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Ping Bodie On Hitting
pingbodie.png
  In the game of baseball the art of hitting has become a science. I've always wondered what it was like back in the early days of the game. Were the secrets to hitting a mystery yet to be discovered? Back in 1917 Ping Bodie, one of baseball's original characters, had his thoughts on how to be successful. Here's how Bodie described the art of hitting.
 

October 21, 1917 --San Francisco Chronicle

"Swing and Swing and Swing is the system of lacing old pill, he says.
If you have any ambition to attain fame almost as great and lasting as that of a President of the United States, all that is necessary is to out guess the pithcher, grab your bat like it was your last dime and swinng with all your might. Then hope, and hope hard.

That's  Ping Bodie's recipe for busting the fences in any league where he may happen to be playing. Inasmuch as it has brought him back to the American League and a chance at more fame as a big league outfielder, there must be some truth in it.

Ping says swing hard the firts time, go into second speed on the second, and then, if you've got to do it again, turn on all the gas, jam down the accelerator and SWING!

PIng cracked out twenty home runs while amassing a batting average of something over .300 last year on the Pacific Coast.

"It's all in the way you grab your bat and swing." Ping is credited as saying in an Eastern interview. "The pitcher who can throw harder than I can swing ain't been found. If you  miss the first two, whamg again, and you've got to take Old Man Confidence to the plate with you.
"You gatta think you're going to make the fences rattle or you're done for. Watch the pitcher, outguess him, and you've only gotta hang on to your bat like grim death and swing your head off to set a new ground record."

That was the advice he passed out when he was telling Bobby Jones how to make good as a Tiger.


"How do you bunt?" Bobby wanted to know." How do I Bunt? Search me, I never tried it," Ping responded after a period of grave reflection

 
Where are the Iron Men of baseball?
Came across an interesting PCL baseball article online at the Modesto Bee . Actually found it via twitter. One of those stories that makes you think, where have the Iron men of baseball gone. Back in the old days of the game it was a badge of honor for a pitcher to be regarded as an “Ironman”. The article talks about Clarence Henley's 1-0 victory for the San Francisco Seals in 1909. 24 innings pitched and never once more than a hit in an inning. Today, if you were to look at the hits per innings you'd think Henley was the inventor binary code...101001...  Equally amazing is that Henley only walked one batter in 24 innings. On the day he allowed 9-hits and struck out seven batters. Not a bad days work, 24 innings is almost a season for todays professional. Almost equal to Henley's feat was the pitching performance of Wiggs, Oaklands pitcher who is credited with pitching 24-innings and walking off the mound with a loss. Wiggs struck out 13 men, walked six and gave up eleven hits. Wiggs also allowed no more than a hit in any inning until the 24th. I doubt if we'll ever see anything like this again – the game is different now.
 
Zee Not

I often hear from the families of ex-coast leaguers, and they often say they'd love to find a Zee-nut of their relatives. For many, this is cherished heirloom to pass down to future generations. But, a career can not be measured by whether or not an individual player ever appeared on a baseball card. Most minor leaguers in the early days of the game never appeared on baseball cards. Although, many of those fortunate to play in the Pacific Coast League found their likeness appearing in the Zee-Nuts series produced from 1911 to 1936.

32-seals.jpg Guidio Simoni made it onto the San Francisco Seals' team photo in 1932. Unfortunately, he never appeared on a Zee-nut. Teammate, Vince DiMaggio appeared in the 1932 team photo but not on a 1932 Zeenut. Vince did appear on a 1933 card.

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Oakland Oaks Baseball Season Opens (1918)

Has anyone seen this clip? Amazing that something like this is still around for our enjoyment. I wonder were it came from. I'd like to know if there are others like it in an archive somewhere. I dug up some info. If you look close there is a female in a PCL Oakland Oaks baseball uniform. The banner in the film reads "Doraldina" Pitcher and "Pop Anson " Catcher. Doraldina was a well-known dancer of the era. Pop was a well known 20th century ball player, better known as Cap Anson. Also many of the Oakland Oaks are wearing a Red Cross. The Red Cross was a big deal. This was 1918 and WWI was in full swing. The war almost destroyed baseball the year before. Question was, "was baseball vital to the was effort." The general thinking in 1918 was that baseball could be viewed as unpatriotic. These able bodied men should either be in the armed services or building ships to help the war effort. Here you see the Oaks trying to aid in the war effort. The proceeds from the days gum and candy sales were to be given to the Red Cross. Check out the dog, "To Hound the Kaiser". That is funny. Sure there is a story behind dressing up the dog with flags.This is a rare look into what baseball was in the early days. Imagine what this was like to be at a game between the Oakland Oaks and San Francisco Seals. (Source )

 

 

 
Mystery PCL items
Recently we were sent a few digital scans of items from a scrapbook. Scrapbooks are wonder items where baseball history is often preserved. The unfortunate thing about scrapbooks is that they also sometimes leave us with a mystery. Who is the original owner? What is this item? Does this have anything to do with baseball. A few years back Bob Wortman found such a scrapbook. Many items seem to relate to the San Francisco Seals, other to Ping Bodie. Bob was kind enough to share a few pictures with us.
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