Lester Chadwick.

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

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Robson waved his hand to them with a grin.

"I'm glad we all feel that way," resumed
McRae, when the tumult had subsided. "If at
times I've been a bit hasty with you lads and given
you the rough side of my tongue, it's been simply
because I was wild with excitement and crazy to
win. And now for the big fight that lies before us.
It's a great thing to be champions of the National
League. But it's a greater thing to be champions
of the world."

A rousing shout rose from the eager group.

"Sure, we've got it copped already," cried

McRae smiled.

"That's the right spirit to tackle the job with,"
he replied, "but don't let the idea run away with
you that it's going to be an easy thing to do. It
isn't. Those American Leaguers are tough birds,
and any one who beats them will know he's been
in a fight.


"There used to be a time," he went on, "when
the bulk of the talent was in the National League.
But it isn't so any longer. They have just as good
batting, just as good pitching and just as good
fielding as we have.

"Of course, we don't know yet just which team
we'll have to face, but we may know before night.
If the Bostons win to-day that will settle it. Even
if they lose, provided the Athletics lose, too, the
Red Sox will be the champions. Of course, there's
nothing sure in baseball, but all the chances are in
favor of the Bostons.

"In any case, it will be an Eastern club, and
that cuts out the matter of the long jumps. But
whichever one it happens to be, it'll prove a hard
nut to crack."

"Nut-crackers is our middle name," murmured

"You proved that yesterday," laughed McRae,
"and you're going to have a good chance to prove
it again.

"Just as soon as the American race is decided,"
he continued, "and it's known in what city we are
to play, the National Commission will have a meet-
ing to fix all the details of the World Series. If
they follow precedent, as they probably will, the
first game will be appointed for a week from this
Friday. They'll toss a coin to see whether it shall
be here or in the other city. I'm rooting for it to


be here. It'll give us a better chance to win the
first game if we play it on the home grounds, and
you know what it means to get the jump on the
other fellows."

"You bet we do I" went up in a chorus.

"Just as soon as it is decided who our opponents
are to be," the manager resumed, "I'm going to
send some of you fellows out as scouts to see some
of the practice games of the other fellows and get
a line on their style of play. You can pick up a
lot of useful information that way, and we've got
so much at stake that we can't afford to overlook
a single point of the game."

"How about our own practice?" asked Larry.

"I was coming to that," replied McRae. "I'm
going to get together just as husky a bunch of slug-
gers and fielders as can be found in the National

He took a sheaf of telegrams from his pocket.

"I've got a lot of wires here from every club
in the league, offering the services of any of their
players I want," he said. "We've had our own
fight, and now that it's over they're all eager to
help the National League to down the American.
It means a good deal to each of them to have us
come out winner. Even Brennan has offered to*
let me have some of the Chicagos to practise
against. I saw him at the hotel last night, and,
although of course he was sore that he didn't win


yesterday, he told me I could call upon him for
any men I wanted."

"He's a good sport," ejaculated Jim.

"Sure he is," confirmed McRae, heartily. "He's
a hard fighter But he's as white as they make 'em."

He consulted a list on which he had jotted down
a few names in pencil.

"How will this do for an All National team to
practise against," he asked.

"Konetchky, First base.
Niehoff, Second base.
Wagner, Shortstop.
Zimmermann, Third base.
Wheat, Left field.
Carey, Center field.
Schulte, Right field.
Pfeffer, Alexander, Pitchers.
Archer, Gibson, Catchers."

A murmur went up from the players.

"Some sweet hitters!" exclaimed Markwith.

"A bunch of fence breakers," echoed Jim.

"They'll give you mighty good practice,"
grinned McRae. "If they can't straighten out
the curves of you twirlers, nobody can. I'll have
them all on here in a day or two, and then we'll
start in training."

The conference lasted till late in the afternoon,


and just as it was breaking up, a telegraphic re-
port was handed to McRae. He scanned it hast-

"That settles it!" he exclaimed. "Boston won
to-day, three to two. We're up against the Red
Sox in the World Series !"



Although the news only confirmed what had
been all along expected, it was worth a great deal
to the Giants to know certainly just whom they
would have to fight. Their enemy now was de-
tached from the crowd and out in the open. They
could study him carefully and arrange a clear plan
of campaign.

