Louis Drucke (COURTESY OF BILL LAMB)

Louis Drucke

This article was written by Bill Lamb

Louis Drucke (COURTESY OF BILL LAMB)Long-forgotten today, New York Giants right-hander Louis Drucke appeared on the verge of stardom at the close of the 1910 season. Although his 12-10 record was not particularly eye-catching, his pitching had been. The hard-throwing hurler had led National League pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings pitched, and placed in the league’s top ten in five other statistical categories. And better seemed likely on the horizon. He was young (only 21), good-sized (6 feet, 1½ inches; 188 pounds) with noticeably long arms, and intelligent — a sober, conscientious, college-educated star in the making. Prominent New York sportswriters raved about Drucke’s potential, declaring him the second coming of celebrated staff ace Christy Mathewson. Even crusty Giants manager John McGraw publicly expressed admiration for his young hurler, while Mathewson prophesized that Drucke would be the NL’s best pitcher within two years.

Unhappily for all concerned, shortly after Drucke pitched the Giants to a victory in the 1910 post-season intercity matchup against the New York Highlanders, a life-altering event intervened — the derailment of a Manhattan subway train that left straphanger Louis Drucke with career-ruining back and arm injuries. The youngster was never the same pitcher after the accident and eventually left baseball before he reached 27. Drucke spent the remainder of his life in obscurity, mostly working as a cotton trader until his death almost 40 years later.

Louis Frank Drucke was born on December 3, 1888, in Waco, Texas, a commerce and university center located in the state’s central region. He was the oldest of three children born to Louis Joseph Drucke (1866-1931), a Cincinnati-born merchant-entrepreneur, and his Texas-native wife Martha (née Peters, 1871-1962), both of German-Catholic descent.1 When Louis was about 13, the family relocated 90 miles northwest to the semi-rural town of Dublin, where he and his brother Oscar (15 months younger) attended parochial school and formed a sandlot battery before graduating to the Dublin town team.

Following their graduation from Sacred Heart Academy, the brothers matriculated to St. Basil’s College in Waco. During the summer of 1907, they returned home and paced the Dublin nine to a reported 26-9 record against local competition.2 That fall, they transferred to Texas Christian University, then located in Waco.3 During the winter, both Louis and Oscar were members of the TCU basketball team, while the spring saw them in Horned Frogs baseball uniforms. With Oscar behind the plate and Louis serving as number two starter and outfielder, TCU was the class of the Southwest Conference. The team went 20-6-2 and in the process won the locally coveted Rawlins Cup signifying the baseball championship of Waco.4

Earlier that spring, Louis had impressed in his first outing against major league opposition, defeating a collection of New York Giants scrubs in a March exhibition game, 3-1.5 That performance, observed by Christy Mathewson and promptly reported back to manager John McGraw, put Drucke on the Giants’ prospect watch list. During the summer, Louis enhanced his growing area reputation by pitching a Gainsville team to the amateur baseball championship of Texas.6 He and Oscar then played for teams in Farmersville, Texas, and Comanche, Oklahoma, before returning to the TCU campus for the fall semester.

The year 1909 proved an eventful one for Louis Drucke. Over the winter, club owner Joe Gardner, apparently acting at the instigation of McGraw, quietly signed the Drucke brothers for his Dallas Giants of the Class C Texas League. But the two were not to report until TCU completed its spring 1909 schedule.7 Now used exclusively as a pitcher, Louis dominated college batsmen, throwing one-hit shutouts at Southwestern and arch-rival Baylor, and striking out 16 in a three-hit victory over Texas. At season’s end, TCU was again conference champ, having posted a sterling 18-2-2 record. Their work done in Waco, the Drucke brothers left the university to join the Dallas club.8

Louis made his professional debut on May 29, 1909, going a mediocre six innings and getting a no-decision in a 9-6 Dallas loss to the Fort Worth Panthers. With brother Oscar behind the plate for his next outing, Louis found form, striking out 14 in a 4-0 whitewash of the Waco Navigators. He followed that up with 13 more strikeouts in a 3-2 victory over the Galveston Sand Crabs. From there on, Drucke was the best pitcher in the Texas League. By early August, his record stood at 14-4, good for a league-leading .778 winning percentage, with 144 strikeouts and only 41 walks in 172 innings pitched.9 His contract was then sold to the New York Giants for a reported $3,000.10

