Pug Griffin, a Lincoln Nebraska native started his professional career with Lincoln in 1916 in the Western League. He was then sold to the Philadelphia A's run by Connie Mack.
He played in 1917 for the A's under Connie Mack and 1920 for the New York Giants. He later played in the International League, the Texas League and the Western League. According to the Sporting News his career went: Lincoln in 1916, sold to the A's in July of 1917, released to Baltimore in May 1918, sold to Memphis in August 1920, sold to NY (NL) Aug 1920, sent to Memphis in Nov 1920, released to Omaha April 1921.
In 1923, Francis "Pug" Griffin started the year in Omaha playing for Barney Burch's class "A" franchise in the Western League. He was sold to Dallas after a great start in Omaha. As part of the deal, future hall of fame player Heinie Manush came to Omaha from Saginaw.
From Dallas he went to Des Moines.
In 1925, Pug averaged .320 for the Des Moines Demons and in 1926, Pug was a regular in the outfield for the league champion Des Moines Demons. He averaged .336 for the year. The Lincoln paper indicated that Pug had the tools for a higher league but his temperment kept him from achieving his potential.
He was sold to Wichita Falls in July of 1927, then to Sam Antonio in November 1927, bought back by the Des Moines Demons in June of 1928 and traded to Omaha. He was named manager of Omaha in May 1929.
After his playing days were over he managed at Pueblo and Omaha in the Western League.
In 1933, with Barney Burch in deep financial trouble, Pug and Cy Lingle took over the Omaha club for the year.
He took over the Lincoln Links in the Nebraska State League with Cy Lingle in 1934-1935. The Links won the pennant in 1934 with Tom Seats, Nelson Potter, Les Dunkle and Frank Morehouse on the team.
In January of 1936 Pug was suspended from organized baseball. The Sporting News speculated that it was due to gambling but no official reason for his suspension was announced. Pid Purdy managed to buy out Griffin and Lingle and took over the Lincoln franchise for 1936. The team folded before the season was over.
He returned to managing in 1938 when Lincoln returned to the Nebraska State League. The Links had a working agreement with the St. Louis Browns and came in 4th place in a six team league.
He stayed with the Links for the 1939 season. The league changed names to the Western League but it still remained a class "D" league. The team came in 4th place during the regular season. They won the first round of the playoffs against Sioux Falls by three games to two. They lost to Sioux City in the finals.
He died in 1951 in Colorado Springs.
See Museum of Nebraska Major League Baseball in St. Paul Nebraska for more about Pug.
Nebraska Minor League Baseball Home