By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

August 25, 1924

Our short rail ride up to Boston has me on edge a mere ten miles into Connecticut, for I realize I am entering the same hostile region where I abandoned the team a month ago, and when the train stops for more passengers at New Haven, I grab my bag and step onto the platform to find a calming bench and some fresh air.

I am tempted to wait for the next southbound line and return to Michigan before my team does. My evening of ribald carousing with the Babe has damaged my resistance and poisoned my thoughts. Would any of my readers even miss me?

"You're a crackpot! Dud Lee couldn't field a grounder if it was handed to him!"

"Yeah, sure, and Scott hits like a 6-year-old girl!"

The shouting comes from a nearby booth, where two ticket sellers, one for the Yankees and the other the Red Sox, are having at it in exceedingly coarse language about which team will finish in front of the other. And then it hits me: What in the Lord's name have I to complain about? The Tigers have just swept these New Yorkers and have a firm grasp on second place! How would I like to be following and writing about the Indians, or the Phillies, for that matter, who despite being entombed in their seventh place National League dungeon has hardly affected young Master Spanelli's daily enthusiasm for base ball.

No, I have just been undergoing a crisis in the middle of my life, and if anything, my recent solitary trek into this "hostile" region saw me emerge from the northern end with a fresh, positive outlook about my ball-writing duties. The train whistle sounds and I hurriedly re-board and fall asleep in my berth with a few paragraphs of Dickens.

And this afternoon at precious little Fenway Park, the Tigers continue their winning ways against Oscar Fuhr. Everyone in the lineup is clubbing the ball, particularly Fred Haney with two singles and a triple, Heilman drives in three to give him 117 in that department, and Whitehill is given a 10-1 lead going into the 8th.

Tiger hearts are warmed even further as the outfield score board shows the Browns having their way in Washington, which makes it absolutely strange when the Earl turns his 4-hitter into cold mush in the 8th. Two singles and two doubles to start the inning bring on Cole, who keeps Boston cooking with a triple and single, and six enemy runs are across the dish in an instant. Luckily, we have Hooks Dauss, who is afraid of no rally. He gives the Sox a walk and single but retires Geygan and Harris with the sacks filled, then gets Boston in short order in the 9th.

As the Miracle Braves proved exactly ten years ago, a month left in the season is hardly cause for panic, and our gap below the Senators has once again been cobbled under ten games. Speaking of Tyrus, his team's fourth straight win has him tickled pink in the visitor club house, and he even has the making of a smile for me.

DET 220 203 100 - 10 17 0
BOS 100 000 050 - 6 11 0

Other American League games played today:

BROWNS 7-12-1, at SENATORS 1-10-1
Ernie Wingard hurls a complete game, Joe Martina's performance is as ugly as his looks, and St. Louis wins it's 60th game in a most triumphant fashion.

at YANKEES 6-13-2, INDIANS 2-8-0
With the 6-16 Coveleski beating their team into the 3rd and Yankee Stadium on the verge of being burned to the ground, the fans' fortunes turn in a heartbeat when the evidently more-sober Bambino creams his 36th homer with two aboard to put the Yanks ahead to stay. Wally Pipp hits a 2-run blast in the same inning, a New York swatting feat unmatched in weeks.

WHITE SOX 11-16-1, ATHLETICS 0-3-2
Never immune to bizarre drama, Chicago grounds into SIX double plays yet still tears apart Philadelphia like wolves on a squirrel, as the Fearsome Fivesome at the top of their lineup reaches base 17 of 26 times against the useless arms of Dennis Burns and Rollie Naylor. If Washington has plans to falter, the White Sox apparently want in on the event.

AMERICAN LEAGUE through Monday, August 25
Washington Senators 7746.626
Detroit Tigers 6956.5529
Chicago White Sox 6260.50814.5
New York Yankees 5962.48817
St. Louis Browns 6065.48018
Boston Red Sox 5766.46320
Philadelphia Athletics 5669.44822
Cleveland Indians 5571.43723.5



August 25, 1924

Benny couldn't wait for us to get to Forbes Field. "Nine in a row, pal. And Bucs are gonna make ten. " After checking to be sure he wasn't high on reefer, I pretended to agree to keep him in a good mood, and hurried into the visiting club house to dress up in my batboy gear.

All the players were excited, because playing the league leaders always sharpens you like a pencil, and Johnny Couch who can sometimes be great was throwing for us against Wilbur Cooper, who is 13-9 despite pitching awful much of the time.

I heard some grumblings during the batting practice from Pirates who felt let down by not being able to face our colored brothers again—after all, they were the only NL team to beat the Black Phils—but all that did was get me excited because the Reds had felt the same way and then gone out and dropped three in a row to us.

The big problem here, though, was that slugging backstop Earl Smith was back in their lineup after a long injury, so beating these guys would be even tougher. But after Hod Ford singled with one out, a ball squirted past rusty-looking Smith and got him to second. Holke then got him in with a single and we had a 1-0 lead.

The amazing Cuyler doubled to lead their 2nd, and Wright got him home to tie the game, but the inning ending when Rabbit Maranville doubled and Cy smoked him at home plate with a perfect throw. A Max Carey single and steal and Moore single put them up 2-1 in the 3rd, but then Lady Luck gave us another big kiss. Holke singled to start the 4th, and when Cy poked one out to center, Carey lost it in the sun for a three-base error!

After a Jimmie Wilson single we had a 3-2 lead, and that's when Couch laid down for no one. Four innings went by with the Bucs only getting one single (by Cuyler, of course), and when Mokan bombed a ball over the left fence in the 8th we had a miracle two-run lead.

But Pittsburgh is where 1924 miracles have been dying all year, and we all should've known better. With two on and two out in their 8th and the unstoppable Cuyler up, an easy grounder got under Ford's glove for an error to load the bases, and Smith made it 4-3 with a single. We loaded the bases with two gone in the 9th, but Art Stone relieved Cooper to face Cy, who popped weakly to right and strand everybody. And you don't gotta be a baseball genius to know what that means.

Yup, with one out in the last of the 9th, the Rabbit ripped a ball that chewed up the grass between Cy and Mokan for a huge triple. Johnny Gooch, who played catcher while Smith was out and batted about .440, pinch-hit for Stone and popped an easy scoring fly to Mokan and the tie game.

This brought in secret Buc weapon Babe Adams, the stingiest relief man around, and he stingied us for no hits in three innings until Kiki Cuyler added to his legend by clubbing a two-out homer off Betts in the last of the 12th to end our win streak and turn our club house into a funeral parlor.

I wished they'd beaten us 16-2 like they usually do, but what the heck. At least we'll be home in a few days.

Good night, reader-people!

PHI 100 200 010 000 - 4 12 1
PIT 011 000 011 001 - 5 12 2

Other sad National League games today:

BRAVES 3-10-0, at REDS 1-13-3
How bad is it for Cincy these days? Try 13 hits and only 1 run against the worst team in the western hemisphere. And Carl Mays loses by giving up one flurry of hits in the 3rd inning.

at CARDINALS 10-14-0, ROBINS 0-5-0
Joining the Reds' swan dive are the Robins, losers of three straight as Art Decatur ruins a great scoreless duel with Sherdel by giving the Cards six runs in the 5th and four in the 6th. Speedless St. Louis catcher Vince Clemons racks up two triples and a double in the hideous romp.

GIANTS 11-16-4, at CUBS 10-13-1
New York does everything they can to throw the game away but the Cubs keep throwing it right back. With Mule Watson knocked out in the 2nd inning, Wayland Dean takes over, gives up homer-bombs to Hollocher and Hartnett (another one!), but George Kelly has probably his biggest game of the year, mashing two clouts and a double off Kaufmann and knocking in six of the eleven Giant runs. With Jonnard unavailable, Rosy Ryan relieves the exhausted Dean in the 7th and tosses two and a third scoreless innings. Do we sense a late resurgence in the McGraw camp here? Don't put your hard-earned money on it.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Monday, August 25
Pittsburgh Pirates7842.650
Brooklyn Robins7252.5818
Cincinnati Reds7054.56510
New York Giants6755.54912
Chicago Cubs5963.48420
St. Louis Cardinals5963.48420
Philadelphia Phillies5172.41528.5
Boston Braves3489.27645.5




By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

August 24, 1924

The operator put my telephone call through to Miller Huggins' office, and it took me a few moments to speak.

