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[Illustration: "GOOD-BYE, JOE!"]




Baseball Joe at
Yale

OR

Pitching _for the_ College Championship

_By_ LESTER CHADWICK

AUTHOR OF

"BASEBALL JOE OF THE SILVER STARS," "BASEBALL
JOE ON THE SCHOOL NINE," "THE RIVAL
PITCHERS," "BATTING TO WIN," "THE WINNING
TOUCHDOWN," ETC.

_ILLUSTRATED_

[Illustration]

NEW YORK
CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY




=BOOKS BY LESTER CHADWICK=


=THE BASEBALL JOE SERIES=
=12mo. Cloth. Illustrated=

BASEBALL JOE OF THE SILVER STARS
Or The Rivals of Riverside

BASEBALL JOE ON THE SCHOOL NINE
Or Pitching for the Blue Banner

BASEBALL JOE AT YALE
Or Pitching for the College Championship

(_Other Volumes in Preparation_)


=THE COLLEGE SPORTS SERIES=
=12mo. Cloth. Illustrated=

THE RIVAL PITCHERS
A Story of College Baseball

A QUARTER-BACK'S PLUCK
A Story of College Football

BATTING TO WIN
A Story of College Baseball

THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN
A Story of College Football

THE EIGHT-OARED VICTORS
A Story of College Water Sports

(_Other Volumes in Preparation_)

=CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, New York=


Copyright, 1913, by
CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY


=Baseball Joe at Yale=

Printed in U. S. A.




CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE
I JUST IN TIME 1
II A HOME CONFERENCE 15
III ONE LAST GAME 23
IV A SNEERING LAUGH 30
V OFF FOR YALE 37
VI ON THE CAMPUS 48
VII A NEW CHUM 55
VIII AMBITIONS 66
IX THE SHAMPOO 73
X A WILD NIGHT 84
XI THE RED PAINT 93
XII JOE'S SILENCE 100
XIII EARLY PRACTICE 107
XIV THE SURPRISE 116
XV HIS FIRST CHANCE 126
XVI JOE MAKES GOOD 135
XVII ANOTHER STEP 144
XVIII PLOTTING 158
XIX THE ANONYMOUS LETTER 164
XX THE CORNELL HOST 170
XXI EAGER HEARTS 178
XXII THE CRIMSON SPOT 185
XXIII JOE'S TRIUMPH 193
XXIV HARD LUCK 200
XXV AT WEST POINT 210
XXVI A SORE ARM 216
XXVII THE ACCUSATION 223
XXVIII VINDICATION 230
XXIX BUCKING THE TIGER 236
XXX THE CHAMPIONSHIP 239




BASEBALL JOE AT YALE




CHAPTER I

JUST IN TIME


"Joe Matson, I can't understand why you don't fairly jump at the
chance!"

"Because I don't want to go - that's why."

"But, man alive! Half the fellows in Riverside would stand on their
heads to be in your shoes."

"Perhaps, Tom. But, I tell you I don't think I'm cut out for a college
man, and I don't want to go," and Joe Matson looked frankly into the
face of his chum, Tom Davis, as they strolled down the village street
together that early September day.

"Don't want to go to Yale!" murmured Tom, shaking his head as if unable
to fathom the mystery. "Why I'd work my way through, if they'd let me,
and here you've got everything comparatively easy, and yet you're
balking like a horse that hasn't had his oats in a month. Whew! What's
up, Joe, old man?"

"Simply that I don't believe I'm cut out for that sort of life. I don't
care for this college business, and there's no use pretending that I do.
I'm not built that way. My mind is on something else. Of course I know a
college education is a great thing, and something that lots of fellows
need. But for yours truly - not!"

"I only wish I had your chance," said Tom, enviously.

"You're welcome to it," laughed Joe.

"No," and the other spoke half sadly. "Dad doesn't believe in a college
career any more than you do. When I'm through at Excelsior Hall he's
going to take me into business with him. He talks of sending me abroad,
to get a line on the foreign end of it."

"Cracky!" exclaimed Joe. "That would suit me down to the ground - that is
if I could go with a ball team."

"So you haven't gotten over your craze for baseball?" queried Tom.

"No, and I never shall. You know what I've always said - that I'd become
a professional some day; and I will, too, and I'll pitch in the world
series if I can last long enough," and Joe laughed.

"But look here!" exclaimed his chum, as they swung down a quiet street
that led out into the country; "you can play baseball at Yale, you
know."

