Jake Flowers (TRADING CARD DB)

Jake Flowers

This article was written by John J. Watkins

Jake Flowers (TRADING CARD DB)After three years of college, Jake Flowers spent most of his life in Organized Baseball. He was a major-league infielder for seven full seasons and parts of three others; a minor-league player, manager, and executive; a coach with three major-league clubs; and a scout for three organizations. As a major-league player, Flowers was plagued by injuries but demonstrated both defensive versatility and the ability to reach base consistently; he played all four infield positions and had a lifetime .333 on-base percentage.

Apart from his stints as a utilityman with the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals in 1926 and 1931, Flowers’ most memorable year may have been 1937. The team he managed in the Class D Eastern Shore League won the pennant after climbing its way out of a 1-26 hole at the start of the season.

Neither Flowers nor his players dug the hole. The Eastern Shore League limited each club to four players with previous minor-league experience, but his team, the Salisbury (Maryland) Indians, unwittingly had five. The problematic player had signed a contract with a Pennsylvania team three years earlier but never reported because of illness.

League President Thomas Kibler, who was Flowers’ college coach, held that under minor-league rules, the player was no longer considered a rookie. “I’ll always remember his words,” Flowers later told a friend. “He kept saying, ‘Jake, I’m going to have to take those games away from you.’”1 Kibler ordered that Salisbury forfeit the 21 games it had won before releasing the ineligible player, and overnight the league-leading Indians plummeted to last place with a 1-26 record.2

An Associated Press writer opined that the ruling “all but crushed [Salisbury’s] championship hopes,”3 but Flowers, who was in his first year of managing, remained confident. “We’ll be back in first place by Labor Day,” he said.4 The Indians won 58 of their remaining 69 games to finish first when the regular season ended on the holiday.5 The team then won the postseason playoffs to take the pennant,6 and The Sporting News named Flowers its minor-league manager of the year.7

***

D’Arcy Raymond Flowers was born on March 16, 1902, in Cambridge, Maryland, to William and Lida (Ford) Flowers. Cambridge is the seat of Dorchester County on the state’s Eastern Shore; the Flowers and Ford families, both of English descent, had lived in the region since the early 1700s. William (1857-1938) spent his working life as a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay, while Lydia (1864-1920) was a self-employed dressmaker. D’Arcy, nicknamed Jake by his high-school friends, was the youngest of their six children.8

At Cambridge High School, Flowers was primarily a pitcher but also played infield.9 After graduating in 1919,10 he attended Washington College in nearby Chesterton, where he starred at shortstop and also was a basketball forward and football halfback.11 In June 1922 he joined his hometown baseball team, the Cambridge Canners, who finished second in the inaugural season of the Eastern Shore League.12 Playing shortstop, Flowers hit .312 and led the league with 14 home runs.13 In September, he had a brief trial with Jersey City of the Double-A International League, appearing in three games and going 3-for-9 at the plate.

Back with the Canners in 1923, Flowers hit an even .300 in 66 games.14 Barely a month into the season, Charles “Pop” Kelchner, veteran scout for the St. Louis Cardinals, signed him to a Cardinals contract.15 After the Eastern Shore League’s season ended, Flowers arrived in St. Louis on September 7. He debuted that afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds, doubling off Pete Donohue in his second at-bat and driving in a run to help the Cardinals win 5-1.16 That proved to be the high point, as he managed only two more hits to finish with a .094 average.

In 1924 Flowers began the season at Fort Smith, Arkansas, with the Cardinals’ farm team in the Class C Western Association. Playing shortstop, he hit .318 with 22 home runs in 128 games. To the dismay of Fort Smith fans, the Cardinals shipped him to Oakland on option at the end of August, where he finished the Pacific Coast League season with a .329 average in 39 games.

During the offseason, Flowers had surgery on the index finger of his right hand, which he had injured at Fort Smith. After the operation, he was unable to bend the finger. But for the injury and its aftermath, he “probably would have been the favorite to hold down the shortstop berth” for the Cardinals in 1925.17 Instead, the club again optioned him to Oakland.18

The troublesome digit became infected during the Oaks’ training camp, causing Flowers to miss the first 25 games of the season. The stiffness remained, and he could grip the ball and bat with only three fingers and his thumb.19 Even so, Flowers batted .304 with 19 home runs in 140 games and posted a .943 fielding percentage that ranked second among the league’s shortstops who played at least 100 games. A highlight was a home game against Sacramento on September 12 when he hit two grand slams in a come-from-behind win.20 Two weeks later his season ended prematurely with a broken ankle.21

When Flowers reported to the Cardinals’ spring-training camp in 1926, a press report noted that his finger was “much improved” and expected him to “put up a real battle for a utility job.”22 He made the roster as a utility infielder alongside Specs Toporcer, a left-handed hitter. Both filled in at second base for player-manager Rogers Hornsby, who led the Cardinals to their first National League pennant. Flowers, who also saw duty at first base and shortstop and as a pinch-hitter, batted .270 with a .325 on-base percentage in 40 games. Limited to pinch-hitting duty in the Cardinals’ victory over the New York Yankees in the World Series, he happily collected a $5,584.51 winner’s share and a championship ring with an inset diamond.23

