Lester Chadwick.

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

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your monkey tricks or I'll forfeit the game to the
New Yorks."

Thus adjured, the batter sauntered as slowly
as he dared to the plate.

Jim put over a strike.

"That wasn't a strike," argued the Boston cap-
tain. "It didn't come within six inches of the

"No argument," snapped the umpire, who saw
through the tactics. "Go ahead there," he called
to Jim.

Jim put over two more. The batter did not
even offer at them. He had figured that with an
occasional ball switched in it would take more
time to put him out on strikes than if he gave a
fielder's chance. But there were no balls and he
was declared out.

The second man crawled like a snail to the plate.
It was pouring now and the bleachers were black
with umbrellas. The Giants were fairly dancing
up and down with impatience and apprehension.

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Baseball Joe in the World Series. Page 10i


Jim pitched like lightning, not waiting to wind
up. But before he could dispose of the batsmen,
the heavens opened and the rain came down in

Play was impossible. The umpire called the
game and everybody scurried for shelter.

Old Jupiter Pluvius had taken a hand in the



It is needless to paint the exasperation on the
faces of McRae and Robson and the rest of the
Giant team, as they saw victory taken from them
just as they were tightening their grip upon it.

"Talk about luck," growled McRae. 'Those
fellows have got hogsheads of it."

"Why couldn't that rain have held off for ten
minutes more?" groaned the rotund Robson.

"It may let up even yet enough to let the game
go on," remarked Larry, though without much

"Such a chance," grunted Willis. "Why, you
could take a swim at second base already."

There was, indeed, little hope of resuming the
game, although in accordance with the rules, if the
rain ceased in half an hour and the grounds were
in condition for play, the umpires could call the
teams back to the field. But the rain was blind-
ing, and to wait around any longer was only a mat-
ter of form.

Joe and Jim had worked their way through the
1 06


crowds to the box in which their party sat. In the
neat, gray, traveling uniforms that set their ath-
letic figures off to perfection, the girls thought
they looked handsomer than ever.

All gave them a hearty welcome and gladly
made room for them. It was, of course, only by a
coincidence that Joe found himself next to Mabel
while Jim sat close to Clara.

"I'm so glad your side won, Joe," said moth-
erly Mrs. Matson, beaming lovingly on her son
and heir.

"But we didn't, Momsey," Joe laughed a little

"Why, I kept count of the runs," said his mother
in surprise, "and your side made six while the oth-
ers had only four."

"That's right, but our last three don't count,"
explained Joe. "If we could only have finished
out this last inning, we'd have won. But it wasn't
finished, and so the score went back to the end of
the fifth inning when the Bostons were ahead four
to three."

"I think that's a shame !" exclaimed his mother,
with as near an approach to indignation as her
kindly nature was capable of feeling.

"Those old Bostons were just horrid to try to
delay the game that way," declared Clara.

"It wasn't a bit sportsmanlike," declared Mabel,


Joe favored Jim with a solemn wink. Both
knew that the Giants would have done precisely
the same thing if positions had been reversed. It
was a legitimate enough part of the game if one
could u get away with it."

"Yes," assented Joe, keeping his face straight.
"It didn't seem exactly the thing."

"I don't wonder Mr. McRae was angry," said
Mabel. "I'm sure he wouldn't have done a thing
like that."

Joe had a sudden choking fit.

"Well," he said, "there's no use crying over
spilt milk. We ought to have made those runs
earlier in the game, that's all."

"I felt so sorry for poor Mr. Markwith," said
Mrs. Matson. "It must have been very mortify-
ing to have to give up before so many people."

"Poor Red," said Joe. "It was too bad, espe-
cially when he got away to such a splendid start.
But every pitcher has to take his medicine some
time. Pitchers are very much like race horses.
One day no one can beat them and another day
any one can beat them."

"I think you did splendidly, Mr. Barclay," said
Clara, shyly.

"Oh, I didn't have much to do," said Jim. "Just
the same," he added, dropping his voice a trifle,
"I'd rather hear you say that than any one else
I know."


The flush that made Clara look like a wild
rose deepened in her cheeks not only from the
words but the quick look that accompanied

"Don't you think it might clear up yet?" she
asked, changing the subject.

