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In Defense of the 1932 Chicago Cubs

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

Cubs Sluggers

Whenever there is a discussion about Babe Ruth’s “called shot” that occurred in Game Three of the 1932 World Series, Mark Koenig’s name pops up. The generally accepted story has been that Koenig was signed by the Cubs in August of 1932 as a replacement for regular Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges who had sustained injuries after being shot by his girlfriend in a bizarre murder-suicide on July 6 of that year. Below is how Koenig’s SABR biographer described his signing by the Cubs:

Fate stepped in during early August. Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges was shot in the hand by Chicago showgirl Violet Popovich Valli. The Cubs were in dire need of a shortstop until Jurges returned and noticed Koenig doing well for the Missions. Cubs President Bill Veeck Sr. said, “Grab him.” So, Koenig became a member of the Chicago Cubs (1).

The story goes that Koenig’s signing by the Cubs was the catalyst for Ruth’s eventual called shot. Ruth had been riding the Cubs in Games One and Two and calling them out for their “cheapness” after Cubs players voted Koenig a one-half share of the player’s World Series winnings rather than a full share. The Cubs players retaliated by hurling insults back at Ruth until the back and forth between Ruth and the Cubs came to a head in Game Three, the game in which Ruth “called his shot.” All of that is true; however, there is so much more to the story leading up to the events of Game Three of the 1932 World Series that have been generally overlooked or never tied together. The intention here is to fill in the gaps and to provide a clearer picture of the events that occurred leading up to that classic World Series game that featured one of the most famous events in baseball history. To begin, who was Mark Koenig?

Mark Koenig 1932

Mark Koenig played shortstop for the Yankees from 1925 until the early part of 1930. As a Yankee Koenig hit .285 and collected 685 hits. He was a 5.3 rWAR player during his time in New York. Koenig played in three World Series’ for the Yankees. He was on the winning end for two of those three World Series teams including the powerful 1927 Yankees who swept the Pirates in four games. In fact, Koenig was the last living member of that legendary team until he passed away in April of 1993 at the age of 88. In the ’27 World Series Koenig hit an even .500 and scored five runs. His win probability added (WPA) in that series was 0.40. Amongst players, Koenig’s 0.40 WPA was second only to Yankee Hall of Fame center fielder Earl Combs who had a 0.49 WPA.

In May of ’30, Koenig along with pitcher Waite Hoyt, were traded by the Yankees to the Detroit Tigers in a five player deal. Koenig lasted a year and a half with the Tigers until he was sold to the Mission Reds (San Francisco) of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in April of 1932 for $4,000 (2). During his time with the Tigers Koenig hit .247. He had a measly 57 OPS+ and a negative 1.4 rWAR. Once sold to the Reds it appeared as if Koenig's major league career was over.

Koenig spent approximately three and a half months with the Missions. He hit .335 playing both shortstop and third base. Koenig even pitched 21 innings. The word from the press was that Koenig was attempting to convert himself into a pitcher (3). However, on August 5 of ’32 Koenig was purchased by the Chicago Cubs. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the Cubs paid between $10,000 and $15,000 for the services of the 28 year-old shortstop (4).

As previously mentioned, the generally accepted theory as to why the Cubs acquired Koenig was that the Cubs were seeking a replacement for shortstop Billy Jurges who had been shot by his former girlfriend Violet Popovich aka Violet Valli on July 6 in an apparent murder/suicide attempt.

That theory though isn’t completely accurate. In actual fact, Jurges had returned to the Cubs line-up on July 22, two weeks prior to the Cubs' purchase of Koenig. Jurges had sustained injuries to his ribs, shoulder and the little finger on his left hand in the shooting (5). Upon his return, Jurges was placed at third base by Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby instead of at his usual shortstop position. Woody English had been playing shortstop in Jurges’ absence. Jurges played the next game at third as well before returning to his regular shortstop position on July 24.

