Sunday, May 31, 2015

Grand Forks Pitcher Charlie Hutton Meets Untimely Death

Grand Forks ace Charlie Hutton seemingly had a promising career ahead of him in baseball. After a strong showing for the 1897 Senators, Hutton appeared for Grand Rapids, MI of the Interstate League in 1898. If he couldn't make it in the minor leagues, Hutton surely could have entertained fans playing amateur baseball in the Red River Valley. The 1902 incarnation of the Northern League in the area may very well have featured a team with Hutton on its roster. But it wasn't to be, as a December 1898 railroad accident tragically took the life of the 24 year old.

"Hutton Dead," Grand Forks Herald, December 23, 1898

"Hutton Killed," Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, December 23, 1898

"In Memoriam," Grand Forks Herald, December 29, 1898

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Locked Up in a Cage"

In the June 15 contest between Moorhead and W-B, the actions of W-B team official Claude Rittenhouse were extreme enough to cause the Moorhead Independent to argue that he should be “locked up in a cage.” It began when Moorhead pitcher Pike Mullaney went to retrieve a throw in foul territory that had escaped the reach of first baseman Henry Clayton. When Mullaney reached the ball, the Independent claims, Rittenhouse grabbed the Moorhead ace around the neck and tackled him. Hoping his actions would enable the W-B baserunner on third base to score, Rittenhouse also was said to have tried to trip Mullaney. Watching the outlandish scene unfold was Umpire O’Donnell, who ordered the W-B runner to return to third base as a result of the interference. The umpire did not discipline Rittenhouse in any way, however, possibly because of Rittenhouse’s high position or possibly because the event may not have been as extreme as the Moorhead weekly portrayed it. The paper argued that Rittenhouse should have been ejected from the field and escorted away via police escort. (“Notes of the Diamond,” Moorhead Independent, July 23, 1897).