"Maybe - if they'll let me. But you know how it is at those big
universities. They are very exclusive - societies - elections - eating
clubs - and all that sort of rot. A man has to be in with the bunch
before he can get a show."

"That's all nonsense, and you know it!" snapped Tom. "At Yale, I warrant
you, just as at every big college, a man has to stand on his own feet.
Why, they're always on the lookout for good fellows on the nine, crew or
eleven, and, if you can make good, you'll be pitching on the 'varsity
before the Spring term opens."

"Maybe," assented Joe with rather a moody face. "Anyhow, as long as I've
got to go to college I'm going to make a try for the nine. I think I can
pitch a little - - "

"A little!" cried Tom. "Say, I'd like to know what sort of a showing
we'd have made at Excelsior Hall if it hadn't been for your pitching!
Didn't you win the Blue Banner for us when it looked as if we hadn't a
show? Pitch! Say if those fellows at Yale - - "

"Spare my blushes," begged Joe, with a laugh. "Don't worry, I'm going to
college for one reason, more than another, because mother wants me to.
Dad is rather set on it, too, and so I've said I'll go. Between you and
me," whispered Joe, as if he feared someone would overhear him, "I have
a faint suspicion that my respected mother wants to make a sky pilot of
me."

"A minister!" cried Tom.

"That's it."

"Why - why - - "

"Oh, don't worry!" laughed Joe, and then his face grew a bit sober as he
continued: "I'm not half good enough - or smart enough. I'm not cut out
for that sort of life. All I want is baseball and all I can get of it.
That's my one ambition."

"Yes, it's easy to see that," agreed Tom. "I wonder you don't carry a
horsehide about with you, and I do believe - what's this?" he demanded,
pulling a bundle of papers from his chum's pocket. "Some dope on the
world series, or I'm a June bug!"

"Well, I was only sort of comparing batting averages, and making a list
of the peculiarities of each player - I mean about the kind of balls it
is best to serve up to him."

"You're the limit!" exclaimed Tom, as he tried unsuccessfully to stop
Joe from grabbing the papers away from him. "Do you think you might
pitch to some of these fellows?"

"I might," replied Joe calmly. "A professional ball player lasts for
some time, and when I come up for my degree on the mound at some future
world series I may face some of these same men."

"Go to it, old man!" exclaimed Tom enthusiastically. "I wish I had your
hopes. Well, I suppose I'll soon be grinding away with the old crowd at
Excelsior, and you - you'll be at - Yale!"

"Probably," admitted Joe, with something of a sigh. "I almost wish I was
going back to the old school. We had good times there!"

"We sure did. But I've got to leave you now. I promised Sis I'd go to
the store for her. See you later," and Tom clasped his chum's hand.

"That reminds me," spoke Joe. "I've got to go back home, hitch up the
horse, and take some patterns over to Birchville for dad."

"Wish I could go along, but I can't," said Tom. "It's a fine day for a
drive. Come on over to-night."

"Maybe I will - so long," and the two friends parted to go their ways,
one to dream over the good fortune of the other - to envy him - while
Joe himself - Baseball Joe as his friends called him - thought rather
regretfully of the time he must lose at college when, if he had been
allowed his own way, he would have sought admission to some minor
baseball league, to work himself up to a major position.

"But as long as the folks want me to have a college course I'll take
it - and do my best," he mused.

A little later, behind the old family horse, he was jogging over the
country road in the direction of a distant town, where his father, an
inventor, and one of the owners of the Royal Harvester Works, had been
in the habit of sending his patterns from which to have models made.

"Well, in a few weeks I'll be hiking it for New Haven," said Joe, half
talking to himself. "It's going to be awful lonesome at first. I won't
know a soul there. It isn't like going up from some prep school, with a
lot of your own chums. Well, I've got to grin and bear it, and if I do
get a chance for the 'varsity nine - oh, won't I jump at it!"

He was lost in pleasant reflections for a moment, and then went on,
still talking to himself, and calling to the horse now and then, for the
steed, realizing that he had an easy master behind him, was inclined to
slow down to a walk every now and then.

"There are bound to be lessons, of course," said Joe. "And lectures on
things I don't care any more about than the man in the moon does. I
suppose, though, I've got to swallow 'em. But if I can get on the
diamond once in a while it won't be so bad. The worst of it is, though,
that ball playing won't begin until April at the earliest, and there's
all winter to live through. I'm not going in for football. Well, I
guess I can stand it."

