May 19, 1924

We let ourselves sleep till almost noon. The Grasmere Hotel was so close to Cubs Park we could walk to the game easy, which was a good thing because the Chrysler Six was making some funny noises on the way into Chicago yesterday and Benny was nervous about driving it for a few days.

It was another beautiful spring day and it was too bad Cubs Park didn't have a bleacher section because we would have enjoyed some of that sun in our faces. An usher in the right field stands told us that Cubs owner Albert Lasker was too cheap to expand the place and was thinking of selling the team to someone else, which I guess could be a good thing. Whoever the new owner is should buy them some good fielding, too, because they sure didn't have any today.

George Grantham booted one at second base in the 1st, and then we got a run off them in the 2nd on a walk and three more errors, two by Ray Grimes their first basemen. Hal Carlson, who has less talent than most pitchers in the league but always seems to come through for us did it again against Elmer Jacobs, and had a 1-0 shutout through the 7th inning. At one point he shot down 16 Cubbies in a row! The fans around us were yelling nasty words at their hitters and calling us bums and meatheads and I had to keep Benny in his seat because he was all ready to go at it with someone.

The fans were also blue because their young, homer-hitting catcher Gabby Hartnett went out with an injury back in the 2nd, and his replacement Bob O'Farrell pretty much stinks. Then the 8th inning started. Holke doubled past Hack Miller in left. Harper singled him to third. Cy doubled deep to right. Guy Bush came on to pitch and he was even worse. He got Wrightstone, but then hit Jimmie Wilson, threw a pitch over O'Farrell's head and the second run scored. Then Mokan knocked in a third one with a long fly. Then Ford doubled, then Carlson singled and Ford was smoked at the plate but it was 5-0 Phillies!

Benny was so excited he offered to buy me a giant pretzel from a wagon he'd seen behind home plate, so between innings we went over there. It was an awful long line but we stood in it anyway because the smell of those hot pretzels was enough to knock you silly. We missed the bottom of the 8th when the Cubs scored a run on a cheap grounder, and Sand doubled for us to start the 9th. Benny was all restless to get back but we were almost at the pretzel cart. Then this snotty little kid in a fancy suit jacket and tie and his greasy hair parted in the middle cut right in front of us in the line! Benny yelled at him to get lost and the kid turned around and stomped his shoe on Benny's foot. Benny grabbed him by the collar, said where's your parents and the kid said his dad was in the first row near the Cubs dugout. Benny stuck money for two pretzels in my hand and said he'd meet me at our seats. But the second he hauled the kid away the pretzel man looked at me with this real scared face and asked me if I knew who that boy's father was. After he told me he gave me a third pretzel for free and I was running down to the front row seats.

I got there a second before Benny did, and put the free pretzel in the kid's hand. "Hey Pa," said the kid to his dad, "this jerk swore at me." I tried to pull Benny away but it was too late, because Al Capone had already stood up. He wore a shiny blue suit with a white silk handkerchief in it, and he had pearl grey spats on his shoes and diamonds on his watch chain. He was also real short but had cold eyes that sort of froze you to the ground. He also had a pair of large, ugly men sitting in the row behind him, and they stood up with him.

I jabbered quickly that the boy got lost looking for the pretzel wagon and we helped him get back and didn't know you were his dad and so on and so forth and Benny looked like he was about to cry but all Capone said was "What's your name, kid?" So I told him Vinny Spanelli and this was my best friend Benzini Olio and he gave us a big smile and asked if we needed a ride home after the game. Benny said no thanks, Mr. Capone, we already have a car and we need to get back to our seats, right Vinny? Capone then said wait a second and asked if we wanted to make a little money giving one of HIS friends a ride after tomorrow's game. That's okay, said Benny, but my car's a little bit on the fritz so Capone said he'd take care of that for us, and he'd also throw in great ball game tickets for tomorrow. Me and Benny looked at each other and I don't have to tell you what Benny's answer was.

Mr. Capone actually seemed like a decent guy, even though he has what I guess you can call a nasty reputation. Sitting at a ball game for two hours can calm you down pretty good, even if your team loses. He gave us the name of a great steak and hamburger joint in the city, and we ate a huge dinner there after the game which turned out to be free when we told the host who sent us there. I never tasted hamburger meat so fresh and delicious, like the cow had been killed in the next room. The waiter said no, it happens a couple streets away.

Anyway, with all the excitement I forgot to mention that if we beat the Cubs tomorrow we pass them in the standings. Good night, reader-people!

PHL 010 000 041 - 6 9 0
CHI 000 000 010 - 1 6 4

Other National League games:

at PIRATES 2-8-0, GIANTS 1-7-0 (11 innings)
A fabulous thriller at Forbes. O'Connell triples in Frisch for a 1-0 Giants lead in the 6th, but doesn't try to score on Youngs' deep fly, and it costs them. Maranville doubles in the tieing run in the 7th and McQuillan and Kremer duel into extra innings before singles by Traynor, Cuyler and Earl Smith win it for the rampaging Buccos.

at REDS 8-18-3, ROBINS 3-6-3
Good thing Rachel was heading home on the train and didn't have to follow this one. Grimes gets tattooed all over the field by the pesky Cincy hitters, and Roush triples in the winners in the 6th. Pedro Dibut saves the game for his Cuban pal Dolf Luque.

BRAVES 3-7-1, at CARDINALS 2-7-4
Yes folks, it was bound to happen. Johnny Cooney pitches a tough game against Rhem, Sperber and Gibson are on base six times between them, and the Boston losing streak ends at 15 when they survive a scary St. Louis rally in the 9th. Niebergall pinch-hits a single, Freigau runs and steals second, Bottomley walks. Smith and Blades make outs to advance the runners and Hornsby is walked on purpose to face Hafey. Specs Toporcer bats for him though, and grounds out weakly to start the celebrations back in Beantown.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Monday, May 19
Pittsburgh Pirates2110.677
Cincinnati Reds2212.6470.5
Brooklyn Robins1913.5942.5
New York Giants1715.5484.5
St. Louis Cardinals1717.5005.5
Chicago Cubs1321.3829.5
Philadelphia Phillies1221.36410
Boston Braves1022.31311.5

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