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Title: Won in the Ninth - The first of a series of stories for boys on sports to be - known as The Matty Books
Author: Mathewson, Christy
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



[Illustration: “Just as the ball was going over his head straight as a
bullet, he put up his right hand and caught the ball.”]



                           WON IN THE NINTH

                                  BY

                         CHRISTOPHER MATHEWSON
               THE FAMOUS PITCHER OF THE NEW YORK GIANTS


                         THE FIRST OF A SERIES
                        OF STORIES FOR BOYS ON
                         SPORTS TO BE KNOWN AS
                            THE MATTY BOOKS


                        EDITED BY W. W. AULICK
                    THE WELL-KNOWN WRITER ON SPORTS


                           ILLUSTRATIONS BY
                             FELIX MAHONY


                               NEW YORK
                         R. J. BODMER COMPANY
                                 1910



                          Copyright, 1910, by
                         R. J. BODMER COMPANY


                THE NEW YORK BOOK COMPANY, SALES AGENTS
                            NEW YORK, N. Y.



DEDICATION


To the memory of Henry Chadwick, “The Father of Baseball,” whose life
was centered in the sport, and who, by his rugged honesty and his
relentless opposition to everything that savored of dishonesty and
commercialism in connection with the game, is entitled to the credit,
more than any other, of the high standing and unsullied reputation
which the sport enjoys to-day, and to the boys who love the great
American game I dedicate this book.

C. M.



CONTENTS


 CHAPTER                                          PAGE
      I. THE WINTER TERM                             1
     II. THE LOWELL SPIRIT                           9
    III. GETTING ACQUAINTED                         14
     IV. THE JERRY HARRIMAN SCHOLARSHIP PRIZES      23
      V. THE FIRST LINE-UP                          32
     VI. PICKING THE VARSITY                        46
    VII. HAL AND CROSSLEY                           56
   VIII. BAD NEWS FROM HOME AND FLIGHT              63
     IX. THE DIAMOND MEDAL                          79
      X. UNDER SUSPICION                            84
     XI. THE STUDENT DETECTIVES                     98
    XII. HAL IS DISCOVERED                         104
   XIII. HANS TAKES A TRIP                         117
    XIV. PREPARATIONS AT THE RIVAL COLLEGE         133
     XV. THE “LOWELL REPORTER”                     142
    XVI. THE ALUMNI GAME                           158
   XVII. THE MAKING OF A FAN                       169
  XVIII. THE TRIP TO JEFFERSON                     185
    XIX. BEFORE THE BATTLE                         193
     XX. THE FIRST GAME                            204
    XXI. RETURNING HOME                            220
   XXII. DISTINGUISHED FANS                        226
  XXIII. THE SECOND STRUGGLE                       231
   XXIV. HANS’ SECOND TRIP TO NEW YORK             245
    XXV. THE FINAL GAME                            252
   XXVI. HAL-HONUSED                               271
  XXVII. AWARDING THE PRIZES                       288
 XXVIII. SATO WRITES HOME                          293



WON IN THE NINTH



CHAPTER I

THE WINTER TERM


“Eyah! Eyah! Hughie, RAH-RAH.” A wiry red-haired boy about twenty-three
years old swung lightly from the train with a big valise in his hand
into a crowd of college boys in caps and heavy ulsters. They gathered
round him at once, and while one crowd took charge of his valise, he
was lifted on to the shoulders of a half dozen fellows and carried
through the streets to his rooms in Elihu Dormitory. In a twinkling his
rooms and the halls outside were blocked with the lads of Lowell who
had come to welcome the most popular boy in school, Hughie Jenkins.

It was the day of the opening of the winter term of the University.
Hughie Jenkins had been the successful manager for three years of the
College Baseball team and on the Thanksgiving Day previous, Hughie as
Captain of the Football Eleven, with the help of the other members of
the team, had won the College Championship for the first time in five
years.

The boys of Lowell University had never been very successful in
football against their old rivals at Jefferson, and the fellows were
so chock-full of enthusiasm over it that they had not yet had enough
opportunity to satisfy it. As each of the members of the team had
arrived he had been welcomed in much the same way, but the great
welcome was, of course, given to “good old Hughie” as they called him,
and now that he was with them again it was possible, taking the boys’
view of it, for the work of the University to go on.

[Illustration: “Good old Hughie Jenkins was back.”]

As Captain Larke had said, “Hughie is entitled to all the credit we can
give him. He has been a wonder at baseball because he has always kept
the boys fighting hard to win, no matter what the score was, and we
have won many a game just because we wanted to do our best for him, and
the way he made us get out and win in the last few minutes of the big
football game kind of shows that he knows how to put them over.”

“That’s right,” said Kirkpatrick, who was right end on the team, “if
good old Hughie hadn’t put some of the fight back in us when that old
score was 0 to 0 in the last five minutes of play, and then himself
kicked that field goal from Jefferson’s twenty-five-yard line, we
wouldn’t have won.”

“Well,” said Hughie, “this is fine all right, boys. We did win, didn’t
we! and it’s very kind of you to try to give me all the credit, but
if it hadn’t been for the other ten fellows on the team, I guess I
couldn’t have done very much, and anyway it took eleven pretty good men
to beat that team from Jefferson.”

Then, turning to Johnny Everson he said, “Gee, I wish the snow would
melt. I’d like to find out what kind of new fellows we have who can
play baseball.”

And that was just like Hughie. Here it was winter, with snow on the
ground, and a month or two of cold weather still in sight. He had
hardly got rested from the football campaign, and now he was wishing it
was time to get out the bats, balls, and masks!

“It gets me,” said Delvin to Gibbie over in one corner, “how that old
boy hustles and is thinking about all kinds of things all the time, but
I guess that’s the way to win out.”

“In time of peace prepare for war,” said Hughie. “Now I am wondering
right now whom we are going to get to take the place of old boy Penny
on first (Fred Penny had been the sensation of the college world at the
first bag), and who will take Johnny King’s place as catcher and will
he be able to work that delayed throw trick with Johnny Everson and the
shortstop? And by the way, who is going to take Joe Brinker’s place at
short, besides the couple of other places that are vacant?

“Boys,” continued Hughie, “this is going to be my last year at school
here. You fellows have helped me win the championship before. It’s all
right about the football business, but this last year with you, we’ve
simply got to have another winning nine. Let’s give a good old cheer
for the football boys, and then let’s give another for the grand old
game of ball, and then you go and tell all the fellows who can play
ball that I want to see them in the cage next week, and tell all of
them that think they can play ball to come, too. Sometimes some of
these chaps who think they can’t do it turn out the best of all.”

And that evening when the boys got talking by themselves they forgot
all about football, and the fellows who had been to school last year
had to tell all over again about the wonderful stunts that Lowell boys
had pulled off in the past, just as if most of them hadn’t heard them
all before.

“Say, Johnny,” said Fred Larke, a Junior from Kansas and Captain of
the Baseball Nine, to Johnny Everson, “I was trying to tell Robb
here (Robb was from Georgia) how Johnny King and you and Joe Brinker
figured out that delayed-throw-to-second trick that won that game from
Princeville last year.”

“Well,” said Johnny, “it didn’t really win the game, you know, because
we were ahead then, but it kept the other fellows from winning. You
see, some one said to us in the visitors’ dressing room of Bailey Oval
that Walker of the Princeville team was a slow thinker. ‘I have a new
trick for fellows that can’t think quick,’ said King, the catcher, and
he explained it to us so we would be on the job if the chance came.
Sure enough it did.

“In the last half of the ninth inning of the game with Princeville
College, the Lowell boys were one run to the good. Princeville College
was at bat, of course.

“Walker, the first man up, had gotten to first on a hit and reached
second on a sacrifice and he was the lad they said didn’t think quick.
This was just the thing we figured might happen. King had said, ‘If
that fellow gets on second, I can pull off this new trick, which I
call the delayed throw. Let Joe cover the bag and Johnny stall.’ On
the first ball pitched, this Walker took a big lead off second, and
Brinker covered the bag, King motioned quick as if to throw, and I
stood still. Walker first started back toward second, but when he saw
that King didn’t throw he slowed down. Brinker, walking back to his
place at short, said to Walker, ‘We’d have got you that time, old boy,
if King had thrown the ball.’ For just one fatal moment Walker turned
around to answer Brinker’s remark and in that instant King threw the
ball to me as I hustled for the bag. Of course, I caught it and jabbed
it against the runner and before he knew how it was done, he was out.

