You Know Me Al: A Busher's Letters, Page 1Ring Lardner
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YOU KNOW ME AL
RING W. LARDNER
YOU KNOW ME AL
_A Busher's Letters_
RING W. LARDNER
NEW YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
Copyright, 1916, BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY
I A BUSHER'S LETTERS HOME 9
II THE BUSHER COMES BACK 45
III THE BUSHER'S HONEYMOON 83
IV A NEW BUSHER BREAKS IN 122
V THE BUSHER'S KID 166
VI THE BUSHER BEATS IT HENCE 208
YOU KNOW ME AL
YOU KNOW ME AL
A BUSHER'S LETTERS HOME
_Terre Haute, Indiana, September 6._
FRIEND AL: Well, Al old pal I suppose you seen in the paper where Ibeen sold to the White Sox. Believe me Al it comes as a surprise tome and I bet it did to all you good old pals down home. You could ofknocked me over with a feather when the old man come up to me and saysJack I've sold you to the Chicago Americans.
I didn't have no idea that anything like that was coming off. For fiveminutes I was just dum and couldn't say a word.
He says We aren't getting what you are worth but I want you to go up tothat big league and show those birds that there is a Central Leagueon the map. He says Go and pitch the ball you been pitching down hereand there won't be nothing to it. He says All you need is the nerve andWalsh or no one else won't have nothing on you.
So I says I would do the best I could and I thanked him for thetreatment I got in Terre Haute. They always was good to me hereand though I did more than my share I always felt that my work wasappresiated. We are finishing second and I done most of it. I can'thelp but be proud of my first year's record in professional baseballand you know I am not boasting when I say that Al.
Well Al it will seem funny to be up there in the big show when I neverwas really in a big city before. But I guess I seen enough of life notto be scared of the high buildings eh Al?
I will just give them what I got and if they don't like it they cansend me back to the old Central and I will be perfectly satisfied.
I didn't know anybody was looking me over, but one of the boys told methat Jack Doyle the White Sox scout was down here looking at me whenGrand Rapids was here. I beat them twice in that serious. You knowGrand Rapids never had a chance with me when I was right. I shut themout in the first game and they got one run in the second on account ofFlynn misjuging that fly ball. Anyway Doyle liked my work and he wiredComiskey to buy me. Comiskey come back with an offer and they exceptedit. I don't know how much they got but anyway I am sold to the bigleague and believe me Al I will make good.
Well Al I will be home in a few days and we will have some of the goodold times. Regards to all the boys and tell them I am still their paland not all swelled up over this big league business.
Your pal, JACK.
_Chicago, Illinois, December 14._
Old Pal: Well Al I have not got much to tell you. As you know Comiskeywrote me that if I was up in Chi this month to drop in and see him. SoI got here Thursday morning and went to his office in the afternoon.His office is out to the ball park and believe me its some park andsome office.
I went in and asked for Comiskey and a young fellow says He is not herenow but can I do anything for you? I told him who I am and says I hadan engagement to see Comiskey. He says The boss is out of town huntingand did I have to see him personally?
I says I wanted to see about signing a contract. He told me I couldsign as well with him as Comiskey and he took me into another office.He says What salary did you think you ought to get? and I says Iwouldn't think of playing ball in the big league for less than threethousand dollars per annum. He laughed and says You don't want much.You better stick round town till the boss comes back. So here I am andit is costing me a dollar a day to stay at the hotel on Cottage GroveAvenue and that don't include my meals.
I generally eat at some of the cafes round the hotel but I had supperdowntown last night and it cost me fifty-five cents. If Comiskey don'tcome back soon I won't have no more money left.
Speaking of money I won't sign no contract unless I get the salary youand I talked of, three thousand dollars. You know what I was getting inTerre Haute, a hundred and fifty a month, and I know it's going to costme a lot more to live here. I made inquiries round here and find I canget board and room for eight dollars a week but I will be out of townhalf the time and will have to pay for my room when I am away or lookup a new one when I come back. Then I will have to buy cloths to wearon the road in places like New York. When Comiskey comes back I willname him three thousand dollars as my lowest figure and I guess hewill come through when he sees I am in ernest. I heard that Walsh wasgetting twice as much as that.
The papers says Comiskey will be back here sometime to-morrow. Hehas been hunting with the president of the league so he ought tofeel pretty good. But I don't care how he feels. I am going to get acontract for three thousand and if he don't want to give it to me hecan do the other thing. You know me Al.
