Lester Chadwick.

Baseball Joe in the world series; or, Pitching for the championship online

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require much urging.

"And I'll tell you what we'll do," suggested
Mabel. "In fact, it's the only thing we can do.
We'll have the dinner served right in here for the
three of us. If you should go down in the public
dining-room of the hotel to-night, Joe, you'd have
a crowd around the table ten lines deep."

"By Jove, you're right," chimed in Reggie.
"They'd have to send out a call for reserves. I'll
go down and have a little talk with the head
waiter, and I'll have him send up a dinner "Et for
a king."

"Fit for a queen," corrected Joe, as he glanced
at Mabel.



Reggie hurried away to order the meal that
was to put the chef on his mettle, leaving Mabel
and Joe once more in possession of the room.

Good-natured, blundering Reggie ! Why had
he not waited five minutes longer before breaking
in on that momentous conversation?

To be sure they could have resumed it now, but
Joe felt instinctively that it was not the time.
Cupid is sensitive as to time and place, and the lit-
tle blind god is only at his best when assured of
leisure and privacy. His motto is that "two is
company" while three or more are undeniably "a

Reggie might be back at any moment, and then,
too, the waiters would be coming in to spread the
table. So Joe, though sorely against his will, was
forced to wait till fate should be more kind.

But he was in the presence of his divinity any-
way and could feast his eyes upon her as she
chatted gaily, her color heightened by the scene
through which they had just passed.



And Mabel was a very delightful object for the
eyes to rest upon. Joe himself, of course, was not
a competent witness. If any one had asked him to
describe her, he would have answered that she was
a combination of Cleopatra and Madame Reca-
mier and all the other famous beauties of history.
What the unbiased observer would have seen was
a very charming girl, sweet and womanly, with lus-
trous brown eyes, wavy hair whose tendrils per-
sisted in playing hide and seek about her ears, dim-
ples that came and went in a maddening fashion
and a flower-like mouth, revealing two rows of
pearly teeth when she smiled, which was often.

Even Reggie was moved to compliment her
when he came in again after his interview with the
head waiter.

"My word, Sis, but you're blooming to-night,
don't you know," he remarked, as he went across
the room and put his hand caressingly on her
shoulder. "This little trip must be doing you
good. You've got such a splendid color, don't you

"Just think of it! A compliment from a
brother ! Wonder of wonders !" she laughed mer-

Perhaps if she had cared to, she might have
enlightened the obtuse Reggie as to the cause of
the heightened color that enhanced her loveliness.
Joe, too, could have made a shrewd guess at it.


But now the waiters came bustling in and they
talked of indifferent things until the table was
spread. A sumptuous meal was brought in, and
the three sat down to as merry a little dinner party
as there was that night in the city of New York.

"How honored we are, Reggie," exclaimed
Mabel, "to have the great Mr. Matson as our
guest ! There are hundreds of people who would
give their eyes for such a chance."

She flashed a mocking glance at Joe who grew
red, as she knew he would. The little witch de-
lighted in making him blush. It made his bronzed
face still more handsome, she thought.

"You'd better make the most of it," Joe grinned
in reply. "I may fall down in the World Series
and be batted out of the box. Then you'll be pre-
tending that you don't know me."

"I'm not afraid of that," returned Mabel.
"After the way you pitched this afternoon, I'm
sure there's nothing in the American League you
need to be afraid of."

"That's loyal, anyway," laughed Joe. "Still
you never can tell. It's happened to me before
and it may happen again. Then, too, you must
remember that it's a different proposition I'll be
up against.

"Take, for instance, the Chicagos to-day. I've
pitched against them before and I knew their weak
points. I knew the fellows who can't hit a high


ball but are death on the low ones. I knew the
ones who would try to wait me out and those who
would lash out at any ball that came within reach.
I knew the ones who would crowd the plate and
those who would inch in to meet the ball. The
whole problem was to feed them what they didn't

"But it will be different when I come up against
the American Leaguers. It will be some time be-
fore I catch on to their weak points. And while
I'm learning, one of them may line out a three
bagger or a home run that will win the game."

"You speak of their weak points as though they
all had them," put in Reggie.

