Lester Chadwick.

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

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from playing. You know as well as I do that he
is the mainstay of the Giant team. That's espe-
cially the case since Hughson was hurt. Matson's
the only reliable pitcher they have left. Mark-
with is as wild as a hawk and may go up in the
air at any time. Barclay has the stuff, but he's
green and inexperienced.

"The Red Sox now have won two games to the



WEAVING THE WEB 149

Giants' one. The New Yorks must take three
more to win the Series. They're counting on Mat-
son to pull out two of them at least, perhaps all
three. I tell you he's the king pin in the Giant
machine just now, and without him the whole team
would go to pieces."

"I see your point all right," said Connelly, "but
with the rough stuff barred I don't exactly see how
we are going to keep Matson from playing." He
pondered the problem for a moment with knitted
brows. Then suddenly an idea came to him, and
be brought his fist down on the table with a re-
sounding thump. "Great Scott!" he cried. "I
believe I've got the very thing!"

"Let's have it," demanded Fleming, eagerly.

"There's a pal of mine in this burg," explained
Connelly, "that's having all sorts of trouble with
a nephew of his that's going to the dogs as fast
as he can. The boy has put over one or two phony
checks already that my friend has had to settle
for to keep the kid out of jail.

"My pal has the idea that if the boy could be
shipped out of the country for a long voyage it
would get him away from the gang he's running
with and might put him in the way of keeping
straight. He was talking to me about it only
yesterday and I promised to help him carry it
through.

"You see, I happen to know an old sea captain



ISO BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

who's loading up now at a Boston wharf for a trip
to South America. He's a tough old nut, and he'll
do almost anything for me, especially if a little
money is slipped to him to sweeten the job. I was
going to propose to him to have this kid I'm tell-
ing you about bundled on board and carried away
with him. But that matter can wait. Now sup-
pose we're able to get Matson on board in place
of the other fellow."

"Great!" cried Fleming excitedly.

"It's too hot and crowded in here," declared
Connelly, rising. "Let's get out somewhere and
fix up the details."

He dismissed his henchmen, and he and Flem-
ing strolled down the street till they came to the
Common. They chose a seat in a remote part,
and began to figure out how they could carry their
plan to success.

"It's too bad that it's too late to put the thing
through to-night," regretted Connelly. "I'd like
to put him on the blink for to-morrow's game."

"We can't do that of course," replied Fleming.
"But even if he wins to-morrow's game, that will
only even up the Series. There'll have to be at
least two more games played and maybe three.
We'll get him then."

"I'll go down and see the captain the first thing
in the morning," said Connelly. "I'm sure he'll
fall in with it all right. Then the only thing that



WEAVING THE WEB 151

remains to be done is to get Matson within his
reach without rousing suspicion."

"But that's a mighty big thing," returned Flem-
ing doubtfully.

u What time does their train for New York
leave to-morrow night?" asked Connelly.

"Somewhere between eleven and twelve, I be-
lieve," answered Fleming.

"That'll give us all the time we want," declared
Connelly confidently. "Now listen to me."

"Not quite so loud," admonished Fleming,
looking around him nervously.

The conspirators lowered their voices and
talked earnestly. It was nearly midnight when
they parted.

The next morning dawned brightly and there
was every promise of a glorious day.

"How are you feeling, Joe?" asked Jim, as the
chums were getting ready to go down to break-
fast.

"Fine and dandy and full of pitching," replied
Joe blithely.

"That sounds good," rejoiced Jim. "Didn't
sprain your arm on Fleming yesterday?" he in-
quired with a grin.

"Not so that you could notice it," laughed Joe.
"In fact it was just the exercise I needed. It
made up for having no other practice, kept me
from going stale, as it were."



152 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

"It took real friendship to stay around that
curve when I was fairly aching to see you do that
fellow up/' declared Jim.

"I'll do as much for you some time,'' Joe con-
soled him.

They had barely finished their meal when word
was brought to Joe that there was somebody
waiting in the lobby to see him.

He went out promptly and was surprised and
pleased to find Mr. Anderson, the old G. A. R.
man who had been knocked down by the automo-
bile on the Long Island road.

They shook hands heartily.

"I'm mighty glad to see you I" exclaimed Joe.
"I didn't expect you'd be able to get back to Bos-
ton so soon. Those Islip doctors must have been
right on the job."

