April 17, 1924

Poor Benny! While he was home putting wet cloths on his little sister's forehead, I was in the Baker bleachers munching warm salted peanuts and watching our Phillies smack the crummy Braves around for the second straight day. Hal Carlson made his first start after coming over from Pittsburgh and he was pretty darn good, giving up only eight hits and a run. Meanwhile the Phils tore up Larry Benton for six runs in the 1st inning with Cy tripling for two runs and Sperber tripping over himself in right field on a ball that Sand hit. It was awful ugly.

The game got boring after that so I sat with Gambling Gus after the 5th. Gus always sits in the same spot, which is right over the heat from a sausage man underneath the bleachers, and he bets on everything you can possibly bet on with anyone who will bet with him. Not just if the next pitch will be a ball or strike, but who will get the next double or walk, how many balls Casey Stengel will catch, even how many seconds the wooden bleachers will rumble for when the train goes under the outfield in right. I only had some nickles left so I bet just once whether someone one would hit a homer, and guess what? Hod Ford poked one out in the 8th against his ex-team and I made a quarter on it! Good old goofy Gus.

BOSTON 000 100 000 — 1 8 1
PHILA. 600 020 02x — 10 11 0

The other NL games:

ROBINS 9-14-0, at GIANTS 1-4-0
We're tied for first with McGraw's monsters. Brooklyn creamed them silly with homers from Brown and pitcher Bill Doak, who only gave up 4 cheap Giant hits.

PIRATES 4-9-0, at REDS 1-12-1
Talk about lousy offense work. Wilbur Cooper is in trouble all day and squeezes out of it. The Bucs whack two doubles and two triples. They look pretty tough.

CUBS 8-13-1, at CARDINALS 7-14-2
A real western shootout today. The Cubs go up 4-0 but the Cards tie it. Cubs go up 6-4 but the Cards tie it. Cubs go up 8-6 and the Cards almost tie it but Pete Alexander smokes Hornsby to ice a rally. Rogers had two singles and a double, then comes up in the 8th with two on base but Pete bears down and gets him on a line out.

It'll be Oescheger for us in tomorrow's final, Genewich for them, as we try to win three! Good night, reader-people!

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, April 17
Philadelphia Phillies 21. 667
Pittsburgh Pirates 21.667
St. Louis Cardinals 21.667
New York Giants 21.667
Cincinnati Reds 12 333 1
Boston Braves 12 333 1
Chicago Cubs 12.3331
Brooklyn Robins 12.3331




By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 16, 1924

Our beloved Detroiters rebounded in sweet fashion from their Opening Day pummeling at the hands of the Indians with a rousing 9-3 victory, largely fueled by their manager's relentless will.

Cobb singled off Joe Shaute to begin Tiger batting duties, inciting a 2-run rally. On his next appearance he singled, stole second base and scampered to third when Luke Sewell's throw soared over his brother's Joe glove. Rigney then stranded him with a foul out, but after a key error by Del Pratt helped the Wigwammers tie the contest in the 6th, Manush doubled and pitcher Whitehill singled softly to put two aboard with one out. Up stepped Cobb, teeth gnashed, obviously still irritated at Pratt for his unthinkable gaffe. He whistled a Shaute offering into right for the go-ahead tally, then bounded around the sacks like a rabid leopard as Rigney singled, Haney doubled and after Edwards replaced the shell-shocked Shaute, Heilman singled two more across for the 8-3 advantage.

Lost in the artillery barrage was the effort of Mr. Whitehill, who scattered seven mere singles and escaped every pickle with sparkling dexterity. The voiciferous gathering of 9,390 on this frigid day journeyed back to their dwellings in earned comfort, and will no doubt return for tomorrow's game, pitting the reknown Stan Coveleski against our own Ed Wells.

CLEVE. 000 102 000 — 3 7 1
DETROIT 200 105 10x — 9 16 1

Other American League results:

YANKEES 4-7-1, RED SOX 3-10-0
Another late surprise by the New Yorkers, this time shocking enough to warrant thrown eggs on the field by the Boston horde. Winning 2-1 in the 9th thanks to Sox starter Alex Ferguson, Ted Wingfield replaces his tired arm and Ruth doubles with one out. A Meusel single and walk by Pipp loads the bases with two outs, but Aaron Ward rifles a triple to the deep hinterlands of Fenway Park, to score the entire farm and nail the exasperating loss on the Sad Sox.

