The spring games continue, but you can tell it’s just a formality now, as the team is set and all thoughts are on the approaching regular season, just around the corner. The games that will count. The boys have found some warm weather in Fort Wayne, and maybe they are a fair-weather club, as they’ve taken two straight from the Railroaders of Fort Wayne. Yesterday ol’ Doc Bailey finally came over from Columbus for his first innings of work, and gave up a couple of singles in three innings. The Unknowable Munch did most of the work though, hurling the first six, and the boys won the game 5-2. (They must be playing the full nine, now that they are out of the collegiate competition.) The day before they carried the day 5-4, with the Elongated Stimmel and Model K Ford pitching in the win. For the offense, Sullivan and Fox have been the wand wizards in Fort Wayne.
With the season drawing nigh, and the roster nearly set, I decided it was time to try to find some first names for these guys. Surprising how that doesn’t seem to come up much in these articles. Perhaps it was a more formal time period, where first names were not used except on the good occasions, like fine china. Still, you’d think that the sports page might be a bit less informal.
First, Roach, the back-up catcher. While there have been a lot of mentions of Roach in the Journal, our Scribe has not yet, I don’t think, leaked his first name to the public. Or perhaps the Roach family was simply too poor to afford first names. I checked the minor league rosters and register on baseballreference.com, and there’s a list of about a dozen guys known just as Roach. Helpful. Looking through the newspaper archives, though, I come to the conclusion that our guy is Michael Stephen Roach… based on a reference I spotted to an M. S. Roach, and another to a Roach playing catcher in Columbus, who’s name, I think, was Mike. And who I think went to play then at Indianapolis, and then came to the Millers. So we’ll go with Michael Stephen until I see something different. No picture yet of Mr. Roach.
My second challenge was the Mysterious Munch. Not so many anonymous Munches in the register, but also nobody listed that seemed likely. I saw a few newspaper references to an A. Munch at about this time period, a pitcher, and then also to a left-handed pitcher in Chicago named Gus Munch. I suspect that would be short for Augustus, and so I think that’s our guy, Gus Munch. Again, till I find out different.