"Mr. Huggins? It's Calvin Butterworth...The writer?"

"Yeah, Cal. Is there a problem?"

"Yes...You might say that. I'm not sure how to say this, but I'm afraid I've lost the Babe."

"Whaddya mean 'lost him'? We have a game to play in three hours!"


I awoke on a hard white surface, half undressed, my legs bent upward behind me in an odd fashion. My head and neck throbbed with agony, and when my eyes finally focused I realized I was lying face down in a bathtub. My spectacles were beside me, one side of them askew, and when I climbed out of the tub and went to the mirror to put them back on, I saw in horror that one of my entire sideburns had been shaved off! Where was I and what had happened?

I threw open the bathroom door and took in the upper West Side apartment suite the Babe and I had made merry in with his new "friends" from the roadhouse The place was in shambles, spilled liquor and food everywhere, and when I opened the door of an adjoining bedroom, a raccoon with a bandaged leg flew at my leg and nearly chewed it off! I shut it back in the room and tried to remember everything that had happened last night, but could not. And now the Bambino was gone.

After placing a call to his residence at the Astonia and mollycoddling an angry, suspicious Helen, I made my contact with Miller Huggins at the stadium. Then it was time to take action. What if he was merely waiting for me at my hotel? After locating my wallet under one of the apartment suite beds, I secured a taxicab and made my way to the Waldorf, fighting nausea with every turn. After inquiring about Ruth with the desk man, I went up to my room, and there found a crude note slipped under the door:



So! Those conniving fiends! Here to do nothing but befriend and lure Ruth from that Long Island roadhouse, the young "revelers" were in fact a secret contingent of Boston terrorists, out to steal Ruth back with a diabolical plot. I thought I detected a strong New England accent when one of them said "Where'd you pahk the cah?"

But now what? How could anyone possibly think Ruppert would "reverse" that famous trade? Where was the Bambino that very moment? And how does one explain the lame raccoon?

My first mission was to go back to my desk man and ask if he had seen any strange individuals enter the lobby. When I arrived at his station, however, a private phone call was waiting for me. "Butterworth? Leave a copy of the New York Sun in the bushes outside that apartment by 11 a.m. if Ruppert agrees to the deal and we'll tell you where the Babe is. And don't try anything smart, yuh bastahd." Click.

Afraid to contact the Yankees' office, I returned to the West Side, and located a 24-hour newspaper stand around the corner from the apartment. I purchased a New York Sun, then had a thought and asked the dealer whether he had seen anything unusual in the adjoining alley early that morning, such as a kidnapping. He said no but suggested I ask his partner Gab,e who worked all night and was asleep at his place in Greenwich Village.

Keeping the paper under my arm, I made haste to Gabe's address, woke him with hammering door knocks, and learned that he did hear some odd noises and strong Boston accents in the alley before a car drove out. They said something about "leavin' him tied up" somewhere, like the name of a hotel, but Gabe couldn't remember the hotel's name. Frantic now, I made him a strong cup of coffee, threw some cold water in his face, and got him to remember the "Hotel Essex." Essex? That was the name of Ruth's car!

I raced back to the apartment neighborhood, scoured every inch of each neighboring street, and found Ruth's Essex parked in the shade of another alley three blocks away. Someone was pounding from inside the trunk, and after obtaining a crowbar from a nearby auto garage, I forced it open.

Out jumped the Babe, wearing nothing but his high black socks, ripping off the remains of the cord that bound his wrists. He was still booze-weary but enraged beyond belief. "Where'd those yellow sons-of-bitches go, I'll murder 'em!" he yelled, and I had to coax him into the car and calm him down while I went up and fetched his clothes.

The execution of the kidnappers' plan was as badly conceived as its muddle-headed concept, and after helping get Ruth dressed and unable to find his car key, we took a taxi to the Bronx a bare thirty minutes before game time.

I was too embarrassed to make a press row appearance with my one sideburn, so sat in the deep stands and watched in amazement as the Yanks turned in their most agonizing game of their three-day flop against my Detroiters, if that were even possible after being bashed to smithereens twice.

With the 20-3 Collins throwing against the 14-13 Pennock, an Ernie Johnson error with two outs in the 3rd led to four quick unearned Tiger runs. After Ruth skied out with two aboard in the 1st and doubled with no one aboard in the 3rd, he butchered a Heilman fly in the 5th for a two-base error and two more Tiger runs. The fans even didn't have to know he was half-soused to boo him, and when he stepped up in the 7th and belted one of the longest homers ever seen in this new park, nearly out of the bleachers in right, I was convinced he had swung with his eyes closed.

Nevertheless, all it did was make the score 6-3 and set up the maddening 9th. Two doubles and a single with one out brought Cole in from the pen to face Ruth, who grounded out meekly before Meusel whiffed for the third time with men aboard to end the debacle.

Normally it would be a relief to journey up to Boston now, but with that being the home of those infamous chowder-heads we narrowly escaped the clutches of, and with it being the site of my recent mental departure from my duties, I believe I'd be happier with three days in a steam room...accompanied by a bandaged raccoon.

DET 004 020 060 - 6 7 2
NYY 000 000 302 - 5 10 2

Other American League games played today:

Chicago turns around yesterday's late Nat uprising, as the speedy Maurice Archdeacon pinch-hits a 2-run single off Zachary with two outs in the top of the 9th for the game-winners and keep the Sox from sinking below the .500 mark. The Tigers are only ten games out, for what that is worth.

BROWNS 8-16-0, at INDIANS 1-4-1
A strange one-game series finds the inexplicably employed Elam Vangilder allowing the Tribe no hits for the first six innings. while Joe Shaute is being knocked all over League Park. Joe has six straight losses and has now allowed over 300 hits on the year, including three by George Sisler in this game.

Only National League games today
(young Master Spanelli's Phillies are idle in Pittsburgh):

BRAVES 5-9-1, at REDS 3-5-1
The Cincinnati Death March resumes, as Tom Sheehan is beaten by the lowliest of teams, and Edd Roush breaks a wrist and will sit out for two weeks.

GIANTS 5-11-3, at CUBS 3-7-1
The worst fielder in either league, shortstop Jackson of the Giants, commits two errors leading to two unearned Cub runs but Bentley holds off the enemy until Jonnard can take over and save the contest.

at CARDINALS 10-16-1, ROBINS 4-13-2
Suddenly nothing is going right for Brooklyn, losers of two straight in horrible fashion. It is Bill Doak's turn to have scant mustard on the ball as he surrenders triples to Cooney, Holm, and Sothoron at the bottom of the order, while his mates bounce into four twin killings to wipe away any production possible out of their 13 singles.

AMERICAN LEAGUE through Sunday, August 24
Washington Senators 7745.631
Detroit Tigers 6856.54810
Chicago White Sox 6160.504015.5
New York Yankees 5862.48318
St. Louis Browns 5965.47619
Boston Red Sox 5765.46720
Philadelphia Athletics 5668.45222
Cleveland Indians 5570.44023.5
NATIONAL LEAGUE through Sunday, August 24
Pittsburgh Pirates7742.647
Brooklyn Robins7251.5857
Cincinnati Reds7053.5699
New York Giants6655.54512
Chicago Cubs5962.48819
St. Louis Cardinals5863.47920
Philadelphia Phillies5171.41827.5
Boston Braves3389.27045.5




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
Washington Senators 7744.636
Detroit Tigers 6756.54511
Chicago White Sox 6060.50016.5
New York Yankees 5861.48718
St. Louis Browns 5865.47220
Boston Red Sox 5765.46720.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5668.45222.5
Cleveland Indians 5569.44423.5



August 23, 1924

CINCINNATI—One more game. One more game played in this sweltering city of hills and the Ohio River, of Carl Headhunter Mays and Eppa Rixey (I could say his name all day), of German speakeasies and crazy Over-the-Rhine Boys and a young fraulein named Ute I hope doesn't live here anymore.