ATHLETICS 10-14-0, SENATORS 4-13-0
George Mogridge is no Walter Johnson, as the Nats' hurler is riddled for eight runs and eight hits in the first two innings. Washington actually obtains one less hit than Philadelphia, but can't match the distance of the Athletic safeties. Baumgartner gets the victory.

WHITE SOX 4-9-0, BROWNS 1-7-2
Red Faber notches a sterling efort, Mostil, Hooper, Falk and Grabowski all get extra-base knocks, and Chicago opens at 2-0 to match the Yanks.

AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, April 16
New York Yankees 201.000
Chicago White Sox 201.000
Cleveland Indians 11.5001
Washington Senators 11.5001
Philadelphia Athletics 11.5001
Detroit Tigers 11.5001
St. Louis Browns 02.0002
Boston Red Sox 02.0002



Me and Benny were plumb tired after yesterday's crazy first game, but we sure didn't expect anything this easy.

The crowd was a lot smaller, and we went to our usual place in the left field bleachers with a real good view of Johnny Mokan. If we yell at him between innings sometimes he fetches us a spare ball from the dugout and throws it our way, but today he must have been in a lousy mood because he didn't even turn around when Benny said "You're my dad's favorite Mr. Mokan!" Johnny didn't know that Benny doesn't have a father, so I guess he just was too busy concentrating.

And all the Phillies did! Cy Williams singled in a 1st inning run off Cooney, and then would you believe Johnny Mokan clubbed one high toward left the next inning, and it dropped a row behind us for a two-run home run! He decided to hit the ball to us instead of throw it, and Benny rolled around on the wood planks with two bigger guys trying to get it but got a scratched face instead.

Bill Hubbell gave up a few Braves hits but they couldn't score even once, while the Phillie bats went cuckoo. Cy smashed his first homer of the year in the 7th to make it 5-0, and after Holke's double knocked Cooney off the field in the 8th, this rube named Al Yeargin took the ball and Jimmie Wilson bonked a grand slam that went farther over our heads than Mokan's ball!

It was a fantastic first win, even though we heard from Gambling Gus on the way out that the dumb Giants had won, too. Benny was so happy he came with me to Mort's Cigars later. Mort had a couple jugs of whiskey under the floor in the back and Benny had a few samples until he started singing negro songs and they threw us both out.

But I got the other National scores before that happened:

BOSTON 000 000 000 — 0 7 0
PHILA. 120 010 15x — 10 16 0

at GIANTS 1-4-0, ROBINS 0-6-0
Another broken heart game for Brooklyn. Burleigh Grimes pitches better than McQuillan but another Giants rookie named Bill Terry wallops a cheap Polo Grounds shot for the only run.

PIRATES 5-10-0, at REDS 4-12-1
Lee Meadows almost gives away a 5-1 lead when Roush gets his third hit in the 7th, a 2-run single, but Babe Adams takes over and saves the day.

at CARDINALS 7-12-1, CUBS 5-9-0
This time Chicago takes a 3-0 lead in the 1st and gives it up. Five Redbird runs in the 4th off Keen win it for Sothoron. Hornsby gets two hits and has four now in six at bats. St. Louis and the Giants start play with 2-0 records.

It's supposed to be thirty degrees tomorrow and Benny has to stay home and take care of his sick sister, so I hope I can find a small crowd in the bleachers to keep warm in. Hal Carlson will start his first game for us against Larry Benton of the Braves. Here's to a chance at a winning record, reader-people!

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, April 16
St. Louis Cardinals 201.000
New York Giants 201.000
Philadelphia Phillies 11. 500 1
Cincinnati Reds 11 500 1
Boston Braves 11 500 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 11.5001
Chicago Cubs 02.0002
Brooklyn Robins 02.0002




By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 15, 1924

Despite a Navin Field bursting from every seam with color, spirit and crazed Detroit cranks, the Tigers failed most miserably in their 1924 debut, in a game that was not nearly as close in its execution as the final tally evidenced.

After a Topper Rigney safety and Heilman double plated the first run of the campaign for our valiant boys in the very first inning, Rip Collins twirled on the cold Navin mound as though he were an ailing deer dodging buckshot. Joe Sewell helped him out in the 3rd by grounding into a two-out play, but then manager Tris Speaker stroked his second double. From there the Ripper hideously disemboweled himself, as Brower, Myatt and Stephenson all singled, and Chick Fewster doubled to put the Clevelanders ahead for good, 3-1.

