August 13, 1924
Butterworth's letter to the acting baseball commissioner was pretty great, and gave me and Benny hope that we wouldn't get arrested for mixing races right away. Cal also telegraphed the letter to some big newspaper editors, even some guy named Robert Lee Vann who runs the Courier, which is the black paper in Pittsburgh.
The Phillies were off again today, and were supposed to leave for Chicago tomorrow for their last western trip. This meant that the real Phillie players were all wondering what was going on with their jobs, but William Baker has been doing a great job of telling them nothing while trying to keep Rube's colored boys hanging around just in case. I'm telling you, it's a heck of a job being an operator.
Anyway, Butterworth invited me and Benny out to Shibe Park today where his Tigers were playing two with the A's. Cal still isn't welcome in the Detroit press porch, so we all got tickets to the grandstand. Connie Mack's guys have a better record than us but are sure no closer to being in the pennant race, so we pretty much had our choice of seats.
It was nice being back at Shibe. The last time was when Benny had this date with Miss Philadelphia, who turned out to be such a big A's fan it wrecked Benny's relationship before it even got started. Now we were sitting with a real baseball expert, a guy who could tell us things about the game we never even bothered to see. Like the way the fielders all tense up together right before every pitch. And the way the shortstop signals the second baseman sometimes by kicking pebbles at him. Cal also bought us pretzels and lemonade, which was nice of him. That time he got lost up in Vermont really seemed to have some good effects.
Rip Collins was going for his 19th win with only three losses, so it was fun to see him throw. The Tigers made it easy for him by scoring five times in the 2nd, helped by A's catcher Sammy Hale letting two balls get past him. Harry Heilman, one of the scariest-looking hitters after Ruth, doubled in two to give him 107 runs knocked in on the year, second to Goslin's 114.
Mack's guys tried to get back in the game but Collins wiped out every big scoring chance, and Cobb started another rally in the 9th with his second single off Roy Meeker, and Detroit took Game One easy. The fans seemed happy to have their A's back home, but weren't expecting much out of them. A few people around us were talking about the "Black Phillies," some even asking how good they really were because they had lost to the Pirates. Benny spun around and said "Pittsburgh can beat anybody, pal!" and I had to calm him down to keep another fight from starting. Benny's never been a big Athletics fan.
Between games, Heilman saw us sitting near the field and ran over. "Hey, Cal. They want you up in the press row." Butterworth asked who wanted him, and Harry just said, "The whole gang, I guess. There's a telegram from New York." Well, this got the fans buzzing around us and got Cal out of his seat in no time.
We had a good feeling about this...
By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber
Success! My letter has produced the desired result, and the base ball world can only benefit. With acting commissioner Rutledge's blessing, the "Grandiose Experiment" will take place. Base ball and Phillies owner Baker is apparently suspending the entire Phillie team indefinitely for insubordination, and Foster's "Black Phillies" will take their place on the field of play! Cy Williams and young Spanelli will be the coaches and Oscar Charleston will player-manage, and in Rutledge's words:
Any clubs or players refusing to participate in this experiment will be fined severely. All of base ball stands to reap the rewards of this temporary race-blending, and we would be foolish to not let it occur.
Oh joy! The reporters of Detroit and Philadelphia glad-hand me before running to their phones, happy I supplied them with wonderful news stories for the duration of this pennant race-starved season. They even allow me to sit with them again.
Meanwhile, the Tigers thank me by pouring it on the hapless Athletics in the second contest. 'Lil Stoner, of all people, hurls a complete victory while defensive fill-in Bob Jones drives in three off Slim Harriss. The Philadelphia denizens are none too happy, and begin chanting "We want the coloreds!!" over and over by the 6th inning. I look down on the field and see Ty Cobb's shoulders sag as he listens to this out in center field, knowing we have no room left in our minds or hearts for his hateful thoughts.
Yet in some ways, I understand him. Who ever thought America would support such a courageous attempt at human harmony, coming only sixty-one years after the abolition of slavery?
I did, readers. I did.
DET 050 000 102 - 8 11 0
PHL 010 100 020 - 4 10 1
DET 400 023 000 - 9 13 0
PHL 010 010 000 - 2 9 1
Other American League games today:
INDIANS 9-18-3, at SENATORS 7-13-0 (11 innings)
Well, my goodness. Is this a race beginning? Washington, now with a paltry 4-8 record in the month of August, succumbs again in another thrilling nail-chewer with the Tribe. Zachary is given four leads to work with and tosses every one into the garbage, until a Riggs Stephenson single in the 11th off Alan Russell decides the game. Homer Summa's 9th inning triple off Russell ties it earlier, nullifying what would have been Goslin's 22nd game-winning hit.
at RED SOX 8-10-1, WHITE SOX 5-10-1
at RED SOX 17-20-1, WHITE SOX 6-10-2
Boston has played well against Chicago all year, and chops them into kindling wood in the second contest. An early 3-0 lead in the first game and 5-0 in the second fail to hold up, as the White Sox may finally be playing as badly as was predicted.
BROWNS 9-13-1, at YANKEES 4-10-2
No one, however, predicted these daily nightmares at spanking new Yankee Stadium. Ruth bats leadoff against lefty-challenged Danforth, goes 0-for-4 with two whiffs, and Joe Bush is atrocious on the hill as Baby Doll Jacobson continues his hot stroking with a circuit clout and two singles. St. Louis is now one game behind the cave-diving Yanks, whose home record drops to 26-30.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, August 13|
|Chicago White Sox||59||54||.522||12|
|New York Yankees||56||57||.496||15|
|St. Louis Browns||56||59||.487||16|
|Boston Red Sox||51||62||.451||20|