Since returning to the lineup on July 22 and up until August 5 which was the date the Cubs acquired Koenig, Jurges had hit .313 with four doubles and one triple in 53 plate appearances. He had started 14 consecutive games. All indications were that Jurges had recovered from his injuries caused by the shooting.

On August 2nd, three days prior to the acquisition of Koenig, the Cubs fired manager Rogers Hornsby. At the time the Cubs were 53-46, five games behind the NL leading Pittsburgh Pirates. Hornsby’s firing meant that the Cubs not only had to replace their manager but also his right handed bat coming off the bench and the ability to play the left side of the infield.

The Cubs began the year with their left handed hitting rookie Stan Hack at third base. After a slow start in which Hack hit .205 in his first 19 games, Hornsby replaced the rookie with Woody English at third base. Hornsby returned Hack to the starting line-up in spurts; however, the young third baseman was never quite able to get on track that year.

On July 14 Hornsby benched Hack and started himself at third. Hornsby proceeded to start himself at third for the next five games. According to the Chicago Tribune, Hornsby “became fidgety watching the play of Stanley Hack and decided to take over the third base job” (6). On July 19 and 20 Hornsby returned Hack to the starting lineup and at third base. Hack went 2 for 9 in the leadoff spot which prompted Hornsby to start the returning Billy Jurges at third on July 22. What was the reason for Hack’s struggles at the plate? At the time friends of Hack blamed Cubs’ coaches for trying to convert him into a slugger (7).

Cubs Manager Rogers Hornsby

The significance of the July 22 date wasn’t only because it was the date of Billy Jurges’ return since almost being murdered. July 22 was also the date, according to reports, that Hornsby and Cubs President Bill Veeck Sr. had a “violent quarrel over handling of the club.” (8). Apparently Veeck had ordered Hornsby to bench himself (9).

So to review, by the time the Cubs had acquired Mark Koenig, the team had gotten back its starting shortstop Billy Jurges who was hot at the plate since his return by hitting .313, had lost confidence in its young opening day starting third baseman Stan Hack and had fired their player/manager Rogers Hornsby who had served as a right handed utility player. The firing of player/manager Hornsby created an opening on the roster. The Cubs filled that opening with Koenig, a switch-hitting shortstop who could play third and had plenty of pennant race and World Series experience. Koenig wasn't simply replacing an injured Billy Jurges as Koenig's SABR biographer had written; Jurges had already returned to the line-up when Koenig was singed. Below is the timeline leading up to Koenig’s signing:

July 6- Billy Jurges shot by girlfriend Violet Popovich Valli, Woody English replaced Jurges at shortstop

July 14- Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby benched rookie Stan Hack and placed himself at third base for the next five games

July 19- Hornsby returned Hack to the starting lineup. Hack started on both July 19 and 20. Hack went 2 for 9 in those two games. The Cubs won one and lost one. The loss was a 9-1 drubbing by the second to last New York Giants

July 22- Jurges returned to the Cubs line-up. Hornsby placed Jurges at third base. Reports are that Hornsby and Cubs President Bill Veeck argued over how Hornsby was handling the club. Veeck insisted Hornsby bench himself.

July 24- Jurges back to starting at shortstop. Woody English moved to third base and rookie Stan Hack benched.

August 2- Hornsby was fired by the Cubs and replaced by Cubs’ first baseman Charlie Grimm.

August 5- The Cubs signed Mark Koenig

Again, according to the timeline, the Cubs weren’t simply trying to replace an injured Billy Jurges with Koenig. There was much more to the Koenig acquisition. The plan was to provide the Cubs with some infield insurance and to replace Hornsby’s spot on the roster. In fact Jurges continued to start at short for the Cubs from August 6, the day after Koenig’s signing to August 18. On August 19, Mark Koenig was given his first start at shortstop. Prior to August 19 Koenig had made only three pinch hitting appearances.

