George Frank Plays Baseball For Rochesterís City Team
George Frank Plays Baseball
For Rochesterís City Team
research by Bill Flynn
George Gregory Frank (above, my mother's father, born March 1, 1876, Died Nov 12, 1942) played for the Rochester
Bronchos during the 1902 season in the Eastern League, a forerunner to the International League, which is the
league the Rochester Red Wings play within today. I have yet to confirm whether Frank threw and batted right
or left, his size and weight. (The Democrat and Chronicle called him "little" in a September 12th article.)
The 1901 Bronchos won the EL Championship with a record of 88-49 (.642 winning percentage). Second place Toronto
finished at 74-53 (.583). Teams played uneven schedules then and standings order ranked teams according to percentage,
not "games ahead or behind" as is figured today, with same number of games played a requisite.
According to Rochester newspaper the Democrat and Chronicle, the 1902 Rochester Bronchos finished 6th in the eight-
team Eastern League. (A stats book published then, the Reach Guide, lists the Bronchos 7th.) The D&C published
Rochester's sixth place final record at 56-74 with seventh place Montreal at 56-76.
According to the Reach Guide, Toronto won the 1902 EL pennant with a record of 85-42. And Rochester (57-76)...
sported losing tallies versus every team in the league but one: The Bronchos beat up Newark (40-99) at a 16-4 pace
At the time, Rochester played most of its professional baseball at Culver Field,(above in 1906) located on the
northwest corner of University and Culver. Today, it's the site of the machine tool company, Gleason Works. The
Bronchos usually did not play on Sundays because of "blue laws" at the time in New York state. I am not clear on
how these laws were enforced in the early 1900s, which restricted commercial activities on Sundays. According to
an article by Paul Bielewicz in the 2012 Rochester Red Wings Yearbook, in 1888, Rochester's baseball team got around
the "blue laws" by playing on private property, in Irondequoit at Windsor Beach. In 1902, the Bronchos scheduled
their Sunday June 1, 1902 game for Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte. The game began with fans in attendance, but
a Monroe County sheriff interrupted the game after one pitch and the game was cancelled. Complaints had been made
about the playing of baseball on Sunday, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. Still, the 1902 Bronchos would
go on to play three games at Ontario Beach Park that summer (July 6, July 27, Aug 31). The Bronchos did not play
any Sunday games while Frank was with the team.
Photographs- sports or otherwise- were rare in 1902 Rochester newspapers. At the start of the 1902 season, the
Democrat and Chronicle published a photo of the 1901 defending champs, standing side by side, in white uniforms on
a baseball field. The 1902 Reach Guide published a formal "studio" team photo of the Champion Bronchos in white
uniforms. Rochester uniforms featured a modified version of the "English R" (approximate, above as viewed in the
Reach Guide photo). A Democrat and Chronicle article in 1902 reported that the Bronchos opened their home
season at Culver Field wearing "gray uniforms with red and black stockings and red caps adorned with a black button.
The old English "R" on the shirt front (left breast) was black." This description makes the photo of George Frank
in a "Rochester" uniform, above, curious as it doesn't match the Bronchos 1902 version, and the hat he's wearing
doesn't match the Reach Guide photo either.
Overall, my research into George Frank playing with the Bronchos proved very interesting. Baseball already was a
popular activity in town and the games got top preference within the sports section. Major league games were dutifully
reported with stories as well. Box scores of local Catholic League games were posted side-by-side with the pros in
Rochester papers. The reporting of the games was different than what you see today, especially in the treatment of the
umpires! Below, in the game accounts, you'll see unabashed barbecuing of the umps, particularly Umpire Cox who
judged several Bronchos games. Writers also (who were not given by-lines for the stories at least during 1902) were
unforgiving concerning the 1902 Bronchos, and perhaps deservedly so. The Rochesterís were the defending league champs
in '02 but didn't show it. Stories routinely referred to the team as "the Champions" in the write-ups- but the '02 club
was never in contention, never challenged pennant-winning Toronto. If it wasn't for hapless Newark that year- about 50
games out of first place- we would have battled for cellar-dweller honors in 1902. In the three previous seasons entering
1902, Rochester had finished first, second and first so it's understandable that the city would be disappointed
with the result of 1902, a distant 32 games back of league-leading Toronto!
The Eastern League in 1902 began its schedule on May 1st, featuring eight teams: the Rochester Bronchos, the
Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Bisons, the Worcester Hustlers, the Providence Grays, the Montreal Royals, and new
teams in Jersey City (Skeeters) and Newark (Sailors). Two teams, in Hartford and Syracuse, did not return from the
1901 Eastern League. Hartford, known as both the Indians and the Wooden Nutmegs, disbanded September 10, 1901. The
1901 Syracuse Stars, temporarily transferred to Brockton, Massachusetts (nickname: the B's) during the season.
The 1902 EL batting champ, Jocko Halligan of New Jersey, batted .351. Jack Hayden led the Bronchos in batting average
with .326. During the 11 games Frank played with the Bronchos, Rochester hit .319 while the opponent hit .325. The EL's HR
leader that year was Pop Foster with 14 (playing for Montreal and Providence). Rochester's leader for homers was Hayden
with eight. Home run fences were distant or non-existent in those days with huge outfields. Fans might line outer reaches
of the outfield, deemed "far enough away" with carriages as a kind of barrier. And so the "inside the park" homer was the
norm as teams elected to steal bases, sacrifice bunt and hit-and-run to manufacture runs. Still, in Frank's 11 games there
were some lopsided, high-scoring games, either due to a lack of talent or mismatches in talent. The major league leader
in 1902 for homers was 16 by the Philadelphia Athletics' Socks Seybold.
