Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Daily Conlon: #168 Fred Snodgrass - How We Won the Pennant

Here is the Daily Conlon card numbered #168 of Fred Snodgrass as he tells about how his New York Giants won the pennants from 1911 to 1913. Surprisingly, it is entirely attributed to a good luck charm named Charles Victory Faust. Read the description on the card back below. Feel free to click on the pick to embiggen. In the meantime, I'll put up a snippet of Faust's biograph at the SABR biography project.
In the annals of baseball history, the tale of Charles Victor "Victory" Faust is virtually unmatched for sheer strangeness and improbability. Arguably the least athletic person apart from Eddie Gaedel to play in the major leagues, Faust pitched in two games for the 1911 New York Giants and contributed two stolen bases to their record-setting total of 347. Before those game appearances, however, Faust made his mark as John McGraw's good-luck charm and mascot. His invincible jinxing powers inspired the Giants to win the National League pennants of 1911 and 1912, after which his luck ran out and he faded into oblivion for a half-century.
As you might expect from a Giant tale of superstition and good luck, Charlie Faust would later be institutionalized in Oregon and Washington from hebephrenia- a type of schizophrenia. Later in 1914 he would die of a pulmonary tuberculosis, which also happens to be the year Charlie was not on the team after a 3 year run. Without his presence that year the Giants would end up in last place.

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