It became worse. After Rigney singled across Cobb in the 5th for a 3-2 count, the Indians made two singles, two doubles and a walk for three more digits. Syl Johnson came to the purported rescue in the 8th frame, but a Speaker single, his fourth hit, followed by doubles by Brower and Luke Sewell made it 8-2, the subsequent three singles and two walks Detroit collected off starter Sherry Smith proving to be as important to the affair as ticks on a bull.

The home crowd was lively when the contest got underway, but as the Indian hits piled up like cordwood their mood grew foul, and the reporter witnessed a fan who had obviously journeyed up from Lake Erie get fisted into submission in the first base stands. His beating cannot be matched by the one inflicted on the Ripper, but Detroit hearts will beat again for tomorrow's game, when Earl Whitehill will square his throws against those of Joe Shaute.

CLEVE. 003 003 020 — 8 17 0
DETROIT 100 010 020 — 4 11 0

Other American League results:

YANKEES 5-8-1 at RED SOX 3-7-0
Howard Ehmke is beating Herb Pennock on just one hit into the 7th when the World Champions flex their unholy biceps. Pipp singles, Schang triples and Ward singles to tie the game. Ehmke whiffs out the next two, but Dugan singles and Whitey Witt triples off the fence in deep right and it rolls past Ike Boone for a home run that remains inside the park!

at SENATORS 10-16-2, ATHLETICS 2-7-1
President Coolidge throws out the initial ball, then delights as Big Train Johnson has his way with the hapless Elephants. Manager Bucky Harris gets four hits, Goslin clouts a 3-run homer in the 7th and even the Train takes a ball over the fence off poor Eddie Rommel.

at WHITE SOX 9-16-2, BROWNS 7-9-2
Urban Shocker vs. Sloppy Thurston: I could recite that matchup endlessly, lying on my back beside a picnic basket in a June meadow, though I will deny that pleasure for now. This was a glorious battle, with Thurston and his pale stockings winning 4-0 before Baby Doll Jacobson walloped a 2-run homer to bring the Brownies close. Then it was 6-2 when Thurston truly became sloppy and St. Louis scored five times in the 7th to take a 7-6 lead. An untimely gaffe by McManus tied the game once more, and then the sterling talent that is Harry Hooper blasted a cannonball over the right field Comiskey wall for two tallies and the thrilling victory.

AMERICAN LEAGUE through Tuesday, April 15
New York Yankees 101.000
Chicago White Sox 101.000
Cleveland Indians 101.000
Washington Senators 101.000
St. Louis Browns 01.0001
Philadelphia Athletics 01.0001
Detroit Tigers 01.0001
Boston Red Sox 01.0001


By Vinny Spanelli

April 15, 1924

So I snuck out the door behind the auditorium right before lunch, jumped on the Broadway streetcar and got to Baker Bowl 15 minutes before game time with the trolley only breaking down once. West Lehigh Avenue and 15th were real stuffed with people, especially kids, and it took a minute to get around them and find Benny, who was waiting for me with one of Mr. Brown's victory sausages. (We used to call them frankfurters before the War.)

Anyway, we found our seats, smack in the middle of a bunch of runaway businessmen in big coats and hats, which we didn't mind because it was awful cold and they made it all warmer. We were behind third base with a good view of the short, 60-foot right field wall, and we could see some kids sitting on top of it like crows. A band played and the guy with the big megaphone announced the lineups and the season was here!

Jesse Barnes started for the Braves and reliable Jimmy Ring for our Phils. Ring got out of two early pickles with double play balls, and then some Braves dope named Ed Sperber dropped an easy fly by Ring for a 2-base botch to start the 3rd. Holke doubled after an out and we were up 1-0! After Russ Wrightstone hit a scoring fly in the 5th it was 2-0 and me and Jimmy hooted and hollered until the men around us gave us dirty looks.

There was a real exciting play in the 6th. That crazy man Stengel walked for the Braves, and manager Bancroft doubled into the corner with two outs. Casey ran all the way around but George Harper fired a cannon throw, Butch Henline blocked the plate and Stengel was out to end the inning! Boston got a run in the 7th, but then Holke doubled in another for us, and then Barnes gave up a single and doubles by Ford and Sand and it was suddenly 5-1! Ring looked like a champion. The game was over.