Joe and Jim were discussing the matter earn-
estly, as they passed out of the Polo Grounds to
go downtown.

"Don't let's take the elevated," suggested Joe.
"We haven't had much exercise, and I want to
stretch my legs a little."

"I'm agreeable," replied Jim. "There's a cool
breeze and it's a nice night for walking. We can
go part of the way on foot, anyway, and if we feel
like it we'll hoof it for the whole distance."

They soon got below the Harlem River and be-
fore long found themselves in the vicinity of Co-
lumbus Circle. They were passing one of the
fashionable cafes that abound in that quarter when



the door opened and a man came out. Joe caught
a good look at his face, and a grim look came into
his eyes as he recognized Beckworth Fleming.

Fleming saw him at the same time, and the eyes
of the two men met in a look of undisguised hos-
tility. Then with an ugly sneer, Fleming re-

"Ah, Mr. Matson, I believe. Or was it Mr.
Buttinski? I'm not very good at remembering

"You'll remember mine if I have to write it on
you with my knuckles," returned Joe, brought to a
white heat by the insult and the remembrance of
the occurrence of the day before.

"Now, my good fellow " began Fleming,

a look of alarm replacing his insolent expression.

"Don't 'good fellow' me," replied Joe. "I
owe you a thrashing and I'm perfectly able to pay
my debts. You'd have gotten it yesterday if we'd
been alone."

"I — I don't understand you," stammered Flem-
ing, looking about him for some way of escape
from the sinewy figure that confronted him.

"Well, I'm going to make myself so clear that
even your limited intelligence can understand me,"
said Joe, grimly. "You keep away from the Marl-
borough Hotel. Is that perfectly plain?"

Before the glow in Joe's eyes, Fleming retreated
a pace or two, but as he caught sight of a police-


man sauntering up toward them, his courage re-

"I'll do nothing of the kind," he snarled.

"You will if you value that precious skin of
yours. I've given you fair warning, and you'll
find that I keep my word."

By this time the officer had come up close to
them, and Fleming, immensely relieved, turned to
him as an ally.

"Officer, this man has been threatening me with
personal violence," he complained.

The policeman sized him up quizzically. Then
he looked at Joe and his face lighted up.

"Good evening, Mr. Matson. That was a
great game you pitched yesterday," he ejaculated
in warm admiration.

"I tell you he threatened me," repeated Flem-
ing, loudly.

The officer smiled inquiringly at Joe.

"Just a trifling personal matter," Joe explained
quietly. "He insulted me and I called him down."

The policeman turned to Fleming.

"Beat it," he commanded briefly. "You're
blocking up the sidewalk."

Fleming bristled up like a turkey cock.

"I'll have your number," he said importantly.
"I'll "

"G'wan," broke in the officer, "or I'll fan you.
Don't make me tell you twice."


He emphasized the command by a poke in the
back with his club that took away the last shred of
Fleming's dignity, and he retreated, with one last
malignant look at Joe.

"I know his kind," said the officer, complacently.
"One of them rich papa's boys with more money
than brains. Sorry he bothered you, Mr. Matson.
Are youse boys goin' to lick them Bostons ?"

"We're going to make a try at it," laughed Joe.

"You will if you can pitch all the games," re-
joined the policeman, admiringly. "It cert'nly
was a sin an' a shame the way you trimmed them
Chicagos. You own New York to-day, Mr. Mat-

The chums bade him a laughing good-night and
resumed their interrupted stroll.

"Who was that fellow, anyway?" asked Jim in

"His name is Fleming," answered Joe. "That's
about all I know of him."

"How long have you known him?"

"Since yesterday."

"What was the row all about, anyway?"

"Oh, nothing much," evaded Joe. "I guess we
just don't like the color of each other's eyes."

Jim laughed and did not press the question.
But he had heard the warning to keep away from
the Marlborough Hotel, and could hazard a vague
guess as to the cause of the quarrel.


At their hotel both Joe and Jim found a letter
from the owners of the New York Club waiting
for them. In addition to the informal thanks con-
veyed to the team in general by McRae, they had
taken this means of thanking each player person-
ally. It was a gracious and earnest letter, and
wound up by inviting them to a big banquet and
theatre party that was to be given by the manage-
ment to the players in celebration of their great
feat in winning the National League championship
for New York.