"They do," replied Joe, promptly. "All of
them have some weakness, and sooner or later
you find it out. If there's any exception to that
rule at all, it's Ty Cobb of Detroit. If he has any
weakness, no one knows what it is. For the last
seven years he's led the American League in bat-
ting, base stealing and everything else worth while.
All pitchers look alike to him. He's a perfect ter-
ror to the twirlers."

"Well, you won't have to worry about him,
anyway," smiled Mabel. "It's lucky that he's on
the Detroits instead of the Bostons. For I sup-
pose it's the Bostons you'll have to face in the
World Series."

"I guess it will be," answered Joe. "Their sea-


son doesn't end until Friday. They've had almost
as tight a race in their league as we've had in ours,
for the Athletics have been close on their heels.
But the Bostons have to take only one game to
clinch the flag while the Athletics will have to
win every game. So it's pretty nearly a sure thing
for the Red Sox."

"Which team would you rather have to fight
against?" asked Reggie.

"Well, it's pretty near a toss-up, " answered
Joe, thoughtfully. "Either one will be a hard nut
to crack. That one hundred thousand dollar in-
field of the Athletics is a stone wall, but I think
the Boston outfield is stronger. That manager of
the Athletics is in a class by himself, and what he
doesn't know about the game isn't worth knowing.
He's liable to spring something on you at any time.
Still the Boston manager is mighty foxy, too, and
you have to keep your eyes open to circumvent
him. Take it all in all, I'd just about as lief face
one team as the other."

"It will be a little shorter trip for you between
the two cities, if you happen to have the Athletics
for your opponents," suggested Mabel.

"Yes," assented Joe. "In that case we'd have
a good long sleep in regular beds every night,
while on the Boston trip we'd have to put up with
sleeping cars. Still the jumps wouldn't be big in
either case, and it's a mighty sight better than if


we had to go out West for the Chicagos or De-

"From a money point of view the boys are root-
ing for Boston to win," he went on.

"Why, what difference would that make?"
asked Mabel in surprise.

"Because the Boston grounds hold more people
than the Athletics' park," was the answer.

"That's something new to me," put in Reggie.
"I've attended games at both grounds, and it
didn't seem to me there was much difference be-
tween them."

"The answer is," replied Joe, "that we're not
going to play at Fenway Park, the regular Ameri-
can League grounds in Boston, in case Boston is
our opponent."

"How is that?"

"Because Braves Field, the National League
grounds there, will hold over forty-three thousand
people, and the owners have put it at the dis-
posal of the American League Club," Joe an-

"That's a sportsmanlike thing to do," com-
mented Mabel, warmly.

"It certainly is," echoed her brother.

"Oh, the days of the old cutthroat policy have
gone by," said Joe. "The National and Ameri-
can Leagues used to fight each other like a pair
of Kilkenny cats, but they've found that there is


nothing in such a game. This act of the Boston
people shows the new spirit. We saw it, too, when
the grandstand was burned at the Polo Grounds.
The ruins hadn't got through smoking before the
Yankee management offered the use of its grounds
to McRae as long as he needed them. And then
a little later when the Yankees lost their grounds
because streets were going to be cut through them,
McRae returned the favor by giving them the use
of the Polo Grounds. It's the right spirit. Fight
like tigers to win games, but outside of that, let live
and wish the other luck."

"Tell me honestly, Joe, what you think the New
York's chances are, in case they have to stack up
against Boston," said Reggie.

"Well," answered Joe, thoughtfully, toying with
his spoon, "if you'd asked me that question a week
ago, I'd have said that New York would win in a
walk. But just now I wouldn't be anywhere near
so sure of that."

"You mean the accident to Hughson?" put in

"Exactly that. He was going like a house afire
just before that. You saw what he did to Chicago
in the first game. He had those fellows eating
out of his hand. He was simply unhittable. That
fadeaway of his was zipping along six inches
under their bats. They didn't have a Chinaman's


"Then, too, in addition to that splendid pitch-
ing his reputation helps a lot. The minute it is
announced that Hughson is going to pitch, the
other fellows begin to curl up. They're half
whipped before they start, because they feel that
he has the Indian sign on them, and it's of no use
to try."

