Part 1 – Tug Arundel and Bob Becker
John Thomas “Tug” Arundel was born in Auburn, New York on June 30, 1862. He was a catcher in the major leagues for four seasons who debuted for the Philadelphia Athletics on May 23, 1882 appearing in just one game where he would go 0-5 at the plate. In 1883 Arundel played for the East Saginaw Grays of the Northwestern League. In 1884 “Tug” would play for both the Peoria Reds and the Saginaw Greys of the Northwestern League.
The 1885 season would be split between the Memphis Reds of the Southern League and the Milwaukee Brewers of the Western League. Four teams would use Arundel in 1886 and they were the Chatanooga Lookouts and the Savannah team of the Southern Association. He would also play for the Eau Claire Lumberman and the Milwaukee Brewers of the NorthWestern League.
In 1887 he would play 43 games for the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the National League and for his 1888 season he would split time between the National League Washington Nationals and the St Louis Whites of the Western Association. For 1889 He would be with the Saginaw team of the Michigan State League then in 1890 he would be with both the Saginaw-Bay City Hyphens of the International Association and the Utica team in the New York State League. His professional baseball career would end in 1891 where he would play in the Northwestern League for the Detroit Wolverines.
In four major league seasons Arundel would play in a total of 76 games. He would total 45 hits including four doubles and a triple and his .173 batting average covered those four seasons. All told he played professional baseball for 10 seasons, where he would appear in 267 games with 160 hits that included 20 doubles and two triples. He passed away on September 5, 1912 at the age of 50 in Romulus New York and is buried in the St Joseph Cemetery in Auburn New York.
Robert Charles “Bob” Becker was a pitcher in the major leagues for 1897 and 1898. The left-hander debuted for the Philadelphia Phillies on September 6, 1897. He appeared in five games, two of which he started and completed. His record was 0-2 in 1897 and he had 10 strikeouts. He also played for the Rochester Browns and the Montreal Royals in 1897 appearing in 16 games with a record of 3-12 and a 1.65 ERA. He would split the 1898 season with the Syracuse Stars (15 wins and 11 losses in 30 games) as well as one game in the majors with the Phillies. He also played with the Rochester Broncos in 1899 appearing in 34 games with a record of 22 wins and 9 losses. For the 1900 season he appeared in four games for the Hartford Indians/Wooden Nutmegs of the Eastern League where he had a record of 2-2 in four games. After skipping the 1901 season, he finished out his professional career with the Rochester Broncos of the Eastern League where his record was 12 wins 16 losses in 28 games. He passed away on October 11, 1951 at the age of 76 in Syracuse New York and is buried in the Assumption Cemetery in Syracuse.
Part 2 Baseball in Cortland, New York
Cortland is a city in Cortland County New York in the Southern Tier region. It is the home town of Ronnie James Dio formerly of Rainbow and Black Sabbath as well as Alton B. Parker 1904 Democratic candidate for the President of the United States. It is also the birthplace of former major leaguer Eric Soderhom, who had a nine-year career in the major leagues.
From 1897 until 1901 Cortland had a baseball team in the New York State League. In 1897 the New York State League consisted of the Auburn Maroons, Batavia Giants/Geneva Alhambras, the Canandaigua Rustlers, a team from Lyons, the Palmyra Mormans as well as the Cortland team known as the Hirelings. They were managed by Tommy McGuirk, Ed Delaney and Frank Leonard. They would finish with a 29-36 record after joining the league on June 2nd for Otis Smith/George Geer in the New York State League. Players who later would go onto careers in the major leagues, who at some time played baseball in Cortland were Tun Berger who played in the majors for three years for the Pittsburgh Alleghenies (1890-1891) and the Washington Senators in 1892. Also Bill Friel who played in the majors for three years. Friel played for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1901 and the St Louis Browns in 1902. In 1903, Fred Ketchum played in Cortland and then played for two seasons with the Louisville Colonels (1899) and the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901. Jack O’Neill played in Cortland and then played in the major leagues for five years (1902-1903 St Louis Cardinals, 1904-1905 Chicago Cubs, 1906 Boston Beaneaters).
The 1898 Cortland team also played in the New York State League and the players who later went on to play in the major leagues included Larry Battam who played three days in the major leagues for the New York Giants from September 28 1895 to September 30, 1895. Also Frank Foutz played for Cortland in 1898 and then payed in the Major Leagues from April 26, 1901 until May 27, 1901 for the Baltimore Orioles appearing in 20 games and ending his career with a .236 batting average. Ed Householder appeared in 12 games for the Brooklyn Superbas in 1903 and his career ended with him having a .209 batting average. Jim Jones was a major league baseball player and he played for Cortland and then went on to play in the major leagues from June 29, 1897 until August 5, 1902. He appeared in 2 games for the Louisville Colonels in 1897, and a total of 88 games for the New York Giants in 1901 and 1902 ending his career with a .230 batting average. Frank LaPorte would play for Cortland in 1898 and later go on to a 11 year career in the major leagues an total 1185 hits including 198 doubles, 78 triples, 16 home runs, 560 RBIs and a .281 batting average. Also playing for Cortland in 1898 and then going on to the major leagues was Sam McMackin who played in two games for the White Sox and Tigers as a pitcher ending with a record of 0-1. Kohly Miller would ply in the major leagues in 1892 for the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns appearing in one game for each team, then in 1897 he played with the Philadelphia Phillies in three more games. Carlton Molesworth appeared in four games for the Washington Senators in 1895 getting one hit in seven at bats before going to play with many teams in the minors including Cortland.
Pat Moran was a catcher and a third baseman who played in the major leagues from May 15, 1901 until June 5, 1914 getting 618 hits in 2634 at bats. He had 18 home runs, 262 RBIs and a .235 batting average. He also managed in the major leagues winning the National League pennant in 1915 and then the 1919 World Series title with the Cincinnati Reds. Another of the players who would play in the major leagues was Mark Polhemus who would play 20 games in the major leagues for the Indianapolis Hoosiers getting 18 hits in 75 at bats. His professional baseball career ended in Cortland after the 1898 season. Danny Shay played four seasons in the majors (1901 Cleveland, 1904-1905 St Louis, and 1907 NY Giants) appearing in 231 games with 186 hits that include 26 doubles, five triples and two home runs as well as 62 RBIs and a .240 batting average. Cortland would finish fifth for Thomas McGuirk, Ed Delaney and Frank Leonard 8 ½ games behind the Canandaigua Giants.
In 1899 Cortland would finish in third place 17 games behind the Rome Romans for Thomas McGuirk and Hank Ramsey. Herbert Theodore “Buttons” Briggs pitched in 105 games in the major leagues ending his career with a record of 44 wins and 47 losses. He debuted in the major leagues April 23, 1896 for the Chicago Cubs and played his last major league game for the Cubs on September 25, 1905. William Edward “Wid” Conroy played in the major leagues for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1901, the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1902, the New York Highanders (Yankees) 1903-1908 and the Washington Senators 1908-1911. Conroy played in 1374 games getting 1257 hits including 176 doubles, 82 triples, 22 HRs, 452 RBIs and a .248 batting average as a shortstop, third baseman and outfielder. Bill Gannon was an outfielder who played in 15 games for the Chicago Cubs getting nine singles in 61 at bats. Bobby Rothermel was a utility infielder who played in 10 games for the Baltimore Orioles getting two singles in 21 at bats.
J.D. Roche guided Cortland in 1900 to a second place finish in the league standings. They finished in second place two games behind the first place Utica Pent Ups, and Cortland was known as the Wagonmakers. Dan Coogan played shortstop, catcher and outfielder for the Washington Senators in 1895 appearing in 26 games for the Washington Senators. He had 17 hits including two doubles and a triple to go with his .221 batting average. He would play for Cortland during the 1900 season. After playing for Cortland during the 1900 season Mal Eason played in the major leagues for the Chicago Cubs 1900-1902, the Boston Beaeaters 1902, the Detroit Tigers 1903 and the Brooklyn Superbas in 1905-1906. He was a pitcher who had a career record of 36 wins 73 losses, 90 complete game and 10 shutouts. Jim McCormick appeared in three ballgames for the St Louis Browns as a third baseman. He did not have a hit in 11 at bats. As a utility infielder Pete O’Brien appeared in 249 ballgames for the 1901 Cincinnati Reds, the 1907 Cleveland Naps (Indians) and the 1907 Washington Senators after playing for Cortland in 1900.
The 1901 Cortland /Waverly team finished with a record of 36-68 and the team transferred to Waverly on June 11th. Billy Ging appeared in one major league baseball game as a pitcher winning the game as he went eight innings with two strikeouts for the 1899 Boston Beaneaters. He also played for the Cortland team in 1901. Sandy McDougal appeared in one game for the Brooklyn Grooms in 1895 as a pitcher but did not figure in the decision. In 1905 for the St Louis Cardinals he finished with a record of 1-4 in five games.
This was a very brief history of the Cortland team that played 1897 to 1901 and to end this week, information was gathered about a team in Frankfort New York that played in the Cortland New York League in 1886. This team entered the league on July 10th but quickly disbanded on August 6th with there 1-5 record not counting in the standings.