“Of course you couldn’t work that on a real live player, but we won the
game on that play because the next batter drove out a long single on
which Walker could have scored. Looking at it one way, it was won in
the dressing room because that’s where we fixed up the scheme.”

“It pays to keep thinking about the game all the time, doesn’t it?”
commented Larke.

That brought up the other story of another game with Biltmore
University a couple of years before which Lowell lost, and Everson had
to tell that, too.

“I wasn’t there,” said Everson, “because it was two years ago, which
was before my time, and there was a whole lot of luck about it, too,
but it was this way. There were three on bases and Merry, our mighty
slugger, at bat with two out. Score was 3 to 0 against us and it was
our last half of the ninth, too; Merry hit the first ball pitched for a
homer over the right field fence, and four runs would have scored, only
for little Willie Keefer, right fielder for Biltmore, who was playing
well out toward the fence.

“The grounds were down by the railroad and right field was down hill
and rough. Inside, the fence sloped at an angle of 65 degrees, being
straight on the outside and covered with signs. Willie started with
the crack of the bat, leaped upon the slope of the fence and started to
run along it, going higher and higher and just as the ball was going
over his head, straight as a bullet, he put up his right hand, and
caught the ball fairly; then Willie went over the fence with the ball
in his mitt, rolling over in the dirt.

“Willie climbed back over the fence, and the runs didn’t count because
while the umpire couldn’t see it plainly, our fellows in the right
bleachers could see Willie all the time and they were, of course,
square enough to say that the ball was fairly caught, even if it did
lose the game for us.”

And so they talked and talked until long after time to be in bed, and
told all the stories about the great Lowell clubs of the past, the
great pitchers, the catchers and the fielders; and the fellows called
it the first meeting of the Hot Stove League of Lowell University 19--.
This talking League lasted through part of February, by which time the
freshies who had done wonders on the high-school teams at home, and who
had come to Lowell with high hopes of making the team, had a pretty
good idea of the kind of enthusiasm and loyalty and, most important,
the hard work they would have to show to get on the team at Lowell.

The night of Hughie Jenkins’ return a boyish-looking chap, who had come
all the way from California to Lowell University, only five months
before, wrote a long letter to his folks back home, and among other
things he said the boys had begun to talk baseball, and he was going
to try to be on the team and also that he was going to try for the
position of pitcher. Further, that he was going to try for one of the
Jerry Harriman Prizes. His name was Case.



CHAPTER II

THE LOWELL SPIRIT


Lowell University wasn’t one of those little colleges about which books
for boys are often written, nor was it just a big college. It was the
greatest University in the East. It had thousands of students and
hundreds of teachers. It was a rich college with dozens of buildings.
A great many hundreds of the boys who had been graduated from it, poor
boys and rich boys and medium-fortuned boys, now held high positions in
the big world outside.

Two of the boys who had attended school there years before and who
had played on its athletic teams had become Presidents of the United
States, and every year while these men were in the White House they
came to attend the big football and baseball games, and acted just like
boys again, while the games were going on at least. Other boys had
been made members of the Cabinet and a great many had become Senators
and Representatives in Congress while still others had become famous
ministers, doctors and merchants.

The students were made up of sons of rich families and poor alike. Boys
from the farms and from the city. Of those who were lucky in having
rich fathers, there were quite a number at school every year. Some of
them had finely furnished rooms, servants, automobiles and other things
which a rich man’s son generally has, and it must be said that a great
many, in fact, most of these boys developed into men of fine character
and ability, and made their marks in the world.

A few thought they were better than those who didn’t have so much
spending money, but they didn’t get very far or do so much in the
world, either in school or after they got out.

The spirit of Lowell was democratic, and with the exception of these
foolish fellows, the sons of the rich associated with the poor fellows,
particularly where the honor and fame of the school were at stake.

The poor fellows associated with the rich boys whenever they got a
chance. They lived in cheaper rooms and worked a little harder, because
the bright boys soon figured out that they would have to hustle to keep
up with the rich fellows.

Some of them worked during the vacations and earned enough money
to keep them at school during the winter just as they do at other
colleges, and some of them looked after furnaces around town, or waited
on tables at the boarding houses and did other things to assure their
schooling. Fully as many of the poor fellows who had been graduated
had become rich and famous in life, and one of the two who had become
President of the United States was a poor farmer’s boy.

The Faculty of the University wanted the students to mix with each
other and didn’t want any difference to be shown between rich boys and
poor, so they encouraged all athletic games, and this brought about
exactly what they wanted. There is nothing like athletics to put boys
on a common ground, and a fellow was always welcome to show what he
could do.

They had a fine athletic association. The equipment was the best
that money could buy. The best coaches in the world were secured to
train the boys in the different sports, and everything was done in a
business-like way. This made it possible to select the teams on merit
alone.

Any fellow who thought he could do something in the line of college
sports had only to report for a trial at the proper time, and at the
place called for in the notice, and he was given a chance to show what
he could do. The merit system picked him out and in that way the best
possible team was secured. If he had done one thing better than some
other fellow, he got the job, and he could keep it until some other
fellow who could do it better turned up and pushed him out of the
position.

If a fellow thought he could pitch he was given a chance to show what
he could do before the coach who was engaged especially to try out the
pitchers. If the coaches thought he “had it in him,” they would bring
it out. Very often, some young fellow showed up who proved to be a
wonder, and he got on the Varsity the first year.

This spirit attracted from all over the country boys who wanted to
enter college. It made college life very attractive and more students
came every year, and somehow Lowell University got more and more in
the habit of having winning teams in most college sports. Likewise, it
was usually Lowell boys who carried off the lion’s share of the Jerry
Harriman Scholarships in baseball.

In baseball, Lowell had most always been the champion. Her basketball
and hockey teams were only beaten when outlucked; her crew was beaten
but twice in twenty years. Only in football did she seem to fall
behind. Year after year she would get a team together that would win
its way through the games with the other schools in the East, hardly
ever scored against, only to fall before her old time rival college in
the West in the final game of the year. This happened in spite of the
fact that all of the cunning and ability of her coaches, captains and
managers were used to get a team together that could beat Jefferson
College.

But this past fall they had finally turned the trick against Jefferson
and won for the first time in five years. Half-back last year and
Captain and Half-back this year, good old Hughie Jenkins who had won
the baseball Championship three times, had done it, and now he was
back after the Christmas vacation, and when he had time to think about
something besides his studies he would be thinking about baseball and
the gaps in last year’s winner that would have to be filled because the
old standbys like Fred Penny, Johnny King, Joe Brinker and others had
been graduated.

“Well,” said Hughie one evening about the middle of January, to his
roommate and chum, Johnny Everson, “I have about five weeks before
the 15th of February to dream that the new fellows who think they
can play ball are going to be as good as the old boys and I am going
to have another winner this year, if--well, we just have to win the
Championship this year, that’s all.”

Little did he know that among those who had seen him on the day he got
back after the holidays, were almost a half dozen boys who had been
in school only five months who would make the Varsity this year, and
whose names would be written very near the top of the Roll of Honor in
Lowell’s Hall of Fame, and that another fellow, one who was destined to
be greater than all the rest, had not yet arrived.



CHAPTER III

GETTING ACQUAINTED


Harold Case mounted the stairs of his boarding house to the little hall
room that he had called home for the last five months. It had been his
first time away from home and he was lonesome and maybe just a little
homesick, for he had come all the way from California to attend school
at Lowell. Though he was a poor boy, he had never had to look out for
himself before.

Perhaps his room--there was only one small one--helped to make him
lonesome. It was comfortably furnished and the meals which Mrs. Malcolm
served her student boarder were good, but this was Harold’s first white
winter. He had lived all of his eighteen years in the balmy climate of
the Golden State, and he missed the warm sun and the bright green of
the orange leaves and the yellow fruit which he had been used to back
home, and he hadn’t become accustomed to wearing overcoat and rubbers
yet as they did every day here in the East.

He had just come in from class. His feet were wet and he was cold and
the register which was supposed to heat his room was cold; for the
weather was beginning to get mild for Eastern folks, and they had let
the furnace fire get low. But it was still too cold and chilly for this
boy from the far West, and he was wishing he were back among the fruit
groves near his home.

