The construction of the new Fenway Park actually took a break during the holidays of 1911. I thought this might be a good time to introduce the Red Sox of 1912 and get to know them a bit. So drum roll if you please…..Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 1912 Boston Red Sox as they looked in spring training in Hot Springs Arkansas!
They are: Bottom row, left to right: 1. Steve Yerkes 2. Jack Lewis 3. Duffy Lewis 4. Larry Pape 5. Fred Anderson 6. Eddie Cicotte 7. Tris Speaker 8. Jake Stahl, manager 9. Hick Cady 10. Pinch Thomas 11. Smokey Joe Wood 12. Charley Hall 13. Olaf Henriksen 14. Buck O’Brien 15. Les Numamaker.
Top row, right to left: 16. Quirk 17. Shinn 18. Goodman 19. Jack Bushelman 20. Hugh Bedient 21. Larry Gardner 22. Heinie Wagner 23. Marty Krug 24. Clyde Engle 25. Hugh Bradley 26. Dutch Leonard 27. Bill Carrigan 28. Ray Collins 29. Casey Hagerman
This was their top man. He is Garland “Jake” Stahl and he was the first manager to carry a line up card to home plate at Fenway Park. He also played the bulk of first base as well.
The 33-year-old player manager was the oldest man on the team and he was on his second tenure with the Red Sox, having made his debut with them in 1903. At 6’2″ and 195 lbs, Stahl was one of the early “sluggers” in the American League having led the junior circuit with 10 home runs in 1910. In fact he was so intimidating, he was often thrown at and led the league being plunked, twice.
Stahl had eight hits in the 1912 World Series.
He piloted the Red Sox to their best season in history as they won 105 games in their inaugural Fenway season and went on to win their second World Series; starting a stretch of success that baseball had never seen.
A rift opened up between Stahl and owner Jimmy McAleer during the 1913 season which divided the team into factions; with Bill Carrigan, Duffy Lewis and Heinie Wagner siding with McAleer and Tris Speaker, “Smokey” Joe Wood and Larry Gardner in the managers corner.
Cy Young, Stahl, Bill Carrigan (the man who replaced Stahl) and “Nuf Ced” McGreevey.
The owner won this battle, (don’t they always) and Stahl was replaced with Bill Carrigan half way through the 1913 season. Stahl retired and went on to a very successful banking career and served in the air bombing division in France in WW I. Unfortunately a “nervous breakdown” in 1920 led to hospitalization during which he contracted tuberculosis which took him in 1922.
His place in Fenway Park history is forever insured as the first Red Sox manager to pilot a team in the confines of what has become “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”.
And so it was at this time in Fenway Park history, winter 1911