1924 Cal Ewing, owner of the Pacific Coast League’s Oakland Oaks, prematurely announces that he has sold the franchise to Walter Johnson. The announcement is made after Johnson’s representative George Weiss deposits a $5,000 check towards the purchase of the Oaks. With the recent sale of the Cardinals for $275,000, the price Ewing sets for the Oakland franchise is an unheard of $450,000. Despite the speculation and negotiations, the sale will fall through and the Big Train will return to the Nats for the 1925 season.
1959 For the second consecutive year, a Senator is named the AL Rookie of the Year. This year it is OF Bob Allison. Allison receives 18 of a possible 24 votes for the award, well ahead of the runner-up, pitcher Jim Perry of the Indians.
James Philip Shellenback BNov. 18, 1943 Still Living
Pitcher Jim Shellenback was signed prior to the start of the 1962 season by the New York Yankees. He’d be drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates that fall.
Shellenback wouldn’t find his way to the majors until 1966 when he’d appear in 2 games for the Pirates. He’d aslo make brief appearances in a Pirates uniform in 1967 and 1969 before being traded to the Washington Senators in mid-May of ’69 for Frank Kreutzer.
Shellenback would be active with the Senators, appearing in 30 games in 1969, posting a 3-4 record. He’d go 6-7 in 39 games in 1970 but would tumble to 3-11 in 40 games in 1971.
Making the move to Texas with the franchise, Shellenback would pitch in 22 games in 1972 going 2-4. He’d only pitch in 2 games for the Rangers in 1973 and another 11 in 1974.
Purchased by the San Diego Padres, Shellenback would never play for the Padres before being released before the start of the 1977 season. Signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Twins in August of that year, Shellenback would appear in 5 games for the Twins. His ERA would swell to 7.94 and he was released at the end of the season, concluding his major league career.
William Martin Shipke B Nov. 18, 1882 D Sep. 10, 1940
Bill Shipke debuted with the Cleveland Naps way back in April of 1906. Playing in 2 games, he’d go 0-6 at the plate.
Shipke would return to the majors in 1907, this time with the Washington Senators. Primarily a 3rd baseman, Shipke would play in 64 games, hitting .196. His most active season would be 1907 when he’d appear in 111 games, hitting .208. Shipke’s stint in the majors would end in mid-May of 1909. Hitting .125, Shipke would appear in 9 games for Washington.
Roy Edward Sievers B Nov. 18, 1926 Still Living
Roy Sievers would break into the major leagues in a big way in 1949. Playing in 140 games, Sievers would hit .306 with 144 hits including 28 doubles and 16 home runs (1 grand slam) and drive in 91 runs. Sievers was a bright spot in the lineup of the otherwise hapless Browns in their waning years and would earn “Rookie Of The Year” honors in 1949.
Sievers playing time would be reduced to 113 games in 1950 as his BA dropped to .238. Hampered by arm and shoulder injuries, his playing time with the Browns from 1951 through 1953 would be severely curtailed.
After the Browns franchise headed east to be rechristened as the Baltimore Orioles, Sievers was traded before the start of the 1954 season to the Washington Senators for Gil Coan. Sievers would be a regular in the Washington lineup from 1954 through 1959 and would have an outstanding season in 1957, hitting .301 and leading the American League in home runs with 42 (No small feat when half your games were in expansive Griffith Stadium.), RBI’s, total bases and extra base hits.
As the 1960 season was about to begin, Sievers was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Earl Battey, Don Mincher and $150,000. After 2 seasons in Chicago, where he’d hit .295 both years, Sievers was traded again, this time to the Philadelphia Phillies. Sievers would spend 1962, 1963 and part of 1964 in Philadelphia when he’d be purchased by the expansion Senators in mid-July.
By this time Sievers had reached the age of 37 and the batting prowess he’d displayed as a younger player was gone. He’d hit just .172 in 33 games for Washington in 1964 and .190 in 12 games in 1965 before being released in mid-May, ending his major league career.
(Sievers would actually be released in mid-October of 1964, re-signed by the Senators in early April of 1965, only to be released again about 5 weeks later.)
Sievers is the only player to have played for the St. Louis Browns and both versions of the Washington Senators.
Marion Sylvester (Bud) Zipfel B Nov. 18, 1938 Still Living
Another player who got his start in the New York Yankees organization is Bud Zipfel, who was signed by the Yankees in the summer of 1956. Spending 4 years in the Yankees system, Zipfel was selected by the “new” Senators in the expansion draft. Zipfel would spend 2 seasons in Washington. Sent down to Houston when that Texas city was still a minor league outpost prior to the start of the 1961 season, Zipfel would be recalled in late July. He’d appear in 50 games with the Senators playing 1st base, hitting an even .200.
Zipfel would start the 1962 season in Washington, but would be optioned to Syracuse of the International League in early May. Recalled in late June, Zipfel would play in a total of 68 games for the Senators hitting .239. He’d play in his last game in late September and would be sold to San Diego, then of the Pacific Coast League after the season, never to return to the major leagues.