Jim followed her gaze reluctantly. He had
something better to look at than the weather.

"The clouds do seem to be breaking awa a lit-
tle," he assented. "But the base paths are a sea
of mud, and the outfield is a perfect quagmire.
There go the umpires now to look at it."

Those dignitaries (there were four of them that
officiated at each game, one behind the plate, one
at the bases and the two others at the foul lines in
right and left field, respectively) were, as a mat-
ter of fact, solemnly stalking out on the field.

From the stands went up a thunderous roar :

"Call the game ! Call the game !"

The Boston rooters were taking no chances and
were perfectly willing to go without further base-
ball that afternoon, now that their favorites had
the game won.

But their exhortations were unnecessary. Even
McRae, clinging desperately to the last chance,
could not in justice to his common sense urge that
play should be continued. It was clearly impos-
sible, and would have degenerated into a farce
that would have risked the limbs of his athletes,


to say nothing of the harm it would work to the

So there was no protest when the game was
formally and finally declared off, and the disgrunt-
led New Yorks gathered up their bats and strode
from the field.

"Never mind, boys," comforted McRae. "We
can beat the Red Sox but we can't beat them and
the rain together. Better luck next time."

"That listens good," grumbled "Robbie," who
refused to be consoled. "But now weVe lost the
jump on them and it's all to be done over again."

"Well, we're no worse off than they are, any-
way," returned the Giant manager.

"If we could only pitch Matson every day, the
Series would be a cinch," mused Robson.

"A copper-riveted cinch," agreed McRae. "But
I was mightily encouraged at the way young Bar-
clay mowed them down. The ball didn't look any
bigger than a pea as it came over the plate."

"He certainly had lots of stuff on the ball," ad-
mitted Robson. "I wonder if he can stand the gaff
for a full game."

"I don't know whether he's seasoned enough
for that yet," said McRae, thoughtfully. "But it'll
stand a lot of thinking about. We'll see first
though how Hughson's feeling when we get back
to New York."

The return journey to New York was not by


any means so joyful as the trip out had been. Still,
there was no discouragement in the Giants 7 camp.
They had played good ball and with the lead they
had and the way Jim was pitching would probably
have won if it had not been for the rain. And on
the theory that the good and bad luck of the game
usually struck an average, they felt that they were
due to have the break in their favor the next time.

As for Joe and Jim, although, of course, they
shared the chagrin of their mates, their cloud had
plenty of silver lining. They had played their own
parts well so far in the Series, and had no pain-
ful recollections to grow moody about. And then,
too, were they not in the company of the two girls
whom they devoutly believed to be the most charm-
ing in the world?

They made the most of that company in the
quiet Sunday that followed. Mr. and Mrs. Mat-
son smilingly declined Reggie's cordial invitation,
on the ground that they were feeling the need of
rest after the excitement. The young people
bundled into the car and they had a delightful ride
through the woods of Westchester, whose trees
were putting on their autumn tints of scarlet and
russet and gold. A supper at the Claremont put
the finish to a day in which the blind god with his
bow and arrows had been extremely busy, and the
drive home through the twilight was something
none of them ever forgot.


The next morning, Joe, scanning the paper, gave
a delighted exclamation.

"What's the matter?" asked Jim, disturbed in
a pleasing reverie that had nothing to do with

''Matter enough," returned Joe, handing him
the paper. "Hughson's going to pitch. McRae
must have fixed it up with him yesterday."

"Gallant old scout!" cried Jim, his eyes kind-
ling. "I was sure he'd get into the scrap some-
where. The only way you could keep that old
war horse out of the World Series would be to
hit him with an ^xe !"



"Won't this make Boston feel sore!" Baseball
Joe exulted.

"You bet it will," chuckled Jim. 'That's the
one thing they were banking on more than any-
thing else. With Hughson out, they thought we
didn't have a chance."

"Let's get through breakfast in a hurry and run
up and see the old boy," cried Joe.

Jim needed no urging and they were soon in a
taxicab and on their way to Hughson's home.

They were met at the door by Mrs. Hughson,
who greeted them with a pleasant smile and ush-
ered them into the living room, where they found
the great pitcher stretched out at his ease and run-
ning over the columns of the morning paper.

