August 20, 1924
Thanks to the hookah-influenced scheduling department of the American League, the Tigers, Yankees and myself were endowed with two successive days off while waiting to play a game in the Bronx and then have a third day off before completing the 3-game series.
Bonnie, Callie, and Cavendish certainly don't mind, as they spent all yesterday touring the great metropolis with me and seem ready for more sight-feasting today. Central Park, a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty and trip to the very top of the Flatiron Building were apparently not enough to satiate them, for today they desire a show on Broadway, a thorough exploration of Times Square, and a visit to the giant "toy bazaar" run by one Frederic August Otto Schwarz.
Thankfully, every show in the Broadway district is of a burlesque or follies nature, and prohibit young children. As Bonnie and I discuss the merits and drawbacks of a Times Square sojourn, there is a knock on our door at the Astor Hotel. Two men in dark suits stand there, and introduce themselves as representatives of the acting base ball commissioner's office. "Mr. Rutledge would like a private meeting with you, sir," they announce, and I am gleefully forced to send Bonnie and the wee ones off to Schwarz-land unaccompanied.
My dapper escorts say nothing as they lead me up to the acting commissioner's office. Rutledge is a commanding man with a stern and worried look about him. He's concerned about Judge Landis' condition, as the base ball czar is still in his unfortunate and mysterious coma, but seems more bothered by the riotous goings-on in Chicago and St. Louis where the "Black Phillies" have been decimating their opposition. In short, he's been thinking of doing away with this "grandiose experiment" I had much to do with formulating, and wants my opinion on the matter. He says if they now pummel Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Brooklyn, the serious pennant contenders of their league, the season may be tainted beyond all reason.
"Any rooting interest I still have lies with the American League, " I explain, "but I do understand the ironic oddity of the situation." He says he cannot afford to be so literary and philosophical, and that the very integrity of the game is at stake.
"Then contact Mr. Foster if you must, sir, for as far as I can tell, the coloreds have already proven they can not only compete with our white talent, but obliterate it on a whim." I don't believe Rutledge wants to hear this, and excuses me from his office suite with a rather limp handshake.
By the time I rendezvous with my family back at the Central Park Zoo, Callie carries a new doll half her size while Cavendish totes a giant toy zeppelin. Bonnie appears exhausted and fitful, and I sit her down on a bench and fetch her some flavored soda ice right away. "I fear I've had enough of Manhattan, Calvin," she confesses, squeezing my hand, "Would you terribly mind if I went home with the children tomorrow?"
"I will manage, dear," I say, complete with a hasty kiss.
The league's bottom-dwellers are once more the only active American Leaguers today:
at RED SOX 8-14-1, INDIANS 3-9-1
Jack Quinn goes the distance and is on the verge of a 5-hit shutout when the Tribe gets angry enough to score three times in the 9th.
at ATHLETICS 8-13-1, BROWNS 4-7-2
Philadelphia takes turns looking dangerous or awful, and today they ignite all cylinders, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to plate two in the 5th and six off Wingard and Grant in the 7th, the last three tallies on a Bill Lamar 3-run belt. Lamar is over 100 runs batted in now and is surely one of the least heralded sluggers in the circuit.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, August 20|
|Chicago White Sox||60||58||.508||14.5|
|New York Yankees||58||59||.496||16|
|St. Louis Browns||58||62||.483||17.5|
|Boston Red Sox||56||63||.471||19|