Errors were tolerated during the 1902 EL season. The most errors by players at the positions were: at shortstop (86),
second base (58) third base (72- by Joe Delahanty, mentioned above who went on to the major leagues) and outfield (21).
The major leagues in 1902 wasn't much better for most errors by position: shortstop (78), second base (42) third base (63)
and outfield (30). By comparison, the major leagues recently, over the past several years show these high numbers for
errors: shortstop (mid 20s to around 30), second base (15 to 20), third base (25 to 30) and outfield (around 10).
Rochester's 1902 high errors by position: shortstop, Ziemer (42) second base, Henry (16), third base, Henry (22) and
outfield, Heyden (19). During the 11 games Frank played, the Bronchos were charged with 39 errors in all (average of 3.5
per game), the opponent was charged with 36. As far as pitching was concerned, the best pitcher in the EL in 1902 won 28
games. Rochester's top pitcher won 16 games (but lost 18). Such stats as strikeouts, walks, ERA were not recorded back
then, at least in the Reach Guides.
1902 EASTERN LEAGUE FINAL STANDINGS (Reach Guide)
Toronto Maple Leafs 85-42 .669
Buffalo Bisons 88-46 .657
Jersey City Skeeters 72-65 .526
Worcester Hustlers 69-64 .519
Providence Grays 67-68 .496
Montreal Royals 59-77 .434
Rochester Bronchos 57-76 .429
Newark Sailors 40-99 .288
(Rochester papers listed the Bronchos in sixth place with a 56-74 record,
and Montreal in seventh place with a 56-76 record.)
Following the tied Bronchos game on September 13th, called on account of darkness, the club announced that remaining
games would begin at 11am. That's a curious time considering that most adults had to be working then. And with kids
going to school in September, I suppose the low attendance figures make sense, on top of an uninspired, lower-division
Rochester team, playing out the string. Rochester also played three Sunday games at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte,
because "blue laws" were in effect and Sunday Culver Field games were apparently out of the question. All 11 games in
the "George Frank Era" for the Bronchos were contested at Culver Field. As far as the speed of games, without commercial
interruption, easily were usually completed in less than two hours, similar to the pace followed by the major leagues at
George Frank's only year with the Rochester baseball club was 1902. Without Frank, the team did even worse for the next
two years, losing 96 in 1903 and then 105 ball games in 1904. (Unfortunately, the 1904 club is not the worst team in
Rochester baseball history as the 1920 nine closed with 106 defeats!). And it wasn't until 1909 that Rochester would
celebrate another pennant- the first of three straight for the city.
Albert Buckenberger, who led the Bronchos to the flag in 1901 was replaced by Edward McKean to start
Rochester's '02 campaign. According to the New York Times, Harry (Hal) O'Hagan took over as Rochester
manager later that season, on August 18, 1902.
Flynn family recall that O'Hagan and George Frank were friends or acquaintances that summer. With the season winding
down in September, the team made changes to their roster and the 26-year old Frank was added to the team. He had
apparently been playing in the Catholic League in the city at the time for his parish team, Corpus Christi.
George played in the final 11 games (all home games) for the Bronchos in 1902. Rochester day-by-day papers total
Frank with 10 hits in 40 at bats (.250 average) while the Reach Guide lists him at .208 (10-48) for 1902. Frank
played primarily second base, plus a few games at third base. During a three game span versus Providence and Jersey City
(Sept 15-16-17) Frank hit 5-12 (.417) collecting his only extra base hit with the team, a double. He also had a
multi-hit game (2 hits) in the first game of the September 20th double header versus Newark. Frank went hitless in
four of the eleven games he played. According to D&C daily accounts, Frank's fielding percentage was .862 for the period,
totaling 12 putouts, 32 assists and 7 errors. Frank committed three errors in one game on September 17th. The Bronchos
win-loss record while Frank was in the lineup was 4-6 with one tied game (called because of darkness).
FIRST-EVER UNASSISTED TRIPLE PLAY BY A ROCHESTER BRONCHO
Bronchos Manager Patrick Henry O'Hagan had an interesting baseball career. He was known as Harry or Hal
and played one game in the majors for Washington in 1923 at the age of 22. He went on to play 62 games for four major
league teams in 1902: with Cleveland, the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs and New York Giants before returning
to Rochester in July. O'Hagan played parts of 14 seasons in the minors, which included three other years in Rochester-
he was among those who starred in leading Rochester to the city's first championship, in 1899. While O'Hagan was playing
for the New York Giants, June 26, 1902, at Philadelphia, he participated in a triple play. The first baseman caught the
second out of a double play, then O'Hagan threw home for the third out, catching the runner trying to score.
But that was just a warm-up for O'Hagan's greatest moment in baseball. It happened about a month after arriving in
Rochester in the summer of 1902, on August 18th, on the road in Newark. While playing first base for the Bronchos,
he became the first professional player to accomplish an unassisted triple play. According to The New York Times,
O'Hagan was promoted to manager before the game, succeeding Edward McKean.
Check out the write up by the New York Times for a full report on Harry O'Hagan's amazing unassisted triple play.
1902 ROCHESTER BRONCHOS FOES
Regarding opponents who played versus the '02 Rochester Bronchos, I came across at least three players who stood out.