On January 4, 1927, Flowers married Leone Brannock of Cambridge, daughter of the city’s police chief.24 At the end of February, he was in Florida for spring training. Because shortstop Tommy Thevenow was a holdout, Flowers was working at shortstop and reported that his finger was not bothering him.25 Thevenow soon returned to the fold and was in the lineup on Opening Day against the Cubs. Flowers had not appeared in a game when, on April 28, the Cardinals traded him to Brooklyn for pitcher Bob McGraw.26 The deal “is certain to work out well,” a St. Louis sportswriter opined. “The Cardinals do not need Flowers, but a hard-to-hit pitcher is always welcome.”27

On June 21, however, Thevenow broke his right ankle.28 The next day a Brooklyn writer commented that the shortstop’s injury “may easily cost the Cardinals their chance for a second straight pennant” because the club had “gambled when it traded Flowers, far and away their best utility infielder, for added pitching strength.”29 St. Louis finished 1½ games behind Pittsburgh, and Cardinals player-manager Bob O’Farrell believed that Thevenow’s injury and the lack of a satisfactory replacement shortstop kept his club from repeating.30

Flowers welcomed the opportunity to play every day in Brooklyn but was hampered by injuries and got off to a rough start. Hampered by a sore shoulder, he hit .205 in his first 52 games before a split finger suffered in pregame fielding practice on June 11 forced him out of the lineup. After the injury healed, Flowers remained on the bench because his substitute was on a hot streak on the plate. He returned to the starting lineup in mid-July, only to develop a sore arm that sidelined him for six weeks.31 However, he batted .266 in the last month of play to finish the season with a .234 average and a .300 on-base percentage in 67 games.

Flowers’ play earned praise from Brooklyn sportswriters. “Jake has been hitting the ball hard [and] on defense … has ranged from short left field to behind second base to commit his magic,” Thomas Holmes of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle commented. “Wilbert Robinson … is pinning much faith on Jake for next year.”32 Thomas Meany of the Brooklyn Daily Times went further: “[T]here is just one player who can be counted on for 1928, aside from the battery men,” he wrote. “The athlete in question is Jake Flowers, the present incumbent of the short field.”33

When the 1928 season opened, however, Flowers was on the bench. The Robins had signed veteran shortstop Dave Bancroft in the offseason, and in spring training Harry Riconda, who had hit .353 for Milwaukee in 1927, won the second-base job. But when Riconda did not replicate his minor-league numbers, Flowers took over in mid-June and remained the club’s regular second baseman the rest of the season. In 103 games, 94 at second base, Flowers hit .274 with a .366 on-base percentage, and even picked up a few votes for National League MVP.

Flowers’ health limited him to 46 games in 1929. His batting average stood at a robust .296 after he went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs against Chicago on May 9, but he split a finger in that game and afterward had a bout of appendicitis.34 He underwent surgery to remove his appendix six days later,35 and did not return to the starting lineup until July 8. Continuing to experience gastrointestinal problems that had arisen before removal of his appendix, Flowers was granted a leave of absence in early September for the remainder of the season.36 He started only 39 games, all at second base, and finished with a .200 batting average and a .316 OBP.

The following spring, Flowers reported to training camp in good shape, played well, and according to one sportswriter was “on his way to the best season of his career.”37 That prediction proved partly accurate. Aided by the lively ball in what came to be known as the “year of the hitter,” Flowers batted a career-high .320 in 89 games but started just 61, all at second base.38 A leg injury, a hurt finger, and recurring stomach problems each knocked him out of action,39 but he was also error-prone at times and apparently lost the confidence of manager Robinson.40

The ensuing months were difficult for Flowers. He left Brooklyn immediately after the season’s last game for the West Coast, where Leone, who had been seriously ill throughout the year, was at a sanitarium attempting to regain her health.41 On the baseball front, the Robins’ acquisition of second baseman Fresco Thompson from the Phillies led to speculation that Flowers would be traded.42 During spring training, he left camp to be with his wife, then back at their home in Cambridge, amid trade rumors that he would go to Cincinnati.43

Flowers began the season with Brooklyn, but on June 14 – just before the trading deadline – the Cardinals purchased his contract for a sum reported to be slightly above the $7,500 waiver price.44 A few days earlier, St. Louis shortstop Charley Gelbert had injured his left shoulder, and Flowers took over at the position when he joined the Cardinals at Boston on June 18.45 At Chicago on July 7, Gelbert was out with an injured heel and Flowers again filled in at shortstop but was so badly spiked that “he had to be carried from the field, blood spurting from his right foot.”46

After missing three games, Flowers was back in the lineup on July 10 but two days later was forced to sit out the second game of a doubleheader against the visiting Cubs because his spike wound had opened.47 He returned to action with two of the best games of his career. On July 13 he tripled, doubled twice, and drove in four runs as the Cardinals beat the Cubs 12-5. He also flawlessly handled 11 chances, six of them assists, and was the pivot man in three double plays. As an encore the next afternoon, he went 4-for-4 with a double and home run off Dazzy Vance and scored twice to help the Redbirds defeat the Robins 3-2. These two games were part of a six-game hitting spree over six days during which Flowers went 13-for-25 with six extra-base hits and five RBIs, raising his batting average from .215 to .300.

From July 25 to 29 Flowers started five games at second base in place of Frankie Frisch, who was out with a sprained ankle. “Jake played second base like a veteran, was the middle man in two double plays and again proved the wisdom of the move that brought him back to the Redbird fold,” one St. Louis sportswriter commented after the first game.48 Flowers started only seven more games, six of them after the Cardinals clinched the pennant on September 16.