In his first game as a starter, hitting eighth in the batting order, Koenig went two for four with two singles. He also committed two errors. Koenig started the next game on August 20. In that game Koenig hit a game winning ninth inning three run home run off of Phillies starter Ray Benge to cap a three run comeback for the Cubs. Koenig had atoned for his fifth inning throwing error that led to two Phillies' runs.

Despite his shaky defense, Koenig remained the Cubs starting shortstop until the second game of a September 8 doubleheader versus the Boston Braves. Overall in his 33 games with the Cubs in 1932, Koenig hit .353 with an OPS+ of 136. He was a 1.4 rWAR player for the Cubs in those 33 games. What is often overlooked however is Koenig’s defense, specifically his 12 errors in those 33 games.

Cubs Player/Manager Charlie Grimm

New Cubs manager Charlie Grimm and many in the media at the time credited Koenig as being the key factor in the Cubs’ winning of the National League Pennant. A closer examination though somewhat dispels this narrative. There is no doubt that Koenig produced with the bat when starting for the Cubs and that Chicago had a 17-5 won/lost record between August 19 and September 8, the span in which Koenig was the Cubs starting shortstop, including a 14-game winning streak that propelled the Cubs from holding a slim two game lead in the NL to a more comfortable five game lead.

However, the Cubs had been in the midst of a turnaround prior to August 19. In fact, the Cubs hot streak could be traced to a more obvious reason- the firing of Rogers Hornsby. Hornsby had been fired on August 2. From August 4 which was the date of the first game with new manager Charlie Grimm at the helm and up until and including August 18 which was the day prior to Koenig temporarily taking over the shortstop job, the Cubs were 10-4. Now 10 and 4 isn’t quite as good as 17 and 5 but clearly a turnaround had occurred once the Cubs rid themselves of Hornsby.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the turmoil Hornsby had created during the summer of ‘32. At the time Hornsby had been embroiled in a betting scandal of his own making that had entangled four of his Cubs players: Guy Bush, Pat Malone, Bob Smith and Woody English as well as Cubs coach Charley O’Leary (10).

Hornsby had a penchant for betting on the ponies but had suffered substantial losses at the race track. Hornsby’s dire financial situation caused in large part to his gambling habit forced Hornsby to resort to having to borrow money from his players (11). The loans ranged from $5,000 loaned to Hornsby by Guy Bush down to a $250 loan provided by Bob Smith (12). In total Hornsby had borrowed $11,350. Hornsby had managed to re-pay $6,175 of the $11,350 total (13).

According to the Chicago Tribune, Hornsby’s gambling debts “had been made the basis of an attack on the integrity of baseball players on the Chicago Cubs team” (14). Guy Bush in particular had been targeted by the media. According to some media reports at the time, it was believed that Bush was indebted to gamblers to the tune of $35,000 and had been seen in the company of gamblers/bookies (15). Naturally the allegations prompted the Commissioner’s Office to investigate.

The Commissioner’s Office investigation culminated with an August 13 hearing in which Hornsby, Bush, O’Leary, English and Malone were questioned by Commissioner Landis as well as Landis’ assistant, Judge Leslie O’Connor in St. Louis. Testimony of those involved brought out the following (16):

1. All Cub players denied gambling on horse races

2. Hornsby admitted to gambling at the track and that he borrowed in total $11,350

3. Hornsby’s debts were not a factor in Hornsby’s firing. According to Bill Veeck the decision to fire Hornsby was made prior to him being made aware of Hornsby’s financial dealings with his players. The decision to fire Hornsby was made solely for baseball reasons

4. The players involved testified that they had loaned Hornsby money for Hornsby to pay back- taxes and his mortgage. Hornsby testified the same.

Soon after the hearing Commissioner Landis had “made public the results of his investigation and said no action would be taken…Landis said he believed the testimony to be the truth but would make no other statement except to indicate the investigation is closed and no action will be taken” (17).