Drucke made his initial appearance for the Giants on September 22, starting the second game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals under dark, threatening skies. He began auspiciously, striking out the first three Cardinal batters he faced with blazing high fastballs. But for the next two frames the youngster inexplicably switched to off-speed pitches that St. Louis batters creamed, scoring four runs.11 Then the skies opened, washing out the contest. Later it was reported that Giants catcher Admiral Schlei was behind his pitcher’s abrupt reversal of fortune. In the second inning, “Schlei decided that it was entirely too dark for his own safety if Drucke continued to use his great speed.” So, he switched to signaling for slow curves and other soft stuff that the Cardinals promptly “hammered all over the lot.”12

Drucke made his official debut on September 25 against the Cincinnati Reds, but was again undermined by his own side, receiving “the poorest support that the Giants have accorded any twirler in League Park this season.”13 Still, he was not sharp, allowing eight hits and three walks in six-plus innings in the Giants’ 5-2 defeat. Four days later, he notched his first victory in the big leagues with a route-going five-hitter against the pennant-bound Pittsburgh Pirates, winning 6-1. The 20-year-old subsequently capped his Giants audition with another complete-game triumph over Brooklyn, 8-4, finishing with a 2-1, 2.25 ERA record in 24 innings. Perhaps more important, he had presence and just looked like a pitcher — tall and athletic, with sweeping arm action that delivered a blistering fastball. He also had a passable drop and an effective slow ball. Intrigued, New York reserved Drucke for the 1910 season and invited him to camp in Marlin, Texas, the following spring.

Drucke pitched well in training camp and made the Giants roster, but saw little game action in the early going. In late May, he got his chance after talented but unreliable Bugs Raymond’s spotty pitching and chronic inebriation exhausted manager McGraw’s patience. On May 30 he locked up in a pitching duel with Phillies lefty Bill Foxen that remained scoreless through nine innings. In the top of the tenth, Drucke himself broke the deadlock, plating two Giants runs with a base hit, then held on to post a 2-1 victory. Along the way, he struck out 11, and held the Phillies to a mere five hits.

Pleased by the performance but mindful of Drucke’s youth and inexperience, McGraw began to use him more but tended to reserve him for select opponents. As the youngster continued to pitch well, even in defeat, McGraw’s confidence in him grew and he became a semi-regular member of the Giants rotation.

Manager McGraw was far from the only one favorably impressed by Drucke. Veteran sportswriter (and one-time major leaguer) Sam Crane was unrestrained in his enthusiasm for the prospect, informing readers that “if Drucke doesn’t win more games than any other Giant pitcher, then Matty will be the one to beat him out … I hope McGraw gives the ‘Waco Wonder’ his regular turn from now on — and, yes, out of his turn, too. I am just stuck on that boy’s pitching, as I was when Mathewson was first showing.”14 Back home in Texas, the Dallas Morning News declared Drucke “the pitching find” of the year. And before the season was out, New York sports columnists Sid Mercer of the Evening Globe and Bozeman Bulger of the Evening World were also singing the youngster’s praises.15 Drucke capped his first full season of major league service with a 9-3 victory over Brooklyn in which he struck out 13 Superbas and walked only one.

On the surface, Drucke’s 12-10 log for the 91-63 second-place Giants club seems unremarkable. But closer scrutiny unveils why everyone was so high on him. He led National League hurlers in strikeouts per nine innings (6.3), and was a top-ten finisher in five other statistical categories: strikeouts (151 — third); hits surrendered per nine innings (7.272 — fourth); strikeout to walk ratio (1.842 — fifth); ERA (2.47 — seventh), and WAR (4.3 — ninth). He also threw 15 complete games and registered a commendable 1.189 WHIP. He capped off the year with a victory over the American League Highlanders in the post-season intracity series.

Days after the completion of the Giants-Highlanders series, the Lenox Avenue Express, a Manhattan subway train, derailed as it approached a downtown station and caromed off the subway tunnel wall. Passengers were flung about but only minor injuries were reported. Of more concern to officialdom and the press was the five-hour tie-up of rush hour traffic that ensued.16 Left unmentioned in reportage of the accident was a fact that had profound effect upon our subject: Louis Drucke was among the straphangers tossed about the careening railcar. But the injuries suffered by the hurler would not manifest themselves until the following spring. In the meantime, testimonials to Drucke continued to find their way into newsprint.