"They fixed me up fine," agreed Louis Ander-
son. "Everybody's been mighty good and kind to
me since I was hurt. You especially, Mr. Mat-
son. I want to thank you for the money you left
for me with the doctors, and which they handed
to me when I was coming away."

"Oh, that's all right," said Joe, "and half of
that was from Mr. Barclay, the young man who
was with me. Here he comes now," he added,
as Jim sauntered out of the dining room and
joined them.

He greeted the old man heartily, who thanked



WEAVING THE WEB 153

him also for his kindness. Jim waved it away as
a trifle.

"Found out anything yet as to who those fel-
lows were that ran you down?" he inquired.

"Not a thing," said the old man sadly. "I only
wish I could. I'd make them pay for what they
did to me."

"And we'd be witnesses for you," declared Joe
warmly. "It was one of the most brutal things
I ever saw."

"They ought to be made to pay up handsomely,"
added Jim, "and they'd be mighty lucky to get off
with that."

"I'm afraid there isn't much chance of ever
finding them," the old man said. "But it wasn't
that I came to see you especially about this morn-
ing, Mr. Matson. I heard something last night
that I think you ought to know."

"Is that so?" asked Joe pleasantly. "What is
it?"

"I was on the Common last night," Anderson
replied. "It was so close and hot that I couldn't
sleep, and I thought it might do me good to get the
air. I sat down at the foot of a big tree and I
guess I must have gone to sleep. I was waked
up by hearing voices and found that two men were
sitting on a bench the other side of the tree.

"I didn't pay much attention till I heard one of
them mention your name. Even then I thought



154 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

they were talking about baseball. But then I
heard one of them say mean things about you. I
perked up then and I heard enough to know that
they were planning to harm you in some way."

Both ball players were listening now with the
utmost attention.

"Did you hear them call each other by name?"
asked Joe.

"One of them spoke to the other as Mr. Flem-
ing "

"Fleming!" interrupted Jim, as he shot a quick
glance at Joe.



CHAPTER XX

A STIRRING BATTLE

"Fleming's got busy in a hurry!" exclaimed
Joe. "But just what was it they were planning to
do?"

"That's just the trouble," answered Anderson.
"I don't rightly know just what mischief they were
cooking up. They kept their voices pretty low
most of the time, and then, too, my hearing isn't
any too good, especially since I had that accident.
Once I heard one of them say: 'It'll put him on
the toboggan all right.'

"I didn't dare to stir for fear they'd see me, or
I'd have tried to edge around the tree so as to get
closer to them. But from the number of times
they spoke your name and the ugly way they did
it, I was sure they had it in for you.

"I stayed there until they went away and the
last thing one of them said was: Til set the thing
going the first thing in the morning.' And the
other one said: 'It can't start too quick for



me.



iS5



156 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

"Did you see what kind of looking men they
were?" asked Joe.

"I peeked out at them as they were leaving, but
all I could see was that one of them was a big,
heavy man and the other was slimmer and seemed
to have something the matter with his face. It was
puffed up as though he had the toothache."

"Fleming, sure enough!" ejaculated Jim, grimly.

"I guess I know how he got that toothache,"
Joe remarked grimly.

rr Why, is he any one you know?" inquired An-
derson.

"I'm pretty sure I do," replied Joe. "There
aren't likely to be two men named Fleming who
want to do me up."

"Do be careful now, Mr. Matson," the old man
urged. "I can't bear to think of anything hap-
pening to you after all that you have done for



me."



"I'll keep my eyes open," answered Joe. "And
I can't thank you enough, Mr. Anderson, for the
trouble you've taken to come and tell me about
this."

"It's little enough," answered Anderson. "I
only wish I could do more. But I know you must
be pretty busy just now, with the big game coming
on, so I'll just jog along. Hope you have luck to-
day, Mr. Matson."

He said good-bye and went away. After he had



A STIRRING BATTLE 157

gone the two friends looked at each other very
long and thoughtfully.

"What do you make of it, Joe?" asked Jim at
length.

"Why, I hardly know," replied Baseball Joe,
slowly. "I wish the old man had been able to get
something a little more definite. The only thing
that seems clear is that that snake is trying to make
trouble for me. But, pshaw! 'Threatened men
live long,' you know, and I'm not going to worry
about it."

But Jim was not inclined to dismiss the matter
so lightly.

"Do you think they might try anything like the
drugged coffee game?" he inquired. "Hartley
got away with that once on you, and it might be
done again."

