RECENTLY, IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE: Phils shock Giants behind Oescheger and split town...Vinny becomes McGraw's new nemesis...Rachel's father still in dark about daughter's marriage plans...

July 7, 1924

We boarded the express to Cincinnati last night close to eleven, and I was so excited I almost broke out in hives. Heinie Sand had been filling both of my ears about how much he loved the team's train trips, which I found surprising when you figure how many times the Phillies travel after a loss.

But when we boarded it all got clear. The team had three Pullman cars, lettered A, B, and C, with C being the one in the back that gets whipped around the curves. Of course, that's where me and Heinie's upper sleeping bunks were. Fletcher, the coaches and Cy Williams were in lower berths in the A car, but I didn't care at all because it sure beat a cabbage carton or whatever the heck I got stuck in during those early trips to New York this year. Each berth even had a little hammock thing to put your clothes or toothbrush or whatever else you want in while you sleep.

Some of the players had trouble nodding off, so they tried different ways to do this. The easiest of course was having some bootleg liquor in the club car, the one just in front of the sleeping ones. Even with booze still illegal, every baseball team train somehow got bottles of the stuff aboard, and the porters weren't shy about serving it if you tipped them enough. The other way Phillie players used was to recite the name Sherry Magee over and over. Magee was a player on the Phils and Reds about ten years ago, and if you matched the clackety-clack train wheel sound with "Sherry Magee...Sherry Magee...Sherry Magee..." you'd fall right asleep.

I was all ready to try that, but Heinie Sand was too busy keeping me awake with his gabbing. Heinie's only in his second season, but because he's 27 he has a bunch of minor league stories to tell. The best tales, though, were about growing up in San Francisco, a city that to me just sounds wild and magical. I can't even imagine living somewhere that doesn't have snow.

After a while, Heinie even got tired of his own stories and fell asleep, and when I woke we were just about in Ohio. It was amazing to think that the last time I was headed to Cincinnati I was driving with Benny and sleeping in some farmer's field, and now here I was eating eggs and ham steak and little roasted potatoes at a back table in a ballplayers' dining car! Russ Wrightstone was at the next table with his fellow H.G.F.ers, reading anti-McGraw articles out loud from a New York newspaper. "The Giants are a disgrace to New York ballhood," wrote one wag, and Harper piped up, "If I ever find out what ballhood is, you better not mess with mine!" and everyone cackled.

There was time for some gin rummy games in the club car after that, though the Harper gang didn't let me anywhere near the table. Rookies and clubhouse help weren't really welcome with the high-rollers on the trains, so I ended up back in Car C with Heinie and a pair of dice and another hour or so of amateur baseball stories. Heinie was worried about keeping his job in the big leagues because he was told he strikes out too much, but I told him from what I've seen he also walks a lot, and getting on base sure accounts for something. I think he appreciated that.

Talk to you tomorrow from Cincy, reader-people!

Only National League Games today:

ROBINS 4-8-0, at PIRATES 2-8-0
Wow! Wish we could have stopped at Forbes Field today to catch this one. Brooklyn stops for just one game on their way to Chicago, and Dazzy Vance beats the Bucs for the first time all year. Actually it's only the Robins' second win against the leaders in eight tries. Dazzy can't get Max Carey out, who singles twice, triples, homers and steals a base in the leadoff spot, but takes care of everybody else. Vance also clubbed a homer in the 8th off Kremer to give Brooklyn an insurance score. As usual, the Bucs' opponent has a player get hurt when Brown grounds into a double play and sprains his ankle with the bases loaded in the 4th, but at least this time he'll sit out against the Cubs.

at CARDINALS 8-17-1, CUBS 7-8-2 (10 innings)
And speaking of the poor Cubs, Tony Kaufmann has an early 5-1 lead at Sportsman's Park, thanks to a 3-run Hack Miller homer, but can't hold it at all. Sunny Jim Bottomley collects two singles, a triple and homer, just like Carey in Pittsburgh, and singles in the tieing run in the 9th with the Cards down 7-5 to start the inning. In the 10th off Wheeler, Specs Toporcer singles, gets bunted to second and Hornsby singles in the winner. Now St. Louis has the hot and cold Giants coming in, so maybe they'll get to play them at the right temperature.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Monday, July 7
Pittsburgh Pirates5125.671
Cincinnati Reds4832.6005
Brooklyn Robins4733.5886
New York Giants4334.5588.5
St. Louis Cardinals3939.50013
Chicago Cubs3543.44917
Philadelphia Phillies3149.38823
Boston Braves2059.25333.5

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