"That's so," assented Reggie. "Besides, when
he's in the box his own team feel they're in for
a victory and they play like demons behind

"It's going to take away a lot of confidence
from our boys," said Joe, "and in a critical series
like that, confidence is half the battle. We could
have lost two or three other men and yet have a
better chance than we will have with Hughson
out of the game."

"Isn't there any chance of his recovering in
time to take part in some of the games?" asked

"A bare chance only," Joe replied. "I saw the
old boy yesterday, and he's getting along surpris-
ingly fast. You see, he always keeps himself in
such splendid physical condition that he recovers
more quickly than an ordinary man would. We've
got over a week yet before the Series starts, and
he may possibly be able to go in before the games
are over. If he does, that will be an immense
help. But McRae had figured on having him


pitch the first game, so as to get the jump on the
other fellows at the very start. Then he could
have gone in at least twice more, perhaps three
times, and it would have been all over but the

"It's lucky that McRae has you at hand to step
into Hughson's shoes," declared Reggie.

"Step into them!" exclaimed Joe. "Yes, and
rattle around in them. Nobody can fill them."

"I don't believe a word of it," cried Mabel
warmly — so warmly in fact that her brother
looked at her in some surprise.

"Yes," she repeated, holding her ground val-
iantly, "I mean just what I say. It's awfully gen-
erous of you, Joe, to praise Hughson to the skies,
but there's no use in underrating yourself. I don't
thing Hughson can pitch one bit better than you
can. Look at that game this afternoon. I heard
lots of people around me say that they never saw
such pitching in all their lives. And what you did
to-day you can do again. So there !" — she caught
herself up, smiling a little confusedly, as though
she had betrayed herself, but finished defiantly —
"if that be treason, make the most of it."

Joe's heart gave a great leap, not only at the
tribute but at the tone and look that had gone
with it. So this was what Mabel thought of him I
This was how she believed in him !

His head was whirling, but in his happy con-


fusion one thought kept pounding away at his con-
sciousness, a thought that never left him through
all the tremendous test that lay before him :

"I've got to make good! I've got to make



The rest of the evening flew by as though on
wings, and Joe was startled when he looked at his
watch and found that it was nearly eleven o'clock.

"I'll have to go," he said reluctantly. "I had
no idea it was so late."

"Why should you hurry?" asked Reggie. "The
season's over now in the National League, and
the World Series won't begin for a week or
more. I should think you might have a little lee-
way in the matter of sitting up late."

"I'll have plenty of leeway before long,"
laughed Joe. "But just now I want to keep in the
very pink of condition. I'll need every ounce of
strength and vitality I've got before I get through
the Series."

He would have dearly loved a chance for a
few words with Mabel in private before he went
away, but Reggie failed to appreciate that fact,
and he accompanied the pair even when they went
out to the elevator. But Joe avenged himself by
holding Mabel's hand much longer and more



closely than he had ever dared do before, and the
girl did not dream of calling for help.

But although Joe had been balked in saying
what he had wanted to that night, he felt much
surer of Mabel's feelings toward him, and his
heart was a tumult of joyous emotions as he made
his way home to the rooms he shared with Jim.

He found Barclay sound asleep, at which he re-
joiced. He was in no mood for chaff and banter.
He wanted to go over in his mind every incident
of that memorable evening — to recall the tones
of Mabel's voice, the look in Mabel's eyes. It
was a delightful occupation and took a good while,
so that it was late when he dropped off to sleep.

He was awakened at a much later hour than
usual the next morning by a vigorous tugging at
the shoulder of his pajamas; and, opening one
sleepy eye, saw Jim fully dressed standing at the
side of his bed.

"Go away and let me sleep," grumbled Joe,
turning over on his pillow for another forty winks.

"For the love of Pete, man! how much sleep
do you want?" snorted Jim. "What are you try-
ing to do, forget your sorrows? Here it is after
nine o'clock, and IVe already had my breakfast
and a shave. Get a wiggle on and see what it is
to be a popular hero."

"Stop your joshing," muttered Joe, sleepily.

"Josh nothing," Jim came back at him. "If


you'll just open those liquid orbs of yours and give
this room the once over, you'll see whether I'm
joshing or not."

This stirred Joe's curiosity and he sat up in bed
with a jerk.

