"Yanigans" -- another message from 19cBB discussion group

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Thu Dec 5 14:54:37 UTC 2002

    Below my signoff is another message on baseball Yanigans from the
19th Century Baseball discussion group.

Gerald Cohen

To: "'19cBB at yahoogroups.com '" <19cBB at yahoogroups.com>
From: "Ball, David (BALLDW)" <BALLDW at UCMAIL.UC.EDU>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 23:38:03 -0500
Subject: RE: [19cBB] yanigans
Reply-To: 19cBB at yahoogroups.com

Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I remember reading that the term was coined
by Jerry Denny when he played for Providence.  I have no idea what the
source was, but if it's right -- or if it was in use at all at that time --
the term would be pushed back to the early or middle 1880's.

This is a stretch, but it strikes me that Denny, though he grew up in
California, was obviously playing in New England when he was with
Providence.  Steve Brady, the putative friend of Con Yannigan and Denny's
older contemporary, was also a New Englander, and likewise Wilbert Robinson.
On the other hand, I see that Frank Kitson, who seems to have been unaware
of the term until he heard it from Robinson, was from Michigan.  Of course,
I'll have to admit that Ned Hanlon, who also seems not to have heard of it,
was yet another New Englander.  Still, maybe New England is the place to
look for the origin of the word?

David Ball

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Morris
To: 19cBB at yahoogroups.com
Sent: 12/4/02 6:28 PM
Subject: RE: [19cBB] yanigans

In the Grand Rapids (MI) Herald of May 24, 1903, Frank Kitson gave this
explanation of the term's origin: "in 1896 when Ned Hanlon had his old
Baltimore Orioles, we went to Macon, Ga., for our training trip.
Robinson, the chunky Baltimore catcher, was picked by Hanlon to captain
Colts' team.  That year we had a bunch of youngsters who were very fast,
Hanlon did not think well of them and the day before the practice there
all sorts of 'kidding' around the hotel about 'Robbie's' team.
had her old-time team [including John McGraw, 'Wee Willie' Keeler, Hugh
Jennings, Joe Kelley, 'Steve' Brodie, etc.] . . . 'Robbie' had for his
players a bunch of youngsters, seven of whom were either pitchers or
catchers.  I played second base and what we did to the regulars was a
plenty.  We beat them 19 to 4 and that night 'Robbie' was so tickled,
little old American house in Macon would not hold him.
        "Hanlon naturally was sore and when 'Robbie' came from the
diningroom he
laughingly said to Hanlon: 'You have a h--l of a nice team.  Even my
Yanigans can beat you.'  'What's the Yanigans?' asked Hanlon.  'That's
kid team in Baltimore,' was the reply. 'They're only 14 years old.' ...
'Y-a-n-i-g-a-n-s - Yanigans,' mused Hanlon.  'Yanigans, that's a pretty
name for a practice team.'  And from that day to this all the younger
players who work against the regulars during training trips are called
'Yanigans.' "

Peter Morris

>  -----Original Message-----
>  From: marty payne [mailto:martyp at toad.net]
>  Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 5:21 PM
>  To: 19cBB at yahoogroups.com
>  Subject: [19cBB] yanigans
>  In 1897 the Baltimore Orioles sponsored a team called the
>  Yanigans.  They were composed of the Oriole non roster reserve
>  players and "a few other choice professionals" from the Baltimore
>  area.  They were often managed by Wilbert Robinson.  They toured
>  the area playing against city and rural semi pro teams.  The
>  purpose was to keep their non roster players sharp in case they
>  were needed.
>                                                  Marty Payne
>  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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