Produced before steroids: Happy Felsch’s great clouts in 1914

From SABR member Dennis Pajot at on January 13, 2012:

Oscar “Happy” Felsch was a Milwaukee boy who came to the American Association Brewers in August 1913, after playing with the Milwaukee/Fond du Lac Mollys of the Wisconsin-Illinois League. In the W-I League Felsch had hit .337, including 10 home runs, in 49 games—mostly as a shortstop. He only managed to hit .183 in for the Brewers in 26 games—with only two home runs.

The Brewers held spring training in 1914 at Owensboro, Kentucky. Wet grounds forced the Brewers to train at a local golf course that was next to a river. Felsch was showing some of his explosive power, which caused some concern for the Brewers’ bottom line, as the Milwaukee Sentinel informed its readers:

Teutonin Felch [sic], the slugging north sider, caught a couple in the groove and shot them a mile into the small river which bounds one side of the course. As balls cost $1.25 per, Clark requested him to shoot them in the direction of Milwaukee, in which direction there is no river.

On a little more serious note the Sentinel’s Manning Vaughan wrote: “Felch [sic], it seems, is getting wise to himself and if he cuts out the monkey work there is no reason why he should not be the sensation of the league this season. He is smacking the ball on the nose and while the pitchers are not using any hooks on him he is whaling the ball so hard that the leather almost peels off when he kisses one on the trademark.”

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Originally published: January 13, 2012. Last Updated: January 13, 2012.