By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber
August 23, 1924
I enjoyed a fine morning and early afternoon yesterday taking a water tour of Manhattan Island on a modest-sized passenger boat called The Circular Line. Words of Whitman danced through my head as we passed around the Statue of Liberty, under the Brooklyn Bridge and by the empty ball yards for the Yanks and Giants. The weather was splendid and a vast assortment of crafts were afloat, even a cargo steamer out of Singapore called The Golden Spire that according to our captain was heading to her Hudson River dock for a short stay. The day without ball was so relaxing I nearly wished for Bonnie and the children to be beside me.
Yet today I return to the Bronx for another atrocious Tiger-mauling of the soon-to-be-dethroned Worlds' champions. Despite my allegiance to the visiting nine, it even pains me to watch this recently proud outfit, owners now of a 28-34 record in their new environs, flail around so helplessly. Here is Bob Shawkey, with over a week's rest, allowing nine hits and seven runs in less than five innings of assumed toil, here is Milt Gaston taking over for him and dishing up Lu Blue's 2-run homer the very next inning, which along with Topper Rigney and Lil' Stoner's deep drives earlier is Detroit's incredible third circuit clout of the game!
Stoner took over for Holloway, who left the contest after one frame with a stomach malady, and aside from three quick runs in the 2nd sparked by a Burke error, the Yanks are unable to mount anything sturdy against the 'Lil one. Ruth's meaningless solo blast of the day occurs in the 5th with his team already trailing by four runs, and the Bengals rip apart the New York carcass for good with six runs in the 8th off Beall and Markle, though "rip" is merely my figure of speech. Four singles and five walks constitute the rally, as the Tigers are bestowed with THIRTEEN free passes on the day.
It is for reasons like this that the Bambino is waiting for me when I exit the press gate after the game. "Helluva slaughter, kid. Wanna go forget it with me?" The Babe and I have had a few boisterous outings this season at a pool hall here and Henry Ford's mansion, but I have yet to partake in his usual after-game itinerary. So I climb into his open Essex convertible and we race away from the hostile home fans as quick as possible.
It is is difficult remembering every thing I do with the Babe, but like a fine French painter impressions suffice. There is the harrowing drive into Manhattan and a stop at the Astonia, where Babe's lavish suite and lonely wife Helen are, merely so he can change clothes, fetch a few cigars and no doubt conjure a lie. There is an even more harrowing drive onto Long Island as night falls, Ruth ignoring most stop signals and signs while I clutch my door handle. There are a good two hours at a roadhouse outside of Great Neck, where everyone knows him and I feel like royalty just to be at his table. We eat free fried chicken, listen to jazz and sample bootleg liquor until my impressions begin to blur.
"I didn't sign up here to play for a lousy team," he says to me at one dizzy moment, and I know this because I somehow manage to scribble the words down, "but if the Colonel and the Flea (owner Ruppert, manager Huggins) can't get it together soon I might even go back to Boston."
Bellies and brains full, we are back in the Essex, heading back into the city and the Babe's favorite steam room on the Lower East Side. "But Babe," I tell him through the mixture of dense vapor and smoke from his cigar, "How can you ever leave this town now? They love you. They'll have riots." Ruth whacks the wall with a fist. "You really think so? How come they boo every time I scratch my ass the wrong way?"
"Because they expect you to win every game single-handedly. Look at today. A solo homer and four walks, but you didn't score once on one of those walks because nobody else is pulling their weight. I'd be stunned if you don't have a pennant contender again soon—probably next year." Ruth just draws on his cigar and knocks the ash off on the steamy floor. "For a crazy writer you're all right, kid."
After the steam room it's back up to a lofty apartment suite on the West Side for a private party of jazz hounds and flappers he'd heard about at the Long Island place. What happens here is largely cloudy, but I can inform you that I suddenly have no desire whatsoever to have Bonnie and the children with me. One game in the Bronx remains tomorrow, and the Lord only knows where or when I will wake up preceding it.
DET 310 212 060 - 15 17 1
NYY 030 012 000 - 6 9 1
Other American League games played today:
at SENATORS 5-16-0, WHITE SOX 4-10-2
A Washington clinic in pennant-winning ball. Down 4-0 due to an opening salvo by Chicago, the Nats are barely bothered, and chip away at Ted Lyons for single runs in the 3rd, 5th, and 8th while Mogridge and Marberry shut down the opposition for the duration. A Goslin single to begin the 9th brings on Cvengros to face Rice, who also singles. Blankenship is on and retires nobody, as Bluege and Harris single and Peckinpaugh works out a bases-filled walk for the winner. After months of contention, the Sad Sox have dropped to the .500 mark, while Washington's magical digit to capture the pennant is reduced to 22.
INDIANS 7-11-1, at RED SOX 5-11-2
The lower half of the league standings are hereby called the Accordion Division, for as soon someone rises or falls, they are quickly drawn back into the pack. Cases in point here are the Tribe and Red Sox. The recently-hot Bostons fight back to take a 5-4 lead in the 7th, only to have the formerly-cold Indians score three in the 8th and take their second straight.
at ATHLETICS 7-12-1, BROWNS 4-8-0
And the recently-torrid Brownies simply cannot beat the Mackmen, who they are now 5-14 against. Danforth here has a 3-0 lead into the 5th when the Philadelphians plate six, capped by a Joe Hauser grand slammer as Sam Gray gets the complete win.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Saturday, August 23|
|Chicago White Sox||60||60||.500||16.5|
|New York Yankees||58||61||.487||18|
|St. Louis Browns||58||65||.472||20|
|Boston Red Sox||57||65||.467||20.5|