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The little press conference that nobody loved ...
2007-11-05 14:39
by Bob Timmermann

Ended up introducing John Russell as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The article identifies Russell as the "38th manager" of the Pirates. For some reason, there's been a trend in putting ordinal numbers in front of managers now. As if they are presidents or popes or some other job with a lot of responsibility.

And teams that switched leagues early in their history don't seem to want to count those managers. The Pirates aren't counting their years in the American Association from 1882-86. That drops their total from 46 to 38.

I have no idea why teams like the Pirates and Dodgers and Cardinals don't count their American Association years. Is it for convenience?

Do they think the teams were completely remade when they switched leagues?

1886 Pittsburgh players

1887 Pittsburgh players

They're not much different.

However, today's Milwaukee Brewers have moved from the AL to the NL seamlessly.

So why do I care about such matters? Maybe I'm just a fan of the historical record. The 19th Century American Association was a legitimate major league. No one would disagree with that. Do I not have ancestors just because they were born in a different state or country than me? Does a company's history start over if it switches from private to public?

Oh well, my complaining matters for little in this area. Actually, little would be overstating my influence in this area. Perhaps I can go back to my original theory I wanted to espouse and that was that most sports teams are run by people who have little idea that anything existed prior to 1995.

So sorry fans of the Dodgers, no extra league championship for you for 1889. And Cardinal fans, you don't get anything for 1885-88 either. Your PR departments can't be bothered with such trivialities.

2007-11-05 15:36:19
1.   Eric Stephen
Keep fighting the good fight Bob. I wish this post involved the Phillies so I could have said "phight the good phight," but I digress.
2007-11-05 15:37:37
2.   Gagne55
To be fair, there aren't exactly 4 AA pennant banners hanging in Busch Stadium.
2007-11-05 15:39:25
3.   Bob Timmermann
I never said they were hanging the banners at Busch Stadium.


2007-11-05 15:44:48
4.   Gagne55
1 Too bad the Phillies have always been in the NL. Out of the eight NL teams that have existed since 1900 the break down is as follows:
There since the beggining: Cubs, Braves
NL Expansion teams: Phillies, Giants
Added in the AA merger: Pirates, Reds, Dodgers, Cardinals

From the AA merger through 1899, the NL actually had 12 teams. The Baltimore, Cleveland, Lousiville and Washington franchises got contracted.

2007-11-05 16:32:44
5.   Izzy
I prefer John Russel IIVV er XXXVIII somehthing like that. Wait. Triple XXX managers that's bad. Oh never mind.
2007-11-05 17:52:01
6.   gpellamjr
5 What is "IIVV"?

Bob has become so opinionated of late, so angry, so edgy. When you only know someone through the internet, a slight change in demeanor carries with it the sense that one is talking to an entirely different person.

2007-11-06 00:57:12
7.   Bill Crain
2007-11-06 04:54:48
8.   Daniel Zappala
Bob, as part of the unwashed masses, what book would be the best one to read about the American Association and other early baseball history?
2007-11-06 08:39:50
9.   Bob Timmermann
Raging about the lack of respect for the AA is not included, so I'm OK.

I would suggest this book:

2007-11-06 09:41:15
10.   wireroom
Bob you work at the library right? I got a pretty good book there the other day called "The Only Game in Town," by Fay Vincent. He has some pretty great interviews with ball players from the 30s and 40s in there. Not exactly pre-19th century stuff, but those guys have some great stories and insights on today's game.
2007-11-06 10:24:09
11.   ToyCannon
Bob, just an FYI
2007-11-06 11:10:22
12.   For The Turnstiles
"He seemed like such an easygoing guy ... but then someone said something about the 'Ham Fighters' and he just snapped ... he was never the same after that ..."
2007-11-06 11:31:42
13.   Bob Timmermann
I never want to have even a benign condition in my brain. I don't want people poking around in it. Hope everything goes well for her.

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