Oscar Melillo played second base for the St. Louis Browns in the 1920s and 1930s.  He was a coach with the Cleveland Indians in 1947 and told this story about Ray Kolp reported by Ed Mc Auley in the Cleveland News that year:

“We were playing the Tigers,” said Oscar, “and Ray Kolp was pitching.  The first time Ty Cobb came to bat, Ray threw at him and Ty went into the dust.  He got up and brushed himself off, but didn’t say anything. So Ray knocked him down again.”

“Cobb got up and knocked his bat against his spikes.  ‘If that happens once more,' he shouted to Kolp, ‘you and I may have a little trouble.’"

“The next pitch was right down the middle.  Cobb could have knocked it out of the park but instead he laid a beautiful bunt down the first base line.  He wanted Ray to field the ball so he could bump him on the line.  Ray wanted no part of that.  He let the ball roll dead without touching it.  As Cobb stood contemptuously on first, Kolp sneered at him and said: ‘Ha! I held you to a single!”





Looking back, Leo Durocher (see upper left of Goudey uncut sheet) tells this story about Ray Kolp in The Pittsburgh Press on March 29, 1966.  Durocher and Ray Kolp played together for the Cincinnati Reds in the early 1930s:





Another 1930s major leaguer from North Canton, Ohio is Harold "Rabbit" Warstler.  His friends in North Canton all knew him by the nickname "Rap."  Warstler was born in 1903 making him nine years younger than Ray Kolp.  Rabbit was small in stature ( 5' 7", 150 lbs.) but one of the better defensive mid-fielders in the majors in the early 1930s:



Rabbit Warstler started with the Boston Red Sox in 1930.  This excerpt from an article by Burt Whitman in the Boston Herald dated August 1, 1930 mentioned rookie shortstop Warstler and a Babe Ruth miscue as well as a Lou Gehrig grand slam.  The game against the Yankees was "weird" and "slipshod" with 13 errors and the Yankees winning 14-13 despite a Warstler round-tripper:



Chris Rainey has authored a carefully researched and well written article on Harold Warstler's life for SABR (Society for American Baseball Research).  And go here for stats from Rabbit Warstler's baseball career.

Here is a great action photo with Rabbit Warstler sliding safely into third base against the Yankees on September 24, 1936:


Harold "Rabbit" Warstler looked good in Who's Who in Major League Baseball 1933:


Rap Warstler accompanied Babe Ruth on the famous 1934 American League tour of Japan.  National League owners, fearing injuries, had forbidden their stars from going on the tour, and Joe Cronin had broken his wrist, so Rabbit Warstler got a last-minute chance to join the star-studded trip.  Warstler is in the bottom row below second from the right:


Harold Warstler is in the front row below second from the left in this autographed picture of the 1934 Japan tour team:


This is another Warstler photo with the team on a postcard from the 1934 Japan tour.  He is top row sixth from the left:


These autographs from the 1934 Japan Tour show a colorful "R. Warstler" the seventh from the top:


This is an autographed ball from the 1934 Japan Tour with R. Warstler is the middle between Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig:


This tour menu from the Imperial Hotel on November 3, 1934 features autographs of the All-Stars and many of their wives.  Notice Mrs. Babe Ruth and adopted daughter Julia Ruth.  A highlight is the signatures of both Rap Warstler and his wife Grace Mohler Warstler near the bottom center:


This picture is from the Canton Repository of Sunday, August 20, 1933 showing Harold Warstler and his son John "Buddy" Warstler mentioning Buddy's desire to grow up and play for shortstop for Boston in 1950:


Ray Kolp and Rabbit Warstler played against each other in Spring training when the Reds played the Boston Red Sox in Tampa, Florida on March 28, 1933.  Rap Warstler had three hits and three RBIs, and Boston won 10 to 4.  Benny Frey was the starting and losing pitcher whom Ray Kolp relieved in the sixth inning.  Ray Kolp gave up 14 hits in his four innings.

Sportswriter John Drohan remembered this Spring training March game in a feature article about Rabbit Warstler in the Boston newspaper The Evening Traveler on June 17, 1933:


Boston sports pages that year referred to Ray Kolp as loquacious and portly, and mentioned his reputation for "snappy repartee."  One writer reported that when asked if he expected to work against the Red Sox, he wittily replied "I only pitch against the good teams."


Rabbit Warstler signed this bat at a Philly A's exhibition game at Bowman Field in Williamsport PA on August 30, 1934:



Playing shortstop on September 14, 1937, Rabbit Warstler caught a line drive to start off a triple play for the Boston Braves against the Chicago Cubs.  At second base on Warstler's team that day was Tony Cuccinelllo, who was on defense for the Ray Kolp triple play on May 13, 1932 too.

And here is a baseball with Philly A's autographs from 1934 with Rap Warstler on top:



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