The World Series was a rematch against the Athletics, who had dispatched the 1930 Redbirds in six games and were aiming for their third consecutive championship. With Sparky Adams hobbled by a badly sprained ankle, Flowers started three games at third base and saw action in two others49 as the underdog Cardinals defeated the A’s in seven games. He picked up a winner’s share of $4,484.25, serious money as the Great Depression took hold.50

Flowers played a supporting role in the memorable finish to Game Two at Sportsman’s Park. St. Louis led 2-0 after eight innings as Bill Hallahan allowed Philadelphia only four hits and Pepper Martin stole two bases and scored both Cardinals runs. The A’s threatened in the ninth when Hallahan walked Jimmie Foxx, retired the next batter on a fly ball, and then walked Jimmy Dykes. After a strikeout, Connie Mack sent Jimmy Moore to pinch-hit for pitcher George Earnshaw.

With the count at 1-and-2 and the runners on the move, Moore swung and missed on a low curve that catcher Jimmie Wilson dug out of the dirt. Instead of tagging Moore or throwing to first, however, Wilson threw the ball to Flowers at third. Like almost everyone else in the ballpark, Flowers thought that Moore had struck out to end the game but nonetheless made a half-hearted, unsuccessful attempt to tag Foxx. Fans swarmed the field, preventing Flowers from tossing the ball to a young relative in the stands as he had promised if the opportunity arose.51

Eddie Collins, the A’s third-base coach, saw that Wilson had not caught the pitch cleanly. He waved and yelled at Moore, who had started back to the dugout, to run to first base. Home-plate umpire Dick Nallin agreed that Wilson had trapped the ball, and when the field was cleared and play resumed, the bases were loaded for Max Bishop, the A’s crafty leadoff hitter. First baseman Jim Bottomley saved the day for the Cardinals, grabbing Bishop’s pop foul as he crashed into temporary box seats down the right-field line.

The press was not kind to Wilson, chastising him for a “stupid play” that could have made him forever known as a World Series “goat.”52 Flowers, however, almost made a bigger blunder. Had he been able to go through with his plan to throw the ball into the stands, Foxx and Dykes would by rule have been allowed to score, tying the game. As a St. Louis sportswriter put it years later, Flowers came close “to turning Wilson’s mental misdemeanor into a baseball felony.”53

During the 1931 season, Flowers hit .248 with a .295 on-base percentage in 45 games for the Cardinals, starting 16 at shortstop and 14 at second base. Including his time with Brooklyn, he batted .244 with a .310 OBP. It was hardly his best year, and on January 28, 1932, the Cardinals sold his contract to Minneapolis of the American Association.54 By June, however, the club needed infield help and repurchased his contract.55 Sparky Adams was out with a ruptured ligament in his right knee, an injury that would end his season.

In his first game back in St. Louis, Flowers started at third base in a 7-6 win over the Cubs at Sportsman’s Park on June 25. It was an impressive homecoming. Batting leadoff, he singled in the first and scored on Bottomley’s two-out double to give the Redbirds an early lead. In the ninth, his bunt single squeezed Gelbert home with the winning run. Flowers was on base five times – an additional single plus two walks – and scored twice.56

Flowers became the Cardinals’ primary third baseman, starting 54 games at the position. His only significant absence was a three-week stretch occasioned by injuries.57 Overall, he hit .259 with a .344 OBP in 67 games.58 The Cardinals failed to repeat, slipping to a 72-82 record and a sixth-place tie with the Giants, 18 games behind the champion Cubs. Flowers left for home immediately after the last game, flying to Cambridge, where his wife remained in poor health.59

In November 1932, Charley Gelbert accidentally shot himself in the left leg, just above the ankle, in a hunting accident near his home in Pennsylvania. The devastating injury caused him to miss the next two seasons. Its immediate impact on the St. Louis club was a trade: on February 7, 1933, the Cardinals acquired Brooklyn backup shortstop Gordon Slade to replace Gelbert and sent Flowers back to the Dodgers.60

With Glenn Wright nursing a sore arm, Flowers opened the season at shortstop and went 2-for-4, drove in a run, and stole home in a 5-4 win over the Phillies.61 But Wright soon returned, and Flowers settled into his familiar role of utility infielder. Overall, he batted .233 in 78 games with a .312 OBP. He also stole a career-high 13 bases to rank sixth in the league. The Dodgers, meanwhile, finished a poor sixth and roster changes seemed likely. A news report on February 1 mentioned Flowers as one of the players likely to be moved.62

He wound up in Cincinnati63 and was an effective pinch-hitter for the 1934 Reds until May 31, when an errant fastball from Cardinals rookie Paul Dean broke his right wrist.64 Flowers was back in action as a pinch-runner on August 2, his only appearance before the Reds optioned him to their Toronto farm club later in the month. With his injured wrist slow to mend, he appeared in only four games for the Maple Leafs.65

In 1935 Flowers returned to the St. Louis organization,66 batting .275 in 105 games at Rochester, 90 at third base. Released outright after the season,67 he agreed to terms with International League rival Buffalo in 1936 but was cut loose after an ankle injury limited him to eight games.68 On May 22 he signed with Indianapolis in the American Association.69 Dividing his time between shortstop and third base, Flowers hit .331 in 48 games in his final stint as a player. One highlight was a game not included in the record books. On September 1 in St. Louis, he took the field with teammates from the 1926 Cardinals in a 2½-inning exhibition game against the 1936 club.70

