Hughie Jennings

Hugh Ambrose Jennings (April 2, 1869 – February 1, 1928) was an American professional baseball player, coach and manager from 1891 to 1925. Jennings was a leader, both as a batter and as a shortstop, with the Baltimore Orioles teams that won National League championships in 1894, 1895, and 1896. During those three seasons, Jennings had 355 runs batted in and hit .335, .386, and .401. Jennings was a fiery, hard-nosed player who was not afraid to be hit by a pitch to get on base. In 1896, he was hit by pitches 51 times – a major league record that has never been broken. Jennings also holds the career record for being hit by pitches with 287, with Craig Biggio (who retired in 2007) holding the modern-day career record of 285. Jennings also played on the Brooklyn Superbas teams that won National League pennants in 1899 and 1900. From 1907 to 1920, Jennings was the manager of the Detroit Tigers, where he was known for his colorful antics, hoots, whistles, and his famous shouts of "Ee-Yah" from the third base coaching box. Jennings suffered a nervous breakdown in 1925 that forced him to leave Major League Baseball.[1] He died in 1928 and was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

Hughie Jennings
Hughie Jennings (2).jpeg
Shortstop / First baseman / Manager
Born: April 2, 1869
Pittston, Pennsylvania
Died: February 1, 1928 (aged 58)
Scranton, Pennsylvania
MLB debut
June 1, 1891, for the Louisville Colonels
Last MLB appearance
September 2, 1918, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.311
Home runs18
Runs batted in840
Managerial record1,184–995
Winning %.543
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1945
Election MethodVeteran's Committee

Early years

Born in Pittston, Pennsylvania, Jennings was the son of Irish immigrants, James and Nora, who according to Jack Smiles's biography of Jennings, Ee-yah: The Life and Times of Hughie Jennings, Baseball Hall of Famer (page 7), arrived in Pittston in 1851.

Jennings worked as a breaker boy (young boys who separated the coal from the slate) in the local anthracite coal mines. He drew attention playing shortstop for a semi-professional baseball team in Lehighton, Pennsylvania in 1890.[1] He was signed by the Louisville Colonels of the American Association in 1891. He stayed with the Colonels when they joined the National League in 1892 and was traded on June 7, 1893 to the Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles: 1893–1899

Jennings played with the Orioles for parts of seven seasons and became a star during his years in Baltimore. The Baltimore Orioles teams of 1894, 1895, and 1896 are regarded as one of the greatest teams of all time. The teams featured Hall of Fame manager Ned Hanlon and a lineup with six future Hall of Famers: first baseman Dan Brouthers, second baseman John McGraw, shortstop Jennings, catcher Wilbert Robinson, right fielder "Wee Willie" Keeler, and left fielder Joe Kelley. Amidst all those great players, Jennings was appointed captain in 1894, his first full season with the team.

Stars players of the Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles' Hall of Fame players "Wee Willie" Keeler, Joe Kelley, John McGraw, and Hughie Jennings, circa 1894

During the Orioles' championship years, Jennings had some of the best seasons ever by a major league shortstop. In 1895, he hit .386, scored 159 runs, collected 204 hits, knocked in 125 runs, and stole 53 bases. In 1896, his performance was even better, as he hit .401 (2nd best in the National League) with 209 hits, 121 RBIs, and 70 stolen bases.

The fiery Jennings was also known as one of the most fearless players of his time, allowing himself to be hit by pitches more than any other player. In one game, he was hit by a pitch three times. In 1896, he was hit by pitches 51 times—a Major League record that still stands. In just five seasons with the Orioles from 1894 to 1898, Jennings was hit by pitches an unprecedented 202 times. During one game, Jennings was hit in the head by a pitch from Amos Rusie in the 3rd inning, but managed to finish the game. As soon as the game ended, Jennings collapsed and was unconscious for three days.[2][3]

Jennings was also one of the best fielding shortstops of the era. He led the National League in fielding percentage and putouts three times each. He had as many as 537 assists and 425 putouts in single seasons during his prime. His 425 putouts ties him with Donie Bush for the single season record for a shortstop. In 1895, he had a career-high range factor of 6.73–1.19 points higher than the league average (5.54) for shortstops that year. He once handled 20 chances in a game, and on another occasion had 10 assists in a game. In 1898, he threw his arm out, and his career as a shortstop came to an end. After that, Jennings was forced to move to first base.[1]

Brooklyn Superbas and Philadelphia Phillies: 1899–1903

In 1899, when manager Ned Hanlon moved to the Brooklyn Superbas, several of his star players, including Jennings, Joe Kelley, and Willie Keeler followed. While Jennings was never the same after the injury to his arm in 1898, he contributed to Brooklyn's National League pennants in 1899 and 1900.[1]

In 1901, Jennings was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. However, his failing arm cut his career short, as he never played in more than 82 games or hit above .272 in two seasons with the Phillies. Jennings played 6 games for the Superbas in 1903, effectively ending his playing career, with the exception of 9 at bats during his tenure as the manager of the Detroit Tigers.

