“Put Me in Coach”
It is easy to assume that the roster of a minor baseball team begun in Ludington in 1912 would be populated by local ball players. In their seven year history the Ludington Mariners had very few local men on the team. Perhaps equally surprising, the team held its first spring training in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Of the five Mariners who were purchased by major league teams and subsequently played at that level, the most accomplished was pitcher Eddie Wells, a Kansas native who pitched for Detroit and the New York Yankees and was a teammate of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Ludington’s own Dave Claire briefly became a member of the Tigers too in 1920 playing shortstop in the same line-up with Cobb.
The 1921 season was the most memorable in Mariner history when Ludington won the Central League pennant and played for a post-season championship against a team from London, Ontario. This talented team had six .300 hitters in its starting line-up and also boasted three 20-game winning pitchers. Loveland, Colorado artist, Mark Lundeen created “Put Me in Coach” and is admired for his ability to sculpt fine sports pieces.