He jumped to his feet when he saw who his visi-
tors were, and there was a hearty interchange of

"So Richard is himself again," beamed Joe.

"Best news we've had in a dog's age," added



"Yes, I guess the old salary wing is on the job
again," laughed Hughson.

"How's it feeling?" asked Joe, eagerly.

"Fine as silk," Hughson responded. "I've been
trying it out gradually, and I don't see but what I
can put them over as well as ever I did. It hurts
me a little on the high, fast ones, but everything
else I've got in stock seems to go as well as I could

"What does the doctor say about your pitch-
ing?" asked Jim.

"Oh, he's dead set against it," was the an-
swer. "Tells me it isn't well yet by any means,
and that it may go back on me any minute. But
you know how those doctors are. They always
want to make a sure thing of it. But McRae and
I have been talking it over, and we've concluded
that in the present condition of things it might be
well to take a chance."

"That head of yours is all right, anyway, you
old fox," laughed Joe. "You've always pitched
with that as much as with your arm. You'll out-
guess those fellows, even if you have to favor your
arm a little."

"We'll hope so, anyway," was the reply. "That
was hard luck the boys had in Boston on Saturday,
wasn't it? Pity we couldn't have had it played
here that day. It didn't rain a drop in New


"We were surely up against it," replied Joe.
u But to-day's another day and we'll hope it tells a
different story."

"By the way," grinned Hughson, "an old friend
of yours was up here yesterday."

"Is that so?" asked Joe. "Who was it?"

" 'Bugs' Hartley."

The two young men gave vent to an exclamation
of surprise.

"He's a great friend of mine," said Joe, dryly.
"He met me on the street the other night and
showed me that I was as popular with him as a
rattlesnake at a picnic party."

"He certainly is sore at you," Hughson laughed.
"He started in to pan you but I shut him up in a
hurry. I told him that you'd always done every-
thing you could to help him, and I hinted to him
that we knew pretty well who drugged your coffee
that day you pitched against the Phillies. He
swore, of course, that he didn't do it."

"I know that he did," Joe replied. "But still
I've never felt so sore against poor old Bugs as
I would have felt against any one else who did
such a thing, because I knew that he was a little
queer in the head. Even now I'd glar"- 7 do him a
favor if I could. What did he come .iere for?"

"He wanted to get on to Boston but didn't have
the price," answered Hughson. "He thought that
if he could see Rawlings he might get a chance


with the Braves for next season. And he might,
at that. You know what Rawlings has done with
a lot of cast-offs from other teams, and if he could
keep Bugs from kicking over the traces he might
get something out of him next year. You know as
well as I do what Bugs can do in the pitching line
if he'll only brace up and cut out drink. So I
coughed up enough to send him on and I hope
he'll get another chance."

"I hope so," rejoined Joe, heartily. "There
are mighty few teams that can beat him when he's

"But keep your eyes open, Joe, just the same,"
counseled Hughson. "He's holding a grudge
against you in that old twisted brain of his, and
you'd be as safe with him as if you were on a bat-

"I guess he's done his worst already," Joe
laughed carelessly.

They talked a few minutes longer, and then, as
the rubber came in to give Hughson's arm its daily
massage, they took their way downtown.

The whole city was alive with excitement at the
news that the famous standby of the Giants was to
be in the box that afternoon. Yet mingled with
this was an under current of anxiety. Was he in
shape to pitch? Would that mighty arm of his
hold out, so soon after his injury?

If wild and long-continued cheering could have


won the game, it would have been won right at
the start when Hughson came out on the field a lit-
tle while before the gong sounded.

It was a tribute of which any man might have
been proud. For more than a dozen years he had
been the mainstay of the team. His record had
never been approached in baseball history.

Year in and year out he had pitched his team
to victory. Several times they had won the pen-
nant of the National League, and even when they
failed they had always been up among the contend-
ers. And more than to any single man, this had
been due to Hughson's stout heart and mighty

And the affection showered upon him was due
not only to his prowess as a twirler, but to his
character as a man. He was a credit to the game.
The fines and discipline, so necessary in the case
of many brilliant players, had never been visited
upon him. He had steered clear of dissipation in
any form. He was sportsmanlike and generous.
Players on opposing teams liked him,, the umpires
respected him, his mates idolized him, and the
great baseball public hailed him with acclamations
whenever he appeared on the field.

