Moxie Manuel

This article was written by Mark G. Manuel

Moxie Manuel (COURTESY OF MARK MANUEL)June 14, 1908, South Side Park, Chicago. The White Sox had won 10 straight games. Manager Fielder Jones might well have uttered what would become a Hawk Harrelson catchphrase more than a century later: “Don‘t stop now, boys!”1 But Jones could see win 11 slipping away. After four innings, the New York Highlanders led 4-1. Jones called for Moxie Manuel to replace Frank “Piano Mover” Smith on the mound in the fifth. Charlie Hemphill led off with a single, but was thrown out trying to steal second. Manuel retired the next seven batters. New York got one more hit in the seventh, but when he left the mound in the middle of the eighth, he had not yielded a run. Jones had Eddie Hahn pinch-hit for Manuel in the bottom of the eighth. The White Sox scored four runs and Doc White and Ed Walsh finished a scoreless ninth to give Chicago its 11th straight victory.

Following the practices of the day, the official scorer gave the win to White, who had yielded a single to the leadoff batter in the ninth before Jones sent in Walsh to replace him. American League President Ban Johnson saw it differently. “Manuel did the pitching that stopped New York,” Johnson declared, “and in fairness is entitled to the credit.”2 The practice of awarding the win to the pitcher whose team goes ahead in the inning in which he was lifted for a pinch-hitter was later adopted by the American League and referred to by Johnson’s biographer, Eugene Murdock, as the Manuel Rule.3 Thus Moxie Manuel entered baseball’s lexicon and earned his own small piece of baseball immortality. The Dickson Baseball Dictionary includes the Manuel Rule among its entries.4 The New Biographical History of Baseball does as well.5 Not bad for four innings of work. The win was Manuel’s third of the month in just his fourth appearance. It would be his last in the major leagues.

Mark Garfield “Moxie” Manuel was born October 16, 1881, in Metropolis, Illinois, on the banks of the Ohio River in Massac County, the first child of Isador M. Manuel, a millinery shop owner in Charleston, Missouri, across the Mississippi River from Metropolis, and Nancy Jane “Jennie” (Miller) Manuel. Jennie was born in 1857 in Tennessee, according to the US Census. Determining Isador’s nationality and point of origin resembles an ethnic and geographical “Where’s Waldo?” search. Born Isador Manovich or Manowitz, Isador was likely a Prussian or Polish Jew. When the surname became Manuel is not certain, but many Eastern European and Southern European immigrants to the United States changed their surnames to “Americanize” them.

Massac County records list Moxie’s name at birth as Marquis, not Mark. His middle name, Garfield, was likely in honor of the fallen president, James Garfield, who was assassinated and died in September of 1881.

According to Moxie’s niece, Helen Shelby Lycans, Isador came to the United States around the time of the Civil War with several other Jewish young men. Perhaps, like the father of Barney Pelty, another Jewish major leaguer, he came to avoid Prussian conscription. Family history says Isador, widowed in 1878, was peddling jewelry and musical instruments out of his backpack when he met Jennie. They married in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, in 1880 and made their home in Charleston, Missouri, where Isador dealt in “fancy goods and sewing machines.”6 By October, 1881, Jennie was back in Metropolis with the family of her former employer for the birth of her first child.

Moxie and his sister Blanche, born in April 1883, grew up in Charleston. According to his niece, Helen Lycans, Moxie got his nickname for being an active child who, she said, “had a lot of guts.” Though he would have many nicknames in his lifetime, “Moxie” is the one that stuck. While Isador continued to run his business, Moxie and Blanche attended school.


Baseball was, and still is, huge in Southeast Missouri. Manuel likely took up baseball as a kid, though the public record has nothing about his ballplaying until 1900, when he became part of the Charleston Maroons, the Southeast Missouri League’s 1900 champion. The Southeast Missouri, or SEMO, was an amateur-semipro hybrid. In 1901 future major leaguer Barney Pelty, from nearby Farmington, joined the Maroons and, like Manuel, played at least once at nearly every post. When the 1901 Maroons experienced financial trouble, Manuel defected to rival Caruthersville.