He was lonesome, too, because he missed the chums back home. He had not
been fortunate in making friends during his few months at college. Boys
are apt to make friends through the games they play together and Harold
was not familiar with the boys’ sports that are indulged in during the
cold New England winters.

[Illustration: “He was lonesome.”]

He had never had a pair of skates on in his life and didn’t know what
it was to skim over the smooth ice with a pair of sharp steel blades
fastened to his shoes. He had never enjoyed the sensation of coasting
or hitching on to bob-sleds, nor had he ever seen snow before coming to
Lowell.

Think of living eighteen years, and going to school two-thirds that
long, and never being mixed up in a snowball fight!

So you see the fact that it was winter and only winter sports were
indulged in put Harold out of it for the time being, and because he
wasn’t used to the climate, and didn’t know what fun winter sports
would provide, he rather felt that he didn’t care for them, and the
other fellows paid little attention to him, and he had not made any
friends.

This was hard luck of course, and if the other boys had thought about
it at all, they would no doubt have encouraged him to join them, but
they were not particularly interested at the moment in anyone who
didn’t like the things they liked.

As a matter of fact, Harold, as they called him back home, was a really
good fellow. He was very boyish looking for his eighteen years. He was
a well built fellow, but modest and somewhat backward about pushing
himself forward. His hair was brown and his features were good although
no one would call him handsome. His eyes were light blue and clear, his
mouth was firm, and if the other fellows only knew it, he was as quick
as a flash in any game he was familiar with, and he was as graceful as
a deer in motion. He could run almost as fast as a deer, too.

His parents were not in easy circumstances and it was harder than
Harold knew for Mr. Case to spare the money which he did to send him to
Lowell. Harold would perhaps have been just as well pleased to attend
a college in California (just now when he thought of the cold Eastern
winter he wished to goodness that he had), but his father had been a
Lowell man, having been graduated with the class of 18--, and while it
was a little hard on him financially to do so, he had always wanted
Harold to be a Lowell man, and he was willing to work a little more
out there in California to do what he wanted for his son. He felt sure
Harold would make his mark in the world and he also had an idea that
his boy would add something to the fame of Lowell one way or the other.

At the same time the understanding was that after he got out of school
and began to earn money, Harold was to pay back this college money, and
so while there was enough to be fairly comfortable for his first year,
the young fellow always kept in mind the fact that he was in a way
living on borrowed money, and that the less he spent the smaller the
amount would be to be paid back.

For this reason, he had secured a room in a somewhat cheaper and
quieter part of town, some distance away from the campus, instead of
taking up his quarters in one of the Students’ Halls, and this fact
also, and because he was in a house with no other students, served to
keep him from making friends as easily as he might. If he had been
living where there were a lot of other fellows he would not have been
so lonesome, and the boys at Lowell would have known sooner what a
grand fellow he was.

Harold looked at his watch to see how long it would be to dinner time,
for he had a good appetite even if he was cold, and just then the
dinner gong sounded. He went down to the dining room where he found
Mrs. Malcolm and her young son, a lad of twelve, already seated at
table. The dinner was good, and Harold noticed a more cheerful air in
Mrs. Malcolm’s conversation. This was rather a surprise as there had
been a noticeable lack of laughter in the house lately, at least so he
had been thinking.

Mrs. Malcolm was a widow and had come to the college town, thinking
she could add something to the small income left her by her husband
by establishing herself in the boarding-house business. She had three
other rooms to rent, but up to this time Harold had been the only
boarder she was lucky enough to get, and lately she had been a little
bit discouraged. With a larger house than she needed for herself and
son and only one boarder, the increased expense was more than Harold
was paying her, so she was losing money on her idea.

This evening, however, she was more cheerful, and she soon gave the
reason. She had secured two other students as boarders that day. One
was to come that evening, and had taken the room next to Harold’s on
the same floor, and the other had taken the little room over his on the
third floor, but this fellow only rented the room with the privilege of
taking his meals where he pleased.

“The young man who is coming to-night is a freshman like yourself,”
said Mrs. Malcolm. “His home is in Texas; I think you will like him and
it will be real nice for you to have some one else in the house. His
name is Hagner.”

When dinner was over Harold went up to his room to do some studying.

“I feel as though I could be chums with a Mexican greaser to-night,”
thought Harold, “and I certainly will be glad to meet him.”

Shortly afterward the door bell rang and Harold heard an expressman
bringing a trunk up the stairs, followed by the footsteps of a young
man and also a lighter step, no doubt that of Mrs. Malcolm. After a
few moments there was a knock at his door, and when he opened it Mrs.
Malcolm asked him if she might introduce him to the new boarder, Mr.
Hagner.

Harold found a big, raw-boned, awkward-looking German, a young fellow
about six feet tall, weighing fully 175 pounds. He was heavy set,
bow-legged, and had massive shoulders and long arms, but when he moved
around there was a wonderful ease and grace apparent in his movements,
which was a surprise.

Mrs. Malcolm soon went out and left the two together in Hagner’s room.
Harold started to leave, too, saying that he would come in after Hagner
had unpacked.

“Don’t need to go for that reason,” said Hagner, as he opened his
trunk, ready to unpack.

“All right, if you don’t mind,” said Harold. “I’m kind of lonesome
to-night, anyhow.”

“What’s the matter?” asked the other, “anything gone wrong?”

“No,” said Harold, “but you see I’m from California and I don’t like
this blamed snow and cold. I’d rather be back where it’s warm every day
like I’m used to.”

“How long have you been here?” asked Hagner. “This must be your first
year, too?”

“It is. I’ve been here five months and it’s been mighty cold for three
months of that time. When did you come?”

“I just got in yesterday,” said Hagner, starting to unpack. “Never saw
snow before in my life. I am from Texas myself and we don’t have it
down there either. It’s wet, ain’t it? Don’t like it much myself. Guess
I’ll have to stand it, though. Don’t expect to see Texas again for a
couple of years, anyhow.”

Harold began to feel more cheerful. Here was a fellow to whom he could
tell about college. Compared with Hagner, Harold was an old timer, and
he began to feel good. Hagner kept on taking things out of his trunk.
He was having a hard time, getting something out that seemed to be laid
in crosswise between the clothes. Harold looked, and just then out it
came, and there stood Hagner with an old baseball bat in his hand. He
reached in with his left and pulled out an old fielder’s mitt, which
had a big hole right through the middle.

[Illustration: “Just then out it came and there stood Hagner with an
old baseball bat in his hand.”]

Harold’s eyes bulged. “Do you play ball?” he asked.

“A little,” said the other; “used to play around the back lots down
home. Had to play hookey from Sunday school to get a chance. Had to
work week days after school. You play?”

“Some,” said Harold.

“What position?”

“Pitcher,” said Harold, falling into the other’s way of talking.
“What’s your place?”

“Short,” said Hagner.

“Going to try for the team?” asked Harold.

“Will if they want me. You?”

“I’m going to make them want me. The best pitcher they had last year is
gone and they need some one.”

“Better try for something else. Everybody thinks he can pitch. Only a
few know how.”

“Well, I’m a Southpaw pitcher, and I was pretty good on the High School
team out home. Southpaws are scarce.”

“Left handed, eh! You look quick, too. Think you might make a first
baseman.”

“I’d rather pitch,” said Harold.

“All right, sir,” said Hagner. “You can pitch if you want to and if
they want you, but if they give me a chance any place, I think I can
stop them all right, and if I miss one occasionally, I think I can hold
the job with my bat. What’s your first name? Mine’s John, but you can
call me Hagner.”

“My first name is Harold, but you had better call me by my last name,
too.”

And so they talked baseball until long after midnight, and their
enthusiasm for the great American game made them friends at once, and
Harold went to bed feeling that the world was bright and warm and that
spring would be coming pretty soon, and he made up his mind right there
not to get homesick any more, but to dig more into his studies so that
his marks wouldn’t interfere with the amount of time he wanted to give
to baseball when practice started.



CHAPTER IV

THE JERRY HARRIMAN SCHOLARSHIP PRIZES


When Lowell University won the college baseball Championship in 1876
the victory was to a large extent due to the wonderful all-round work
of Jerry Harriman. As a pitcher he had never up to that time had an
equal, and he could play almost any other position on the team well. In
those days a club would have only one pitcher and he was expected to
pitch almost every game of the season, which often meant pitching every
day in the week but Sunday. When not pitching he played an outfield
position.