"Not likely," answered Joe. "But what's the
use of worrying? I'm going to put it right out of
my mind for the present. I've got to pitch this
afternoon and I'm not going to think of anything
else."

True to his nefarious promise, Connelly, at just
about the same time that morning, was having a
private conversation with the captain of a tramp
ship that was lying at a wharf far down on the
Boston harbor front.

The tramp was a battered, rusty-looking old
hooker that seemed to be about as tough and dis-



158 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

reputable looking as the skipper, who was shout-
ing orders to his crew when Connelly came on
board.

There was a mutual recognition.

"How are you, Mr. Connelly?" the captain
said, as he came forward to greet the newcomer.
"And what is it that's bringing you so far from
Chicago?"

"How are you, Captain Hennessy?" returned
Connelly, cordially grasping the gnarled hand that
was extended to him. "I happened to be in town
on business and I heard you were loading up here.
How's the carrying trade just now?"

"None too good," replied the skipper. "What
with freights 'way down and the competition of
the big liners, it's all we can do to make a living
these days. But come down to the cabin and wet
your whistle. Talking's dry business."

Connelly needed no urging, and they were soon
seated at a table in the cramped cabin, with a bot-
tle and glasses between them.

They talked of indifferent matters for a time,
and then Connelly broached the object of his
visit.

"Where are you going this trip?" he asked.

"Down the South American coast as far as Rio
Janeiro," was the answer. "Porto Rico will be my
first stop."

"And when do you expect to start?"



A STIRRING BATTLE 159

"I may finish up loading to-day if I have luck,"
replied the skipper. If so, I'll get my clearance
papers and slip out early to-morrow morning."

"I suppose you've done a bit of shanghaiing in
your day, eh, Hennessy?" remarked Connelly,
jocularly.

"Many's the time, especially in the old sailing
days," grinned Hennessy, a light of evil reminis-
cence in his little eyes. "But there's little call for
it nowadays."

"I was just wondering," went on Connelly, "if
you'd do me a favor and take a fellow along with
you on this trip that doesn't want to go."

"It might be managed," returned the skipper a
little doubtfully.

"There'd be a nice little slice of money in it
for you," Connelly explained. "You see it's a
young fellow that's got in with a wild gang ashore,
and his folks think a sea voyage wouldn't do him
any harm."

Hennessy's hesitation vanished at the men-
tion of money and his eyes had an avaricious
gleam.

"Sure I'll do it !" he exclaimed. And then, with
voices slightly lowered, the pair perfected their
scheme.

A little later Connelly left the ship and walked
rapidly away with a triumphant glint in his vul-
ture-like eyes.



160 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

He founrl his confederate waiting for him in
the same cafe where they had met the night be-
fore. Fleming jumped up from the table at which
he had been sitting and came rapidly forward to
meet him.

"Well?" he said eagerly.

"It's all right," responded Connelly. "It didn't
take much urging to turn the trick. I told you
he'd be only too glad to oblige me."

He went over the events of the morning rapidly,
and Fleming exulted.

"So far, so good," he gloated.

"But the hardest part is yet to come," Connelly
reminded him. "We've got the stage set for the
play, and the next thing is to have the chief actor
on hand when the curtain rings up." And then
the two talked the matter over in detail.

The enthusiasm at Braves Field that afternoon
was at fever heat. The Boston rooters turned out
in the biggest crowd of the Series so far. The last
game their favorites had won filled them with con-
fidence, and they were out to cheer their pets on to
another victory.

Even the knowledge that Matson was to pitch
for the Giants, which had been featured in the
morning papers, was not sufficient to daunt them.
They felt that luck was with the Red Sox, as had
already been shown in the accident to Hughson
and the rain that had snatched the second game



A STIRRING BATTLE 161

from the New Yorks. And that luck, they felt
sure, would persist. The wish may have been
father to the thought, but there was no doubt as
to the optimism that existed in the home town of
the Red Sox.

The Giants faced the test with quiet confidence.
The odd game was against them, but they looked
forward serenely to evening up the score that
afternoon with Baseball Joe in the box.

McRae had a little talk with his team in the
clubhouse before they went out for practice.

"Go right in, boys, and eat them up," he ex-
horted them. "Those fellows never saw the day
they could beat you if you were doing your best.

"They'll probably put in Roth against you.
He's a good southpaw, but southpaws are just
your meat. Look out for that 'bean' ball of his.
He's sure to use it in trying to drive you away
from the plate. But don't let it rattle you for a
minute. Be quick to dodge, though, for I don't
want to have any of you hurt at this stage of the
Series.