Elected to get us out of town happy was Joe Oecshger, who went home to Chicago while the Black Phillies had his job and did nothing but sit by the lake and read fiction books for over a week, so he was good and rested. The Reds were in a real nasty mood after dropping the first two to us, and it seemed pretty clear that they let up a bit after finding out they didn't have to play those colored monsters.

Proving this in the 1st inning was their biggest star Edd Roush, who dropped Wrightstone's easy fly after Cy got us on the board with a scoring double, and it was 2-0 Phils right out of the gate. Oeschie was pitching like he was still in his beach seat, scattering a single, double and plunked batter through the first five innings. The crowd was getting as restless and angry as it's possible for an Ohio crowd to get, and after Wilson and Mokan doubled and their Cuban starter Luque botched a grounder to give us a 4-0 lead, the entire right bleacher section, filled with Over-the Rhine Boys, stood up together and razzed the field so loud that a flock of pigeons took off from under the grandstand roof and probably headed for Texas.

We all had grins on our faces when our boys took the field for the last of the 6th, but the bleacher cries were like electric shocks under the Reds players' rumps. Chick Shorten batted for Luque and doubled. Walker and Daubert singled. Bressler walked. Lefty Clarence Mitchell took the ball to get rid of Roush and Edd got rid of him with a mash of a triple over Cy's head and a sudden tie game. Steinder took over, Pinelli singled, and Redlands Field was a crazy-house as they took the lead without making an out!

Ray got out of the inning, but then Jakie May took the hill for Cincy and had worse luck than Luque could've dreamed of. Heinie walked to start the 7th, and Daubert muffed Holke's grounder to put two aboard. After a shallow Cy fly, Butch Henline hit for Wrightstone and got plunked. Jimmie Wilson, his head still swelled up after his history-making game with the coloreds in St. Louis, then ripped Jakie's first pitch high and deep and out of the park in left and Redlands Field was a funeral parlor all over again. A grand slam!! Wilson even took off my cap to mussy my hair when he crossed home plate. Daubert booted the very next pitch hit by Mokan and the sausage wrappers and pop bottles started flying.

Steinder pitched the last three innings lightning-quick to keep our outfielders from getting skulled, gave up no hits, and we were in and out of the showers and racing off to the train station even quicker. Benny and me kept our heads down so the batches of Over-the-Rhine idiots snooping around the train platforms wouldn't see us, and then the big rolling poker party headed off to Pittsburgh, where we even get a Sunday off tomorrow.

Lying up in my berth later with a head full of illegal gin and rocking back and forth I suddenly remembered we'd won nine games in a row, the last three with whites only. If that ain't a miracle than I don't know what is.

Good night, reader-people.

PHL 200 002 400 01 - 8 10 1
CIN 000 005 000 00 - 5 7 4

Other National League games today:

at PIRATES 9-13-1, BRAVES 4-12-0
Powell walks to start the Braves' 1st inning but McInnis pops into a double play and Sperber whiffs. Carey singles to start the Bucs' 1st inning then steals second, Grimm walks, Moore singles, Cuyler doubles home all three and Traynor hits a sacrifice fly. Need to know anything else?

at CUBS 12-13-0, ROBINS 5-7-4
A real bad time for Burleigh Grimes to dry up his spitball and break his four-game win streak. Aldridge throws great, but three doubles and three triples by his mates bury Brooklyn often and early.

GIANTS 17-22-0, at CARDINALS 6-9-3
That's 31 runs 34 hits in two days piled up by the Giants, who prove me wrong by winning two straight in a big way. Nehf goes all the way and even rookie Bill Terry gets in on the action with a big 3-run homer off Rhem to begin New York's seven-run 4th.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Saturday, August 23
Pittsburgh Pirates7742.647
Brooklyn Robins7250.5906.5
Cincinnati Reds7052.5748.5
New York Giants6555.54212.5
Chicago Cubs5961.49218.5
St. Louis Cardinals5763.47520.5
Philadelphia Phillies5171.41827.5
Boston Braves3389.27046




By Hodgkins Ruddy
Special to the
Detroit Free-Enterprise

August 22, 1924

It has been over a month now since my last investigation into the mysterious disappearance of base ball reporter Calvin J. Butterworth, but I am thrilled to inform the public that I am as close to discovering his whereabouts as I've ever been.

But let me elaborate. A young, vivacious Boston woman named Lizzie Dorset welcomed me into her home that sultry July afternoon and despite weeks of private scrutiny into her innermost drawers, I surfaced with nothing but a lighter money sack and marriage proposal. And then—

A tip from a gin-guzzler in Miss Dorset's neighborhood that someone named Butterworth had recently flown on an aeroplane from Detroit clear to Philadelphia piqued my fancy. When he added that this same chap had published articles about a secret set of ball games with Negroes, I realized how far he had let his mind cart roll, and after wrapping up my myriad of personal affairs in Boston I was off to New York City on the next train, the Detroit ball club's next destination...

8:29 a.m. My suite here at the Shelton Hotel is on the nineteenth floor, high above Lexington Avenue and all its foot and motorcar traffic, yet I am woken from an idyllic sleep by a chambermaid's knock. She is of Oriental creed, gentle of nature, and politely asks if she can tidy my room. As I am standing there in my velvet robe, hair uncombed, I decline, but her visit reminds me there is much one can learn from a willing servant, and in short order I am riding a taxi to the remote New York neighborhood called The Bronx.

9:51 a.m. As the Fenway Park was in Boston that same July day, the Yankee Stadium is oddly quiet for a Friday afternoon. I am told by a broom pusher on the outer sidewalk that visiting ball writers tend to stay in the same hotel as their visiting team, and after a modest amount of cash bribery he contacts a lowly friend inside the stadium, who hikes to the upper newspaper perch and returns with the hotel name I seek: the Waldorf-Astoria.

11:14 a.m. Success! After a 10-minute conversation with a slightly bored hotel desk man and a methodical half hour retort with a comely Irish maid on the 15th floor, I have the clues to propel me forward. Yes, Mr. Butterworth checked in three days ago, a striking woman and two wee ones in tow, and yet while the writer is allegedly occupying his room, he is not within, has not been seen all day, and the woman and children have gone missing as of a day ago. Where have they gone? Will they lead me to Butterworth himself?

11:33 a.m. The lass allows me access to the Butterworth chamber, and two items tickle my faculties. A pair of discarded candy wrappers by a bedside table, both from Meetle's Sweet Emoprium on 2nd Avenue, and a name and address scrawled on the edge of one of Butterworth's sheets in fine pen as if he hurriedly had to jot it:

Hun Li Fong
12 Pike Street

Fascinating. I re-copy the name and locale and am out the door.

12:49 p.m. At Meetle's Sweet Emporium, a fetching young lady at the payment counter seems to recall a striking woman and two temperamental children buying the same candies attached to my empty wrappers, and that the young boy was finishing off a Chinese egg roll when they entered the store. Aha! Was it given to him by Mr. Fong?

2:24 p.m. After a fair amount of foot-searching, I find the Pike Street establishment cleverly named Fong's Laundry, and spend nearly an hour questioning the suspicious proprietor and his mysteriously beautiful daughter. We have some difficulty understanding each other, but when I mention Meetle's emporium Mr. Fong says "Yes! Yes! We have oporium!", and sends me into a back room with his daughter. There are other men inside, all lying on sheetless beds and smoking a strange substance out of long pipes. I decide if I am going to solve this case, I need to partake in these exotic customs, and I let the silky-haired girl settle me down on a bed...