This is a whole lot different than the way the game is conducted in the
colleges to-day. In these days a nine will sometimes have half a dozen
pitchers and they don’t do anything but pitch and then only in their
regular turns. Besides being a great pitcher Jerry was also a great
batter. This was also unusual because very seldom do you find a good
pitcher who can bat, but Jerry could both pitch and bat and he made a
great name for himself as a college athlete.

After he had been graduated he went into business in a city in the
Middle West, and became very wealthy.

As a young lad he had been weak physically and his heart was said to be
affected. In fact, he was not expected to live to grow up. When he was
thirteen years old the doctors said he couldn’t live a year. There came
to his home town, however, about this time, a young man who opened a
school of Physical Culture. He had a wonderfully well developed body,
was a great enthusiast on athletics, and he made a great effort to get
the young boys around town who were weak physically to come to him.

He made his living by forming gymnasium classes among the business men
of the town and by his work with them got many a staid old business
man, who was constantly confined to his office, into the habit of
taking exercise regularly, and he made many a man who had become fat
and sick through lack of exercise strong again physically.

But he had a particular interest in the boys and he was especially fond
of getting up classes for poor young fellows who were, as said before,
undeveloped and weak. He taught these youngsters for nothing what he
knew about the fine results of taking exercise regularly, and many a
poor fellow who would have died young, he developed into a strong and
healthy young man who lived long and became prominent in business and
politics.

Among the young fellows who came to the attention of this Professor
Mitchell was young Harriman, who by this time, however, was so weak
that he couldn’t join any of the classes. In fact, Jerry couldn’t walk
across the room without holding on to a chair or something, and even
the Professor had some doubts as to his ability to do anything for him.

However, the case interested him and he came every day to the house for
some weeks and had Jerry do such exercises as he could. At first there
was no improvement that could be noticed, but after a couple of months
of the most careful and lightest exercise possible, a very decided
improvement began to be noticed. Very soon, by carefully doing exactly
as the Professor told him, Jerry began to get stronger, until by the
end of the first year all trace of his heart trouble had disappeared
and the Professor told him that if he would only make it his business
to take his exercises every day he would some day be as strong as any
boy.

It is not the idea of this chapter to go into all the details of how
Harriman became a strong young man. It is only fair to say, however,
that to him his regular and systematic exercise became as important
as his meals or washing his face, night and morning. When he saw how
exercise was improving him physically he became almost a crank on the
subject.

At any rate, he made a resolution that some day he would be just as
well developed physically as any athlete in the world, and he kept this
idea foremost in his thoughts, because he could see that if he had a
perfect physical development, his mental capacity would increase in
proportion. In the end he became a wonderfully well developed lad and
was a living example of what exercise will do for a boy, or man either,
for that matter.

During this time he went to school, and soon was able to join the games
of the other boys. In the High School and in the Preparatory College
he went in for athletics, and by the time he entered Lowell, even he
laughed when anybody recalled the fact that seven or eight years before
the doctors had given him up to an early death from heart trouble.

It has been necessary to give this much of the details of this part
of his life in order to show what it meant to Harriman to become the
greatest pitcher who had ever been in the box for any college in the
country, and also to give the boys who read this good reason for his
great interest in college athletics, after he had gone into business
and become wealthy, as shown by the scholarship prizes which he gave
each year to the best athletes in the various colleges of the country.

A Jerry Harriman Scholarship meant free tuition and Five Hundred
Dollars per year for living expenses at any college in the country
selected by the winner, for the complete college course. Mr. Harriman
was liberal in the number of scholarship prizes offered. Several young
fellows, generally poor boys, were presented each year with a complete
college education. There was a scholarship for the best all-round
football player, for basketball, for hockey and each of the track and
field events.

The scholarships were awarded by the Intercollegiate Athletic
Association, and were given without restriction to the one chosen by
the Association, except that a nominee’s college had to submit to
Mr. Harriman a record of the prize winner’s standing in his studies.
In this particular a good average standing was required. It was the
argument of Mr. Harriman that the pursuit of athletics in college need
not interfere with a fellow’s studies and that if you give a boy a
well developed body his brain will get the benefit of it, and with an
average record as a student, any boy might be expected to make his way
in the world.

Now baseball was the game which Jerry Harriman liked above all others.
He liked best to see it played and to play it himself, and so when he
came to make up his list of scholarship prizes he gave the baseball
fellows the best of it. He was then and still is a real “fan.” He loved
to see new stars developed on the diamond.

He thought it was the best and squarest game in the world and he wanted
his boys, as he called all college boys, to love and play the game.
Therefore he had always offered four scholarships in baseball, one for
the leading pitcher, one for the leading infielder, one for the leading
outfielder and batter, and one for the best all-round infielder and
batsman.

Naturally, having been the baseball champions for so long, the Lowell
nine generally got most of these scholarship prizes and it was very
pleasing to Mr. Harriman to see his old college secure so many of them.

The talk around the University wherever the students gathered often
came around to these scholarship prizes, especially as the time for
baseball approached.

Fellows like Jenkins, Larke, Everson and other of the older fellows,
some of whom had won them in years past, would bring up the subject
when they noticed any of the young freshmen around, just to get them to
thinking about it, and a good many youngsters had developed an ambition
to try for a scholarship and some of them to win one, just from hearing
these older fellows talk. And generally these talks would turn from
a discussion of the records of winners of the prizes to the most
thrilling performances of the individual stars.

The day of the first meeting in the cage called by Hughie, to give him
a chance to look over the candidates for the team, was the first time
that Case and Hagner had been present at one of these talks.

Hughie had given a general talk about the game and had talked with each
of the candidates, asking various questions, such as “what position do
you play?” “Can you bat? Can you pitch?” etc. After they had all thrown
the ball around for an hour, just playing catch so that Hughie could
notice the way the different fellows threw and swung, they sat around
gossiping with each other, nobody wanting to go home, when one of the
older fellows would say something about the Scholarship Prizes.

Generally there was some one present who didn’t know the details and
this offered a chance to tell all about the prizes.

In this case it was Hagner, who had been at school only a few weeks,
and all he knew about the prizes was what Case had been able to tell
him. After Everson had finished explaining the prizes fully the talk,
as usual, drifted on to the wonderful records of the prize winners
of the past. Not that sensational catches or such other stunts as
unassisted triple plays would in themselves secure one of the prizes,
for they would not.

Only the official scorer’s records showing the standing of the
candidates were considered, but it was generally the fellow who had the
best record for any given position who got the chance to pull off the
thrilling plays, because only the good players can do the wonderful
things.

When the talk turned to fielders who had been famous on some of the old
Lowell teams, it wasn’t long before they were telling stories about
great catches made by some of the fielders on championship teams of
years gone by.

On such occasions Fred Larke never forgot to tell about that great
catch made by Jimmy Ryan. How he in one game jumped clear over the
fence in right field which separated the bleachers from the playing
field, and caught a fly ball while falling into the crowd.

Johnny Everson then had to tell his story of Hughie Jenkins’ greatest
catch, when he was playing short in one of the Biltmore College games.
There was an enormous crowd out. The stands wouldn’t hold them all, so
they were let out on the field and there were so many that they crowded
close to the base lines. In the ninth inning the score was tied, one
out, and Bill Everett of Biltmore College on third. The batter hit a
high foul ball into the crowd back of third base. Some of them were
seated but most of them were standing. Jenkins hustled across from his
position at short, hurled himself through the air without paying any
attention to the crowd, caught the ball fair and square and then fell
in among the spectators. That made two out, but Hughie was after the
third one. Bill Everett touched third after the catch and started for
home. Hughie couldn’t see but he guessed that Everett had started. He
climbed up out of the crowd, stepped on the people he had knocked down,
and threw to the plate without looking. The ball went straight into the
catcher’s mitt and Everett was out easily. In the next inning Lowell
won the game.

[Illustration: “Jenkins hurled himself through the air.”]

Then, of course, Miner Black had to tell his remarkable catch story
about Jimmie Siegel in a twenty inning game with Eastern Pennsylvania.
How in the eighteenth inning with a runner on first base, the mightiest
hitter of the Pennsylvania nine drove a hard hit ball to left center.
Just at that moment, however, Siegel had put his hand in his hip pocket
to get out his handkerchief, as the day was hot and the game was a hard
one.

