Happy Hogan (baseball)

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Happy Hogan (born Wallace Louis Bray, formal baseball name Wallace Louis Hogan)(1877–1915) was an American minor league baseball catcher and manager in the early 20th century. He is a member of the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.

Hogan as the manager for the Vernon Tigers in 1911.

Hogan was born on October 13, 1877, in Santa Clara, California. He played at Santa Clara College and then USC, captaining the Trojans to a championship.[1] He first played professionally in 1901 in the 1899–1902 iteration of the California League. His team (Sacramento) moved to the Pacific Coast League (PCL) as a founding member in 1903, and Hogan remained in the PCL for the rest of his career. He played through the 1914 season, serving as a player-manager 1909–1914.

Hogan changed his last name, at least for baseball purposes, from Bray to hide his participation in the then–somewhat–déclassé profession of baseball from his father.[2] Although Hogan was a very poor hitter[1] (his lifetime batting average is .180 and slugging average is .217),[3] he was a good catcher,[2] had a scrappy larger-than-life personality and was a well-known figure in the beginning days of the PCL,[1] was the longest-serving player from the PCL's founding year (playing from 1903 to 1914), and managed the Vernon/Venice Tigers (1909–1915),[4] dying in harness. He was selected to the league's hall of fame[5] either in 1943[6] or at some unknown point between 1943 and 1958[7] (detailed records have not been kept).

After Hogan took over the manager's chair of the Vernon Tigers in 1909, newspapers sometimes called the team "Hogan's Tigers".[8] As a manager, Hogan was an advocate of the controversial innovation of uniform numbers.[9]

Hogan contracted pneumonia[2] and died on May 17, 1915 in Los Angeles at age 37.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Snelling, Dennis (2012). The Greatest Minor League: A History of the Pacific Coast League, 1903-1957. McFarland & Company. pp. 54–55. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Assumed Names–Happy Hogan". Baseball History Daily. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Wallace Hogan". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Happy Hogan". Baseball Reference Bullpen (SABR/Baseball Reference Encyclopedia). Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  5. ^ "The Original Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame". MiLB.com. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "Happy Hogan". Pacific Coast League. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  7. ^ "Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame". Baseball Reference Bullpen (SABR/Baseball Reference Encyclopedia). Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  8. ^ Worth, Richard (2013). Baseball Team Names: A Worldwide Dictionary, 1869-2011. McFarland. p. 313. ISBN 978-0786468447. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  9. ^ ""Branding us as if we were a Band of Convicts"". Baseball History Daily. Retrieved October 11, 2015.

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