For the 1902 season, Manuel continued to pitch and play the outfield for Caruthersville. Competing against teams from St. Louis, Memphis, Cairo, Illinois, and Dyersburg, Tennessee, Caruthersville players got a good deal of exposure. Manuel drew the attention of world-traveler Billy Earle, player-manager of the Vicksburg Hill Billiesf the Class D Cotton States League, and signed a contract for the 1903 season at the rate of $80 per month. At first, Earle thought of him primarily as an outfielder to complement returning outfielder Frank Bryan and the newly acquired Eddie Hahn, Manuel’s future New Orleans and Chicago teammate. The Vicksburg Evening Post predicted that Bryan, Hahn, and Manuel would make the fastest outfield in the league. Manuel was also expected to be one of the league’s leading fielders.

Manuel took a tough 8-6 loss in his first regular-season pitching start on May 1 against archrival Greenville. Eight Vicksburg errors conspired against him and, according to the Vicksburg Evening Post, “Manuel deserved to win his game, but the bunch of errors made behind him was enough to take the starch out of any pitcher.”7 So began a season in which he was alternately praised and pilloried in the Post.

Manuel compiled a 14-12 record with seven shutouts, including a no-hitter. Despite putting up good numbers, he caught flak from the Post several times for not having his head in the game and thus making bonehead plays.

Manuel’s record of 21 wins, 11 losses, and two ties gave him the 1904 Cotton States League’s fourth best winning percentage,.656. From his first home start on April 28 until Vicksburg forfeited to Pine Bluff on July 11, when Vicksburg’s hometown fans stormed the field in protest of controversial calls, Manuel did not lose a home game, notching eight straight wins. Though he liked Vicksburg and had many friends there, he believed the organization did not fully appreciate his abilities and he asked for his release in October. Vicksburg opted for a trade instead of outright release, and moved Manuel to the league’s Baton Rouge Cajuns for an outfielder and $25.

Manuel joined the Cajuns in mid-April of 1905 after coaching baseball at the University of Missouri. A win in his first start for Baton Rouge on April 21 launched a seven-game winning streak that lasted until May 23 when he lost to Meridian, 3-0. Later that season, Cajuns manager Wilson Matthews called Manuel the best pitcher in the Cotton States League, while the Evening Post declared that no other pitcher featured a better assortment of curves, and none equaled him in fielding and hitting.

When financial troubles and a yellow fever epidemic forced the Cotton States League to fold at the end of July, several teams sold off their assets. Manuel was picked up by the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association and won five straight for them in August before suffering his first loss. Manuel was one of several young hurlers to get a late-season trial with the American League Washington Nationals. In one start, game two of a season-ending doubleheader against the American League pennant-winning Philadelphia Athletics (cut to five innings so the Athletics could catch the train back to Philadelphia), plus two relief appearances, he posted an 0-0 record with a lackluster 5.40 ERA and nine runs allowed (six earned) over 10 innings. Still, the Nats invited him back for spring training in 1906.

During spring camp, management entertained offers for Manuel’s services from Toledo and Milwaukee, but in April he found himself back in Pelican flannels. For the 1906 campaign, Manuel posted a respectable 17-15 record on the mound and a .279 batting average in 136 at-bats.

Spring training in 1907 brought four major-league teams to New Orleans: The New York Giants, Philadelphia Athletics, and both the Chicago Cubs and White Sox. Matched against A’s fireballer Rube Waddell, Manuel gave up four hits and two runs in five innings compared with Waddell’s six hits and four runs over six innings. An old Manuel family story says that Connie Mack told Waddell: “You better watch out for Manuel, Rube. He’s ambidextrous.” To which Rube replied: “You’re telling me. He’d just as soon kill you as look at you!” The story, alas, is unsubstantiated, and no record of his having pitched ambidextrously in a game has been discovered.

