“DIARY OF A WINNER”
SPRING TRAINING WITH THE 1918 RED SOX
November 16, 1917 ... Four members of the Red Sox report to the Charlestown Navy Yard to begin their duties in the Naval Reserves. They are manager Jack Barry, outfielder Chick Shorten, infielder Mike McNally, and pitcher Ernie Shore. Duffy Lewis enlisted previously, and is at the Mare Island Navy Yard, bringing the number of Red Sox players in the service to six.
November 27, 1917 ... Red Sox firstbaseman Del Gainor joined the navy and has been attached to the chaplain's office.
December 2, 1917 ... Red Sox infielder Hal Janvrin has joined the signal corps at Fort Devens. Tilly Walker has announced that he also intends to come north and enlist in some branch of the service. Larry Gardner and Everett Scott are the only infielders left on the roster.
December 14, 1917 ... Pitchers Herb Pennock and Lore Bader have entered into the service at the Charlestown Navy Yard as yeomen.
December 15, 1917 ... Pitcher "Bullet" Joe Bush, outfielder Amos Strunk, and catcher Wally Schang were secured by the Red Sox by President Frazee at the American League meeting in Chicago. In return, the Philadelphia Athletics receive catcher Pinch Thomas, pitcher Vean Gregg, outfielder Manny Kopp and $60,000 in cash.
December 23, 1917 ... The Red Sox have now lost eleven players to the military service and that is the highest number in all of baseball. Today it was announced that pitcher Sam Jones will report to Camp Sherman in Ohio.
January 4, 1918 ... President Harry Frazee announces that his goal is to win the pennant in 1918. He declares that he will be after players to achieve his goal. One of the players he mentioned was Nap Lajoie who he admires. He also has been talking to International League President, Ed Barrow to serve in an executive capacity and help relieve him of some of his duties. A tentative schedule of exhibition game to be played with the Brooklyn Robins during spring training was given out. The Sox owner will stay in town until tomorrow.
January 5, 1918 ... Harry Frazee is in talks with Connie Mack about obtaining the contract of Stuffy McInnis. The owner announces that he would sign all his ball players before spring training starts at Hot Springs and none after. The owner would not confirm the fact that the owners intend to cut salaries because of the war. According to the present contract, the club has the use of Majestic Park through next year. Frazee hopes to take the team to train in California or Havana next year and get out of the contract. No word from Dick Hoblitzell. Frazee thinks Hobby will play this year and there are others who think he will be the manager.
January 9, 1918 ... Stuffy McInnis, the firstbaseman of the Philadelphia Athletics is sold to the Red Sox. Harry Frazee seems to think that current firstbaseman Dick Hoblitzell will be enlisted as an army dentist.
January 30, 1918 ... Outfielder Jimmy Walsh arrived from his home in Syracuse and enlists at the Charlestown Navy Yard as a machinist's mate.
February 1, 1918 ... Heinie Wagner is sent a contact. He will not be the manager but President Frazee thinks he will be a valuable asset. On Monday, April 8th, the Red Sox will play an exhibition game with Brooklyn.
February 3, 1918 ... Bill Carrigan is in town and President Frazee wants to talk with him about returning as manager. Also in town is Dutch Leonard who has said he intends to enlist, and Frazee has said that a meeting with him is scheduled. He expects some of the signed contracts to arrive this week.
February 8, 1918 ... The signed contract of Everett Scott arrived today to the delight of secretary Larry Graver. It is believed that Scott's salary will remain at $4500, the same as last year. This will be Scotty's fifth year as a member of the Red Sox.
February 9, 1918 ... Amos Strunk, who was traded to the Red Sox, has refused to sign his contract and is in town to negotiate a higher offer.
February 12, 1918 ... Ed Barrow, former President of the International League, is named as Red Sox manager, replacing Jack Barry. The Sox also purchase Paul Smith from the Montreal Club of the International League.
