bit deeper into this Philadelphia situation, Marchildon -- who only pitched 16 innings -- actually started six games!

That means I'll have to add a couple of starts to other pitchers, since I don't have Marchildon.  His career is coming to a rather sad ending, considering his previous success, and all that he overcame during the war.

Marchildon -- as I have covered elsewhere -- was a tailgunner in the Royal Canadian Air Force.  He was due to fly five more missions, before returning home.  But his aircraft was shot down and he was captured  He spent nine months in a POW camp.

The camp he was sent to was Stalag Luft III, made famous in the classic Steve McQueen film, The Great Escape.

When Marchildon finally returned home, he was not the man he had been, physically and mentally diminished by his time in captivity.

Phillip Berger penned an excellent SABR Bio, detailing some of what Marchildon endured. 



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First Base Coach

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Date: February 24th
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interesting - had no idea he was Canadian



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VP of Operations

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Date: February 24th
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The stories of Marchildon and Lou Brissie really piqued my interest when I rolled '48, largely because of how their paths diverged.

Brissie was celebrated as a hero, overcoming the disastrous effects of the injury that almost cost him a leg.  All along, Connie Mack helped him keep the faith, promising that Brissie would give a chance to prove himself when he was finally able.

Conversely, Marchildon was bitter at what he felt was Mack's lack of respect.  Already a veteran hurler on the A's staff before the war, he claimed that Mack never even said "goodbye" when he enlisted.

He found Mack to be tight-fisted.  When he did return to the club, in July of '45, coach Earle Brucker agreed that Marchildon needed time to work himself back into game shape.

But Mack instead quickly scheduled a Phil Marchildon Night and had Marchildon pitch the game.  As it turned out, he pitched a couple of good innings, but injured his leg in doing so.

Marchildon pitched just one more game that season.

He returned to action the following Spring and put together two solid seasons, winning 13 and 19 games.

But his wartime experiences caught up with him again in '48, as he fell to 9-15.

It took a long time for Marchildon to finally make his escape.  Family and friends helped him through his depression.  He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, and enshrined in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

The Toronto Blue Jays celebrated Canada Day in 1995 by having Marchildon throw the ceremonial first pitch.

He died January 10, 1997, at the age of 83.



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Season Ticket Holder - Upper Deck

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Posts: 168
Date: February 25th
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Good stuff Seajaw. Thanks for the background.


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General Manager

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Date: February 25th
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Gonna have to do some serious usage juggling............

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Third Base Coach

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Date: February 25th
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seajaw wrote:

Conversely, Marchildon was bitter at what he felt was Mack's lack of respect.  Already a veteran hurler on the A's staff before the war, he claimed that Mack never even said "goodbye" when he enlisted.

He found Mack to be tight-fisted.  When he did return to the club, in July of '45, coach Earle Brucker agreed that Marchildon needed time to work himself back into game shape.

But Mack instead quickly scheduled a Phil Marchildon Night and had Marchildon pitch the game.  As it turned out, he pitched a couple of good innings, but injured his leg in doing so.


I am missing something here ... Did Marchildon reconcile with Mack prior to Marchildon night?

As you have written elsewhere on the site, Mack was notoriously cheap because the A's barely had two nickels to rub together. His great sell-offs were to fund the club and keep it operational. Too bad, Mack never sought to add an investor who could have helped him think through the business side of business.



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VP of Operations

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Date: February 25th
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Tall Tactician wrote:
seajaw wrote:

Conversely, Marchildon was bitter at what he felt was Mack's lack of respect.  Already a veteran hurler on the A's staff before the war, he claimed that Mack never even said "goodbye" when he enlisted.

He found Mack to be tight-fisted.  When he did return to the club, in July of '45, coach Earle Brucker agreed that Marchildon needed time to work himself back into game shape.

But Mack instead quickly scheduled a Phil Marchildon Night and had Marchildon pitch the game.  As it turned out, he pitched a couple of good innings, but injured his leg in doing so.


I am missing something here ... Did Marchildon reconcile with Mack prior to Marchildon night?

As you have written elsewhere on the site, Mack was notoriously cheap because the A's barely had two nickels to rub together. His great sell-offs were to fund the club and keep it operational. Too bad, Mack never sought to add an investor who could have helped him think through the business side of business.


I'm not sure they ever did reconcile.

I think it was Mack just wanting/needing to make more money.  According to the SABR Bio, they drew a good crowd for the game.  You make it somebody's night -- particularly a decorated war hero -- and people will come, as the man said.