By May 30, Manuel had a record of three wins and three losses (with one tie). But from that day until the end of June, he went on a streak of eight straight wins, including five shutouts. Four of the shutouts were consecutive, including two pitched on the same day, June 15, in a doubleheader against Birmingham. Manuel posted an amazing 47-inning scoreless streak.

Manuel produced a record of 20 wins and 11 losses (with one tie) for the season, with seven shutouts, and a victory in each of his seven appearances against Birmingham. In August Charles Comiskey acquired Manuel and infielder Jake Atz. Reporting for the Chicago American, William Veeck Sr. referred to Manuel as the potential “freak” pitcher of the American League for his hitting (.279 in 40 games in 1906) and his stated ambidexterity.8 Manuel, never afraid to speak for publication, supposedly boasted to Veeck, “Sure, I can slam over with one hand as good as with another.”9 He also bragged of having a pitch that had the spitball “beaten to a frazzle and a pulp.”10 The pitch “can be controlled with greater ease, has even a quicker break, and is an improvement over the saliva sphere in that the pitcher does not have to tip off his delivery.”11 In January of 1908, the Altoona (Pennsylvania) Tribune outed the unnamed pitch: the starch ball.12

Manuel left with the White Sox for California in March of 1908 and pitched for the club’s Yannigans before his promotion to the regulars. He saw his first regular-season action on June 1 in relief of a faltering Frank Owen in St. Louis and was awarded his first major-league win, under circumstances similar to those of the June 14 Manuel Rule win. He left the mound after the sixth, still down 6-4. The White Sox scored five in the seventh inning and won 9-6. In a ninth-inning relief stint at home against Philadelphia on June 9, Manuel set down Harry Davis, Danny Murphy, and Jimmy Collins on strikes.

The next day he got the start, holding the A’s to five hits and beating Eddie Plank 3-2 for his only complete-game major-league win. Erstwhile Pelicans teammate Jake Atz’s two RBIs made the difference in the game.

Years later, umpire turned baseball raconteur Billy Evans remembered the June 9 and 10 games somewhat differently in his newspaper columns Managing with the Second Guess in 1915 and Bullseyes of Baseball in 1923. Recalling “the best bit of strategy I ever saw,” Billy wrote that Manuel entered the June 9 game in the seventh inning, not the ninth, and looked like Walter Johnson against the Athletics.13 When he asked the A’s hitters after the game why they had fared so poorly against the rookie, they told him Mack wanted Manuel to look so good that Fielder Jones would start him the next day to give his overworked regulars a rest and then the Athletics could feast on the busher, which, according to Billy, they did, chasing Manuel from the mound after a few innings.

Here Evans’s memory failed him. At the time, Evans was in St. Louis working a Browns game with Tim Hurst. Tommy Connolly umpired the Chicago game. Also, Jones intended to start Frank Smith against Plank and only changed his mind when Smith complained of a sore arm during his warm-up. And the details and outcome of the June 10 game, of course, were far different from Evans’s version.

But Evans had part of the story right. Danny Murphy let umpire Connolly in on Mack’s instructions to Davis, Murphy, and Collins to fan on purpose. Harry and Jimmy whiffed on actual strikes, but Danny tried to help Manuel along by swatting at a head-high pitch. Connolly called it a ball. When Danny protested, Connolly told him that he was “in a ball game, not a farce.”14 Danny then found some pitches in the zone to get the job done. It would have been a good bit of strategy, but “Mack was fooled.”15

The June 10 and the June 14 Manuel Rule wins proved to be the high-water marks of Manuel’s 1908 season. During Chicago’s 13-game winning streak, he won games 7 and 11, but then ended the streak against New York on June 17 when his complete-game two-hitter was not enough to offset his five walks and his teammates’ four errors.

In one of the most exciting major-league seasons in baseball history, the American League pennant winner was determined on the last day of the season. The White Sox finished third, but Manuel didn’t see any action after September 14. Over six starts and 12 relief appearances, he won three games and lost four, a 3.28 ERA in 60⅓ innings.