Flowers’ first managing job, a post with the Salisbury Indians, came next. On September 1, 1937, appreciative fans gave each player and club official an engraved wristwatch and presented Flowers with a new automobile. Clark Griffth, whose Washington Senators had a working agreement with the Salisbury club, was on hand for the event. “I don’t remember in my 50 years of baseball a team that has shown such pluck, grit and determination,” he told the crowd.71

For 1938, Flowers expected to be managing at Greenville, South Carolina, in the Class B Sally League. The team had recently been acquired by Joe Cambria, owner of the Salisbury club. “He led me to believe that I was to be the manager,” Flowers told a reporter. “I felt I had earned the promotion.”72 Instead, he signed a contract for another year at Salisbury that, according to Cambria, made him “the highest paid manager in Class D baseball.”73 The Indians won another pennant,74 and Flowers was chosen as the league’s all-star team manager for the second year.75

After the season, Flowers pursued a job with clubs in higher classifications. In March 1939 he was reportedly considering offers from teams as high as Class A,76 but no deal was struck. In July he took over as manager of the Eastern Shore League’s Pocomoke City Red Sox, replacing Wes Kingdon. The Sox were in last place with a 23-46 record, trailing the league-leading Federalsburg Athletics by 26½ games.77 There was not a miracle turnaround this time. The Athletics ran away with the pennant while Pocomoke won only 20 more games to finish in the cellar.78

Flowers returned to the major leagues in 1940, taking a job as a first-base coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates under new manager Frankie Frisch, his former double-play partner with the Cardinals.79 By this time Flowers had divorced, his wife, Leone, having recovered from the illness from which she had suffered in previous years.80 In 1946 he moved to the Boston Braves as first-base coach for another former St. Louis teammate, Billy Southworth.81

In 1947 the Braves appointed Flowers president and general manager of their newly acquired American Association farm team, the Milwaukee Brewers.82 In his first season, the Brewers won the pennant and defeated Syracuse of the International League in the Little World Series.83 The 1948 club lost in the first round of the playoffs,84 but the year was memorable for Flowers: In December he married Marguerite Sherstad, a singer and pianist from Nebraska.85 Two years later, he left the Brewers at the end of his contract. “I’ve enjoyed the varied experiences I had in Milwaukee,” Flowers said, “but I have an even better baseball job pretty well lined up and feel I should make the change in my own interests.”86

That job was first-base coach for the Cleveland Indians under manager Al Lopez, a close friend since their playing days with Brooklyn.87 After the 1952 season, however, general manager Hank Greenberg dismissed Flowers because, as the press put it, he wasn’t a “holler guy.”88 In January 1953 Flowers joined the Yankees as a scout, covering the Southeastern United States from his Clearwater home. “You can bet the bundle that at St. Pete this spring he and Casey Stengel will huddle for long hours discussing the weaknesses of Indian hitters,” added Arch Murray in the New York Post.89

After two years with the Yankees, Flowers spent one season scouting the same territory for the Kansas City A’s.90 Out of baseball in 1956, he began selling real estate in Clearwater and remained in that business when he returned to scouting on a part-time basis with the Baltimore Orioles in February 1960.91 In August Flowers suffered what was described as “a slight heart seizure” at a baseball tournament in Melbourne, Florida. He was treated at a local hospital and released.92

In March 1961 Jake and Marguerite Flowers divorced.93 She remained in Clearwater with their two daughters, while he returned to Cambridge and took a job with the State Commission on Motor Vehicles. The following year he was hospitalized for about a month, reportedly with heart problems, but returned to work in mid-October.94 On December 27, 1962, Flowers was visiting Clearwater when he died from coronary thrombosis at age 60.95 He was survived by his two daughters, Patty and Peggy, two brothers, and two sisters. He is buried in Cambridge Cemetery.96

Flowers made lasting impressions on many he encountered in his long baseball career. In a stint with Brooklyn, for example, he gave one of his broken bats to batboy Harold Seymour, who recalled the episode in the third volume of his and his wife Dorothy’s history of baseball.97 When he left Pittsburgh for another job, he was described as “one of the most popular coaches ever to wear Buccaneer livery.”98 And after Flowers’ death, a sportswriter recounted a conversation a few years earlier with a bellhop in a Los Angeles hotel. “Remember me to Mr. Jake,” the man said.99

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Paul Proia and Len Levin and fact-checked by Kevin Larkin. The author also would like to thank Cassidy Lent, manager of reference services at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Giamatti Research Center, for her assistance.

 

Sources

In addition to the sources mentioned in the Notes, the author relied on Retrosheet.org, Baseball-Reference.com, and Jake Flowers’ player file at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

 

Notes

1 J. Suter Kegg, “Tapping the Sports Kegg,” Cumberland (Maryland) Evening Times, December 28, 1962: 14.

2 “Kibler Rules 21 Games Out,” Baltimore Sun, June 21, 1937: 13; “21 Losses in a Week,” The Sporting News, July 1, 1937: 6.

3 Mason Brunson Jr. (Associated Press), “Salisbury Forced to Forfeit 21 Shore League Victories,” Wilmington (Delaware) Journal, June 21, 1937: 17.

