Frederick George Lieb (March 5, 1888 – June 3, 1980) was an American sportswriter and baseball historian. Lieb published his memoirs in 1977, which documented his nearly 70 years as a baseball reporter.He received the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in 1972. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lieb died at age 92 in Houston, Texas.
Lieb was born on March 5, 1888, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; his favorite team growing up as a child was the Philadelphia Athletics. His sportswriting career began in 1909, when while working as a clerk for the Norfolk & Western Railroad he began submitting biographies of players to Baseball magazine.That led to a job with the Philadelphia news bureau; in 1911 he moved to New York where he joined the new Base Ball Writers Association. For the next 20 years, Lieb wrote for the New York Sun, Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, and New York Post, surrounded by sportswriting legends such as Damon Runyon, Heywood Broun, and Grantland Rice.
Lieb is credited with coining the term "The House that Ruth Built," referring to the New York Yankees' brand new stadium that was christened by a Babe Ruth home run on their opening day, April 18, 1923.He and his wife Mary were especially close to Ruth's teammate Lou Gehrig; Walter Brennan's character in the movie The Pride of the Yankees was loosely based on him. In October 1931, Fred Lieb took a team, headlined by Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Mickey Cochrane, Al Simmons, and Lefty O'Doul, to Hawaii and Japan for a profitable exhibition tour. This and many other profitable investments along the way allowed Lieb to retire in 1934 from the "real work" of daily reporting to focus solely on writing about baseball. In 1935, Taylor Spink convinced Lieb to write a regular weekly column and select obituaries for The Sporting News; Lieb did this at his leisure from his home in St. Petersburg, Florida, for 35 years. At the peak of their circulation, his syndicated columns reached more than 100 newspapers.
Lieb's career would last a little over 70 years, as he continued to contribute to the Sporting News and St. Petersburg Times until his death on June 3, 1980.Lieb remained a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) for 68 years, serving as president from 1921 to 1924. in 1972, he received the J. G. Taylor Spink Award (named after his original Sporting News boss), and was thereafter inducted into the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. In what turned to be an early cross-generational tribute, Lieb received the first SABR salute from the Society for American Baseball Research in 1976. Over his career, Fred Lieb covered every World Series game from 1911–1958, thirty All-Star games, and over 8,000 major-league baseball games.
Fred Lieb was a prolific writer, contributing to the Sporting News from 1935–1980, the St. Petersburg Times from 1965 until his death, the Saturday Evening Post from 1927–1933, as well as freelancing for other numerous publications, scoring games in New York, and authoring several books.Among his 11 books include his memoirs Baseball As I Have Known It;Connie Mack, Grand Old Man of Baseball;The Story of the World Series; 'The Baseball Story; and team histories of the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, and Philadelphia Phillies.
Lieb initiated a rule change when on February 9, 1920, he suggested that a game-winning home run with men on base be counted as a home run even if its run was not needed to win the game.
On May 15, 1922, Ty Cobb beat out a grounder to shortstop Everett Scott, and Lieb scored it a hit in the box score he filed with the Associated Press.This contradicted official scorer John Kieran of the New York Tribune, who ruled the play an error. At the end of the season AL official records were compiled using the AP box scores, giving Cobb a .401 average. Lieb reversed his call, but Ban Johnson went with the hit call. The New York writers protested to the commissioner on December 14, 1922, claiming that Ty Cobb's batting average should be .399 based on the official scorer's stats, but to no avail.
On September 11, 1923, as the official scorer for a Yankees–Red Sox game, Lieb ruled that a ball hit hard past Red Sox third baseman Howard Shanks was a hit.This was much to the chagrin for the Red Sox pitcher Howard Ehmke, who proceeded to retire the next 27 batters he faced for a 3-0 shutout (Ehmke had thrown a no hitter in the last game he had pitched, September 7).
Tristram Edgar Speaker, nicknamed "The Gray Eagle", was an American professional baseball player. Considered one of the greatest offensive and defensive center fielders in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB), he compiled a career batting average of .345. His 792 career doubles represent an MLB career record. His 3,514 hits are fifth in the all-time hits list. Defensively, Speaker holds career records for assists, double plays, and unassisted double plays by an outfielder. His fielding glove was known as the place "where triples go to die."
Herbert Jefferis Pennock was an American professional baseball pitcher and front-office executive. He played in Major League Baseball from 1912 through 1933, and is best known for his time spent with the star-studded New York Yankee teams of the mid to late 1920s and early 1930s.