Jimmie, of course, started after the ball, and made an effort to pull
his hand out of his pocket while running. It wouldn’t come out. He
jerked and jerked and still it stuck. Meantime the ball had to be
caught on the run and Jimmie had to make a try for it some way. He
leaped in the air, twisted, stuck up his left hand and caught it with
his back to the diamond. Jimmie threw the ball into the diamond with
his left hand. Strange to say his right hand then came out of his
pocket easily. He wiped the perspiration off his face, grinned, and the
crowd went wild for they realized why he had gone after it with one
hand.

After such talks the “freshies,” who had made some pretty fine catches
on the back lots at home, always made a resolution to do something
equally startling when they got on the Varsity, and the candidates
at Lowell this year were a good deal like all the other freshmen
candidates who had gone before them in this respect. This really was
a good thing for the boys, although, of course, many of them never
realized their ambitions for such fame.



CHAPTER V

THE FIRST LINE-UP


“Well, what do you think of your freshman phenoms?”

It was Johnny Everson who was speaking. Johnny besides being the
regular second baseman of the Varsity was the chum of Hughie Jenkins,
the manager of the team and his chief adviser with Captain Larke.
Johnny knew the game from top to bottom and across the middle. They
called him “a little bunch of brains and nerves,” and he deserved the
compliment.

He was small in size, but large in brains and many a game had been won
for the college by his quick work at trying moments, to say nothing
of the fact that he was largely responsible for the discovery and
development of many of the plays which had come to be known as “inside
baseball.” He had an aggressive chin which seemed to be always pointing
forward, and his eye was as quick and accurate as a sharpshooter’s.

“We seem to have a good many gaps to fill and I guess we will find
mostly yaps to fill them with,” he went on; “anyway that’s the way I
feel to-night after looking over the unpromising material that we put
through the stunts at the cage to-day.”

“I don’t feel discouraged. You can never tell, of course, on one trial,
but watching some of those youngsters this afternoon made me think that
with a little training some of them will make good,” said Hughie.

“Let’s go over the list and mark the fixtures we can count on, and
then we can tell what we have to do to get a real nine together,” said
Everson.

“All right. At second we have _you_,” said Hughie, “and I guess we
won’t need to worry about the Keystone bag, and at third we have
Delvin, who I think, will develop this year into a great star at the
near station. Captain Larke will handle left field all right as usual,
Miner Black will come back stronger than ever this year in the box,
and George Gibbs will, I think, do the catching all right. That’s just
about half a team, isn’t it?”

“Now, at the first sack we need somebody to take Penny’s place, and I
must confess that I did not notice any likely candidate, unless it was
Dill.”

“We are going to have a hard time, I think, to find some one at short
in place of our good friend Joe Brinker.”

“Did you notice the bowlegged and awkward-looking German named Hagner
in the cage to-day?” broke in Everson. “If he wasn’t so big and awkward
looking, he might be able to bat and we could play him in the outer
gardens, but I hardly think he would ever make a shortstop.”

“I hardly think so either,” said Jenkins, “but I had a talk with him
and he said he could play short. I have also had a report from Texas,
where he came from, that he is a perfect terror at bat. I can hardly
hope though that he will be able to fill Brinker’s place. I think if we
could figure out some scheme to remodel his anatomy we might be able to
make something out of him. Still he may be a diamond in the rough. I
don’t think you can tell anything about any of them until you see them
work in the open air for a week or two.”

“What do you think about right field?” asked Johnny.

“If I am not mistaken,” answered Hughie, “we have the real prize
package in that young chap from Georgia, Robb (a regular cracker name,
isn’t it)? Did you notice him at all? Did you ever see more speed? I am
knocking on wood when I talk about him, because I don’t want to fool
myself, but if I was a scout for a professional team, and saw this
fellow Robb playing ball on some back lot, I think I’d buy him without
instructions from headquarters.”

“Lots of them look like stars the first few days of spring,” said
Johnny. “I noticed Robb particularly, too. I was thinking that while he
is a clean-cut looking fellow, I’d hate to get into a fight with him,
because he looks like a chap who has no fear of anything.”

“Besides Robb there were half a dozen others who looked like they might
be made into fielders,” said Hughie. “There was Talkington, McKee,
Raymur, Oakley, Lunley, and Flack. If any of them know how to swing
a bat, I think we will be able to teach them what they need to know
about catching flies.”

“As usual most of the candidates want to pitch and if Miner is all
right this year we won’t need any one to help him, except, perhaps, a
left-hander. Did you notice anything promising along this line? I was
so busy looking over the fielders and possible first basemen that I
didn’t pay much attention to the pitchers. I rather liked the delivery
of Crossley the short time he was throwing. He looked promising for a
rich man’s son.”

“Besides that will be easier when old man Young gets here and we get
them out for coaching. You can also pick them out in batting practice.
Just tell them to throw straight swift balls over the plate and you
can pick out the poor ones anyhow, because a pitcher who can’t put a
straight ball over nine times out of ten, isn’t worth developing. Then
by the time Young gets a chance at them for a week we’ll know which are
no good at all, and what ones it will pay him to coach.”

“I had a talk,” said Johnny, “with that California lad, Case. He is a
quiet chap and unassuming. He says he is a southpaw pitcher too, and he
may be what we are looking for.”

A few days after this talk in Hughie’s room the snow began to melt and
within a week Lowell field, which had for months been covered with
snow and ice, suddenly took on a greenish look, the ground became dry
and firm and everyone began to feel the spring in the air. One day,
not long after, there appeared upon the bulletin board the following
notice:

    University Baseball. Outdoor practice. On the field at 1 P. M.
    February 25th. Candidates must bring their own suits.

    HUGH JENKINS, _Manager_.

There was joy in the hearts of the hundred, for there were about that
number who hoped to be picked for the Varsity. Out of the hundred, at
least ninety were certain to be disappointed as far as the Varsity was
concerned, for there were only about ten places to fill, counting the
substitutes.

Of course, there was a chance that a fellow would get on the second
squad which might help him to the Varsity next year, and then there was
always the freshman team which was formed last and which generally was
an all pitcher team, so to speak, because every man on it had nursed
secret hopes of making the Varsity his first year, as a pitcher.

Harold Case was out early. He had come to the field with Hagner and was
now sitting on the steps of the clubhouse waiting for Hagner, who had
become his good friend. It was a strange friendship that had sprung up
between these two--the tall big-boned and awkward German lad, almost a
man in looks, and this young and exceedingly graceful Western lad, and
both were profiting by it.

While he was sitting there, what was left of last year’s champions
trotted out on the field. Gibbs, second catcher last year, and Larke,
old cronies; Black and Delvin; and last of all, of course, the
inseparables, Everson and Jenkins. The rest of the candidates straggled
out on to the field in twos and threes, to the number of fully a
hundred, and presently Hagner came out with his old bat and glove in
hand and Harold got up and they walked over to the diamond together.

“Better not let yourself out any to-day,” said Hagner, as they
approached the others who had already paired off and were tossing balls
back and forth to each other.

Before Harold had time to answer, however, Jenkins had said the same
thing practically.

“Getting ready for a baseball season isn’t quite like developing a
football team,” said Hughie. “In football you have to get the team
in shape for one or two big games, each of them requiring a terrific
outburst of energy, without thinking about the morrow, but in the case
of a baseball nine you have to develop your bodies to withstand the
strain of a long series of games, mostly in warm weather, and you must
start slowly and get into condition gradually, so do not try to do it
all to-day.

“Another thing, in football we train the team to withstand hard knocks,
a sort of bull-dog development, while a baseball team must have the
nice strength of a greyhound so as to enable it to keep going at top
speed for a long time, and so I want you to go easy.”

So he had them stand in circles, making five or six groups, and pass
around medicine balls, an exercise to strengthen the trunk muscles.
Then they paired off again, and tossed the baseball to each other two
by two--gently--just like boys playing catch.

All at once Hughie called out, “Come on, boys, around the field,” and
starting off in front he trotted all the way round the field along the
fence. By the time they got started on the second round a lot of the
fellows were puffing and blowing hard and found it difficult to keep
up, but Hughie knew how important it was for a ball player to have wind
and he knew this kind of a stunt practiced a couple of times a day
would fix them up in good shape by the time the games started.

Then he called them all up to the plate for batting practice, and asked
if there was any fellow around who could pitch. He knew, of course,
that Miner Black was there, but Miner knew enough not to say anything.
What Hughie wanted was to find out what kind of control these new
fellows who thought they could pitch had with a slow straight ball.
Hughie and Coach Young, who had arrived, stood back of the plate with
Everson and Larke watching.