There are likely multiple truths here.  Mack was beloved by some and hated for his penny-pinching ways by others.  While he could do all that he did to embrace Brissie, he was apparently standoffish to others.

That Phil Marchildon Night -- for whatever reason -- was ill-timed, and it set back Marchildon's recovery.  I don't know if Mack and Brucker talked about the subject.  Brucker seems to have been on Marchildon's side.



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VP of Operations

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Date: February 25th
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nacster wrote:

Gonna have to do some serious usage juggling............


You ain't kiddin'.

I can tell you from what I have rolled of 1950, It doesn't get any better. 



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Umpire

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Date: February 25th
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seajaw wrote:
nacster wrote:

Gonna have to do some serious usage juggling............


You ain't kiddin'.

I can tell you from what I have rolled of 1950, It doesn't get any better. 


 Just leave the starter in the game until their arm falls off!



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VP of Operations

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Posts: 16142
Date: February 25th
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Nitrous Oxide wrote:
seajaw wrote:
nacster wrote:

Gonna have to do some serious usage juggling............


You ain't kiddin'.

I can tell you from what I have rolled of 1950, It doesn't get any better. 


 Just leave the starter in the game until their arm falls off!


The ultimate "Do What You Gotta Do" guide.

You remember the infamous Hod Lisenbee game, right?



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First Base Coach

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Date: February 25th
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I'm replaying the 1920 AL season right now. Many of those teams (as you know) have limited pitching staffs, but the most challenging is the Chicago White Sox. Currently (I'm in mid-July) they have a 5-man staff (Cicotte, Williams, Faber, Kerr, and Wilkinson). They'll had a pitcher (Shovel Hodge) down the stretch in September, but I have 18 games to navigate with 5 pitchers.

Like you, I love doing the research. The ebb and flow of the season. The stories behind the players. It all makes it personal and enjoyable for me.

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VP of Operations

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Posts: 16142
Date: February 25th
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glewis wrote:

I'm replaying the 1920 AL season right now. Many of those teams (as you know) have limited pitching staffs, but the most challenging is the Chicago White Sox. Currently (I'm in mid-July) they have a 5-man staff (Cicotte, Williams, Faber, Kerr, and Wilkinson). They'll had a pitcher (Shovel Hodge) down the stretch in September, but I have 18 games to navigate with 5 pitchers.

Like you, I love doing the research. The ebb and flow of the season. The stories behind the players. It all makes it personal and enjoyable for me.


What you learn playing those seasons makes it a real treat.

I have been there with those '20 Sox. wink

I'll be interested in seeing what kind of numbers you get out of them.



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VP of Operations

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Date: March 1st
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I've been going through the Cardinals' stats today.

Teams really loaded up the lefties against St. Louis, with the threat of Musial, Slaughter and Ron Northey lined up in the middle of the order.

Northey murdered righthanded pitching in a platoon role in '48.  He slashed .344/.449/.573/1.022 vs RHP, with nine home runs in 157 ABs.

Northey was a terror for several years against righties.

There was a tradeoff, though.  In the '48 set, he was rated a 5 e4, though he did have a -3 arm.  He didn't cover much ground, and was rated 1-10 for speed.  They'd get him out of the game for defensive purposes in the late innings as much as possible.  His season is full of GS-7, GS-8, GS-9 in the game logs.

Given the threat of those three consecutive lefthanded bats in the middle of the lineup, most teams tried to line up a buffet of lefty starters.  Looking at the splits, opposing teams started lefthanders in 88 of the 157 games St. Louis played (56%).

By comparison, there were 2,480 games played in the Major Leagues that season, overall.  Sixty-one percent (1,531) were started by righties.

Midway through the season, the Cardinals will benefit from the return of Max Lanier (and Fred Martin), who jumped ship for Mexico in 1946.  Others included Mickey Owen and Sal Maglie.

The ambitious attempt at forming a league that would be on par with the majors collapsed quickly, leaving many players adrift.  Those players who jumped were barred from returning to Organized Baseball.  Originally, the suspensions were to be for five years.

While in this limbo, Lanier organized a touring group of banned players, and they put on exhibitions across the country to try to garner sympathy.  Commissioner Happy Chandler finally relented, and the renegade ballplayers were welcomed back.



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VP of Operations

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Date: March 2nd
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I picked this up a few months ago:

MaxLanierpgm.jpgMaxLanierpgmscard.jpg



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