Cornell Law School and an off-season law practice

While playing for the Orioles in the 1890s, Jennings and John McGraw both attended classes at St. Bonaventure University. After the 1899 season, Jennings was accepted to Cornell Law School. He managed the Cornell University baseball team while studying law and concluded that he was well-suited to being a manager.[4] While at Cornell, he joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity chapter there. Jennings continued as a scholar-athlete until the spring of 1904, when he left campus early to manage the Orioles. Though he never finished his law degree at Cornell, Jennings passed the Maryland bar exam in 1905 and started a law practice.[1][3] He continued to work at his law practice during the off-seasons through the remainder of his baseball career.

The "Ee-Yah" years: 1907–1920

HughieJennings
As Detroit's third base coach, Jennings would shout "Ee-yah!" and other loud sounds while throwing his arms up and lifting his right leg.
HughieJennings2
Hughie Jennings with a bell in the Tigers dugout

In 1907, Jennings was hired as manager of a talented Detroit Tigers team that included future Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford. Jennings led the Tigers to three consecutive American League pennants, in 19071908-1909. However, Jennings' teams lost the 1907 and 1908 World Series to the "Tinker to Evers to Chance" Chicago Cubs and the 1909 Series to Honus Wagner's Pittsburgh Pirates. Jennings continued to manage the Tigers through the 1920 season, though his teams never won another pennant.

During his years as Detroit's manager, Jennings became famous for his antics, mostly in the third base coaching box, which variously included shouts of "Ee-Yah", and other whoops, whistles, horns, gyrations, jigs, and grass-plucking. The "Ee-Yah" whoop became his trademark and was accompanied with waves of both arms over his head and a sharp raising of his right knee.[1] In 1907, he was suspended for taunting opponents with a tin whistle.[3] The "Ee-Yah" shouts continued and became such a trademark that Jennings became known as Hughie "Ee-Yah" Jennings, and Detroit fans would shout "Ee-Yah" when Jennings appeared on the field.[2][4] (See also Jack Smile, Ee-yah: The Life And Times Of Hughie Jennings, Baseball Hall Of Famer)

Jennings DET
Hughie Jennings was honored alongside the retired numbers of the Detroit Tigers in 2000.

Behind the antics was a great coaching mind. Connie Mack called Jennings one of the three greatest managers in history, along with John McGraw and Joe McCarthy.[2] One of his greatest challenges, and accomplishments, during his years in Detroit was to manage the unmanageable—Ty Cobb. Jennings recognized Cobb's talent and his complicated psychological makeup and concluded the best strategy would be to let Cobb be Cobb. Jennings reportedly called Cobb aside one day and said, "There isn't anything about baseball I can teach you. Anything I might say to you would merely hinder you in your development. The only thing for you to do is go ahead and do as you please. Use your own judgment.. . . . . Do what you think is best and I'll back you up."[2]

In 1912, during a game in which "pick-ups" played for the Tigers when the regular team went on strike to protest the suspension of Cobb after an incident involving a fan in the stands whom Cobb assaulted, Jennings, who also sent his coaches in as substitute players, came to bat himself once as a pinch hitter. According to one source, when the umpire asked him for whom he was batting, Jennings answered, "None of your business." The umpire noted on his lineup sheet, "Jennings--batted for exercise."[5]

While Jennings was fiery, hard-nosed, colorful, and even eccentric, he insisted he had always played the game honestly. When a scandal arose in 1926 concerning whether Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker had fixed a 1919 game between the Detroit and the Cleveland Indians while Jennings was the manager, Jennings initially spoke of how easy it would be to fix a game and issued a "no comment" on the specific game. After his "no comment" drew negative publicity, Jennings issued a statement to the press in December 1926 denying knowledge of the matter and adding, "My slate has been clean base ball for 35 years... Whatever I have done in base ball has been of such a nature that I would be ready any time to go before anyone and place my case before them."[6] After the 1920 season, Jennings stepped down as the Tigers' manager. His 1,131 wins was the most in Tigers history until Sparky Anderson passed him in 1992.