Yours truly, JACK.
_Chicago, Illinois, December 16._
DEAR FRIEND AL: Well I will be home in a couple of days now but Iwanted to write you and let you know how I come out with Comiskey. Isigned my contract yesterday afternoon. He is a great old fellow Aland no wonder everybody likes him. He says Young man will you havea drink? But I was to smart and wouldn't take nothing. He says Youwas with Terre Haute? I says Yes I was. He says Doyle tells me youwere pretty wild. I says Oh no I got good control. He says Well doyou want to sign? I says Yes if I get my figure. He asks What is myfigure and I says three thousand dollars per annum. He says Don't youwant the office furniture too? Then he says I thought you was a youngball-player and I didn't know you wanted to buy my park.
We kidded each other back and forth like that a while and then he saysYou better go out and get the air and come back when you feel better.I says I feel O.K. now and I want to sign a contract because I havegot to get back to Bedford. Then he calls the secretary and tells himto make out my contract. He give it to me and it calls for two hundredand fifty a month. He says You know we always have a city serious herein the fall where a fellow picks up a good bunch of money. I hadn'tthought of that so I signed up. My yearly salary will be fifteenhundred dollars besides what the city serious brings me. And that isonly for the first year. I will demand three thousand or four thousanddollars next year.
I would of started home on the evening train but I ordered a suit ofcloths from a tailor over on Cottage Grove and it won't be done tillto-morrow. It's going to cost me twenty bucks but it ought to last along time. Regards to Frank and the bunch.
Your Pal, JACK.
_Paso Robles, California, March 2._
OLD PAL AL: Well Al we been in this little berg now a couple of daysand its bright and warm all the time just like June. Seems funny tohave it so warm this early in March but I guess this California climateis all they said about it and then some.
It would take me a week to tell you about our trip out here. We came ona Special Train De Lukes and it was some train. Every place we stoppedthere was crowds down to the station to see us
go through and all thepeople looked me over like I was a actor or something. I guess my hightand shoulders attracted their attention. Well Al we finally got toOakland which is across part of the ocean from Frisco. We will be backthere later on for practice games.
We stayed in Oakland a few hours and then took a train for here. Itwas another night in a sleeper and believe me I was tired of sleepersbefore we got here. I have road one night at a time but this was fourstraight nights. You know Al I am not built right for a sleeping carbirth.
The hotel here is a great big place and got good eats. We got in atbreakfast time and I made a B line for the dining room. Kid Gleasonwho is a kind of asst. manager to Callahan come in and sat down withme. He says Leave something for the rest of the boys because they willbe just as hungry as you. He says Ain't you afraid you will cut yourthroat with that knife. He says There ain't no extra charge for usingthe forks. He says You shouldn't ought to eat so much because you'reoverweight now. I says You may think I am fat, but it's all solid boneand muscle. He says Yes I suppose it's all solid bone from the neckup. I guess he thought I would get sore but I will let them kid me nowbecause they will take off their hats to me when they see me work.
Manager Callahan called us all to his room after breakfast and give usa lecture. He says there would be no work for us the first day but thatwe must all take a long walk over the hills. He also says we must nottake the training trip as a joke. Then the colored trainer give us oursuits and I went to my room and tried mine on. I ain't a bad lookingguy in the White Sox uniform Al. I will have my picture taken and sendyou boys some.
My roommate is Allen a lefthander from the Coast League. He don'tlook nothing like a pitcher but you can't never tell about them damleft handers. Well I didn't go on the long walk because I was tiredout. Walsh stayed at the hotel too and when he seen me he says Whydidn't you go with the bunch? I says I was too tired. He says Well whenCallahan comes back you better keep out of sight or tell him you aresick. I says I don't care nothing for Callahan. He says No but Callahanis crazy about you. He says You better obey orders and you will gitalong better. I guess Walsh thinks I am some rube.
When the bunch come back Callahan never said a word to me but Gleasoncome up and says Where was you? I told him I was too tired to gowalking. He says Well I will borrow a wheelbarrow some place and pushyou round. He says Do you sit down when you pitch? I let him kid mebecause he has not saw my stuff yet.