Manuel served as a source of both frustration and amusement for his teammates. Writer Ring Lardner told of Manuel’s “gumming up” the train car card games and of his being oblivious to his manager’s criticisms.16 Apparently, Manuel and the writer shared a fashion awareness and a wariness of the fashion police. Knowing the possible consequences of sporting a straw hat after the Ides of September, they shopped in late August for new fall hats lest some random enforcer of the unwritten rule barring straw hats after September 15 purloin and destroy their summer chapeaux, as was a practice at the time.17

One of the best Manuel stories came from White Sox infielder Lee Tannehill. In 1917 Tannehill, then a minor-league manager, described Moxie’s first appearance in Chicago. As the team warmed up on the field, vendors in the stands shouted out the names of their products as they passed through the crowd. One such individual with a loud and husky voice happened to be hawking the popular soft drink Moxie. Moxie the pitcher, according to Tannehill, frequently stopped and cocked his head to listen. Finally, he walked over to his third baseman and said, “Lee, I did not know so many people knew me here.”18 At season’s end Manuel went home to Pascola, Missouri, to bury his father, take over the general store and other family business ventures, entertain his friend and fellow spitballer Harry Howell, and await the 1909 season.

Manuel signed and returned his 1909 contract, but Comiskey made it clear that his days might be numbered. Admitting that Manuel possessed “everything a pitcher needs,” Comiskey added that “he lacks ginger and life when in an actual game.”19 Comiskey referred to Manuel as “the best bull-con artist of them all,” and one who “knows how to jolly a manager to beat the band.”20 Chicago Tribune writer Hugh Keough (aka HEK) defended Manuel, writing that the pitcher “was sick much of last year and does not feel that he was able to produce his best.”21

Manuel arrived in Chicago in late February of 1909 asking about staff ace Ed Walsh. Told Walsh was coaching at Yale, he responded, “Why, I thought he was coaching some university team in Connecticut.”22 The White Sox started their spring training in Southern California again in 1909 and Manuel had a few good outings, but even more poor ones. The Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association were looking for pitching and had $1,000 to spare. Manuel’s spring training had gone south, and the man himself followed.

Before the 1908 season, manager Jones said, “If this fellow Moxie Manuel is half as good as Southern League critics think he is, then he ought to add a lot of strength to the club.”23 Years later, Ring Lardner recalled that Jake Atz “always contended that Mox never showed half his real talent while with the Chicago bunch.”24 Whatever fraction of his talent he did possess or show, it did not suffice. Birmingham paid Comiskey, the “Old Roman,” grand and got themselves a new pitcher and part-time outfielder. At about the same time that Manuel arrived in Birmingham, so did a telegram from White Sox pitcher Frank Smith assuring the local association that Manuel was “in fine form and was well worth the money.”25 Back in the South, Manuel took a few shots at his former club. Predicting that he would be back in the majors in 1910, he blamed his 1908 losses on bad luck and claimed that instead of selling him, “Comiskey should have given me a boost in salary.”26

With the Barons in 1909 Manuel had 29 starts, came on once in relief, pinch-hit twice, and patrolled the outfield in 14 games. In 144 at-bats he hit .285. End-of-season stats credited him with 11 wins and 18 losses, his first losing season in professional baseball. Manuel pulled a Roy Hobbs-style stunt in the eighth inning against Little Rock in September. He “led it off with a three-sacker to the back fence, for the first time in recorded history literally knocking the cover off the ball,” according to the Birmingham News.27

After a brief holdout in protest of a salary cut, Manuel opened the 1910 campaign with Birmingham. Beau Brummell Moxie arrived in Birmingham on a Saturday afternoon and hit the main drags to meet and greet friends and fans. He changed clothes four times and would have made it five had it not gotten late and the streets cleared. Manuel boasted of his offseason hunting exploits with fellow spitballer Handsome Harry Howell, declaring that they did nothing “but hunt and walk around and have a bully good time.”28

The 1910 season proved eventful for Manuel. In May the Barons released him to trim payroll. Manager George Reed, who knew Manuel from his Cotton States League days, signed him to pitch for Mobile on May 31. Between the Barons and the Gulls, Manuel managed to get back in the winning column and finished with an 18-14 record. And as usual, he put in time in the outfield. One of those times proved to be a painful experience for Manuel personally and for the Gulls as a team.