9:12 p.m., I believe: Is it night already? How unusual. Fong is gone, off on another mission of foul play no doubt, and after some effort I pick up a sales tag lying at my feet. The Golden Spire, it says, at a Pier Street address I cannot make out. How bloody foolish to leave this massive clue at my disposal!

11:12: The Golden Spire Hotel is not where I expect it to be, but after some time turning in wrong directions I stumble upon the massive, boat-like structure. I see a delivery truck backed up to its rear supply door, fresh sheets marked with Fong's name being toted inside. I am close to the solution!

11:28: I scour rooms from one floor to the next, many of them smaller than your average hotel chamber, when suddenly I feel motion beneath my feet. Is it an earth tremor? The effects of Fong's smoking substance? I scramble to the top floor and find myself outside, only to discover the entire Golden Spire Hotel floating away from Pier Street, out onto the Hudson River! So this is how dispatched with his concubine and her unfortunate tots! I have no clue where the ship is headed, but if I just lay down a while...right here in this starwell...I should find the answer in due...time.


at ATHLETICS 1-5-0, BROWNS 0-8-0
Edward Rommel is the mound master, vanquishing the efforts of one Urban Shocker when Hale and Miller strike consecutive two-sack hits in the 6th section of play.

INDIANS 10-14-0, at RED SOX 5-10-1
The Boston club stages a rousing comeback when trailing by a 5-1 count, only to have six straight Tribesmen reach the bases to begin the 8th section, and pull away hastily for their brave twirler Uhle.

AMERICAN LEAGUE through Friday, August 22
Washington Senators 7644.633
Detroit Tigers 6656.54111
Chicago White Sox 6059.50415.5
New York Yankees 5860.49217
St. Louis Browns 5864.47519
Boston Red Sox 5764.47119.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5568.44722.5
Cleveland Indians 5469.43923.5


Pardon the Jolly Interruption...


August 22, 1924

Benny wouldn't get out of bed all morning, and when he finally did he just sat there in our hotel room and drank seltzer water. "It isn't fair. We had a chance to catch the Bucs with those guys." I reminded him that even after winning seven straight we're still over 25 games out of first place near the end of August but he didn't wanna hear it. He said he felt the same way he did after rehearsing for a school play for three weeks and then doing the acting—in other words, everything inside him had drained out.

I gave up on Benny and went down to have breakfast with Heinie Sand. He was still pretty sparky over yesterday's game but even though he was happy to be playing again he was just as sad to see the Black Phillies leave.

"I can't imagine what this must be like for them Negroes. I didn't know any myself growing up in San Francisco, but I sure know how tough it is to make the bigs and when you got all this race pressure on top of that it's hard to believe they can even focus on hitting a baseball." I said him that maybe because the ball is white it helps them, and he just laughed and munched on a bacon strip. "All I know is that I wanna keep our win streak going no matter what. If a guy is purple or green and can play up a storm he deserves a square chance, and I'm gonna do my best as sort of a tribute to them."

After yesterday's surprise win against Mays, we had even tougher chances today with Rixey going, and through six innings he was up to his old Redland Field tricks, shutting us down on just two singles. Carlson was doing his usual Houdini act for us, but Ike Caveney's 2-run homer in the 2nd was the only real damage they did off him.

Then Babe Pinelli booted Cy's grounder to start the 7th. After Wilson lined out, Johnny Mokan banged one high and deep to left. Bressler ran up the little hill in front of the fence but a wind gust carried the ball right over the top and the game was tied! Rixey was rattled and threw away Parkinson's dribble for a two-base error and our dugout was cooking again. Heinie took his bat from me with the most determined look I'd ever seen on his face and whacked the first pitch into the corner for a scoring double and a 3-2 lead!

Carlson gave Bressler a double to begin their 8th, and after Steineder relieved Pinelli got him home with a scoring fly. The Reds defense has the most errors in the league, though, and with two gone and two on in the top of the 9th, Caveney muffed another one and we took a 4-3 lead.

But Steineder was off his game, and singles in a row by Critz, Bubbles Hargrave and Walker tied it again and we went extras. Jakie May took over for the still-angry Rixey and Mokan led with a single off him in the 11th. After Parkinson whiffed, Heinie the Terror went back up to the dish and this time shot a ball into the right corner, scooted all the way around to third for a run-scoring triple!

Cincy wouldn't die, though, and loaded the sacks with one out against Huck Betts, who I thought had recovered from getting hammered by the Cards the other day when pitching for the Black Phils. Well, he recovered all at once, as Bressler bounced into a short-to-home-to-first double play with the infield playing up and we had eight in a row!

Heinie got tossed in the shower with his uniform on and had at least three players fighting over who was going to buy him tonight's steak. Benny even came to dinner with us, all jazzed up because we now had fifty wins on the season. "Wait'll we get to Pittsburgh after this!" is all he kept saying, and thankfully, no one was listening.

Good night, reader-people.

PHL 000 000 301 01 - 5 9 1
CIN 020 000 011 00 - 4 15 4

Other National League games today:

at PIRATES 15-18-1, BRAVES 2-6-2
Yup, it looks like the Bucs were really bugged about losing yesterday. Believe it or else, the Braves were only down 3-2 going to the bottom of the 5th. Cuyler gets his usual three hits but Glenn Wright is the real star, driving in seven with two doubles, a triple and a single. As usual, injuries don't even bother the Pirates, as Ray Kremer has to leave after four innings with a blister and the crummy Jeff Pfeffer throws a 3-hit shutout the rest of the way.

ROBINS 5-10-1, at CUBS 1-5-0
Dazzy Vance is now 19-7, Zack Wheat gets three hits and Bernie Neis gets back from an injury by hitting a homer to start the game.

GIANTS 17-22-0, at CARDINALS 6-9-3
I guess McGraw's early bed-checks last night paid off. Haines, Dyer, Bell, and Stuart are torn apart like fresh chickens, with even George Kelly getting four hits batting in the third slot. As we've seen all year, though, these explosions mean nothing. I'll be shocked if the Giants win tomorrow.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, August 22
Pittsburgh Pirates7642.644
Brooklyn Robins7249.5955.5
Cincinnati Reds7051.5797.5
New York Giants6455.53812.5
Chicago Cubs5861.48718.5
St. Louis Cardinals5762.47919.5
Philadelphia Phillies5071.41327.5
Boston Braves3388.27345




August 21, 1924

By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber


Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis is finally on the mend, and our fine sport is all the better for it. After being bed-ridden and unresponsive for nearly two weeks, the Illinois Cyclone spoke to reporters in his Chicago home this morning. "Those rumors of possible white vs. colored exhibitions in mid-season may have been what did me in," he joked. "And it's wonderful to be able to read our daily standings again after so many days away from them. For example, this Phillies club seems to have found its sea legs." Judge Landis will rest at home a few more days before returning to his base ball office, where acting commissioner Rutledge has proven a fine back-up in his absence.

NEW YORK—I snap my copy of the Herald-Tribune shut and stretch before taking in the lush grass of year-old Yankee Stadium. After the joyous days of last year's championship campaign here, it has been a most foul waking-up for the legions of New York fans. The fact that the usually reliable Giants across the river have also played themselves out of the pennant chase doesn't make for a jolly neighborhood, to say the least, and it's been up to the city's pesky cousins in Brooklyn to carry the local torch.

What has been wrong with these Yankees? After winning only two World Series, their fans may be a bit inexperienced and provincial to examine such matters, but from what I've seen and learned, the team's flaws are clearly defined. Despite Babe Ruth's .353 average, 32 home runs and 97 runs knocked in, all among the league leading marks, his failure to produce at desperate game moments have crippled the team time and again. Bob Meusel's .318, 12 and 101 contributions have helped, but aside from them, no one has stepped up with any stick-swinging regularity. Wally Pipp's stock has dived after a bell-ringing April, and team management may be wise to give young Columbia University slugger Gehrig a shot at first base one of these days.