But I've been warned never to expect easy wins at Baker Bowl. Ring got no one out in the 9th, with singles by Gibson, Padgett and Smith and a pinch double by Powell that made it 5-3. Huck Betts took over for him but threw a home run ball to Sperber that cleared the wall in right and probably bounced on the train tracks. We were losing 6-5. Skinny Graham pitched now for Boston, but he was awful too. Holke hit his third double, Joe Schultz got a pinch single, and with two out Mokan doubled for the tie! Schultz raced around but Stengel unbelievably threw him out at home! Benny screamed and smashed his peanut bag with his shoe. Extra innings!

Graham and Betts quieted things down until the first two Braves walked in the 12th. Betts got two outs but Les Mann pinch doubled for two runs and it was 8-6 Boston. But Woehr doubled to start our 12th, Cy Williams who did nothing the whole day finally walked, and Mokan doubled to make it 8-7. Stryker came on to relieve and got Henline, Ford and that no good Heinie Sand to finish the game. Agony!

Riding the streetcar back afterwards I was still glad they fought so hard and almost won lots of times. At least we found out we can beat this team.

I stopped at Mort's Cigars before I went home to get the other National League scores and some details for you. I'll be doing this every day. Mort has a betting parlor in the back with the latest baseball news and lets me in because he used to know my papa.

Anyway, tomorrow's another game, reader-people!

BOST. 000 000 105 002 — 8 15 2
PHILA. 001 010 121 001 — 7 15 0

at GIANTS 5-6-0, ROBINS 3-5-1
What a crappy day! Dazzy Vance is pitching fantastic, has a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 9th and Johnny Mitchell kicks a ball with one out. Youngs doubles, Kelly doubles, some guy named Hack Wilson hits a home run and that's the game.

at REDS 5-9-1, PIRATES 3-7-1
Cincy gets four in the 5th off Kremer, Roush drives in the first run. Carl Mays that batter-killer pitches the whole game and wins.

at CARDINALS 9-10-1, CUBS 4-9-2
St. Louis goes up 2-0, falls back 4-2 after Gabby Hartnett homers, then score seven times in the 6th to run away. Hornsby is 2-for-3 with two knocked in and Haines beats Aldridge.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, April 15
New York Giants 101.000
Cincinnati Reds 101.000
St. Louis Cardinals 101.000
Boston Braves 101.000
Philadelphia Phillies 01.0001
Pittsburgh Pirates 01.0001
Chicago Cubs 01.0001
Brooklyn Robins 01.0001



April 15, 1924, CINCINNATI POST—All shipments of necessary base ball gear have arrived at the major league parks, signifying the imminent start of the 1924 championship season.

Today's opening game pitting our Redlegs against the scalliwags from Piitsburgh will begin at 1 p.m., with Carl Mays throwing for our boys and Ray Kremer for theirs. City schools will close down at 12 p.m. and all children are expected to either attend the game or the parade following the contest.

Other National League games that are slated:

Brooklyn at N.Y. Giants
Boston at Philadelphia
Chicago at St. Louis

Please look for game results in tomorrow morning's post.



By Vinny Spanelli

April 14, 1924—Waiting around for that dumb baseball equipment truck to arrive on Monday I thought it might be a good time for me to explain what us Phillie fans have in store for '24. ( Hey, I can write poetry and wasn't sure I could!) I know it was nine years ago when we last won the league flag, but that means we had a lot of time to figure out what didn't work and fix it.

Our pitching last year stunk something awful, but now we just got Hal Carlson, a good ball-thrower in a trade with the Pirates, and he should help make the rest of the hurlers more stable. Jimmy Ring should throw many innings for us again, after supplying 304 of them last season. Whitey Glazner, Bill Hubbell and Clarence Mitchell weren't all that good, but I believe they will be better this time. Wait—my mama just yelled for me to come downstairs and brush the fleas out of the dog so I'll be right back...

Okay, I'm back. The captain of the hitters once more should be the incredible Cy Williams, who I almost got an autograph from once. In 1923 Cy smashed 41 homers, most of them over the short fence in right field at Baker Bowl, and I saw most of them in front of my eyes so I know he did it. He also knocked in 114 runs, and I'll be surprised if enemy pitchers don't run for cover and hide every time he swings this year. Also in the outfield will be Johnny Moken who hit .313 and maybe Curt Walker again except I'm not sure.