February 14, 1918 ... Former Boston Brave Johnny Evers signs a contact to coach and play second base for the Red Sox thus ending the Red Sox career for Heinie Wagner. Unless more players are signed, the Red Sox may only have 25 players to report to camp at Hot Springs in two weeks. Under contract now are Evers, Babe Ruth, Stuffy McInnis, Mayer, Everett Scott, Joe Bush and Otis Strunk.
February 23, 1918 ... The Red Sox announce more exhibition games with Brooklyn in Dallas, Houston, Little Rock, Texarkana, Shreveport, Mobile, Birmingham and New Orleans. President Frazee announced that he was not able to lure Oscar Vitt away from the Tigers nor Fritz Maisel from the Browns. Rube Foster has still not returned his contract and values his services more than the Red Sox do.
March 1, 1918 ... Larry Gardner, Hick Cady, and Tilly Walker are named as the players the Red Sox sent to the Philadelphia Athletics in the deal for Stuffy McInnis. All three men were conspicuous in past Red Sox championships and will be missed said Frazee, who said he would have preferred to give Philadelphia cash instead of the three players.
March 2, 1918 ... The Red Sox purchase Hack Eibel from the Richmond club of the International League where he batted .301 last year. The signed contract of Johnny Evers is received.
March 5, 1918 ... Manager Ed Barrow announced today that he plans on trying Stuffy McInnis at third base. The Red Sox have resigned Dan Howley to manage their Montreal club. Outfielder Paul Smith, obtained from Montreal, and thirdbaseman Fred Thomas, recalled from Providence have signed their contracts. Rube Foster and Sam Agnew are the only remaining players to have not returned their signed contracts or accepted terms. Stuffy McInnis and Hank Eibel will leave for Hot Springs on Saturday night, while Dick Hoblitzell will be late in reporting. Carl Mays and Dutch Leonard will leave from their homes. The rest of the team will leave from Boston or meet the train in Albany on Saturday.
March 6, 1918 ... Dick Hoblitzell announced that he will be with the team for the season. He has passed the surgeons' exam but does not have to report until December.
March 9, 1918 ... The Red Sox leave for Hot Springs on the 12:30 train. It is possible that the boys stationed at the Charlestown Navy Yard will be on hand to say goodbye. Harry Hooper will arrive at camp a week from today.
March 10, 1918 ... President Frazee, Ed Barrow and pitcher Dick McCabe joined the train in Albany. Hack Eibel failed to appear and neither Frazee nor Barrows could site any reason for the prospect to not appear. Johnny Evers looked good and received quite the reception from the boys. East of here, the train ran into a snowstorm. Babe Ruth entertained everyone on the train, including a bunch of soldiers from Fort Devens who are on their way home for the weekend. There are now fourteen in the party, including the manager and four players. Many more will board the train when it arrives in St. Louis.
March 11, 1918 ... The Red Sox arrived in Hot Springs at 4PM. Manager Barrow took the players into the smoking compartment for a meeting. Sam Agnew is here, but Dutch Leonard has not yet arrived, because of his wife being ill. Most of the players headed to the bath houses upon their arrival. Many of the Robins and Giants players have already arrived and been here for several days.
March 12, 1918 ... The Red Sox held their first workout at Majestic Park today. Carl Mays was the only one who did not practice. Sam Agnew signed his contract and Mays remains the only unsigned veteran player. Johnny Evers swung the bat well while Dick McCabe bruised a finger trying to stop a scorching grounder. The team walked to the park and took the mountain trail back.
March 13, 1918 ... The thermometer hit 90 as the Sox went through their maneuvers today. Catchers Mayer, Schang and Agnew got work behind the plate and shooting the ball to different bases. Wally Schang worked out at third base, while Carl Mays eased his submarine ball over the plate. Manager Barrow cancelled the hike over the mountains after the practice which went well in his opinion. Hack Eibel reported today with a bruised ankle he got at his home in Brooklyn.