In the pitching department, things have been just plain disastrous. Ace Herb Pennock is a paltry 14-13 while Joe Bush takes turns being either magnificent (3 shutouts) or ghastly (4.48), and between Beall, Gaston, Mamaux, and Markle, the Yanks would be better served putting their clubhouse attendant on the mound to relieve the starters.

Chief target of this hideous Yankee rotation is Waite Hoyt, who after today's bloodletting has given up 270 hits in just 191 innings of work. The Tigers break open their hitting champagne early when Heinie Manush, lover of all things Bronxian, smashes his fifth homer and third here into the short right seats for a 2-0 lead. Two singles and a Hoyt error make it 3-0 in the following frame, before Ruth explodes his 33rd shot into the bleachers with as usual, no one aboard.

Still gloating over his prodigious blow, the Bambino lazily runs over to catch Lu Blue's fly the next inning and lets it roll past him for a three-sack error and two more Detroit runs. After Pratt singles it's 6-1, the fans around me have begun their daily verbal abuse, and the rout is on. A booted single by Meusel, Manush and Bassler doubles, and a Blue single crank it to 8-1 in the 6th, and after New York plates single runs in the 7th and 8th off Wells and Cole, the Tigers clean house against Gaston in the 9th. Blue gets plunked, Pratt doubles, O'Rourke and Cole single, and Manush does it again, a ferocious smash into the bleachers for his sixth on the season, three more runs and the final 13-3 score.

It doesn't help that the Yanks' sorry play has been largely featured in their own spanking new yard, where they are now 28-33. If the Browns weren't going through a sudden rash of ailments, New York could easily be in the second division by now. They certainly belong there.

The series resumes after another strange day off tomorrow with Holloway facing Bob Shawkey, as I've been relegated to finding something to do in this fitfully dull metropolis. Hmm...

DET 002 132 005 - 13 18 1
NYY 000 100 110 - 3 9 2

Other American League games today:

at SENATORS 5-5-1, WHITE SOX 1-5-2
Needing to sweep the slumping front-runners to have any chance, Chicago bows down to the pitching king who is Walter Johnson, whose record now stands at 19-8. Joe Judge's triple gets a 1st inning Nat rally going and his double highlights a second flurry of runs in the 5th. The White Sox mark since July 1st is 17-29 and they have plummeted to a notch above .500.

at ATHLETICS 8-14-0, BROWNS 2-10-1
It is Heimach's turn to have his way with the largely bruised Brownies, as DIxie Davis throws his worst game in a while. McManus and Jacobson both return tomorrow, but slugger Ken Williams highlights the occasion by going out with a bad leg for a week and a half.

at RED SOX 6-13-2, INDIANS 3-9-1
Quietly slinking through the tall grass are the Bostons, who get more great pitching work from Ehmke and batting strokes from Harris and Picinich. Like St. Louis, the Tribe has been in the hospital ward of late, not that it matters given the month of the year and their station in American League life.

AMERICAN LEAGUE through Thursday, August 21
Washington Senators 7644.633
Detroit Tigers 6656.54111
Chicago White Sox 6059.50415.5
New York Yankees 5860.49217
St. Louis Browns 5863.47918.5
Boston Red Sox 5763.47519
Philadelphia Athletics 5468.44323
Cleveland Indians 5369.43424



August 21, 1924

I learned a bunch of stuff today. All of us did. But I'll get to the life lesson junk later.

Let's start with the all-night train party we had out of St. Louis. The first-string colored players were back from their two days at the horse and dog tracks, some flush with dollar bills like Cannonball Redding and some broke as hobos like Turkey Stearnes. The plain fact was that the Black Phillies who were supposed to be worse trounced the Cards in the last two games and were invited along to Cincy, meaning there were about 49 Negro players stuffed into our three train cars and almost no room for any of them to sleep.

Not that we could've anyway, because Cannonball had a huge dice game going halfway across the Mississippi and Oscar's club of girlfriends who got seats behind our dugout yesterday were parading through the cars and Biz Mackey had a phonograph cranked up and the hollering and hooting and dancing and Louis Armstrong trumpet and thick cigar clouds from Smokey Joe's Havana made it hard to breathe, let alone sleep.

Charleston hadn't told his players who was going to play against the Reds, mainly to keep them all juiced up and ready to go, but we all knew Carl Mays and Eppa Rixey were set to face us and those guys wouldn't be afraid of nine Babe Ruths.

We pulled into Cincinnati mid-morning, climbed onto two special buses Rube had rented for us, and headed right to Redland Field. No one had eaten breakfast but boxes of sticky muffins from the station were passed around and the jokes were flying just as fast.

And then we got to the ballpark, where two dozen cops holding billy clubs and pistols blocked the players' entrance gate.

Rube Foster stood waiting for us right in front of them, looking more sad than a man could possibly look. "Black Phillies gotta close up shop, darlins," he said, his voice all chokie, "Rutledge wired me from New York and I have to agree with the man."

"What are you talking about??" screamed Benny.

"We're just too damn good, that's what I'm talking about. And if we lay the same kind of lumber on the Reds and Pirates, the whole pennant race could turn into a joke. Much as I like showin' up these folks, you can't say it's all that fair."

We were all stunned or shocked. Everyone knew Judge Landis was still in his coma and figured this fun might go on forever. The rest of the white Phillies were standing just inside the gate in their street clothes, waiting and watching, and I caught Heinie Sand's eye as he shrugged his shoulders at me. Oscar stepped up to Rube and puffed up his chest with all the dignity he could muster in the moment.

"Least you could do is get us good seats for the game today."

"Can't do that, boy" It was August Herrmann, the owner of the Reds, also standing inside the gate, "We have sold out games in this town and no colored section to put you anyway."

Oscar looked like he was ready to bust, but Mule Suttles poked him in the side and said, "Forget it Oscar. Let's just find us a good alley." Benny and me looked at each other but it was clear there was nothing we could do. That's right: I was a batboy again.

So Jimmy Ring took our ball, back after a nice little vacation with his 5-15 record, and went up against Carl Mays and his 17-6. The Reds fans were all buzzing in the stands, expecting to see the colored stars they'd heard so much about, and the German Over-the-Rhine Boys were as quiet as could be out in the right bleachers. We managed a few hits in the first five innings but basically rolled over and died while the Reds were busy scoring one in the 1st and two in the 4th on the usual Edd Roush triple.

I was kind of in a fog and had to remind myself how to arrange the bats because it had been so long. When Harper and Holke singled with two outs in our 6th I got a little touch of excitement, but this was still Carl Mays, after all.

Then big Cy Williams walked up there, his face all tense. I had a funny feeling about the at-bat but before I could even think about it Cy belted the ball right down the line for a double and our first run. Mays got shaky and threw a wild one that scored Holke and made it 3-2. I think Mays must've known how lucky he was not to be facing the coloreds, but what it did was soften him too much against us, because Mokan, Ford and Ring all doubled in a row with one gone in the 7th and we were ahead 4-3!

And we didn't stop. Holke and Cy singled to start the 8th, and after a ground out, Bressler dropped a fly in left for another run. Mays then did what he's famous for and put a fastball in Mokan's back. Mokan dropped his bat, ran to the mound and swung at Carl's head and the battle was on! Mays was the only one who got kicked out, which got the fans throwing more garbage than we'd seen in St. Louis, and poor Jakie May got smacked around too for a Ford single and second Jimmy Ring double.

Jimmy couldn't even be touched after that, and the White Phillies had picked up where their colored brothers had left off.

Benny and me looked around for Oscar and Biz and whoever outside the field later, but couldn't find them. We went back to the train station on a hunch and sure enough, there they all were about to board for Chicago, Rube's home and the place they could all get connections to wherever they came from. We shook hands with as many players as we could and even embraced a few, and it was hard to talk without crying a little.

"You two and your friend Roy and that Butterboat feller, you all deserve medals," said Oscar. That was good to hear, because from my point we deserved kicks in the rump for starting a project that was so bound to fail.

