Klopfenstein: Searching for Tommy Marlow

From David Klopfenstein at Best Coast Baseball on March 16, 2015:

There has to be a beginning to this story, so it might as well start in 1903. Spring launched the Pacific Coast League on a maiden voyage. Autumn delighted fans of the faraway American and National Leagues with the first Fall Classic.

It was also the year that baseball legend Bob Brown moved to Aberdeen, Washington. All summer long, the Aberdeen Pippins and Hoquiam Perfect Gentlemen were the strongest competitors in the Southwest Washington League. When the season came to a close, the clubs were all tied up. The Pippins were formally awarded the pennant when the Perfect Gentlemen politely declined an invitation to play for a title.

The inaugural World Series ended in triumph for the Boston Americans on October 13th. Most of the city of Aberdeen, Washington was destroyed in a terrible fire on October 16th. Aberdeen came back in 1904. The eastern championship with a silly name did not.

When spring arrived in 1906, three professional clubs were playing in the immediate area. The Aberdeen Pippins and Hoquiam Loggers of the Southwest Washington League were joined by the Grays Harbor Lumbermen of the Northwestern League. Only one affiliated team remained in 1907, but the excitement generated by that local nine made up for the loss of the others. Electric Park was indeed electric.

Ageless Ed Householder led the Aberdeen Black Cats with a .347 average, stole 19 bags, banged out 30 doubles, 19 triples, and 9 round trippers while tallying up an impressive 173 hits in 499 at bats. Pitching was anchored by regular performances from young right-hander Irv Higginbotham as he collected 295 strikeouts in 49 games. New manager Bob Brown herded the kittens along the path to the Northwestern League title.

Opening Day in 1908 was an easy victory for the local nine, but the next game was quite the opposite. After 20 innings over the course of three hours and forty-five minutes, the Aberdeen Black Cats and Butte Miners were still knotted at 3-3 when the sun went down. Not all that far from the action at Electric Park, a modest new house was built on 24th Street. One day in the future, Tommy Marlow would call it home.

Read the full article here: http://bestcoastbaseball.com/2015/03/16/searching-for-tommy-marlow/

Originally published: March 18, 2015. Last Updated: March 18, 2015.