One was Art Devlin (above) a third baseman with the Newark Sailors. A star halfback and fullback for Georgetown
College's football team, Art was a rare "college boy" then who went on to star with the New York Giants for several
years. He was known as the best third baseman in the league with the Giants, and was part of New York's 1905 World
Series Championship club. Devlin played for Rochester, for about a hundred games total, for the 1913 and '16 clubs.
Matty McIntyre (above) played outfield for Newark against the Rochester Bronchos in 1902. The left-handed hitter
would be known for hitting well against left-handed pitching and for his base running. He went on to the majors and
Detroit for most of the rest of the decade. McIntyre was there when Ty Cobb joined the Tigers in 1905 and the pair did
not get along, partly for an outfield play when the rookie Cobb cut in front of McIntyre- who dropped the ball,
nearly costing Detroit a game. McIntyre may have been jealous of the cocky Cobb- who was destined to take over McIntyre's
lead-off status in the batting lineup. McIntyre, from Pennsylvania, became one of the leading participants among the Tigers in the
severe rookie hazing of Cobb.
One other prominent player who shared the ball field with the Bronchos was Joe Delahanty (above). Joe played for
the Worcester Hustlers and was one of five Delahanty brothers who made the major leagues, the most prominent being Ed
who went into the Hall of Fame. Joe, an outfielder and second baseman, was number 3 age-wise in the line of Delahanty
brothers. He went on to hit .238 over three seasons with the major league's St.Louis Cardinals, between the 1907 and '09.
Two managers from other clubs in the 1902 Eastern League stood out as well (though did not manage against Frank
when he played those 11 games). George Stallings, (above, left) manager of the Buffalo Bisons, was hailed as
the "Miracle Man" when he led the 1914 Boston Braves to the World Series crown. Stallings managed in Rochester during
the twenties, and never won a pennant- primarily because of the powerhouse Baltimore Orioles that decade. Stallings'
teams actually won over a hundred games three years in a row, yet had to settle for second place each time! Ed Barrow
(above,right) managed the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern League in 1902. Barrow managed the 1918 Boston Red Sox to
a World Series win, but is known more for joining forces with Jacob Ruppert in the front office, leading the New York
Yankees to 14 pennants and 10 World Series titles between 1921 and 1945.
George Frank's 11 Games With the 1902 Rochester Bronchos
George Frank game-by-game Batting Fielding
Position AB - R - H PO - A - E
Thu Sep 11 Home vs Worcester 2B 4 0 1 1 4 1 Rochester 7, Worcester 6.
Fri Sep 12 Home vs Worcester 2B 3 0 1 2 4 1 Worcester 14, Rochester 2.
Sat Sep 13 Home vs Providence 2B 4 0 0 2 3 1 Providence 7, Rochester 4.
second game, double header 2B 3 0 0 0 2 0 Rochester 8, Providence 8, tie.
Mon Sep 15 Home vs Providence 2B 3 0 2 1 1 0 Providence 5, Rochester 1.
Tue Sep 16 Home vs Jersey City 2B 4 0 2 4 6 0 Jersey City 9, Rochester 2.
Wed Sep 17 Home vs Jersey City 2B 5 1 1 1 2 3 Jersey City 11, Rochester 6.
Thu Sep 18 Home vs Jersey City 2B-3B 3 0 0 5 0 0 Jersey City 4, Rochester 0.
Fri Sep 19 Home vs Newark 2B 4 0 1 0 2 0 Rochester 9, Newark 2.
Sat Sep 20 Home vs Newark 3B 4 1 2 0 3 1 Rochester 19, Newark 5.
second game, double header 3B 3 1 0 1 0 0 Rochester 18, Newark 5.
10-40 at bat : .250 average 40 3 10 12 32 7
Fielding percentage: .862
The Rochester Herald listed Frank's fielding percentage as .879
The Reach Guide lists Frank as having hit 10-48 for a .208 average, playing in 13 games...
Baseball-reference.com has George Frank's 1902 stats under Edwin Frank,
and likewise has Frank hitting 10-48 for a .208 batting average in 13 games played
--but Rochester newspapers agree on a 10-for-40 line, or .250 batting average
Rochester & Opponent linescores of the 11 games George Frank played in
Bronchos Roch result opponent
AB R H PO A E AB- At bats
Sept 11 7-6 WIN Worcester 35 7 11 27 15 4 R- Runs
Sept 12 14-2 loss Worcester 31 2 8 27 22 6 H- Hits
Sept 13-1 7-4 loss Providence 36 4 10 27 21 4 PO- Put outs
Sept 13-2 8-8 tie Providence 31 8 7 27 12 4 A- Assists
Sept 15 5-1 loss Providence 31 1 5 27 10 3 E- Errors
Sept 16 9-2 loss Jersey City 34 2 7 27 19 5
Sept 17 11-6 loss Jersey City 36 6 11 27 13 8
Sept 18 4-0 loss Jersey City 29 0 4 27 18 1
Sept 19 9-2 WIN Newark 35 9 13 27 15 1
Sept 20-1 19-5 WIN Newark 44 19 26 27 15 2
Sept 20-2 18-5 WIN Newark 28 18 16 15 9 1
totals- 370 76 118 169 39 118-370 = .319 batting average
Sept 11 7-6 WIN Worcester 30 5 12 24 18 4
Sept 12 14-2 loss Worcester 38 14 16 27 11 2
Sept 13-1 7-4 loss Providence 33 7 9 27 12 3
Sept 13-2 8-8 tie Providence 38 9 13 24 16 5
Sept 15 5-1 loss Providence 36 5 9 27 15 2
Sept 16 9-2 loss Jersey City 39 9 11 27 12 2
Sept 17 11-6 loss Jersey City 43 11 17 27 17 2
Sept 18 4-0 loss Jersey City 33 4 12 27 15 1
Sept 19 9-2 WIN Newark 33 2 8 27 11 5
Sept 20-1 19-5 WIN Newark 34 5 9 27 21 5
Sept 20-2 18-5 WIN Newark 21 5 7 12 8 5
totals- 378 76 123 156 36 123-378 = .325 batting average
George Frank Game 1. Thursday September 11, 1902; Rochester 7, Worcester 5 at Culver Park.