New York Giants: 1921–1925

Jennings signed on as a coach with his old friend, John McGraw, who was managing the New York Giants. Jennings and McGraw, who met as teammates on the Orioles, became close friends. Jennings was the best man at McGraw's wedding and a pallbearer following the death of McGraw's 23-year-old wife in 1899.[7] McGraw and Jennings staged a reunion year after year on their birthdays.[1][4] Jennings won two World Series as a coach in 1921 and 1922. When McGraw became ill, Jennings filled in as the Giants' manager for parts of 1924 and 1925. His overall managing record was 1184-995.[8]

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
W L Win % W L Win %
Detroit Tigers 1907 1920 1131 972 .538 4 12 .250
New York Giants 1924 1924 32 12 .727
New York Giants 1925 1925 21 11 .656
Total 1184 995 .543 4 12 .250
Reference:[8]

A lifetime of tragic accidents

Jennings' life was filled with several tragic accidents. There was the beaning incident in Philadelphia that left him unconscious for three days. While attending Cornell, he fractured his skull diving head-first into a swimming pool at night, only to find the pool had been emptied.[1][2] In December 1911, Jennings came close to death after an off-season automobile accident. While driving a car given to him by admirers, Jennings' car overturned while crossing a bridge over the Lehigh River near Gouldsboro, 23 miles southeast of Scranton. In the crash, Jennings again fractured his skull, suffered a concussion of the brain, and broke both legs and his left arm. For several days after the accident, doctors were unsure if Jennings would survive.[1][4]

The physical abuse and blows to the head undoubtedly took their toll. During the 1925 season, McGraw was ill, and Jennings was put in full charge of the Giants. The team finished in second place and the strain caught up with Jennings, who suffered a nervous breakdown when the season ended.[1][4] According to his obituary, Jennings "was unable to report" to spring training in 1926 due to his condition. Jennings retired to the Winyah Sanatorium in Asheville, North Carolina. He did return home to Scranton, Pennsylvania, spending much of his time recuperating in the Pocono Mountains.[4] In early 1928, Jennings died from meningitis in Scranton, Pennsylvania at age 58.[1]

Jennings was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945 as a player.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Hugh Jennings Dies After a Long Illness – Famous Baseball Veteran, Ailing for Three Years, Succumbs in Scranton – Was Picturesque Figure – Captained Old Orioles, Won Three Pennants for Detroit and Helped Giants Take Four". New York Times. February 1, 1928. p. 1. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Detnews.com | Michigan History Archived 2013-01-02 at Archive.today at info.detnews.com
  3. ^ a b c CAM Cornelliana at cornellalumnimagazine.com
  4. ^ a b c d e f TheDeadballEra.com :: HUGHIE JENNINGS' OBIT Archived 2008-07-19 at the Wayback Machine at www.thedeadballera.com
  5. ^ Fireside Book of Baseball, 1956...Edited by Charles Einstein. Story by Bugs Baer; Title not remembered, but may be "1912: Philadelphia Athletics 24, Detroit Tigers 2.", plus at least one other baseball book. In Baseball's Unforgettable Games by Joe Reichler and Ben Olan (1960), the game appears under the title of "The Tigers Strike over Cobb's Suspension"; Jennings is listed in the box score in that book as a pinch-hitter.
  6. ^ Al Stump, Cobb: The Life and Times of the Meanest Man Who Ever Played Baseball (1994), pp. 372–373.
  7. ^ The Ballplayers – Hughie Jennings | BaseballLibrary.com Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine at www.baseballlibrary.com
  8. ^ a b "Hughie Jennings". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 1, 2015.

External links

1894 Baltimore Orioles season

The Baltimore Orioles won their first National League pennant in 1894. They won 24 of their last 25 games. After the regular season's conclusion, the Orioles participated in the first Temple Cup competition against the second-place New York Giants. The Orioles lost to the Giants in a sweep, four games to none.

The Orioles roster contained six future Hall of Famers: Wilbert Robinson, John McGraw, Dan Brouthers, Hughie Jennings, Wee Willie Keeler and Joe Kelley. Every man in their starting line up hit .300 for the season. They bunted, hit-and-ran, Baltimore chopped, backed up throws, cut off throws, and had pitchers cover first. They also deadened balls by icing them, tilted baselines so bunts would roll fair, and put soap around the mound so opposing pitchers would get slippery fingers if he tried to dry his hands in the dirt.

1899 Brooklyn Superbas season

The 1899 Brooklyn Superbas season was the 16th season of the current-day Dodgers franchise and the 9th season in the National League. The team won the National League pennant with a record of 101–47, 8 games ahead of the Boston Beaneaters, after finishing tenth in 1898.

