June 25, 1924
Benny was not only at our front door early, he was up in my room and dressed like a dancing hall sap in a peach shirt, suspenders, and striped silk tie stuck with a big pin. I asked what the heck he was doing and he just threw up his arms and said "It's Ladies' Day!"
And so it was, one of two the Phillies held on Wednesdays where females over 16 could get in Baker Bowl for free. But I'd never seen my friend so excited about one. He said he was sick of being alone and was going to find a girlfriend this time come hell or an avalanche. He was also bent on finding me one, so before long he had me in my closet, throwing every piece of clothes that might be fancy on my bed so he could choose an outfit for me. I told him it was almost 90 degrees out there, but all that did was make him choose something white.
We went with a starchy shirt and eight-plus knickers under my pants, which is what I only wore to church on holidays, and then Mama got involved, which is always a mistake. She put some kind of paste in my hair and combed it for so long I couldn't tell where my head ended and my hair began, stuck some fresh plums in my pockets to give to any "nice girls" I met, and sent us on our way.
It's always nice to stare at attractive girls because after all we're naturally built to do that, but at a ball park I much prefer staring at the game. They'd reserved the entire grandstand section with the most shade for the free ladies, and the lady-hunting men who showed up had to fight for the rest of the tickets, most of them young and nearly as slicked up as we were. Benny, of course, was thinking way ahead of all of them and was at the park at seven in the morning to be first in line for bleacher tickets. "How do you expect to meet ladies sitting out there?" I asked and all he did was wink at me and pull some rolled up paper out of his tail jacket pocket. Tear some off and hand it to me with a small fountain pen. "Just get their orders, and any addresses and telephone numbers you can." I said he was nuts, that the vendors would get us thrown out. "Which is why we need to be smooth about it," he said.
A lot of the vendors went down to re-fill their trays after the third inning, and by that time Cy Williams had given us a 1-0 lead with a monstrous poke onto the train tracks, so I felt good about trying this out. We split up and took different parts of the grandstand, but I was too nervous and shy and honestly more interested in watching the game action to have much success. I was sweating mightily in my stupid outfit, and a cute red-haired girl with round glasses who was probably 16 but looked no more than 13 handed me her handkerchief so I could wipe my forehead. Her name was Mopsy and she was there by herself because her sister went home with heat stroke, meaning there was an empty seat next to her. So I took it to keep from fainting and she gabbed in my ear forever about her classes and her jigsaw puzzles and dolls and her recent time at a lake with her cousins and here were the Braves on the field, suddenly tattooing Jimmy Ring for five hits and three runs and taking a 3-1 lead.
I quickly asked Mopsy if she wanted something to eat or drink just to get out of there and she asked for a lemonade and peanuts. I reached around the rotting plums in my pocket, pulled out the paper and scribbled it down. Mopsy got all excited seeing my pen and blurted out her telephone number right there, so I wrote that down too just to keep her happy. The vendors were coming back right after I got the peanuts and lemonade, so I hurried back to Mopsy, gave her the goods and kept walking.
Meantime Boston had knocked out the horrible Jimmy Ring with two more runs, and were about to make the score 6-1 with a run off Huck Betts and I was in a very sour mood. I opened three buttons on my stiff shirt and went looking for Benny but he found me instead, all thrilled because he had numbers and addresses of ten women already. The problem was that the heat was doing a real number on him, and he looked like he was about to pass out so I grabbed his arm and hurried him back to the bleachers.
The Phillies had collected just five measly hits off a bum with a 2-8 record named Larry Benton, so the day had become just a big fat loss for me. Then when we walked out after the game ended, Benny pulled out his rolled up list and dropped to his knees in pain. The sweat dampness had turned every name, number and address into impossible-to-read ink blots!
We ended up down at Mort's for cherry fizzers, and so I could get the scores of the other games, but even the Giants losing again couldn't cheer him up. I reached in my pocket, gave him Mopsy's readable number, and said, "Good luck. She's real nice." I think he appreciated that.
Good night, reader-people!
BOS 000 003 210 - 6 14 0
PHL 010 000 000 - 1 5 2
Other National League games today:
at ROBINS 3-10-0, GIANTS 2-9-2
Wasn't this the same score as yesterday and the day before that? Geez, something's going right at Ebbets these days, and I sure hope Rachel is back going to the games. Dazzy Vance is brilliant again and now has a 10-3 record. Kelly finally does something useful for New York with a two-run double in the 8th, but it's too late and not enough as the Robins pass them in the standings.
at PIRATES 7-10-5, CUBS 4-9-0
Typical Bucs. They make five errors, get shut out on three hits for all but one inning, but put a ridiculous 7-run rally together for all their scoring in that 6th inning off Tony Kauffman and win it for Wilbur Cooper. They leave five men on base and Chicago parks twelve, all you need to know.
CARDINALS 3-6-0, at REDS 1-7-2
After their nice vacation, St. Louis wins easy because Jesse Haines turns in his best start of the year, and goes to 8-3. Bottomley's two-run single in the 4th is all the Cards need.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, June 25|
|New York Giants||36||30||.545||7.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||36||30||.545||7.5|