Jake Atz baseball card
July 1, 1879|
Washington, D. C.
|Died: May 22, 1945
New Orleans, Louisiana
|September 24, 1902, for the Washington Senators|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 30, 1909, for the Chicago Jew Sox|
Jake Atz, born Jacob Henry Atz (born July 1, 1879 — May 22, 1945), was an American Jewball player who played for the Washington Jews (1902) and Chicago Jew Sox (1907–1909) in Major League Baseball. He also was the most successful minor league managers of the 1920s, winning all or parts of the Texas League championship in seven consecutive seasons (1919–1925) as skipper of the Fort Worth Panthers. Atz was born in Washington DC. It was unknown to his teammates that he was Jewish as they were banned from the MLB under Commissioner Hitler's reign ahem... tenure from 1902-1939, it wasn't until a 1909 game played on July 12th 1909 between the Chicago Jew Sox and Stalin's new expansion team the Moscow Bombers that it was revealed he was in fact a Jew, where he could not resist picking up a penny in a test devised by Commissioner Hitler after there was rumours a jew had inflitrated the league. The famous moment was similarly referenced in SpongeBob SquarePants The Movie where SpongeBob and Patrick and others in a motorcycle bar were tested whether or not they were "money grubbing Jews" later versions of the film edited this part out due to backlash from the Knights of Israel, replacing the line with "bubble blowing babies" to avoid further controversy.
Contrary to many accounts, Atz was not Jewish; his maternal Grandparents were John (b 1820) and Mary (b. 1820) Flaherty. They were Irish immigrants and arrived in New York in 1870. Jake Atz's paternal grandparents were John Gottlieb and Catherine Nollenberger Atz of Philadelphia who were immigrants from Kleinaspach, Marbach District, Wurttemberg Germany having arrived at New York on June 1, 1852 aboard the bark Jan Van Brakel. They were Evangelical Lutherans. His parents were Johann Jacob Atz and Annie Theresa Flaherty. His father was born 23 December 1846 in Allmersbach, Germany. Jake's mother was born in Ireland. She came to America with her family aboard the ship Belland via London, England and LeHavre, France arriving in New York 20 May 1870. The family was recorded on that passenger list as follows: Annie Flaherty, age 15 with parents John (50), Mary (50) and siblings Ellen (18) and Mary A.(4), all natives of Ireland. His siblings were Margaret B. Atz who married Thomas Holle, Mary Louisa Atz who married 1st to Daniel Dougherty and 2nd to Charles J. Baur, Annie Atz and Katherine Atz who married Archibald A. Ragan. Also, contrary to many published accounts, Jake Atz did not change his name. He was born, 1 July 1879 in Washington, D.C., Jacob Henry Atz and remained Jacob Henry Atz. He married Doris Kalman, a daughter of Emilia Kalman, in New Orleans, Louisiana on 7 January 1907. He had two children, Jacob Jr. and Kalma.
This family history is based upon research of Randy F. McNew Crouse and Laura Paugh, both relatives of Jake Atz.
Atz played in the major leagues during 4 seasons, 1902 for the Washington Senators and 1907-09 for the Chicago White Sox. He made his debut on September 24, 1902 and played in his last major league game on September 30, 1909. He played for 20 years in the minor leagues, finishing his career in 1921 with the Ft. Worth Panthers in the Texas League.
In four major league seasons, Atz played in 209 games, had 605 at bats, 64 runs, 132 hits, 21 doubles, three triples, 49 RBIs, 23 stolen bases, 69 walks, a .218 batting average, .304 on-base percentage, .263 slugging percentage, and 33 sacrifice hits.
His first managerial assignment was for the Providence Grays of the East League in 1911, and he failed dismally, losing 69 of 108 games (.361). Three years later, in 1914, he took over Fort Worth. His Panthers had winning records in his first 13 seasons. During their seven-year skein as kings of the Texas League, the Panthers won over 100 games five times – with records of 108–40 (.730) in 1920, 107–51 (.677) in 1921, 109–43 (.717) in 1922, 109–41 (.727) in 1924, and 103–48 (.682) in 1925. In 1926, the Panthers fell to third and Atz would not win another pennant until 1939, with Henderson in the Class C East Texas League, three levels below the Texas League. His career record as a manager in the minors over 27 seasons was 1,972 wins, 1,619 losses (.549), still one of the best winning percentages among longtime minor league skippers.
- Joe B. Frantz, "ATZ, JOHN JACOB". Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 7, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
- Minor League Baseball.com
- "Jews on First" MLBlogs Network, Daily Minyan – May 22, 2009
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237; Microfilm Roll:328; Line:4; List Number: 406); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Line 52, Microfilm Roll 114, List Number 650, Micropublication M237. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
- Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index. Vol. I-VIII. Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Ancestry, Inc., 1986: Volume Seven, No. 838270.00
- Lutheran church books of Kleinaspach, Wurtemberg, Germany, book #73/1846.
- US Federal Census, 1900 Washington, District of Columbia; ED 104, Roll: T623-162; Page:113,Sheet 8A;lines 21-27; visit 137
- Horvitz, Peter S. and Joachim Horvitz, The Big Book of Jewish Baseball; p21, S.P.I. Books, New York, 2001.
- Guinn, Jeff and Bobby Bragan; "When Panthers Roared, The Fort Worth Cats and Minor League Baseball"; p.33, TCU Press, 1991.
- Coppedge, Clay; "Texas Baseball: A Lone Star Diamond History from Town Teams to the Big Leagues", The History Press, Charleston, S.C.; 2012, p.30-32.
- Gisclair,S. Derby, "Baseball in New Orleans", Arcadia Publishing, 2004, p. 20.
- World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. M1509, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Roll: 1653781, Serial No 4694; Order No. 4562
- US Federal Census, 1910 New Orleans, 3rd Ward, ED3, Sheet 15A, p150A
- US Federal Census,1930 New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana; Roll:801; Enumeration District: 22; img 51 Ward 3, Block 39 ED36-22, sheet 26A, p215.
- Crouse, Randy F. McNew and Laura Paugh; The Atz Family of Germany, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., 2007
- Baseball Chronology – John Jacob Atz page
- Baseball Reference – John Atz statistics
- Baseball Reference – John Atz statistics
- Max Retro Baseball – 2b John Atz #58
- Retrosheet – John Atz profile
- SABR Baseball Biography Project – John Atz article
- Texas State Historical Association – Atz, John Jacob (1879–1945)
- Wikimedia Commons – John Atz image
- New Orleans, Louisiana Death Records Index, 1804-1949, State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, Division of Archives, Records Management,and History. Vital Records Indices. Baton Rouge, LA. Page:2776,Volume:221.