"And don't let Matson do it all. He can't
carry the whole team on his shoulders. No mat-
ter how well he pitches, he can't win unless you bat
in some runs. Hand him a few right from the
start."

"Little old New York is rooting for you to win,
boys. Don't fall down on the job. You'll own



1 62 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

the city if you come back with a row of Boston
scalps at your belt. And I know you can do it if
you try. Go in and wallop the life out of 'em."
There was a cheer which told McRae that his
words had gotten "under the skin," and the Giants
dashed briskly out on the field.



CHAPTER XXI

EVENING UP THE SCORE

When the gong rang, the Giants started out
as though they were going to sew up the game
then and there.

Burkett set the ball rolling with a wicked drive
through the box that got past Roth before he
could gauge it. Larry followed suit with a smok-
ing hit to left. A prettily placed sacrifice bunt by
Denton advanced both men a base. Roth struck
out Willis on three pitched balls, but Becker came
to the rescue with a line drive over second that
scored Burkett easily, though Larry was put out
as he made a great slide for the rubber.

The net result was only one run, but the most
encouraging feature of the inning was the exhi-
bition of free hitting.

"Three clean hits in one time at bat is going
some," Robson exulted.

"The boys seem to have their batting clothes
en for fair," responded McRae, vastly pleased.

"I doubt if that bird will come again for more,"
163



164 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

judged "Robbie." "They'll probably take him
out and put Fraser iw."

Joe was in fine fettle, and he showed his appre-
ciation of the lead his mates had given him by
retiring the Red Sox without a man seeing first
base.

Contrary to Robson's prediction, the Boston
manager elected still to pin his faith to Roth, who
tightened up after his bad start and for the next
three innings held the Giants scoreless.

He was helped in this by the superb support
given him. Both the outfield and infield were on
their toes all the time, and drives that ordinarily
would have gone for hits were turned into outs in
dazzling fashion.

One magnificent catch by Thompson, the Red
Sox catcher, was the feature of the fourth inning.
Iredell, who was at bat, sent up a sky-piercing
foul. Thompson, Hobbs and Roth started for it.

"I've got it, I've got it!" yelled Thompson.

The others stopped and Thompson kept on.

The ball swerved toward the Boston dugout,
where the substitutes and extra pitchers of the
team were sitting.

A shout of warning went up, but Thompson
did not falter. With his eye on the ball and his
hands outstretched, he plunged ahead.

He grabbed the ball in a terrific forward lunge
and went head over heels into the dugout, where



EVENING UP THE SCORE 165

his comrades caught him and saved him from in-
jury. But he still clutched the ball as he was put
on his feet, and a tempest of applause went up
in which even the Giants and their partisans could
not help joining.

"Suffering cats !" exclaimed McRae. "That was
a miracle catch."

"Never saw a better one in all my years on the
ball field," Robson conceded generously.

Thompson was forced to remove his cap again
and again before the crowds would stop their
cheering, and the play put still greater stiffness
into the Boston's defence.

But they needed something more than a stone
wall defence. They had a lead of one run to
overcome, and at the rate Joe was mowing them
down, this seemed a tremendous obstacle.

Joe had never felt in better form. He had
superb control and had not yet issued a pass. His
mastery of the ball seemed almost uncanny. It
seemed to understand him and obeyed his slight-
est wish.

His speed was dazzling, and the ball zipped
over the plate as though propelled by a gun.

"Why don't you line it out?" growled the Bos-
ton manager, as one of his players came back dis-
comfited to the bench.

"How can I hit 'em if I can't see 'em," the
player grunted in excuse.



1 66 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

But Joe did not rely wholly upon speed. Every
once in a while he mixed in a slow one that looked
as big as a balloon as it sailed lazily toward the
plate. But when the batter almost broke his back
in reaching for it, the ball would drop suddenly
beneath the bat and go plunk into the catcher's
mitt.

"If I only dared to pitch that boy in all the
remaining games of the Series !" thought McRae
to himself. "He's just making monkeys of those
fellows."

For six full innings the score remained un-
changed.

Then the storm broke, and a perfect deluge of
hits rained from the Giants' bats.

