Oscar Joseph Dugey
Born: October 25, 1887 - Palestine, TX
Died: January 1, 1966 - Dallas, TX
Career BA: .194
Boston Braves NL (1913–1914, 1920)
Philadelphia Phillies NL (1915–1917)
What Oscar Dugey lacked in pure baseball talent, he made up for in knowledge and intelligence. These traits were most likely inherited from his father, a prominent businessman in Palestine, Texas. Because his dad’s name was also Oscar, the family took to calling little Oscar by the nickname Jake. In 1913, as a rookie with the Boston Braves, Dugey had two hits in eight at-bats posting a career-best .250 batting average. He had a decent .339 on-base percentage in 1916 with the Phillies, but would only play two more big-league seasons, returning to the Braves for his final season in 1920.
Statistics, however, do not tell the whole story of Dugey’s baseball acumen. Known mainly as a backup second baseman to future Hall of Famer Johnny Evers, Dugey was a “Jake-of-all-trades” for the 1914 Braves managed by George Stallings. According to reports, Stallings was obsessive about keeping the Braves’ dugout clean. Opposing players would toss peanut shells into the Braves’ dugout just to goad Stallings. Dugey was in charge of keeping the pigeons away. Legend has it that he ruined his arm by constantly tossing rocks at the birds. The Braves won the World Series in 1914 in a sweep of the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1915, Dugey would find himself in the City of Brotherly Love playing for the Phillies. As a player and trusted advisor to manager Pat Moran, Dugey would once again reach the World Series as the Phils lost to the Red Sox.
Ever the thinker, Dugey gained a reputation around the big leagues as an expert sign stealer. As a coach for the Braves and Cubs, he could tell what a pitcher would be throwing just by eyeing the grip. Dugey was also known for antagonizing and inciting opponents to the point of brawling. He was, in today’s parlance, a good baseball man, a smart and feisty grinder whom we would take on our team any day.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html