Friday, April 17, 2015

On this day - April 17, 1940

There are several "This Day in Baseball History" and "On This Day" type of posts / blogs / twitter feeds. One of those that I follow is my fellow baseball historian, Skip Nipper (twitter feed: mrsulphurdell).   Skip shares his extensive knowledge of Nashville area baseball, frequently with an "on this date" post.

I'll do that today.  Back in 1940, the Southern Association had just started their games for the season.  The Nashville Vols were playing host to the Smokies.

Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge) - April 18, 1940

The Daily Herald
, of Biloxi, indicated that the tie game would be completed at a later date.

The Daily Herald (Biloxi) - April 18, 1940

And this is how the teams stacked up that opening week.
The Daily Herald (Biloxi) - April 18, 1940

With the opening of the season comes pomp and fanfare. Earlier in the month the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that Tennessee's governor, Prentice Cooper, had been asked by both Memphis and Nashville to throw out the first ball.  Another dignitary that was asked to take part in the opening day ceremonies was Sgt. Alvin C. York.

Knoxville News-Sentinel - April 5, 1940

I have not discovered if either of these men participated in the festivities in Nashville.  Time to talk with Skip.  But on another day.  Today he's celebrating the opening of Nashville's new ballpark.

images from

Thursday, April 9, 2015

More Coca Cola Boys

Two years ago I wrote about the Coca Cola Stars of Knoxville.  I found another mention of their team and that they were victorious in three games.

This tidbit comes from The Nashville Globe.  It is from the "Harriman Notes" section.

The Nashville Globe - July 1, 1910
At this point, I know nothing more about them.  Hopefully someday some more information on the team will be found.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Knoxville's first two no hitters

Fellow SABR member Chuck McGill has been collecting info on minor league no-hitters.  He's added over 500 no-nos to those already known about and published in the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball.  Last week The Sporting News published a nice story about his work.

He's made his spreadsheet available to others.  I grabbed it and extracted the games that Knoxville / Tennessee was involved with.  I'll look at the first two known no hitters.

On August 22, 1912, Finis Wilson threw one against the Johnson City Soldiers.  This was Fin's second season playing for the Knoxville Reds of the young Appalachian League.

Tulsa World - August 23, 1912

Richmond Times Dispatch - August 23, 1912

The article in the New Orleans Item has the game scores reversed but does share that Fin Wilson pitched both ends of that double header.
New Orleans Item - August 23, 1912
Just a few years later Fin would be pitching for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League.  He went 1-9 with a 4.03 ERA.

The shortstop Morley was Bill Morley.  The 1913 season he played two games for the Washington Senators of the American League.

It was almost a full ten years before another no hitter was tossed by Knoxville.  By this time the team had changed its name from the Reds to the Pioneers.

According to McGill's spreadsheet the second no hitter was tossed by "Red" Stoner on July 7, 1923 against the Kingsport Indians.    McGill's spreadsheet has the score listed as ?-0. 

The SABR Minor League Committee newsletter for the Spring of 2007 was seeking the info.

Beating the Bushes (SABR Minor League Committee newsletter) - Spring, 2007
I have not yet been able to locate a description of the game, but I did find a score for it.

Macon Telegraph - July 8, 1923

Not much is known about Mr. Stoner, except that he went 17-6 for the Pioneers that season.

And that he was sold to the New York Giants in August.

Trenton Evening Times - August 23, 1923

Times-Picayune - September 13, 1923

Apparently the big baseball news coming out of Knoxville at the time of Stoner's no hitter was that Frank Kane was released from the team.
Richmond Times Dispatch - July 8, 1923
Less is known about Frank Kane than is known about "Red" Stoner.  As usual, more research is needed.

Newspaper article images from

Friday, March 13, 2015

1927 Townsend "Lumberjacks"

Another one of my SABR colleagues and friends, Brad Ridenour, shared this find with me.

Knoxville News-Sentinel - September 11, 1927

Monday, February 23, 2015

Knoxville College Team - 1913

I don't have much information on the Knoxville College baseball program.  But my SABR colleague and friend, Skip Nipper, pointed me to this photo.

The Reach Official American League Guide for 1913

I haven't yet researched the various baseball guides to know when the first image of a black baseball team was published.

image from

Friday, February 13, 2015

UT's 1894 season

A bit of research on UT's 1894 base ball season yielded a more info than their 1893 season did.

The local paper speaks well of the upcoming base ball season.

Knoxville Daily Journal - January 21, 1894

In fact, things are going so well that a second squad has been formed.

Knoxville Daily Journal - March 11, 1894

And the second squad was almost as good as the University school club.

Knoxville Daily Journal - March 18, 1894

The team traveled to Blount County to take on Maryville College.

Knoxville Daily Journal - April 8, 1894

And a review of the game from the losing side.

The Maryville Times - April 11, 1894

The boys take a trip.

Knoxville Daily Journal - April 19, 1894

Here's Sewanee's year in base ball from their yearbook.

Cap and Gown - 1895

And Vanderbilt's year.  I've highlighted the 1894 season.

The Commodore - unknown year (19??)

So, right now, here's how I have UT's schedule for the year.  They finished up 2-3 in college play.

I'm sure that more research needs to be done.

Knoxville Daily Journal articles from
The Maryville Times article from LoC's Chronicling America
Cap and Gown image from
The Commodore image from