"Frogs can't get tasty flies unless they come out of their holes," said Rube, his eyes fighting back wetness, "Maybe some day we can all try this again, darlins." And with that he boarded the train after letting every last one of the colored players board first. Heavy mist was rolling in off the Ohio River with the sunset, and me and Benny stood there next to the track and watched until the train hissed and rolled and clacked and finally vanished straight into it.

Good night from Sad Cincy, reader-people.

PHL 000 002 240 - 8 14 0
CIN 100 200 000 - 3 8 2

Other National League games today:

BRAVES 3-7-0, at PIRATES 2-6-0
The second Miracle of the day. Boston comes back on exasperating southpaw Emil Yde with a Cunningham single, McInnis triple and Sperber double in the top of the 6th to steal the game. Jesse Barnes gives the Bucs only one single in the last four innings as the Braves beat them for the just the fourth time, all of the wins at Forbes Field.

at CUBS 9-9-0, ROBINS 0-6-0
Pete Alexander keeps Brooklyn from gaining ground with another fabulous outing, bumping his record to 15-4. Tiny Osborne is just awful for the Robins, walking ten guys in less than six innings of "work."

at CARDINALS 11-15-3, GIANTS 10-15-5
Hold on to your hats, because this Giant stink bomb smells worse than almost every other Giant stink bomb this season. How about a 4-1 lead that quickly becomes a 5-5 tie thanks to McQuillan's typical rotten pitching and New York's swiss cheese infield defense? McQuillan makes an error of his own, then throws a wild pitch to help the Cards take a 6-5 lead in the 7th, which becomes 9-5 after Hack Wilson bounces a fly off his drunk face to kick off a 3-run Cards 8th, only to have the Giants wake from the grave against Dickerman and score five times with two gone in the 9th to take the lead. Only to have Wayland Dean get practically nobody out in the last of the 9th as St. Louis wins it after a hit batter and bases-filled walk to Ray Blades. "Maybe a night without dinner and 8 o'clock bedtime will do these dolts well," McGraw supposedly said afterwards. As if that will help.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, August 21
Pittsburgh Pirates7542.641
Brooklyn Robins7149.5925.5
Cincinnati Reds7050.5836.5
New York Giants6355.53412.5
Chicago Cubs5860.49217.5
St. Louis Cardinals5761.48318.5
Philadelphia Phillies4971.40827.5
Boston Braves3387.27544



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
Washington Senators 7544.630
Detroit Tigers 6556.53711
Chicago White Sox 6058.50814.5
New York Yankees 5859.49616
St. Louis Browns 5862.48317.5
Boston Red Sox 5663.47119
Cleveland Indians 5368.43823
Philadelphia Athletics 5368.43823



1924 never sleeps. Regular posts will continue throughout the holidays, except on Christmas Day. As for New Year's, damn them bowl games, there's baseball to be played! Regardless, Mr. Butterworth, Master Spanelli, and all their Jazz Age friends wish you the cheeriest of seasons.



August 20, 1924

Well, no one expected this.

Practically the whole colored population of Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas turned out today to watch their favorites play the last game with the Cards, while at the same time most local whites decided to stay home. Meaning a half hour before first pitch the right pavilion was bulging at the seams and the streets around Sportsman's Park were flooded with out-of-town Negroes, so team owner Breadon did the only smart thing and opened up the grandstand sections to all colors. Something that has never happened here.

The other historic thing was that Jimmie Wilson became the first white man to play on a team with all coloreds in a major league game. Oscar picked Cy and Holke and Huck Betts too, not even bothering with our biggest racist jerks Wrightstone and Harper, but Wilson got to start behind the plate. Cy recommended Jimmie to Charleston because he was young and durable thanks to his strong legs from a good soccer career he ended just last year, and he also knew he would be tough enough mentally to handle the name-calling he might hear from the mostly-colored crowd.

Lefty Bill Sherdel started for St. Louis and whizzed the first pitch right past Lyons' ear. Our speedy centerfielder shrugged it off and ripped the next ball down the opposite line for a leadoff triple. I've decided it's never a good thing to anger a colored star. Dick Lundy got him in with a deep fly and with Wilson in the on-deck circle with two outs and Heavy Johnson at the plate, the razzing started.

"Hey Gingerbread, what you doin' out there?"

"You ain't tan enough to swing with us, cracker-head!"

"Always knew you were a cotton-picker, Wilson!"

That last one came from the Cards' dugout, probably from Hornsby because Rickey was too intimidated to shut him up. Wilson kept cool, instructed to not fight back no matter what because he needed to set an example for future whites playing with blacks. But it still seemed to bother him when he crouched behind the dish to handle Bill "Plunk" Drake's first inning. They couldn't seem to get together on the right pitches, and Flack and Hornsby both walked before Bottomley ended the scoreless inning with a deep fly. Hornsby even hit Wilson's rump with the side of his shoe as he stepped into the box and Jimmie had to crouch there and take it.

Wilson grounded out his first time up but in the top of the 3rd, I heard him cheer from our bench when Ghost Marcelle led off with a vicious double for us. After Lyons singled him to third, Lundy got him in with his second scoring fly and it was 2-0. Wilson flied out on his second at bat, which got the stands laughing and yelling at him all the more, but Oscar met him halfway to the dugout and put an arm around him like Rickey might've to let the crowd know he was accepted and everything.

The strategy sure loosened up our dugout, because we went nuts on Sherdel in the 5th. With two outs and Newt Allen on first, Lyons singled, Lundy doubled them both in for all four of our runs batted in, Rap Dixon tripled, Heavy walked and Tank Carr singled to make it 6-0! Wilson walked to the plate, trying to block out the volleys of "white boy" catcalls, and just about screwed himself into the ground swinging at strike three.

"Enough of this bunk," muttered Charleston, and put Cy into the game in center and Holke at first base to give him some white company. Drake meanwhile bored down even harder on the Cards hitters and didn't even allow them a hit through the first six innings. Heavy Johnson singled with two gone in our 7th, and then Holke silenced the colored crowd with a line double to send Heavy to third. Wilson just about ran to the dish, all excited, and singled sharply for two more runs! Even the colored people in the stands had to cheer his courage.

Hornsby didn't, though, and butchered Drake's first pitch in the last of the 7th for a deep double. A Hafey single and two walks brought in one run before Drake got Toporcer on a fly with the bases loaded. After we got three more in the 8th off Eddie Dyer, Oscar got a little cocky and put real Phillie Huck Betts in the game. This guy was probably rusty from not pitching for a week, but the colored crowd really gave it to him and he just couldn't take the abuse. He gave up three walks and three singles and three runs before Charleston finally yanked him for Martin Dihigo, who played second base for us just yesterday.

Martin singled in an extra run for us in the 9th but the crowd was more than happy to see the local white team get crushed again by their racial brothers. It was on to Cincinnati now, a team with maybe the best pitching in the league and a lot of Over-the-Rhine Boys in the stands no doubt itching for a fight. All I know is that I'm going to need a vacation from this tense craziness real soon.

101 040 231 - 12 17 1
000 000 130 - 4 5 1

Other National League games today:

at PIRATES 4-11-1, ROBINS 3-17-1 (15 innings)
Brooklyn follows up their two biggest wins of the year with one of their absolute worst losses. Despite four Pirates out of the lineup with injuries, including all three of their catchers, the Robins waste one scoring chance after another, leave 17 men on base and lose a 2-1 lead in the 9th and a 3-2 lead in the 12th along the way. Best Player in the League without question Kiki Cuyler doubles to start a rally in the 7th, homers to tie the game in the 9th and makes every tough play in the field until Eddie Moore gets around to doubling home the winner off Ruether. Brooklyn's Art Decatur goes 11 innings with Rube Ehrhardt unavailable and does pretty darn well, but the Bucs bunch all their hits together while the Robins don't, a sure sign of eventual doom.

