Tuesday, January 24, 2012


 The 1900 season did produce one big name that of pitcher Nick Altrock. Altrock would win 15 games that season and later go to play with the Chicago White Sox and Washington Americans. But his fame in another venue that of one of the greatest baseball clowns of all time. His heroics first came to life in Washington, D.C. teaming with Germany Schaeffer. Schaeffer and Altrock were so funny on the coaching lines that they always kept the crowd in good humor before the days Washington found winning ways. Upon Schaeffer death Altrock formed a partnership with Al Schadt that brought him world wide fame. They performed at numerous Wold Series with their side-splitting humor..

One of Syracuse's most interesting stories developed during a double-header vs Wilkes Barre. Lou Witlse (brother of George :Hooks" Wiltse) was scheduled to pitch both games that afternoon. After winning the first contest Lou changed clothes with his look alike brother George who was sitting in the stands. George won the second game and no one knew the difference. This story was confirmed by Nick Altrock during a trip to Syracuse years later.

The season ended on September 23 as two of Syracuse's top amateur players made their debuts as Stars player, pitcher Jimmy Dinneeen (younger brother of Bill) and Syracuse High School star athlete Billy Dunn (son of Star founder John J. Dunn).

By 1901, an effort was made to speed up the game, the foul strike rule was added. The change still in effect today made the first two foul balls count as strikes. This rule reduced the number of pitches and helped pitchers dominate the hitters and continued till the new lively ball was introduced years later. Secondly the catcher's rules were also introduced. This rule required the catcher to stand close to the batter at all times. This change also effected umpires, before 1901 balls and strikes were called from behind the pitcher.

Frank J. Leonard took the rains the following year. but could do no better than 30-40 before the team was transferred to Brockton. Mass. on July 24 to finish the balance of the year. The big event was the exhibition contest between the newly formed American League's Boston Bean Eaters led by Syracuse native Bill Dinneen and former Stars pitcher Vic Willis. The April 18 contest was won by Boston 9-3

The very low came as an ill fated trolley car accident injured twelve members of the Stars team. Lee DeMontreville was injured the worst ending his season. Other major injuries were to Horton, Roach, Pfanmiller, White, McManus and Lynch.


  1. I have been researching the history of the interurban railroad on which this accident occured and have found the NYS Board of Railroad Commissioners (N/K/A, Public Service Commission) report of this accident at the URL:

    Read the accident report on Pages 297-304

  2. The narrative makes it appear that the years may be out of synch. According to BaseballReference.com, the move from Syracuse to Brockton took place in 1901, and Syracuse joined the New York State League in 1902.

    Also, although Altrock won 15 games in 1900, he lost 28.

    The fifth paragaph should probably read Frank J. Leonard took over the reins in 1901, but could do not better than ....

    Do you know which ballparks were used in the various years from 1885 through 1904. Star Park was used in most of the seasons, but it appears that other facilities may have been used in 1900-01.