In the seventh inning of a game in Birmingham, Manuel was in right field when Barons third sacker Emery hit a fly ball down the right-field line that landed fair and bounced toward the bleachers in foul territory. Determined to run it down, Manuel didn’t see the wheelbarrow left by the groundskeeper, tumbled over it, and kissed the sod. His face suffered some scratches, but even worse, before he could recover, Emery scored the only run Birmingham needed that day for a 1-0 shutout. Manuel pitched for Mobile against the Barons in the last game ever played in West End Park, a 3-0 Birmingham win, before the opening of Rickwood Field, as of 2021 the oldest ballpark in America still in use.

Reporting later than most of the 1911 Mobile squad, Manuel endured a rough spring. By the May 15 deadline for compliance with roster and salary limits, the Gulls decided his $350 per month was too high and his 1-4 record was too low. But he was not unemployed for long. On May 25 Sioux City of the Western League picked him up. He did not impress in his one start for the Packers, who released him on June 9. To the rescue came Faulkton of the independent South Dakota State League. Once again Manuel was a one-start wonder with a 10-4 victory over Mitchell on June 27. But not much else is known, except that his erstwhile manager, George Reed, lured Manuel away to the Union Association’s Great Falls Electrics.

Manuel had compiled a 2-1 record and provided utility by playing in the outfield in three games when the Great Falls board of directors trimmed the budget at Manuel’s expense. Again, his time without a club was short. Missoula manager Bill Joyce signed him to hurl for the Educators, also of the Union Association. In his first start for Missoula, he beat his old mates from Great Falls 7-3. Along with playing 21 games in the outfield and pinch-hitting twice, Manuel managed to break even in the won-lost column with a 4-4 record.

When 1912 came, personal illness and family emergencies had thinned the ranks of the pitching staff of the Three-I League’s Bloomington Bloomers, managed by Harry Bay, an opponent of Manuel’s in the Southern Association and once one of the fastest men in major-league baseball. Manuel filled the gap until Bloomer regulars returned and Bay released him. Then illnesses and injuries struck again, making Manuel’s utility desirable once more. Recalled, he served the team well in its time of need, but his release came again in August.

With time on his hands, Manuel turned to other important matters. His first marriage, to Ida Pearl Young of Paragould, Arkansas, had ended. The couple had one child, Maurice Charles Manuel, born in 1907. But early in the 1912 season a young woman caught his attention while the Bloomers were in Danville, Illinois. Manuel, now mayor of Pascola,29 married Mayme G. Bates at the American Hotel in St. Louis on November 5, 1912.

The spring of 1913 brought the birth of the Federal League and the rebirth of the United States League. The latter had opened play in 1912, but failed to complete the season. In April the Reading (Pennsylvania) Times listed Manuel’s name on the roster of Leo Groom’s Brooklyn USL entry.30 It is unclear exactly when he was released, and the league itself folded after less than a week of play. By May 9, Manuel had signed on with Jack O’Connor’s St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League.

Manuel’s stint with the Terriers exceeded the duration of the entire 1913 United States League season, but not by much. His first and only game was a 3-2 loss to the Indianapolis Hoosiers at Indianapolis on May 20. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch informed Terriers fans that Manuel “deserved to win, but poor support deprived him of the honor.”31 O’Connor, however, did not see enough in that outing to justify keeping Manuel as a Terrier.

Manuel’s last stop in professional baseball was with the 1913 Henderson (Kentucky) Hens of the Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League or Kitty League. In his last mound appearance with Henderson, Manuel took a complete-game 7-3 loss at Hopkinsville on July 9. Other than a few innings at short and one game at second, Manuel spent the rest of the season as Henderson’s regular right fielder, hitting .237 in 90 games, stealing 14 bases, and belting the second home run of his professional career.