1907 Detroit Tigers season

The 1907 Detroit Tigers won the American League pennant with a record of 92–58, but lost to the Chicago Cubs in the 1907 World Series, four games to none (with one tie). The season was their 7th since they entered the American League in 1901.

1908 Detroit Tigers season

The 1908 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team won the American League championship by means of a scheduling quirk, finishing just one-half game ahead of the Cleveland Naps. The two teams won the same number of games, but the Tigers completed and lost one fewer. They then lost to the Chicago Cubs in the 1908 World Series.

1909 Detroit Tigers season

The 1909 Detroit Tigers won the American League pennant with a record of 96–56, but lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1909 World Series, 4 games to 3. The season was their 9th since they were charter members of the American League in 1901. It was the third consecutive season in which they won the pennant but lost the World Series. Center fielder Ty Cobb won the Triple Crown and pitcher George Mullin led the league in wins (29) and win percentage (.784).

1910 Detroit Tigers season

The 1910 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The Tigers finished third in the American League with a record of 86–68, 18 games behind the Philadelphia Athletics.

1912 Detroit Tigers season

The 1912 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Tigers finishing sixth in the American League. It was the team's first season in Tiger Stadium.

1913 Detroit Tigers season

The 1913 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished sixth in the American League with a record of 66–87, 30 games behind the Philadelphia Athletics.

1916 Detroit Tigers season

The 1916 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished third in the American League with a record of 87–67, 4 games behind the Boston Red Sox.

1917 Detroit Tigers season

The 1917 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 78–75, 21½ games behind the Chicago White Sox.

1918 Detroit Tigers season

The 1918 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished seventh in the American League with a record of 55–71, 20 games behind the Boston Red Sox.

1919 Detroit Tigers season

The 1919 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 80–60, 8 games behind the Chicago White Sox.

1920 Detroit Tigers season

The 1920 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished seventh in the American League with a record of 61–93, 37 games behind the Cleveland Indians.

1945 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1945 included the first regular election conducted in three years and a strong response to criticism of the slow pace of honors.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent players and elected no one. The Old Timers Committee responded by electing the biggest class yet, ten people: Roger Bresnahan, Dan Brouthers, Fred Clarke, Jimmy Collins, Ed Delahanty, Hugh Duffy, Hughie Jennings, King Kelly, Jim O'Rourke, and Wilbert Robinson.

After the baseball centennial and grand opening of the Hall of Fame in 1939, the BBWAA had determined to vote only every third year. After electing three players that year, it elected one in 1942 and none in 1945. New rules now provided that the writers would return to voting on recent players annually.

Jay Hughes

James Jay Hughes (January 22, 1874 – June 2, 1924) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher, who played four seasons from 1898 to 1902.

Hughes was born in Sacramento, California. He attracted attention in 1897 when he threw a three hit shutout during a west coast exhibition game against the famed Baltimore Orioles, a team featuring such notable baseball stars as Wilbert Robinson, John McGraw, Hughie Jennings, Willie Keeler, and Joe Kelley. Orioles Manager Ned Hanlon hired him and brought him east, where he had four excellent seasons, including a league-leading 28-6 mark with the 1899 Brooklyn Superbas.

He pitched a no-hitter on April 22, 1898 (another no-hitter, by Cincinnati's Ted Breitenstein, was thrown the same day, marking the first time that two no-hitters were thrown on the same day). Hughes was transferred to the Brooklyn Superbas in 1899; the Orioles and Superbas were both owned by the same group of individuals. Jennings, Keeler, and several other key Orioles were transferred, including manager Ned Hanlon, who had an ownership stake. The owners wanted to transfer McGraw and Robinson as well, but they refused to leave due to their business interests and family in Baltimore.

Preferring to play on the west coast, he joined the Pacific Coast League in 1903. As a Sacramento native, he hated pitching in the East, and on several occasions refused to sign contracts with eastern clubs so he could remain on the west coast. In 1903, playing for the Seattle Rainiers, he tied Doc Newton for the lead in wins with 34, including 12 in a row from September 8 through November 4. He pitched there until a back injury ended his career.

He died when he fell from a train in Sacramento, fracturing his skull. He was laid to rest at St. Joseph Cemetery in Sacramento. His older brother, Mickey Hughes, won 25 games for the 1888 Brooklyn Bridegrooms.