4 “Salisbury Back in Van After Losing 21 Wins,” The Sporting News, September 2, 1937: 2.

5 “Indians Top League by Three and a Half Games,” Salisbury (Maryland) Times, September 7, 1937: 7.

6 Jesse A. Linthicum, “Salisbury Wins Shore Pennant on Joe Kohlman’s No-Hit Game,” Baltimore Sun, September 19, 1937: sports, 1.

7 “Barrow, McKechnie, Allen, LaMotte, Flowers and Keller Win ’37 Accolade,” The Sporting News, December 30, 1937: 1.

8 “Capt. W.W. Flowers Father Salisburians Dies in Hospital,” Salisbury Times, June 13, 1938: 8; “Salisbury Baseball Manager Loses Father,” Worcester Democrat (Pocomoke City, Maryland), June 24, 1938: 5; “Mrs. W.W. Flowers,” Cambridge (Maryland) Daily Banner, April 19, 1920: 2; 1880, 1910, and 1920 US Census; Harold Johnson, ed., Who’s Who in Major League Baseball (Chicago: Buxton Publishing Co., 1933): 157; Ancestry.com; Find-a-Grave.com.

9 E.g., “Hurlock High 3, Cambridge 2,” Cambridge (Maryland) Daily Banner, March 30, 1918: 3 (“Flowers, Sietz and Leonard showed fast infield work by making two double plays”); “Cambridge 11, Seaford 3,” Cambridge Daily Banner, May 4, 1918: 3 (13 strikeouts); “Brief Local News,” Cambridge Daily Banner, April 26, 1919: 3 (shut out Easton High).

10 “Governor Awards Diplomas – Cambridge High School Holds Final Exercises,” Baltimore Sun, June 21, 1919: 3.

11 “Washington College to Honor 12,” Salisbury Daily Times, October 4, 1981: C1 (reporting that Flowers was a member of the inaugural class of the Washington College Sports Hall of Fame, as was his coach, Thomas Kibler); Charles Johnson, “Too Many Hurlers in College So ‘Jake’ Flowers Became an Infielder,” Minneapolis Star, May 14, 1932: 9.

12 “Cambridge Ends Season in Second Place,” Cambridge Daily Banner, September 5, 1922: 3.

13 “Shore in First Year Showed Some Good Work,” The Sporting News, November 30, 1922: 7.

14 “You Had to Finish to Get in Records,” The Sporting News, November 15,1923: 7 (Eastern Shore League batting and fielding statistics).

15 “‘Pop’ Kelchner Home, Lands Young Star,” Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Telegraph, July 23, 1923: 21. The Cardinals reportedly paid the Cambridge club $15,000 for Flowers and also sent the Canners a player. “Baseball News,” Denton (Maryland) Journal, October 27, 1923: 5.

16 Martin J. Haley, “Cardinals Capture First Game, 5 to 1; Cincinnati Takes Second, 8 to 5,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 8, 1923: 7.

17 “Cardinal Infield Candidate,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 11, 1926: 31.

18 Martin J. Haley, “Cards Complete Duster Mails Deal, Giving Two More Players,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 25, 1925: 14.

19 “‘Doc’ Crandell Is Defeated by Oakland Club,” Oakland Tribune, May 6, 1925: 17. There was even talk of his having the finger amputated at the first joint. Stub Nelson, “Oakland Club Well Paid for Mails’ Big Southpaw Failure with St. Louis,” Los Angeles Evening Express, May 20, 1925: 15; Eddie Murphy, “Veteran Oaks Can Look Forward to Battle for Their Positions with Number of Kids Looming Up as Stars,” Oakland Tribune, August 25, 1925: 22.

20 “Jake Flowers Hits Pair of Circuit Blows,” Oakland Tribune, September 13, 1925: 1D.

21 “Jake Flowers Breaks Ankle While Sliding,” Oakland Tribune, September 30, 1925: 1.

22 James M. Gould, “Hafey and Bell Are Only Regulars Who Have Not Reported,” St. Louis Star, March 1, 1926: 13.

23 “Each Cardinal Player to Receive $5584 for Winning World Series,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 11, 1926: 1; “Diamonds to the Winners,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 18, 1927: 21.

24 “D’Arcy R. Flowers Weds Cambridge Girl,” Salisbury Evening Times, January 4, 1927: 8; 1930 US Census.

25 Martin J. Haley, “Frisch Will Take Hornsby’s Place in Cardinals Batting Lineup,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 4, 1927: 13; “Crippled Finger Fails to Bother Cardinal Infielder.” However, he missed some practice time after being hit in the leg by a line drive.

26 “Flowers Traded for Bob M’Graw,” St Louis Post-Dispatch, April 28, 1927: 19.

27 James M. Gould, “Gould’s Gossip,” St. Louis Star, April 29, 1927: 21.

28 “Fractured Ankle Likely to Keep Thevenow Out for Rest of the Season,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 22, 1927: 16.

29 Thomas Holmes, “St. Louis’ Lack of Reserve Strength May Prove Fatal,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 22, 1927: 2A.

30 Warren Corbett, “Tommy Thevenow,” SABR BioProject, https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/tommy-thevenow/, at note 11, citing Eugene Murdock, Baseball Players and Their Times (Westport, Connecticut: Meckler, 1991), 64.

