About Me

I am a long time baseball fan who became interesting in documenting the "missing" batter strikeouts a few years back as an outgrowth of my interest in the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. Grew up w/ the Big Red Machine. I now follow them and my new hometown, Detroit Tigers. Member of SABR off and on since 1979.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Player found! Joe Cross

Still plowing my way through the 1888 AA Cleveland games and I think I have come across a "missing" player.


In a September 5, 1888 game between Louisville & Cleveland, a "Cross" is shown in the box score for Louisville as playing left field and having one at-bat (he struck out).   It was assumed that this was Lave Cross, one of Louisville's catchers - in fact ICI shows a Sept 5 entry for Lave.   However, in the Sept 6, 1888 Cleveland Plain Dealer, in its "Notes of the Game", it says: "While at bat in the seventh inning, Cook caught a swift pitched ball on the hand and had to retire.  Vaughn took his place behind the bat, Ramsey went to left field and Cross of the Graphics, a brother of Lave, a Louisville catcher, took the latter's place in right."

There is a Joe Cross who was a pitcher and occasional outfielder for the Graphics (a semi-pro team in Cleveland) in 1888.  He is identified in another citing as Lave's brother (when Amos Cross's death was reported on July 17, 1888).

I see no reference to this change in the Cleveland Leader.

However, Lave Cross was injured on September 2, "tore his knee in a fearful way.  He quit playing and will not likely play again for some time".

I currently do not have access to any Louisville papers to get their take on it.

Lave Cross' next game was on 9/13 at St. Louis.

The St Louis Republic makes no special mention of Cross's "return", but being a rookie and and an opponent's backup catcher, this is not necessarily surprising.

Digging into Sporting Life currently with no success.

I hope to get some more information from Louisville papers (Times and Post).

Has a "new" player been found?

Not sure - if anyone else has access to other resources or has any insight, I would greatly appreciate the help.
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UPDATE - Adding comments into main blog entry for ease of reading:
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Update:

Got scans of the Louisville Post, Times, & Courier Journal for Sept 3-14.

No mentions in the Post or Times, but in the Courier-Journal, on Sept 6, it states in the game summary: "...Young Cross, a local player, who had taken Cook's place in the team, was in right field, and let a ball go through his legs, O'Brien scoring on the error..."

Also, in the heading it refers to "Two Local Players Borrowed To Fill the Positions On the Diamond"

One of those local players was Bill Crowell, as he is mentioned as such early in the article.

Lave Cross would not be referred to as "Young Cross, a local player" as he was, first, known as "Kid" Cross at this point in his career and unlikely would have been referred to in this manner ("a local player") as he had been on the team for a while.

As a result, with sources in the city of the game and of the team affected, I have concluded that this is indeed Joe Cross of the Graphics.
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  Sent out my info to the 19cc Yahoo group and got some great additional information from the great participants of that group:

John Thorn:
This Joe Cross appears also to have pitched for Altoona in the spring of
1887, being released in early June, and for the Cleveland Forest Citys
in a game against the Sharocks of Cincinnati on June 19, 1887. By
September he is back with the Graphics. pitching against the Malleables.
Joe Cross pitched for the Resolutes in April 1888. Joe Cross is also
referred to as the younger brother of Lave in the Plain Dealer of April
21, 1889. In Amnos Cross's obituary notice in the Plain Dealer of July
18, 1888, Joe is mentioned as a brother.


Richard Malatzky:
I have been working on the biographical info on Joe.

I traced him to the1892 Cleveland city directory as Mary Cross wid Joseph 668 Clark.

Remember that the last name was Kirz and they were all born in Bohemia or Austria. I am working on the sisters in the obit of Frank Cross.

This makes 4 brothers in the big leagues.Amos, Lave, Frank and Joseph.


John Thorn:
Joe Cross is first listed as a ballplayer with the amateur Forest Citys
of 1879:

In And Out-Door Sports. Turf, Field, Stream and Table. Base Ball

(News Article)

Date:1879-03-05;

Paper:Plain Dealer

BTW, it turns out that there is yet another ballplaying Cross brother:
George, who in 1906 signed on as a catcher with Evansville!


John Thorn:
Joe seems to be the oldest of the Cross (Kriz) brothers. An Ancestry
family tree, by no means a sure thing for reliability, lists Joseph A.
Cross as born 6 Jan 1859 in Chicago, Illinois, USA to Joseph Kriz (not
Kirz) and Mary Kotski Kriz. Joe died, according to this, on April 2,
1933, in Cleveland. His listed "widow" in 1892 may have been his
ex-wife. A Lena REmier is listed as his wife in the family tree, with no
birth/death data.

