The Obit For Pink Hawley

Milwaukee Sentinel, 20 September 1938

Pink Hawley, Great Mound Wizard of Yesteryear, Passes

BEAVER DAM, Sept. 19 - (Special) - Emerson (Pink) Hawley, 66, one of the greatest baseball pitchers at the turn of the century, died at his home here Monday after several years' illness.

With him at the time of his death were his wife and son, Emerson, Jr., of Chicago.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 8 o'clock from the home at 810 Washington St., with interment in Oakwood cemetery. The Rev. S C. Ross of Wayland academy and Junior college and Judge C. M. Davison will officiate.

They called him the Duke of Pittsburgh. They named a cigar after him. They rated him as one of the great pitchers of all time, a king of speed ball artists, a pitcher who could field and hit, a pitcher who would rather win a game than cash in on a $20,000 bit of dishonesty. And $20,000 then, as now, ain't marsh hay.

The original Duke of Pittsburgh was Beaver Dam's favorite major league son - Hawley, one of twin boys who were born in Beaver Dam on a bleak December day way back in 1872. The other twin was Elmer - later called Blue. The proud mother of these young upstarts was the only person in town who could tell them apart. To help Dad Hawley in his efforts to whisper sweet ooos in the ears of his latest offspring and to keep the family records straight, Mother Hawley hit upon the ingenious idea of marking one baby with a pink ribbon, the other with blue. Hence Pink and Blue.

A BROTHER TEAM Pink and Blue grew up - as most young boys do. An older brother, Fred, grew up with them and when they got past the one ol' cat age, their names became bywords in Beaver Dam baseball - Pink as the pitcher, Blue, the catcher and Fred as first baseman. Old timers up Beaver Dam way never neglect the chance to tell how Pink, Blue and Fred, composing their own three-man baseball team, took on the Wayland academy nine, after the Beaver Dam city team failed to show up and handed the academy boys an 8 to 1 defeat. The academy team got one hit off Pink, but it rolled to the outfield and before Fred could chase it down the fortunate player had circled the bases.

The triumvirate was broken up by Blue's death, but Pink carried on. In 1892 he decided that his string of successes around Beaver Dam were the result of talent - not luck - and overcoming Pa's objections, he struck out for fame and fortune, paying his own expenses to the Chicago White Sox training camp. Pop Anson, Sox manager, liked the looks of the inexperienced youth but couldn't find a place for him on the staff that year.

Pink was discouraged. He was ready to pack up and go home as soon as Pa had wired the funds. But Dame Fortune interceded. Fort Smith was looking for a pitcher and came to Anson for advice. He immediately recommended Pink who went to Fort Smith, helped build the ball park, organized a team and then pitched his way to everlasting glory.

WHIFFS 27, LOSES Among the games at Fort Smith was one he pitched against Joe McGinnity, the Ironman. In this game, one of the strangest in all baseball history, Pink struck out 27 men, yet lost the game by 1 to 0. A scratch infield hit, a passed ball and an error brought about his defeat.

That fall he reported to the St. Louis Browns, who were under Chris Von der Ahe, one of the most colorful of all baseball's characters. For three years, he pitched for the Browns until Connie Mack, then with Pittsburgh, saw him pitch an exhibition game against the Milwaukee club under Charlie Cushman and demanded his purchase. A story goes with this game.

It seems that Pink had tried to connect with the Brewers but Cushman couldn't see him any more than Lenz could see Culbertson. Three years later Pink pitched for the Browns in an exhibition game and before start of play he said to Cushman, "You couldn't see me then, Charlie, but you'll see me today."

The outcome of the game is history - the Browns winning, 14 to 0 behind Pink's fine hurling that saw 14 Brewers go down on strikeouts. Mack was so impressed with Pink's work that he told his club officials that he had to have Hawley with the result that Pink was purchased for $3,500 and three players, the highest price ever paid for a player up until that time.

