Mar 14

Mascots and Ladies

Every team, major or minor leagues has at least one mascot. Some become famous on their own like the Famous Chicken. The quality varies depending on the team or season. Some are bad others are very good, like the group in Reading.

It was common in the early years for players or teams to adopt persons or youngsters to ride the bench and bring the team good luck. Perhaps the most famous was Charlie Faust.

African-American youth, some with deformities, were adopted during the early years to fill the role of good luck charms. They would often times sit on the beach and be a source of amusement while also reinforcing the racial bias some may have had.

In July 1891 the Washington Statesman, a franchise in the American Association was in the midst of a long home stand. On 11 July the Statesman entertained the Columbus Solons. This is the last game of a three game home stand.[1]

This is the game write up. Columbus puts John Dolan in to pitch and the supple-limbered youth has the Nationals completely at his mercy. He fooled them all on long out-shoots and the heavy hitters hit at them like so many boys. Dolan allows just three hits in a 3-1 loss for Washington. The game should have been a tie but disastrous errors by Tommy Dowd and Pete Lohman give Columbus two of their three runs. Kid Carsey pitches well but is wild; he hits John Sneed twice and walks four. Pete Lohman the catcher hit a home run for the only run for the Nationals.

The paper added this, “Two young African Americans sat on the bench with the Columbus players on Saturday afternoon and swung their bare feet to and fro as they saw their team winning. There were dressed in tattered clothes of the same shape and pattern, had on the same tattered hats, and looked as if they had been cut out of the same piece of cloth. “Ah, Snyder,[2] my boy, we’ve got you today,” yelled Charlie Duffee, the dwarfish left fielder of Columbus. “Dey is mascots,” piped Mike Lehane, “and four leaf clovers don’t go in de game see?” The ladies in the grand stand heard this and went out in the woods and gathered four leaf clovers. They found eleven sprigs, and armed with these they gave them to manager Pop Snyder and the players. ”

[1] Washington was in last place

[2] Manager Pop Snyder

*The Flynn’s have written two books about baseball in D.C.