The father and mother of the Cross/Kriz brothers were born in Bohemia in
1831 and 1839, respectively, and died in 1891 and 1893, both in Ohio.
They may have landed in New York in 1858.

Joseph Cross is provide with this rundown at ancestry.com:

# /ID:/I257
# /Name:/Joseph A. CROSS
# /Sex:/M
# /Birth:/6 JAN 1859 in Chicago, Ill
# /Death:/2 APR 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio
# /Fact 1:/1933 Buried in Troy, New York
# /Fact 2:/1888 Baseball player with Cleveland Graphics
# /Fact 3:/1910 Cigar Maker
# /Fact 4:/1925 Caulker
# /Fact 5:/1930 Division of Water, Cleveland, Ohio
# /Fact 6:/1931 Store Keeper
# /Fact 7:/1932 Machinist


Name: JosephKriz
Year: 1859
Age: 26
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1833
Place: New York, New York
Source Publication Code: 206.2
Primary Immigrant: Kriz, Joseph
Annotation: Extracted from rolls 323 through 432 of Microcopy 237,
"Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1820-1897." Provides
data on country of origin, name of ship, and, sometimes, destination.
Date and port of arrival. Copies of these books may be obta
Source Bibliography: BACA, LEO. Czech Immigration Passenger Lists: New
York Passenger Lists. Richardson, TX: Baca. 1847-1869. Vol. 4, 1991. 182p.
Page: 78

By this census listing of the Cross/Kriz family from 1870 we see that Amos Cross was at first named Emil and that Lave was named Ratislaw.


Name: Joseph Kriz
Age in 1870: 35
Birth Year: abt 1835
Birthplace: Bohemia
Home in 1870: Milwaukee Ward 2, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Milwaukee
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Joseph Kriz 35
Mary Kriz 33
Anna Kriz 13
Joseph Kriz 11
Emil Kriz 10
Vlasta Kriz 6
Ratisldw Kriz 4
Biminak Kriz 3
Libbey Kriz 7/12

Jack Morris:
Here's a death notice that ran in both the April 3 & 4, 1933 Cleveland Plain
Dealer for the Joe Cross listed in the Ancestry Family Tree:

Cross: Joseph A., beloved husband of Lena (nee Reamer), father of Liddia.
Sunday at 1:30 a.m. at residence 5005 Clark Ave. Remains at Edward H.
Lindhorst & Son's Funeral Home 1610 Clark Ave., where service will be held
Tuesday April 4 at 2:30 p.m.

John Thorn:
By this census listing of the Cross/Kriz family from 1870 we see that
Amos Cross was at first named Emil and that Lave was named Ratislaw.

Name: JosephKriz
Age in 1870: 35
Birth Year: abt 1835
Birthplace: Bohemia
Home in 1870: Milwaukee Ward 2, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Milwaukee
Value of real estate: View image
<http://search.ancestry.com/iexec?htx=View&r=an&dbid=7163&iid=4268781_00324&fn=Joseph&ln=Kriz&st=r&ssrc=&pid=14907759>

Household Members:
Name Age
Joseph Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=14907759>
35
Mary Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=14907761>
33
Anna Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=5902553>
13
Joseph Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=14907758>
11
Emil Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=5902554>
10
Vlasta Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=8329879>
6
Ratisldw Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=14907762>
4
Biminak Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=14907757>
3
Libbey Kriz
<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&indiv=try&h=14907760>
7/12

David Nemec:
This great thread raises, among other things, the reliability of censuses in those days.  Seems like they all were handwritten, at least initially, and may have often been unintelligible to anyone else if the original interviewer happened to die or otherwise be unavailable to transcribe his/her notes for the official record.  Too, I'm puzzled why Emile would change his name to Amos, not at all a Czech or Bohemian name but a common Hebrew one.  My hunch is that by the time all the mysteries about this family are unraveled--or at least as many as can be--it will prove to be among our most interesting baseball families.  If Joe Cross was indeed with the 1879 semipro Cleveland Forest Citys (perhaps a sort of reserve team for the NL club), it deepens the puzzle of when and why he was the first of the ball-playing brothers to appear as Cross rather than Kriz since the team had several other Czech-Bohemian players who retained their names including the 3B
who finished the season with Chicago, John Stedronsky.

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