"Great Scott!" he exclaimed, as he saw the
room littered with a mass of boxes and packages
that covered every available spot on chairs and
tables and overflowed to the floor. "Where did
you get all this junk? Going to open a depart-
ment store?"

"I guess you'll be able to if they keep on com-
ing," returned Jim. "I've been signing receipts
for express packages until I've got the writer's
cramp. And there's a pile of letters and tele-
grams, and there's a bunch of reporters down in
the lobby waiting for an interview with your Royal
Highness, and — but what's the use? Get up, you
lazy hulk, and get busy."

"It surely looks as though it were going to be
my busy day," grinned Joe, as he jumped out of
bed and rushed to the shower.

He shaved and dressed in a hurry and then ate
a hasty breakfast, after which he saw the report-

Those clever and wideawake young men greeted
him with enthusiasm and overwhelmed him with
questions that ranged from the date of his birth to
his opinion on the outcome of the World Series.


They knew that their papers would give them a
free hand in the matter of space, and they were
in search not of paragraphs but of columns from
the idol of the hour.

"You look limp and wilted, Joe," laughed Jim,
as they went back to their rooms.

"It's no wonder," growled Joe. "Those fel-
lows got the whole sad story of my life. They
hunted out every fact and shook it as a terrier
shakes a rat. They turned me inside out. The
only thing they forgot to ask was when I got my
first tooth and whether I'd ever had the measles.
And, oh, yes, they didn't find out what was my
favorite breakfast food. But now let's get busy
on these parcels and see what's in them."

"What's in them is plenty," prophesied Jim,
"and these are only the few drops before the

It was a varied collection of objects that they
took from the packages. There were boxes of
cigars galore, enough to keep the chums in
"smokes" for a year to come. There were canes
and silk shirts and neckties accompanied by re-
quests from dealers to be permitted to call their
product the "Matson." There were bottles of
wine and whiskey, which met with short welcome
from these clean young athletes, who took them
over to the bathroom, cracked their necks and
poured the contents down the drain of the wash-


basin, until, as Jim declared, the place smelled for
all the world like a "booze parlor."

"No merry mucilage for ours," declared Joe,
grimly. "We've seen what it did for Hartley, as
clever a pitcher as ever twirled a ball."

"Right you are," affirmed Jim. "There's none
of us strong enough to down old John Barleycorn,
and the only way to be safe is never to touch

After they had gone through the lot and rung
for a porter to carry away the litter of paper and
boxes, they attacked the formidable pile of letters
and telegrams.

Among the former were two offers from vaude-
ville managers, urging Joe to go on the stage the
coming winter. They offered him a guarantee of
five hundred dollars a week. They would pre-
pare a monologue for him, or, if he preferred to
pair up with a partner, they would have a sketch
arranged for him.

"That sounds awfully tempting, Joe," said Jim,
as they looked up from the letters they had been
reading together.

"It's a heap of money," agreed Joe, "and I do
hate to pass it up. But I won't accept. I'm not an
actor and I know it and they know it. I'd simply
be capitalizing my popularity. I'd feel like a freak
in a dime museum."

"How do you know you're not an actor?" asked


Jim. "You might have it in you. You never
know till you try."

But Joe shook his head.

"No," he said, "there's no use kidding myself.
And even if I could make good, I wouldn't do it.
You know what it did for Markwith the season
after he made his record of nineteen straight. He
never was the same pitcher after that. The late
hours, the feverish atmosphere, the irregular life
don't do a ball player any good. They take all
the vim and sand out of him. No vaudeville for
yours truly."

"Well," said Jim, "you're the doctor. And I
guess you're right. But it certainly seems hard
to let that good money get away when it's fairly
begging you to take it."

The telegrams came from all over the country.
A lot were from Joe's old team-mates on the St.
Louis club, including Rad Chase and Campbell.
Others were from newspaper publishers offering
fancy prices if Joe would write some articles for
them, describing the games in the forthcoming
World Series. Joe knew perfectly well that this
would entail no time or labor on his part. Some
bright reporter would actually write the articles,
and all Joe needed to do was to let his name be
signed to them as the author. But the practice
was beginning to be frowned upon by the base-
ball magnates, and it was in a certain sense a fraud


upon the public, so that Joe mentally decided in
the negative.