Sporting Life’s New York correspondent E.H. Simmons joined the swelling chorus of Drucke admirers, opining that with benefit of the previous year’s experience, Drucke “should prove a top-notcher next season.”17 Staff ace Mathewson had tutored Drucke on the mysteries of throwing the fadeaway and took “much pride in the young man’s development” — so much so, that Matty predicted that acolyte Drucke “will be the best pitcher in the National League within two years.”18 More important, manager McGraw had become a Drucke fan, and expected him to become a star in the coming season.19 McGraw “likes Drucke because the big youngster uses his head. Drucke has a variety of balls, with plenty of speed, and his mind responds quickly in emergencies.”20

Drucke saw only sparing action in preseason games and started the 1911 season slowly. He was lifted after four innings in an April 15 start against Brooklyn and made only widely scattered appearances in the campaign’s first month, finally registering a decision with a plodding 10-6 complete-game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on May 15. The signal event of the day, however, occurred not at the Polo Grounds, but at a Manhattan courthouse. There, Drucke’s attorney Adolph Ruger filed a lawsuit against the Interborough Rapid Transit Company seeking $25,000 in damages for injuries his client had suffered in the October 1910 subway derailment.21

The suit alleged that during the derailment, stand-up passenger Drucke had been hurled into a railcar stanchion and suffered a broken rib, plus neck and arm injuries. “Ever since the accident,” the complaint continued, “Drucke has found the use of his arm very painful and that specialists who have examined it give him slender hope for the future.”22 Five days later, Drucke cast doubt on that prognosis, neatly spacing nine Pittsburgh hits in a 2-1 victory. But soon events demonstrated that there was, indeed, something seriously wrong with the young pitcher. He made only seven more starts the remainder of the season, and bore little resemblance to the hurler of the year before. In September, sportswriter Bulger revealed that Drucke “is compelled to wear a heavy plate of some kind on his right side, and that makes it impossible for him to go in and pitch in his regular turn.”23 At season end, Drucke’s record stood at 4-4 in just 15 appearances, with an inflated 4.04 ERA in only 75 2/3 innings pitched. He saw no post-season action as the Giants lost the 1911 World Series to the Philadelphia A’s in six games, his participation limited to sidelines commentary on the play.24 Still, McGraw was not disposed to give up on Drucke, who had just turned 23, and brought him back to spring camp in 1912.

Shortly after Drucke’s arrival in camp, Giants coach Wilbert Robinson declared that he would be “one of the star pitchers of the season.”25 But the pitcher was already complaining of arm miseries, and coming around very slowly.26 He made the Giants’ expanded Opening Day roster,27 but saw no April game action. Meanwhile, he accepted $4,700 from the IRT in settlement of his injury lawsuit against the transit line.28 On May 1, he made his season debut, pitching two innings of substandard (five hits, three earned runs) relief in an 11-4 laugher over the Phillies. The appearance was his last in a major league game; in mid-June he was optioned to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Class AA International League.29 But before he took his leave, the pitcher became embroiled in an unseemly exhibition game incident.

On May 26, Wilbert Robinson shepherded a skeleton crew of Giants irregulars to nearby Paterson, New Jersey, to play an off-day exhibition game against a local semipro nine called the Smart Set. Drucke was the only pitcher to make the trip and was slated to pitch the entire contest. Upon arrival, the New Yorkers were stunned to discover that the opposition was a Negro club. Born and raised in the Jim Crow South, Drucke initially refused to take the field against minority players. But he acceded to Robinson’s entreaties and reluctantly took the mound. The game then proceeded through 10 tense innings before a heated dispute arose over a discolored baseball provided to the Smart Set pitcher by the home team-friendly umpire. It ended with the Giants walking off the field. Spectators thereupon erupted in fury, with only a police escort getting the Giants players safely off the grounds. Accounts of the affair in both mainstream and minority press were critical of the Giants, with Drucke being singled out for censure.30 Three-plus weeks later, he was off to Toronto, his major league career completed.

