The Post-Journal

Bedient is "Mr. Baseball" to Area; Starred With Red Sox

When the Hall of Fame nominating committee sat down several weeks ago to name six men for the initial shrine, the name of Hugh Carpenter Bedient was the first marked in the old-timers' panel by all five committee members.

Balloting ends at midnight tomorrow and the name of the solid citizen of Levant, hard by Falconer, is among the old-timers who are eligible.

The nominating committee could not have made a wiser choice.

Bedient has been Mr. Baseball to this area for more years than most people can remember.

Like Swat Erickson, Bedient is best remembered for a local performance - his 42 strikeouts against Corry in 23 innings that still stands as a world record.

Bedient received 19 offers to play pro ball after his astonishing feat of 1908 and finally accepted. Four years later he was in Boston Red Sox livery, making the big show just in time to take part in the World Series.

Hugh appeared in the second, third, fifth and eighth games of the '12 classic between the Red Sox and the New York Giants.

He hurled a brilliant three-hitter to beat Christy Matthewson in the fifth game and started but did not win the eighth contest as Boston copped the series. Lifted for a pinch hitter with the score tied 1-1, Bedient was on the bench when Smoky Joe Wood won the contest.

To Bedient, too, goes the distinction of appearing in one of the three tie games ever played in the World Series - the eleven-inning, 6-6 second contest, called because of darkness.

Hugh, born in Falconer on October 23, 1889, won 20 and lost 20 for the 1912 Red Sox. He had records of 15-14, 8-12, and 16-18 through the next three seasons, the later with Buffalo of the old Federal League.

Hugh broke in with Fall River, MA, of the New England League in 1910 and in 1911 was called up by the Red Sox under the old free draft rule. He reported for spring training, but was sent to Providence of the International League. Hugh had an 8-11 record with a ball club that lost 105 contests and his achievements caught the eye of Red Sox officials who called him up in 1912.

Bedient appeared in 152 major league games.

Hugh was signed by the New York Yankees in 1918, but an ailing arm did not come around and he failed to see action. His roommate then was Herold "Muddy" Ruel, now farm director for the Detroit Tigers, owners of the Jamestown franchise.

The closing years of his career touched on Toledo, Portland and Atlanta, that latter marking one of his finest seasons in organized baseball.

But baseball did not offer the future that it does now, and eventually the lure of a steady job at home and a chance to play baseball part-time was too great and Bedient stepped away from pro ball.

Today Bedient and the missus live on their farm, a mile from Levant, where the affable Hugh, who talks little about his own achievements, but much about baseball, still follows the fortunes of the game closely.

Bedient is one of three old-timers on the ballot. The others are Ray Caldwell and Swat Erickson. Later-day athletes fans are voting for are Sal Maglie, Nellie Fox and Irv Noren.

One from each group will be enshrined in Jamestown's first Hall of Fame, July 22 during special ceremonies at Municipal Stadium.

Fans may vote by ballots being published in The Post-Journal or by postcard. There is no limit to the number of votes each may cast. All votes should be mailed to the Hall of Fame committee, Chamber of Commerce, Jamestown, NY. The Hall of Fame is being sponsored by the Manufacturers' Association of the CC.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.