McGraw Looks for New Men

Damon Runyon

The Independent-Record/August 1, 1911

Manager of Giants is Even Now Keeping Sharp Eye Out for Youngsters

Scouts Under Cover

Men Who Prospect for “Muggsy” Have No Brass Bands Along to Proclaim the Fact That They are on the Lookout for Embryo Phenoms—Infielders are in Great Demand

It is pretty early to be even thinking about next year, with the National League balled up in a hair-lifting struggle, and the present season only half over, but John J. McGraw, chief of the Giants, has been making a few small moves here and there which indicate that his mind is not entirely centered upon today and that he has a thought for the morrow as well.

How McGraw gets his players is one of the mysteries of the game, in a way. He has scouts, of course, but it is his theory that a scout is of no particular value if everyone knows he is a scout, and so the men who prospect the sticks for future Giants move softly, but carry a large club wherewith to bowl over any embryonic great men they may encounter.

Mickey Finn, the old Little Rock manager, is generally understood to be a Giant scout, and it is reported that Jimmy Maloney, until recently the manager of Dallas, and a personal friend of McGraw’s, may do some work in the same role. Maloney knows a ball player at all events. He got McGraw Pitcher Drucke and First Baseman-Catcher Hank Gowdy, as well as Shontz and Tesreau, who are no longer with the team.

Looking For Infielders

McGraw is evidently getting ready even this early for next year, and every move he makes is destined apparently for infield strength. The purchase of Bues, third base marvel, of the Northwest, and the acquisition of Henry Groh, shortstop, of the Decatur team of the Three “I” League, indicates that the Little Napoleon intends to have plenty of surplus material, Groh is another recommendation from Dick Kensella, from whom came Larry Doyle, and the price $3,500, is the largest paid for a Three “I” player this season. Groh’s home is in Rochester, and he is a college man. Kinsella claims he is the best youngster he ever developed. 

Besides these two, McGraw now has with him Eugene Paulette, a youngster picked up by Scout Micky Finn, and who is said to promise much as a first baseman, although he can play other infield positions.

O’Toole is Red-Headed

O Toole is a red-headed, right-handed, spit-ball twirler. Last season in the western league he established himself as a strike-out wonder, fanning eighteen men in a single game. He was even then the property of St. Paul, in the American Association, and was recalled this year. Kelley is the catcher who is also wanted in the deal.

If John I. Tailor, of Boston, calls in all the young pitchers upon whom he has strings next season, he ought to have a wonderful staff, assuming that they live up to their minor promise. Bedient of Providence, who established some sort of world’s record as a schoolboy pitcher, and who was taken to the coast by the Sox last spring, is said to be a coming marvel; Byram, former Princeton southpaw, now with Sacramento, of the Pacific Coast League, is the sensation of that section, apparently, and is touted as being in the same class with Vean. Gregg Taylor is supposed to have first call on all Sacramento players, so presumably will get Byram.

Big Price For Strand

As showing the uncertainties of the minor star, however, Taylor paid $5,000 for Paul Strand, a very youthful left-hander, now with Spokane, Wash., and since then Paul has been getting his bumps with great regularity. O’Brien, of Denver, believed to be still another Taylor possession, is said by those who have seen the two work in their Western League form, to be as good as O’Toole.

Clark Griffith is not the only manager who has made what looks to the home fans like mistakes in disposing of players, although he is extensively advertised as owning the copyright on that particular line. Lately Frank Chance is attaining some distinction for his disposal of Luderus, of the Phillies, not to mention Ingerton, of Boston, while some people are not satisfied now that the Peerless Leader got any too much the best of the Boston trade in the light of the gait at which some of the cast-offs are traveling.

The Red Sox rooters think that Nunamacher, of the Taylor club, is something of a catcher, but Chance did not think so, and let the long fellow go. At least a few other fairly competent judges of a ball player agreed with the Chance judgment in this respect at the time, although there is no doubt but that Nunamacher has vastly improved.

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