Way-Back Machine Friday [Deadball Shenanigans]

In honor of Our Nation’s Berfday, a peek into Our National Pastime’s…er… past…times.  OK, really, I just didn’t do a new doodle for today.  So you get some random scans from my book-in-progress.

Hey did you know catcher Steve O’Neill showed up at Ray Chapman’s funeral with a black eye courtesy, Tris Speaker?  Well, now you do!

That’s Wamby on the right and my not-so-secret boyfriend Wally Pipp in the middle.  Wally, call me!  (He’s not gonna call, is he?  Where’s my Ouija Board?)

Here’s a pic from the fight.  Sure, it looks like Speaker’s outnumbered but obviously he’s about to turn it around, because he’s so darned tough.  He’ll have them hog-tied in no time.

What else… oh, since I’m just indulging myself, let me just share this amazing [to me] passage I found in a 1912 Baseball Magazine [as everyone reading this post quickly files out]:

The Naps put Herrin, Ill., on the map last Friday, Manager Birmingham taking his boys there to play an exhibition game. Herrinis the home town of Ray Chapman, the Naps shortstop, and even a World’s Series hero never was paid a higher tribute thanthat which the Herrin people gave to Chappie. Business was suspended in the coalbelt for miles around Herrin. Even the schools were closed, and every man, woman and child was at the ball park to cheer for their big leaguer. Chappie did not disappoint them and put up a stellar article of ball.  Lajoie assisted in the Naps 7 to 2 victory with two home runs. Chapman was presented with a handsome stickpin, emblematic of the Elks Lodge, by his townfolk. Returning to St. Louis from Herrin, the Naps were in a train wreck at Winkle, Ill. Fortunately none of them was injured.

This paragraph so perfectly distills the lovable jankiness of this era, I could cry:

  1. The team travels to their rookie shortstop’s podunk hometown to play a game, just because they like him, apparently?
  2. THE WHOLE TOWN shuts down as a result.  School is closed!  I love it.  Don’t even get me started on the ceremonial stickpin.
  3. The team is nicknamed after their biggest star (Napoleon Lajoie, which.. I mean…that’s a name, people).
  4. Their train crashed on the way back.  Oopsies!

Okay, blah blah blah.  See you next week!  Probably just 4 posts but I’ll see what I can do.


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