As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of historic Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin, I'm writing brief biographies on former minor league baseball players in Joplin who reached the major leagues. This installment looks at Joplin players from 1920-29.
Bob “Red” Larmore played for the Miners in 1920. He had a cup of coffee in the majors for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1918, playing four games with two hits in seven at-bats. Larmore died in 1964.
Gene Robertson played for Joplin in 1920. He spent nine seasons in the majors for the St. Louis Browns, New York Yankees and Boston Braves from 1919-1930. He finished his career with 615 hits and a .280 batting average.
Jack Snyder played for Joplin in 1920. The catcher played seven games for the Brooklyn Robins in 1917. Snyder died in 1981.
Fred Bratschi was an outfielder for Joplin in 1921. He spent parts of three seasons in the majors with the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox. He played 16 games for the White Sox in 1921, the first season Chicago was without “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and seven others who were banned from baseball for throwing the 1919 World Series. Bratschi died in 1962.
Skinny O’Neal pitched nine games for Joplin in 1921. The Gatewood, Mo., native pitched 13 games in the majors for the Philadelphia Phillies over the 1925 and 1927 seasons. He died in 1981 and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Republic, Mo.
Jim Walkup pitched two games for Joplin in 1921. He had two major league appearances with the Detroit Tigers in 1927. He died in 1990 at the age of 94.
Gabby Street was a player/manager for Joplin in 1922. “Old Sarge” played parts of eight seasons in the majors for the Cincinnati Reds, the Boston Beaneaters, the Washington Senators, the New York Highlanders and the St. Louis Cardinals. Street was Hall of Famer Walter Johnson’s primary catcher when he played for the Senators. After his playing career ended, he was a St. Louis Cardinals coach in 1929. He took over as the manager in 1930 and was a player/manager (he played one game) when the Cardinals won the World Series in 1931. Street died in Joplin in 1951 and is buried at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery in Joplin.
Guy Sturdy was a first baseman for Joplin in 1922 and 1923. He played parts of two seasons with the St. Louis Browns. Despite spending little time in the majors, Sturdy enjoyed a long minor league career with 2,546 hits between 1920 and 1940. He apparently had a temper as he was suspended 90 games in 1939 for attacking an umpire. Sturdy died in 1965.
Pea Ridge Day won 19 games for Joplin in 1923. He pitched parts of four seasons in the majors for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Robins. He died in 1934 at the age of 34.
Tommy Thevenow was a middle infielder for Joplin in 1923. He went on to have a 15-year career in the majors for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Bees. With the World Series champion Cardinals in 1926, he finished fourth in the NL MVP race. Thevenow finished his career with more than a 1,000 hits, but he certainly wasn’t a home run hitter. After he homered in Game 2 of the 1926 World Series, Thevenow didn’t homer again for the rest of his career, which ended in 1938. He died in 1957.
Ike Kahdot played for the Joplin Ozarks/Ardmore Boomers in 1926. The 5-foot-5 infielder played four games for the 1922 Cleveland Indians, who were managed by Tris Speaker. Kahdot died in 1999 at the age of 99. He is buried at Altoona Cemetery in Altoona, Kan.
George Whiteman was an outfielder for the Joplin Ozarks/Ardmore Boomers in 1926. He played parts of three seasons in the majors and helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 1918. He hit .250 with a triple over six games during the World Series. Whiteman died in 1947.
Jack Crouch was a catcher for the Joplin Miners in 1928. He played parts of three seasons in the majors for the St. Louis Browns and the Cincinnati Reds. Crouch was the uncle of Frank Scrivener, who played for the Detroit Tigers in the 1970s. His son, Frank Crouch Jr., played in the minors in the 1950s. Crouch died in 1972.
Ray Foley pitched for Joplin in 1928. That same season, he played two games for the New York Giants as a pinch hitter. Foley died in 1980.
Paul Hinson was an infielder for Joplin in 1928 and 1929. He played three games for the Boston Red Sox in 1928 and was used only as a pinch runner. Hinson died in 1960.
Ab Wright won 14 games for Joplin in 1929. He played for the Cleveland Indians in 1935 and for the Boston Braves in 1944 as an outfielder. Wright won the American Association Triple Crown in 1940 and played in the NFL before starting a professional baseball career. He died in 1995.