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The Local Boys: Hometown Players for the Cincinnati Reds
     

The Local Boys: Hometown Players for the Cincinnati Reds

by Joe Heffron
 

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The Local Boys by Joe and Jack Heffron tells the stories of men who achieved the boyhood dream of playing for the hometown team. From Ethan Allen to Don Zimmer, they’re all here, including Charlie “Bushel Basket” Gould, who played on the first team in 1869 to Junior Griffey, soon to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Alongside big-name stars

Overview


The Local Boys by Joe and Jack Heffron tells the stories of men who achieved the boyhood dream of playing for the hometown team. From Ethan Allen to Don Zimmer, they’re all here, including Charlie “Bushel Basket” Gould, who played on the first team in 1869 to Junior Griffey, soon to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Alongside big-name stars like Dave Parker and Buddy Bell, fans will find those like Eddie Hunter, who played only one inning in 1933, never got to bat, and never fielded a ball. Every player receives a one- or two-page profile, many of which are based on original interviews with the players or surviving family members. Going beyond statistics, each profile brings the player to life through stories that have never before been told in print. An indispensible look at Cincinnati baseball history, The Local Boys makes an ideal gift for any Reds fan.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

" The authors should be proud of this book and their contribution to documenting Reds history. Sometimes in our fast paced world we forget where we came from and our history gets lost in the shuffle. Reds fans will truly enjoy this as well as other regional fans."
—Gregg Kersey - Gregg's Baseball Bookcase Blog

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578605538
Publisher:
Clerisy Press
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
886,288
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt


“Admiral” Schlei

January 12, 1878 – January 24, 1958
Major League Career
1904 - 1911
Time as a Red
1904 - 1908
Position
catcher and first base

On June 18, 1907, Admiral Schlei became the first Reds catcher to wear shinguards, putting them on for the ninth inning of a game against the New York Giants in Cincinnati. Like most pioneers, Schlei took some abuse, as fans jeered the newfangled equipment. The Giants’ Roger Bresnahan had debuted shinguards earlier that season, and most catchers eventually followed his lead.

George “Admiral” Schlei grew up in the East End, attending St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Eastern Avenue (now Riverside Drive) and St. Xavier High School, then located downtown. The son of German immigrants, Schlei played ball during his youth, mainly as a catcher, says his grandson Bill. After a few years in the minors, he came to the Reds on April 24, 1904, at age 26. He played seven years to the day in the majors. Not much of a hitter, he compiled a tepid .237/.307/.296, though in 1906 he led the Reds in RBI (54) and tied for the lead in homeruns (4). In the deadball era, a catcher’s main concern was fielding and keeping runners from stealing, and Schlei was considered a very able backstop. The Reds traded him after the 1908 season to St. Louis, who traded him the same day to the Giants, who sent him to the minors early in 1911 and he never made it back to The Show. He ended his career at the age of 38 in 1916 with the Memphis Chicks.

He lived in Cincinnati until virulent anti-German sentiment swept the country as
America entered World War I. He then moved to Huntington, West Virginia, where he lived for the rest of his life, working in the printing business until his mid-70s. He remained a Reds fan, says his grandson, who recalls Admiral listening announcer Waite Hoyt on the radio—even when they were televised.

By then people knew him simply as George. How he came by ‘Admiral’ remains a mystery. Most sources say it came from the similarity of his last name to a hero of the Spanish-American War, Admiral Winfield Scott Schley. George told his grandson that he got the nickname while filling in as a coach for the Navy. However he got it, he was called ‘Admiral’ during his career—except, perhaps, on the day the crowd made fun of the contraptions he’d strapped on his shins. He heard a few even more colorful names on that day.

Meet the Author


A long-time umpire, Joe Heffron has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Cincinnati Reds. An SPJA award winner for sports writing, Jack Heffron has edited many books on baseball and other sports. Both live in Cincinnati. Chris Welsh is in his 22nd season as Cincinnati Reds color analyst on Fox Sports Ohio. A former major league pitcher born and raised in Greater Cincinnati, he now lives in Walton, KY.

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