Manager Art Fletcher who seems real smart to me says that Walter Holke will play first base again. Walter used to be on the Braves and hit .311 for us last year with 31 doubles. We did have Cotton Tierney playing the second base, but I didn't like him much so I'm glad he's gone and that we got Hod Ford from the Braves to take his place. I guess we like old Braves or something. Heinie Sand plays at shortstop and has two big problems: He hits like a flea, and he calls himself Heinie even though his real name is John Henry. Seems to me like there's too many of these players with Hun nicknames already. My papa didn't die on that French battle field six years ago so we could watch these kraut-eaters every day.

I have to stop soon and get to bed so I can get up early for school and Opening Day, so I'll talk more about the Phillies team as I watch them. Also, don't forget there's no home games on Sundays because of the Church Day laws, so that will be a good time for me to put any of my new thoughts in order.

Tomorrow for the first game they will have extra streetcars running from here in South Philadelphia to the North neighborhood where Baker Bowl is, so I should have no problem getting to the field and finding Benny in time. I have never missed a first pitch in my life and don't expect to now.

Good night, reader-people!




By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free Enterprise

April 14, 1924

SANDUSKY, OHIO—With the Tigers hours away from arriving back in Detroit after one last practice skirmish here against the Kelly's Island Chinks, manager Ty Cobb reiterated his optimistic outlook for the 1924 American League season and vowed to attack the New Yorkers, Clevelanders and St. Loucians "as a hawk would to possums." Indeed, Tyrus will man the center of the outfield once again, where he can study his enemies keenly, before flapping his bat and soaring into bases with shoe talons raised.

While Cobb is the famed figure of the lineup, he will be ably supported by a fierce gaggle of ball-crackers, the very same ones that combined for a .300 team batting average one year ago. At first base will be Luzerne Atwell Blue, otherwise known as Lu, a switch-hitting devil if there ever was one. Del Pratt will get the nod at the second sack, after his .310 average in part-time toiling last year. Emory Elmo "Topper" Rigney will again blanket the short stop hole, a position where the twirling Texan enjoyed 11 triples in 1923, which tied Heilman for the team lead. Bob Jones at third may yield the limpest stick in the bunch, but Cobb believes he is eager to succeed and has yet to threaten him.

The outfield is the generator of waking nightmares for every other opponent, a hothouse of horsehide hackers unequaled in the game. Henry Emmett Manush patrols the left corner with his .334 average, a swatter so adept he was hit by 17 pitches last season out of outright hurler fear. The esteemed Cobb is in center, while Harry Heilman, the Wonderstick of Michigan, claims right. Harry batted .403 and slugged .632, and can make even the great Walter Johnson soil himself.

And the Detroit pitchers are ready and willing for the challenge of 154 fresh games.

"The Yanks have that fat scary beast belting them out," says Cobb, "but he plays a brand of ball that is certain to have short legs. Before long, the fans will tire of watching lazy parabolas and thirst for the slashing liners and base path piracy that real teams can supply. Now if the dang equipment would only arrive, we can get down to mangling all these maroons. "

Tigers ownership has announced that all tickets for the opening game at Navin Field with Cleveland have been purchased. Fans arriving in the hope of securing standing-room places are being asked to line themselves on the sidewalk outside right field in an orderly fashion beginning at 11 a.m. Spitting is prohibited, and all ladies must wear hats.




By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free Enterprise

April 13, 1924

MAYS LICK, KENTUCKY—As the Tigers ball club journeyed by rail today on the Georgia-to-Michigan Heartland Express, the players were discouraged to learn that the start of the impending 1924 campaign could very well be suspended a few days due to delivery complications regarding all teams' base ball gear. The United Postal Society, the esteemed organization dedicated to transporting vital base ball gear and statistical sheets to the most minute corners of the nation, has had a sluggish beginning to its horse-drawn delivery season, thus causing all players and fans to undergo further unwanted suspense before the first stitched spheres are indeed thrown.

"It's most irregular," Detroit shortstop Topper Rigney told me at the train's poker table last evening, "Here we are, primed to scalp the Indians and muck about in the dirt with the Browns, and we must make do with more practice and card games. I will raise you twenty, by the way." The U.P.S., located outside of the small town of Stratoville, New York, could not be wired to produce any commentary on the matter.

This reporter will keep readers informed should he discover any added information about the crisis, which has been coined "Postal-gate" in some quarters, though as it stands now, five days hence is a fair bet for the launching of game play.



