“DIARY OF A WINNER”
SPRING TRAINING WITH THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
December 31, 1913 ... Two likely youngsters that Manager Stallings will have on his squad when they report to Macon, GA will be pitcher Richard Crutcher Jr and John Martin an infielder. Crutcher, who comes to the Braves from St. Joseph was known in the Western League as the "Strikeout King". Martin, who was acquired from Rochester, was once with the New York Highlanders and plays shortstop.
January 1, 1914 ... When manager Stallings takes his squad south for spring training, he will have several men who are the tallest, as well as the smallest, in the major leagues. The tallest man in the squad is Eugene Cocreham, who stands 6'-3 1/2" tall. The shortest is Rabbit Maranville at 5'-5 1/2". There are six men who are 6 ft tall or larger. The club has 34 players on it's reserve list, 20 of whom could be described as new. There are also 28 players who were with the club in 1913, making a total of 62 that are connected with the team.
January 7, 1914 ... Braves left fielder, Joe Connolly reports that x-rays of his left leg, which was broken last September when he over slid a base in St. Louis, have come back negative and that he has been given a clean bill of health.
January 13, 1914 ... Braves president, James Gaffney, sent word that he has signed pitcher Dick Rudolph for the 1914 season.
January 22, 1914 ... The Braves have agreed to term with outfielder Tom Griffith and pitcher Paul Strand. This makes nine pitchers signed and one outfielder to be heard from.
January 23, 1914 ... Jack Quinn, whose work for the Braves last season was so good, signed his contract for 1914. The team now has 19 under contract for the upcoming year.
February 5, 1914 ... Infielder Oscar Dugey and utilityman Joe Schultz have signed contracts with the Braves. Dugey played a few games for the Braves at third base last year. Schultz played for Toronto of the International League last year. Secretary Nickerson left for New York where he will meet with President Gaffney and Manager Stallings to complete arrangements for spring training.
February 10, 1914 ... The National Baseball Commission went into conference over the Johnny Evers issue. Charles W. Murphy, owner of the Cubs, created an undercurrent of hostility among National League owners with the firing of Evers as manager, and ordered him to produce his contracts. Evers claims he has two contracts, each for five years. One is for being a Cubs player and one for being their manager. Evers claims that Murphy violated his contract when he hired Henry O'Day to manage the team before legally releasing him, by giving him a 10-day notice, and in now a free agent. Murphy claims that Evers resigned. President Gaffney issued a statement saying that he is prepared to pay $25,000 for Evers' release.
February 11, 1914 ... The National Commission issued a statement siding with Johnny Evers and that his five year contract with the Cubs, as manager, is binding. James Gaffney immediately offered the Cubs, Braves captain, Bill Sweeney and pitcher Hub Perdue for Evers and it was accepted by Murphy. Evers former teammate, Joe Tinker, manager of the Chicago Federal League team is on his way to Boston to talk with Evers. He issued a statement saying that the Federal League has offered him a three year contract and is waiting to see how much the Braves are willing to pay him. Gaffney said he would abide by the provisions of the contract that Evers has with the Cubs, with a payment of $10,000 per year over the next four years.
February 12, 1914 ... Johnny Evers signed with the Braves for four years at $10,000/year and a $20,000 signing bonus. Bill Sweeney and Hub Perdue will remain with the Braves, as the National League will arrange a settlement with President Murphy of the Cubs. Manager Stallings said he will travel to Boston to meet with Evers. Evers took an early train to his home in Troy, NY before heading to Boston and then south for spring training.
February 13, 1914 ... It was revealed that Evers also received incentives in his Braves contract. He will receive $2000 if the Braves win the pennant, $1500 if they finish in second place, and $1000 if they finish in third place.
February 18, 1914 ... Johnny Evers arrived in Boston to meet his new bosses James Gaffney and George Stallings. Secretary Nickerson brought him to the meeting at the Copley Plaza at 4PM, where a small army of newspaper reporters were waiting. After their meeting, the party went to the theatre as guests of Fred Wright.
February 19, 1914 ... President Gaffney left Boston for New York to meet with the National Commission over the Sweeney-Perdue issue with the Cubs. He said he will stay in Hot Springs, Arkansas to rest before heading to spring training in Georgia. George Stallings left for Buffalo and Cleveland to attend meetings. Johnny Evers attended a banquet in Chelsea by the East Side Association.
February 22, 1914 ... Johnny Murphy left for Macon, GA to assist in preparing the ball park. Three batting cages will be used in the working of the pitchers and batting practice. Captain Bill Sweeney was assured that he will continue to be with Braves by James Gaffney, after his meeting in New York. Sweeney, Hub Perdue, and Bert Whaling arrived in Hot Springs today.