Next morning half the bunch mostly vetrans went to the ball park whichisn't no better than the one we got at home. Most of them was vetransas I say but I was in the bunch. That makes things look pretty goodfor me don't it Al? We tossed the ball round and hit fungos and runround and then Callahan asks Scott and Russell and I to warm up easyand pitch a few to the batters. It was warm and I felt pretty good soI warmed up pretty good. Scott pitched to them first and kept layingthem right over with nothing on them. I don't believe a man gets anybatting practice that way. So I went in and after I lobbed a few overI cut loose my fast one. Lord was to bat and he ducked out of the wayand then throwed his bat to the bench. Callahan says What's the matterHarry? Lord says I forgot to pay up my life insurance. He says I ain'tready for Walter Johnson's July stuff.
Well Al I will make them think I am Walter Johnson before I get throughwith them. But Callahan come out to me and says What are you trying todo kill somebody? He says Save your smoke because you're going to needit later on. He says Go easy with the boys at first or I won't haveno batters. But he was laughing and I guess he was pleased to see thestuff I had.
There is a dance in the hotel to-night and I am up in my room writingthis in my underwear while I get my suit pressed. I got it all mussedup coming out here. I don't know what shoes to wear. I asked Gleasonand he says Wear your baseball shoes and if any of the girls gets freshwith you spike them. I guess he was kidding me.
Write and tell me all the news about home.
Yours truly, JACK.
_Paso Robles, California, March 7._
FRIEND AL: I showed them something out there to-day Al. We had a gamebetween two teams. One team was made up of most of the regulars andthe other was made up of recruts. I pitched three innings for therecruts and shut the old birds out. I held them to one hit and that wasa ground ball that the recrut shortstop Johnson ought to of ate up.I struck Collins out and he is one of the best batters in the bunch.I used my fast ball most of the while but showed them a few spittersand they missed them a foot. I guess I must of got Walsh's goat withmy spitter because him and I walked back to the hotel together and hetalked like he was kind of jealous. He says You will have to learn tocover up your spitter. He says I could stand a mile away and tell whenyou was going to throw it. He says Some of these days I will learn youhow to cover it up. I guess Al I know how to cover it up all rightwithout Walsh learning me.
I always sit at the same table in the dining room along with Gleasonand Collins and Bodie and Fournier and Allen the young lefthander Itold you about. I feel sorry for him because he never says a word.To-night at supper Bodie says How did I look to-day Kid? Gleasonsays Just like you always do in the spring. You looked like a cow.Gleason seems to have the whole bunch scared of him and they let himsay anything he wants to. I let him kid me to but I ain't scared ofhim. Collins then says to me You got some fast ball there boy. I saysI was not as fast to-day as I am when I am right. He says Well then Idon't want to hit against you when you are right. Then Gleason says toCollins Cut that stuff out. Then he says to me Don't believe what hetells you boy. If the pitchers in this league weren't no faster thanyou I would still be playing ball and I would be the best hitter in thecountry.
After supper Gleason went out on the porch with me. He says Boy youhave got a little stuff but you have got a lot to learn. He says Youfield your position like a wash woman and you don't hold the runnersup. He says When Chase was on second base to-day he got such a leadon you that the little catcher couldn't of shot him out at third witha rifle. I says They all thought I fielded my position all right inthe Central League. He says Well if you think you do it all right youbetter go back to the Central League where you are appresiated. I saysYou can't send me back there because you could not get waivers. Hesays Who would claim you? I says St. Louis and Boston and New York.
You know Al what Smith told me this winter. Gleason says Well if you'renot willing to learn St. Louis and Boston and New York can have you andthe first time you pitch against us we will steal fifty bases. Then hequit kidding and asked me to go to the field with him early to-morrowmorning and he would learn me some things. I don't think he can learnme nothing but I promised I would go with him.
There is a little blonde kid in the hotel here who took a shine to meat the dance the other night but I am going to leave the skirts alone.She is real society and a swell dresser and she wants my picture.Regards to all the boys.
Your friend, JACK.
P.S. The boys thought they would be smart to-night and put somethingover on me. A boy brought me a telegram and I opened it and it said Youare sold to Jackson in the Cotton States League. For just a minute theyhad me going but then I happened to think that Jackson is in Michiganand there's no Cotton States League round there.
