12 March 1904: President Watkins Issues Order to Report

Saturday Evening. A chilly spring day today in Minneapolis, topping out at 26 degrees, and dropping down to 10 tonight. In 1903 it had reached 60 on the 12th, but no such luck this year.

Kihm is aboard. President Watkins received his signed contract today, along with Andy Oyler and Frosty Thomas. Kihm might play first base this year. Or it might be Lally. We’ll have to wait and see.

On the other side of the coin, Rosco Staples and Will Salisbury have been released to the West Superior club in the Northern League. Staples and Salisbury, pitchers, are not so fast, apparently, not exactly what you might call Slab Artists. Off they go, into the hinterland, to burnish their horsehide hurling acumen.

Also, President Watkins sent out the official “notice to report” today, calling upon his forces to rendezvous on the 30th of March in Champagne, Illinois for Spring Training.  It sez here that the pitchers might be ordered to report a few days earlier, “to get their salary wings in shape.” Watkins, still playing his cards close to his vest, would not say exactly who has been contacted, (and perhaps he’s just not sure) but the reporter estimates about 20 men, and – “it is probable that four or five of the twenty-five odd he has now will be canned.” While Watkins doesn’t disclose names, he does say that from what he knows of the other teams he feels good about the Millers “being well up in the race this summer.” There’s still some question as to whether Watkins can sign his new crack second-base man, Bonner. If he signs, then it will likely be Lally at first, Bonner at second, Oyler at short, and Fox at third, with Sullivan, Maloney, and Coulter in the outfield. If Bonner doesn’t come in, than O’Rourke or McNichol will probably make good, and Fox will move to second. The outfield, is fast as they come, and “also good with the willow.” But what about catcher? Never fear. “The team also looks strong in battery men.” No mention of where the mighty Kihm might be playing.

Lochersteen

And, wait! What’s this? A new pitcher has been signed! Does Watkins never rest? When he said that he would not miss any opportunity to improve the club, he was not merely whistling Dixie! Welcome aboard, Harold W. Lockersteen! Lockersteen was an amateur, spotted by the Miller’s captain Fox while he was coaching the Purdue University squad over the winter.

“He is a well built young fellow, with lots of speed, good control, and a headpiece, and Fox thinks he will prove a find.”

Headpiece?

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