With Hornsby fired and with all gambling allegations behind them, the ’32 Cubs began to roll. Koenig, while definitely a contributor to the Cubs’ winning ways during August and September of ’32 had been a factor in the team’s turnaround, the Hornsby firing and the absolving of Cubs players of all gambling allegations may have been an even bigger factor in the turnaround. Those events help explain why on September 21 1932, Cubs players decided to vote Mark Koenig one-half of a World Series share and Rogers Hornsby a zero share of the Cubs’ World Series winnings.

Ruth HR 1932 World Series

Why conflate Koenig’s one-half share with Hornsby’s zero share allotment? Because that is exactly what the Babe had done. Ruth didn’t mercilessly label the Cubs as “cheapskates” and “chisellers” solely because of their decision to cut Koenig only one-half of a World’s Series share. Ruth was also angered at the way Cubs players totally excluded Hornsby from the overall World Series money pie. After Game One of the ’32 World Series when asked if and why exactly Ruth was hollering at Cubs players Ruth answered, “Sure I’m on ‘em. I hope we beat them four straight. They gave Koenig and Hornsby a sour deal in their player cut. They’re chisellers and I tell ‘em so” (18).

The Babe had joined some in the press who were sympathetic to Hornsby’s situation i.e. being cut out entirely from the Cubs' World Series share. The day after the Yankees had swept the Cubs Howard Millard of the Decatur (Illinois) Daily Review wrote:

“The Cubs certainly did one thing in the series. They made Rogers Hornsby look like a million dollars. Most every baseball writer in America- even the boys on the Chicago papers gave Hornsby credit for one thing- keeping a very mediocre major league ball club in second place during the National League race and that with several regulars on the bench through injuries and bullets” (19).

With the press and the Babe on his side, as well as the fact that he still had a substantial amount of debt outstanding, Hornsby appealed to Commissioner Landis for a piece of the Cubs’ World Series share (20). Hornsby made his case by saying, “I feel that as one who handled the club through its major difficulties and had the greatest part in developing its present strength, I am entitled to share in the distribution of any money the Cubs may gain through the World Series” (20). Obviously Hornsby’s claim was debatable.

As with practically everything else related to Major League Baseball at the time, Landis ultimately had the final say when it came to how World Series winnings were to be distributed among the players. In fact Landis also shared in the overall total of World Series gate receipts. The breakdown of receipts in those days was as follows: 15% of gross receipts went to the advisory council (Landis and the commissioner’s office including Landis’ salary of $65,000), 60% to the players of the World Series participating teams for the first four games only, 70% split 60-40 among the players on the winning team and losing team, the remainder 30% to be divided among players in each league whose teams finished second, third or fourth. The remainder of the gross receipts went to the teams in both leagues (50% to the pennant winners and 50% to the other clubs).

To clarify, below is the breakdown for the 1932 World Series:

Paid Attendance: 191,998

Receipts: $713,377

Advisory Council’s Share: ($713,377 * 15%) = $107,006.55

Major League Player’s Share: ($713,377 - $107,006.05 = $606,370.95) 60% of $606,370.45 = $363,822.57

Yankee/Cubs Player Shares: $363,822.57 * 70% = $254,675.80

Yankee Winning Players Shares: ($254,675.80 * 60% for winning WS) = $152,805.48

Cubs Losing Players Shares: ($254,675.80 * 40% for losing WS) = $101,870.32

Second, Third and Fourth Place Finishing Teams Player Shares: $363,822.57 * 30% = $109,146.77

Yankee/Cubs Franchise Share: $606,370.95 * 20% = $121,274.19 split in two = $60,637.10 for each club

Each League share: $606,370.45 * 20% = $121,274.19 split in two = $60,637.10 for each league

Given the Great Depression, the 1932 total of $713,377 in gate receipts was the lowest since 1922.

The Yankees that year had voted 30.5 total shares which meant each full Yankee share amounted to $5,010.01 ($152,805.48/30.5). The Cubs split their World Series winnings into 24 shares which meant a payment of $4,244.60 ($101,870.24/24) to each player voted a full share.

