May 15, 1924

Well, our dreams of leaving Pittsburgh with a Jolly Roger flag stuck on the Chrysler turned into dust right away today, but thrills on the high Forbes Field sea were everywhere.

It was a good thing we treated ourselves to a big fancy breakfast in the hotel dining room before that, because otherwise we might not have had enough energy to take it. I had a poached egg for the first time in my life which was awful strange looking and stranger tasting but they had fresh berry juice that tasted like it had been picked and squashed up in the next room.

Anyway, when Benny got up to go look for a toilet, this lady in a shiny dress and feathered hat started coughing at a table that was nearby us. Her husband was pretty old and in a wheeled chair and didn't know what to do and started yelling for a waiter but no one seemed to hear him. So I jumped up, ran over with my water glass and got her swallowing and breathing normal again. The husband was all grateful and asked my name and asked what room my parents were in so I told him I was Benjamin C. Belfroy's young ward and we were in town to watch baseball for the first time.

By the time Benny got back from the bathroom, the old man had scribbled down a name on the back of a small card, someone to ask for when we got to the ball park that day. Benny had an idea what that was going to mean, and quickly introduced himself, shook the guy's hand and gave his wife a weird bow, and I had to almost push him away from their table.

But Benny was right. The scribbled-down man ran the ticket booths at Forbes Field, read the old man's note, smiled, reached in his vest and handed us two tickets to the game. And what tickets they were! Two sniffs away from the field, right behind the Pirate dugout. We could just about reach out and touch a patch of grass that Honus Wagner probably kneeled in once, and we bought lemonade and peanuts from the first vendor we saw. Most everyone was real well-dressed and polite around us, so I told Benny not to get his usual excited this time and he promised he wouldn't.

The first inning took care of that anyway, because we got hit by a volley of Pirate cannonballs that almost made us duck under our seats. Carey led with a single, robbed second base, and Charlie Grimm singled him in. Then Eddie Moore singled, then Cuyler doubled, then Smith singled, then Oescheger committed a balk if you can believe that, then Wright and Maranville singled and it was 6-0 for the Buccaneers out of the dock!

It was one of those warm spring days, though, when the balls fly every which way, and I had a feeling we'd strike back quick. Sand and Williams had singled for us in the 1st, and sure enough in the 2nd, Parkinson, Oesche and Joe Schultz singled for our first run off Wilbur Cooper. Then in the 4th we got our revenge. Cy led with a monster of a homer ball over the right fence, Wilson and Mokan singled, Parkinson doubled, and with two outs Schultz doubled to make it 6-5! Benny shook off his chains and started clapping and yelping and got about ten dozen dirty looks from the folks around us but thankfully they were too well-heeled to get rude.

There were more hits in the middle innings but nobody scored until Oescheger lost it again in the 6th. Cooper began with a single, Carey doubled, Grimm walked and Moore singled. Fletcher could have yanked Oesche at that point but he has been one of our biggest winners and the man can also swing a bat, so he stayed in there. When Earl Smith followed an out later with a three-run crack out of the park, it was 11-5 Bucs, the crowd was drowning us out again and Benny was ready to leave. I said forget that, we might never get seats this good again and who knows what else will happen on this nutty day?

I was right. Babe Adams, Pittsburgh's best relief man, pitched two scoreless innings but then Buc skipper Bill McKechnie took a gamble and put in Arnie Stone to finish up. Cy doubled in two runs off him right away in the 8th, and our 9th began with a double by Wrightstone. Ford singled him across to make it 11-8. Oesche knocked a single like I thought he would. Schultz singled in Ford and it was 11-9! We were shrieking again!

Then the Phillies reminded us they are the Phillies. Sand popped weakly to short, Holke grounded a ball out to Maranville, who started an easy double play and we'd lost another one. But we sure weren't blue about it. The Phils had battled them fiercely with 20 hits of their own, which is all you can ask of your heroes on a losing day. Glazner goes for us tomorrow against something called Emil Yde, and we'll just see how that works out.

After the game we were too tired to do much of anything so we bought pop and jumbo sandwiches, which is what they call baloney around here, and played some cards. Benny started to feel stuffy in the room after a while, got some energy back and wanted to go out to some factory bars down on Carson Street. I wasn't in the mood and didn't want to run into that creepy hotel detective again, so I talked into going out by himself. Hopefully he'll be back before dawn and in a not-smelly state. Good night, reader-people!

PHL 014 000 022 - 9 20 0
PIT 600 005 00x - 11 16 0

Other National League games today:

at REDS 8-16-0, BRAVES 2-7-0
I've been so caught up traveling with the Phillies I just realized that the poor Braves have lost 12 games in a row! Sheehan does them in this time, along with the usual three doubles and three triples from the Reds.

GIANTS 7-12-0, at CUBS 4-10-1
With Kelly out for a game, the Giants play even better, getting homers from Gowdy and Jackson as Jack Bentley keeps the Cubbie bears at bay.

ROBINS 9-14-0, at CARDINALS 0-4-4
It's no mystery who the best pitcher in the league has been so far, and it ain't Dazzy Vance. After this whitewash, Bill Doak is now 5-1 and his earned run average has dropped to 1.37! Fournier bombs another one, his 10th of the season, to go with 34 runs knocked in, and Brooklyn, Cincy and Pittsburgh remain fit to be tied.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, May 15
Pittsburgh Pirates1810.643
Brooklyn Robins1810.643
Cincinnati Reds1911.633
New York Giants1613.5522.5
St. Louis Cardinals1416.4675
Chicago Cubs1218.4007
Philadelphia Phillies1019.345 8.5
Boston Braves919.321 9


  1. Three way tie for first early. Good race shaping up.

    I bet Vinny is glad he fixed the problem since the Heimlich maneuver was still 50 years away and people weren't suing over having their life saved yet.

  2. And your Reds have been rather remarkable. They constantly have people out with injuries (Roush at least three times) yet continue to play the 1924 version of small ball and slap other teams to death. Looking foward to their upcoming showdown with Brooklyn..