Once more Joe was off in a day-dream, in fancy seeing himself
standing in the box before yelling thousands, winding up to deliver
a swiftly-curving ball to the batter on whom "three and two" had been
called, with the bases full, two men out and his team but one run ahead
in the final inning.

"Oh! that's what life is!" exclaimed Joe, half aloud, and at his words
the horse started to trot. "That's what makes me willing to stand four
years at Yale - if I have to. And yet - - "

Joe did not complete his sentence. As he swung around a bend in the road
his attention was fully taken by a surprising scene just ahead of him.

A horse, attached to a carriage, was being driven down the road, and,
just as Joe came in sight, the animal, for some unaccountable reason,
suddenly swerved to the left. One of the wheels caught in a rut, there
was a snapping, cracking sound, the wheel was "dished," and the carriage
settled down on one side.

"Whoa! Whoa!" yelled Joe, fearing the horse would bolt and that perhaps
a woman might be in the carriage, the top of which was up. The lad was
about to spring from his own vehicle and rush to the aid of the occupant
of the other, when he saw a man leap out.

With one bound the man was at the head of his steed, holding him from
running away, but there was no need, for the horse, after a calm look
around, seemed to resign himself to his fate.

"Jove!" ejaculated Joe. "That was quick work. That fellow is in
training, whoever he is."

Following his original plan, even though he saw no need of going to the
rescue, Joe leaped from his seat. His steed, he knew, would stand
without hitching. He approached the stranger.

"A bad break," murmured Joe sympathetically.

"Indeed it is, young man," replied the other in quick, tense accents.
"And it comes at a particularly bad time, too."

Joe looked at him. The man seemed about thirty-five, and his face,
though stern, was pleasant, as though in the company of his friends he
could be very jolly. He was of dark complexion, and there was that in
the set of his figure, and his poise, as he stood at the head of the
horse, that at once proclaimed him an athlete, at least if not one in
active training, one who could get into condition quickly.

"A bad break, and at a bad time, too," the man went on. "I never knew it
to fail, when I was in a hurry."

"I guess that wheel is past fixing," spoke Joe. "You might get one at
the barn here," and he nodded toward a farmhouse not far distant.

"I haven't time to make the try," said the man. "I'm in a great hurry.
How far is it from here to Preston?"

"About five miles," replied Joe.

"Hum! I never could make that in time to catch the train for New York,
though I might have run it at one time. A little too heavy now," and he
seemed referring to himself. "I might ride the horse, I suppose," he
went on dubiously.

"He doesn't look much like a saddle animal," ventured Joe.

"No, and there isn't a saddle, either. I must get to New York
though - it's important. I don't suppose you are going to Preston; are
you?" he asked of Joe quickly, referring to the nearest railroad
station.

"Well, I wasn't," replied the youth, "but if you're in a hurry - - "

"I am - in a very great hurry. I just had about time to get the New York
train, when, most unfortunately, I got into that rut. At the same time
the reins got caught, and I must have pulled on the wrong one. I'm not
much of a horseman, I'm afraid. The animal turned too quickly, and the
wheel collapsed."

"It wasn't very strong, anyhow," remarked Joe, as he looked critically
at it. "But if you want to get to Preston I can take you."

"Can you - will you? It would be a very great accommodation. I really
can't afford to miss that train. I came out here on some business, and
hired this rig in Preston. I thought I would have ample time to get
back, and I believe I would. But now, with this accident - I wonder if I
could leave this outfit at the farmhouse, and hire another there?" he
asked musingly.

"I don't believe Mr. Murchison has a horse now," said Joe, nodding
toward the farmhouse. "He has about given up working his place. But you
could leave this rig here to be called for, and - - "

"Yes - yes!" interrupted the man, quite impatiently. "I beg your pardon,"
he added quickly. "I'm all upset over this accident, and I really must
reach New York to-night."

"I'll drive you in!" offered Joe.

"But it will be out of your way, will it not?"

"That doesn't matter. I'm in no hurry, and going to Preston will not
take me many miles off my road. I'll be glad to help you."

"Thank you. Then I'll take advantage of your offer. Shall I - - ?" he
made a move as though to lead the horse up to the farmhouse.

"I'll attend to that," spoke Joe. "Just get in my carriage, and I'll be
with you in a few minutes."

The stranger obeyed, and Joe, unhitching the horse from the broken
carriage, quickly led the steed to the stable, stopping on his way to
explain to Mrs. Murchison, whom he knew slightly, the circumstances.
She readily agreed to let the animal stay in their stall. Then Joe
pulled the tilted carriage to one side of the road, and a few minutes
later was sending his steed ahead at a pace not hitherto attained that
day.

"Think we can make that train?" asked the man, who seemed immersed in
his own thoughts.

"I'm going to make a big try," answered Joe.

"Do you live around here?" came the next question.

"At Riverside - about eight miles away."

The man lapsed into silence, and as Joe was rather diffident with
strangers he did not press the conversation. They drove on for several
miles, and suddenly the silence of the country was broken by a distant
whistle.

"Is that the train?" exclaimed the man nervously, looking at his watch.

"Yes, but it's about three miles away. You can always hear it plainly
here. We'll be in Preston in a few minutes now, and I'll have you at the
station in time."

"I hope so," murmured the man. "I must get to New York - it means a great
deal to me."

Joe urged the horse to even faster speed, and when he reached the quiet
streets of Preston more than one person turned to look at the carriage,
which went along faster than vehicles usually did in that quiet
community.

Once more the whistle sounded, and the man exclaimed:

"We'll never make it!"

"Yes, we will," said Joe quietly. "The station is only another block."

"I'm sure I can't thank you enough," went on the man, and his hand
sought his pocket. "You say you'll notify the livery keeper?"

"Yes, I'll tell him where his horse is, and he can send for it."

"That's very kind of you. I wish you'd let me give you something - reward
you for this service."

"No - no!" exclaimed Joe. "I couldn't think of it!" He saw a roll of
bills in the man's hand.

"But you don't know, young man, what it means for me to catch this
train. I wish you'd let me pay for your time and trouble - - "

"No, indeed!" exclaimed the young pitcher. "I would do as much for
anyone, and I hope he'd do the same for me."

"That's a nice way of looking at it. But are you sure you won't let me
make you - - " The man again held out some bills, but the look on Joe's
face must have told him he was getting on dangerous ground, for he
suddenly withdrew them and said:

"Well, I can't thank you enough. Some day - is that the train?" he cried,
as a puffing was heard. "I mustn't miss it now."

"Here we are!" cried Joe, swinging around a corner. Down a short street
was the depot, and as they came in sight of it the train pulled in.

"I - er - I wish - I must run for it!" exclaimed the man.

"Wait. I'll drive you right up!" called Joe. "I'll take your valise. You
get right out and run. Have you a ticket?"

"Yes. This is exceedingly good of you. I - - "

But he did not finish. Joe drove the horse up to the platform edge as
the train came to a stop with a grinding of the brake shoes. The man
leaped out almost before the horse had ceased running, and Joe was not a
second behind him with the valise.

"Go on!" exclaimed the youth, as the man hesitated. He fairly flung
himself up the car steps, and the train began to move, for Preston was
little more than a flag station for the New York express.

"Thank you a thousand times!" cried the man as Joe handed up the
valise. "I wish - I didn't ask your name - mine is - I ought to have a
card - I - er - - " he began fumbling in his pocket, and Joe half feared he
was going to offer money again. But the man seemed to be hunting for a
card.

However his search was unsuccessful. He waved his hand to Joe, and
called:

"Thank you once more. Perhaps I may meet you again. I meant to ask your
name - too much occupied - mine is - - "

But just then the train gathered speed and the engineer, opening the
exhaust, effectually drowned out all other sounds in the puffing of the
locomotive. Joe saw the man's lips moving, and realized that he was
calling out his name, but he could not hear it. Then, with a wave of his
hand the stranger went inside the car. He had caught the train just in
time.




CHAPTER II

A HOME CONFERENCE


"Well, I wonder if I'll ever see him again," mused Joe, as the train
swung out of sight around a curve in the track. "It sure was a hustling
time. I wonder who he was? Seemed like some sort of an athlete, and yet
he didn't talk sports - nor much of anything, for that matter.

"I'm glad I could help him get his train. Funny he should want to pay
me, and yet I suppose he isn't used to having favors done him. He seemed
like a nice sort of fellow. Well, I've got to get over with these
patterns. I'll be late getting home, I expect."

Joe's first visit was to the livery stable, where he told the proprietor
of the accident.

"Hum! Well, I s'pose he was driving reckless like," said Mr. Munn, who
hired out old horses and older vehicles to such few of the townspeople
as did not have their own rigs.

"No, he was going slowly," said Joe. "I guess that wheel was pretty well
rotted."

"Mebby so. I'm glad I charged him a good price, and made him pay in
advance. Yes, I'll send out and get the rig. Much obliged to you, Joe.
Did he pay ye for bringin' him back?"

"No, I didn't want anything," and with this parting shot the young
pitcher went on his way.

And, while he is jogging along to Birchville, musing over the recent
happenings, I will, in a paragraph or two, tell you something more about
our hero, since he is to occupy that place in these pages.

Those of you who have read the previous books in this series, need no
introduction to the youth. But to those who pick up this volume to begin
their acquaintance, I might state that in the initial book, called
"Baseball Joe of the Silver Stars," I related how he first began his
upward climb as a pitcher.

Joe Matson lived with his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. John Matson,
in the town of Riverside, in one of our New England states. Mr. Matson
was an inventor of farming machinery, and after a hard struggle was now
doing well financially.

Joe's ambition, ever since he began to play baseball, had been to become
a pitcher, and how he made the acquaintance of Tom Davis, the boy living
back of him; how they became chums, and how Joe became a member of the
Silver Stars nine is told in my first book.

The nine was a typical one, such as is found in many country towns,
though they played good ball. After an upward struggle Joe was made
pitcher, and helped to win some big games. He made many friends, and
some enemies, as all boys will.

In the second volume, called "Baseball Joe on the School Nine," I told
how our hero and his chum, Tom Davis, went to Excelsior Hall, a boarding
institution just outside of Cedarhurst, about a hundred miles from
Riverside.

At school Joe found that it was more difficult to get a chance at his
favorite position than he had imagined it would be. There, too, he had
his enemies; but Joe was a plucky fighter, and would not give up. How
finally he was called on to pitch in a great game, and how he, more than
anyone else, helped to win the Blue Banner, you will find set down in my
second book.

Three years passed, all too quickly, at Excelsior Hall, with Joe doing
the twirling for the school nine at all the big games. And now, with the
coming of Fall, and the beginning of the new term, he was not to go
back, for, as I have intimated, he was to be sent to Yale University.

The course at Excelsior Hall was four years, but it was found that
at the end of the third Joe was able to take the Yale entrance
examinations, which he had done successfully. He did not enter with
flying colors, for Joe was no great scholar, but he was by no means at
the foot of the ladder.

So he was to plunge at once into the turmoil of university life - his one
regret being, as I have said, that he could not join the ranks of the
professional baseball players. But he was willing to bide his time.

Another regret, too, was that he would be very much of a stranger at
Yale. He did not know a soul there, and he wished with all his heart
that Tom Davis could have gone with him, as he had to Excelsior Hall.
But Tom's parents had other views of life for him.

"It doesn't seem like three years ago that I first started for
Excelsior," mused Joe, as he drove along. "I sure was nervous then, and
I'm in a worse funk now. Well, there's no help for it. I've got to stick
it out. No use disappointing dad and momsey. I only hope I make out half
way decently."

His errand accomplished, he drove back home, arriving rather late, and,
to his mother's anxious inquiries as to what kept him, he related the
happening of the broken carriage.

"And you don't know who he was?" asked Clara, Joe's sister, curiously.

"No, sis. Say, but you're looking pretty to-night! Got your hair fixed
differently, somehow. Somebody coming?" and playfully he pinched her
red cheeks.

"Yes, Mabel Davis is coming to call," replied Clara, pretending to be
very busy arranging some articles on the mantle.

"Oh, ho! So that's how the wind blows!" exclaimed Joe, with a laugh.
"But I'll wager someone besides Mabel is coming over. Tom Davis told me
to come and see him, Mabel is going out, you're all togged up - say, sis,
who's the lucky chap?"

"Oh, don't bother me!" exclaimed the blushing girl.

"That's all right. Tom and I will come around later and put a tic-tac on
the window, when you and Mabel, and the two chaps, are in the parlor."

"I thought you had gotten all over such childish tricks - and you a Yale
Freshman!" exclaimed Clara, half sarcastically.

"Well, I suppose I will have to pass 'em up - worse luck!" exclaimed her
brother, with something like a groan. "Have your fun, sis. It'll soon be
over."

"Oh, my! What a mournful face!" laughed the girl. "There, run along now,
little boy, and don't bother me."

Joe looked at her for a moment, and the conviction grew on him that his
sister was prettier than ever, with that blush on her face.

"Little sister is growing up," thought Joe, as he turned away. "She'll


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