15 March 1904 – local boys make good


Orpheum Theater, 7th Street, Minneapolis, in the early 1900s, from Hennepin County Library’s photo archive.

Spring continues, in that Minneapolis sort of way, in 1904. It’s 18 degrees today, and might get up to 24 tomorrow, according to T.S. Outram, Section Director.  Today, right now, in 2014, it’s 23 degrees, and not-so-spring-like either. Springtime in Minnesota is marked chiefly by black snow and icier sidewalks.

But, where there is baseball, there is Spring.

Watkins never rests.

Word comes on page 9 of the evening Journal that Al Demontreville — “…younger brother of the famous Gene Demontreville…” — has signed up with the Millers. The lad is “an all-around infielder” – he plays brilliantly (it is said) at second, third or short, though third base is his favorite, and the writer speculates that he will play third, and Fox will play second, and Bonner is, perhaps, out of the picture? No further word on Bonner, at any rate. But no matter, with Demontreville at third, the Millers will undoubtedly have “…easily the fastest infield in the association.” Demontreville is “… lightning fast in getting down to first.”

Gene Demontreville - 1899 Baltimore Orioles - names

Gene D.

He is also apparently a good stick man with the willow, hitting .355 in the New England league in 1902, with a fielding average of .913. (Yikes!) He was hitting about .400 last year in the New England league, and then went up to play with the big boys, hitting .295 with the St. Louis Nationals.

The Demontreville boys, it turns out, were local boys, born in St. Paul; I wonder if their family is from near the Demontreville Trail, a road we go past when we’re on our way to Stillwater?

Older brother Gene Demontreville was a pretty good ball player; he played 11 years in the majors, (with 8 different teams — what, clubhouse poison?) and with a career batting average of .303. In 1896 he hit .343 with the Washington Nationals, and the next year hit .341. “Good with the Willow.” He also played with some great Baltimore teams in 1898 and 1899.

Lee Demontreville b

Lee D.

I don’t find any record of Al Demontreville, but there was a brother named Lee Demontreville, who is probably also known, at least in this article, as Al. Lee played one season with the St. Louis Cardinals, according to Wikipedia, batting .243 (perhaps there was a typo?) while primarily playing shortstop.


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