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The Golden Age Association

 
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The Golden Age Association - 6/1/2006 1:58:45 AM   
KG Erwin


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So, it is 1946, and the baseball world has indeed turned upside down.  The Pittsburgh Pirates franchise , owned by the Dreyfuss family since 1900, was sold to a partnership that included entertainer Bing Crosby.

An attempt was made to establish a Players Union was started, with the first-targeted team being the Pirates. It ultimately failed, but some dissension was created within the clubhouse.  

The Pirates' new owners recognized the need to virtually start anew, and cleaned house at the management level.   They controlled the pursestrings, but wanted new blood. 

Flashback to 1942-- Cpl K. Glenn Erwin fought at Guadalcanal and was promoted to Sgt in 1943 at New Britain.  He was a high-school baseball coach before the war, and he put together a team that included Hank Greenberg.  The Marines saw the PR and morale-boosting value in this, and pulled Erwin out of the combat zone to manage some games against other service teams.  

His USMC team proved to be so successful that they won an interservice World Series in Hawaii in 1944, beating the Army Air Force in four straight games.  This became a media sensation, considering the depths to which major-league ball had fallen.

This wasn't lost upon Crosby and his partners.   In a move which shocked the baseball establishment, now ex-Sgt Erwin was named the GM and manager of the Pirates in the fall of 1945.   

Crosby stated, "He helped beat the Japanese, so why can't he beat the Yankees?"  

(more to come...)

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 6/26/2006 12:53:52 AM >
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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/1/2006 2:27:40 AM   
KG Erwin


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Many baseball fans and executives regarded this move as a joke, and the newspaper writers decried the end of baseball as a national institution.  Yes, many of the active-duty players were returning, but had their skills become too eroded to restore the national game to its pre-war level? 

KG was so shocked by the Pirates' offer that he signed the 5-year deal without considering the implications, but he'd read the papers and was aware of the rumors of a players union.  

The only thing he recalled saying was, " I want complete control of the roster."   

The owners didn't flinch  -- they gave it to him, with two provisos -- one, that they could cancel any given contract that seemed to be too extravagant.  The second proviso --they want a National League pennant before 1950.   

KG didn't flinch either, and said, "Well, you pay the salaries, so that seems fair enough". 

(to be continued...)  

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 6/1/2006 3:24:00 AM >

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/1/2006 3:53:42 AM   
leegra

 

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KG--Good start!  I love the quotes...Nothing livens-up a sports story like pithy, pertinent, and punchy quotes!...How about some brief post-game comments?...I told my corner newsstand operator to save me a copy every day of your daily pub.  Do you also file copy for Associated Press, or International News Service?...Looking forward to your next update...

Lee

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/1/2006 4:23:18 AM   
leegra

 

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KG--Sorry, if I sounded sarcastic in my last post.  I couldn't resist the alliteration compulsion...I REALLY meant all I said about quotes and wanting to read post-game comments from the participants...I'll try to keep my weak attempts at humor on a higher plane in the future...I'm sorry, if I offended.  Please, write often and in depth...

Lee

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/1/2006 4:52:59 AM   
KG Erwin


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So, being given full control of the rosters, I actively started trading off players who, while popular with the fans, were, IMHO, past their prime.

Also, I wanted to rid myself of the disgruntled players who supported the union and were actively looking to jump to the Mexican League. I wanted to improve the roster, and also improve the team's morale. I wanted guys who were committed to what we were trying to do, so no one was considered inexpendable.

Before the season started, I conducted a number of trades:

2B Frankie Gustine and SP Rip Sewell went to the Cardinals in exchange for 2B Red Schoendienst and OF Enos Slaughter. In my opinion, that was a steal.

Next, I sent SP Fritz Ostermueller, SP Ken Heintzelman, and OF Chuck Workman to the White Sox for SP Ed Lopat and CF Dave Philley. Both teams can benefit from this.

To fill out my starting rotation, I also made a deal with the St Louis Browns,
sending them RPs Johnny Lanning and Ken Gables, PLUS OF Frank Colman for SP Jack Kramer and minor-league prospect Ray Shore.

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 7/23/2006 12:12:38 AM >

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/1/2006 8:10:08 AM   
KG Erwin


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restart

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 7/22/2006 11:54:42 PM >

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/2/2006 2:21:10 PM   
leegra

 

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KG--Thought you might enjoy this item, posted at BaseballLibrary.com yesterday:

63 YEARS AGO TODAY (June 1, 1943):
Rip Sewell of the Pirates throws his dew-drop ball in a game. Sewell loops the ball 18 to 20 feet high on its way to the strike zone. Later it is called a blooper or eephus ball. The pitch is more than a gag, and Sewell is on his way to a 20-win season.

Lee

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/3/2006 12:31:12 AM   
KG Erwin


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restart

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 7/22/2006 11:53:25 PM >

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/5/2006 12:35:40 AM   
KG Erwin


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From: Cross Lanes WV USA
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.

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 7/22/2006 11:52:39 PM >

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/26/2006 3:49:07 AM   
KG Erwin


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< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 7/6/2006 2:20:48 AM >

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/26/2006 4:37:16 AM   
KG Erwin


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< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 7/6/2006 2:21:06 AM >

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/26/2006 5:17:31 AM   
KG Erwin


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From: Cross Lanes WV USA
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< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 7/6/2006 2:21:48 AM >

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RE: The Golden Age Association - 6/26/2006 5:44:52 AM   
KG Erwin


Posts: 8913
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< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 7/6/2006 2:22:07 AM >

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