Rogers Hornsby was still to be paid the remainder of his $40,000 annual salary until December 31, 1932, the date his contract with the Cubs was set to expire (21). Nevertheless, Hornsby was seeking a piece of that $4,244.60 prize money. He was still over $6,000 in debt to several of his former players.

The Cubs' 24 share allotment went as follows: Guy Bush, Pat Malone, Burleigh Grimes, Lon Warneke, Charlie Root, Bob Smith, Jakie May, Bud Tinning, Gabby Hartnett, Rollie Hemsley, Zack Taylor, Billy Herman, Woody English, Billy Jurges, Stan Hack, Johnny Moore, Kiki Cuyler, Riggs Stephenson, Marv Gudat were all voted one full share which totaled 19 shares. Manager Charlie Grimm and Coaches Charles O’Leary and Red Corriden were also voted full shares that brought the total to 22. Mark Koenig was voted a half share for his 33 games played. Rookie outfielder Frank Demaree was voted one-quarter share as was reliever Leroy Herman. Demaree had joined the Cubs in July after being purchased from Sacramento of the PCL. He played in 23 games. Hermann was called up to the team on July 30 and rarely used. Hermann pitched just under 13 innings for the Cubs in ’32. The remaining one share was split between travelling secretary Bob Lewis and trainer Andy Latshaw (22).

Based on his 33 (21% of the season) games played, Koenig’s one-half share seemed reasonable compared to the rest of the Cubs players but was it at the time and compared to how other teams split their World Series winnings? To find out, one would have to examine past World Series share allotments for players acquired after July 1. Why the significance of July 1 rather than say August 1 or any date in August for that matter given that Koenig was acquired in early August? Because at the time baseball had in place a rule regarding World Series share allotments for players acquired during the season.

That rule was Commissioner Landis’ brainchild based on feedback from major league owners. Back in December of 1923 after a joint session, major league owners adopted fifteen of the seventeen amendments proposed by Commissioner Landis. Landis at the time stated that the amendments were in large part ideas proposed to him by various major league club owners. The amendments established rules such as clubs being forbidden to negotiate with players of another major league club or an ineligible player (Amendment 1) and granting the commissioner’s office full jurisdiction regarding umpire salary disputes (Amendment 10). Amendment 11 which was also adopted by the owners stated:

Setting back thirty days, to July 1, the date on which players joining the club afterward are ineligible to a full share in World Series’ pools; coaches are removed from the full share division and placed under the jurisdiction of the commissioner (23).

So according to the rule that had been in place since December 1923, the Cubs one-half share allotment to Koenig was compliant given the fact that Koenig was acquired by the Cubs well after July 1. However, was this rule strictly enforced? It doesn’t appear so.

From 1924 up until 1932, there had been 14 players acquired after July 1 who went on to being a part of a World Series roster. Below are the players and the World Series share they were voted by their respective teams as well as the date they were acquired:

’24 Senators: Earl McNeeley 08/08/1924, 1 full share, Ralph Miller 07/15/1924, two thirds shares

’25 Senators: Alex Ferguson 08/25/1925, 1 full share, Bobby Veach 08/25/192, .35 shares

’26 Cardinals: Frank Snyder 08/28/1926, 1 full share

’26 Yankees: Frank Severeid 07/22/1926, 1 full share, Dutch Reuther 08/27/1926, 1 full share

’27 Pirates: Heinie Groh 07/02/1927, 1 full share

’28 Cardinals: Earl Smith 07/13/1928, one half shares

’28 Yankees: Tom Zachary 08/23/1928, one full share

’29 Cubs: Zack Taylor 07/26/1929, one full share

’30 Athletics: Jimmy Moore 08/01/1930, one quarter shares, Homer Summa 08/01/1930, one half shares

’31 Athletics: Waite Hoyt 07/02/1931, 1 full share

Nine of the fourteen players received a full World Series share despite being acquired after July 1. Of the six players acquired after August 5, the date the Cubs had acquired Koenig in ’32; five had received a full World Series share which suggests that the Koenig half-share vote while compliant with league rules was somewhat out of the norm when compared to how other teams had split their winnings.

