Skip to main content

Sunday School: History Lesson 3

Another Sunday, another lesson. This week, we'll talk about a premiere slugger from the Deadball Era, Gavvy Cravath. Clifford "Gavvy" Cravath joined the Phillies in 1912, when he was 31 years old. The "Deadball Era" was a stretch in the early 1900's, when pitchers were known to throw many trick pitches and games were regularly played with a single mis-shapened ball. These factors made hitting for distance quite a challenge.

Gavvy was a rightfielder. He batted right and threw right. Born on March 23, 1881, Gavvy became the first major leaguer from the San Diego area. While playing ball in his younger days in California, Cravath picked up his nickname by hitting a seagull (which is gaviota in Spanish) with a batted ball.

Gavvy's pro career began with the Angels of the Pacific Coast League. He made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1908. Prior to that season, Cravath's contract had been sold to Boston, where he bacame a 27-year-old rookie. Then began a series of moves for Gavvy and tough road to Philadelphia. In August of 1908, Gavvy's contract was sold to the Chicago White Sox. In 1909, Cravath started off quite slowly with the White Sox and he was traded to the Washington Senators, who sent Gavvy to the minor league Minneapolis Millers. In 1910 and 1911, Cravath excelled with the Millers, leading the American Association in batting avg., hits, HR, and doubles BOTH seasons.

Rules at the time, made it rather difficult for Gavvy to reach the majors again, and reportedly a clerical error in a telegram was his real ticket to Philadelphia in 1912. He replaced veteran John Titus as the everyday RF. In 1913, Caravath batted .341 with the Phillies and led the NL in hits, homeruns, total bases and RBI.

Cravath led the National League in homeruns 6 times from 1913-1920. In the Phillies' World Series season of 1915, Gavvy led the league in many offensive categories, including HR's and RBI. At the time, Gavvy's 24 homers in 1915 was a MLB record for a single season in the 20th century. The Phillies lost the 1915 World Series to Cravath's former team, the Boston Red Sox in 5 games.

In 1919, Cravath took over as player/manager of our Phils midway through the season. The Phils roster, in those days was quite weak, and two straight last place finishes in 1919 and 1920, led the Phillies to fire Gavvy. He then went on to play and manage two more season in the minors, after which, he retired to his native California, where he later served as a Laguna Beach city judge for more than 35 years.

Comments

IRONPIGPEN said…
My attendance at church and my grades in school would have been much higher would they have spent more time with history lessons like this!

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Rappers in Phillies Caps

Weekend greetings to you phine pholks out there. Today's post features pictures of rappers wearing Phillies caps. Why rappers in Phillies caps, you ask? Because... Any other questions? We will start things off properly by going with a highly recognizable hip hop star. 50 Cent stays constantly relavant by consistantly creating radio friendly material to help sell (G) units, while he "keeps it real" by still rapping about the thug life he lived before becoming the 2nd highest earning black entertainer in America. 50 is seen here in a recent interview rocking a throw-back Phillies cap. Next up we'll use a throw-back screen cap from what may be the very first major appearance by a rapper wearing Phillies gear. Chuck D, of legendary rap group Public Enemy, wore a Phillies cap in the music video for rap anthem Fight The Power in 1989. The song was the lead single from the soundtrack for Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing . Next up we'll go with some home gro

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'