Out of the dozen youngsters who said they would try he picked out
Hackett and told him to go into the box.

“Now go ahead,” said Hughie. “Don’t use any curves and don’t try to
burn them over; just give us some slow straight balls and try to get
them across the plate.”

What he really was trying to do besides give the men batting practice
was to get a line on the new pitching material, and this was the best
way to get it.

Then he had the batters take turns at the plate, and each fellow was
expected to stay there until he had made a hit, Hughie standing by
showing each, especially the new ones, how to stand up to the ball and
meet it fairly. Hackett, the first pitcher, didn’t seem to be able to
get them anywhere near the plate, and so Hughie told the next one,
Crossley, to go in and give it a trial. He was a little better, but
they had finally to call on Miner to put a few over.

As usual, Miner was long on control. Johnny Everson stepped to the
plate. Miner served one up and bing! The ball went scurrying out to
right field. Each fellow took his turn at bat. Boys like Delvin, Larke
and Gibbs--standing up like veterans and cracking the hits out in fine
shape, giving a little more running practice to some of the youngsters
who had been sent out to the field to chase the balls.

Finally it came Hagner’s turn. He stepped up to the plate and stood
there rather slouchily and loosely, far away from the mark as if he
were afraid of the ball.

“Better step up a little closer,” said Hughie, “he won’t hit you.”

“All right,” said Hagner, “I want to learn all about it.”

Miner served up one to him straight as an arrow. Hagner swung hard
at it and missed. He felt a bit surprised himself. The next one he
fouled off the bat near his hands. Just as Miner sent up the third
ball Hagner stepped back from the plate, swung the bat easily, met
it squarely and crack went the ball in a white streak clean over the
center field fence!

[Illustration: “Hagner swung hard and missed.”]

Miner looked at him surprised and said, “You can’t do that again.”

The next time Hagner came up, Miner decided to use some curves and
make him earn his hit. He sent up what looked like a fast straight
ball about waist high. Hagner swung on it and missed. The ball had a
terrific out curve and, of course, Hagner understood they were only to
be straight. He eyed Miner closely and when he started to pitch Hagner
stooped over to watch the ball like a hawk. On came the ball, starting
wide of the plate and Hagner first decided it was a ball and then as
the inshoot started in toward the plate, quick as a wink Hagner swung
his bat and over the fence she went again.

The fellows went wild. Hughie and Everson standing back of the batting
cage looked at each other. “What do you know about that?” asked Everson.

“I don’t know anything,” said Hughie. “For a big awkward fellow, he
seems to be about the quickest thing I ever saw. Why! he didn’t even
look ready to hit at that ball until it started to shoot in toward the
plate, and I was sure he was going to let it go by. If he can bat like
that regularly, we’ll play him some place if he fumbles every ball that
is batted to him.”

Pretty soon Hughie asked, “Haven’t we got another left-hander here?”

“There ought to be,” said Everson, looking around. “Here, Case, get out
there and show what you can do. This is your chance.”

“Thanks,” said Case in his polite way. “I’ll try if you want me to.”
He walked into the box and picked up the ball where Miner had dropped
it. He had not really tried to pitch since last summer and was a little
nervous. The first ball went a little bit wide. The second one nearly
hit the batter. The line of waiting batters grinned.

“Southpaws are either very good or very bad,” said Captain Larke to
Delvin. After he had thrown a dozen balls or so, however, Case’s arm
got in working order and only an occasional ball went wide of the
plate.

“He seems to be pretty good on the straight ones,” said Jenkins. “If he
can do as well when we let them begin to try the curves, I think we can
put him on as a substitute.”

“What do you think of the bunch in general?” asked Everson.

“Well,” said Hughie, “I think I can see a team out of this crowd all
right, though I am not quite sure of Dill at first base. This fellow
Robb seems to be a fine batter and so does Talkington. Coach Young
says there was one of the young pitchers that looked good, too--young
Radams. If this Hagner knows as much about any position as he seems
to about batting, I think I’ll let him choose his position. Think of
trying to tell him how to stand up to the plate. He’s just a natural
ball player. Don’t believe he knows himself how he hits them. Black
told me, after he came out of the box, that he did his best to fool
Hagner every time after that first time up, and you know how he
succeeded. We’ll know more when we get them out on the diamond in the
various positions.”

By this time the sun was sinking and it was too dark for further
practice. Hagner and Case walked over to the clubhouse together.

“You sure made a hit with the crowd to-day, Hagner,” said Case.

“I made five hits with my bat,” said Hagner, “two of them over the
fence.”

“Guess you will make the team all right,” remarked Case. “I heard
Jenkins say, any fellow who can bat like that can take his pick of
positions and play any one he likes.”

“Good. I’ll play shortstop if they give a choice.”

“Wish I had made as big a hit as you,” said Case.

“You did, because I heard Everson and Jenkins talking it over, too;
and they said you had excellent control, and if you did well with the
curves they could carry you with the team. If I were you, however, I’d
learn to play some position, and make your way as a utility player. You
see, left-handed pitchers are all right, but with a regular pitcher
like this Miner Black here, you wouldn’t often get a chance to pitch
more than an inning or two, anyhow.”

“I don’t know,” said Case, “how good this Miner Black is, but I think I
can beat him to the regular pitching job.”

“All right,” said Hagner, “but if you don’t have any more luck at
ousting him than most of the fellows have had hitting him, you’ll be
out of a regular job on the team for a long time. I’d practice playing
the first bag. Still think you’d make a first baseman.”

“I don’t think so,” said Case, as they entered the dressing room to
change their clothes, “besides either Dill or Ross seems sure to land
the job.”

The second week of out-door practice the regular work of the boys was
increased. At batting practice every fellow was expected to run clear
around the bases after he made his hit. The coaches and managers got a
line on the base-running ability of the boys in this way. Hagner, Robb,
Case and Talkington all showed up well in this direction.

Toward the end of the week the fellows were lined up on the diamond at
their regular positions, the coaches trying out the various candidates
for the fielding jobs. Hughie batted grounders to the infield, to each
of them in turn.

After each play the ball was thrown from base to base in all of the
different combinations necessary to all the imaginary situations, from
short to first it went, from first to third, from third home, and from
there to second, a white streak, the speed of the players increasing
daily as the men got surer of their positions.

Others were batting flies to the outfield and the coaches were moving
about watching the work of each man as he was tried in the different
positions. Each of the fielders was given a variety of work, at bunting
and the fielding of bunts, catching high infield flies, picking up
sizzling grounders, etc. This work enabled Hughie to pick out his first
line-up for the first and second squads.

By the middle of March the two squads were playing practice games among
themselves.

The first squad generally lined up as follows:

    1st Base            Dill
    2nd Base            Everson
    3rd Base            Delvin
    Short               Hagner
    Right Fielder       Robb
    Center Fielder      Talkington
    Left Fielder        Larke
    Catcher             Gibbs
    Pitcher             Black

The second squad was composed of a miscellaneous crew generally lined
up as follows:

    1st Base            Ross
    2nd Base            Gane
    3rd Base            Conley
    Short               Wallach
    Right Fielder       Raymur
    Center Fielder      Oakley
    Left Fielder        McKee
    Catcher             McLuin
    Pitcher             Radams

Harold Case was a sort of substitute pitcher for both squads. He would
relieve Black for a while for the first squad and Radams for the other
squad, so that both teams got plenty of practice in batting a left-hand
pitcher. There was no way for him to find out in advance what Jenkins
thought of him, but he had high hopes of making the team, and he felt
absolutely confident that if he ever got a chance in one of the full
regular games, he would be able to make good. Crossley also was given
a good deal of work during these practice games, as he gave promise
of doing well and it began to look as though the choice for left-hand
pitchers would be between these two.



CHAPTER VI

PICKING THE VARSITY


On the 21st day of March as Harold with the other members of the squads
was in the dressing room after practice, the head coach came into the
room with a slip of paper in his hand which he posted on the Bulletin
Board. There was a rush to read the notice as soon as the coach had
departed, and several faces, as they turned away, wore a look of
disappointment, while others seemed proud and happy.

