September 27, 1924
Well, like I warned everybody, I had my job interview at Schneeberger & Sons Printers this morning over in a smelly part of New York called Queens. And either I did really good with my question-answering or they needed people awful bad because I was working in their big press room in about half an hour.
One of the Schneeberger sons did the interviewing, and I hated him in about three seconds because his hair was pasted to his head like black paint and he had these evil schoolteacher eyes that made you wonder when his paddle was coming out. His father owned the printer and knew Rachel's dad, which was why I was sitting there in the first place. When he asked me what I knew about printing I said I was a big book reader, and that didn't exactly make him happy. Nor did me telling him I was a batboy for the Phillies this past summer.
"I see," he snapped, and scratched a dark spot on his nose, "My condolences in that regard. I and most of my cohorts follow McGraw's men, you know."
Wonderful. A snotty Giants fan might be my new boss. I asked how his father came to be friends with Rachel's then. He almost smiled but thought better of it, I guess.
"Brooklyn won the season series by 13-9," he sighed, "And my father is paying off their wager by bringing you on board." He stood and held out a pasty hand. "Congratulations, boy. Follow the signs to the lower press room." It's pretty weird how baseball seems to involve itself in everything in my life, but I guess there's a lot worse things that can do that.
Anyway, about an hour later I was wishing that the Giants had won the year's series. The giant offset printer was incredibly loud, and all the press guys worked with cotton stuffed in their ears and had to talk to each other by yelling everything.
"TAKE YOUR BALLS!!" yelled the first guy who saw me, holding out a handful of cotton balls. I followed him over to what they call a plating area, which was where I'd be helping them lift the plates and get them onto the giant rollers that printed on the giant paper rolls. It was funny that all these people were working on a Saturday, but news never sleeps, and Schneeberger printed about six different local papers. I had no idea the newspaper business was thriving so much.
"NO IDIOT! THIS WAY!" That was from Scottie, the foreman of the room, who was sort of a walking tree trunk with ears and a moustache. And he was the nicest of the bunch. Most of them stared at me like I was a rat that crawled in their lunch and snickered to each other about every mistake I made. They shouldn't have been the ones to talk, though, because I swear not one of them still had five fingers on a hand.
There was a squat guy who kept ducking outside to smoke cigarettes, but sometimes he'd come back in after a long break and he'd have cigarettes to pass out to the other guys. He would also flash number signals every time with his fingers, which got me curious.
"PUDGIE'S A YANKEE FAN!" Scottie yell-told me, "POOR GUY! THEY'RE 3-3 WITH THE ATHLETICS AFTER FIVE! YOU A BALL FAN?" This time I just shook my head. It was rough enough in that room.
So I was sweating after another hour because there was hardly any air, and there was ink on my fingers and my feet hurt and my back hurt more and then Pudgie popped back in screaming at the top of his lungs. "GRAND SLAMMER FOR THE BABE!! IT'S 8-3 NOW!!" His buddies didn't seem to care and I cared even less, but at least it got everyone thinking about baseball instead of how to torture the new kid.
"JOHNSON'S TOO OLD AND ALL THE SENATORS DO IS HIT SINGLES!" yelled Scottie, "BUCS ARE GONNA STRANGLE 'EM!"
"YOU'RE WRONG!" Pudgie shouted back, "NATS HAVE GREAT PITCHING AND THE BEST FIELDING!"
"NOT LATELY" yelled somebody else, and before you knew it the bets were flying around the room. Some guy I didn't recognize came in right then and handed me a sealed envelope.
Oh geez, not Benny again. I tore the thing open and read it:
COULD USE PROTEGE FOR WORLD SERIES. INTRIGUED? SUN TO PAY EXPENSES.
—C. J. BUTTERWORTH
I stared at the telegram in shock, then glee. Scottie tried to peek at it. "WHAZZIT SAY?"
"IT SAYS THIS—" Then I put my lips together, gave each and every one of my former Schneeberger workmates the loudest raspberry ever heard, and walked out the exit.
American League games played today:
YANKEES 12-15-0, at ATHLETICS 4-13-3
Schneeberger may have lost a man today but at least Pudgie won his game. Actually, it's six in a row for the Bronxers, as they finally take third place from Chicago. After the Bambino's slam in the 6th they score four more in the 9th off Rollie Naylor.
at RED SOX 16-13-2, SENATORS 7-14-2
Somehow I don't got a good feeling about Washington winning the Series. Not after this. Curly Ogden gets his last chance for a 20th win and pitches horrible, giving up eight walks, but still going out with a 7-3 lead in the 8th. Guess what "reliever" Alan Russell does? Walk-double-single-walk-walk. Guess what By Speece then does? Bases-clearing triple-single-balk-single. Guess what Slim McGrew then does? Walk-two-base Rice error-two straight doubles. Yup, Boston scores THIRTEEN times in the 8th to take the game and keep the Nats a full game behind Pittsburgh for the best record. Wow.
TIGERS 13-12-1, at WHITE SOX 3-4-4
Collins makes up for his big loss vs. the Yanks by shutting the White Sox down after giving Hooper a 3-run homer in the 1st. Rip finishes the year at 26-5. Without him, Detroit is a second division team.
at INDIANS 8-11-1, BROWNS 4-10-1
Shaute beats Van Gilder, clinching last place for Philadelphia and 5th for the Red Sox. With both Williams and Jacobson out for the year, St. Louis never has a chance here.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The 1924 World Series between Pittsburgh and Washington will be "tweet-casted" live right here beginning Monday night at 10 p.m. Eastern time, 7 Pacific and continuing at that time through the week, with full accounts to appear on this site the following morning. That is all.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Saturday, September 27|
|New York Yankees||80||72||.526||11|
|Chicago White Sox||80||73||.523||11.5|
|Boston Red Sox||72||80||.474||19|
|St. Louis Browns||70||83||.458||21.5|