12 January 2015

a black armband for tony boeckel

this 1990 target dodgers card of dutch stryker is many things, but one thing it is not is a photo of a brooklyn player.
it is a card featuring a pitcher with a bat, and more importantly for this post, it is a card featuring a black armband, and as promised in this post, i'm addressing the armband now.  stryker was a brooklyn robin in 1926, and while the team did wear pinstripes that year, they did not have a blank hat or a black armband.  that means that stryker is shown here in his boston braves uniform from 1924, when they had pinstripes, blank hats, and wore black armbands for a teammate tony boeckel.  it also helps that 1924 was the only other season that stryker appeared in the major leagues.

boeckel played third base for the braves from 1919 through 1923 after a couple of years with the pirates.  he drove in the braves' only run in the 26-inning 1-1 tie between boston and brooklyn in 1920. he had his best season in 1921, hitting .313 with 84 rbi, 10 homers, and 20 steals, although he also led the league in errors by a third baseman that year, just as he did in 1920 and would do in 1923.  boeckel did also hit .298 in 1923, which would be his final season.  in february of 1924, he died due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident in san diego. yankee great bob meusel was also in the car at the time of the accident, but was uninjured.  boeckel was just 31 years old when he died.

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