Interestingly the 1929 Cubs voted catcher Zack Taylor a full share. Taylor had been acquired by the Cubs via waivers from the Boston Braves for $4,000 on July 6, 1929. The acquisition of Taylor was viewed as insurance at the time given that Gabby Hartnett had been battling a sore arm the entire season (24). In fact Hartnett’s arm limited the future Hall of Fame catcher to just one game started at catcher in ’29. He appeared in just 25 games overall. After being signed by the Cubs Taylor went on to hit .274 with a 79 OPS+. Taylor actually received a MVP vote for his work with the Cubs in ’29. Taylor had appeared in 64 games for the Cubs, almost twice that of Koenig’s 33 games in ’32.

Incidentally that 1929 Cubs World Series share vote also wasn’t without controversy. That year Cubs manager Joe McCarthy (and future manager of the ’32 Yankees) encouraged his players to vote shares for Karl Penner, Charley Tolson and Berlyn Horne (25). Penner was a career minor league pitcher who appeared in five games for the Cubs in ’29. First baseman Charley “Chick” Tolson didn’t make his first appearance with the ’29 Cubs until August 26 of that year. He was though placed on the World Series roster. Right handed pitcher Berlyn “Trader” Horne had been with the team since April. Over the course of the 1929 season, his only season in the majors, Horne threw a total of 23 innings. He had a 5.09 ERA.

Cubs players voted Penner $1,000. They voted the same for Tolson. Horne was voted $2,000 (26). After Cubs players ignored McCarthy’s wishes, the Cubs manager appealed to Bill Veeck. Veeck however refused to get involved (27).

In 1932 there were no appeals to Veeck by the current Cubs manager Charlie Grimm. As previously mentioned, Hornsby took his case to Commissioner Landis. In October of 1932 Landis ruled that “under the rule he had no right to award the deposed manager of the National League Champions a share” (28). Unlike Hornsby, Koenig did not request Commissioner Landis to weigh in on his situation; however, given what occurred during the 1932 World Series, Landis did review the Koenig half-share allotment.

Apparently at approximately the same time Landis was reviewing Hornsby’s exclusion from the Cubs’ overall World Series pie, he was also looking into the Koenig issue. Oddly enough Landis was initially furious over the fact that the Cubs had voted Koenig one-half share given the backlash the Cubs had received via the media and the Yankee ballplayers; specifically, The Babe. So furious was Landis that he had contacted Charlie Grimm shortly after the series concluded and told him, “You can tell your boys that everybody feels bad about them voting Koenig only one-half share and that they won’t be getting their World Series checks until next January” (29). Approximately two weeks after the World Series had concluded Landis met with Cubs team captain Woody English to discuss the Koenig half-share allotment.

English’s explanation to the commissioner:

“Judge, I never voted against a full share for him (Koenig) and the vote had to be unanimous. I’ll never reveal who those two were because it was a secret vote. The manager and the coaches were not allowed in the meeting. Being a captain, I had to conduct the meeting.” (30)

The two players English was referring to were shortstop Billy Jurges and second baseman Billy Herman (31). Years later Jurges commented on the one-half share allotment:

We figured he wasn't entitled to it. He did win the pennant for us, but he didn't play that many ball games, and he wasn't entitled to it. If we had to do it all over again, we'd probably give him a full share, but at that time we didn’t think much of it. We found out in the newspaper the Yankees were upset over us only giving Koenig a half share. They were saying we were tight. Babe Ruth was the guy popping off so much (32).

Cubs Billy Jurges and Billy Herman

By the time Landis had met with English the Commissioner had a change in heart. "You played in almost all the games and got a full share," Landis said to English. Landis then went on, "Mark Koenig played in thirty games and won three or four games. I think you treated him fairly" (33). To be exact, Koenig's WPA was 1.198 in his 33 games with the Cubs but we'll cut Commissioner Landis some slack. The obvious point here was that Landis had sided with the Cubs players.