One telegram was far more precious to Joe than
all the others put together. It came from Clara,
his only sister, to whom he was devotedly at-
tached, and was sent in the name of all the little
family at Riverside. Joe's eyes were a little moist
as he read:

"Dearest love from all of us, Joe. We are
proud of you."

For a long time Joe sat staring at the telegram,
while Jim considerately buried himself in the news-
paper descriptions of yesterday's great game.

How dear the home folks were ! How their
hearts were wrapped up in him and his success !
What a splendid, wholesome influence that cozy
little village home had been in his life. He
thought of his patient, hard-working father, his
loving mother, his winsome sister. He thought of
their quiet, circumscribed life, shut out from the
great currents of the world with which he had be-
come so familiar.

They were proud of him! Yet all they could
do was to read of his triumphs. They had never
seen him pitch.

He took a sudden resolution.

The home folks were in for one great, big, glor-
ious fling!



"Come along, Jim!" cried Joe, jumping to his
feet. "Put down that old paper and let's go up
to the Polo Grounds. You know we've got to
meet McRae and the rest of the gang there at two
o'clock, and it's almost one now. We'll just have
time to get a bite of lunch before we go."

"I'm with you," responded Jim.

They hurried through their lunch and took the
train at the nearest elevated station.

"Some difference to-day from the way we felt
when we were going up yesterday, eh, Joe,"
grinned Jim, as he stretched out his legs luxur-
iously and settled back in his seat.

"About a million miles," assented Joe. "Then
my heart was beating like a triphammer. Then
the work was all to do. Now it's done."

"And well done, too, thanks to you," returned
Jim. "Say, Joe, suppose for a minute — just sup-
pose that the Chicagos had copped that game yes-



"Don't," protested Joe. "It gives me the cold
shivers just to think of it."

When they entered the clubhouse, a roar of wel-
come greeted them from the members of the team
who were already there. They crowded round
Baseball Joe in jubilation, and the air was filled
with a hubbub of exclamations.

"Here's the man to whom the team owes fifty
thousand dollars !" shouted the irrepressible Larry
Barrett, the second baseman, who had led the
league that year in batting.

"All right," laughed Joe. "If you owe it to me,
hand it over and I'll put it in the bank."

In the laugh that ensued, McRae and Robson,
the inseparable manager and trainer of the Giants,
came hurrying up to Joe. Their faces were beam-
ing and they looked years younger, now that the
tremendous strain of the last few weeks of the
league race had been taken from their shoulders.

They shook hands warmly.

"You're the real thing, Joe," cried Robson.

"You won the flag for us," declared McRae.
"That home run of yours was a life saver. It
brought home the bacon."

Joe flushed with pleasure. Praise from these
veterans meant something.

"It took the whole nine to win for us," he said

"Sure it did," agreed McRae. "The boys put


up a corking good game. But your pitching held
Brennan's men down, and it was that scorching hit
that put on the finishing touch."

"It was the trump that took the trick," sup-
plemented Robson.

Denton, the third baseman and wag of the team,
stepped up and gravely put his hands around Joe's
head as though measuring it.

"Not swelled a bit, boys," he announced to his
grinning mates. "He can wear the same size hat
that he did yesterday."

They were all so full of hilarity that it was hard
to get down to serious business, and McRae, who
was as happy as a boy, made no attempt at his
usual rigid discipline.

But when they had at last quieted down a lit-
tle, he gathered them about him for a talk about
the forthcoming World Series.

"You've done well, boys," he told them, "and
I'm proud of you. You've played the game to the
limit and made a splendid fight. I don't believe
there's another team in the league that wouldn't
have gone to pieces if the same thing had hap-
pened to their crack pitcher that happened to
Hughson. It was a knockout blow, and I don't
mind admitting to you now that for a time my own
heart was in my boots. But you stood the gaff,
and I want to thank you, both for the owners of
the club and for myself."


There was a gratified murmur among the play-
ers, and then Larry shouted :

"Three cheers for McRae, the best manager in
the league!"

The cheers were given with a will and the vet-
eran's face grew red with pleasure.

"And three more for Robson, the king of train-
ers!" cried Jim.

They were given with equal heartiness, and

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