|Red Dooin was Phillies catcher for entirety of the 1900’s|
My off-season series of Philadelphia Phillies mini bios has featured some of the most popular players and other individuals in team history.
At the catcher position, “Philography” has already covered the relatively recent careers of Bob Boone, Darren Daulton, and Mike Lieberthal.
Daulton was the first catcher covered in the series, featured back in December 2014 while I was still with the “That Ball’s Outta Here” site here at FanSided.
Wanting to feature the catcher position more during this current off-season, the careers of Boone and Lieberthal were added to the series in December 2016 and January 2017 respectively.
Now the series continues with a look back at the career of Red Dooin. Over 134 seasons of play, Dooin is second only to Lieberthal in the number of games behind the plate for the Philadelphia Phillies franchise.
DOOIN BREAKS INTO THE BIGS
Charles Sebastian ‘Red’ Dooin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 12, 1879. He worked in the clothing business as a young man, while also enjoying the game of baseball in his spare time.
Dooin excelled at the game, and particularly loved the difficult position of catcher. In 1898, Dooin was signed by the nearby Indianapolis club in the Western League.
Unfortunately for Dooin, as told in a more detailed bio by Norman Macht for SABR, his pro debut was cut short when he “wound up with a broken hand in his first game.”
Dooin was diminutive, standing just 5’6″ and weighing just 160 pounds when he began that pro career at age 18 years. He would never carry much more than 190 pounds. According to Macht, this led one of his minor league managers to comment “I wanted a catcher, not a jockey.”
He kept plugging away at his baseball career while continuing to work as a tailor over the next couple of years. Finally in 1902, Dooin got his big break when the formation of the new American League led to many more job openings across the big leagues.
The Phillies signed him, and the now 23-year old stepped right into the lineup as their regular catcher for the 1902 season. He hit for just a .231/.262/.270 slash line with no homers and just 10 extra-base hits. That rookie season saw him play in 84 games behind the plate and another half-dozen in the outfield.
DOOIN’S PLAYING CAREER PROFILE
It would be a career preview of what the Phillies were to expect from him offensively over the next dozen years. Dooin would finish with just 10 career homers during the ‘Dead Ball Era’, six of those coming in one outburst during the 1904 campaign.
For his career at the plate, Dooin hit for just a .240/.272/.298 slash line with a .570 OPS mark. One area of Dooin’s game that was a bit unusual for a catcher was that he had speed. Dooin registered double-digit stolen base totals for seven straight years from 1904-10, finishing his career having swiped 133 bags.
In addition to that speed, the other facet of Dooin’s game that was never questioned was the one that kept him as the Phillies starting catcher. Despite being small in stature, Dooin was tough, both physically and mentally.
DOOIN BECOMES PLAYER-MANAGER
The redhead was so tough and colorful that new Phillies ownership gave him the role of player-manager at age 31 in 1910.
In 1911, Dooin had his best season as a player, though his 74 games were the least that he had played since his second season back in 1903. In that 1911 season, Dooin hit for a .328/.366/.409 slash with 15 doubles and a 117 OPS+ mark.
Dooin’s teams finished with winning records in three of his first four seasons as skipper. In 1913 he guided the team to 88 victories, the most by the team in a decade and a half.
The success wouldn’t last, and after the club faded to a 74-80 record and sixth place in 1914, Dooin was fired.
END OF THE LINE
The following year, the Phillies would capture the franchise’ first-ever National League pennant under new manager Pat Moran. But Dooin, who had played the previous 13 seasons in a Phillies uniform, would miss out on the team finally reaching the top.
Dooin would split that 1915 season between Cincinnati and the New York Giants. He would return to New York in 1916, and there would play the final 15 games of a 15-year career in Major League Baseball.
As Macht reports it, Dooin would retire to Atlantic City. He did quite well in real estate and other ventures throughout the ‘Roaring Twenties’, but then fell victim to the Great Depression by 1932. A strong singer, Dooin also peformed for a time in Vaudeville.
Dooin passed away on May 14, 1952 in Rochester, New York, a month shy of his 73rd birthday. His ranking today on the Phillies all-time leader boards among players who were primarily catchers are: Steals (1st), Triples (2nd), Hits (4th), Doubles (6th), RBI (9th) and Runs (9th).
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