The Koenig case wasn't the only case regarding a World Series share allotment that had been brought to Commissioner Landis since becoming baseball's most powerful individual. Landis had another case brought to him eight years earlier which involved utility infielder Mike "Gazook" Gazella.

Yankee Mike Gazella

At the time, Gazella's teammates had requested the infielder to accept approximately one quarter share ($1,500) of his team's 1923 World Series pie. Incidentally, the $1,063,815 total 1923 World Series gate receipt figure had been the highest ever up until that date and about $300,000 more than the 1932 total gate receipt figure. Gazella's teammates asked him to sign an agreement stipulating that he had agreed to the quarter share even though Gazella had spent the entire season with the big club. At the time, a player who had spent the entire season with a major league club but cut only one-quarter share was unprecedented. Gazella refused to sign the agreement and instead took his case to Landis. In April of 1924, Landis ruled in Gazella's favor. The team that broke precedence by only allotting Gazella the one-quarter share: The New York Yankees (34).

So to review, Mark Koenig wasn’t signed by the Cubs in August of ’32 to replace an injured Billy Jurges. Jurges had already returned to the Cubs line-up by the time Koenig was signed. Moreover, Jurges had been playing well since his return and seemed to have recovered from his injuries. The Koenig signing was to provide the Cubs with infield depth, depth that was needed due to the firing of player/manager Rogers Hornsby.

The Cubs turnaround didn’t just coincide with Koenig’s temporarily taking over the Cubs starting shortstop position. The turnaround occurred prior to the acquisition of Koenig and almost immediately after the controversial Hornsby was fired. Hornsby’s gambling affairs had led to several of his players being investigated by Commissioner Landis. With Hornsby gone followed by the implicated players being cleared, the Cubs got hot and went on a roll under new player manager Charlie Grimm.

The Cubs allotting Mark Koenig one-half share was consistent with major league rules at the time and consistent with past Cub allotments but may have been out of the norm when it came to how other teams had allotted shares in the past. Therefore the Babe’s accusations of Cub players being “cheapskates” or “chisellers” were a bit strong and not to mention a bit rich given that the Babe’s Yankees in 1923 attempted to cut a player who had been on their roster the entire year only one-quarter share.

No, the 1932 weren’t cheapskates or chisellers. A more accurate description of the 1932 Cubs would be resilient given all the team had overcome that season.

1932 Chicago Cubs NL Pennant Winners


SABR Mark Koenig Biography (1)

San Francisco Examiner August 6, 1932 (2, 4)

Santa Cruz Sentinel August 6, 1932 (3, 7)

Chicago Tribune July 15, 1932 (6)

SABR Billy Jurges Biography (5)

Chicago Tribune December 25, 1932 (8)

The Daily Chronicle (De Kalb, Illinois) August 3, 1932 (9)

Chicago Tribune August 14, 1932 (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

The Decatur Daily Review August 14, 1932 (17)

Chicago Tribune September 30, 1932 (18)

The Decatur Daily Review October 3, 1932

Times Union Brooklyn September 28, 1932 (20)

Dixon Evening Telegraph August 3, 1932 (21)

The Morning Post (Camden NJ) September 22, 1932 (22)

The Springfield News Leader December 13, 1923 (23)

Chicago Tribune July 7, 1929 (24)

Chicago Tribune October 3, 1929 (25, 27)

Indiana Gazette October 4, 1929 (26)

The St. Louis Star and Times October 18, 1932 (28)

Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (29, 31)

Baseball Players and Their Times: Oral Histories of the Game 1920-1940 (30)

Wrigleyville: A Magical History of the Chicago Cubs (32)

The Morning Call (Allentown Pennsylvania) April 18, 1924 (33, 34)

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