31 Thomas Holmes, “Four-Run Rally in Ninth Ends Robins’ Losing Fever by 11-10 Win Over Pirates,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 12, 1927: 1C (split finger); “Barrett’s Consistent Hitting Likely to Keep Flowers on Bench,” Brooklyn Standard Union, June 24, 1927: 14 (substitute’s hot streak); Thomas W. Meany, “Herman’s Battle to Clout .300 Interesting Dodgers,” Brooklyn Daily Times, September 8, 1927: 1A (out previous six weeks with sore arm); Thomas Holmes, “Robins Make Last Stand of Season in Foreign Parts Today,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 24, 1927: 6 (shoulder injury at start of season).

32 Holmes, “Robins Make Last Stand of Season in Foreign Parts Today.”

33 Thomas W. Meany, “Robby Starts Reconstruction Work at Once,” Brooklyn Daily Times, October 3, 1927: 1A.

34 Henry Richards, “Half of Team’s Regulars on Hospital List,” Brooklyn Standard Union, May 11, 1929: 14.

35 “Jake Flowers Home After Operation,” Wilmington Evening Journal, May 16, 1929: 30.

36 Thomas Holmes, “Vance Now Paying Less Attention to Speed and More to Control,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 9, 1929: 12 (leave of absence). Flowers later described his ailment as colitis. Chilly Doyle, “New Deal Pirates – Coach D’Arcy R (Jake) Flowers,” Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, March 23, 1940: 11.

37 Lee Scott, “Del Bissonette’s Comeback Rounds Out Infield,” Brooklyn Citizen, April 3, 1930: 8.

38 After starting all but six games of the club’s first 45 games, Flowers was relegated to pinch-hitting duties and spot starts through the end of July. He then became the regular second baseman but after August 22 did not start again until September 22.

39 “Captain Wright Playing Best Ball of His Career,” Brooklyn Daily Citizen, May 15, 1930: 8 (leg injury); William McCullough, “Hustle Is Watchword of Manager Bill McKechnie’s Braves,” Brooklyn Daily Times, July 9, 1930: 1A (finger injury); William McCullough, “Pitchers Crack to Make Matters Worse for the Dodgers,” Brooklyn Daily Times, July 22, 1930: 1A (stomach ailment).

40 E.g., William McCullough, “Jake Flowers’ Play Shows Second Baseman Needs Rest,” Brooklyn Daily Times, June 6, 1930: 1A (noting that Flowers had been charged with seven errors in the past 11 games). Rookie Neal Finn, who hit .278, started 73 games at second base, while veteran utilityman Eddie Moore started 20.

41 William McCullough, “A’s Series Chances Depend on Pitching of Grove and Earnshaw,” Brooklyn Daily Times, September 27, 1930: 10.

42 E.g., Thomas Holmes, “Elliot, Lee, Dudley Go to Phillies for O’Doul and Thompson,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 14, 1930: 22.

43 William McCullough, “Vance Predicts 100 Victories for Dodgers,” Brooklyn Daily Times, April 1, 1931: 1A (reporting rumored trade of Flowers, outfielder Harvey Hendrick, and pitcher Ray Moss to the Reds for pitcher Ray Kolb); Thomas Holmes, “Robin Castoffs Still Look Like Prospects in Hartford Uniform,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 3, 1931: 32 (noting that Flowers’ wife, “who has been ill for many months,” had “lapsed into critical condition”). Leone Flowers spent 14 months at the sanatorium, during which time her condition did not improve. Johnson, “Too Many Hurlers in College So ‘Jake’ Flowers Became an Infielder.”

44 Official Bulletin No. 21 (Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, June 23, 1931), 1; Edward M. Darrow, “Flowers Card Again as Kolp-Picinich Deal Looms,” Brooklyn Standard-Union, June 15, 1931: 10.

45 “Cards Star Out of Lineup,” St. Louis Star, June 18, 1931: 23; J. Roy Stockton, “Cardinals Win Series Opener from Boston, 5 to 4,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 18, 1931: 1B.

46 “Redbirds’ Shortstops on Injured List,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 8, 1931: 10.

47 “Cards Carry on with Patched Lineup; Play to Record Crowd,” The Sporting News, July 16, 1931: 1.

48 J. Roy Stockton, “Cards 8½ Games Ahead After Beating Phils, 3-1,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 26, 1931: 1E.

49 Flowers started and finished the second and sixth games at third base. Near the end of infield practice before Game Four, he was hit in the face by a batted ball and knocked unconscious. After receiving treatment from the team physician, he started the game at third base but was replaced by Andy High in the second inning after complaining of dizzy spells. Martin J. Haley, “Slants on Fourth Game,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 7, 1931: 6. Flowers pinch-hit for starting pitcher Paul Derringer in Game One. In the third game, he took over at third base in the sixth inning after Adams, making his first start of the Series, aggravated his ankle injury fielding a hard-hit groundball in the fifth.

50 “$4,484.25 for Each Card, A’s Share Nets $2,989.50,” The Sporting News, October 15, 1931: 1

51 “Sid Keener’s Column,” St. Louis Star, October 5, 1931: sec. 2, 4; Bob Broeg, “Sports Comment,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 31, 1962: 5B.

