1907 team. (Added Mar., 2009)
Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide for 1907
SOUTHERN MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION.
By President Joseph S. Jackson.
In the second season of its history, that of 1907, the South Michigan League achieved a record alike creditable to the men who, as club owners in the organization, have been working for the success of the Association, and to the fans of the circuit who have supported it and have shown their appreciation of the class of Base Ball provided. Up to 1906, when this association was organized, no league in Michigan had succeeded in weathering a complete season, and the success of the South Michigan in going through two years and thus establishing itself as a permanent institution is cause of self -congratulation to its directors.
An eight-club league took the field at the start of the 1907 season. The league had begun operations in 1906 with five clubs, Mount Clemens, Kalamazoo, Tecumseh, Battle Creek and Jackson. Late in that season Saginaw was taken in, the territory becoming available through the collapse of the Inter-State League. At the circuit meeting in the fall it was decided not to continue in Saginaw. The circuit was advanced to one of eight clubs by awarding franchises to Bay City, Flint and Lansing. With a single exception, Jackson, these cities competed the season, giving the league a record of losing but one club in two years.
The 1907 race was an excellent one, and the pennant was won by the Tecumseh club after a hard battle with Kalamazoo, the contender. Battle Creek was coming fast at the finish, and Mount Clemens make one great trip, but was too far behind the leader at the time to threaten. Bay City started well, but fell away toward the close. Lansing and Flint got poor starts and were unable to get out of the second division. The winning of the pennant by Tecumseh is interesting in view of the fact that that city has less than twenty per cent of the population of the next smallest town in the league.
Though the records seem to indicate that the batting was extremely light, there were some good batsmen in the league. But it was especially strong in pitchers, no less than half a dozen of these being drafted. The pitching strength, with the fact that some of the scorers were very severe on the fielders, accounts partly for the batting figures shown. Single run victories and overtime contests were numerous. The league attracted attention of the scouts, though it was in Class D, and five men were taken by the majors, as follows: Merkle of Tecumseh, New York Nationals; Maire of Kalamazoo, Boston Americans; Gough and Chiesman, Mount Clemens, Detroit Americans; Teal, Tecumseh, taken by the Athletics, but draft disallowed because of irregularity. In addition, Classes A and B took a number of players.
For 1908 but one change in the circuit is made. Jackson returns, making up the eight clubs, a new and stronger association backing the teams. The Mount Clemens franchise is transferred to Saginaw.
It is believed that the South Michigan has he most compact eight-city circuit in organized ball. There are six jumps of less than forty-two miles each. From the extreme northeaster town, Bay City, to the extreme southwestern stand, Kalamazoo, the trip by rail can be made inside one hundred and fifty miles.
Joe S. Jackson of the Detroit Free Press, connected with the league since its organization, was elected to serve his third term as president at the annual meeting. James A. Reynolds, sporting editor of the Jackson Citizen-Press, was elected secretary-treasurer.
The standing of the clubs and the averages of the leaders in Batting and Fielding in the Southern Michigan league in 1907, according to the official records, are given herewith. The complete official records are published in Spalding's Official Base Ball Record, for sale by all newsdealers, price 10 cents.
STANDING OF CLUBS AT CLOSE SEASON.
Team, Won, Lost, Percentage.
Tecumseh – 69, 42, .622
Kalamazoo – 62, 47, .569
Battle Creek – 63, 49, .563
Mt. Clemens – 51, 51, .500
Bay City – 46, 47, .495
Lansing – 46, 57, .447
Flint – 42, 64, .396