But Joe's letter also contained a little slip from
the Treasurer, to which a crisp, blue, oblong paper
was attached. Joe unfolded it in some wonder-
ment and ran his eyes over it hastily.

It was a check for a thousand dollars, and on
the accompanying slip was written :

"In payment of bonus as per contract for
winning twenty games during the season."

Joe grabbed Jim and waltzed him about the
room, much to Barclay's bewilderment.

"What are you trying to do?" he gasped. "Is
it a new tango step or what?"

"Glory, hallelujah!" ejaculated Joe. "Yester-
day and to-day are sure my lucky days."

He thrust the check before his friend's eyes.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Jim. "It never rains


but it pours. If you fell overboard, you'd come
up with a fish in your mouth."

"It sure is like finding money," chortled Joe.
"Everything seems to be coming my way."

"You'll be lending money to Rockefeller if this
sort of thing keeps on," Jim grinned. "But after
all it can't be such a surprise. You must have
known that you had won twenty games."

"That's just it," explained Joe. "I wasn't sure
of it at all. I figured that with yesterday's game
I had nineteen. But there was that game in Aug-
ust, you remember, when I relieved Markwith in
the sixth inning. We won the game, but there
were some fine points in it which made it doubtful
whether it should be credited to Markwith or me.
I had a tip that the official scorers were inclined
to give it to Markwith, and so I had kissed the
game good-bye. But it must be that they've de-
cided in my favor after all and notified the New
York Club to that effect."

"That's bully, old man," cried Jim, enthusias-
tically. "And you can't say that they've lost any
time in getting it to you."

"No," replied Joe. "Ordinarily, they'd settle
with me on the regular salary day. But I suppose
they feel so good over getting the pennant that
they take this means of showing it."

"They can well afford to do it," said Jim.
"Your pitching has brought it into the box office


twenty times over. Still it's nice and white of them
just the same to be so prompt. That's one thing
that you have to hand to the Giant management.
There isn't a club in the league that treats its play-
ers better."

"You're just right," assented Joe, warmly, "and
it makes me feel as though I'd pitch my head off
to win, not only for my own sake but for theirs."

"You certainly have had a dandy year," mused
Jim. "With your regular salary of forty-five hun-
dred and this check in addition you've grabbed
fifty-five hundred so far. And you'll get any-
where from two to four thousand more in the
World Series."

"I haven't any kick coming," agreed Joe. "It
was a lucky day for me when I joined the Giants."

"I suppose you'll soak that away in the bank to-
morrow, you bloated plutocrat," laughed Jim.

"Not a bit of it," Joe answered promptly. "To-
morrow night that money will be on its way to
Riverside as fast as the train can carry it."



The little town of Riverside had been buzzing
with excitement ever since the news had flashed
over the wires that the Giants had won the cham-
pionship of the National League. On a miniature
scale, it was as much stirred up as New York it-
self had been at the glorious victory.

For was not Joe Matson, who had twirled that
last thrilling game, a son of Riverside? Had he
not grown up among the friends and neighbors
who took such pride and interest in his career?
Had he not, as Sol Cramer, the village oracle and
the owner of the hotel, declared, "put Riverside
on the map?"

There had been a big crowd at the telegraph
office in the little town on the day that the final
game had been played, and cheer after cheer had
gone up as each inning showed that Joe was hold-
ing the Chicagos down. And when in that fateful
ninth his home run had "sewed up" the victory,
the enthusiasm had broken all bounds.

An impromptu procession had been formed, the


village band had been pressed into service, the
stores had been cleared out of all the fireworks
left over after the Fourth of July, and practically
the whole population of the town had gathered
on the street in front of the Matson house where
they held a hilarious celebration.

The quiet little family found itself suddenly in
the limelight, and were almost as much embar-
rassed as they were delighted by the glory that
Joe's achievement had brought to them.

The crowd dispersed at a late hour, promising
that this was not a circumstance to what would
happen when Joe himself should come home after
the end of the World Series.

Had any one suggested that possibly the Giants
would lose out in that Series, he would have stood
a good chance of being mobbed. To that crowd
of shouting enthusiasts, the games were already
stowed in the New York bat bag. How could
they lose when Joe Matson was on their team?