Democrat and Chronicle headline, 9/12/02, reporting on George Frank's first game with Bronchos.
BOX SCORE OF GEORGE FRANK's FIRST GAME: (Democrat and Chronicle 9/12/02)
GAME NOTES: Bronchos players Freck, Dennis and Henry were released on September 10, and Frank
joined the team (apparently other bronchos were released around this same time as well)... describing why
Freck was cut, in the Decmocrat and Chronicle: "The general idea was that his playing, after the
first day heaves with the team, was not that of the high class character which would suit the powers that
be in the Flower City."... in the Bronchos 7-6 victory over Worcester, Frank gets one hit in 4 times at bat...
batted seventh... an estimated 300 fans in attendance... the Bronchos were charged with four errors in all...
according to The Rochester Herald: "George Frank, the local player covered second base in clever
style and accepted five out of six chances. His error was made on a hard-hit ball for which he had to do
some tall stretching." and "George Frank played a nice game for the Bronchos. He got in for a corking
single and would have made it two had it not been for McFall's lucky stop."
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "..the team played the best game that has been put up by
the men in the Rochester suits for some weeks." and "Frank, at second base, showed that there were a few
in the Catholic League who didn't get scared before large (?) audiences at Culver Field, after playing to
whole parkfulls of people on the banks of the Genesee. He is little but never mind." and "Marshall and Frank
were given errors in the official score which might be construed as just a little too severe. The hit that
Frank fell down on, he did well to stop at all."
according to Rochester's The Evening Times: "George Frank of the Catholic League covered second bag
in a befitting manner yesterday and it may be that he will become a permanent acquisition."
according to the Rochester Post Express: "Frank was evidently afraid to expose himself to the danger
of bungling. Twice he compelled Ziemer to act in the dual capacity of fielder and baseman."
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "Ziemer had a busy time of it, and had he not been so selfish,
he and Frank might have made a couple of double plays. Ziemer tried to do it all alone , and as a result he
was just two ticks of the watch slow in each case to get the runner at first."
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: (on the addition of Marshall to the team) "Marshall played at
third and by the verdict of the fans he is "Peaches," "Hot Stuff," "The Candy," "All the Lemons," and there are
several wondering if there are any more at home like him. He finds work for his bat instead of his hammer, and
his three-bagger and his double were a great help toward the victory Rochester gained yesterday. He plays ball
like Hayden and that covers everything."
problems with Umpire Cox, according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "According to the bleacherites and
the players, there are several things wrong with Umpire Cox. He has lard in his hair, fish eyes, a tin
think-tank, a wooden head. One fan said that the umpire's vision was so defective he couldn't see himself
in a mirror. Another said that he ought to send about eighteen players to the bench and then make what was
George Frank Game 2. Friday September 12, 1902; Worcester 14, Rochester 2 at Culver Park.
according to the Rochester Union Advertiser: "Worcester played at Culver Field yesterday afternoon, and
Rochester helped some. Rendering the assistance was about all that Rochester did. After the first inning
the only question was when it would end, and the end seemed some time in coming. Mattern was in the box for
Rochester and when he didn't put it where the visitors could hit it safe some other Rochester player was
kind enough to contribute an error. The crowd lost interest in the result early and devoted its attention
to howling at Umpire Cox and one or two of the visiting players. Even that form of entertainment palled
after a time."
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "The exhibition put up by the locals was much on the order of
what is usually seen at a clambake after refreshments have been served repeatedly." and "Umpire Cox called a
runner safe at second when Frank put the ball on him three feet from the bag."
GAME NOTES: Frank batted seventh, got one hit in three times up and committed one of six Bronchos
errors, Ziemer with two miscues... 650 fans estimated at Culver Field, as Rochester falls to 53-71 on the
year, in sixth place, 30 games back of league-leading Toronto in the loss column... game time: 1 hr 56 min
George Frank Game 3. Saturday September 13, 1902; Providence 7, Rochester 4 at Culver Park. [double header game 1]
Democrat and Chronicle headline, 9/13/02, reporting on the double header
Rochester lost the first game of the double header, as Providence took command in the eighth inning, getting
to Bronchos pitcher Elmer "Herkey Jerkey" Horton, who would be tossed from the game by Umpire Cox.
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "Horton had pitched two balls to the plate and the third one
cut the plate but Cox said "three-ee balls". At this Horton looked at Cox in a manner that boded no good for
the "indicator man," and started for the bench. Cox thought his chance was at hand so he said: "Keep on
going and when you get there sit down." Arguments were of no avail and Coogan was called to the pitcher's box."
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "There was no sensational play in the entire struggle save
those of (Umpire) Cox."
GAME NOTES: Frank went 0-4 at the plate and committed an error, amongst the five team errors committed...
(14 errors in the past three games for Rochester!)...the box score listed a Frank-Ziemer-O'Hagan double play...
400 was the attendance and the game finished in 2:10...