April 12, 1924

Hi readers, I'm Vinny Spanelli, and I'm almost 18 so do not think for a second I ain't old enough to tell you about my Phillies. Plus my neighbor Mr. Rollo gave me this typewriter to use the night before he was shot and died in a bar fight on New Year's Eve, so I guess it's mine to write on forever as long as I don't keep Mama up at night with the clacking noise.

It's real hard to be a Phillies fan these days because the Giants have been league champs for three straight years and the Phils haven't won since 1915 when I was only eight and Pete Alexander wasn't a drunk yet. Papa was still alive then and he took me to one of the World Series games, but everyone in front of me had big coats and hats and I could mostly only see Bert Niehoff's legs while he played second base or a little bit of Gavvy Cravath out in right.

Like most of my friends do, I hate the Giants and especially their evil midget manager John McGraw. I plan to go to every Baker Bowl home game this year, but when the Giants come to town I will be there before our dogs wake up to find good seats for me and Benny. Benny Zepp is my best friend and he hates those Giants even more than me. (In the picture above this report that's me on the left and Benny on the right. The photograph is seven years old but it was the only one I could find.) Benny gets us in trouble sometimes, but he's also a real good friend. Once he almost got me an autograph from Cy Williams.

I sneak out of school all the time to go to the games but Benny doesn't go to school at all so he always gets me a ticket if he has enough money from selling newspapers that morning. Anyway, Benny made friends with lots of ushers and peanut guys and other people who work at Baker Bowl and he somehow got us third base tickets for the Opening Day game on Tuesday against the Braves, and I'm so excited I'm going to leave school before lunch instead of waiting for Mrs. Crackerbee to fall asleep at her desk.

Benny also reads the newspaper to me sometimes and said that a writer guy in Detroit named Buttercake or something said that the Phillies are probably the worst team in baseball this season. Oh yeah? When that dope comes here to watch his Tigers play the Athletics, which is a team that stinks worse than us, me and Benny are going to find him and punch a hole in his hat!

My next report will be after I get back from the opening game. Good night, reader people.





By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free Enterprise
April 8, 1924

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA—The National League War for 1924 (Hark! I am a poet, and scarcely I know it.) will undoubtedly be every bit as nerve-stretching as the 1923 skirmish, when the Giants of Gotham prevailed over the Redlegs of the Queen City by a mere four notches. My fear-be-damned prophecy for the senior circuit follows here:

1. NEW YORK. John McGraw's Giants plated 854 runs last season, nearly 70 more than the Pittsburghers, and few base ball scribes have reason to count against them. The hydra-headed offensive attack featured three batters with over 100 runs knocked in, topped by Irish Meusel's 125. Second sacker Frankie Frisch also averaged .348. Their monstrous order was so dangerous and deep they were allowed to send former hit-stacker Casey Stengel to the Boston Braves after the season. If New York has a weakness, it is in their pitching stamina, as they were last in their league with only 62 complete games. Quite often, Little Napoleon McGraw chose to extract his hurler from the action late in contests, even if his club had a winning margin, and entrust the outcome to another chucker, stale from sitting on an outfield bench! Due to his team's pennant-winning performance, though, such foolish managing behavior will likely continue.

2. CINCINNATI. The scarlet-socked outfit only scored 708 runs in 1923, a mark only underbottomed by the pitiful Braves, but their leading 3.21 average of earned runs portends well for them again. Edd Roush was the swatting star again, with 18 triples and .351 batting, and it would be no surprise if the Reds' huge ballyard and stingy arms snuff opposing lineups again like mayflies at a picnic.

3. BROOKLYN. The Robins are eager to reclaim their stake in the pennant hunt, having been the last National contingent before New York to drink from the league cup back in 1920. This writer has no proof or evidence to think they will, but Wilbert Robinson enjoyed a steak and potatoes with me the weekend last, and his amiable demeanor bespoke of confidence and relaxation, qualities his players will no doubt inherit during these spring practice days and use to galvanize themselves into contention! And they do possess the incomparable Zack Wheat, who stroked .375 in limited duty.

4. PITTSBURGH. The fearsome Buccaneers of the Steel City should be in the maw of the pennant struggle once again. It has become nearly impossible to remember the last time they were not! With their 111 triples in the last campaign, they were second to the Giants in the scoring of runs. Pie Traynor and his .338 batting mans a fine stick attack, Johnny Morrison and his 25 wins leads a grit-soaked pitching crew, and manager Bill McKechnie wields a firm cutlass on the Forbes poop deck.

