Case Patten

From BR Bullpen

Case Patten.jpg

Case Lyman Patten

  • Bats Both, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 175 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Case Patten pitched eight years in the major leagues, winning 105 games. He joined the Washington Senators in the first year that the American League competed as a major league, in 1901 and stayed with them for almost all of his major league career. He umpired one American League game in 1903.

In the minors he spent several years at Wilkes-Barre.

According to a biography of Patten, he grew up in Westport, NY pitched well on the school team, and then played for local town and semi-pro teams beginning in 1891. He was almost traded to New York in 1907. After his major league days he again played with local teams. He was then a farmer in the area for decades.

Murder Case[edit]

Case Patten was dragged into a strange murder case in Kansas City in 1903 involving the literal shotgun wedding of Lulu Prince and Phillip Kennedy. Eventually Lulu shot and killed Phillip and was convicted of his murder. The Missouri Supreme Court overturned the conviction, in part because evidence that Lulu had consorted with a professional baseball player (Patten) "besmirched" her character in the eyes of the jury. For more information about that case, visit The Malefactor's Register. Here's how the court summarized her relationship with Case Patten:

In the summer of 1900, Case Patten, a professional baseball player, came to Kansas City as one of the pitchers on the local team, and he and the defendant soon became acquainted with each other. She called frequently at the place where he roomed and he called on her at her home, taking her riding and walking, and was seen frequently in her company. He gave her his gold watch and chain which she carried during the summer of 1900, and she loaned him a diamond ring which he wore. These intimate relations apparently continued through the summer of 1900 and up until the close of the baseball season. In the latter part of September or the early part of October, the defendant called to see Case Patten at his boarding house one evening and arrangements were made that Patten should call at her home on the next morning and return to her her ring. This Patten did not do, as he got out of town that night without letting the defendant or her family know of his departure. On the 15th of October the defendant went to the police station in Kansas City and explained to Andy O'Hare, a city detective, that Case Patten had left Kansas City with a diamond ring belonging to her, and requested that a letter be written to the chief of police of Westport, New York, where Patten lived, requesting that the ring be secured and returned. In defendant's presence the following letter was written by Mr. Hickman, the secretary of the chief:

   "Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 15, 1900. "Chief of Police, Westport, N. Y.

   "Dear Sir: Miss Lulu Prince called at my office this morning and reported that last July she loaned a small diamond ring to Case Patten, who was a ball player with our local club the last year, and that he left for his home (which is your city) Saturday night, taking the ring with him. Will you kindly see Mr. Patten and get the ring and express it to me?

   "Thanking you in advance, I am, very truly," etc.

   The defendant called at the police station at police headquarters to inquire in reference to this matter, and finally, no reply having been received, she told O'Hare that she was going to Westport, New York, and see Patten and get her ring. O'Hare asked her the value of the ring, and when the defendant told him it was worth about $ 20, he suggested to her that it would be cheaper to let him keep it. The defendant replied that she intended to go and see Patten and get the ring back if it cost her several times its value. She left the city for Westport, New York, her brother Will knowing of her departure and the reason of it. He tried to dissuade her from the trip and offered to buy her another ring, but she refused the offer. Shortly after her return she met O'Hare, showed him a ring, and told him she had been to Westport, New York, and had seen Patten and had recovered the ring.

The admission of this evidence, if it be entitled to be called such, is attempted to be justified upon the ground that it was competent to go to the jury to disabuse their minds of the belief that the mind of defendant had been deranged by brooding over the faithlessness of deceased; that it showed that deceased was not a suitor, but had been a visitor, and that during the summer of 1900 the defendant was the constant associate of another young man, Case Patten, to whom she had loaned her ring; that she was wearing his watch, was seeking his company, and made a trip to New York to get her ring. That it was entirely competent to prove her acts and statements to show she was perfectly rational; that her conduct was that of a sane, and not that of an insane person, as the defendant intimated she was. But this position is absolutely untenable, for the record shows that it was not offered for any such purpose, but was offered for the sole purpose of besmirching defendant's character. It was introduced in chief, when it could not properly have been introduced under any circumstances otherwise than in rebuttal of evidence offered by defendant as to good character, and as defendant did not testify there was nothing to rebut.

   Great stress was placed upon the fact that Case Patten was a professional baseball player, both in the opening statement of the prosecuting attorney to the jury, and throughout the trial. For instance, the following is a sample of the questions that were permitted to be asked over the objection and exception of defendant:

   "Q. I will ask you to state if you saw the defendant and Case Patten, this baseball pitcher, together in the summer and fall of 1900? A. I have, walking up and down Olive street."

   And as if to make that fact more prominent and, by innuendo, that he was a disreputable character, the court took it upon itself to ask a witness for the State the following questions:

   "He played with a professional baseball team?"

   Witness: "Yes, sir."

   The Court: "They went on trips sometimes?"

   Witness: "Yes, sir."

   The Court: "Did he play on Manning's team here?"

   Witness: "Yes, sir. They went out in Kansas for a trip."

   Can it be thought for a moment that, if it had been some gentleman of high character, who was engaged in any unquestionable business, any such questions would have been asked the witness? The question furnishes its own answer. These facts threw no light whatever upon the homicide, for certainly defendant's flirtation with Patten could not, and did not furnish a motive for the homicide, and no one will so contend, so that, it must follow, they were inadmissible for any purpose. From the case of State vs. Lulu Prince Kennedy, 177 Mo. 98; 75 S.W. 979; 1903 Mo. LEXIS 185, July 3, 1903, Decided

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL Saves Leader (1904)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 3 (1901, 1902 & 1906)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 7 (1901-1907)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1903-1905)

Related Sites[edit]