March 14, 1918 ... The players broiled for two hour under the sun today as Ed Barrow pushed them to their limits. The practice was snappy with four of the pitchers having an extended session on the mound. Carl Mays and Joe Bush worked with Sam Agnew, while Babe Ruth and Dick McCabe were looked after by Wally Mayer. Jimmy Jaynes and Weldon Wykcoff lobbed pitches to Wally Schang. Eibel's ankle is in bad shape considering the mishap took place six weeks ago. The infield practice led by Johnny Evers was spirited. Wally Schang grabbed everything at third while Babe Ruth looked good at first base.
March 15, 1918 ... Practice was the best yet with everyone taking part except Hack Eibel, who is wearing a slipper on his injured foot. Bob Fischer, a shortstop purchased from Rochester arrived. Carl Mays, Babe Ruth, Jimmy Jaynes, Dick McCabe, Joe Bush and Weldon Wyckoff took turns throwing batting practice. At the plate, Ruth, Mays, and Wally Schang all hit homers over the fence in right field.
March 16, 1918 ... Johnny Evers looked like the Johnny Evers of old, scooping up ground balls with powerful throws to first. However he is under the watchful eye of team doctor Dr. Lawler. At the plate he was patient and helping rookie pitcher Mimos Ellenburg take his time and make good pitches, while Babe Ruth was on deck, swinging bats restlessly, waiting for his turn. Bob Fisher made his first appearance, fielding grounders at shortstop with Evers and Wally Schang. McCabe, Wycoff and Jones pitched and the Babe smacked two over the right field fence. Everett Scott, George Whiteman, Paul Smith, Amos Strunk and Fred Thomas all reported in today. Ten years ago both Tris Speaker and Whiteman were rookies at Sox camp and let go. Speaker, of course, came back while Whiteman has moved from team to team over these past years. Thomas is a thirdbaseman who was with the Providence club last year.
March 17, 1918 ... The Red Sox bombed the Brooklyn Robins in their first exhibition game. The score was 11 to 1. Babe Ruth played first base and hit two home runs. Everett Scott played like it was the midseason while Whiteman, Evers and Strunk grabbed everything hit their way. Johnny Evers played the first three innings and hit a double. Joe Bush, Dick McCabe, Jimmy Jaynes and Weldon Wyckoff all took turns on the mound. Sam Agnew and Wally Mayer caught and Agnew moved to first when Ed Barrow sat down Babe. Harry Hooper arrived in camp while the game was underway.
March 18, 1918 ... Stuffy McInnis has been playing third base on a regular basis and has been doing an outstanding job. Johnny Evers thinks he could end up being the best thirdbaseman in the league. Ruth, Mays, McCabe and Jaynes threw batting practice. Bob Fisher was holding down the second base position. Harry Hooper took his position in right field along with Paul Smith. Strunk was in center and Whiteman in left.
March 19, 1918 ... All but Johnny Evers and Hack Eibel practiced today. Eibel will probably be sent home. Evers stayed at the hotel with a bad cold. It was a chilly day. Bob Fisher and Fred Thomas took turns at second base. Babe Ruth, Everett Scott and Stuffy McInnis rounded out the infield. George Whiteman and Paul Smith played in left, Otis Strunk in center and Harry Hooper in right. Dick McCabe, Weldon Wyckoff and Jimmie Jaynes all pitched batting practice. The Babe hit two more out of the park.
March 20, 1918 ... Dick Hoblitzell, who would prefer to be Lieutenant Hoblitzell of the United States Dental Reserve Corps, arrived in camp and resumed his duties at first base. Dutch Leonard will arrive tomorrow. All except Johnny Evers took part in practice today. All the pitchers took turns throwing batting practice except Weldon Wycoff who shagged flies in left field. Manager Barrow revealed his starting lineup for the first time.
Harry Hooper, Babe Ruth, Everett Scott, Joe Bush and Wally Schang were all held up by a hired driver of a touring car who they engaged to drive them back from the race track tonight. He dropped them off in the center of town, demanded payment, and was in a hurry to get back to the track, pick up more fares and make more money. The players would not budge. So the driver jumped out of the car tried to bust up a nearby horse and wagon. Harry Hooper finally grabbed the man and threatened him with a punch in the nose. The driver eventually drove the party back to the hotel.
