1903 Preview - 3 men out
The Politics of early 20th century Baseball are in full effect as our 3 free agents sit unsigned after refusing deals from Baltimore and with opening day around the corner may be locked out for the upcoming season if no teams are will to take them on. It would be a travesty for the 1902 AL MVP to spend 1903 on his farm. Speaking of the Orioles, they moved to New York as expected and changed their name to the Highlanders, in homage to their rickety new home at Hilltop Park.
Cy Crooks – New York (A) debut 1901: 21 years old and coming off two 20 win seasons Crooks finds himself as the #2 starter out of spring training behind 27 year old rookie Barney Wolfe. He may thrive even more in this spot and should again be a potential 20 game winner if healthy all season.
Finn O'Connell – New York (A) debut 1901: Plagued by injuries and inconsistency his first 2 seasons, O’Connell struggled with his control all spring and will have a short lease as the #3 starter for the Highlanders.
Stubs Corchoran – Free Agent debut 1901: Coming off of a phenomenal season, Corchoran finds himself unemployed as his bid to squeeze more money out of his 1902 laurels appears to be backfiring as opening day arrives and he has no team.
Mathurin Hawkins - New York (A) debut 1901: Hawkins is slotted to start behind the plate from day 1 this season and with 2 straight .300+ campaigns under his belt looks primed to be the offensive leader of the Highlanders with Corchorans departure.
Path Twelve - New York (A) debut 1901: Twelve is the biggest winner in the Corchoran debacle as the void in RF opens up the opportunity for him to start. The 23 year old had a solid spring and will look to rebound from a horrid ’02 campaign that saw him hit just .186 in limited duty.
Rob Neilsen - New York (A) debut 1902: The reigning AL ERA champ is the #4 starter for the Highlanders to start the year, but will move up to #3 if O’Connell can’t harness his control. His Fastball was like a comet during the spring according to one opposing player.
Al Mighty – Free Agent debut 1902: From the minors, to starting SS to sitting on his porch. A poor move to try and squeeze more money from the team by the youngster, who will hopefully not be blackballed.
Deacon Palmer - New York (A) debut 1902: No question about the power of the husky Palmer, but his inconsistency making contact will see him start as the backup to 38 yr old Bob Wood at 1B as the season starts, though his playing time will surely increase.
Jace Hunter – Free Agent debut 1902: Another of ‘frozen’ three, Hunter ponders his future as he waits for a telegram from anyone with a spot at the hot corner.
Ulysses A Spear - St Louis (A) debut 1902: Tom Daly is gone, but now Bill Friel sits in front of Spear at 2B for the Browns, though it is likely Spear will see the field more often than he did in 1902, as his speed and defense can help the Browns as his bat catches up.