_Paso Robles, California, March 9._
DEAR FRIEND AL: You have no doubt read the good news in the papersbefore this reaches you. I have been picked to go to Frisco with thefirst team. We play practice games up there about two weeks while thesecond club plays in Los Angeles. Poor Allen had to go with the secondclub. There's two other recrut pitchers with our part of the teambut my name was first on the list so it looks like I had made good.I knowed they would like my stuff when they seen it. We leave hereto-night. You got the first team's address so you will know where tosend my mail. Callahan goes with us and Gleason goes with the secondclub. Him and I have got to be pretty good pals and I wish he was goingwith us even if he don't let me eat like I want to. He told me thismorning to remember all he had learned me and to keep working hard. Hedidn't learn me nothin
g I didn't know before but I let him think so.
The little blonde don't like to see me leave here. She lives in Detroitand I may see her when I go there. She wants me to write but I guess Ibetter not give her no encouragement.
Well Al I will write you a long letter from Frisco.
Yours truly, JACK.
_Oakland, California, March 19._
DEAR OLD PAL: They have gave me plenty of work here all right. I havepitched four times but have not went over five innings yet. I workedagainst Oakland two times and against Frisco two times and only threeruns have been scored off me. They should only ought to of had one butBodie misjuged a easy fly ball in Frisco and Weaver made a wild peg inOakland that let in a run. I am not using much but my fast ball but Ihave got a world of speed and they can't foul me when I am right. Iwhiffed eight men in five innings in Frisco yesterday and could of didbetter than that if I had of cut loose.
Manager Callahan is a funny guy and I don't understand him sometimes.I can't figure out if he is kidding or in ernest. We road back toOakland on the ferry together after yesterday's game and he says Don'tyou never throw a slow ball? I says I don't need no slow ball with myspitter and my fast one. He says No of course you don't need it but ifI was you I would get one of the boys to learn it to me. He says Andyou better watch the way the boys fields their positions and holds upthe runners. He says To see you work a man might think they had a rulein the Central League forbidding a pitcher from leaving the box orlooking toward first base.
I told him the Central didn't have no rule like that. He says And Inoticed you taking your wind up when What's His Name was on second basethere to-day. I says Yes I got more stuff when I wind up. He says Ofcourse you have but if you wind up like that with Cobb on base he willsteal your watch and chain. I says Maybe Cobb can't get on base when Iwork against him. He says That's right and maybe San Francisco Bay ismade of grapejuice. Then he walks away from me.
He give one of the youngsters a awful bawling out for something he donein the game at supper last night. If he ever talks to me like he doneto him I will take a punch at him. You know me Al.
I come over to Frisco last night with some of the boys and we took inthe sights. Frisco is some live town Al. We went all through ChinaTown and the Barbers' Coast. Seen lots of swell dames but they was allpainted up. They have beer out here that they call steam beer. I hada few glasses of it and it made me logey. A glass of that Terre Hautebeer would go pretty good right now.
We leave here for Los Angeles in a few days and I will write you fromthere. This is some country Al and I would love to play ball round here.
Your Pal, JACK.
P.S.--I got a letter from the little blonde and I suppose I got toanswer it.
_Los Angeles, California, March 26._
FRIEND AL: Only four more days of sunny California and then we startback East. We got exhibition games in Yuma and El Paso, Texas, andOklahoma City and then we stop over in St. Joe, Missouri, for threedays before we go home. You know Al we open the season in Cleveland andwe won't be in Chi no more than just passing through. We don't playthere till April eighteenth and I guess I will work in that serious allright against Detroit. Then I will be glad to have you and the boyscome up and watch me as you suggested in your last letter.
I got another letter from the little blonde. She has went back toDetroit but she give me her address and telephone number and believeme Al I am going to look her up when we get there the twenty-ninth ofApril.
She is a stenographer and was out here with her uncle and aunt.
I had a run in with Kelly last night and it looked like I would haveto take a wallop at him but the other boys seperated us. He is a bushoutfielder from the New England League. We was playing poker. You knowthe boys plays poker a good deal but this was the first time I got in.I was having pretty good luck and was about four bucks to the good andI was thinking of quitting because I was tired and sleepy. Then Kellyopened the pot for fifty cents and I stayed. I had three sevens. No oneelse stayed. Kelly stood pat and I drawed two cards. And I catched myfourth seven. He bet fifty cents but I felt pretty safe even if he didhave a pat hand. So I called him. I took the money and told them I wasthrough.
Lord and some of the boys laughed but Kelly got nasty and begun to panme for quitting and for the way I played. I says Well I won the potdidn't I? He says Yes and he called me something. I says I got a notionto take a punch at you.