5. CHICAGO. The Bear Cubs won 83 times in 1923, but I suspect this was due to Pete Alexander's decision to avoid the fires of alcohol and contribute 22 wins to the cause. They do have a fine young stick-man in Jigger Statz, who I will hereby predict a long, wondrous career for because I happen to like his name, as well as a promising young powerful catcher named Gabby Hartnett, so I will be generous and mark them for the fifth position.

6. ST. LOUIS. Any club with the royal one Rogers Hornsby should be deemed worthy of pennant-sniffing. The Rajah led the league with .384 batting and a 1.084 OPS, a new statistic recently mailed to me by a bookwormish midwestern base ball crank which I have yet to comprehend. Manager Branch Rickey appears to be a decent, God-fearing individual, but his mild ways could prove costly when attempting to juice up his high-paid players. Once again, Jesse Haines and his 20 wins should anchor the average pitching staff.

7. BOSTON. With the arrival of Casey Stengel, the Bostonian Braves are sure to improve on their mere 54 wins. Manager Dave Bancroft, fresh from his good fortune with the McGraw Giants, will surely have his minions running, fielding and swinging with newfound abandon.

8. PHILADELPHIA. And then we have the Quakers, a sorry collection of what-nots, if-onlys, wish-they-coulds and why-bothers, who should emit foul athletic odors to every region of the latrine-like Baker Bowl. Do you doubt my words? Said Phillie "hurlers" allowed 1008 runs in 1923, which by my calculations is approximately two hundred more than any other club in base ball. My pity for the followers of this reeking outfit is bottomless; they should be allowed into their grandstands free of charge, much as witnesses would to an execution.

My next missive will be from Navin Field in Detroit on Opening Day, April 15, against the Speakermen of Cleveland. It will be upon us rapidly!

New York Giants 9558.621
Cincinnati Reds 9163.5914.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 8767.5658.5
Chicago Cubs 8371.53912.5
St. Louis Cardinals 7974.51616
Brooklyn Robins 7678.49419.5
Boston Braves 54100.35141.5
Philadelphia Phillies 50104.32545.5




By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free Enterprise
March 30, 1924

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA—With the 1924 American League campaign finally upon us, the duty of establishing the final order of clubs has come to the forefront. Few fortune-tellers of the horsehide will doubt that the Yankees of New York City will see the pennant banner rippling in the wind over their sparkling new stadium for the fourth consecutive year. This reporter's predicted hierarchy follows:

1. NEW YORK. Babe Ruth, the famed Behemoth of Bust, personally christened his team's first worlds' championship in 1923 by batting .393, walloping 41 circuit clouts and driving home 131 tallies. His feat enabled the Yankees to win the league pennant easily by 16 games over the Tigers. The New York moundsmen also excelled and finished with 101 complete games, most in either league. With their cheeks flushed from their recent celebratory endeavors, I expect the Gothams to find themselves in the seat of lords once more.

2. DETROIT. Ty Cobb's angry cats should battle for team batting honors again, as they did last season with the Clevelanders, but to make more of an impact in league business they will need to improve their hurling reliability. Detroit had only 61 complete games, the lowest mark in the league and only underperformed by Boston's Braves, who threw but 54. Harry Heilman enjoyed a sterling campaign with a league-best .403 average and knocked home 115, Heinie Manush batted .334 and Mr. Cobb .340, but the Peach's squad lacked in the home run department with 41, 64 to the rear of New York's 105, and this will need beefing up. "We don't hit many out of the yard, " said Cobb to me yesterday over a jug of Georgian aged whiskey, "but we can scorch them outfield gaps and gallop over the sacks with fertile abandon."

3. CLEVELAND. Tris Speaker's team batted a combined .301 to Detroit's .300, and finished a lone half game behind them in the league standings, so it is likely the two clubs will prove to be the superior western outfits once again. The Grey Eagle batted .380 with a league-best 59 doubles, while Sewell, Jamieson and Homer Summa all batted well over .300. The Tribe's weakness should be in the pitching department, where George Uhle won 26 but the other chuckers tended to suffer from chronic arm rot. Regardless, chances of another fierce 22-game skirmish between the lake dwellers appears guaranteed.

