Womack: The strange story of Johnny Frederick

From SABR member Graham Womack at The National Pastime Museum on August 2, 2016:

Shortly after the Dodgers traded Johnny Frederick to Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in December 1934, he spoke to Harold Parrott of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Parrott had covered the 32-year-old Frederick during his six seasons in the Majors, where he hit .308 with 954 hits for Brooklyn. By this point in fact, Frederick had over 2,000 hits professionally and would go on to finish with 3,421.

In his Glendale, Queens home—his wife expecting a baby any day and the family due to move west within the month—Frederick told Parrott about what spurred his departure from Brooklyn.

“I was eased out of the league,” Frederick said. “I know that because people on the Brooklyn club told me two teams had held me up on waivers when they tried to arrange a deal for me in mid-season. Until the last week in September I hit over .300, and I finished the season with .296. Why would clubs like the Phillies and Braves, which need outfielders, change their minds so suddenly? It is just one of those things that they say never happen.”

Parrott wrote for his January 15, 1935, story that Frederick would surely return to the Majors. But his big league career was already over, just the latest bad break for a player who might have been a Hall of Famer with better luck or in a different era.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/strange-story-johnny-frederick

Originally published: August 2, 2016. Last Updated: August 2, 2016.