Here’s a brief piece from Baseball’s Winning Ways on a great baseball character from bygone days:


Nick Altrock

Nick Altrock was a professional baseball player and left-handed pitcher. He won 62 games in his best years for the Chicago White Sox from 1904 through 1906. Altrock won Game 1 of the 1906 World Series versus the mighty Chicago Cubs.

The White Sox of 1906 was a team of modest hitters, so much so they were called the “Hitless Wonders.” The White Sox needed excellent pitchers like Altrock and his teammates Ed Walsh and Doc White.

It is hard to imagine today, but Altrock started performing funny clown routines while coaching first and third base. The fans loved him. He had an especially prolific career coaching, occasionally playing, and mostly clowning for the Washington Senators. He played in vaudeville and he was popular wherever he went. He entertained audiences into his 80s.

In the photo above, Altrock is doing some creative writing while sitting on his comedic partner Al Schacht with Babe Ruth and Manager John McGraw looking on. This type of photo would have been in newspapers all over the country.


Baseball’s Winning Ways is written for enjoyment, inspiration, and information by the author of The 10 Commandments of Baseball, J. D. Thorne. Baseball’s Winning Ways examines baseball eras and their backgrounds, along with profiles of great current and past players. The drama of the game, its history, baseball superstitions, statistics, and the story of trading cards are presented clearly for readers from age 12 on up. The central theme of the book is baseball’s principles that are essential to the best baseball programs. The author points out that baseball promotes certain virtues that are so important today. These are the values that parents, grandparents, teachers, and coaches want to pass down to the next generation—as important now as ever.

Photo: Ruth, McGraw, Altrock, Schact: Bain News Service