4. ST. LOUIS. The Browns finished second in the league with 82 long bashes, and I intend for them to regain the offensive allure they displayed in their exciting 1922 campaign. George Sisler, one of three sterling player/managers out here in the west, will certainly have his ruffians snorting for pennant blood. And for those who believe the Brownies are a one-dimensional squad, I offer that their hurling placed third in the league in average of earned runs per game, as Dave Danforth, Elam Vangilder and Urban Shocker won 52 of their 74 victories.

5. WASHINGTON. Big Train Walter Johnson has no fountain of youth to drink from, and the Nats play their contests in a cavernous yard more suited for infantry manuevers than base ball play, as their pitiful amalgamation of just 26 home runs attests. Washington will tally plenty of three-base hits, but with the likes of New York and St. Louis on their dance card, I cannot fathom then cracking into the first division.

6. CHICAGO. The White Stockings are still reeling from the scandal and stench of 1919 and the loss of some of their best stick and glove men, and we should not expect them to rally forth quickly, perhaps not before a far future date such as 1959. Eddie Collins is an exciting little pepper-pot, but I find the remainder of the club sleep-provoking, and do not look forward to visiting Comiskey's field for the sweaty July afternoons of inglorious small balling.

7. PHILADELPHIA. The Mackmen are still in their downward spiral that has entombed them since the Miracle Boston Braves Worlds' Series win of 1914, and it would be an icicle-plagued day in Hades before the Detroiters do not have their slugging way with these impostor elephants.

8. BOSTON. A sad compendium of girl-swingers and wallahonies, the Red Stockings will be truly fortunate to enjoy more than the 61 wins they miraculously garnered last season. Joe Harris and George Burns are their only stick-wielders deemed competent, and Howard Ehmke their lone professional sphere-thrower. The departure of Babe Ruth and others to the occupants of the Bronx has truly weakened them, and it should be at least three years before they are able to combat the pennant-contenders with any degree of comfort.

My prognostications for the National League will follow in two days hence.

New York Yankees 9854.645
Detroit Tigers 8371.53916
Cleveland Indians 8271.53616.5
Washington Senators 7578.49023.5
St. Louis Browns 7478.48724
Philadelphia Athletics 6983.45429
Chicago White Sox 6985.44830
Boston Red Sox 6191.40137


Welcome to a most unusual Web site. It is for lovers of pure baseball, meaning baseball without steroids, without contract news and without wet, freezing World Series games past midnight. It is also for lovers of story and character, and of the daily fun of not knowing how either will turn out. In short, you are about to plunge into a living baseball novel.

Hal Richman invented a fun, realistic baseball board game called Strat-O-Matic Baseball in the early 1960s, and has developed it into a huge success. Bob Costas, Jon Miller, Spike Lee and Lenny Dykstra have played it. Yet I don't even think Hal realizes what a wondrous creation he spawned. With its uniquely crafted cards for every player, we have the ability to enter a baseball world from the past or present with the mere drop of three dice.

My recent "2007 Like It's 1937" replay on the popular Strat Fan Forum had a great regular following, but now I'm compelled to expand things. The goal of this blog site is to broaden the appeal, to draw new baseball fans and readers who may or may not have ever heard of Strat-O-Matic baseball, and just want a brief, everyday escape from the sad realities of our Tough Times.

I will revisit 1924 in cards-and-dice, super advance format, using the actual 1924 schedule and report the events through the eyes and words of two fictional characters:

1. VINNY SPANELLI, a 17-year-old hardcore Phillies fan who spends his every waking hour following his beloved and usually awful Phils by sneaking out of school to sneak into mid-afternoon games at Baker Bowl. Vinny will supply his daily diary of the National league season.

2. CAL BUTTERWORTH, star baseball beat writer for the Detroit Free Enterprise, who will file game stories on Ty Cobb's Tigers from Navin Field and wherever they travel. Cal's a bit flowery with his prose, but is tough enough to get the best quotes from the Georgia Peach and other players, and will report on the daily events in the American League as objectively as he's capable of.

I have no idea how this season and format will play out, but I can guarantee it will be amusing, entertaining, and different.

Opening Day will find Vinny taking in a cold April afternoon against the Boston Braves, while Cal will be in the Navin press box watching the Tigers take on Tris Speaker's Indians. First off, though, look for Cal early next week with his pre-season picks. Enjoy the season!