Bert Gallia Mysteries Clarified (Maybe, Not Really)

The 1910 Beeville Orange Growers; Pitcher Bert Gallia is 3rd from right in the back row, wearing the letter “S” upon his heart side breastplate.

Back on March 24, 2010, I wrote a blog article here about the “Boys of Beeville,” the four native sons of my shared native birthplace of Beeville, Texas.

The column raised a couple of research questions that have now been probably answered and also made more mysterious by a new fine research article written for the Southwestern Historical Quarterly by Stephen Chicoine about the life and career of Melvin “Bert” Gallia, the young pitcher shown in this column’s featured photo. I want to thank friend and research colleague Mike Vance for pointing me to this finest, most full and thorough treatment of Bert Gallia. It was excellent, even if it leaves us with the same mystery about the picture above.

In the 3/24/10 article, the first question is most easily pointed further down the road to its answer by Chicoine. We wondered why Gallia was wearing the jersey with the large letter “S” on the heart side breastplate? Chicoine points out that Gallia was winding down his university career as a pitcher for St. Louis College in San Antonio when he joined the 1910 Beeville Orange Growers. It makes sense that Gallia was almost surely wearing his collegiate jersey in the photo, although we have to stop short of certitude in absence of a closer look or further proof. So, it’s still an unsolved mystery, but not a very beguiling one.

Our second question from 3/24/10 was simply this: Why does today’s featured photo showing Bert Gallia with the 1910 Beeville club contradict the fact that Baseball Reference (dot) Com shows Bert Gallia not breaking in to pro ball with  Beeville and Laredo of the Southwest Texas League until 1911. Chicoine’s article has Gallia down for a 3-6 record with Beeville in 1910 and also states that he doesn’t join Laredo until 1911.

Gallia rejoined Beeville for the start of the 1911 season, but he was soon released by new manager Billy Disch. He then signed as a free agent with Laredo of the same league and his career took off down a fairly quick trip to the major leagues. Baseball Reference (dot) Com still shows Bert Gallia as not even beginning his career until 1911.

Someone’s in error here. And, unless that 3-6 record in 1910 was completely achieved in exhibition games, which doesn’t seem to be the case, given the fact that the opponents listed by Chicoine are all league foes in a league that improbably had room on their limited schedule for one man to gain nine decisions in games that don’t count, it appears that the error may rest with BR.Com.

Perhaps, you can make some better sense of it.

Here’s the link to my original article:

https://thepecanparkeagle.wordpress.com/tag/beeville/

And here’s the link to Stephen Chicoine’s new article:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=1387397e941030ef&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D9b5cf08e20%26view%3Datt%26th%3D1387397e941030ef%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&sig=AHIEtbSpW7htITYJI_t_ouKMTQu6y0xEOw

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4 Responses to “Bert Gallia Mysteries Clarified (Maybe, Not Really)”

  1. Cliff Blau Says:

    SABR’s Minor League Database, which is the source of Baseball-Reference.com’s minor league data, is incomplete, so I wouldn’t put much importance on it not showing Gallia on Beeville in 1910. We’ve still got a long way to go on the minor league stats.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thanks, Cliff. We shall look forward to the continuation of progress in the minor league data area. You guys already have done a beautiful job. Most of us remember when we virtually had nothing but scattered data on a few players’ minor league data, but your SABR team started turning that shortfall around to a significant level. Also, I hope you will come to the 2014 sABR National Convention in Houston, I’d really like to meet you.

  2. Davis O. Barker (Jacksonville, Tx) Says:

    http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/692/
    Chicoine article

  3. Davis O. Barker (Jacksonville, Tx) Says:

    http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/SportingLife/1910/VOL_56_NO_07/SL5607009.pdf …. this is a link to Sporting Life (Oct 1910) that shows the stats for 1910 SWL …. according to these stats Gallia did pitch of Beeville … 6g 41ip and 3-1 record ….

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