April 11, 2021

Was Cal Abrams Tricked Into Insulting His Future Manager?

The Dodgers did start a series versus the Reds in Cincinnati on June 6, 1952, the two teams did play a double-header on June 8 (although the Dodgers won the first game 11-7, not 6-1 as claimed), and the Associated Press reported the following day that Cincinnati had actually acquired Abrams contract from the Brooklyn club. This story collides with reality when one notes that on the day Cal Abrams was traded, Rogers Hornsby was managing the St. Louis Browns, not the Cincinnati Reds. Hornsby was fired by the Browns 2 days later, and he didnt take control of as skipper of the Reds until two months after Cal Abrams was traded to that club.

Cal Abrams, a Jewish local of Brooklyn, was a big league outfielder in the 1950s who started out his big league career with the hometown Brooklyn Dodgers. Abrams traveled the very same profession arc as many an unfortunate baseball gamer of his age: a fine skill signed to a group with too many recognized stars for him to be able to crack the starting lineup regularly, he discovered himself relegated to pinch-hitting and occasional starting or fill-in looks year after year, bound to his group in perpetuity by the reserve provision that offered players with no leverage to demand trades or state complimentary agency.

Possibly this anecdote is just another of the nationwide activitys exaggerations, or perhaps it included different teams and workers whose identities have been obscured with the passage of time. As Ronald Reagan as soon as said, “Trust, however confirm”– to which we include: “and be gotten ready for a little frustration.”.

The Dodgers did start a series versus the Reds in Cincinnati on June 6, 1952, the 2 groups did play a double-header on June 8 (although the Dodgers won the first game 11-7, not 6-1 as claimed), and the Associated Press reported the following day that Cincinnati had actually acquired Abrams contract from the Brooklyn club. Hornsby was fired by the Browns 2 days later on, and he didnt take over as skipper of the Reds until two months after Cal Abrams was traded to that club.

Duke Snider keeps in mind that on June 6, 1952, at Cincinnati he released a hard order. “Abrams, you aint striking. The only thing that can keep you with this club is your mouth.”.
The Dodgers broke well in 1952. By June 9, the group remained in very first location.
” The person managing the Reds is Rogers Hornsby,” Dressen stated.
” I know that,” Abrams stated. “I know who Rogers Hornsby is.”.
” If you wish to stay with my club, get on him,” Dressen said. “Call him every goddamn name you can think about. I desire you to get him so mad he cant believe straight.”.
Abrams invested the very first video game of a double-header bellowing and yelling taunts at Hornsby.
The Dodgers won the very first video game, 6 to 1. Hornsby was raging. In the clubhouse, Dressen stated to Abrams, “Dont trouble to dress here. Youve been traded. Youre playing for the Cincinnati Reds. Abrams, your new supervisor is Rogers Hornsby.”.

The only way this anecdote makes good sense as told is if Cal Abrams had actually been ordered to abuse not Rogers Hornsby, but Luke Sewell, who was manager of the Cincinnati club the day Abrams was traded from the Dodgers to the Reds. But then this isnt almost as good a story, both due to the fact that Sewell was far less irascible than Hornsby, and since Sewell resigned as manager of the Reds a month later (thus saving Abrams from needing to invest a number of years in baseball purgatory). In any case, Abrams didnt suffer too long under Hornsbys management, as the two just spent about fifty video games together on the Cincinnati Reds club before Abrams was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the end of the 1952 season.

The only way this anecdote makes sense as told is if Cal Abrams had actually been purchased to abuse not Rogers Hornsby, however Luke Sewell, who was supervisor of the Cincinnati club the day Abrams was traded from the Dodgers to the Reds. Then this isnt nearly as excellent a story, both because Sewell was far less irascible than Hornsby, and since Sewell resigned as manager of the Reds a month later (thereby conserving Abrams from having to spend numerous years in baseball purgatory). In any case, Abrams didnt suffer too long under Hornsbys management, as the two just spent about fifty video games together on the Cincinnati Reds club before Abrams was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the end of the 1952 season.

Abrams main tradition among Dodgers fans is an unfavorable one– lots of remember him as the player who was tossed out trying to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the last video game of the 1950 season, a contest Brooklyn needed to win in order to force a playoff for the pennant. (Brooklyn lost that video game, and the pennant, to the Philadelphia Phillies.).

One purported example of Dressens supposed cruelty towards Abrams was a tale of mean-spirited vengeance stated by Kahn in his 1993 book about baseball in New York, The Era: 1947-1957. As informed by Kahn, Dressen deliberately set Abrams on a competing groups supervisor, knowing full well that a deal had currently been finished to send Abrams to the group whose manager he had actually been fooled into loudly berating:.

This disparity cant be explained away as a case of confusion over dates (i.e., possibly Abrams had been yelling at Hornsby earlier in the year), since the Dodgers and the Browns were in various leagues and didnt play each other at all throughout the regular season, so Abrams never ever had a chance to scold Hornsby prior to they were unified as members of the Cincinnati Reds.

As Abrams described his scenario a number of decades later on, the Dodgers brass constantly seemed to have an useful excuse for not offering him much playing time, with the ramification that anti-Semitism was an element behind his minimal function. And the late sportswriter Roger Kahn, who covered the Brooklyn Dodgers for the New York Herald Tribune in 1952-53, noted that Brooklyn supervisor Chuck Dressen “didnt care for Cal Abrams” and “can cruelty.”.

Considering that Rogers Hornsby was among the most extremely disliked players and supervisors of his era, detested by both those who had fun with him and those who played for him, one has to question how Cal Abrams managed to endure the remainder of the 1952 season.

But first we need to wonder, is this anecdote true or simply another tall story? Sportswriter Roger Kahn was there, covering the Dodgers day in and day out in 1952, when this event allegedly took location, and his version of the story consists of such details as specific dates and game ratings. Yet a check of the standard realities produces some puzzling outcomes.