Sunday, September 21, 2003

John Daley 

Last week I wrote about Frank Betcher who played for the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1910. Today's story is about another player who had a brief cup of coffee in the Mound City during the Deadball Era.

I was at Pepe's in Manchester last night having a few Ten Penny Ales. The co-owner there told me a while back that the first four Red Sox retired numbers (1, 4, 8, and 9) can be rearranged as 9/4/18; the date that the Red Sox won there last World Series. Well, crack baseball historian that I am, I went and looked it up. He was wrong. September 4th was the date that the 1918 World Series was supposed to start, but it rained that day. (This was during World War I and the 1918 season was shortened.)

Last night was the first time that I had seen him since that discussion and I told him that he was wrong. He happened to have an old Baseball Encyclopedia in the kitchen so we consulted it. As expected, the World Series register showed Game 1 of the 1918 WS as being played on September 5th. While we were looking through the encyclopedia, he said that my name was in there. I knew that there were no players named Jon (or Jonathan) Daly, so I asked him where my name was. He showed me an entry for John Daley. I had never heard of him.

John was a shortstop for the 1912 Browns. A cursory glance at his stats show him to be a "No glove- no hit" guy. However, he did live to the ripe old age of 101 making him one of the few in major league history that eclipsed the century mark. Ponce De Leon must have brewed that cup of java for Daley!

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