Hagner and Case finally finished dressing and turned to the board to
read the bulletin before going out. This is what they read:

    VARSITY TRAINING TABLE--The training table will start in the
    morning at Prettyman’s and the following men for the first
    squad will report there for breakfast--Everson, Delvin, Larke,
    Gibbs, Black, Hagner, Robb, Talkington, Dill, Case, Radams,
    Ross and Huyler. About the first of next month the list may be
    increased or changed. Breakfast at eight o’clock sharp. Members
    are required to be on time.

                                            HUGH JENKINS, _Manager_.

“Guess I’ll get a chance to pitch after all,” said Harold. It was a
great day for him and he was highly elated. The 19-- Varsity had begun
to take definite shape, and being named on it meant recognition by the
great student body as possessing something worth while in the line of
ability. The news spread rapidly through the University and wherever
the boys who had been named went they were treated with honor and
respect.

Breakfast the first morning at the training table was a good deal of
a get-together, get-acquainted affair. I do not know what it is that
makes the choice of nicknames or how it is that it comes easier to
know some fellows by either their first or last names, others by an
abbreviation of one or the other, and still others by adoption of
something entirely different, but when boys get to a certain stage of
acquaintance with each other there comes a spontaneous desire to bestow
a nickname and these names generally fit in a remarkable way. Harold
Case went to breakfast known as Case and came out to be forever known
to Lowell men as Hal.

John Hagner started to drink his coffee that morning as Hagner and
when he had folded his napkin he was known as both Hans and Honus, why
nobody ever could tell, and the names stuck to him for life.

Charles Radams came away with the nickname Babe and as Babe he went
down into the Lowell Book of Heroes.

Everson had always been Everson before. He was Everson when he sat
down to the table that morning, and he was still Everson when he left
the room, though why this little brainy Crab should have gotten off
without a nickname is far beyond me.

You would think that Larke, who was always jolly, either whistling or
singing when not eating or asleep, would have been named The Lark years
before, but no, they called him just Cap., yet they had always called
Gibbs, Gibbie.

If there were a regular rule for nicknames they would undoubtedly have
called Black, White, but they always referred to him as Miner. Delvin
they generally called Arthur.

There was something stiff about Dill which was a good deal like the way
he played first base in the few games he lasted on the Varsity that
year, and the dispenser of nicknames overlooked him entirely at that
first breakfast. In fact, he never did acquire one, for he was dropped
from the team before anyone could really find a good name to fit him.
Pickle would have been a good name for him, and also his fate so far as
the team was concerned.

Talkington was a quiet young chap, who said very little either at the
table or on the field, so that “Talkie” or “Mr. Speaker,” or anything
like that wouldn’t seem natural at all, so they called him “Tris” and
let it go at that.

Robb might really have been given a fitting name at the end of the
season. If they had waited until then they would undoubtedly have
called him Robb because he had developed into the greatest base stealer
the game ever knew, but somebody had passed him the oatmeal that
morning, after he had demanded it vigorously, with a “Here you are,
Tyrant,” and Ty he is to-day--a very short name for so long a fellow.

A week later they played the first real game of the season, the first
real test of the line-up as it had been worked out by Jenkins. The
game, which was with Colfax, a small neighboring college, was not an
important one. Never had they been able to beat Lowell and rarely in
all the games that had taken place between the two teams had Lowell
been even scored upon. As it was, it was hardly even a test game for
the Varsity. Hal sat on the players’ bench with his chin on his hands,
and watched the Colfax boys getting licked.

There wasn’t anything very exciting about sitting on the bench and
there was nothing very encouraging about the playing of even the Lowell
boys. With the exception of a hair-raising one-handed stop by Hagner of
a fast grounder over second, and a wonderfully accurate throw to first
without getting into position, and the fine work of Gibbie behind the
bat in stopping Babe Radams’ wild drops and curves which the Colfax
boys struck at blindly, the game was dull and uninteresting.

If the Colfax team had not had the usual attack of stage fright that
struck it whenever it played Lowell, it probably would have won. Dill
on first dropped three throws in succession made by Everson to catch
runners at first, and if it had not been for the accurate throwing of
Gibbie to Delvin and Everson who nipped all base runners as they tried
to reach second and third, there is no knowing but that the Colfax
team might have scored, to say nothing of the possibility of winning.
Hagner had fumbled an easy grounder, only to make a jumping catch of
a high liner from the bat of the next man, which he promptly threw to
first completing a double as Dill did not miss that one.

Ty in right field had misjudged the only chance he had but had
recovered the ball in time to catch his man at third with a quick throw
and Delvin at the bag to receive it.

[Illustration: “Ty misjudged the only chance he had.”]

By the end of the seventh inning the score stood 8 to 0 in favor of
Lowell in spite of the poor playing. The Varsity had batted well,
nearly every one had made hits, Everson had 1; Honus, 2; Delvin, 1;
Ty, 2; Tris, 2; Cap., 1; Gibbie, 1; Dill, 1; and even Babe Radams had
dropped a Texas Leaguer over second. Hal had sat on the bench all the
time with Ross and Miner and some of the second squad.

At the beginning of the eighth, Jenkins turned to Ross and said: “You
cover the first bag,” and then to Hal, “Go on in the box for a little
real practice, Hal.” “That’s all right, Babe,” noticing a look of
disappointment on Radams’ face. “You are doing fine, but you can’t have
all the practice.”

“Remember, Hal,” he called from the bench, “let them hit it, but we
can’t have any scoring against us.”

“All right,” said Hal, as he picked up the ball.

The first man up hit the first ball pitched for a base. The second
batter laid down a neat bunt along the first base line. Ross, the
first baseman, came in for it, and Hal hustled over to cover the bag.
Meantime the batter who was fast man, was tearing down the base line
like mad. Ross made a good pick-up and turned to throw.

By that time the batter was only a few feet from the bag where Hal was
to receive the throw. Ross had to throw quick and in doing so threw
the ball at Hal’s feet. Hal reached down, made a neat pick-up, and the
umpire waved the runner out.

There was now one out with a man on second. The third batter hit a hard
one at Everson, who retired the runner at first, the man on second
reaching third. The next batter hit a slow bounder between the box and
first. Hal started after the ball, grabbed it on the bounce with one
hand and without stopping raced to first base, which he reached just
ahead of the runner, making the third out.

As he walked to the bench Jenkins came up to meet him and patting him
on the back, said: “Good boy, Hal,” which was fine, Hal thought.

It was his turn at bat, and he walked to the plate with high hopes of
making at least a two bagger. The first ball looked like a straight one
so Hal took a good swing at it and missed. “That’s all right,” called
Hughie from the coaching lines, “there will be two more better ones
coming over directly.” The next was a ball. The third was a slow one,
and as Hal noticed the left-fielder playing pretty far out he thought
he would just tap it for a nice little short fly back of third. He
thought of this as the ball was coming toward him from the pitcher’s
hands. He whirled his bat with a short, quick swing and--thud--he heard
the ball strike the catcher’s mitt.

“Well,” he heard Hughie calling him, “you only need one to hit it, and
you got one left.” The next two balls he fouled off. The next two the
umpire called balls and it was two strikes and three balls. Hal set
himself for the last one. It was now or never. Here was probably his
only chance to-day to make a hit and he might not get into another game
for weeks and show what he could do with his bat. Slowly the pitcher
started to wind up. Hal watched every move. Here it came waist high and
straight. Now watch it. He swung at it hard. He heard first--a tick,
then a thud. He had made a foul tip and the ball had struck in the
catcher’s mitt.

“That’s all right,” he heard Hughie saying, “we don’t expect pitchers
to hit ’em anyhow.” But Hal was disappointed and sore as he walked to
the bench. The next two men were retired on infield hits, and as Hal
walked to the box to pitch the first half of the ninth inning he was
nervous and mad at himself.

The result was he served up four bad balls in succession and there was
a man on first. The next up hit the first ball right at Ross who was
hugging the base and he booted it. Hal was over on first bag in a jump
but Ross got the ball to him too late to earn an assist and there were
two men on and nobody out. The crowd began to yell, “Take him out.”
“Where’s Miner?” but Jenkins paid no attention. Many a pitcher had
given a base on balls, and Hal was not responsible for the second man.

He got ready to pitch as he faced the batter; he somehow felt the man
was going to bunt. As he delivered the ball he started toward the plate
on the run, following the ball in. The batter bunted. Hal was almost
on top of him. He reached out, caught the ball off the bat before it
had reached the ground, thus making a caught fly out of what would have
been a perfect bunt, whirled around and fired the ball to Everson at
second, who nearly missed it because the play was almost too quick for
him, thus completing a remarkable double play.

