Frederick Charles "Fritz" Maisel (December 23, 1889 – April 22, 1967), was a professional baseball player who played third base in the Major Leagues from 1913 to 1918, and was later a minor league player and manager and a major league scout. In his Major League career, he played for the New York Yankees and St. Louis Browns. Because of his speed on the basepaths, he was known as "Catonsville Flash" or just "Flash" by his fans. In 1914, he led the American League with 74 stolen bases, and was only caught stealing 17 times that year, an 81 percent success rate.
Maisel was born in Catonsville, Maryland. In 1910, he was signed by Jack Dunn of the Baltimore Orioles, and started with an Orioles farm team (probably the Elgin Kittens) in Elgin, IL. (The Orioles were a minor league team during the period of 1903 through 1953.) After his major league career, he rejoined the Baltimore Orioles as team captain in 1919, and led the team to seven straight International League pennants. In 1929, after the death of Jack Dunn, Fritz became the manager of the Orioles and managed them from the 1929 through 1932 seasons. He was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame in 1959.
Fritz Maisel was not regarded by some as a very successful manager for the Baltimore Orioles of the International League, despite his winning record. He did not have much talent on the team and became a laughing stock of the Baltimore press. He was blamed for all the misfortunes of the team. His biggest critic was writer C.M. Gibbs of The Baltimore Sun, the main Orioles correspondent of the time, who criticized Maisel consistently. Maisel turned from hometown hero to unsuccessful manager of the city's beloved Orioles. Despite lack of success as the team manager, Maisel stayed with the team till his death.
He was Chief of the Baltimore County Fire Department from 1938 to 1951. At the time of his death, he was a scout for the Baltimore Orioles baseball organization. (The Orioles have been a Major League Baseball team since 1954.) He was a lifelong resident of Catonsville.
By Dean Hanley
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