In parts of four seasons, Drucke went 18-15 (.545) in 53 games pitched, all with the New York Giants. Over 317 innings, he posted a respectable 2.90 ERA, yielding opposing hitters only a .243 batting average. He struck out 201 while walking 137, and threw a mere four wild pitches. As a batsman, Drucke hit a not-terrible .178 with 16 RBIs in 101 at-bats. His fielding, however, was suspect, with a career .919 FA covering 111 chances.

Once in Toronto, Drucke worked intermittently, going 8-6 in 26 outings for the pennant-winning Maple Leafs. While far from overwhelming, those numbers were enough to precipitate Drucke’s recall by New York at the close of the 1912 season and an invitation to camp the following spring. But Drucke did not really figure in the Giants’ plans and was sold to the Sacramento Sacts of the Class AA Pacific Coast League over the winter.31 Seemingly recovered physically, he looked good early in spring training. 32 Then a family tragedy intruded.

Younger brother Oscar had played in the Texas League until midway through the 1911 season. He then left the game to pursue life as a cotton trader in Fort Worth. In February 1913, Oscar was stricken with appendicitis. A botched appendectomy was followed by four more unsuccessful surgeries before the younger Drucke succumbed. He had just turned 23. The sad task of retrieving Oscar’s remains and transporting them home to Waco for burial fell to Louis and their grief-stricken father L.J. Drucke.33

Thereafter, a nationally syndicated column bylined John J. McGraw revealed that the filing of the subway lawsuit had placed Drucke in the manager’s doghouse. Drucke “had pitched good ball in 1910 and threatened to become a star. He came nearer to mastering Mathewson’s fadeaway than any man I ever saw try it,” said McGraw. But Drucke “was very frugal” and so money-conscious that he began to dwell on the prospect of a $25,000 recovery in the lawsuit that he filed against the transit authority. McGraw was unconvinced that Drucke had been disabled. Rather, “he was slightly injured, his back being sprained a little in a small subway accident. … His back was hurt a little, all right, but he easily convinced himself it was very much worse than it was.” McGraw concluded his analysis of Drucke’s downfall by also blaming the young pitcher for brooding on unfavorable reportage about his inconsistent performance after the lawsuit was filed. Drucke “should not have paid any attention” to the criticism and focused on his work.34

Drucke’s sojourn in Sacramento was brief. In late April, he struggled through an unimpressive five innings to win his PCL debut against Portland, 5-2, but was released shortly thereafter when the Sacts had to reduce the roster. He was then signed by a league rival, the Venice (CA) Tigers.35 Plagued by control problems, he lasted until mid-June.36 “Drucke seems to be troubled with wildness only,” wrote a California scribe just after the hurler’s final Tigers appearance. “He has a lot on the ball, but yesterday he threw the sphere behind the batters nearly as often as he did in front of them.”37 Drucke’s final PCL stop was Oakland, where the pattern repeated itself. The pitcher “is a good man, but is wild and has no control,” reported the hometown daily.38 In mid-August, Drucke was released after several unproductive outings with the Oaks.39

Looking for another chance, he showed up uninvited at Giants camp in February 1914, hoping to talk McGraw into a tryout.40 Perhaps unexpectedly, McGraw decided to indulge the still-young (25) hurler, and Drucke looked to “be reaching form more rapidly than any of his competitors” in intra-squad scrimmages, maintained supportive sportswriter Bozeman Bulger.41 And one-time mentor Christy Mathewson was publicly pulling for him.42 But Drucke had no realistic shot at making the ball club, particularly after giving up nine runs in four innings of a mid-March practice game.43 His dismissal from camp came swiftly thereafter and occasioned a mean-spirited valedictory from erstwhile admirer Sam Crane entitled “Drucke’s Big League Days End in Dismal Failure.”44

Still unwilling to quit, Drucke embarked upon another minor league odyssey. He was accorded a tryout by the Topeka Jayhawks of the Class A Western League, but quickly washed out.45 He then hooked on with the Minneapolis Millers of the Class AA American Association,46 but remained plagued by poor control. “Drucke … has all kinds of stuff on the sphere … and when he can get it over the plate is almost unhittable,” a Minneapolis observer reported. The pitcher worked tirelessly in practice to regain command, even suspending a wood and string apparatus approximating the strike zone over the plate, but without result.47 With his record standing at 1-5 in 10 appearances, the Millers optioned Drucke to the Fargo-Moorhead Graingrowers of the Class C Northern League.48 Two wild and ineffective starts later, Fargo released him, and Minneapolis did not want him back.49 To obtain train fare back to Texas, Drucke then took the mound in a local semipro game and was pounded unmercifully, giving up 18 runs in less than five innings to a team from Marshall, Minnesota.50