Manuel spent his last years conducting business, advocating for better roads, running for and serving in public office, supporting the war effort, and playing and managing in semipro baseball. His Missouri business ventures, all parts of M.G. Manuel and Company, included his general store, cotton acreage, and rental property. As a businessman he was a leading advocate for better roads to facilitate commerce among the communities of Pemiscot County. As an auto enthusiast, he welcomed better roads on which to indulge his passion.

In addition to serving as Pascola’s mayor, Manuel spent some time on the local school board, served as a township special election judge, and ran, unsuccessfully, in the Democratic primary to select a candidate for an associate county judgeship. When the United States entered World War I, he supported the war effort as a Four-Minute Man, speaking in theaters during reel changes and urging folks to buy war bonds.

In personal matters, Manuel’s second marriage, to Mayme, which had produced son William Russell Manuel in 1916, ended in April 1920. He married Mollie Trautman in 1921. In 1923 Mollie presented him with his third son, John Mark, who had a brief minor-league career playing first base for the 1944 Bradford (Pennsylvania) Blue Wings of the Class D Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York League and the 1945 Burlington (North Carolina) Bees of the Class C Carolina League.

From 1914 until his death in 1924, Manuel played semipro ball, mostly at second base, for the Southeast Missouri League and independent teams in southeast Missouri, Kentucky (player-manager in Hickman, briefly), and Mississippi. Local papers recognized him as the doyen of the Southeast Missouri bushes, calling him “Old Hook,” the “Old timer of the southeast Missouri diamond,” and “Old Reliable.” He still impressed with his hitting. It was said of him, “Although he is well up in years, Moxie is still able to hit the ball and can field with the best of the youngsters.”32

In April of 1924, Moxie, an auto enthusiast, and a friend, Bub Sprague, drove to East Prairie, Missouri, to pick up Mollie and baby John, who were visiting there. Manuel fell ill, and a doctor in nearby Hayti diagnosed appendicitis. Manuel was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee (about 140 miles away), where he died of peritonitis in the early morning hours of April 26.33 He was 42 years old.

Several days later, the Missouri Herald, a newspaper in Hayti, Missouri, reported that when Manuel arrived at the Memphis hospital, “a more thorough examination was possible by the aid of scientific instruments and this revealed that Mr. Manuel was already beyond human aid and, therefore, no operation was attempted. All that could be done was to alleviate his suffering.”34

The Caruthersville Democrat-Argus wrote that the Memphis doctors “pronounced his case hopeless, stating that he was then in a dying condition and diagnosing his ailment as ulceration of the stomach.”35

The death certificate issued by the State of Tennessee says cause of death was peritonitis and lists as “contributory” a perforated duodenal ulcer.36

He was buried next to his parents in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Kennett, Missouri. He was 42 years old. Moxie Manuel was the author’s grandfather.



Many thanks to my fellow Alaskans, Heather and Marshall Vest, for their great help and support, technical and otherwise.

Thanks also to SABR’s Bill Lamb and Darren Gibson for their input in vetting this biography, which was fact-checked by Terry Bohn and copy-edited by Len Levin.



Moxie Manuel file, National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Phone conversation with Moxie’s niece, Helen Lycans, November 1996.

Phone conversation with Mark F. Manuel, oldest son of Moxie’s oldest son, 1996.

Dewey, Donald, and Nicholas Accocella. The Biographical History of Baseball (Chicago: Triumph Books, 2002).

Murdock, Eugene. Ban Johnson: Czar of Baseball (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1982).

Dickson, Paul. The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Third Edition (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2009).

Altoona (Pennsylvania) Times

Birmingham News

Chicago American

Chicago Tribune

Democrat-Argus (Caruthersville, Missouri)

Los Angeles Evening Express

New Orleans Times-Democrat

Ogden (Utah) Standard

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Reading (Pennsylvania) Times

Sporting Life

The Sporting News

Vicksburg (Mississippi) Evening Post

Washington Post

Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania) News



1 Ken “Hawk” Harrelson is a former player, White Sox executive vice president of baseball operations, and White Sox TV announcer. “Don’t stop now, boys” was his exhortation to keep up the hitting or scoring. A White Sox home run was greeted with, “You can put it on the board, yes!” “He gone” indicated an opponent had struck out.

