Charles Dryden

A charter member of the BBWAA, Dryden’s turns of phrase are often repeated. His assessment of the futile Senators, “Washington: first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League,” is a classic. Of Ed Walsh, he wrote, “He’s the only man who can strut standing still.” He named Frank Chance “The Peerless Leader,” Charles Comiskey “The Old Roman,” Phil Douglas “Shufflin’ Phil,” and the 1906 White Sox “The Hitless Wonders.” Dryden left grade school to work in a foundry before joining the San Francisco Examiner in the early 1890s. By 1893, he was sports editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. In 1900 he joined Hearst ‘s New York American. When he began poking fun at Andrew Freedman, the Giants ‘ owner barred him from the Polo Grounds. Dryden continued to write humorous accounts of games by perching on a telephone pole outside the park. After brief stints with the Evening World and Philadelphia North American, he joined the Chicago Examiner for what was then the highest salary of any baseball writer. He later worked for the Herald Examiner and Tribune. Dryden, who wrote all his copy in longhand until near the end of his career, retired in 1921 after a stroke left him paralyzed and nearly speechless. He was voted the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 1965.