February 27, 1914 ... Braves pitcher, Jack Quinn signed a contract with the Baltimore Federal League club.
February 28, 1914 ... The Braves left for spring training on the midnight train. Included were Joe Connolly, Les Mann, Walt Kenefick, Lefty Tyler, Rabbit Maranville, secretary Herman Nickerson, trainer Jimmy Neary, as well as photographers and reporters. In New York, Dick Rudolph and Jack Martin will join the delegation.
March 3, 1914 ... The Braves had their first practice today. Manager Stallings had 25 men on hand, including Johnny Evers, Paul Strand, Octavio Gonzales. After the first practice, Evers praised Maranville, saying that he is even better than he remembered.
March 4, 1914 ... The players had two more practices, leaving some of the men stiff and sore. There was more batting practice and Stallings had each of his pitchers take a turn throwing batting practice. Cuban pitcher, Villazon, who had been playing winter ball was more advanced a threw many curve balls. Catcher Hank Gowdy said that the youngster had good stuff. Butch Schmidt is expected to arrive tomorrow.
March 5, 1914 ... The players had a rain day off but attended meeting with manager Stallings and the coaches. The players hung around the hotel or went to the movies in the afternoon. A few of the players went to the local court house to listen to a trial. Manager Stalling wired Bill Sweeney, Hub Perdue and Bert Whaling at Hot Springs to report to Macon by Monday. Butch Schmidt and pitcher Bradley Hogg arrived today.
March 6, 1914 ... The Braves had only one practice session today because of the wet field at the ballpark. 28 men were present. Les Mann was excused from practice because of a severe cold. Bradley, Hogg, Gonzales and Luque took the field for the first time. Pitcher Arthur Duchesnil, firstbaseman Dick Lewis and Oscar Dugey, an infielder arrived late in the day. It was warm and after warm-ups, the men had a good batting practice. After batting practice there was infield work. Otto Hess hit fungos to the outfielders.
March 7, 1914 ... The Braves had a double session today. The weather was cold and raw, with a stiff wind. 31 men took the field, including 3 left-handed pitchers, 11 right-handed pitchers, 4 catchers, 8 infielders and 5 outfielders. The men were drilled on signals.
March 8, 1914 ... Bill Sweeney, Bert Whaling and Hub Perdue arrived from Hot Springs at 5PM. All looked fine and benefited from their time at the hot baths. Rainy weather kept the team from playing much baseball, but they did get a lot of road work and mountain climbing. Neither Sweeney nor Perdue have any knowledge as to what their status is and are waiting for President Tener of the National League to inform them of his decision.
March 9, 1914 ... The Braves played a six inning game between the Fred Mitchell team and the Hank Gowdy team. The Mitchell's won 3 to 1. Lefty Tyler and Dolf Luque each pitched three innings for the Mitchells. Paul Strand and Villazon pitched for the Gowdys. Bill Sweeney got the only base hit for the Mitchells. The weather was perfect and there was a lively practice in the morning, before the game.
March 10, 1914 ... Today the Whalings played the Gowdys with the Gowdys winning 3 to 1 in another six inning game. The first string infielders (Sweeney, Evers, Maranville and Deal) were put on the Whaling team. Bill James and Herche each pitched three innings for the Whalings. Gene Cocreham and Meikle were the Gowdy pitchers. A telegram was received from President Gaffney, saying he would be leaving New York this afternoon.
March 11, 1914 ... Bill Sweeney was sent to the Cubs, after playing seven years with the Braves. He signed a three year contract. He left for Tampa on the midnight train. The decision was arrived at the meetings of National League officials last Friday night. President Gaffney arrived in camp at 8PM and had a check for $25,000 for Johnny Evers. During the afternoon, the Whalings beat the Gowdys, 6 to 5. Bill Sweeney played and had two singles and a double.
March 12, 1914 ... Heavy rain left the ballpark in poor condition and morning practice was called off. A short practice game was played in the afternoon with sliding base drills.
March 13, 1914 ... The weather cleared and the Braves were able to get in two sessions. President Gaffney was a spectator at both practices and likes the look of his team. The Gowdys beat the Whalings, 5 to 3 in seven innings. Dolf Luque and Gene Cocreham pitched for the Gowdys. Left Tyler pitched for the Whalings and lacked control. The only hit made of him was a double.
March 14, 1914 ... The Braves practice game began at 1:30 this afternoon in order to finish early. Manager Stallings invited President Gaffney, Johnny Evers, Rabbit Maranville, Boston newspapermen and other guest to his plantation, "The Meadows" for dinner and an evening of entertainment. The six inning game ended in a 3 to 3 tie between the Gowdys and the Mitchells. Oscar Dugey did not play because he is suffering from a bad cold. Strand and Meikle did the pitching for the Gowdys and Rudolph and Herche pitched for the Mitchells.