GIANTS 4-13-2, at REDS 3-5-1
One of the bigger mysteries of the year is why Mule Watson has a 10-4 record. The Giants' worst starter by far always manages to tough out wins, and helps himself here with a game-winning 2-run homer in the 8th off Pedro Dibut. A classic Giants moment happens in the 4th. Right after New York ties the game 1-1, Travis Jackson boots one ball and Hack Wilson misplays the next one for a three-base error, helping Cincy score twice without a hit. (I know the Giants won but I just like to make fun of any team McGraw manages.)

at CUBS 13-12-0, BRAVES 5-10-2
Boston scores three times in the 1st off the awful Vic Keen and things seem to be going their way for once. Sure they are. Four Cub runs in the 3rd and eight in the 7th, topped by a Denver Grigsby grand-slammer, finish them off yet again. Chicago's record against the Braves now? 18-1.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, August 20
Pittsburgh Pirates7541.647
Brooklyn Robins7148.5975.5
Cincinnati Reds7049.5886.5
New York Giants6354.53812.5
Chicago Cubs5760.48718.5
St. Louis Cardinals5661.47919.5
Philadelphia Phillies4871.40328.5
Boston Braves3187.26345



August 19, 1924

When I woke up on my back porch cot this morning, Rube, Oscar, Roy and Benny were already gone. I thought maybe they all got arrested for peace disturbing, or that a mob came and took them away without waking me up.

Then Lucille stuck her head outside with a mixing spoon in her hand and said they went to the ballpark early to meet the new players and do I want some flapjacks? New players?? In no time I was all washed and dressed and gulping down breakfast and running out the door.

Crazy Rube had yet another scheme in his cuffs, and this time it was to use a second stringer team of colored players who he'd gotten together outside of town two days ago just in case things got scary at Sportsman's Park which they sure have. He was even using a roster of just 21 guys instead of the 28 to show what a good sport he was. He also made the first-stringers love him by sending everyone but Oscar to the horse racing track with a whole bunch of cash to enjoy their day off.

I'm not sure how upset or insulted the Cards were about this, but they had to feel like they had a better chance. Anyway, here's the lineup Oscar was going to manage (and not play for) on the field. Another band of characters to get to know!

CF Rap Dixon
RF Charles Blackwell
LF Frog Redus
C Oscar Heavy Johnson
1B Ben Taylor
2B Martin Dihigo
3B Tank Carr
SS Dick Lundy
SP Roosevelt Davis

Alan Sothoron was throwing for St. Louis, and he can be tough, but these new Black Phillies were happy to be showing their stuff and probably wouldn't even be afraid of facing Dazzy Vance or catching a case of Eppa Rixey.

The park was even more packed than yesterday, and I noticed a lot more colored fans sitting on the pavilion roof and on anything that could pass for a fence outside of the park. There was even a couple of them halfway up the flagpole.

And I don't have to tell you that Dixon and Blackwell singled to start the game and put the park right back in the hot kettle. Dixon has small feet, skinny legs and big shoulders and even though he's from Georgia they cal him "Rap" after the Rappanhock River in Virginia for some reason. Anyway, him and Blackwell are as fast as Oscar and Cool Papa Bell and they danced around on the bases for a minute until Sothoron bore down and got Redus, Johnson and Taylor in a row to give us nothing.

Roosevelt Davis throws a spitball and an emery-ball, and when the Cards couldn't score off him in the first two innings they were barking at him from the dugout. The home plate ump went out to look at the ball because he kind of had to, and I could hear Davis all the way from our bench. "I throw the kind of ball any big leaguer can hit. If they can't do that then they don't belong here."

Great. Something else to get our team riled up. There went Blackwell, singling with one out in the 1st. Redus walked, Heavy Johnson, who was one of those black "buffalo soldiers" during the War and plays for the K.C. Monarchs, singled right under Sothoron's legs and up the middle for the first run. Taylor singled, Dihigo was out on a force, and then Tank Carr, who if he isn't built like one he's built like the other, cold-cocked a pitch completely over the right pavilion to send it into a frenzy and give the Black Phils a 5-0 lead. Second-stringers my foot!

After Frog cracked one in the gap with Rap aboard in the 4th and hopped all the way to third with a triple, it was 6-0, half the crowd was ready to riot again, and Branch Rickey just sat there in the shade of his dugout like he'd rather be taking a nap.

But then his players woke up. Max Flack walked, Howard Freigau doubled into the corner and one out later Specs Toporcer tripled in two and scored on a grounder to cut the lead in half. Lefty Jesse Fowler and his 1.48 earned run average took the Redbird hill, and the fill-in Black Phils walked three times to start the inning. Fats Jenkins pinch-hit a sacrifice fly, a wild pitch and second scoring fly from Dihigo gave us two runs back without a hit, and it was back to a 5-run lead.

The Cards smelled blood, though. Hornsby got into the act with a scoring triple in the 8th off reliever Brown, spitballer Phil Cockrell came on and Bottomley got Rajah home with a fly and it was 8-5. Freigau doubled with two outs but Phil got Gonzalez on a pinch grounder to end the trouble.

Hornsby singled with two outs in the 9th to put two Cards on and make Bottomley the tieing run. Sportsman's Park was a crazy house all over again, but Sunny Jim's fly was caught under a garbage shower in deep right by Blackwell and we'd won another one even playing the irregulars.

Rickey came over to Oscar and Cy and Rube afterwards and had a new suggestion no one had even thought of. "Why not mix your colored Phillies with some of your best white ones tomorrow?" It seems that a fair amount of the real Phillies had come to town separately to watch from the stands. Cy kind of liked the idea but wasn't sure Wrightstone and Harper would go along, and Rickey said, "Well, then they're probably not your best men."

He had a point there...

005 102 000 - 8 13 0
000 030 020 - 5 10 1

Other National League games today:

ROBINS 7-16-0, at PIRATES 5-15-1 (14 innings)
Two straight days, two straight Brooklyn scintillators. They score one in the 1st and the Bucs get one in the bottom. They score two in the 3rd and the Bucs get three in the bottom. They go ahead with two in the 5th and the Bucs tie it in the last of the 9th off Ehrhardt. Babe Adams goes five relief innings until Zack Wheat triples in the 14th to give the Robins the lead. Fournier's walked on purpose but Eddie Brown singles in another, and the Pirate leads drops under five games for the first time since forever. More important, Rabbit Maranville is knocked out for three games to join catchers Smith and Gooch in the doctor's office, bad roster luck Pittsburgh hasn't had all year.

at REDS 7-11-0, GIANTS 4-13-3
How many ways can the Giants lose? Let me count them. Kelly's triple in the 1st helps give them a 2-0 lead on Dolf Luque. Roush's homer makes it 2-1. Jack Bentley gives up a single and two doubles, the last to the pitcher, two outs later to put Cincy up 4-2. Two Giant doubles make it 4-3 in the 6th. After Youngs' triple ties it in the 7th, Bentley gives up a triple immediately to Burns and the Reds are ahead again. Finally, the crappy New York defense goes to work in the 8th. Travis Jackson makes probably his 83rd error to start the inning. After a single and sacrifice, Irish Meusel drops a ball for another error and two insurance runs. What a travesty this club is.

at CUBS 10-12-2, BRAVES 4-12-1
The latest Boston massacre has Gabby clouting his 26th homer, one behind Fournier now, and Friberg belting two off Marquard. The Braves, by the way, have hit 12 homers as a team.

American League games today that Butterworth couldn't write about for some reason:

BROWNS 9-14-3, at RED SOX 7-13-1 (10 innings)
Life in the A.L. bottom division is a whole bunch of fun. Boston gets four in the 5th to break a 2-2 tie. Browns gets five in the 7th. Boone homers last of the 9th to tie it again and a Wambsgansss error in extras sets up a winning bases-filled pinch single by Robertson.

at ATHLETICS 10-18-0, INDIANS 9-22-2 (12 hits)
More fun. The Tribe raps out over twenty hits, come back from being down 8-2 in the 7th to take the lead with seven runs off Rommel, the A's tie it up and win it in extras on a Cy Perkins hit. These "bad" teams over there seem to get 15 hits each every game!