He says Oh you have have you? And I come back at him. I says Yes I havehave I? I would of busted his jaw if they hadn't stopped me. You knowme Al.
I worked here two times once against Los Angeles and once againstVenice. I went the full nine innings both times and Venice beat me fourto two. I could of beat them easy with any kind of support. I walked acouple of guys in the forth and Chase drops a throw and Collins lets afly ball get away from him. At that I would of shut them out if I hadwanted to cut loose. After the game Callahan says You didn't look sogood in there to-day. I says I didn't cut loose. He says Well you beenworking pretty near three weeks now and you ought to be in shape to cutloose. I says Oh I am in shape all right. He says Well don't work noharder than you have to or you might get hurt and then the league wouldblow up. I don't know if he was kidding me or not but I guess he thinkspretty well of me because he works me lots oftener than Walsh or Scottor Benz.
I will try to write you from Yuma, Texas, but we don't stay there onlya day and I may not have time for a long letter.
Yours truly, JACK.
_Yuma, Arizona, April 1._
DEAR OLD AL: Just a line to let you know we are on our way back East.This place is in Arizona and it sure is sandy. They haven't got noregular ball club here and we play a pick-up team this afternoon.Callahan told me I would have to work. He says I am using you becausewe want to get through early and I know you can beat them quick. Thatis the first time he has said anything like that and I guess he iswiseing up that I got the goods.
We was talking about the Athaletics this morning and Callahan says Noneof you fellows pitch right to Baker. I was talking to Lord and Scottafterward and I say to Scott How do you pitch to Baker? He says I usemy fadeaway. I says How do you throw it? He says Just like you throw afast ball to anybody else. I says Why do you call it a fadeaway then?He says Because when I throw it to Baker it fades away over the fence.
This place is full of Indians and I wish you could see them Al. Theydon't look nothing like the Indians we seen in that show last summer.
Your old pal, JACK.
_Oklahoma City, April 4._
FRIEND AL: Coming out of Amarillo last night I and Lord and Weaver wassitting at a table in the dining car with a old lady. None of us weretalking to her but she looked me over pretty careful and seemed tokind of like my looks. Finally she says Are you boys with some footballclub? Lord nor Weaver didn't say nothing so I thought it was up to meand I says No mam this is the Chicago White Sox Ball Club. She saysI knew you were athaletes. I says Yes I guess you could spot us forathaletes. She says Yes indeed and specially you. You certainly lookhealthy. I says You ought to see me stripped. I didn't see nothingfunny about that but I thought Lord and Weaver would die laughing. Lordhad to get up and leave the table and he told everybody what I said.
All the boys wanted me to play poker on the way here but I told them Ididn't feel good. I know enough to quit when I am ahead Al. Callahanand I sat down to breakfast all alone this morning. He says Boy whydon't you get to work? I says What do you mean? Ain't I working? Hesays You ain't improving none. You have got the stuff to make a goodpitcher but you don't go after bunts and you don't cover first base andyou don't watch the baserunners. He made me kind of sore talking thatway and I says Oh I guess I can get along all right.
He says Well I am going to put it up to you. I am going to startyou over in St. Joe day after to-morrow and I want you to show mesomething. I want you to cut loose with all you've got and I want youto get round the infield a little and show them you aren't tied in thatbox. I says
Oh I can field my position if I want to. He says Well youbetter want to or I will have to ship you back to the sticks. Then hegot up and left. He didn't scare me none Al. They won't ship me to nosticks after the way I showed on this trip and even if they did theycouldn't get no waivers on me.
Some of the boys have begun to call me Four Sevens but it don't botherme none.
Yours truly, JACK.
_St. Joe, Missouri, April 7._
FRIEND AL: It rained yesterday so I worked to-day instead and St. Joedone well to get three hits. They couldn't of scored if we had playedall week. I give a couple of passes but I catched a guy flatfooted offof first base and I come up with a couple of bunts and throwed guysout. When the game was over Callahan says That's the way I like to seeyou work. You looked better to-day than you looked on the whole trip.Just once you wound up with a man on but otherwise you was all O.K. SoI guess my job is cinched Al and I won't have to go to New York orSt. Louis. I would rather be in Chi anyway because it is near home. Iwouldn't care though if they traded me to Detroit. I hear from Violetright along and she says she can't hardly wait till I come to Detroit.She says she is strong for the Tigers but she will pull for me when Iwork against them. She is nuts over me and I guess she has saw lots ofguys to.
I sent her a stickpin from Oklahoma City but I can't spend no moredough on her till after our first payday the fifteenth of the month. Ihad thirty bucks on me when I left home and I only got about ten leftincluding the five spot I won in the poker game. I have to tip thewaiters about thirty cents a day and I seen about twenty picture showson the coast besides getting my cloths pressed a couple of times.
We leave here to-morrow night and arrive in Chi the next morning. Thesecond club joins us there and then that night we go to Cleveland toopen up. I asked one of the reporters if he knowed who was going topitch the opening game and he says it would be Scott or Walsh but Iguess he don't know much about it.
These reporters travel all round the country with the team all seasonand send in telegrams about the game every night. I ain't seen no Chipapers so I don't know what they been saying about me. But I shouldworry eh Al? Some of them are pretty nice fellows and some of them gotthe swell head. They hang round with the old fellows and play pokermost of the time.
Will write you from Cleveland. You will see in the paper if I pitch theopening game.
Your old pal, JACK.
_Cleveland, Ohio, April 10._
OLD FRIEND AL: Well Al we are all set to open the season thisafternoon. I have just ate breakfast and I am sitting in the lobby ofthe hotel. I eat at a little lunch counter about a block from here andI saved seventy cents on breakfast. You see Al they give us a dollar ameal and if we don't want to spend that much all right. Our rooms atthe hotel are paid for.
The Cleveland papers says Walsh or Scott will work for us thisafternoon. I asked Callahan if there was any chance of me getting intothe first game and he says I hope not. I don't know what he meant buthe may surprise these reporters and let me pitch. I will beat them Al.Lajoie and Jackson is supposed to be great batters but the bigger theyare the harder they fall.
The second team joined us yesterday in Chi and we practiced a little.Poor Allen was left in Chi last night with four others of the recrutpitchers. Looks pretty good for me eh Al? I only seen Gleason for a fewminutes on the train last night. He says, Well you ain't took off muchweight. You're hog fat. I says Oh I ain't fat. I didn't need to takeoff no weight. He says One good thing about it the club don't have toengage no birth for you because you spend all your time in the diningcar. We kidded along like that a while and then the trainer rubbed myarm and I went to bed. Well Al I just got time to have my suit pressedbefore noon.
Yours truly, JACK.
_Cleveland, Ohio, April 11._
FRIEND AL: Well Al I suppose you know by this time that I did not pitchand that we got licked. Scott was in there and he didn't have nothing.When they had us beat four to one in the eight inning Callahan told meto go out and warm up and he put a batter in for Scott in our ninth.But Cleveland didn't have to play their ninth so I got no chance towork. But it looks like he means to start me in one of the games here.We got three more to play. Maybe I will pitch this afternoon. I gota postcard from Violet. She says Beat them Naps. I will give them abattle Al if I get a chance.
Glad to hear you boys have fixed it up to come to Chi during theDetroit serious. I will ask Callahan when he is going to pitch me andlet you know. Thanks Al for the papers.
Your friend, JACK.
_St. Louis, Missouri, April 15._
FRIEND AL: Well Al I guess I showed them. I only worked one inning butI guess them Browns is glad I wasn't in there no longer than that. Theyhad us beat seven to one in the sixth and Callahan pulls Benz out. Ihonestly felt sorry for him but he didn't have nothing, not a thing.They was hitting him so hard I thought they would score a hundred runs.A righthander name Bumgardner was pitching for them and he didn't lookto have nothing either but we ain't got much of a batting team Al. Icould hit better than some of them regulars. Anyway Callahan calledBenz to the bench and sent for me. I was down in the corner warming upwith Kuhn. I wasn't warmed up good but you know I got the nerve Al andI run right out there like I meant business. There was a man on secondand nobody out when I come in. I didn't know who was up there but Ifound out afterward it was Shotten. He's the center-fielder. I was coldand I walked him. Then I got warmed up good and I made Johnston looklike a boob. I give him three fast balls and he let two of them go byand missed the other one. I would of handed him a spitter but Schalkkept signing for fast ones and he knows more about them batters thanme. Anyway I whiffed Johnston. Then up come Williams and I tried tomake him hit at a couple of bad ones. I was in the hole with two ballsand nothing and come right across the heart with my fast one. I wishyou could of saw the hop on it. Williams hit it right straight up andLord was camped under it. Then up come Pratt the best hitter on theirclub. You know what I done to him don't you Al? I give him one spitterand another he didn't strike at that was a ball. Then I come back withtwo fast ones and Mister Pratt was a dead baby. And you notice theydidn't steal no bases neither.
In our half of the seventh inning Weaver and Schalk got on and I wasgoing up there with a stick when Callahan calls me back and sendsEasterly up. I don't know what kind of managing you call that. I hitgood on the training trip and he must of knew they had no chance toscore off me in the innings they had left while they were liable tomurder his other pitchers. I come back to the bench pretty hot and Isays You're making a mistake. He says If Comiskey had wanted you tomanage this team he would of hired you.
Then Easterly pops out and I says Now I guess you're sorry you didn'tlet me hit. That sent him right up in the air and he bawled me awful.Honest Al I would of cracked him right in the jaw if we hadn't beenright out where everybody could of saw us. Well he sent Cicotte in tofinish and they didn't score no more and we didn't neither.
I road down in the car with Gleason. He says Boy you shouldn't ought totalk like that to Cal. Some day he will lose his temper and bust youone. I says He won't never bust me. I says He didn't have no right totalk like that to me. Gleason says I suppose you think he's going tolaugh and smile when we lost four out of the first five games. He saysWait till to-night and then go up to him and let him know you are sorryyou sassed him. I says I didn't sass him and I ain't sorry.
So after supper I seen Callahan sitting in the lobby and I went overand sit down by him. I says When are you going to let me work? Hesays I wouldn't never let you work only my pitchers are all shot topieces. Then I told him about you boys coming up from Bedford to watchme during the Detroit serious and he says Well I will start you inthe second game against Detroit. He says But I wouldn't if I had anypitchers. He says A girl could get out there and pitch better than someof them have been doing.
So you see Al I am going to pitch on the nineteenth. I hope you guyscan be up there and I will show you something. I know I can beat themTigers and I will have
to do it even if they are Violet's team.
I notice that New York and Boston got trimmed to-day so I suppose theywish Comiskey would ask for waivers on me. No chance Al.
Your old pal, JACK.
P.S.--We play eleven games in Chi and then go to Detroit. So I will seethe little girl on the twenty-ninth.
Oh you Violet.
_Chicago, Illinois, April 19._
DEAR OLD PAL: Well Al it's just as well you couldn't come. They beat meand I am writing you this so as you will know the truth about the gameand not get a bum steer from what you read in the papers.
I had a sore arm when I was warming up and Callahan should never oughtto of sent me in there. And Schalk kept signing for my fast ball andI kept giving it to him because I thought he ought to know somethingabout the batters. Weaver and Lord and all of them kept kicking themround the infield and Collins and Bodie couldn't catch nothing.
Callahan ought never to of left me in there when he seen how sore myarm was. Why, I couldn't of threw hard enough to break a pain of glassmy arm was so sore.
They sure did run wild on the bases. Cobb stole four and Bush andCrawford and Veach about two apiece. Schalk didn't even make a peg halfthe time. I guess he was trying to throw me down.
The score was sixteen to two when Callahan finally took me out in theeighth and I don't know how many more they got. I kept telling himto take me out when I seen how bad I was but he wouldn't do it. Theystarted bunting in the fifth and Lord and Chase just stood there anddidn't give me no help at all.
I was all O.K. till I had the first two men out in the first inning.Then Crawford come up. I wanted to give him a spitter but Schalk signsme for the fast one and I give it to him. The ball didn't hop much andCrawford happened to catch it just right. At that Collins ought to ofcatched the ball. Crawford made three bases and up come Cobb. It wasthe first time I ever seen him. He hollered at me right off the reel.He says You better walk me you busher. I says I will walk you back tothe bench. Schalk signs for a spitter and I gives it to him and Cobbmisses it.
Then instead of signing for another one Schalk asks for a fast one andI shook my head no but he signed for it again and yells Put somethingon it. So I throwed a fast one and Cobb hits it right over second base.I don't know what Weaver was doing but he never made a move for theball. Crawford scored and Cobb was on first base. First thing I knowedhe had stole second while I held the ball. Callahan yells Wake up outthere and I says Why don't your catcher tell me when they are going tosteal. Schalk says Get in there and pitch and shut your mouth. Then Igot mad and walked Veach and Moriarty but before I walked Moriarty Cobband Veach pulled a double steal on Schalk. Gainor lifts a fly and Lorddrops it and two more come in. Then Stanage walks and I whiffs theirpitcher.
I come in to the bench and Callahan says Are your friends from Bedfordup here? I was pretty sore and I says Why don't you get a catcher? Hesays We don't need no catcher when you're pitching because you can'tget nothing past their bats. Then he says You better leave your uniformin here when you go out next inning or Cobb will steal it off yourback. I says My arm is sore. He says Use your other one and you'll dojust as good.
Gleason says Who do you want to warm up? Callahan says Nobody. He saysCobb is going to lead the league in batting and basestealing anyway sowe might as well give him a good start. I was mad enough to punch hisjaw but the boys winked at me not to do nothing.
Well I got some support in the next inning and nobody got on. Betweeninnings I says Well I guess I look better now don't I? Callahan saysYes but you wouldn't look so good if Collins hadn't jumped up on thefence and catched that one off Crawford. That's all the encouragement Igot Al.
Cobb come up again to start the third and when Schalk signs me for afast one I shakes my head. Then Schalk says All right pitch anythingyou want to. I pitched a spitter and Cobb bunts it right at me. I wouldof threw him out a block but I stubbed my toe in a rough place and felldown. This is the roughest ground I ever seen Al. Veach bunts and for awonder Lord throws him out. Cobb goes to second and honest Al I forgotall about him being there and first thing I knowed he had stole third.Then Moriarty hits a fly ball to Bodie and Cobb scores though Bodieought to of threw him out twenty feet.
They batted all round in the forth inning and scored four or five more.Crawford got the luckiest three-base hit I ever see. He popped one wayup in the air and the wind blowed it against the fence. The wind issomething fierce here Al. At that Collins ought to of got under it.
I was looking at the bench all the time expecting Callahan to call mein but he kept hollering Go on and pitch. Your friends wants to see youpitch.
Well Al I don't know how they got the rest of their runs but they hadmore luck than any team I ever seen. And all the time Jennings was onthe coaching line yelling like a Indian. Some day Al I'm going to punchhis jaw.
After Veach had hit one in the eight Callahan calls me to the benchand says You're through for the day. I says It's about time you foundout my arm was sore. He says I ain't worrying about your arm but I'mafraid some of our outfielders will run their legs off and some of thempoor infielders will get killed. He says The reporters just sent me amessage saying they had run out of paper. Then he says I wish some ofthe other clubs had pitchers like you so we could hit once in a while.He says Go in the clubhouse and get your arm rubbed off. That's theonly way I can get Jennings sore he says.
Well Al that's about all there was to it. It will take two or threestamps to send this but I want you to know the truth about it. The waymy arm was I ought never to of went in there.
Yours truly, JACK.
_Chicago, Illinois, April 25._
FRIEND AL: Just a line to let you know I am still on earth. My armfeels pretty good again and I guess maybe I will work at Detroit.Violet writes that she can't hardly wait to see me. Looks like I got aregular girl now Al. We go up there the twenty-ninth and maybe I won'tbe glad to see her. I hope she will be out to the game the day I pitch.I will pitch the way I want to next time and them Tigers won't havesuch a picnic.
I suppose you seen what the Chicago reporters said about that game. Iwill punch a couple of their jaws when I see them.
Your pal, JACK.
_Chicago, Illinois, April 29._
DEAR OLD AL: Well Al it's all over. The club went to Detroit last nightand I didn't go along. Callahan told me to report to Comiskey thismorning and I went up to the office at ten o'clock. He give me my payto date and broke the news. I am sold to Frisco.
I asked him how they got waivers on me and he says Oh there was notrouble about that because they all heard how you tamed the Tigers.Then he patted me on the back and says Go out there and work hard boyand maybe you'll get another chance some day. I was kind of choked upso I walked out of the office.
I ain't had no fair deal Al and I ain't going to no Frisco. I will quitthe game first and take that job Charley offered me at the billiardhall.
I expect to be in Bedford in a couple of days. I have got to pack upfirst and settle with my landlady about my room here which I engagedfor all season thinking I would be treated square. I am going to restand lay round home a while and try to forget this rotten game. Tell theboys about it Al and tell them I never would of got let out if I hadn'tworked with a sore arm.
I feel sorry for that little girl up in Detroit Al. She expected methere to-day.
Your old pal, JACK.
P.S. I suppose you seen where that lucky lefthander Allen shut outCleveland with two hits yesterday. The lucky stiff.