Once he found his way back to Waco, Drucke looked for work in the cotton trade. The comeback dream, however, still lingered. In early 1915, he again showed up uninvited at the Giants spring camp in Marlin requesting an audition.51 Days later, he was on his way home, with hopes of a life in professional baseball vanquished at age 26. In 1917, Louis enlisted in the US Army, and spent most of World War I stateside playing baseball on service teams. The conflict was in its last months by the time that Sergeant L.F. Drucke arrived in France, but he remained overseas another year.

Upon his discharge from the military in August 1919, Drucke returned to Texas and spent the ensuing decades engaged in various jobs, mostly related to the cotton trade. And he never lost interest in baseball, occasionally playing in semipro and TCU alumni games into his 40s, and following Texas League action closely. Long a bachelor, Louis finally went to the altar in 1929, marrying Cliffie Bertelson, a Waco resident almost 20 years his junior. Their union would last the next 36 years but produce no children.

Drucke remained active, regularly attending the Cotton Bowl in Dallas each New Year’s Day until his health began to fail in the early 1950s, landing him in and out of VA and area hospitals. On September 22, 1955, he died in his Waco home after suffering a stroke.52 Louis Frank Drucke was 66. Following a Requiem Mass said at St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption, he was interred in the family plot at Holy Cross Cemetery, Waco. Survivors included his elderly mother Martha and wife Cliffie.

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Norman Macht and fact-checked by Jeff Findley.

 

Sources

Sources for the biographical information provided above include the Louis Drucke file, complete with player questionnaire and family scrapbook, maintained at the Giamatti Research Center, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, New York; US Census and Drucke family data accessed via Ancestry.com, and certain of the newspaper articles cited in the endnotes. Unless otherwise specified, stats have been taken from Baseball-Reference.

 

Notes

1 Younger brother and future teammate Oscar was born in February 1890, while the youngest Drucke child, a daughter named Agnes, did not survive infancy. Although muffled by the passage of time, the family surname was likely pronounced DRO-kuh.

2 Per “Dublin Team Disbands,” Dallas Morning News, August 17, 1907: 12.

3 Founded in 1873 as AddRan Male & Female College of Thorp, Texas, the campus was removed to Waco in 1895. The school was renamed Texas Christian University in 1902 and remained in Waco until a campus building fire necessitated relocation to Fort Worth in 1910. While the TCU campus was located in Waco, a sports rivalry developed with the city’s other well-known collegiate institution, Baylor University. The TCU Horned Frogs and Baylor Bears remain fierce athletics foes to this day.

4 See “Texas Christian Varsity Wins,” Dallas Morning News, June 2, 1908: 12. The TCU staff ace was future minor league pitcher/manager Elmer Randall. The 1908 version of the Southwest Conference consisted of eight central Texas schools: TCU and Baylor (Waco), the University of Texas, Austin College, and St. Edward’s College (Austin), Texas A&M (College Station) Southwestern University (Georgetown), and Trinity University, then in Waxahachie.

5 As reported in the Austin Statesman, March 31, 1908: 3, and recalled decades later in “Jinx’s Hot Shots,” Waco Times-Herald, undated news article contained in the Drucke file at the GRC.

6 Per “Texas Amateur Games,” Dallas Morning News, August 9, 1908: 23.

7 As later revealed in “Drucke Pitching Find of 1910 in National,” Dallas Morning News, June 12, 1910: 30. McGraw’s interest in the Druckes was confined to Louis. Whether Dallas club boss Gardner wanted the younger, smallish Oscar or only signed him at his brother’s insistence is unknown to the writer.

8 Subsequent news articles sometimes referred to Drucke as a TCU graduate. He was not, being listed as a member of the freshman class in the 1909 edition of The Horned Frog, the TCU yearbook. Once he left school that May, Drucke never returned to complete his undergraduate degree course work.

9 Per “Pitching Averages of the Texas League,” Sporting Life, October 23, 1909: 15. Baseball-Reference provides the same numbers for Drucke, minus the strikeout total.