George Frank Game 4. Saturday September 13, 1902; Rochester 8, Providence 8, tie, at Culver Park. [double header game 2]
A Rochester Broncho got revenge against Umpire Cox, according to the Democrat and Chronicle as it got
darker in the ninth inning:
"Again Umpire Cox was on the boards, but his mania for seeing new players in the game had somewhat subsided. It
is a shame the game had to be called, but darkness prevailed. In the last half of the ninth inning the score was 9
and 8 in favor of Providence and Rochester was at the bat with a man on third and no one out. At this time the
funny part of the exhibition occurred. "Herkey Jerkey" Horton, as before said, had had an experience with the
umpire and as he was not in the game as a player he sought sweet revenge on his persecutor. Darkness was falling
fast and as it was almost impossible to see the ball, Horton proceeded to the plate with a lighted lantern for
his worthy highness. The lantern trimmed and burning cast a shadow on Cox that will not soon be forgotten. It was
about the funniest thing that has been witnessed at Culver Field and showed him up in the light that people are
want to regard him. Horton marched proudly back with that satisfied expression which only those to when sweet
revenge comes can wear."
GAME NOTES: Frank was oh-for-three at the bat with two assists and no errors...four more errors were
committed by the Bronchos (18 errors in the past five games)... 600 fans were reported to be at Culver Field...
the Democrat and Chronicle had Rochester at 53-72 in the standings following the loss in game one...
The game was called on account of darkness with Rochester batting in the ninth inning. The Grays had scored a
run in their half of the ninth but the darkness ruling meant the score reverted to the last completed inning,
8 to 8, according to the rules of the period.
George Frank Game 5. Monday September 15, 1902; Providence 5, Rochester 1 at Culver Park.
Democrat and Chronicle, 9/16/02
more umpire bashing, from the Rochester Post Express: "As a man Cox appears to be a rather clever young
fellow, but once on the field and in the uniform of an umpire he apparently loses his cleverness and starts in
to add an element of buffoonery to the game."
It was Cox's last game officiating Bronchos games in '02- good riddance reported the Rochester Union Advertiser:
"The chief feature of the game was the characteristic umpiring of Generalissimo Cox, who is conceded to be
simply great on deciding an out or a safety without much consideration at certain times, and to be equally
facile at selecting the apparently wrong decision after taking time for sober second thought." and "It is
reported that he started (traveled) to Toronto last evening and if he fastens his eye on balls and strikes
in as apparently un-scientific and viscious a manner as he did yesterday, it is hardly safe to bet on the
results of the race for the Eastern League pennant."
GAME NOTES: Frank, batting seventh, got two hits in 3 times up, the Bronchos had just five hits in all..
double play listed: Marshall to Frank... fielding, Frank had one put out and one assist with no errors...
time of game was 1 hour, 35 minutes...
George Frank Game 6. Tuesday September 16, 1902; Providence 9, Rochester 2 at Culver Park.
Rochester Union & Advertiser, 9/17/02
Democrat and Chronicle, 9/17/02
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "The ball game, so-called, at Culver Field yesterday, between
the Rochesters and the Jersey City teams was the poorest game of the year. The patrons of the game have stood
for some ragged exhibitions but the game put up yesterday was certainly the limit. Becker was on the slab and
the Jersey City players hit him almost at will. There was little need for them to exert themselves, for the
errors and misplays of the locals were enough to let them win had they been unable to hit Becker at all." and
"Every player seemed to be filled with a desire to do something to add to the general demoralization ...As an
example of this glaring fault one of the misplays of the game is about the most stupid seen in many moons.
One of the Jersey City players was at first and attempted to steal. (Catcher) Coogan made a throw to second
base that might have retired the runner, but both Frank, the guardian of the base and (shortstop) Ziemer,
stood still in their fielding positions and let the ball go out to Blake in center field, and the runner
continued his easy jaunt around the bases."
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "The Culver Field Farce Comedy Company will positively close
the season after this week. O'Hagan, leading comedian, has arranged to take some of the best of his error-makers
on a little barnstorming jaunt after the season closes. They will put on the "howling" success, "Baseball at
Its Worst." The company has been practicing all season and should do great business but if any of the players
are guilty of making a hit they will be released. The first production of the farce on the road will be at the
grounds of the Penn Yan team in that place Tuesday afternoon."
according to the The Rochester Post Express: "Charley Carr (Jersey City Skeeters manager) brought his
mosquitoes to town yesterday morning and caught the Orphans (Rochester Bronchos) without their netting raised.
The result was that the locals were stung to death in the meeting at Culver Field yesterday afternoon. When
the slugging brigade of the visiting team did not pound out Becker's (Rochester pitcher) slow ones the remainder
of the team made errors that would lead to a call by a manager of an amateur team. Marshall attempted one-handed
fielding and fell down badly. On another occasion Coogan made a beautiful throw to second base to catch a stealer
when Ziemer and Frank did not move from their tracks and allowed the ball to bounce to the bushes. To-day Manager
O'Hagan should give them a spoonful of ginger ale before he turns them out of his Broncho corral."
according to the The Rochester Post Express: "Frank made a two-bagger but did not scrape up an acquaintance
with the third baseman as the side went out behind him."
GAME NOTES: Batting seventh Frank cracked what would be his only double in 1902, collecting in all two
hits in his second straight game... he also registered personal highs for put outs (4) and assists (6) in this
game (and no errors for the third straight game)... Eagan umpiring...
George Frank Game 7. Wednesday September 17, 1902; Jersey City 11, Rochester 6 at Culver Park.