Joseph Vincent McCarthy was a manager in Major League Baseball, most renowned for his leadership of the "Bronx Bombers" teams of the New York Yankees from 1931 to 1946. The first manager to win pennants with both National and American League teams, he won nine league titles overall and seven World Series championships – a record tied only by Casey Stengel. McCarthy was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957.
Edward Grant Barrow was an American manager and front office executive in Major League Baseball. He served as the field manager of the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox. He served as business manager of the New York Yankees from 1921 to 1939 and as team president from 1939 to 1945, and is credited with building the Yankee dynasty. Barrow was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.
Howard John Ehmke was an American baseball pitcher. He played professional baseball for 16 years from 1914 to 1930, including 15 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Buffalo Blues (1915), Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox (1923–1926), and Philadelphia Athletics (1926–1930).
The following are the baseball events of the year 1923 throughout the world.
The 1945 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was cancelled on April 24 after the Major League Baseball (MLB) season began on April 17. The July 10 game was cancelled due to wartime travel restrictions in World War II. 1945 is the first of two years since 1933 when the first official All-Star Game was played that an All-Star Game was cancelled and All-Stars were not officially selected.
Ernest John Lanigan was an American sportswriter and historian on the subject of baseball. He was considered the premier baseball statistician and historian of his day. He was a pioneer at gathering information about baseball statistics and about the players themselves, and was the author of the first encyclopedia of the subject.
John George Taylor Spink, commonly known as J. G. Taylor Spink or Taylor Spink, was the publisher of The Sporting News from 1914 until his death in 1962. He inherited the weekly American baseball newspaper from his father Charles Spink, younger brother of its founder Alfred H. Spink. Upon Taylor Spink's death in 1962, the Baseball Writers' Association of America established the annual J. G. Taylor Spink Award, given to writers "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing", and made him its first recipient.
The 1921 Detroit Tigers finished in sixth place in the American League, 27 games behind the Yankees, with a record of 71–82. Despite their sixth-place finish, the 1921 Tigers amassed 1,724 hits and a team batting average of .316—the highest team hit total and batting average in American League history. Detroit outfielders Harry Heilmann and Ty Cobb finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the American League batting race with batting averages of .394 and .389, and all three Detroit outfielders ranked among the league leaders in batting average and RBIs. As early proof of the baseball adage that "Good Pitching Beats Good Hitting", the downfall of the 1921 Tigers was the absence of good pitching. The team ERA was 4.40, they allowed nine or more runs 28 times, and only one pitcher had an ERA below 4.24.
The 1980 Major League Baseball season saw the Philadelphia Phillies win their first World Series Championship.
The 1939 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 17 to October 8, 1939. The Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees were the regular season champions of the National League and American League, respectively. The Yankees then defeated the Reds in the World Series, four games to none. The Yankees became the first team to win the World Series four years in a row.
Henry Louis Gehrig was an American professional baseball first baseman who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees (1923–1939). Gehrig was renowned for his prowess as a hitter and for his durability, which earned him his nickname "The Iron Horse". He was an All-Star seven consecutive times, a Triple Crown winner once, an American League (AL) Most Valuable Player twice, and a member of six World Series champion teams. He had a career .340 batting average, .632 slugging average, and a .447 on base average. He hit 493 home runs and had 1,995 runs batted in (RBI). He still has the highest ratio of runs scored plus runs batted in per 100 plate appearances (35.08) and per 100 games (156.7) among Hall of Fame players. In 1939, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and was the first MLB player to have his uniform number (4) retired by a team.
Paul Bernard Krichell was a Major League Baseball catcher, best known for being the head scout for the New York Yankees for 37 years until his death. Krichell's talent evaluations and signings played a key role in building up the Yankees' run of success from the Murderers' Row teams of the 1920s to the 1950s teams led by Casey Stengel.
Charles Dryden was an American baseball writer and humorist. He was reported to be the most famous and highly paid baseball writer in the United States during the 1900s. Known for injecting humor into his baseball writing, Dryden was credited with elevating baseball writing from the commonplace. In 1928, The Saturday Evening Post wrote: "The greatest of all the reporters, and the man to whom the game owes more, perhaps, than to any other individual, was Charles Dryden, the Mark Twain of baseball."