10 As reported in “Base Ball Notes,” New York Sun, August 6, 1909: 7; “Giants Get New Pitcher,” Providence Evening Bulletin, August 9, 1909: 21; “The Texas League: News Notes,” Sporting Life, August 21, 1909: 13. The $3,000 purchase price was subsequently revealed by sportswriter E.H. Simmons in “New York Notes,” Sporting Life, December 4, 1909: 8. Other accounts placed the purchase price between $2,000 and $2,600. In any case, by selling Drucke in August, Dallas avoided the risk of losing him in the following month’s minor league player draft for only a fraction of the sale price received from the Giants.

11 See “Giants Win First: Rain Stops Second,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 23, 1909: 9.

12 “Drucke Had Them Going Until Schlei Changed Signals,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 10, 1909. See also, “Why He Changed Signals,” unidentified October 1909 news article in Drucke file at GRC. The Schlei pitch-calling almost precipitated a post-game fistfight between the backstop and disdainful Giants second baseman Larry Doyle.

13 “Reds Beat, Then Tie Giants,” New York Times, September 26, 1909: S1. New York fielders committed five errors and catcher Chief Meyers permitted seven stolen bases. Meanwhile, Drucke struck out five in his own defense.

14 “Baseball Gossip,” Dallas Morning News, May 7, 1910: 10. Crane was an infielder for various National League, American Association, and Union Association clubs during the 1880s.

15 See e.g., Sid Mercer, “Beat Giants and Now One of Them,” and Bozeman Bulger, “Giants Have Developed Star in Louis Drucke,” undated 1910 news articles contained in the Drucke file at the GRC.

16 See “Subway to Brooklyn Tied Up for Five Hours,” New York Times, October 21, 1910: 1.

17 E.H. Simmons, “New York Notes,” Sporting Life, December 24, 1910: 6.

18 Per “Matty Likes Drucke,” Trenton Evening Times, February 21, 1911: 11; “Matty Picks Drucke To Lead Pitchers,” Denver Post, March 1, 1911: 12.

19 As reported in the Baltimore American, December 8, 1910: 12, and Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 10, 1910: 12.

20 “Giants Will Be in Marlin on February 15,” San Antonio Light, January 24, 1911: 11.

21 As reported in “Drucke Declares Injury in Subway Has Imperiled Arm,” Newark Evening Star, May 16, 1911: 15; “$25,000 Off Drucke’s Arm,” New York Sun, May 16, 1911: 15; “Pitcher Sues Transit Company,” Grand Forks (North Dakota) Herald, May 17, 1911: 1; and elsewhere.

22 “Pitcher Sues for $25,000,” New York Times, May 16, 1911: 22; “Drucke Brings Suit for $25,000 Damages,” Dallas Morning News, May 17, 1911: 10.

23 Bozeman Bulger, “Giants Playing Phillies To-Day,” New York Evening World, September 1, 1911: 10.

24 Relayed by sportswriter Joe S. Jackson in “Drucke’s Dope,” Sporting Life, December 2, 1911: 12.

25 Per “National League Notes in Short Metre,” Sporting Life, March 9, 1912: 12.

26 Harry Dix Cole, “New York News,” Sporting Life, March 23, 1912: 6.

27 Drucke was one of the 12 pitchers whom the Giants carried on their pre-cutdown roster of 32 players, per Sporting Life, April 23, 1912: 8.

28 As reported in “Drucke Settles Outside of Court,” Newark Evening Star, April 11, 1912: 23; “Pitcher Settles Suit for Damages,” Pawtucket (Rhode Island) Times, April 11, 1912: 11; “Drucke, Giant Twirler, Gets Money from Railway,” Providence Evening Bulletin, April 11, 1912: 16; and elsewhere.

29 See “Giants Release Drucke,” Chicago Inter-Ocean, June 19, 1912: 3; “McGraw Sends Drucke to Toronto Team,” Jersey (Jersey City) Journal, June 19, 1912: 11; “Pitcher Drucke to Minors,” Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, June 20, 1912: 2.

30 See e.g., “Giants Play Negro Team, Ends in Riot,” New York Times, May 27, 1912: 9; “Giants Quit at Paterson,” (Charleston, West Virginia) Advocate, June 6, 1912: 2. See also, David Marasco, “The Giants and the Color Barrier,” posted on The Diamond Angle website, March 26, 2001.