March 15, 1914 ... The Braves were invited over the Manager Stallings' plantation for the day. A barbecued pig was provided to his guests upon their arrival. They returned to Macon at 11:30 tonight. President Gaffney will leave for New York tomorrow morning.
March 16, 1914 ... The Braves were beaten by the Cleveland Bearcats, the American Association team in Americus, GA by a score of 8 to 6. Bradley Hogg and Paul Strand did the pitching. Hogg pitched four innings and Strand pitched six. Johnny Evers was in charge, as Manager Stallings did not come with the team. Rabbit Maranville had two singles and a double.
March 17, 1914 ... The Braves beat the Cleveland Bearcats, 12 to 4. Gene Cocreham pitched five innings and Lefty Tyler worked the other four. Three runs were made of Cocreham in the fifth inning. Tom Griffith hit two balls over the right field fence for doubles. Maranville went two for three.
March 18, 1914 ... The Boston National League Club has taken the initiative in going to court to protect itself against the Federal League. Manager Stallings made an application for an injunction and it was granted by Judge Matthews enjoining any agent of the Federal League from attempting to do business with any player under contract with Boston in the state of Georgia. The Braves beat the Macon Peaches of the South Atlantic League, by a score of 20-3 in seven innings. Les Mann was 4 for 5.
March 19, 1914 ... The Braves beat the Newark Eagles of the International League by a score of 3 to 2. The two Jersey runs came from home runs. Rabbit Maranville was the star at bat and in the field. Dick Rudolph pitched the first four innings and Gene Cocreham pitched the next four. Lefty Tyler pitched the last inning.
March 20, 1914 ... Despite very cold weather, the Braves beat the International League champions from Newark, by a score of 5 to 3 in seven innings. Not more than 100 people attended the game. A Newark player collapsed on the field of a heart attack. The trainers and others worked over him and after a few minutes showed signs of consciousness. Manager Stallings, Lefty Tyler and trainer, Jimmy Neary rushed him in Stallings's car to the hospital. Hub Perdue pitched four innings for the Braves and did very well. Joe Connolly went two for three.
March 21, 1914 ... Weather kept the Braves from doing any work on the ball field. Federal League representative Doc Gessler had the injunction served to him by a deputy sheriff, as he was speaking with Hub Perdue. Manager Stallings voiced his desire to get a federal injunction to stop the Federal League from talking to Boston players anywhere. Sec. Herman Nickerson, Dick Rudolph, Lefty Tyler, Tom Griffith, Joe Connolly, Wilson Collins and Johnny Evers traveled with Stallings to the "Meadows" to spend Sunday there.
March 22, 1914 ... The weather cleared and gave the ballplayers a chance to take a Sunday walk or go out for a drive.
March 23, 1914 ... The Braves defeated Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, GA 9 to 2, in a game that was quite close until the eighth inning. The score was 2 to 1 in favor of Boston, going in to that inning. The Braves' Fred Mitchell coached the Georgia boys. Luque and Villazon did the pitching for the Braves. The members of the team at the Stallings plantation came over to see the game, and on the way, one of the cars ran off the road, after the wheels hit a rut. Wilson Collins, who was riding on the running board, slightly injured his leg.
March 24, 1914 ... The Braves were shut out 6 to 0 by the Cleveland Bearcats. The team didn't hit at all against the two Cleveland pitchers, only six made in eight innings. Bill James gave up three singles in the second inning and three singles and a double in the third inning. Gene Cocrehan pitched for three innings and did not have a lot of control, although no runs were scored against him.
March 25, 1914 ... The Bearcats came back and beat the Braves by a 3 to 2 score, after being shutout for eight innings. In the ninth inning, down 2 to 0, Ray Bates walloped one of Hub Perdue's pitches, with two men on, sailing over the left field fence.
March 26, 1914 ... Johnny Evers was named captain of the team today, after a grueling workout. Practice started at 10AM, and for nearly two hours there was batting practice against just about all the pitchers on the squad. Manager Stallings was behind the cage, commenting to every player throughout their at bat. Fred Mitchell had the second stringers out in left field having their own batting session. The batting was followed by an hour and a half of fielding practice. Most of the players watched the game between Macon and the St. Louis Browns in the afternoon. Pitcher Bradley Hogg was sent down to the Mobile club.
March 27, 1914 ... The Braves "B" team was beaten 4 to 0 against the Macon Peaches in a game to benefit the Macon Drum & Bugle Corps. Villazon had one bad inning for the Braves. Only one Braves player got past second base in nine innings. The Braves "A" team was rained out in Atlanta. Before the game was rained out, the team had a good workout at Ponce de Leon Park.