Becker began it by whaling out a terrific drive
to center that netted three bases. Iredell followed
with a one cushion jolt between second and short
that scored Becker. Joe pumped one to center
that was good for a base; and on the futile throw
made to third to catch Iredell, Joe by fast run-
ning got as far as second. Mylert went out on
an infield fly, but the burly Burkett clouted a
screaming triple to right, scoring both of his
mates while he rested, grinning, at third.

Pandemonium broke loose among the Giant
rooters. Roth, at a signal from his manager,
drew off his glove, and Landers took his place.

But the Giants were on a batting spree and



EVENING UP THE SCORE 167

would not be denied. Larry and Denton cracked
out singles. Willis went out on a long fly to right,
but Curry pounded out a two-bagger that cleared
the bases. A moment later he was caught steal-
ing third and the inning ended.

It had netted the Giants six runs, and they were
now in the lead by seven to nothing.

'Talk about a Waterloo!" shouted Jim, as he
fairly hugged Joe in his delight.

"What do you think they're doing around the
bulletin boards in New York just now?" Joe
laughed happily.

He was about to pull on his glove to go into
the box when McRae stopped him.

"I guess youVe done enough for to-day, Joe,"
he said. "I want to save that arm of yours all I
can, and with the lead weVe got now the game
seems to be cinched. I'm going to put Mark-
with in for the rest of it."

Markwith had few superiors when it came to
working for a few innings. His arm was fresh,
and his terrific speed carried him through, al-
though he was scored on once in the ninth.

The Giants, "just for luck," added two more
runs in the remaining innings, and when they gath-
ered up their bats at the end of the game the
score was nine to one in the Giants' favor.

"This is the end of a perfect day," chanted Jim
as the hilarious team hurried from the field.



1 68 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

"Not quite perfect," objected Larry with a grin.

"Why, what more do you want, you old glut-
ton?" put in Willis.

"I'd like to have made it a goose egg for the
Sox," responded Larry.

"Some folks never know when they have
enough," remarked Joe. "I'm not kicking a single
bit. That was mighty sweet hitting the boys did
to-day," he added.

"And mighty sweet pitching, too," returned
Larry. "Don't forget that."

The train did not leave until 1 1 130 P. M. ; so
that they had ample time for leisurely prepara-
tion. Joe and Jim dined with their party, who
were quite as joyous over the result of the game
as themselves. After dinner the young men took
a quiet little stroll with Mabel and Clara and
returned about nine.

The girls had left them to make ready for their
trip, when Joe was summoned to the telephone.

"Hello, Joe," came over the wire. "This is
McRae talking."

"Why, hello, Mac," Joe answered. "I didn't
recognize your voice at first."

"The connection isn't very good, I guess," was
the answer. "But listen, Joe. I want you to do
me a favor."

"Sure thing," replied Joe promptly. "What is
it?"



CHAPTER XXII

A HOLE IN THE WEB

"It's like this," came the response. "I'm mak-
ing a call on an old yachting friend of mine whom
I always drop in to see when I'm in Boston. He's
a thirty-third degree fan, but he's laid up with
rheumatism and can't get to the games. I've been
bragging to him what a pitcher you are, and he
wants to meet you. Would you mind running
down just for a few minutes? It won't take you
long."

"Of course I will," answered Joe. "Where
are you and just how can I get to you?"

"His yacht is lying off Spring Street wharf.
He'll have a motor boat there to meet you and
bring you over. A taxi will bring you to the
wharf in ten minutes."

"I'll be there," said Joe.

"That's bully. Good-bye."

"Good-bye."

Joe hung up the receiver and looked around for
Jim to leave a message with him explaining his
short absence. But Barclay was not in sight at

169



170 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

the moment, and Joe hastily put on his hat, dashed
out, hailed a taxicab, and a moment later was
being whizzed uptown.

Not more than ten minutes had passed before
the cab drew up at the end of the pier, which at
that time was almost deserted.

"Here you are, sir," announced the driver.

Joe stepped out and paid him.

A large motor boat lay at the pier. As Joe
looked around, a man stepped forward.

"This Mr. Matson, sir?" he questioned re-
spectfully.

"Yes," answered Joe.

"Mr. McRae told us to wait for you here, sir.
The yacht's lying a little way out. Will you step
on board, sir?"

Joe stepped into the boat, the moorings were
cast off, and to the "chug chug" of the engine the
boat darted out on the dark waters of the
bay.

Joe took his seat on a padded cushion at the
stern, noticing as he did so that there were several
husky figures sprawling up near the bow.

The cool night air was very grateful after the
heat of the day, and Joe took off his straw hat, so


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