By Hodgkins Ruddy
Special to the
July 20, 1924
9:46 a.m. I am disturbed from a pleasant sleep in my suite at Boston's Hotel Touraine by a cacophonous knock on the door. Dare I answer it? Why yes, for otherwise there would be nothing to tell. The knocker is Percival Q. Mellon, publisher of this newspaper, standing beside a Boston police sergeant, and they implore me to investigate the mysterious vanishing of one Calvin J. Butterworth, noted writer of game stories concerning the Detroit base ball club.
Now cricket has long been my game of choice, not this American bastardization, but for a healthy wage and the promise of a clam dinner I agree to take time from my precious holiday and offer them my services.
12:55 p.m. I arrive at Fenway Park, strangely devoid on this Sunday of players and ball fans. What could be amiss? I am met at the door of the press porch by newsman steward William Mulligan. He explains that Butterworth was last seen leaving the park at half past five in the afternoon two days previous, unaccompanied, and carrying his fat leather case of base ball scoring sheets and statistical compendiums provided for him at the various ball parks.
1:41 p.m. Finding no one to assist me at the Copley Plaza (Butterworth's hotel), I am forced to woo a maid to allow me access into his former chamber. The authorities have disturbed nothing, but within seconds I have made up for that. All of Butterworth's clothes and the tell-tale leather case are missing, yet I spot a crumpled piece of paper in the waste basket below the writing desk. Could it be...a clue?
Yes! It is a discarded scoring sheet, apparently from the last game Butterworth witnessed. After the eighth section of play he lost interest, for he stopped tracking individual plays and began to scribble odd, cryptic notes to himself in the batter boxes. For instance:
useless shell of a man...uninspiring...
He was describing himself! How else to explain his flight from all responsibility?
need green now...pick up trail...must find Dorset...
Aha! This bloke Dorset must be involved, and Butterworth is on his trail! Or could it be a Lady Dorset, a woman of ill-favored repute? Is "green" the money this Dorset lured him to his doom with? Surely it must be! As always, the simplest solution is the one in the waste receptacle.
4:06 p.m. I have procured the census records for every male Dorset and ill-favored female Dorset in the greater Boston area, and will contact them all, even if it takes me a fortnight. Tea, a filled pipe, and my reading spectacles await.
ONLY AMERICAN LEAGUE MATCHES ON THE DAY:
at YANKEES 12-17-2, INDIANS 10-11-2
Everything I have read overseas about this corpulent, ball-busting behemoth named G. H. Ruth is in evidence. Trailing in the contest by a 3-2 count, he strikes a sphere tossed by S. Coveleski far over the barrier for three scores, then repeats the feat an inning later with the base positions devoid of feet. Sad Sam Jones reaps the benefits of such slugging, although his arm tires in the latter sets and Beall and Gaston are forced to rush to his aid.
at SENATORS 5-10-1, BROWNS 4-8-5 (11 innings)
How fitting that the leading American League club is one based in America's Capitol! St. Louis actually tallies three times in the 3rd set, but Elam Van Gilder's weak offerings and the Browns' porous defense creates a tie by the seventh section of play. G. Mogridge is replaced on the Washington hill by one A. Russell, who snuffs the St. Louis swingers from there to the game's climax. An S. Rice walk, M. Ruel single-sack hit and another by O. Bluege close the latest act of B. Harris' long-running victorious hit.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Sunday, July 20|
|Chicago White Sox||49||42||.538||13|
|New York Yankees||48||43||.527||14|
|St. Louis Browns||42||51||.452||21|
|Boston Red Sox||38||53||.418||24|