52 E.g., Herman Wecke, “Stupid Play by Wilson Gives Home Fans Scare in a Thrilling Ninth,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 2, 1931: 1E; Alan Gould (Associated Press), “Cards Survive Wilson’s Brain-Slip and Save Him from Being Classed as ‘Goat,’” Knoxville News-Sentinel, October 3, 1931: 7.

53 Broeg, “Sports Comment.”

54 J. Roy Stockton, “Flowers Sold to Minneapolis Club by Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 29, 1932: 11C.

55 “Cards Buy Back Jake Flowers from Millers, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 22, 1932: 2B. Because of his wife’s ongoing illness and a freak injury that he suffered falling out of a teammate’s automobile, Flowers played only 23 games for the Millers. “Millers Land Andy Cohen from Newark for Brillheart; Cards Take Flowers Back,” Minneapolis Tribune, June 22, 1932: 18.

56 J. Roy Stockton, “Cardinals Win Series Opener from Cubs, 7 to 6,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch,” June 25, 1932: 1B; Martin J. Haley, “Squeeze Play in Ninth Gives Cardinals 7-6 Verdict Over Cubs,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 26, 1932: 1E; Irving Vaughan, “Cards Defeat Cubs, 7 to 6; Squeeze Play in Ninth Beats Rescuer Grimes,” Chicago Tribune, June 26, 1932: sec. 2, 1.

57 “Redbird Notes,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 24, 1932: 3E (Flowers “was knocked unconscious in a collision with a baseman” during an exhibition game on July 21 and was expected to be out for “a few days”); Ray J. Gillespie, “Cardinal Players Say Frisch Must Play Second Base,” St. Louis Star-Times, August 12, 1932: 18 (“Flowers would have been playing third a week ago had he not injured his left ankle”); J. Roy Stockton, “Cards’ Game Called Off; 2 Contests Tomorrow,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 17, 1932: 11 (reporting that Flowers had recovered from a head injury and a sprained ankle).

58 The batting average and OBP take into account a base hit from a game on June 25, 1932, for which Flowers had not previously been credited. As a result they differ slightly from those appearing on Retrosheet.org and Baseball-Reference.com at the time of this writing,

59 Walter W. Smith, Cards Wind Up in Tie for Sixth and Dash for Homes,” St. Louis Star-Times, September 26, 1932: 16.

60 Sid Keener, “Cardinals Get Vance and Slade in Deal for Carroll and Flowers,” St. Louis Star and Times, February 9, 1933: 16. The clubs also exchanged pitchers: Ownie Carroll went to Brooklyn, Dazzy Vance to St. Louis.

61 Harold Parrott, “Dodgers Demonstrate Old Tricks Are Still Good in Winning Opener,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 14, 1933: 18.

62 Bill McCullough, “Several Dodgers Will Be Cast Adrift Before Squad Heads South,” Brooklyn Times Union, February 1, 1934: 1A.

63 The Dodgers sold Flowers’ contract to Double-A Buffalo in February. When he did not report, the Bisons allowed him to arrange a deal for himself. He reached an agreement with Cincinnati, and the Reds sent Buffalo infielder Les Mallon in return. “Sold by Dodgers,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 6, 1934: 18; “Les Mallon Will Join Bisons Thursday in Time for Herd’s Series with Rochester Wings,” Frank Wakefield, Buffalo Evening News, April 3, 1934: 28.

64 Tom Swope, “Pool’s Bat May Hoist Reds from National’s Subcellar,” Cincinnati Enquirer, June 1, 1934: 18; “Redbird Notes,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 1, 1934: 2C.

65 Jack Ryder, “Two Reds Released to Toronto,” Cincinnati Enquirer, August 10, 1934: 14; “Notes of the Game,” Cincinnati Enquirer, August 17, 1934: 12.

66 In January 1935, Toronto traded Flowers to Memphis in the Southern Association for second baseman Calvin Chapman. David Bloom, “Acquiring Flowers Gives Tribe Infield Veteran Talent,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, January 30, 1935: 14. He did not report and in mid-March went to the Cardinals’ Rochester farm club in exchange for pitcher Ed Greer. “Deal for Greer Puts New Slant on Chicks Array for Flag Race,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 16, 1935: 14.

67 “Ray Blades Sharpens Flag Vision,” The Sporting News, November 21, 1935: 2.

68 Frank Wakefield, “Herd May Lose Plant City Camp,” Buffalo Evening News, March 23, 1936: 22 (signing); Bob Stedler, “Sport Comment,” Buffalo Evening News, May 5, 1936: 29 (Flowers “aggravated an old fracture in his latest ankle injury”); W.S. Coughlin, “Bisons Capture Two for Twelve in Row, Take Second Place,” Buffalo Courier Express,” May 18, 1936: 14 (release).

69 W. Blaine Patton, “Indians Take Fifth Place in A.A. Race with Third Straight Victory,” Indianapolis Star, May 23, 1936: 19.

70 “Alexander Hurls for ’26 Cards Against 1936 Redbirds,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 1, 1936: 1B; “Fans Thrill to Seeing 1926 Champions, Who Bow to Frischmen, 1-0,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 2, 1936: 8A.

71 “Indians Sweep Boosters’ Night Game 10-2,” Salisbury Times, September 2, 1937: 9.

72 “Flowers Not Yet Signed by Indians,” Salisbury Times, March 8, 1938: 1.

73 “Jake Flowers Is Signed to Manage Indians,” Salisbury Times, March 28, 1938: 7.