March 21, 1918 ... Dutch Leonard arrived in camp today. Rube Foster is now the only absentee. The starting infield of Dick Hoblitzell, Johnny Evers, Everett Scott and Stuffy McInnis worked together for the first time. Evers felt so good he put on his uniform and practiced. Babe Ruth knocked four more over the fence and there was great zip in batting practice.
March 22, 1918 ... The Regulars-Yannigans game was called off due to rain. Sam Agnew is at the hotel with a bad cold, and with games scheduled against Brooklyn over the next couple of days, Ed Barrow did not want to strain the arms of his pitching staff. Practice started at noon and the players went two hour in heat and humidity. Dutch Leonard put on a rubber shirt in his first session, to take off some weight. He played golf with Harry Hooper after practice.
March 23, 1918 ... The game between the Red Sox and the Robins in Little Rock was rained out. It was a beautiful day up to 25 minutes before the game. The service boys in the military from Camp Pike had flooded the park and the only consolation they had, was seeing Babe Ruth put on a show in batting practice. Dick Hoblitzell was officially named team captain.
March 24, 1918 ... The Red Sox Yannigans beat the Brooklyn Rookies 18 to 8 at the Little Rock ball field, entertaining 6000 enlisted men and officers. Ahead 18-0, Joe Bush put the ball down the alley for the young Robin ballplayers to hit and hit they did. They pounded Joe for four runs in the eight and four more in the ninth. The Red Sox regulars worked out back at Hot Springs, with Mays pitching six innings and Ruth pitching three and then playing in the outfield.
March 25, 1918 ... Ed Barrows had a team meeting in the right field bleachers before practice. It seems a new signaling system is being put in place. Dutch Leonard pitched for about half an hour.
March 26, 1918 ... The Red Sox stated a program of calisthenics today before practice. They were the idea of Walter Camp. It was hot for practice so the stretching and exercising in place was adopted by Manager Barrow. Capt Dick Hoblitzell has taken a lot of the weight off Ed Barrow's shoulders. He made his teammates hustle and ordered them from here to there. The pitchers spent most of their time shagging fly balls. Babe Ruth and Wally Schang were angry when they both broke their favorite bats. The players were allowed to ride to and from the park, but many decide to take the hike anyway. Harry Hooper paced with a trolley car on his run back to the hotel. Sam Jones will arrive today. The Army classified him as 2B since he has a wife and children.
March 27, 1918 ... The Red Sox played poorly in front of the military fans at the Camp Pike battleground in Little Rock. The Robins won the contest 3 to 2. The Sox ouplayed and outhit Brooklyn, but failed when the opportunities arose. Babe Ruth and Carl Mays pitched for the Sox. None of the Robins reached first until the fifth inning, when Fred Thomas made two costly errors. Harry Hooper lost track of the outs and was picked off base in the eighth.
March 28, 1918 ... The Regulars of Dick Hoblitzell defeated Sam Agnew's Yannigans by a 2 to 1 score at Majestic Park. Jimmy Jaynes and Dick McCabe did the pitching. Jaynes turned back the Yannigans for four innings. Babe Ruth complained because Jaynes would not give him anything to hit, but Jaynes is trying to win a job on the team. Ed Barrow went after both teams when he saw mistakes or lack of hustle. Every player took part except Dutch Leonard, Weldon Wyckoff and Johnny Evers, who were coaching on the sidelines. The Regulars played errorless ball, with Hoblitzell driving in two runs for his boys.
March 29, 1918 ... It was announced that The St. Louis & Mountain Railroad, who own the land that Majestic Park sits on has cancelled the Red Sox lease for next year and will be using the space for it's own purposes. Harry Frazee wants to take the team to California, but Fordyce Field here in Hot Springs is also an alternative. The workout today was a good one and with many games to be played from hereafter, time was just spent on batting and fielding drills.
