ATZ, JOHN JACOB
ATZ, JOHN JACOB (1879–1945). John Jacob (Jake) Atz, baseball player and manager, was born on July 1, 1879, in Washington, D.C. He is generally considered the greatest baseball manager in Texas League history. He began his major league playing career in 1902 with Washington of the American League and played for the Chicago White Sox in 1907–09. Here his major league career was ended when he was hit by a pitch thrown by Walter Johnson. Atz signed as a playing manager of the Fort Worth Cats of the Texas League in 1914. After an argument he quit in 1916 but returned in 1917. He led Fort Worth to seven consecutive championships during 1919–25 and remained there until 1929. Thereafter he managed clubs in Dallas, Shreveport, New Orleans, Tulsa, and Galveston. He held the following records: twenty-two years as a player and manager; eighteen years as manager of one club (Fort Worth); longest continuous service at one club (fourteen seasons with Fort Worth); and seven successive first-place finishes. Atz's real name was Zimmerman, but, according to legend, he changed it because he had played on a succession of clubs that went bankrupt, and paying their players alphabetically, the clubs frequently would run out of money before reaching the end of the alphabet. The name change was typical of his flamboyant personality, which has caused many people to call him "the grandest Texas League figure of all time." Atz died on May 22, 1945, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Joe B. Frantz, "Atz, John Jacob," accessed April 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fat06.
Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles