May 14, 1924

That nice farmer who helped us drag our car back on the highway also sent us off with two chicken eggs apiece, which we broke into big glasses of orange juice at a roadside eatery for our breakfast. Benny had already been on this route on the way to Ohio, so we made real good time and rolled across one of Pittsburgh's dozen or so bridges into the city by half past noon time.

We only had thirty minutes to get a place to stay and find our way to Forbes Field for the game, so I said we should just figure out the lodging afterwards. The Chrysler was low on petrol again so we parked it on a back street and jumped on a streetcar that took us to the Oakland section and the corner of Forbes and South Bouquet, where the ballpark was.

It was a fine-looking yard, not that old really, and had a beautiful green park called Schenley right next to it. Benny was real tired and wanted to go in the park and nap under a big tree for an hour but I wouldn't let him, not after we drove all that way, and said he could sleep in his seat.

The Pirates are right at the top in the National League, so of course the park was crowded but we were able to buy some grandstand seats on the right side from a guy whose kids got sick. We sat down just in time to see Harper whack a double off the right fence and Cy Williams single them in, and suddenly Benny wasn't so tired anymore. Hal Carlson was throwing for us which had me worried because he gives up lots of hits and the Bucs don't do anything but collect them. He was tough today, though, and escaped over and over from pickles like a baseball Houdini. First he got Max Carey to pop out with the bases filled in the 2nd, then got Rabbit Maranville and their pitcher Lee Meadows with two aboard in the 4th, then got Kiki Cuyler to rap into a double play with two on in the 5th. Mokan meanwhile singled in Harper after George's second double in the 4th, and when Wilson knocked in our third run in the 6th on a grounder, we had a darn good chance to win!

Glenn Wright hit a sacrifice fly to score their catcher Earl Smith in the 6th, and then it was one heart-stopper after another for Carlson the rest of the way, but the big man came through. Wright doubled to begin their 9th and the Forbes crowd was up screaming and Benny and me were doing the same for different reasons but Maranville grounded out, Jewel Ens pinch-hit and whiffed, and Carey popped out again to end it.

We couldn't believe it. Our yucky Phillies team had beaten the league's best, at least for a day, and we skipped out of there like a couple of picaroons. Pittsburgh has all these vertical cable trains called funiculars that go straight to the top of its high hills, and we picked the nearest one out for a fun celebration ride. By the time we reached the top, with amazing views of the city below and all parts of western Pennsylvania, Benny hit on his latest nutty idea. To honor our valiant team, we would find the nicest hotel in town and treat ourselves like kings while we were in town, the heck with this smelly beer garden nonsense.

It sounded like a good plan, except here we were looking like bums and smelling worse than one. Leave that to me, said Benny, I didn't inherit this money to watch it rot. Leaving anything to Benny gets me nervous right away but then I thought, isn't this what an adventure should be?

The first thing we did was buy some suitably nice clothes at a big downtown store called Kaufmann's. Then we drove over to a big factory called Jones & Laughlin Steel, snuck in a back door and used a shower stall while the factory guys were busy sweating in the next room. We cut out of there with our new clothes on and our hair combed, and then Benny found some street kids to wash his car.

And then we turned a corner and saw the William Penn Hotel, an incredibly huge brick palace which they say that presidents have stayed in. We entered its gigantic fancy lobby and Benny got us a room for three nights, signing his name BENJAMIN C. BELFROY on the register, while I was his young ward VINCENT FOX. What the heck, using fake names in Cincy sure kept us alive so why not here?

The room had two big beds and its own card table and the biggest tub I'd ever seen and I couldn't believe we were there. Benny couldn't either, and stomped around the room singing Great War battle songs for a few minutes until there was a knock on the door. A short, fancy-dressed man in a bowler hat stood there. He had round glasses, a grey handlebar moustache and showed us his card which said M. CONROY FACE, PRIVATE HOTEL DETECTION on it. He asked a bunch of questions about where we were from and what our business was, and we had to fake it the best we could and make up a raft of stuff and boy, I hope he believed us because the last thing I want to do is lose this room.

And tomorrow? It's Oescheger for us, Cooper for the Bucs, and let's hope another big win. Good night, reader-people!

PHL 100 101 000 - 3 7 0
PIT 000 001 000 0 1 10 1

Other National League games today:

at REDS 3-8-0, BRAVES 2-10-1
The Braves almost pull off what we could hardly do in Krautville, but Cliff Lee draws a bases-filled walk in the 7th to just nip Johnny Cooney and Boston, who is now back below us in the standings, while the Reds join Pittsburgh and Brooklyn in first!

GIANTS 9-13-2, at CUBS 7-13-0
Good news for George Kelly is that he gets two doubles and two sac flies and seems to be finally hitting. Bad news is that he gets hurt for a game but The Giants score three in the 9th with the help of a big Frisch double to surprise the Cubs. and get closer to the first-placers.

ROBINS 12-16-1, CARDINALS 8-8-2
After dropping three straight at Wrigley, the Robins crush Flint Rhem with seven runs in the 3rd and three more the next inning, and Fournier slams homer no. 9 to top the circuit. What a pennant race!

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, May 14
Pittsburgh Pirates1710.630
Brooklyn Robins1710.630
Cincinnati Reds1811.621
New York Giants1513.5362.5
St. Louis Cardinals1415.4834
Chicago Cubs1217.4146
Philadelphia Phillies1018.357 7.5
Boston Braves918.333 8


  1. Jeff,

    I am totally jealous. Where do you get your pictures? And when do I get to use the word funicular in my blog?
    Kevin G.

  2. Kevin:

    All photos are from Google Images, a resource to be reckoned with.

    I didn't even know what a funicular was until five days ago, thanks to an old friend who grew up in Pittsburgh and provided me with much local color. Said friend has been immortalized forever as the William Penn's hotel detective.