We drove to St. Louis most of the night and holed up in the Chrysler in a dirt parking lot behind a roadside eatery so we could be there for our bacon and eggs the second their door opened in the morning. The lady who served us was real chubby and unfriendly and the cook smoked a cigarette that dripped ash on the grille most of the time, but the food was sure delicious.
We read the morning newspaper and saw that our record was 13-22 and just one half of a game behind the Cubs, which made us feel better because at least we had a sixth place pennant race to cheer for. Papa used to say that even the stormiest sky has a blue patch up there eventually, and I guess that's the way we should look at life.
Anyway, the road down into Missouri was pretty good, and I couldn't believe how far from home we were getting. Benny said he heard a rumor that baseball might even have a team as far west as Kansas City someday, but that would be tough to believe. The weather down here was even hotter than it was in Chicago yesterday, and when we crossed the giant Mississippi River on this bridge we had our first and only breeze of the day and we would've stopped to jump off the bridge into the water if we weren't so high up.
We were in St. Louis awful early so we drove down this downtown street named Lindell Boulevard, where all these new fancy hotels had just been built like the Chase and the Coronado and the Melbourne. Benny said he was sick of the fancy hotel thing and was still worried about our money but he said he had "another idea" he'd tell me about after the game. Oh, I couldn't wait for that.
It was real easy getting a ticket at Sportsman's Park because it was a Thursday and I can't say the Phillies are a team that packs them in. This was great for us because our main purpose was to watch Rogers Hornsby hit, so we paid a dollar-fifty apiece this time to get a seat near the Cardinal dugout. Jimmy Ring and his 0-6 record was going for us, so there was no doubt in our heads that "the Rajah" would knock him around.
Each team went out in the 1st and Bill Sherdel got us 1-2-3 in the 2nd. Then Hornsby came out of the dugout in front of us and we sat up in our seats. He's 28 years old and he's from Texas, meaning he doesn't talk much, but I guess he lets his bat do that part because it's big and heavy and he's got the giant arms to swing it. Benny yelled "Take a good lick, Hornsby!" and he turned for a second with these squinty eyes, spit something brown on the grass and got into the batter box. Ring threw one pitch and Hornsby crushed it with this unbelievable WHOCK sound and it flew past Ring's ear, right between Ford and Sand up the middle for a single. I've heard that he always aims for the middle of the diamond because that's the field area with the least protection and he sure made that plan work here.
Ring was all disflustered from the hit, threw a wild pitch with Ray Blades at the plate before walking him, Clemons and Cooney got singles and a ball got past Wilson to make it 3-0 Cards. Ring actually got Hornsby out on a called strike three in the 4th, but all that did was make the man mad. After Mokan gave us a dinky run with a homer over the left wall in the 5th, Hornsby walked, singled and singled his next three times up and the score was 8-1 them before we even looked up at the board. We were actually hoping to see a double or homer or triple from him, but what the heck, we still got three days here. His batting average by the way is now up to .453 with 44 runs knocked in.
After the game Benny fished this piece of note paper out of his pocket which had a person's address on it. Remember Thomas, the colored horse trainer we met at that Chicago club? Well it seems that his brother Roy lives in a part of northwest St. Louis called the Ville, and we were to look him up if we needed a free place to stay.
So we did. This was a pretty decent neighborhood filled with mostly coloreds, and they had their own churches and laundry places and everything. There's a lot of great things about St. Louis, such as the World's Fair they had here in 1904, but only seven years ago they had these horrible riots in East St. Louis across the river in Illinois, and a lot of colored people got killed because whites were afraid of them taking their jobs. Roy moved his whole family out of there after it was over and they all seemed much happier in the Ville. He had a nice pretty wife and six kids and they put us up in a bedroom upstairs with three little boys who were real funny and asked us questions about our trip and mostly about the car. We gave them a ride around the neighborhood in it after eating a fabulous dinner of pork and beans and these spicy greens, and then we even played a game of "corkball" in their street. They used broken off broom handles for bats and corks from wine bottles for balls which they painted white and weren't all that easy to hit. Me and Benny were on opposite teams and mine ended up winning 28-12 so I was pretty happy.
It had been a fun day even though the Phils lost the first game of a series for the first time on the trip. With Hornsby squinting at us and a game of corkball in the street, how can you go wrong? Good night, reader-people!
PHL 000 010 000 - 1 10 0
STL 030 003 02x - 8 12 2
VINNY-OLLIE-STINKY-GOOBER & TIM 365 208 4 - 28 22 5
BENNY-ROY-PERCY-MARVIN & TOILET 106 023 0 - 12 31 7
Other National League games:
at PIRATES 6-8-0, ROBINS 1-6-1
Well, I was sure looking forward to this series, but so far so bad. Emil Yde mows down the Brooklyns with ease and has a shutout until Mitchell doubles in a run with two gone in the 9th. Earl Smith goes batty for the Bucs with three hits and a walk, including a bases-loaded triple in the 3rd. Pittsburgh hardly ever homers but they always seem to get the big hit they need. Tomorrow will be their real test, though, because Dazzy Vance is on the hill for the Robins with murder in his eye.
GIANTS 6-14-1, at REDS 1-8-1
I guess this is why they play the games every day. Mule Watson against Eppa Rixey? How could the Giants even win this thing? By Frankie Frisch getting three hits and Gowdy getting four singles in the leadoff spot. McGraw does something nutty and completely shuffles his lineup before the game, and even though George Kelly does his usual nothing hitting second, New York at least wins one.
at CUBS 3-11-1, BRAVES 2-9-0
Down 3-1 in the 9th, the pathetic Braves get their first four hitters on base and manage to score only one run as Bush saves Keen's hide by getting out McInnis, Stengel and Sperber with the game on the line. Boston's record on the road? 4-21.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, May 22|
|St. Louis Cardinals||20||17||.541||5.5|
|New York Giants||18||17||.514||6.5|