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Gustav Nemitz

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Dr. Gustav Frederick Nemitz,1 born December 19th, 1887 in Stolp, Germany,2 was a professional baseball trainer with the Detroit Tigers from 1941 to 1943. He lived in Hot Springs, AR, during the 1910s.

Biography

Gustav Nemitz immigrated from Pomeranian Germany to the United States around 1905.3 By 1917, he was living in Hot Springs, AR, and working as a masseur.4 While in Hot Springs, Nemitz may have become acquainted with some of the athletes who frequently trained in the city.5

In subsequent years, Nemitz became a chiropractor and established practice in Fort Worth, TX. In 1929, his expertise helped baseball player Pie Traynor recover from a hip injury.6 Through similar cases, Nemitz became recognized for his treatment of athletes, and in 1940, he was hired as an assistant trainer by the Detroit Tigers.7 The following year, when Tigers' trainer Dennis Carroll retired, Nemitz was hired as Detroit's full-time trainer.8 Nemitz remained with the Tigers until after the 1943 season when he resigned and was replaced by Detroit Lions football team trainer Dr. Raymond Forsyth.

Nemitz returned to Fort Worth and remained active in medical practice most of the rest of his life. He died in Fort Worth on April 2nd, 19529 and was buried in Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park cemetery in Fort Worth.10

Excerpts

"Houston, Tex., April 1. -Pie Traynor will not be in the Pirate lineup for several days. He left tonight for Fort Worth, where he will go under the care of Dr. Nemitz, a hip specialist. When the team arrived in Houston this morning it was learned that the sme chiropractor had worked wonders with Texas League cripples and it was decided at once to send the injured third baseman ahead of the team to take a course of treatment."6

"Dr. Gustav F. Nemitz, of Fort worth, an expert at working on athletes muscles and at present laboring on Diz Dean's noted pitching arm, has been signed as the Detroit Tigers' trainer and will report to their Florida training camp in a few weeks."11

"The club announced one personel change, however. Gustav F. Nemitz trainer for four seasons, has resigned and Dr. Raymong D. Forsyth, trainer of the Detroit Lions football club succeed him. Nemitz is remaining in Fort Worth."12

"Dr. Gustav Frederick Nemitz, 64, who served as trainer for the Detroit Tigers from 1940 to 1944 and was later a chiropractor at Fort Worth, Tex, died in a Fort Worth hospital, April 2, after an illness of four months. Dr. Nemitz came to the United States from Germany at the age of 18. Third Baseman Pie Traynor of the Pirates gave Dr. Nemitz credit for mending a bad knee and many players in the majors went to him for treatment. Because of his skill with the players, Jack Zeller, then general manager of the Tigers, persuaded him to take a fulltime job with the Detroit club in 1941. Survivors include a son, Dr. F. C. Nemitz of Fort Worth, and two sisters in Germany."13

"Dr. Gustav Frederick Nemitz, sixty-four, of Fort Worth, a prominent figure in Texas chiropractic affairs, died April 2 in a Fort Worth hospital after an illness of four months. He suffered a heart attack last November. Dr. Nemitz was a trainer for the Detroit Tigers, American Legion baseball team, from 1940 to 1944, and was chairman of the athletic injuries panel discussion that proved so popular at the Fort Worth convention in the spring of 1951. His death came, incidentally, only a few weeks after the passing of Alvin “Bo” McMillan, the college and professional football coach, who was the headline performer at the panel discussion. Dr. Nemitz came to the U.S. from Germany when he was eighteen years old. He lived in Fort Worth in 1920, and was an active practitioner until his health failed last November. Survivors include his son, Dr. F.C. Nemitz, and two sisters, who live in Germany. Pallbearers at services that were held April 4 included Dr. G.G. Bronson. Honorary pallbearers included members of the Moslah Shrine Chanters, of which Dr. Nemitz was a member."14


1. Name as spelled by Nemitz in signiture on WWII Draft Card.
3. Sources indicate that Nemitz immigrated at age 18, which would have been in 1905. Ellis Island records show that a Gustav Nemitz, age 18, immigrated from Stolp, Germany aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm II and arrived in the United States on November 2nd, 1905.
5. In Pie Traynor: A Baseball Biography , authors James Forr and David Proctor suggest that player Pie Traynor knew Nemitz from their mutual time in Hot Springs.
13. The Sporting News, 4/9/1952, p.25
14. Journal of the National Chiropractic Association, July 1952, p. 52