WON TWO CROWNS The next three years Pink spent with the Pirates, getting what was then the top-notch major league salary, $2,400 per season. His next stopping place was with the Cincinnati club which gave the Pirates $3,500 and three players in the exchange. Three years were spent in Redland, followed by a year with the Giants and the closing of the brilliant big time career with Milwaukee and Buffalo.

After retiring, Pink went to La Crosse where he opened a cigar store and helped organize the Wisconsin Illinois League. The lure of the diamond was too strong and back Pink sprung into the game, this time into managerial togs. He piloted the La Crosse club four years, winning two titles and finishing second twice. going from there to Oshkosh where he managed the Indians for one year.

Among Pink's greatest achievements were strings of low hit games; the feat of winning 28 games in 1895 and his .330 bat average the same year; three strings of 10 straight victories; his 1 to 0 defeat at Fort Smith, previously mentioned, and his ironman stunt of pitching Union City, Tenn., to three straight wins in three days over Jackson.

It seems that thousands of dollars were wagered on the series and a delegation of fans visited Von der Ahe and hired the services of a pitcher - the fans to make their own choice. Pink was chosen. After winning the first game the fans got him to stay over, wiring Chris that Pink was ill. Then he won two more games and went back to St. Louis and Chris, who welcomed him with open arms and apologized for sending him to a place where "der tam vater was rotten, ach," Pink, meanwhile, hugging tightly to his bosom the several hundred extra ironmen he had picked up.

'Tis many a good yarn Pink could weave about Chris and other baseball characters. But Chris, the cream of them all, was Pink's favorite. He told about Chris' yen for calling meetings of players and of the meeting that was called in tan eighth story room at a New York hotel. During one of Chris' tirades, Kid Gleason, the club cut-up, burst out laughing causing Chris to ask what the "chokes ver all aboot?"

"It's those kids peeking in the window," Kid replied. And Chris went over and pulled down the shade.

DUKE OF PITTSBURGH Another time Chris was bawling the whole club out in general. He raved and ranted, stormed and hissed as only Chris could. Finally, warming up to the subject, he said, "But I von't mention no names, but by golly that tam third baseman better watch out."

On another occasion Chris wanted to send a telegram to a girl but didn't want her to know who sent it. Going into a telegraph office with Pink, he started writing , stopped and handed the pencil to Pink, saying "Ach, Pink, you write it, she knows my writing."

It was during Pink's stay at Pittsburgh that he won the moniker of the Duke of Pittsburgh, because of his fastidious dress, his diamonds, stovepipe hats, frock coat, morning trousers, and all that goes with the well dressed man. A giant in size, well proportioned, a star pitcher, athletic idol and with the looks of the matinee favorite, Pink was the toast of the town and was given the name of the Duke of Pittsburgh. A cigar was named the Duke of Pittsburgh after him.

Also, during his Pittsburgh career, came an event that shows Pink's love for the game above all else. A world famous ex-prize fight champion called Pink to his room one night and offered him $20,000 if he'd "throw" the next day's game, odds for which were 8 to 2 on the Pirates and Pink.

"Think it over, Pink," the gambler cautioned, "If you refuse you'll go back to your hotel room a $2,400 a year player."

"Yes, I'll go back in my room at $2,400 a year player," Pink interrupted, "but I'll be able to sleep tonight."

And that was the end of the bribe attempt.

Historically, as well as athletically, the name of Hawley is a byword in United States history, for on both sides of Pinks' family are colonists, the Bannisters of New York and the Hawleys of Northampton. And it was Maj. Joseph Hawley, a member of his father's family tree, who ordered the Boston Tea Party that helped to bring on the war of the Revolution.

Pink managed the Beaver Dam bowling alley until several years ago when he was stricken by illness. Mrs. Hawley, whom he married during his stay at Buffalo, helped him in his game fight and helped to put their son, Emerson Jr., through Wayland academy and the University of Wisconsin.