By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber
August 8, 1924
There he is, circling the batting practice circle like some half-starved lynx. I have borne the brunt of Ty Cobb's surly, vindictive attitude and cowardly blows for the entire season, but his attempt to maroon what could very well be an historic contest in Pennsylvania this Sunday is beyond even his foul persona. After he takes his next series of cuts and lines a few bullets into the open field, I approach him swiftly.
"Admit it, Ty. You're the one who wired Judge Landis."
He snickers under his breath. "Get lost, Butterface. I got more hittin' to do."
"So you won't deny it?"
"Can't deny something I didn't do." He refuses to look me in the eye.
"I think you're lying, Ty. I think you were upset because none of the players invited you along so you decided to turn everyone in."
With this he spins, bat gripped in front of him like a war club. "You really think that, Butterface? Now why the hell would I ever wanna play against a bunch of crazy coons, and why the hell would you wanna write about 'em?"
My neck reddens, my hands tighten. I drop my notepad and pen and rip his bat away, knocking it upside his head in the process. He staggers a moment, then flies at me, punching and clawing. Tiger players and a patrolman are on us in seconds, and it's Heilman who shoves us apart.
"Go write your coon-lovin' novel, you piss-ape!" he yells, as I'm escorted off the field and out the exit.
Attempts to plead my case are met with expected resistance on the telephone from Detroit's management, so I am once again without a place to call a reporting home. I walk down the street to Bertram's Card-Playing Club for a round of gin to distract me and a few small glasses of back room whiskey to calm me. It is then that I hear my name called out, and there, perched on a nearby stool, is Dean C. Smith. The air mail pilot who I sat beside at Henry Ford's estate the other night is a s jovial as ever, and invites me to join him for a third whiskey which he gladly purchases.
I relate the entire Cobb saga, starting with our skirmishes early in the season, and then about my burning desire to get to the Hilldale Field on Sunday to see the white-colored exhibition. "My newspaper will never foot the bill for such a journey, not when they're probably writing about my 'assault' on Cobb this very moment." Smith sets his glass down and looks me in the eye like a true man should do.
"My De Havilland is a two-seater, you know."
"My plane! I'm going to fly you there, pal!"
I suppose it is a good thing I have three doses of Canadian's best liquid inside me, because otherwise I may have fled. As it is, I am here now at a local air strip waiting to board Dean's bi-plane, which he is filling with fuel somewhere out there in the dark. My small packed bag is beside me, my tearful goodbyes to Bonnie and the children recently completed. At dawn's first crack of light I will be rising into the Michigan sky, pointed east, the promise of an unparalleled game to save me from panic.
TODAY'S TIGER GAME REPORT,
FROM "BRAINY EYES" BRADLEY ON TRUMBULL AVENUE
I couldn't catch everything through our knothole, but did see Harris and Veach homer for them early, and it was 3-0 Boston when Heilman bashed a ball that was either over the fence or bleachers in left but put us ahead 4-3. We were up 5-3 but stupid Earl Whitehill fell out of his tree for us in the 8th. A walk and two singles made it 5-4, and after I pushed some dumb kid out of the way I saw Veach crush another one over our wall for three runs and a 7-5 lead for the Sox. I heard we got one back in the 9th but I had to go home early and clean my underpants so I missed it.
BOS 100 200 040 - 7 7 0
DET 000 040 101 - 6 7 1
THE DAY'S OTHER AMERICAN LEAGUE CONTESTS:
at WHITE SOX 9-12-1, SENATORS 8-9-0 (10 innings)
Can you believe it? Another loss for Washington. Ahead 2-0, Martina and Marberry team up to hand Chicago seven runs in the 5th. The Nats come right back on Thurston with four, then knot the game 8-8 with four singles, a walk and scoring fly in the 8th. Russell and Cvengros are both tough in relief, but a Collins walk and steal and Bibb Falk double send in the winner.
at BROWNS 7-14-3, ATHLETICS 3-7-0
Danforth bests Rommel, and three Brownie gaffes do little damage as St. Louis regains their mettle.
YANKEES 6-12-0, INDIANS 4-8-0 (10 innings)
Ruth homers off Sherry Smith in the 1st, a supreme achievement, but it's Meusel's three-sack hit in extra innings that launches a rally to take the game and give New York a one-game standings hike for the second straight day.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: After tomorrow's obvious day off for turkey consumption, 1924 chapters will appear on Friday and Saturday this holiday weekend, with the first ever Hilldale-Darby White-Colored Classic to be reported in two installments beginning Monday. Have a bountiful and wonderful Thanksgiving, readers!—J.P.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Friday, August 8|
|Chicago White Sox||58||51||.532||11|
|New York Yankees||55||54||.505||14|
|St. Louis Browns||53||58||.477||17|
|Boston Red Sox||48||61||.440||21|