Vandy Crowned Baseball Champs in 1921
March 23, 2011
Today is "Cap Alley" day out on Dudley Field. In honor of the man who has patrolled the campus for thirty-six years, the revenue of receipts from tickets for Howard College-Vanderbilt game to be played this afternoon, are to go to the venerable policeman.
James "Cap" Alley was for a longtime a one-man police force on the Vanderbilt campus. He began his work in 1886 and continued until his death in 1927. An article in the Vanderbilt Alumnus Magazine (April 1916) stated that Alley was a landscape gardner, special policeman, and custodian of the campus of Vanderbilt University.
Vandy celebrated second "Cap" Alley Day with another slugfest at the expense of a pair of Howard hurlers copping the second and last game of the series with little difficulty some 13-to-1. The Commodores swatsmiths slugged hard, collecting ten hits, including a pair of four ply swats by McCullough, one by Brown and another by Scotty Neil. Speaking of Babe Ruthers, no less of nine were made in this Harvard series.
Vanderbilt concluded the 1921 baseball season with a 20-5 record and the S.I.A.A. championship. The Commodores had not lost a conference series the entire season. The conference clincher came in a game against Kentucky on the Vanderbilt campus. The Tennessean reported:
You will find those Commodores this morning, straddle the crest of the Dixie college ball world. They sealed the peak yesterday when they slaughtered Kentucky State by an 18 to 3 count and thereby grabbed the last series with a Southern Conference team. The lopsided decision over the Lexington outfit, which performed in wretched fashion defensively, ran the Vandy total of season victories to 16 with but three reverses. Tennessee won a dual on Dudley Field and one in Knoxville while Mercer bagged one decision on the home ball pasture, No rival of the Commodores during the campaign has been able to collect the meaty end of a series from Vandy.
Douglas was in his second and last season as Vanderbilt's baseball coach. In 1920 his Commodores achieved an 11-11 record. He was a Nashville native and received a Bachelor of Literature degree from Princeton in 1916. While at the Ivy League school, Douglas became an All-American catcher. In 1921, Douglas authored the book, The Science of Baseball.
The season of 1921 brought great glory to Vanderbilt through the great S.I.A.A. championship baseball team, the first which has graced Dudley Field in a number of years. The marked success of this team was due almost entirely to one man, Coach Byrd Douglas, Vanderbilt alumnus, and later star catcher of the Princeton baseball team.
After Princeton, Byrd earned a law degree from Cumberland University and later became a Board of Trust member and Director of Athletics for two years. Douglas coached the Princeton baseball team from 1928-30 compiling a 31-45-1 record.
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