Democrat and Chronicle, 9/18/02
according to the Democrat and Chronicle: "Rochester's team, by reason of the defeat yesterday and the victory
by the Royals (Montreal) over Providence, has dropped into 7th place in the race for the pennant. The champions of a
year ago are of the same name, as a team still, but there it ends. There does not seem to be any championship
material in the team as it is today. The champions stuff has all gone to other cities and Rochester is left with a
bunch of amateurs, hasbeens and never wasers."
GAME NOTES: Frank had 3 of the team's 8 errors, his worst fielding day with the Bronchos, together with one
putout and two assists... batting his usual seventh spot in the order, Frank finally scored his first run as a Broncho,
with one hit, before an attendance listed as 350 at Culver Field... Rochester fell to 53-74 in the standings with the
loss, a .414 winning percentage.
George Frank Game 8. Thursday September 18, 1902; Jersey City 4, Rochester 0 at Culver Park.
Democrat and Chronicle, 9/19/02
GAME NOTES: - With the fewest baseball witnesses at Culver Field in 1902, this would be the only time that the
Bronchos would be shutout, with Frank in the lineup... hitting 7th, Frank went hitless but was far from alone as the
Bronchos muscled up just four safeties... not one Broncho reached second base during the game... Frank was credited
with 5 putouts and did not commit any errors...he started at second base, and for the first time, switched over to
third base during the game...despite the loss, 7th place Rochester (53-75) was still 20 games ahead of hapless Newark,
wallowing in last place at 30-96.
George Frank Game 9. Friday September 19, 1902; Rochester 9, Newark 2 at Culver Park.
Democrat and Chronicle, 9/20/02
GAME NOTES: Ladies Day at Culver Field brought in 450 fans for a game completed in a brisk 1 hour and 18
minutes... in the first inning, Frank made his only hit of the game count as he singled in Ziemer who had
tripled (RBI were not listed in the box scores in 1902 and I haven't been able to determine if any of Frank's other
9 hits drove in runs- the term "RBI" is not found in the game accounts)... Frank batted seventh again... the win
broke off a four game losing streak by Rochester... the arrival of last place Newark woke up Bronchos bats as they
stroked 13 hits- the most during Frank's games played...
George Frank Game 10. Saturday September 20, 1902; Rochester 19, Newark 5 at Culver Park. [double header game 1]
Democrat and Chronicle, 9/21/02
GAME 1 NOTES: Winding up the season at Culver Field with a double header, the Bronchos bashed four homers and
two triples in the 19-5 drubbing of the Sailors in the first game... Rochester totalled 26 hits, the most while Frank
was in the lineup... Frank played at third base and hit 2-for-4 with one run and was charged with one error...
Frank was thrown out at third base during the game when he tried to go from first to third on a single... game time
was 1:45, before 600 fans.
George Frank Game 11. Saturday September 20, 1902; Rochester 18, Newark 5 at Culver Park. [double header game 2]
according to the Rochester Union Advertiser: "In the first half of the fifth, the visitors scored two runs but
as the score was then 18 to 5 and the Newarks said they had no other pitcher to go in, it was decided to call the game
and allow the visitors to get an early train for home where the team is to play an exhibition game tomorrow."
GAME 2 NOTES: Another 150 fans apparently joined the first game's crowd (attendance for game two listed at 750)
as the Bronchos won their third game in a row, crushing Newark one more time to end the season for both clubs... The
Bronchos finished in 6th place, ahead of Montreal and twenty games ahead of celler-dwellar Newark, so says the
Democrat and Chronicle- who reported that the Bronchos jumped into sixth place with the double header sweep...
but the official record via the Reach Guide placed Montreal in sixth place, and Rochester in seventh... Frank again
batted seventh and played third base- oh-for-three but scored a run and did not make any errors... the game was halted
in the fifth inning after only an hour of play as Newark ran out of pitchers, and apparently had had enough of losing,
during the regular season and getting beat up by the Bronchos: finishing with three straight losses to Rochester by the
combined tally of 46 to 12... the second game box score looks like some stats are missing, what with 18 runs being scored,
you'd guess that more than a triple and double were struck, certainly not as descriptive as the first game box score...
BOX SCORES OF GEORGE FRANK's FINAL GAMES: (Democrat and Chronicle 9/21/02)
1902 ROCHESTER BRONCHOS CONCLUSION
The 1902 Rochester Bronchos season was a disappointing one. Not only did they not defend the league championship,
they also failed to contend for the pennant, finishing sixth (according to some Rochester newspapers) or seventh
(according to the official stats book of the time, The Reach Guide).
the Rochester Post Express on 9/21/02 summarized the season, taking a shot at George Frank among others:
"Rochester was more than unfortunate throughout the entire season. The team was picked up through the winter after
the stars of the team of last year had been sold. They started off well and for the first six weeks played fast
ball. Then came the slump. There was a hole at second base that has not been filled this season. Francis was
played at short and was not a success. He has the greatest arm in the Eastern League and about the poorest head.
He is a natural hitter and would he but settle down and play the best game possible he would be a wonder. Big Ed
McKean was brought from Cleveland to act as manager and to cover first bag. The big fellow tried hard to fill the
bill but finally resigned when O'Hagan was signed. He was the star hitter of the team and played the game at all
times but he could not cover the territory when it came to fielding. Throughout the season the team played fast
ball on days when the crowd was small and it appeared as though every holiday was picked out as s a day upon to
make a bad exhibition. The attendance fell off as a natural result and had it not been for the drawing power of
the team upon the road the season would have resulted in financial disater to the owners. It did not however and
the close of the season will show a slight balance on the right side of the ledger notwithstanding the light
attendance and bad luck."
