By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free Enterprise

April 14, 1924

SANDUSKY, OHIO—With the Tigers hours away from arriving back in Detroit after one last practice skirmish here against the Kelly's Island Chinks, manager Ty Cobb reiterated his optimistic outlook for the 1924 American League season and vowed to attack the New Yorkers, Clevelanders and St. Loucians "as a hawk would to possums." Indeed, Tyrus will man the center of the outfield once again, where he can study his enemies keenly, before flapping his bat and soaring into bases with shoe talons raised.

While Cobb is the famed figure of the lineup, he will be ably supported by a fierce gaggle of ball-crackers, the very same ones that combined for a .300 team batting average one year ago. At first base will be Luzerne Atwell Blue, otherwise known as Lu, a switch-hitting devil if there ever was one. Del Pratt will get the nod at the second sack, after his .310 average in part-time toiling last year. Emory Elmo "Topper" Rigney will again blanket the short stop hole, a position where the twirling Texan enjoyed 11 triples in 1923, which tied Heilman for the team lead. Bob Jones at third may yield the limpest stick in the bunch, but Cobb believes he is eager to succeed and has yet to threaten him.

The outfield is the generator of waking nightmares for every other opponent, a hothouse of horsehide hackers unequaled in the game. Henry Emmett Manush patrols the left corner with his .334 average, a swatter so adept he was hit by 17 pitches last season out of outright hurler fear. The esteemed Cobb is in center, while Harry Heilman, the Wonderstick of Michigan, claims right. Harry batted .403 and slugged .632, and can make even the great Walter Johnson soil himself.

And the Detroit pitchers are ready and willing for the challenge of 154 fresh games.

"The Yanks have that fat scary beast belting them out," says Cobb, "but he plays a brand of ball that is certain to have short legs. Before long, the fans will tire of watching lazy parabolas and thirst for the slashing liners and base path piracy that real teams can supply. Now if the dang equipment would only arrive, we can get down to mangling all these maroons. "

Tigers ownership has announced that all tickets for the opening game at Navin Field with Cleveland have been purchased. Fans arriving in the hope of securing standing-room places are being asked to line themselves on the sidewalk outside right field in an orderly fashion beginning at 11 a.m. Spitting is prohibited, and all ladies must wear hats.

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