In the Matson household joy reigned supreme.
Joe had always been their pride and idol. He had
been a good son and brother, and his weekly let-
ters home had kept them in touch with every step
of his career. They had followed with breathless
interest his upward march in his profession dur-
ing this year with the Giants, but had hardly dared
to hope that his season would wind up in such a
blaze of glory.


Now they were happy beyond all words. They
fairly devoured the papers that for the next day
or two were full of Joe's exploits. They could not
stir out of the house without being overwhelmed
with congratualtions and questions. Clara, Joe's
sister, a pretty, winsome girl, declared laughingly
that there could hardly have been more fuss made
if Joe had been elected President of the United

"I'm sure he'd make a very good one if he
had," said Mrs. Matson, complacently, as she bit
off a thread of her sewing.

"You dear, conceited Momsey," said Clara,
kissing her.

Mr. Matson smiled over his pipe. He was a
quiet, undemonstrative man, but in his heart he
was intensely proud of this stalwart son of his.

"How I wish we could have seen that game!"
remarked Clara, wistfully. "Just think, Momsey,
of sitting in a bqx at the Polo Grounds and see-
ing that enormous crowd go crazy over Joe, our

"I'm afraid my heart would almost break with
pride and happiness," replied her mother, taking
off her glasses and wiping her eyes.

"Of course it's great, reading all about it in the
papers and seeing the pictures," continued Clara,
"but that isn't like actually being there and hear-
ing the shouts and all that. But I'm a very wicked


girl to want anything more than I've got," she
went on brightly. "Now I'm going to run down
to the post-office. The mail must be in by this
time and I shouldn't wonder if I'd find a letter
from Joe."

She put on her hat and left the house. Mrs.
Matson looked inquiringly at her husband.

"You heard what Clara said, dear," she ob-
served. "I don't suppose there's any way in the
world we could manage it, is there?"

"I'm afraid not," returned Mr. Matson. "I've
had to spend mere money than I expected in per-
fecting that invention of mine. But there's noth-
ing in the world that I would like more than to see
Joe pitch, if it were only a single game."

Clara soon reached the little post-office and
asked for the Matson mail. There were several
letters in their box, but none from Joe.

She was much disappointed, as in Joe's last
telegram he had told her that a letter was on the
way and to look out for it.

She had turned away and was going out of the
office, when the postmaster called her back.

"Just wait a minute," he said. "I see I've
got something for you here in the registered

He handed her a letter which Clara joyfully
saw was addressed in Joe's handwriting.

"It's directed to your mother," 'the postmaster


went on, "but of course it will be all right if you
sign for it."

Clara eagerly signed the official receipt and
hurried home with her precious letter.

"Did you get one from Joe?" asked her mother,

"There wasn't anything from him in the box,"
said Clara, trying to look glum. Then as she saw
her mother's face fall, she added gaily : "But here's
one that the postmaster handed me. It came in
the registered mail."

She handed it over to her mother, who took it

"Hurry up and open it, Momsey !" cried Clara,
fairly dancing with eagerness. "I'm just dying
to know what Joe has to say."

Mr. Matson laid aside his pipe and came over
to his wife. She tore open the letter with fingers
that trembled.

Something crisp and yellow fluttered out and
fell on the table. Clara's nimble fingers swooped
down upon it.

"Why, it's a bankbill !" she exclaimed as she un-
folded it. "A ten dollar bill it looks like. No,"
as her eyes grew larger, "it's more than that. It's
a hundred — Why, why," she stammered, "it's a
thousand dollar bill!"

"Goodness sakes !" exclaimed her mother. "It
can't be. There aren't any bills as big as that."


Baseball Joe in the World Series. Page 56


Mr. Matson took it and scrutinized it closely.

"That's what it is," he pronounced in a voice
that trembled a little. "It's a thousand dollar

The members of the little family stared at each
other. None of them had ever seen a bill like
that before. They could hardly believe their
eyes. They thought that they were dreaming.

Mrs. Matson began to cry.

"That blessed, blessed boy!" she sobbed.
"That blessed, darling boy!"

Clara's eyes, too, were full of tears, and Mr.
Matson blew his nose with astonishing vigor.