31 See “Drucke Shipped to Sacramento,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 23, 1913: 12; McGraw Releases Drucke,” Trenton Evening Times, January 25, 1913: 15; “Goes to Minors,” Evansville (Indiana) Journal, February 6, 1913: 10.

32 Per “Drucke Looks Promising to Aiken & Co., Wrenched Tendon Ought To Be Well Now,” Sacramento Bee, February 1, 1913: 11.

33 Per “Death and Burials: Oscar Drucke,” Waco (Texas) Morning News, February 24, 1913: 10; “Former Baseball Player Dies,” Dallas Morning News, February 25, 1913: 13; “Drucke’s Death Sad Surprise,” (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman, February 27, 1913: 6.

34 John J. McGraw, “Intimate Stories of the Big Leaguers,” published in newspapers nationwide. See e.g., Anaconda (Montana) Standard, March 2, 1913: 13; Pittsburgh Gazette Times, March 2, 1913: 21; San Jose Mercury, March 2, 1913: 32.

35 “Tigers Get Drucke,” (Phoenix) Arizona Republican, May 22, 1913: 3; “‘Hap’ Hogan Signs Drucke,” (Portland) Oregonian, May 22, 1913: 8.

36 Per “Hogan Release Drucke,” Oregonian, June 16, 1913: 8: “Drucke Dropped,” Tacoma (Washington) Times, June 17, 1913: 3.

37 Matt Gallagher, “Between Innings,” Los Angeles Herald, June 16, 1913: 15.

38 “Drucke Released; Mitze Signs Texas Pitcher,” Oakland Tribune, August 20, 1913: 12.

39 “Seen from Press Box,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 21, 1913: 8. See also, “Chronological Facts of 1913 Coast Season,” Oregonian, November 2, 1913: 5.

40 See “Drucke First Giant To Reach Marlin,” Passaic (New Jersey) News, February 20, 1914: 3. Drucke’s arrival in Giants camp was also noted in the New York Evening World, February 21, 1914: 7.

41 Per Bozeman Bulger, “McGraw Has Hard Job Picking Stars from His String of Ten Young Pitchers,” New York Evening World, March 18, 1914: 13.

42 “Giant Recruits Look Good to Christy Mathewson on His Return to Old Grind,” (Denver) Rocky Mountain News, March 10, 1914: 12.

43 As reported in the New York Sun, March 19, 1914: 9.

44 El Paso (Texas) Herald, March 31, 1914 :6, which consisted mainly of a reheated serving of the McGraw column of the previous year, spiced with vitriol of Crane’s own.

45 See “Release Louis Drucke,” Topeka (Kansas) State Journal, April 25, 1914: 10.

46 Per “Louis Drucke Joins the Fallen Millers,” Duluth (Minnesota) News-Tribune, April 30, 1914: 10; “Louis Drucke Lands Job with Minneapolis Team,” Topeka State Journal, April 30, 1914: 2

47 Frank E. Force, “Drucke Tries for Control,” Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, June 14, 1914: 9.

48 As reported in “Drucke Still Dropping,” Decatur (Illinois) Review, July 2, 1914: 5, and “Gossip of the Sports,” Topeka State Journal, July 3, 1914: 3.

49 Per “Drucke Is Too Wild; Released,” Winnipeg (Manitoba) Tribune, July 11, 1914: 9; “Diamond Chips,” Ithaca (New York) Journal, July 17, 1914: 8; “Louis Drucke Draws His Release,” New York Tribune, July 19, 1914: 13.

50 As related in “The Saturday Fizzle,” New Ulm (Minnesota) Review, July 29, 1914: 8. The final score of the fiasco: Marshall 24, New Ulm 12. Given his dismal performance, Drucke left the New Ulm grounds emptyhanded.

51 Per “Louis Drucke To Work Out with M’Graw’s Club,” Fort Worth Record, March 2, 1915: 9; “Winter League Dope,” York (Pennsylvania) Dispatch, March 9, 1915: 13; “Here’s Drucke Again,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 28, 1915: 57.

52 Drucke’s death certificate officially lists the cause of death as cerebral thrombosis.

Full Name

Louis Frank Drucke

Born

December 3, 1888 at Waco, TX (USA)

Died

September 22, 1955 at Waco, TX (USA)

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