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The Ogden standard. [volume] (Ogden City, Utah) 1913-1920, December 11, 1915, 4 P.M. CITY EDITION, MAGAZINE SECTION, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058396/1915-12-11/ed-1/seq-18/

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111 ' ' DBnnnnnnmSS''1 lffJ,'t! . " S";J". C" ,.;: '' SStsfcSilBs i
I ill II '':i''
H ill; hi
H ' It-often has been said that there
! never was a -world's championship
team -without a atar catcher.
Those who Bald this -were, and are,
HI HUM the opinion that a catcher con-
Hl ll'f I
H III tributes much to the defensive
H I'l'l' '
H fill, strength of a ball club as much as
HI Cl j any other player on the team.
B I'll When Bowerman, McGulre, Sock-
H i RlexiB, Crlger and other back-
Hl stopping masters disappeared from
j H the major leagues and were relegat-
B ; n! cd to thev minors or to their farms,
m 111 etc' the ?Sn0Bceiltl saW there nov-
1 II er would bo more catchers like thom.
m fllll "Which was a foolish thing to say for
B 111 h? -whole history of athletics shows
HI i II II iix&t each succeeding generation be-
H ! II II J J ' - -
1 i II w comes more proficient In "every line.
H 1 Less than five years from the time
H Djjl t)f the disappearance . of the four
H u IF catchers' mentioned above there have
HV tUffi appeared in the major leagues two
Hi WSl young gentlemen who are said by
H II competent critics to be as capable
H i 1 catchers as ever have been seen In
H H I baseball and one of them is said to
H llll te greatest catcher of all-time.
H 'll'lli The catchers are Ray Schalk of
H 111 ft the ChicaB "White Sox, and Frank
H ill II Snyder of the St Louis Cardinals.
H 3 j h ) In- the American league they say
H II r Schalk is the greatest catcher that
B ' ! ee llved' whl!a ln tho National
H' l le'ague they swear by Snyder. Qf
H j the two, Schalk is probably a
H Jlil 3 trifle the better catcher, as he is
Hj ,j jlj -more versatile, yet it is a close race.
If is peculiar that these two men
who share the premiership in catch
ing do almost everything in a dia
metrical opposed manner. To begin
with, Snyder is a tall and rangy
chap, an upstanding two-fisted fel
low who will fight at the drop of
the hat and who could well take
care of himself under any circum
stances. Schalk, on the other hand, is a
mite of a fellow. In fact, ho did
not come to tho majors as soon as
he might have because of his stature.
His boyish face and form made ex
perienced scouts say that ho never
could break' through the barrier of
recrultship in tho majors.
Yet the diminutive catcher has
made his size a point in his favor.
He throws nearer the ground than a
taller receiver, ho is twice as active
in fielding bunts out in front of tho
plate as the ordinary back-Btop aDd
he can run bases far in advance of
what is generally expected from a
Schalk has made himself the beau
ideal of American league catchers,
at least, if not of all tho catchers
of the country. "While he weighs
135 pounds only, ho is so tremend
ously active around the plate that it
never has been of any particular
difficulty for him to touch the fleet
est and roughest of base runners out
at tho pan.
With shin-guards and protectors
so large they appear to almost
smother him, S'chalk coolly awaits
the .sliding base runner and ho rides
in on top of them much as Bobby
Wallace used to do down- at sec- ,
ond base when he was considered
the most adept at touching a base
runner of jyay man in tho business.
Schalk is not a slugging hitter,
but he is the type of hitter that al
ways Ib dangerous for he hits any
kind of pitching and he is not what
Ib known as a straight-away -hitter
which is to say ho hits in a
"groove" as tho ball players sny.
While he favors left field with his
hits as do most, good right handed
stickers, Schalk will dump and beat
out as many bunts during a season
as the next ono oron tho hit-and-run
he will turn and whistle a sin
gle into right field with all the
finesse of Eddie Foster, the besthit-and-run
man in America.
The White Sox receiver is an ex
cellent thrower and using a snap
throw from a sitting position, some
what like Jimmy Archer, ho will
worry any base runner to get a base
upon him providing the pitcher does
his part in holding the man on.
At catching fouls, another impor
tant detail of backrstopping, Schalk
is excellent He has the speed to
get to foul balls that other catchers
could not reach and once tho ball
hits his mitt it doeB not bound out
Couoidering his all around ability
thero probably isn't nor never was
as great a catcher as Ray Schalk.
Now that ho has had several years
experience In the majors ho will do
as much as tho next ono to win tho
pennant lor Coniiskey. in 1916 if the
White Sox win it and It looks now
as though they are to be the favor
ites when tho bell rings.
Frank Snyder of the St. Louis Car
dinals is said to be the most remark
able thrower who ever tossed out a
speeding base runner. Snyder's
throw to second almost has tho
speed of a Johnsonian fast ball and
yet it is as light as a feather and
easy to handle. Snyder does not
throw from a crouching position. Ho
rises to his full, height and with a
tremendous down-sweep of his aim
sails the ball on a low line to the
It has been said of this wonderful
thrower that he "throws 'em out
even after they have started to
slide." This means that Snyder's
pitcher may let the base runner get
such a lead toward second that tho
runner is almost'there before Suy
der begins to throw and yet he nails
In addition to hie throwing and
back-stopping ability Snyder is also
a great hitter. Ho pushed Daubort
and Doylo out of the National
league lead for awhilo toward tho
end of the summer and for a time it
looked as though he might lead the
National league in hitting, but a
late-season slump precluded thin.
Snyder, too, hits all kinds of
pitching and he'- hits it viciouoly.
Lacking the speed of Schalk to beat
out bunts Snyder trusts to tearing
the ball through the infield. In a
double-header at New York in Au
gust he made, nine ainglcs, all of
them low and on a line to left field.
Snyder is sure of those foul balls
which he can reach, but he lacks tho
pedal ability of Schalk in going aft
er tho "hump-backed liners."
Snydor is a better thrower than
Schalk because he is a much strong
er thrower though a no smarter one.
He is a better straight-away hitter -than
Schalk, but ho i3, after all, a
straight-away hitter as contrasted
with Schalk's versatile sticking and
in the long run tho batter who
"crosses" the opposition with a bunt
or some other tactical strategy is of
more value In the pinch than the
straight-away gentleman.
Schalk is a far better base run
ner than Snyder because of his bet
ter speed. He also is a quicker
thinking catcher and can divino and
break up an opponent's attack better
than Snyder. For this reason tho
palm must be awarded the Chicago
boy in spite of tho mechanical
greatness of tho St. Loujs catcher
A catcher 13 an Important Individ
ual on any club. Ho inspires tho
pitcher, steadies him and pulls him
through many a bad hole. He is the
only man whom all the other play
ers are facing and consequently it
dcrolves upon him to render most ot
the defensive signals and there ara ;
many in these' days of breaking up j
Roger Bresnahan was among tbo ,
greatest of all catchers because of j
his wonderful mechanical ability
combined with his daring initiative I
and aggressiveness. Even now wben jj
an old player in point of service and ?
years Bresnahan demonstrated that r
fiery zeal that onco made him a ter- j
ror throughout the league by lead- VI
iug the base runners of the National m
league for almost half the season- fj
and he a manager and playing" 1 M
only about one-half of the game at m
that -I

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