10.22.2009

RIDING HOME WITH A DEEP CY


July 24, 1924

My head was foggier than the stuff we saw from our train windows this morning. After yesterday's ridiculous 12-11 loss in St. Louis, we had a full day of travel to flush it out of our brains, and it all started when Cy Williams roused me out of my upper berth and invited me to have breakfast with him.

Cy hasn't had as good a power season as he did in 1923, when he hit 41 clouts, but I didn't realize until he made Wrightstone apologize to me that he's really the quiet leader of our club house. He's over six feet tall with a hard but friendly face, and he looks right in your eyes when he talks so you tend to listen.

We had one of those fancy dining cars again with white tablecloths and fresh flower vases, and we ordered steak and swiss cheese omelettes and potatoes with herbs on them and grapefruit juice which I never get to have, and the other players sitting around us stayed clear the whole time. Cy asked me about my family and what I planned to do after the season ended so I told him about Papa dying in the War and my plans to marry Rachel if I ever got around to asking her father, and so on. He laughed, said that "baseball and wives aren't always the best marriage," and I said don't I know that already from seeing how some of the married players carry on.

Cy perked up all of a sudden as we entered Indiana because he's from a town there called Wadena. He went to Notre Dame and studied architecture, of all things, and even played football with Knute Rockne before the Cubs drafted him for baseball. I had no idea he was so smart, and I guess you learn stuff like that about athlete people when you have a meal with them. He told me how important it was to learn a trade you can make money at it in case your "fun job" never pays off, and asked how much I liked batboying. I said except for the last few days, an awful lot, and he went on to tell me about how you had to be careful not to make enemies of anyone and just do what I was supposed to do day in and day out.

By the time the meal ended I was a little sick of all the lecturing, and joined him and some of the players in the smoking car for some poker. I did my usual losing, and it was horrible-hot so Henline and Ford set up a big cake of ice at one end of the car and blew it in our direction with a fan.

"Did you tell Vinny about the shoe thief yet?" Harper suddenly asked Cy, and Williams leaned over and told me that some joker on the train had been stealing some of the players' shoes at night, so tonight it would be my turn to stand guard and watch for anything suspicious.

That sounded exciting, so when midnight rolled around there I was hiding inside the rest room in the front sleeping car, waiting for the snatcher with a knife in my pocket I'd grabbed from the dining car. Benny would sure enjoy this, I thought, except I kept nodding off and had to splash cold water in my face a bunch of times.

Finally around 1 a.m. I heard a noise in the hall, looked out and could see this shadowy figure reaching into one berth after another to take the players' shoes! "HA!" I yelled, jumped out of the bathroom, and knocked the guy against the wall.

It was one of the colored porters, as surprised as I was, and every sleeping player in the car had woken up to stick out their heads and laugh at us. Players leave their shoes out every night for the porters to collect and polish, and here I was holding a butter knife to the poor guy's throat.

Thanks a lot, Cy. Mr. club house leader. I'll get you back somehow.
Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

Only stinking National League game today:

at PIRATES 3-4-3, ROBINS 0-2-2
Why did anybody think Dazzy Vance had a chance in this one? Cincy wasn't playing, and the Reds haven't picked up an inch of ground on the Bucs for a week and a half. Best player in the league Kiki Cuyler drives in the only runs of the gsme with a 2-run single in the 1st and sacrifice fly in the 8th. Vance gets himself a triple for the losers and Brown chips a single past the infield, but Emil Yde gives up nothing else and goes to 10-4. Vance retires 14 in a row himself at one point, but when your team can't hit, it don't matter much.

That Butterworth guy is still missing, and I don't know sorry Benny feels, but I'm gonna fill you in on all the American League games today for a change:

at YANKEES 6-7-1, TIGERS 4-10-2
The Mighty Bambino slugs his 25th homer, a 3-run job, to get the scoring going. The Tigers tie it in the 7th off Shawkey and would have had a grand slammer and the lead if Heilman's ball didn't get blown back by the win and land in Meusel's glove for just a scoring fly that inning. A Combs triple and Ward pinch single give the Yanks the game after losing the first three.

at ATHLETICS 1-3-0, BROWNS 0-4-0 (10 innings)
Talk about crappo luck! Dixie Davis has a no-hitter going until Al Simmons singles to start the A's 8th, but the Browns can't score a lick off Sam Gray the whole game and they go extras. Miller singles, Lamar doubles him in and that's that, folks.

at RED SOX 11-12-1, INDIANS 4-11-1
One more hit for Boston and seven more runs; that's sure the way to use them. Harris and Boone hit homers in a row to finish the scoring in the 7th and Ehmke goes all the way with the help of three double plays.

at SENATORS 10-16-1, WHITE SOX 1-8-1
Heard a rumor that Chicago had a tough team this year. Well, you could fool me by the way they drop three out of four in D.C. Mogridge wins his tenth straight to go to 13-4, and the Nats offense is cooking with 24 guys getting on base in the game. And I thought our race was over!





















NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, July 24
Pittsburgh Pirates6032.652
Cincinnati Reds5640.5896
New York Giants5439.5766.5
Brooklyn Robins5541.5737
St. Louis Cardinals4945.51612
Chicago Cubs4351.45218
Philadelphia Phillies3660.37926
Boston Braves2570.26636.5
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Thursday, July 24
Washington Senators 6631.680
Detroit Tigers 5345.54113.5
Chicago White Sox 5045.52615
New York Yankees 4946.51616
St. Louis Browns 4453.45422
Philadelphia Athletics 4255.43324
Cleveland Indians 4256.42924.5
Boston Red Sox 4055.42125

1 comment:

  1. The Big Bam is finally starting to hit looks like. Too little too late though.

    ReplyDelete