List of Detroit Tigers managers

The Detroit Tigers are a professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers are members of the American League Central Division in Major League Baseball. In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The team initially began in the now defunct Western League in 1894, and later became one of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901. Since the inception of the team in 1894, it has employed 47 different managers. The Tigers' current manager is Ron Gardenhire, who was hired for the 2018 season.The franchise's first manager after the team's arrival in the American League was George Stallings, who managed the team for one season. Hall of Famer Hughie Jennings, who managed the team from 1907 to 1920, led the team to three American League championships. Jennings however was unable to win the World Series, losing to the Chicago Cubs in 1907 and 1908 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909. The Detroit Tigers did not win their first World Series until 1935 under the leadership of player-manager Mickey Cochrane. Steve O'Neill later led the Tigers to another World Series victory again in 1945. The Tigers would not win another World Series until 1968 World Series when the Tigers, led by Mayo Smith, defeated the St. Louis Cardinals. Sparky Anderson's 1984 Detroit Tigers team was the franchise's last World Series victory, and marked the first time in Major League Baseball history that a manager won the World Series in both leagues. In total, the Tigers have won the American League pennant 10 times, and the World Series 4 times.

The longest tenured Tiger manager was Sparky Anderson. Anderson managed the team for 2,579 games from 1979 to 1995. Hughie Jennings, Bucky Harris and Jim Leyland are the only other Detroit Tiger managers who have managed the team for more than 1,000 games. Anderson's 1331 wins and 1248 losses also lead all Tiger managers, while Cochrane's winning percentage of .582 is the highest of any Tiger manager who has managed at least one full-season. Seven Hall of Famers have managed the Tigers: Ed Barrow, Jennings, Ty Cobb, Cochrane, Joe Gordon, Bucky Harris and Anderson. Barrow was elected as an executive, Jennings and Anderson were elected as managers; the others were elected as players.

List of Major League Baseball career hit by pitch leaders

In baseball, hit by pitch (HBP) is a situation in which a batter or his clothing or equipment (other than his bat) is struck directly by a pitch from the pitcher; the batter is called a hit batsman (HB). A hit batsman is awarded first base, provided that (in the plate umpire's judgment) he made an honest effort to avoid the pitch, although failure to do so is rarely called by an umpire. Being hit by a pitch is often caused by a batter standing too close to, or "crowding", home plate.

Below is the list of the top 100 Major League Baseball players who have been hit by a pitch the most during their MLB careers.

Hughie Jennings holds the Major League record for most hit by pitches, getting hit 287 times in his career. Craig Biggio (285), Tommy Tucker (272), Don Baylor (267), Jason Kendall (254), Ron Hunt (243), Dan McGann (230), and Chase Utley (204) are the only other players to be hit by 200 or more pitches during their careers.

Range factor

Range Factor (commonly abbreviated RF) is a baseball statistic developed by Bill James. It is calculated by dividing putouts and assists by the number of innings or games played at a given defense position. The statistic is premised on the notion that the total number of outs in which a player participates is more relevant in evaluating that player's defensive play than the percentage of cleanly handled chances as calculated by the conventional statistic fielding percentage.

However, some positions (especially first baseman) may have substantially more putouts because of a superior infield around them that commits fewer errors and turns many double plays, allowing them to receive credit for more putouts. Also, catchers who have a lot of strikeout pitchers on their team will have a high range factor, because the catcher gets the putout on a strikeout if the batter does not reach base.

Union Park (Baltimore)

Union Park is a former baseball ground located in Baltimore, Maryland. The ground was home to the Baltimore Orioles during their first "glory years" in the 1890s. It was located in area bounded by East 25th Street to the north, 24th Street to the south Hunter Hunter Street to the west and Barclay Street to the east.

The Orioles opened this park during the 1891 season, abandoning Oriole Park. Their first game there was on May 11, 1891, an 8-4 victory over the St. Louis Browns in front of over 10,000 fans (https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=rJFDAAAAIBAJ&sjid=grkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=7081%2C3981859). At that time they were playing in the then-major American Association. After that season, the Association folded, and four of its teams were absorbed into the National League, including the Orioles. The Orioles became a perennial contender during that time. Despite that success, they were dropped when the National League contracted after the 1899 season. The legacy of those Orioles lived on through the later achievements of their many Hall of Fame players, such as John McGraw, Wilbert Robinson, Hughie Jennings and Willie Keeler.

There was a destructive fire on January 14, 1895, which destroyed the grandstand and a clubhouse. The structure was rebuilt and the Orioles were able to continue to use ballpark for their remaining seasons.

Today the site is a residential area of Barclay with 321 East 25th Street once located next to the grandstand. That and other buildings visible in the background of the 1890s photo of the ballpark's exterior still stand today.

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