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, August 19
Pittsburgh Pirates7441.643
Brooklyn Robins7147.6024.5
Cincinnati Reds7048.5935.5
New York Giants6254.53412.5
Chicago Cubs5660.48318.5
St. Louis Cardinals5660.48618.5
Philadelphia Phillies4771.39828.5
Boston Braves3186.26544
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Tuesday, August 19
Washington Senators 7544.630
Detroit Tigers 6556.53711
Chicago White Sox 6058.50814.5
New York Yankees 5859.49616
St. Louis Browns 5861.48717
Boston Red Sox 5563.46619.5
Cleveland Indians 5367.44222.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5268.43323.5




August 18, 1924

By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

WASHINGTON—Griffith Stadium was erected in back in 1911, and a by far its oddest feature, in addition to its nearly unreachable home run barriers, is a rectangular parcel of land just past center-field its owner refused to sell. Thus, the wall there zigs a little zag around the property, consisting of a row of apartment housings and giant leafy tree.

It is quite amusing, and so for another change of pace I decide to watch the penultimate game in the series, our final affair in the Nation's Capitol, with the owner of said parcel, A. S. Lord, from the high porch of the closest dwelling to the stadium. My writing cohorts naturally think I am daft, removing myself so far from the surely-to-be-scintillating action, but I know I have been through a lot of personal trauma this season, and a more peaceful surrounding on occasion is a good tonic for me.

Little do I know that a folded note is tacked to the door near the corner of 5th and Elm Streets when I arrive at precisely one o'clock:

Dear Mr. Butterworth:

Deep regrets, but an urgent matter arose I needed to attend to. I have left you a key to Apartment 3 below the flower pot.

—A. "Slim" Lord

Most intriguing, if rude, but I locate the key right away and climb the inner staircase.

It is a humble living space, to be sure, with the minimum of furnishings and without even curtains on the tall back windows. I slide open the porch door and step outside. The giant tree takes up most of the view, but the center-field flagpole is just to the right, and beyond, one can clearly see home plate, much of the infield, the Senators' dugout behind third base and much of the left grand stand. Mr. Lord has even left me a fine wicker rocking chair and pair of binoculars. The stands have filled up, the Washington players have taken the field in their crisp white uniforms, and the resulting noise is warm rather than deafening. I do believe I'm in heaven.

Then a buzzer sounds, for someone is at the downstairs door. Puzzled, I hurry back down to open it.

It is my lovely wife Bonnie, flanked by my darling children Callie and Cavendish, a large travel bag on the stoop behind them! "The reporters said you were here, Calvin, and we've missed you so terribly!" A surprise visit from my family is not at all what I envisioned or particularly desired, but marriage is a solemn oath one must adhere to.

"And I you, dear, but the first inning has started." We kiss, I embrace both children, and usher them inside.

By the time I reach the porch again, Cobb has reached base somehow because Rigney is batting against Ogden. He fans, Manush lines out to Harris, the crack of his bat striking my ears a full second after his swing. Heilman then walks, and Bassler steps up with a good chance to put us ahead.

"Calvin? Do you know where the drinking glasses are?"

I truly don't, and advise my wife to look around for herself. Bassler dribbles out to short, the rally is quenched, and I duck inside to do the same for my children's thirsts. They have their travel bag open, and little Cavendish has his toy wooden trains out on the floor. "How long will this game last, Daddy?" asks my daughter, and I have to remind her it is just beginning. I pour a glass of water for myself after fetching theirs, and run back out on the porch.

Bob Jones flubs a Harris grounder to begin the Washington 1st, and the crowd is ignited. Whitehill appears unnerved already, even from 500 feet away, and throws single balls to Leibold, Judge, Goslin and Rice in succession. The grand stand roars come in perfectly spaced waves, and that is before Rice robs second base. Three runs are across without an out—

"I don't know how you can sit out here," says Bonnie over my shoulder, "It's frightfully hot."

"Yes, dear."

"And how can you see anything with that big tree in the way?"

"I can manage, dear."

WHACK! Bluege hits a tall arcing fly to right, and I do lose sight of the ball, but I can tell from the groan and immediate cheer that he's hit a sacrifice fly.

"See? You can't see a blessed thing from here!" I whirl around, teeth gnashed for the first time in weeks.

"You don't fathom it, do you? The idea is for me to write today's story from a different perspective. As if I am living in one of these houses."

"You call this a house? It is a dwelling, Calvin. A tenement. Certainly not a house."

The crowd roars again and I've missed a Peckinpaugh single for Washington's fifth run. As it turns out, I have just seen 95 percent of the contest's action, a perfectly executed Senator outburst: six singles, speedy base running, five consecutive hitters with one run batted in apiece. My wife cannot begin to understand the beauty of this.

"I do hope you are not watching this entire game, Calvin," she says, as the second inning begins. "Callie and Cavendish will need supper soon after our long train ride." I placate her by agreeing we've been apart too much lately, and my plane journey and entanglement with the colored exhibitions in Darby have certainly added to our longing and tensions, and everything seems fine again until I see the metal wheels of Cavendish's toy train putting deep gouges in the wooden floor.

"Cavendish!" I snatch the train away from him, producing little screams. Callie tries to stop his crying by hitting him. Bonnie throws herself into the fracas, and then the horrible violin practicing commences on the floor below. It is an off-tune, screechy bastardization of Vivaldi, and it is enough to propel me out onto the porch and onto the nearest limb of the giant tree.

I climb as high as I can, keeping a field view through its leaves, until Bonnie's pleading voice is almost out of range. Ogden and Whitehill have settled into dueling effortless mastery by this juncture, as batters on each side drop like cordwood, and the innings sail along. After the 1st inning's calamities, Whitehill gives Washington nothing but a Sam Rice single, but Ogden is even more superb, allowing no hits until two singles in the 9th. Two walks and a Bluege error give Detroit their lone tally in the 8th, but the humid air and green canopy lull me in and out of short afternoon naps throughout.

"Calvin?? Are you still in that godawful tree?"

"Yes, dear! Thank you for letting me watch the game!"

I do not hear the grumble she no doubt utters, but I am not bothered. In two hours we will all be dining at a fine Washington eatery, the content traveling Butterworths again. The Tigers now have two days off before resuming play at Yankee Stadium, a destination I missed on their last time through there, and I look forward to taking in Manhattan again. With my family, of course.

DET 000 000 010 - 1 4 1
WAS 500 000 00x - 5 7 2

Other American League games today:

at YANKEES 8-15-0, WHITE SOX 7-13-2 (12 innings)
A magnificent game, which hopefully alleviated Bronxian anger for the time being. Meusel's 3-run homer in the first helps give New York a 4-0 lead on Sloppy Thurston. It is 6-0 in the 6th when Joe Bush crashes like a tray of wine glasses again, giving the Sox six runs in two innings to knot the game. Kamm homers in the top of the 10th but the Yanks tie it on a pinch Ward fly in the bottom half. Then, with two retired in the 12th, Scott singles and pitcher Beall doubles into the gap to plate Scott with the winner.

INDIANS 6-10-0, at ATHLETICS 3-13-1
Luther Roy wins only his third game of the year against 11 losses, and the A's waste 13 hits. With Speaker about to return, Glenn Myatt fills in handily with a big 2-run clout in the 9th.

at RED SOX 3-9-1, BROWNS 1-5-1
The Bostons stay scalding, as Wingfield takes over for an injured Ferguson and hurls 4-hit ball for seven innings.

AMERICAN LEAGUE through Monday, August 18
Washington Senators 7544.630
Detroit Tigers 6556.53711
Chicago White Sox 6058.50814.5
New York Yankees 5859.49616
St. Louis Browns 5761.48317.5
Boston Red Sox 5562.47019
Cleveland Indians 5366.44522
Philadelphia Athletics 5168.42924