Tag Archives: History

Chick Davies “Chemist by Profession, but a Baseball Player by Choice”

Lloyd in his Philadelphia Athletics uniform, 1914.

In the early 20th century, Baseball fever exploded in Peabody like never before.

The reason?

Lloyd Garrison “Chick” Davies.

Lloyd came by his talent naturally. His cousin, John Atkinson Leighton, also played ball and had one season with the Syracuse Stars in 1890. When Lloyd began at Peabody High in 1906, he soon showed he had plenty to give the school and the town. A southpaw pitcher and batter, Lloyd led Peabody High School on to a championship in the North Shore League in 1910.

After graduation, he went onto major in chemistry at the Massachusetts Agricultural College in Amherst (now UMass Amherst). While there he caught the eye of Connie Mack, the manager for the Philadelphia Athletics. And in 1912, Lloyd agreed to play for Mack when he graduated in 1914.

Lloyd’s debut in Boston as a major league Baseball player came on September 3, 1914. Hundreds of fans poured into Fenway Park for Chick Davies Day.

Mack offered Davies another contract for the next year but he didn’t offer him any more money. And so, Lloyd came back to Peabody and worked at the Danvers Bleachery. But his Baseball career didn’t end. He played several years for semi-professional teams, including the Springfield Ponies and the New Haven Profs. And in 1925, Lloyd was once again recruited by the major league, the New York Giants. He helped them win the World Series in 1926. In that year, he led the National League with 6 saves and 29 games finished.

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“In Good Style”

Peabody Baseball Team of 1899

Peabody Baseball Team of 1899

The rules for baseball have changed a lot over the years. But the excitement over the game is as high as ever.

In the 1850s, players used baseballs that were the size of golf balls and were filled with shot. Their bats looked more like broomsticks than what we know today. And the games. . .well, they weren’t exactly played like they are today.
In 1860, a game played between the South Danvers Bencia Club and the Lynn Outalanchets had 45 innings and a final score of 76 to 31. South Danvers (now Peabody) won that match. Unfortunately, the Civil War began soon after and 8 of the 12 men on the team joined the Army. Five were so severely wounded during battle that they were discharged due to their disabilities. And one, Charles Warner, was killed at the Battle of Fair Oakes in Virginia.

After the war, baseball fever heated up again. There were lots of great players during the 1870s and 1880s. One of the best was Sam King. He was so good, in fact, that in 1871 Harry Wright, who had just formed the Boston Red Stockings (later the Red Sox), asked Sam if he wanted to play for him. He did, but his parents’ didn’t agree. And Sam stayed in Peabody. That didn’t stop his playing, though.

He played for the Lynn Live Oaks, a semi-professional team. And in 1884, he was asked to play for another major league team, the Washington Nationals. He stayed in Peabody for the rest of his life, operating his real estate business from his home on Lowell Street. He died in 1922.

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