2 “Manuel Is Given Credit for Victory of the Sox,” Chicago Tribune, June 16, 1908: 14.

3 Eugene Murdock, Ban Johnson: Czar of Baseball (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1982), 90.

4 Paul Dickson, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Third Edition (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2009), 531.

5 Donald Dewey and Nicholas Accocella, The Biographical History of Baseball (Chicago: Triumph Books, 2002), 262.

6 Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1881.

7 “Many Miscues Caused Locals to Lose a Game Practically Won,” Vicksburg Evening Post, May 2, 1903: 3.

8 “Comiskey Anxious for ‘Freak’ Pitcher to Sign,” Chicago American, August 27, 1907.

9 “Comiskey Anxious for ‘Freak’ Pitcher to Sign.”

10 “Comiskey Anxious for ‘Freak’ Pitcher to Sign.”

11 “Comiskey Anxious for ‘Freak’ Pitcher to Sign.”

12 The starch ball was likely invented by pitcher Otis Stockdale, who worked in the laundry business in the offseason. Mineral ingredients in the Atlanta soil gave the loaded spitball a soapy, oily feel. Stockdale used starch to counteract that condition, according to the article “Can’t Use the Spit Ball in Atlanta,” Altoona (Pennsylvania) Times, June 14, 1907: 11.

13 “The Best Piece of Strategy I Ever Saw,” Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner, January 25, 1923: 7.

14 “Mack Was Fooled,” Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania) News, July 6, 1908: 6.

15 “Mack Was Fooled.”

16 Ring Lardner, “Pullman Pastimes,” The Sporting News, January 5, 1911: 3.

17 “Notes of the White Sox,” Chicago Tribune, September 1, 1908: 8.

18 “Live Topics of the South Atlantic League,” Sporting Life, March 31, 1917: 3.

19 “Moxie Manuel Slated for Ax,” New Orleans Times-Democrat, February 28, 1909.

20 “Moxie Manuel Slated for Ax.”

21 “Some Offside Plays,” Chicago Tribune, March 14, 1909: 26.

22 “Rousing Sendoff for the White Sox,” Chicago Tribune, February 27, 1909: 7.

23 “Jones Picks Sox to Win the Pennant,” Washington Post, March 22, 1908: 18.

24 Lardner, “Pullman Pastimes.”

25 “Moxie Manuel Has Been Bought,” Birmingham News, April 22, 1909: 5.

26 “Back With the Minors Only Temporarily, Says Moxie,” Los Angeles Evening Express, June 8, 1909: 14.

27 “Manuel’s Novel Stunt,” Birmingham News, September 16, 1909: 14.

28 The Great Manuel Is Here! Changes Clothes Four Times,” unattributed article from Manuel File, National Baseball Hall of Fame.

29 How did Moxie get to be mayor? Specific information is scant, but public records indicate that he was very well-known and very popular in Southeast Missouri. As a businessman he would naturally be interested in how things were run and in policies that would promote growth and business.

30 “Leo Groom Has First Lineup,” Reading (Pennsylvania) Times, April 8, 1913.

31 “Late Rally Falls Short for O’Connor’s Ball Tossers,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 21, 1913: 15.

32 “Coca-Colas to Play Memphis Sunday,” Democrat-Argus (Caruthersville, Missouri), August 16, 1918: 4.

33 “Mr. Manuel took seriously ill with appendicitis while there and was taken to Memphis today for an operation,” Caruthersville (Missouri) Democrat-Argus, April 25, 1924: 5.

34 Missouri Herald, May 2, 1924: 7.

35 “Moxie Manuel, Famous Ball Player, Is Dead,” Caruthersville Democrat-Argus, April 29, 1924: 1.

36 (Tennessee) Board of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics Certificate of Death, April 30, 1924.

Full Name

Mark Garfield Manuel


October 16, 1881 at Metropolis, IL (USA)


April 26, 1924 at Memphis, TN (USA)

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