But they were happy tears that did not scald
or sting, and in a few minutes they had recovered
their equanimity to some degree.

"What on earth can it all mean?" asked Mrs.
Matson, as she put on her glasses again.

"Let's read the letter and find out," urged

"You read it, Clara," said her mother. "I'm
such a big baby to-day that I couldn't get through
with it."

Clara obeyed.

The letter was not very long, for Joe had had
to dash it off hurriedly, but they read a good deal
more between the lines than was written.

"Dearest Momsey," the communication ran, "I


am writing this letter in a rush, as I'm fearfully
busy just now, getting ready for the World
Series. Of course, you've read by this time all
about the last game that won us the pennant. I
had good luck and the boys supported me well so
that I pulled through all right.

"Now don't think, Momsey, when you see the
enclosed bill that I've been cracking a bank or
making counterfeit money. I send the money in
a single bill so that it won't make the registered
letter too bulky. Dad can get it changed into
small bills at the bank.

"You remember the clause in my contract by
which I was to get a thousand dollars extra if I
won twenty games during the season? Well, that
last game just made the twentieth, and the club
handed the money over in a hurry. And in just
as much of a hurry I'm handing it over to the
dearest mother any fellow ever had.

"Now, Momsey ; I want you and Dad and Clara
to shut up the house, jump into some good clothes
and hustle on here to New York just as fast as
steam will bring you. You're going to see the
World Series, take in the sights of New York
and Boston, and have the time of your life. You're
going to have one big ga-lorious spree!

"Now notice what I've said, Momsey — spree.
Don't begin to figure on how little money you can
do it with. You've been trying to save money all


your life. This one time I want you to spend it.
Doll yourself up without thinking of expense, and
see that that pretty sister of mine has the best
clothes that money can buy. Don't put up lunches
to eat on the way. Live on the fat of the land in
the dining cars. Don't come in day coaches, but
get lower berths in the Pullmans. Make the
Queen of Sheba look like thirty cents. I want you,
Momsey dear, to have an experience that you can
look back upon for all your life.

"I've engaged a suite of rooms for you in the
Marlborough Hotel — a living room, two bed-
rooms and a private bath. Reggie Varley and
Mabel are stopping there now, and they'll be de-
lighted to see you. They often speak of the good
times they had with you when they were at River-
side. And you know how fond Clara and Mabel
are of each other.

"Tell Sis that Jim Barclay, my chum, has seen
her picture and is crazy to meet her. He's a
Princeton man, a splendid fellow, and I wouldn't
mind a bit having him for a brother-in-law."

"The idea !" exclaimed Clara, tossing her
pretty head and blushing like a rose, but looking
not a bit displeased, nevertheless.

"Now don't lose a minute, Momsey, for the
time is short and the Series begins next week.


You'll have to do some tall hustling. Wire me
what train you'll take, and I'll be there with bells
on to meet you and take you to the hotel.

"Am feeling fine. Best love to Dad and Sis
and lots for yourself from

"Your loving son,


There was silence in the room for a moment
after Clara finished reading. They looked at
each other with hearts beating fast and eyes shin-

"New York, Boston, the World Series!" Clara
gasped in delight. "Pinch me, Dad, to see if
I'm dreaming! Oh, Momsey!" she exclaimed
as she danced around the room, "Joe put it just
right. It's going to be a 'ga-lorious spree!* "



In New York, the preparation for the World
Series was rapidly taking form. Little else was
thought or spoken of. Pictures of the teams and
players usurped the front pages of the news-
papers, crowding all other news into the back-
ground. For the time being the ballplayer was

It was generally agreed by the experts that the
contest would be close. Neither side could look
for a walkover. The fight would be for blood
from the very start.

On paper the teams seemed pretty evenly
matched. If the Red Sox were a little quicker in
fielding, the Giants seemed to have "the edge" on
their opponents in batting. It was felt that the
final decision would be made in the pitcher's

And here the "dope" favored the Red Sox.
This was due chiefly to the accident that had be-
fallen Hughson. Had that splendid veteran been
in his usual shape, it was conceded that New York



ought to win and win handsomely. For Boston

could not show a pair to equal Hughson and Mat-

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Online LibraryLester ChadwickBaseball Joe in the world series; or, Pitching for the championship → online text (page 3 of 13)