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Bats Unknown, Throws Unknown

Advice for young self-made writers of dubious talent and forgettable, sometimes-pleasing web-humor: relax! Producing quality material, especially in such a strangely self-limiting genre, may seem intimidating at first, especially while Masahiro Tanaka is busy killing baseball for weeks at a time. It may appear as though every decent idea you squeeze out of your limited perspective and unimportant personal history might be your last. But don’t worry: if you’re truly destined to be a semi-anonymous content-creator, the Fates will apportion you tiny little pellets of inspiration at random intervals. How else to explain, after a 2.5-year writing career, my recent discovery of this:


Such ancestral bonds might go unappreciated by a Mississippi Matt Smith or a Zach Reynolds. But my sole genealogical heritage belongs to a man who killed cute animals for a living and created a town solely for the purpose of selling their skin. Armond Dubuque doesn’t much of a leaderboard to climb, is what I’m saying.

The man is a mystery. We don’t have any photographs, any biographical data, or any clue as to how mighty his facial hair. What we do know is that Armond wasn’t much of a pitcher. He played two years of C-level ball, posting a career ERA and WHIP of 5.00 and 1.674, respectively. But obviously Dubuque was an early adherent to pitching to the score, going 19-12 lifetime. Plus, for a pitcher, he hit .252 in 111 plate appearances, which might not have been bad. Park factors are sketchy from 1928-1929.

He also played six games alongside the bad guy from the movie 42, so there’s that.

Dubuque fell off of Baseball-Reference’s radar at that point, but at least for one year, baseball could not elude him. A June 1930 edition of the Charleston Daily Mail includes the rosters of the Tri-State League, the equivalent of an independent league’s minor-league affiliate, so small that the teams could not afford nicknames. Our friend Armond is listed on the Logan roster.  There are no monuments to these warriors, however, primarily because there is no Logan; the city was swallowed up by the county seat of Rutherfordton, NC, population 4,131.  Google Maps shows only an industrial plant of some kind.

We’ll never know how he did with Logan, nor where he went after that. One assumes that, in the end, he wound up standing alone in a field, wheat undulating in a soft breeze around him, as he tossed rocks at a nearby tree stump, keeping score. We Dubuques are an enigmatic, solitary bunch.