And to-day the applause was heartier than ever
because of the importance of the game and also in
recognition of his gameness in coming to the help
of his team so soon after a serious accident.


"They're all with you, Hughson," smiled
McRae, as the bronzed pitcher lifted his cap in
response to the cheers that rose from every quar-
ter of the field.

"They seem to be, John," replied Hughson.
"Let's hope they won't be disappointed."

As the game went on, it seemed as though the
hopes of the spectators were to be gratified.

The veteran pitched superbly for seven innings.
His twirling was up to the standard of his best
games. He mowed the opposing batsman down
one after the other, and as inning after inning
passed with only two scratch hits as the Bostons'
total, it began to look as though it would be a shut-
out for the visitors.

"They've got holes in their bats," cried McRae,
gleefully, as he brought his hand down on Rob-
son's knee with a thump.

"It sure looks like it !" ejaculated Robbie. "But
for the love of Mike, John, go easy. That ham of
yours weighs a hundred pounds."

But the Boston pitcher, stirred up by the fact
that he was pitted against the great Hughson,
was also "going great guns." Larry and Burkett
had been the only Giants so far to solve his de-
livery. Each had hammered out a brace of hits,
but their comrades had been unable to bring them
in from the bags on which they were roosting.

"Get after him, boys," raged McRae. "You're


hitting like a bunch from the old ladies' home.
Split the game wide open."

They promised vehemently to knock the cover
off the ball, but the Red Sox pitcher, Landers, was
not a party to the bargain and he obstinately re-
fused to "crack."

In the first half of the eighth, Cooper, of the
Bostons, knocked up an infield fly that either
Larry or Denton could have got easily. But they
collided in running for it and the ball fell to the
ground and rolled out toward center. Iredell, who
was backing up the play, retrieved it, but in the
mix-up, Cooper, by fast running, reached second.

Though both men had been shaken up by the
collision they were not seriously injured, and after
a few minutes play was resumed.

But in the strained condition of the players'
nerves, the accident had to some degree unstrung
them. So that when Berry chopped an easy roller
to Denton that the latter ordinarily would have
"eaten up," he juggled it for a moment. Then, in
his haste to make the put-out at first, he threw
wild and the ball went over Burkett's head. Be-
fore he could get it back, Cooper had scored and
Berry was on third.

The Boston rooters howled like wild men, and
their hats went sailing into the air.

Hughson, cool as an iceberg, brought his fade-
away into play and whiffed the next man up. Then


Hobbs rolled one to the left of the box. Hugh-
son made a great reach for it and got it, though
he slipped and fell as he did so. He snapped the
ball, howfVer, to Mylert, nipping Berry at the

Mylert returned the ball to Hughson who took
his position in the box and began to wind up. But
almost instantly his hand dropped to his side.

He tried again but fruitlessly.

M?Rac ran out to him in consternation.



"What's the matter, Hughson?" McRae v vied.

"The old arm won't work," replied the pitcher.
"Guess I hurt it in the same old place when I fell."

His fellow players crowded around him, and
the umpire, who had called time, came up to ascer-
tain the damage.

The club doctor also ran out from his seat in
the stands near the press box and made a hurried

"You've strained those ligaments again," he
remarked, "and as far as I can tell now one of
them is broken. I told you that they weren't
healed enough for you to pitch."

McRae groaned in sympathy with Hughson and
in dismay for himself and his team. He had been
congratulating himself that with Hughson in the
fine form he had showed that afternoon the
world's pennant was as good as won.

"It's too bad, old man," he said to Hughson.
"You never pitched better. You were just burn-
ing them over."



"I'm fearfully sorry," Hughson answered. "I
did want to be in the thick of the fight with the rest
of the boys. But I guess all I can do from now
on is to root for them."

He took off his glove and walked over to the
bench, amid a chorus of commiserating shouts
from the stands.

McRae beckoned to Joe.

"Jump in, Joe," he directed briefly, "and hold
them down. They've only got one run. I'm de-
pending on you to see that they don't get any

Joe went into the box and tossed two or three
to Mylert to get the range of the plate. He had a
greeting from the fans that warmed the cockles
of his heart.