BRONCHOS BARNSTORM / ED FRANK TRIES OUT WITH BROOKLYN / CYML
After the 1902 Bronchos finished their Eastern League obligations, the team went on a brief "barnstorming tour" ,
featuring a few games versus some local talent. George played with brother Ed Frank. By family memories, Ed,
also an infielder and two years younger than George, was a better all-around player compared to George. As I remember
the story, Ed was granted a tryout with the major league's Brooklyn Dodgers but at some time was struck in the head
while batting and apparently became "plate shy" afterward in the batters box. Ed is listed on the baseball-reference.com
website- except with George's statistics apparently. George Frank is listed as Edwin Frank on the 1902 Rochester
Bronchos page. See the SOURCES section below for more on the confusion.
Playing exhibition games after the season was over was common in those days, including in the major leagues,
apparently sometimes in benefit games. The 1901 Rochester Union & Advertiser reported on a game September 23rd at
Culver Park featuring the Champion Bronchos versus CYML (Catholic Young Men's League) All-Stars. A "Frank" led off
and played third base for CYML, who lost 16-0 in the benefit game.
On the day after the Bronchos finished their '02 season, they began a tour of the area to play games at Lockport,
Penn Yan, Canandaigua, Clifton Springs and Jamestown. In the Lockport game, Ed Frank played third base for Lockport
and George Frank played third base for the Bronchos. Here's a mention and the box score from that game. (George Frank
hit for a double. Neither player had any errors.)
Democrat and Chronicle, 9/23/02
Ed Frank played for the Corpus Christi team of the CYML in 1902. I have not done extensive research into the
years that both Ed (Edward) and George played in the CYML, but it is possible that they both played several years for
their Catholic parish team, Corpus Christi, as they apparently lived at the time on Parcells Avenue in Rochester.
The Democrat and Chronicle reported, June 15, 1902, on a CYML game as Corpus Christi beat Immaculate, 7-1:
"E.Frank at third for the winners, played an exceptional game, his running catch of Hogan's fly in the 3rd inning
being one of the finest bits of work ever seen at the park. Later, he again distinguished himself by gathering
in a high foul fly over near the boulevard, after a long, hard run."
GEORGE FRANK COACHES BASEBALL AT HOBART COLLEGE
George Frank apparently went on to coach the baseball team at Hobart College in Geneva, NY from 1906 through 1908.
Hobart College yearbooks show Frank's first year coaching the baseball team as 1907. From the '07 Yearbook:
"The baseball team deserves to be congratulated upon the season of 1907. When the candidates met Captain
Cowan and Coach Frank in early spring, the outlook was very far from encouraging, a lack of pitchers was the
greatest drawback and it soon became evident that only five varsity men were able to play.
The team met these discouraging prospects with remarkable pluck and a good fighting spirit. It batted better
than any Hobart aggregation of ball players in a number of years. The two pitchers received better support and
this led them to play a good steady game and fight to the bitter end. This last is attested by the extra-inning
games of which the team won two out of three and tied the other.
Coach Frank earned the admiration and respect of every man on the team and the whole college saw the fruits of
his work in every game. He was patient and painstaking and allowed none of those petty quarrels and jealousies
which are so detrimental to an athletic organization. We are heartily glad that he is to return this year and
with but one varsity player lost, the 1908 team should improve upon last year's record, and make a strong bid
for the league pennant.
Apr 20, Hobart 20, A.T.S. 9
May 1, Hobart 1, Rochester 10
May 8, Hobart 12, Hamilton 11
May 10, Hobart 4, Colgate 4
May 11, Hobart 0, Rochester 5
May 15, Hobart 5, Alfred 4
May 23, Hobart 15, Hamilton 8
June 1, Hobart 2, Colgate 7 "
From the 1909 Hobart College Yearbook:
"The baseball season of 1908 was a series of disappointments. Everybody knew and recognized that Hobart had the
best team in the league. But, in spite of the good work by Coach Frank, a bunch of fatal mistakes were made and
the continual friction on the team combined to cause the loss of games by close scores, but nevertheless lost.
The defeat at Clinton was a mistake as was shown by the lemon which Hamilton received when they came to Geneva.
Both Colgate games were lost by close scores, first 0-1, 2d, 2-6. The Union game 3-4, was certainly heart-breaking,
as was also the game at Rochester which was lost by the same score. However, the season ended with Rochester's
defeat to the tune of 7-6, a chaser which left a good taste in everybody's mouth. We hoped to get the pennant
and were within striking distance all the time, but somehow we couldn't quite strike it."
The family photo below (click to enlarge) shows the team alongside George Frank, as Frank hoists the flag at
the Hobart Field, apparently to signify the start of a new season.
Happened to find a painted postcard selling on Ebay, picturing baseball at Hobart Field, in 1905:
...and found a couple of photographs from Hobart College, from an 1890 baseball game versus the University of Vermont
(click below photos to enlarge)
GEORGE FRANK PARADED ABOUT FIELD BY FANS
During my microfilm research, I came across a mention of George Frank managing the Lockport High School team.
