Friday, June 24, 2005
June 24th, 1907
Rollie Hemsley Born
I mentioned Rollie Hemsley ever so briefly as one link in the chain from Frank Bowes to Arnie Munoz, and being that today is his birthday (or would be, he died in 1972) it seems fitting to do him. Hemsley came up in the Pirates system in a prosperous period for the franchise that also produced Kiki Cuyler and Paul (Big Poison) and Lloyd (Little Poison) Waner. Those three went to the Hall of Fame and all but Cuyler were long-term Pirates. Hemsley made some All-Star teams, but never developed into a star. The reason is fairly clear in his nickname "Rollicking Rollie," earned because Hemsley enjoyed a good time and a good drink. Bill James, in a phrase so clever I wish it were my own, wrote that Hemsley "seemed to take prohibition as a personal challenge."
He played, almost entirely as a back-up, for