May 17, 1924
So Benny sat there at our little table with his legs crossed, wearing his William Penn Hotel cloth robe, having juice and crumpets for breakfast. I was still half asleep but he kept snapping his newspaper to keep me awake.
Until a story in the sports section did it for him. Seems that this poor Detroit baseball writer named Butterworth got jumped outside Shibe Park the other night by none other than Ty Cobb and got pumelled pretty bad and sent to a hospital with a broken left arm and two black eyes. Now Benny might be nuts but he thinks it's the same writer he wanted to mess up himself when he wrote something nasty about the Phillies before the season began. And here he was in our city getting roughed up by somebody famous! Isn't that ironical?
Anyway, Commissioner Landis is looking into suspending Cobb, something he seems to do a lot, but it might be hard because he is the Tiger manager and they're in the pennant race, though we can't have star players beating up writers because that doesn't look too good. So we'll see.
As it turns out this Butterfield guy was sure right about the Phils, because the Pirates took Jimmy Ring and the rest of us apart like a cheap watch and threw the parts into the gutter. The final score was a 12-0 creaming with the game over after the fourth Pirate batter, but what stunk to high heaven was that we had to sit up close in those good seats with Rutherford's niece and try to be polite to her for all two hours.
Her name was Lily and she was about my age and not too attractive but she had on a white church dress and wore a hat so big that it covered up most of her face. She knew absolutely nothing about baseball and with Benny uninterested and too busy suffering with every Pirate run, it was left to me to explain things. Yes, the defense has the ball, not the offense. Yes, a foul hit is not a penalty hit. No, I have no idea why home plate is shaped like that. No, I have no idea why they call them Pie, Kiki and Rabbit. On and on this went, and what was real bad is that normally we would have left by the 6th inning to start our long drive to Chicago, but we were afraid to strand Lily there and have some rich guy in Pittsburgh who thought we were someone else be mad at us.
The Bucs laid us nicely in our coffins with five final runs in the 8th. Jimmy Ring is now 0-6 for us, while Johnny Morrison, definitely the worst person in their rotation, got his third shutout, is 5-0 and dropped his earned run average to a tiny 0.89. Pittsburgh ended up taking three out of the four games after our opening win, which if you can remember actually made us feel compeititve. What thoughts were we having?
Lily invited us over to her parents' house after the game for tea, but we made up some excuse about going to see our stockbrokers, stuck her in a taxi cab, hightailed it back to the hotel for our bags and hit the first road into Ohio. We drove clear across the state until it was almost midnight, and ended up in a town called Van Wert that was just about in Indiana. The 40 Winks Motor Hotel wasn't much, but it was actually a relief for me after the stuffy William Penn. We thought we heard someone snooping around outside our cabin door as we were falling asleep, and Benny was sure it was M. Conroy Face with his evil facial hair, but I said why would that guy ever be following us? Benny got that guilty look he gets and turned over, and then I was suddenly worried again. Good night if I can sleep, reader-people!
PHL 000 000 000 - 0 4 1
PIT 203 001 15x - 12 17 2
Other National League games:
at REDS 4-9-1, BRAVES 1-7-0
Would you believe 14 straight losses for Boston? And I thought we stunk! The frightening Eppa Rixey does it to them, and Cavaney and Cliff Lee get today's big Red triples.
GIANTS 7-11-1, at CUBS 3-6-1
George Kelly finally wakes up big time with two smash homers and Jonnard pitches two relief innings getting all six Cubs he faces. Knowing the way McGraw yells at his men, I wouldn't count the Giants out of this yet.
at CARDINALS 8-12-1, ROBINS 5-9-1
Brooklyn's having problems, though. They battle back here from four runs down and take a 5-4 lead in the 7th against Sherdel, but Tiny Osborne coughs it right back up as the first five Cards get singles off him in the bottom of the same inning and St. Louis ends up splitting the four games with them.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Saturday, May 17|
|New York Giants||17||14||.548||3.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||16||16||.500||5|