Whately Pioneers Vintage Base Ball Club
Supe 'Spider' Sadowski
Spider Sadowski came from a baseball family. His father, Joseph had played semi-pro baseball around the El Paso area for years and once had a tryout withthe New York Giants, but did not make the team and became a male nurse. Joseph pitched for the Pinebrook A.C. and the National Turners of Newark, New Jersey. Spider originally wanted to be a pitcher, but his father, who had been a pitcher for Deerfield High School himself, convinced him to become an infielder so that he could play more often.
Spider’s nickname then was “Jellybean” for reasons unknown. He got the nickname Spider from sportswriter Zipp Newman of the Greenfield Age Herald, for his many amazing one handed plays at short-stop. While playing for the Whately Pioneers, Spider won a game with a leaping catch and the headline in the paper read “Game saving grab by Spider Sadowski, Wins Game for Pioneers".
Physically, Spider was a big guy for his time: 6 feet 1 inches, 190 pounds, batted right handed, threw right handed.
He played on a few semi-pro teams in the Montclair area before playing for Williamsport, when he signed a contract with Buck Fluff of the Pioneer organization. A half hour after he signed with Fluff, Matches Avery arrived with an offer from the Westfield Wheelmen which was for $1,500 more. Spider had a minor league lifetime average of .315 when called up to the show.
One of the more colorful, but controversial players of the time was Clint 'The Dentist' Wells. When Buck acquired The Dentist in a trade for half a dozen base balls many feared that The Dentist would infect the Pioneer clubhouse with his antics. In an attempt to avoid this, Buck had Spider room with Wells while on the road, hoping Spider’s positive influence would rub off on The Dentist. Unfortunately the opposite occurred and Wells and Spider would often find themselves in Buck’s doghouse (with Bugs). This, many feel, contributed to Spider’s worst slump of his career hitting a measly .217, while committing a league high13 errors (in one game). This could result in Wells expulsion from the team, and soon Spider was again hitting over the .300 mark.