In May of 1903, Lockport beat a strong team from Buffalo, warranting a mention in the Democrat and Chronicle:
(article a little tough to read, so transcription follows)
"The Masten Park baseball team, of Buffalo, received its first defeat of the season to-day at the hands of the
Lockport High School team by a score of 11 to 10. The game was rather slow, but the interest taken to the contest
was because of the fact that it was an interscholastic game and the opponents of the home team was the famous
Buffalo school, which has never before been defeated in athletic games by the local school. In the last half
of the ninth inning, with the score tied, Tierney came home on a hit by Hilton, after two men had been retired.
The excitement was thrilling and Coach George Frank, of Rochester, who has had the local boys in charge for the
past week, and to whom much of the credit is due, was carried around the field on the shoulders of several of
the enthusiastic crowd of spectators."
During my research, interesting to see what was going on locally and nationally in 1902.
Here's a few notes about the cost of living back then, in 1902:
House for rent, 5 rooms 10.00/month
Men's extra fine business suits 3.50/each
Carpenters paid 2.75/day
Toilet paper, .25/6 packages
Rochester newspapers 1 or 2 cents each
Mattress, full size , 2.75
bottle or glass of Coca-Cola, 5 cents
hot dog, 2 cents
New products introduced in 1902: crayola crayons,gas-powered lawn mower, Nabisco Animal Crackers
The big story nationally during September of 1902 was a coal miners strike. From a Wikipedia entry on the subject:
"The Coal Strike of 1902 was a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coal fields of
eastern Pennsylvania. Miners were on strike asking for higher wages, shorter workdays and the recognition of
their union. The strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to all major cities (homes and apartments
were heated with anthracite or "hard" coal because it had higher heat value and less smoke than "soft" or
bituminous coal). President Theodore Roosevelt became involved and set up a fact-finding commission that
suspended the strike. The strike never resumed, as the miners received more pay for fewer hours; the owners
got a higher price for coal, and did not recognize the trade union as a bargaining agent. It was the first l
labor episode in which the federal government intervened as a neutral arbitrator."
Transportation of the day was including more and more automobiles. On August 22, 1902, Theodore Roosevelt
became the first President of the United States to ride in an automobile. Here's the Franklin Auto of 1902:
It was originally owned by S.G. Averell of Ogdensburg, N.Y., and cost $1200. This car has a two-passenger wooden
body with leather upholstered seats and a four-cylinder, seven-horsepower, air-cooled engine. The car was cranked
to start. The angle-iron frame has a 71-inch wheelbase. The steering wheel is on the right. On the steering column
just below the wheel are two levers. The one on the right controls the spark and the one of the left controls the
throttle. (Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903).
Rochester's The Post Express published this article on September 18, 1902:
Here's an ad for those still resisting the automobile craze:
As was mentioned earlier, "blue laws" were in effect in Rochester at the turn of the century. And in September of
1902, it was reported in one of the papers how a survey showed that 11 saloons were open on a Sunday in violation
of local law. Below, The Rochester Herald reports on a scandal that accuses the mother of a city police
captain of illegally selling alcohol on a Sunday!
And a sampling of the Classified Section of the Democrat and Chronicle" from September of 1902
GEORGE FRANK PHOTOS (click to enlarge)
George Frank baseball photo: Hobart College
George Frank portrait photos: courtesy of Paula (Frank) Leather
Art Devlin: luirig.altervista.org
Matty McIntyre - en.wikipedia.org
Ed Barrow: http://www.lonecadaver.com/HOF.html
Joe Delahanty - bleacherreport.com
George Stallings: http://www.lonecadaver.com/HOF.html
Culver Field 1906: Rochester Herald
Hobart baseball field, 1890 photos- sportsantiques.com
Hobart post card: ebay seller: gold-coast
Franklin Automobile - http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove/collection/object_1302.html
SOURCES / REFERENCES / CONTACT INFO
Besides the Reach Guide and Rochester newspapers of the period, I consulted baseball-reference.com
for my statistics. Cousin Paula (Frank) Leather (daughter of George Frank's son, George) contributed the
George Frank portrait photos and also has confirmed various family details with her own research, including
census and marriage information as it relates to this report.
As noted, that baseball-reference.com website has Ed Frank's name attached to at least some of George Frank's
statistics HERE!. "Edwin Frank" shows 6 games played in Toledo in 1902, then playing 1902 for Rochester,
then playing in the New York State League for a few years, then playing for Toronto of the Eastern League-
against Rochester- during 1906. (That's my next microfilm project/search- confirming if this is THE Ed Frank,
as Rochester papers would be sure to mention this!)... Meanwhile, George Frank is listed within baseball-reference HERE!
but does not show him playing for Rochester, does show him playing for Fort Dodge in the ILPB in 1904
(I saw that confirmed in a Rochester paper during my research, but in May of 1903) then for Penn Yan in 1906-
which could coincide with him going to coach at Hobart)... Speaking with the folks at baseball-reference.com,
they realize that the minors stats are a mess, and have no real desire to change things- or research them for
god's sakes- but they did say that in about ten years they would consider modifying some stats, and hopefully
I can at least get some stats correct [like George's batting average, they have listed at .208 playing for
Rochester, I have it as .250 and I'd rather him be known as a .250 hitter!-- they have him in 13 games and 10-48
at bat which I'm quite sure isn't true, should be 40 AB]. Visit the baseball-reference page on the 1902 Rochester
There is also a great website HERE! which features a web crawler that helps research old Rochester
newspapers. I found some baseball stuff and the Franks researching this and when I have more time I want to
keep at it-- an amazing website!
Overall, some questions remain and I will get after some, sometime. If anyone can fill in some blanks or
correct my goof-ups or assumptions, conclusions please contact me at email@example.com.
-Bill Flynn, last edited: 08/26/12