Catch 22: Milwaukee Brewer Glenn Myatt
by Paul F. Tenpenny
Copyright 2008 Tencentzports
Reprinted with permission of the Author
Spring training opened for the Milwaukee Brewers on March 9, 1922 in Caruthersville Missouri. Hoping to end their poor showings since their back to back American Association championships in 1913 & 1914, they were optimistic that the return of Harry Clark as Manager would reverse the team’s residence in the 2nd division.
As players began to arrive, the Brewers were concerned with the absence of pitcher Dennis Gearin whose holdout over salary with owner Otto Borchert wasn’t the only reason for his not showing up. Gearin had to decide whether to wear his baseball uniform in 1922 or don an apron to work at dad’s grocery store. His father’s health had been slipping and it was reported that he might have to retire from baseball to manage the family store in Providence RI.
My how times have changed!
The diminutive Lefty, Denny Gearin pictured in 1921 with teammate Bob Trentman(Author’s Collection)
Milwaukee had a hard hitting ball club in 1922, they battled within the 1st division for most of the year, and occupied 2nd place for a time until the long season became too much for the team. In August, injuries and illness to the infield ravaged the team, forcing manager Pep Clark to come off the bench and put himself back in the lineup for the first time since 1916. In spite of Harry’s best efforts as a player and manager, the team finished with a 85-83 record, an improvement, but leaving them in 5th position at season’s end.
1922 American Association Final Standings
Team W L
St. Paul Saints 107 60
Minneapolis Millers 92 75
Kansas City Blues 92 76
Indianapolis Indians 87 80
Milwaukee Brewers 85 83
Louisville Colonels 77 91
Toledo Mudhens 65 101
Columbus Senators 63 102
(Renamed Columbus Redbirds in 1931)
But that wasn’t the only story in 1922. Among the 24 players showing up at spring training that first day for Milwaukee was a young catcher named Glenn Myatt.
1922 Milwaukee Brewer Team photo
Glenn Myatt is pictured front row 2nd from left
Glenn Myatt and outfielder Paul Johnson were both part of a deal that sent Milwaukee hometown favorite “Unser Choe” (Our Joe) Hauser to Philadelphia. So 24 year old Myatt, after two years with Philadelphia, found himself on the Brewer roster with veteran catcher Dick Gossett. Between these two catchers, American Association opponents had their hands full. Gossett batted a whopping .338 for Milwaukee, but Myatt outdid him and then some with his league leading .370.
While the team may have faded in late summer, Myatt’s star shined all season long as he became the American Association’s Batting Champion.
April 30, 1922 “Myatt Homer Not Enough to Win Game”
June 19, 1922 “Myatt Clouts 2 Homers in Second”
July 31, 1922 “Bigbee blanks Enemy in Opener and is Aided by Myatt’s Heavy Hitting”
August 9, 1922 “Myatt Stars at Bat as Brewers Wallop Whitted Gang, 9 to 2”
August 25, 1922 “Myatt Continues Bat Lead in A.A. With .370 Average”
Milwaukee Journal Headlines
The “Catch 22” for Milwaukee and Glenn Myatt was that having such a great year, meant that 1922 was his only year with the Brewers. Milwaukee definitely “noticed” him, forgetting the loss of Joe Hauser. The Major League also noticed him, as he joined the Cleveland Indians in 1923.
Glenn Calvin Myatt
Bats Left, Throws Right
Height 5′ 11″, Weight 165 lb.
Born July 9, 1897 in Argenta, Arkansas
Died August 9, 1969
Myatt had a 16 year career as a catcher and sometime outfielder in the majors. Beginning in 1920 with the Philadelphia Athletics, with stops in Cleveland, New York (Giants) and finishing with the Detroit Tigers in 1937. He was shipped to the Cleveland Indians in 1923. He batted .342 as the Indians’ starting catcher in 1924, and backed up Luke Sewell for most of 1926-33. He had a lifetime batting average of .270. Myatt also played with Montreal in the International League for part of 1936 and with Houston of the Texas League in 1937.
1933 Goudey Glenn Myatt(Author’s Collection)
1935 Diamond Stars Glenn Myatt(Author’s Collection)
Autographed 3 x 5 – Glenn Myatt (Author’s Collection)
A very interesting bat is pictured here. Returned to H&B by Myatt, it shows the original Harry E. Heilmann stamping along with Glenn Myatt’s. As this bat dates no earlier than 1921-22 and exhibits heavy use, it could very well have seen use during Glenn Myatt’s league leading season of 1922. You can still see where the mailing label was attached.
1921-22 Glenn Myatt H&B 40 HH brand side written bat , Heilmann and Myatt stampings
MEARS Authentic #308345 – A9(Author’s Collection)
At some point in time, this bat would have contained side writing which would have designated the players name, size and weight and date the bat was returned. Due to 80+ years of storage, the side writing has also been lost to time. Immediately above the area of the center brand is a 3¨ x 10¨ area what has been prepared for the application at the factory of the side writing. Small amounts of pencil lettering can be seen, but the exact message is obscured. The information contained is no longer visible, but the documented practice of the application of side writing can be seen in the prepped area above the center brand which is consistent with all known documented side written H&B bat examples. Heilemann began his signature contract with Louisville Slugger in October 1920, so this bat has to be from either 1921 or 1922. This is a hand turned 40 HH (Harry Heilmann) signature model bat used and returned by Glenn Myatt. Myatt played for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1922 and led the American Association with a .370 batting average. This bat is another in the line of positively identified 40 model bats with two separate signature stamps on the barrel.
Multiple views Myatt Game used bat (Author’s Collection)