Mike Menosky

  • Card series: Jim Dandie Feds
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Rebels
  • League: Federal League

Michael William Menosky (1894-1983) earned the nickname “Leaping Mike” for his abilities in the outfield and had some fine years at the plate, particularly for the Red Sox, in his nine-year tenure in the majors. He got his chance with the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League in 1914. The team was aptly named, being one of the “outlaw” clubs that vied with the two established circuits for two years. The Rebels had come into the league as the Stogies, the old Union Association team in the Steel City. In its 1912 incarnation, the club was known as the Filipinos, reflecting not a heretofore unknown Asian connection to baseball, but in honor of its manager Deacon Phillippe. Ah, the romance of the early game! Menosky put up very average numbers in Pittsburgh and then with the Senators, a stint interrupted in 1918 by the war in Europe. He came into his own with Boston where he finished his career from 1920-23. His first three years in Fenway saw Mike bat .297/.300/.283 playing as a regular. His final campaign saw a marked drop-off in offense as he slumped to .229 in only 84 games. These seasons in Beantown pumped up his lifetime batting average to a solid .278. Menosky had speed, witnessed by his 10 triples and 22 steals for Washington in 1917 and the 23 stolen bases for Boston in 1920 that ranked fourth in the AL. He was the Sox’ regular left fielder his first two seasons and opened in center in 1922, but only played four games there. Boston released the veteran after the ’23 season and Mike went west to play for the PCL’s Vernon (southeast Los Angeles) team.

  • Menosky became a probation officer after leaving baseball. He played an interesting “expert witness” role in a criminal case involving a defendant charged with hurling a rock through a Detroit railroad terminal window. When the judge was skeptical that the man had the arm for that misdeed, he called Mike to demonstrate what a major league outfielder could do. When Menosky failed to throw the missile the 250 feet required to reach the window, the judge dismissed the case, reasoning that if Mike couldn’t do it, the poor suspect couldn’t have either

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