There were two men out and Hobbs was danc-
ing around first. Joe saw out of the corner of his
eye that he was taking too big a lead, and snapped
the ball like a bullet to Burkett. Hobbs tried des-
perately to get back but was nipped by a foot.

Joe had finished putting out the side without
pitching a ball.

"Some speed that," came from the stands.

"I guess Matson's slow."

"We don't have to pitch to beat you fellows,"
piped a fan and the crowd roared.

But nothing could hide the fact that the Red
Sox were ahead. McRae brought all his resources


into play and sent two pinch hitters to the plate.
But though one of them, Browning, knocked out
a corking three-bagger, the inning ended without

In the ninth, Joe had no trouble in disposing of
the men who faced him. His slants and cross fire
had them "buffaloed." One went out on a foul,
another was an easy victim at first, and he put on
the finishing touch by striking the third man out.

McRae tore round among his men like an ele-
phant on a rampage as they came in for their half
of the ninth. They, however, needed no urging.
They were as wild to win as he was himself, and
they were almost frantic as they saw victory slip-
ping from them.

They did do something, but not enough. By
the time two men were out, there was a Giant on
first and another on second. Larry, the slugger
of the team, was at the bat. He picked out a fast
one and sent it hurtling on a line to left. It looked
like a sure hit, but Stock, the shortstop, leaped
high into the air and speared it with his gloved
hand, and the shout that had gone up from the
stands ended in a groan.

Three games of the Series had been played and
the Red Sox had won two of them !

It was a disgruntled band of athletes who went
under the shower in the Giant clubhouse that after-
noon, and when Joe and Jim joined their party at


the Marlborough in the early evening, the air of
jubilation they had worn on the day of the first
game was conspicuous by its absence.

"If you had that band here you were talking
about Friday, what do you suppose they would
play?" Joe asked of Mabel, after the first greet-
ings were over.

"They ought to play the 'Dead March in
Saul/ " Jim volunteered.

"Not a bit of it," denied Mabel, cheerily.

"There's a better day coming and dinna' ye doubt


So just be canty wi' thinking about it,"

she quoted, flashing a sunny smile at Joe that
made him feel more cheerful at once.

"It was too bad," comforted Mrs. Matson.
"But, anyway, Joe, it wasn't your fault," she
added, beaming fondly on her son.

"Call it misfortune then, Momsey," Joe smiled
back at her. "But it surely was that. We lost the
game, we lost it on our own grounds, we were
whitewashed, and worst of all Hughson is out for
the rest of the Series."

"That's enough for one day," acquiesced Jim.

"Stop your grouching, you fellows," admon-
ished Reggie. "You'll have plenty of chances to
even things up."


"Oh, we'll fight all the harder," agreed Joe.
"There isn't a streak of yellow in the whole Giant
team. The boys will fight like wildcats and never
give up until the last man is out in the deciding
game. We're looking for revenge to-morrow."

"And maybe revenge won't be sweet!" chimed
in Jim.

"Who is going to pitch for your side to-mor-
row?" asked Mr. Matson.

"McRae gave me a tip that I was to go in,"
Joe answered.

"Then we might as well count the game as good
as won," declared Mabel.

"That certainly sounds good," laughed Joe.
"But suppose I should be batted out of the box?
I wouldn't dare show my diminished head among
you folks then."

"We're not worrying a bit about that," put in
Clara, looking proudly at her idolized brother.

But the question was not to be settled on the
morrow, for when the day dawned in Boston the
rain was falling steadily, and the weather predic-
tions were that the rain would continue for the
greater part of the day.

For once, at least, the much maligned weather
prophet was right, for at noon the rain had not
abated, and, much to the disgust of the expectant
public, the game was declared off.

By the rules that had been made to cover such


an event, the teams were to stay in Boston until
the first fair day should permit the game to be

The different members of Joe's party were
rather widely scattered, when the sun finally
peeped out in the course of the afternoon. Reg-
gie had taken his sister out to a country club where
he had a number of acquaintances. Mrs. Matson
and Clara were doing some shopping in the Bos-

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Online LibraryLester ChadwickBaseball Joe in the world series; or, Pitching for the championship → online text (page 6 of 13)