March 28, 1914 ... Lefty Tyler pitched a complete game in leading the Braves to a 7 to 4 victory over the Atlanta Crackers. Two or three of the runs scored off him were quite lucky. It was a close enough game to be interesting, as the Braves were more aggressive at bat. Rabbit Maranville had three hits, while Larry Gilbert, Tom Griffith and Hank Gowdy each had two.
March 29, 1914 ... George Stallings remained in Macon today, but Rabbit Maranville and Butch Schmidt went to his plantation for the day and will return tomorrow. Many of the players visited the Federal Prison in Atlanta, where the inmates were having a baseball game.
March 30, 1914 ... Dick Rudolph allowed the Atlanta Crackers four hits in nine innings, as the Braves won the game, 1 to 0. The Braves run was scored on successive doubles by Charlie Deal and Hank Gowdy. The Crackers only managed four scattered hits off Rudolph.
March 31, 1914 ... The Braves and the Crackers battled to a 6-6 tie for eight innings, when the game was ended because of darkness. Pitcher Hub Perdue had a poor outing, with bad fielding and the hitting was absent. Paul Strand pitched after Perdue and had a good game, although he allowed a couple of wild pitches.
April 1, 1914 ... The Braves defeated the Macon Peaches by a score of 6 to 1, although they were outhit by the minor leaguers. Gene Cocreham held the youngsters to two singles in four innings. Kenefick and Lewis, the recruit catchers, were released.
April 2, 1914 ... Their last day in Macon was celebrated by the Braves by beating the Peaches, 13 to 0. They had 19 hits including home runs by Maranville and Bert Whaling, two doubles and a triple by Tom Griffith, and a double each by Butch Schmidt and Meikel. Charlie Deal had four singles in four times at bat. Bill James pitched the first four innings and allowed only one hit, and fanned seven batters. Hank Gowdy umpired the game. George Stallings left for his plantation tonight and will rejoin the team in Charlotte. The town had a banquet tonight to send off the Braves. 150 members of the Board of Trade attended.
April 3, 1914 ... Lefty Tyler pitched 10 innings in a game against the Atlanta Crackers that ended in a 3 to 3 tie. Charlie Deal pulled a muscle running one out to first base. Rabbit Maranville slashed out three singles, while the Crackers only managed only a couple of scratch hits off Tyler until the sixth inning.
April 4, 1914 ... Atlanta Cracker pitcher, Gilbert Price, held down the Braves today as they beat Boston, 4 to 3. Errors of commission and judgment helped bury the Braves. Dick Rudolph and Paul Strand did the pitching. Three hits were made off Rudolph and two off Strand.
April 5, 1914 ... The Braves arrived in Charlotte around 10AM this morning. Several of the players had slight colds. Trainer Jimmy Neary says this years team is in the best shape of any of the teams the Braves have had over the past six years.
April 6, 1914 ... The Braves won the first game of the series with the Buffalo Bisons, by a 9 to 3 score. They scored their nine runs in the first three innings. Dick Crutcher pitched the full nine innings in his first mound appearance and looked good, also knocking out three singles.
April 7, 1914 ... The Braves and Bisons had their game called off due to wet grounds. Some of the players worked out earlier in the day. The team left Charlotte at 7:30 PM bound for Baltimore.
April 8, 1914 ... The game with the Baltimore Orioles was cancelled due to weather conditions. The team took batting practice at 10AM, but a noon time it started to rain.
April 9, 1914 ... Under football-type weather conditions, the Braves beat the Orioles. 5 to 1. Bill James pitched the full nine innings and was very effective, giving up three passes and just three hits. The team left for Washington after the game.
April 10, 1914 ... The Washington Nationals and Walter Johnson, beat the Braves 7 to 4 at National Park. The Braves could not hit Johnson, but it was the fielding that let Boston down. Only four hits were made of Johnson in seven innings. Dick Rudolph started for the Braves and was hit pretty hard at critical stages. Hub Perdue relieved Rudolph in the fifth and gave up two runs.
April 11, 1914 ... The second game with the Washington Nationals was another bad affair all around. The highlight of the game was a fight between Eddie Ainsmith of Washington and Johnny Evers. The Braves could only muster one hit in the 5 to 4 loss.
April 12, 1914 ... The Braves stepped on a couple of pitchers against the Bridgeport Crossmen in beating them 13 to 1 in Bridgeport. Paul Strand pitched nine innings and came close to pitching a no-hitter. Fielding mistakes cost him a shutout.
April 13, 1914 ... Due to a family illness, Rabbit Maranville is at his home in Springfield and may miss tomorrow's opener at Ebbets Field. Charlie Deal is still lame from a strained ligament in his leg and may not be ready for several days. The Braves took a couple hours of batting practice at the ballpark this afternoon. Oscar Dugey worked at third base.