74 “Indians Enter Final Series; Cardinals Win First,” Salisbury Times, September 9, 1938: 9; Jesse A. Linthicum, “Pennant Won by Salisbury,” Baltimore Sun, September 17, 1938: 13.

75 “Indians Take Five Places on All Stars,” Salisbury Times, September 1, 1938: 12.

76 “Jake Flowers to Seek Pilot’s Post in Higher League,” Salisbury Times, September 22, 1938: 12. “Shore League Is a School for Managers,” Salisbury Times, March 14, 1939: 10.

77 “Jake Flowers to Manage Pocomoke Sho’ Loop Club,” Wilmington Morning News, July 15, 1939: 12; “Jake Flowers Named Pilot at Pocomoke,” Salisbury Times, July 15, 1939: 1.

78 “Eastern Shore League Final Standings,” Salisbury Times, September 5, 1938: 7.

79 “Buccos Sign Flowers as Coach,” Pittsburgh Press, December 6, 1939: 29.

80 The 1940 Census lists Leone Brannock Flowers as divorced, living with her father in Cambridge, and working as a clerk in a millinery shop. She had remarried by the time the 1950 Census was taken. According to Social Security records, she died in May 1982.

81 Burt Whitman, “Jake Flowers Braves Coach,” Boston Herald, December 7, 1945: 39. Flowers and Southworth played together on the 1926 Cardinals.

82 Melville Webb, “Milwaukee Club Presidency Goes to Jake Flowers,” Boston Globe, January 19, 1947: 30; Sam Levy, “Flowers Named President of Milwaukee Brewers,” Milwaukee Journal, February 7, 1930: sec. 3, 2.

83 Sam Levy, “Three Run Homer by Becker Gives Brewers Final Victory,” Milwaukee Journal, September 26, 1947: 12 (Milwaukee defeated Louisville in seven games to win the playoffs); Sam Levy, “Brewers Beat Chiefs, 9-1, to Win Little World Series,” Milwaukee Journal, October 5, 1947: sec. 3, 1.

84 Red Thisted, “Red Birds Oust Brews, 4-2, as Fists Fly,” Milwaukee Sentinel, September 24, 1948: sec. 3, 4.

85 “Miss Sherstad, Flowers Married,” Nebraska City (Nebraska) News-Press, December 16, 1948: 4; “D’Arcy (Jake) Flowers Weds Miss Marguerite Sherstad,” Salisbury Times, December 17, 1948: 9.

86 Red Thisted, “Flowers Resigns Brewer Presidency Effective Dec. 1,” Milwaukee Sentinel, September 24, 1950: B1.

87 Harry Peterson, “Flowers Named Coach to Aid Young Infield,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 5, 1950: 25.

88 E.g., Associated Press, “Indians Fire Flowers for ‘Holler Guy,’” Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette, October 11, 1952: 11; see also Jim Schlemmer, “Kress Joins Tribe as First Base Coach,” Akron Beacon Journal, December 6, 1952: 14 (reporting that Red Kress had been hired to replace Flowers, “who refused to be a holler guy”).

89 Arch Murray, “Flowers New Yankee Scout,” New York Post, January 7, 1953: 76.

90 “A’s List Scouts,” Kansas City Times, January 26, 1955: 13; “Flowers Looking for New Job,” Salisbury Times, January 30, 196: 16.

91 Ed Bichols. “Shore Sports,” Salisbury Times, August 7, 1956: 9 (reporting that Flowers got his real estate license “about two weeks ago” and quoting him saying that “there didn’t seem to be anything too inviting for me” in baseball); Advertisement, The Sporting News, September 12, 1956: 38 (“Let Jake Flowers Join Your Team if You Are Interested in Florida Real Estate”); Ed Brandt, “Flowers and Miller Signed by Orioles as Part-Time Scouts,” Baltimore Sun, February 16, 1960: 19; Tom McEwen, “Sportniks,” Tampa Times, February 16, 1960: 8.

92 Nick Robertson, “Sportscript,” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, August 9, 1960: 9.

93 Florida Divorce Index, Ancestry.com.

94 Ed Nichols, “Shore Sports,” Salisbury Daily Times, September 19, 1962: 16; Ed Nichols, “Shore Sports,” Salisbury Daily Times, September 25, 1962: 10; Ed Nichols, “Shore Sports,” Salisbury Daily Times, October 17, 1962: 18.

95 Death Certificate of D’Arcy Raymond Flowers, Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (copy in Flowers player file, National Baseball Hall of Fame Library). The certificate lists his residence as Cambridge and his marital status as divorced.

96 “Jake Flowers, Ex-Card, Dies in Clearwater,” St. Petersburg Times, December 28, 1962: C-1; “Last Rites Monday for Jake Flowers,” Salisbury Daily Times, December 29, 1962: 6.

97 Harold Seymour and Dorothy Seymour, Baseball: The People’s Game (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 10.

98 Chester L. Smith, “Pirates Sign Bissonette as Coach,” Pittsburgh Press, December 7, 1945: 40.

99 Ed Nichols, “Jake Flowers, Baseball Great, Dies,” Salisbury Times, December 28, 1962: 1.

Full Name

D'Arcy Raymond Flowers

Born

March 16, 1902 at Cambridge, MD (USA)

Died

December 27, 1962 at Clearwater, FL (USA)

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