March 30, 1918 ... The Red Sox routed the Robins winning a strenuous game in the last inning by a 4 to 3 score, when Babe Ruth socked the ball over Hi Myers head, driving George Whiteman in with the winning run.
March 31, 1918 ... The Red Sox beat Brooklyn by a score of 7 to 4 in Little Rock. The Robins' defense leaked like an old bucket, and its bottom fell out in the final chapter, while the Red Sox defense was rock solid. Carl Mays, Jimmy Jaynes, and Joe Bush did the pitching for the Sox. Harry Hooper took the day off while Paul Smith played right field.
April 1, 1918 ... For the third time, the Red Sox nosed out the Robins in the ninth inning. Today it was by a 3 to 2 score, George Whiteman's single driving in Otis Strunk being the final chapter difference. Weldon Wyckoff started the game and pitched six strong innings. The Red Sox traded Rube Foster to the Cincinnati Reds today for infielder Dave Shean. Dan Howley and Bob Fisher were let go today. Howley left for Indianapolis and Howley will manage the Toronto Maple Leafs.
April 2, 1918 ... In Dallas the Red Sox and Robins played an 18 inning exhibition game in 92 degree heat, with the Sox triumphing 7 to 6. It was a long sacrifice fly by Amos Strunk that brought Dave Shean across the plate with the winning run.
April 3, 1918 ... Bill Carrigan denies the rumors that he plans to come back to the Red Sox as a pitching coach.
April 4, 1918 ... The Red Sox laced the Robins 10 to 4 in Austin, Texas. The Sox hit safely in every inning except the seventh. Dave Shean went five for five. Harry Hooper, Stuffy McInnis and Weldon Wyckoff all hit home runs.
April 5, 1918 ... The Robins finally beat the Red Sox. It was by a 5 to 3 score with the Sox making three errors that cost them the game.
April 6, 1918 ... The Red Sox and Robins were rained out in New Orleans. It ceased long enough for the residents to see the Buy Liberty Bonds parade. Harry Frazee commented that he hopes Johnny Evers can play 60 games this season. Ed Barrow had another skull session at the hotel before the players departed for the ball park.
April 7, 1918 ... The Robins beat the Red Sox 4 to 3 in a 13 inning thriller in front of 6000 fans in New Orleans. There was too much stupid baseball played today. The Red Sox should have score a million runs.
April 8, 1918 ... The Red Sox and Robins battled to a 6-6 tie in 13 innings at Mobile, Alabama. Everett Scott was hit on the leg with a pitch and his leg was swollen today, while Dick Hoblitzell is battling a heavy cold. Today Otis Strunk suffered an injured ankle while sliding into third.
April 9, 1918 ... The Robins beat the Red Sox 3 to 1 in a seven inning game played in Birmingham, Alabama. Babe Ruth acted as the umpire. The game was stopped at 5:30 to permit the players to catch a train for Chattanooga. Prior to the game, the Birmingham club played the Yannigans and beat them 2 to 0.
April 10, 1918 ... There is nothing as rare as an April snowstorm in Chattanooga. Well there was one today and therefore there was no game. The players went sightseeing instead. The Red Sox ended their series with Brooklyn, winning seven of twelve. The Sox left here at 10:35 and will be back in Boston on Friday.
April 11, 1918 ... The Red Sox arrived in Cleveland and made a connection to head east. Joe Bush left the team in Cincinnati to go to Philadelphia. He will rejoin the team in Boston on Sunday. Hack Eibel, who was sent home with an ankle injury will join the club in Boston.
April 12, 1918 ... The Red Sox arrived in Boston and were greeted by a snowstorm that stretched as far west as Albany. Dutch Leonard's wife and the Hooper family joined the party in Cleveland. Johnny Evers and Joe Bush will get here tomorrow.
April 13, 1918 ... Johnny Evers was offered the job of managing the Jersey City franchise of the International League. Babe Ruth and 14 other members of the Red Sox worked out in the Harvard cage due to the snowstorm.