[Illustration: “He caught it before it hit the ground.”]

The crowd cheered. He heard them saying: “Oh! You! Hal! Good boy! You
needn’t take him out!” and he felt so good he went back into the box
and struck out the next batter and the game was over. Then there was
the usual rush to get the sweaters, and the fans and players hustling
to get off the field as fast as they could together--the fans to get
home to dinner and the players to the shower baths and rub-downs.

Hal hustled along with the rest. On the way he caught up with and
passed Jenkins and Everson, together as usual. They did not see
him, but he heard Jenkins say: “He looks more like a fielder than a
pitcher,” and he thought they meant him. Later, as he walked along to
his boarding house with Hans, they talked about the game, and the part
each of them had taken in it, and Hans said, “I think you would make
a good first baseman,” but Hal, who thought he had come out of his
pitching test pretty well said, “But you see they don’t need a first
baseman (they all have their bad days like Dill and Ross to-day), and
they may need a good pitcher any time.”



CHAPTER VII

HAL AND CROSSLEY


There were quite a number of disappointed candidates the day the
Varsity list was posted. The disappointment was felt most by the boys
who had an idea that they were the real thing as pitchers. A pitcher
can rarely do anything but pitch, and a large percentage of boys who
think they have the pitching ability do not make good when put to the
real test. And so when they picked out the candidates for the Varsity
that year, a great number of fellows who had high hopes missed even the
second squad and finally landed on the freshman team.

Among the fellows who had hopes of making the team was Edward Crossley.
He had reported as a pitcher and had been given a good many try-outs
in the batting practice, and at first Hughie was attracted by his work
and had one or two talks with him about his experience. Hughie’s first
impression was that Crossley could be developed into a substitute or
extra pitcher as he was strong and could throw a swift ball. He also
seemed to be able to serve up curves fairly well. But Hughie had to
change his mind about Crossley. He was too erratic.

The trouble with Crossley was that he was a spoiled son of a very rich
man. He had the most luxurious rooms of any of the fellows at Lowell.
He had a servant and an automobile. He had lots of money to spend and
he didn’t hesitate to “blow it” as the boys say. He was a good fellow
with the boys whom he chose to make his friends and he liked and was
liked by those with whom he came in contact as long as no one tried to
do things different from the way he wanted them done.

Crossley had been brought up to think that every thing he wanted he
could have. The fault was largely with his parents. They gave him
everything he asked for and denied him nothing. Once in a while his
parents would try to curb his desire for one thing or another, and then
Crossley would pout and his parents gave in.

This gave Crossley a very wrong idea of the world in general. But he
was to find that there were other people in the world besides himself
and that they had ideas of their own and that many of them were just as
selfish in their ideas as he was. When he met this kind of a fellow he
got furiously angry.

When he came to Lowell he naturally thought that the son of so wealthy
a man as his father would receive special attention by the college
people and students. When he found out that merit alone counted in
Lowell affairs, he was furious. When he saw some fellow who could do
some one thing better than he could and who, therefore, received the
attention which his accomplishment warranted, he became very jealous.

When he wanted anything that came to him as a desire, he would stop at
nothing in his efforts to get it, by hook or crook.

The result of it all was that after he had been at college for a few
months he had not done anything worth while for himself, and outside of
a small number of fellows who were brought up like himself he had not
made many friends who would do him any good.

One of the things he asked his father for in the early spring was a new
automobile. His father would just as soon have sent it as not, but he
had been reading something about other boys doing wonderful things in
football at college, and he was disappointed that his son wasn’t in it.
So he had what to him was a brilliant idea, and he wrote his son that
he would present him with a new $15,000 imported car the day he was
named for the Varsity. This looked easy to Crossley.

At home, Crossley, the rich man’s son, had bought the suits for the
High School nine. His father had fixed up a fine ball park for the boys
to play in and he had done all this because his son had asked him to
and because he had insisted upon it.

Of course, Crossley had a right, under the circumstances, to say which
position on the team he would play, and he had promptly selected
the job as pitcher. At first he was no good at all, but he hired a
professional player to teach him and at the end of the year he had
developed into a pretty good pitcher. In fact, he might easily have
become a first-class flinger if his habits had been steady. Crossley
had come to Lowell from White College, a little school in the West,
and he had been the pitcher for the team there.

When Hughie first began to take notice of Crossley he couldn’t
understand how a fellow could do so well one day and so poorly another.
It puzzled him a good deal. He finally wrote to a friend who was
coach at White College and from him he found out what the trouble
was. Crossley had been a good pitcher for White. As good as they ever
had, but he would not observe the training rules and he would smoke
cigarettes and take an occasional drink. This made him erratic and
unreliable at times.

Furthermore, he had a terribly jealous disposition and bad temper and
couldn’t stand it to have anybody but himself praised when he was
around. Hughie’s friend doubted very much if Crossley would be of any
real service at Lowell, especially if he continued his habits there as
at White.

Hughie read this with a good deal of interest but Crossley had shown
up pretty well in practice and Jenkins was inclined to think that the
boy might have gotten over his childishness since, being at Lowell. So
Hughie decided to reserve his judgment.

When the first Varsity list was made up a few days later, Hughie and
the coaches had finally to decide between Crossley and Hal as left-hand
pitchers. They both showed up about the same in the box and the
decision was finally made in Hal’s favor. So his name went on the list
and Crossley was sent to the second squad.

Now Crossley had wanted this automobile very much and he was
disappointed. He felt that Case had beat him out of the position. He
became furiously jealous and made a resolution that he would “get” Hal
in one way or another. What the way was he himself did not know, but he
had a cunning mind and he decided to lay some deep plans to undermine
Hal, and then he would get the job and the auto.

A day or two after the Colfax game, the two squads were lined up for
general practice. The practice was principally devoted to batting and
base running. One squad would take the field lined up in the regular
positions, and the other at bat. Each batter remained at the plate
until he got a hit. Then he ran to first of course. From there he was
expected to steal his way round the bases.

Of course it is hard to steal a base when the other side knows what
you are going to do, but stealing bases is a very important part of
the game. Everson was on the lines helping Hughie instructing on base
stealing. And squad No. 2 was at bat. Hal had been asked to see what he
could do at the second bag. A few minutes afterward Crossley came up
for his turn at bat, and made a hit and went to first. Then Hughie, who
was on the coaching line back of first, told him to steal on the next
ball pitched. Crossley was a good runner and Hal was not used to the
position. He had stuck to the bag the way first basemen do, to receive
the throw from the catcher. The catcher threw quickly to Hal who had
the ball in his hand waiting for Crossley when the latter was still
fifteen feet from the base. The natural thing for Crossley to have done
was to slide. Instead he came the rest of the way standing up, and when
he was five feet from the bag he gave a jump for the bag, and landed
with both feet, spikes and all, on Hal’s right foot, cutting him badly,
and knocking him down. They both rolled over in the dirt, and Hal had
to be picked up and carried from the field.

Hughie and Everson had hold of Crossley and were calling him various
kinds of names for such bone-headed conduct--for once in their lives
both of these boys had been fooled--they thought what they had seen was
Crossley’s idea of stealing a base and were wondering where he got such
an idea.

Hal himself as he was carried from the field by Hans, thought it was
his own fault standing on second base as he did with the ball in his
hands, instead of running up the line out of the path of the runner and
touching him out before he got to the bag.

Hal blamed no one but himself, but Hans, while he said nothing, had
seen the look in Crossley’s eye as he started for second, and had
watched him all the way. He had noted particularly the viciousness
of Crossley’s jump and the care with which he brought his feet down
on the right spot and while he knew of no reason why Crossley should
have it in for Hal, he knew there was something back of it. Hal’s foot
was pretty badly cut, but the doctor fixed him up, sent him home in a
carriage and told him he’d better not put his uniform on for three or
four days.

He was out next day with a cane, and his foot did not hurt him
particularly. He went to the ball grounds and watched the boys practice
and he got to thinking that he hadn’t counted on being injured. He had
been spiked before, however, and he felt that with proper care he would
be back in the game again soon, and not knowing that he had an enemy,
he had no reason for not feeling good.

[Illustration: “He was out next day with a cane.”]



CHAPTER VIII

BAD NEWS FROM HOME AND FLIGHT


Hal, in fact, was feeling very good about this time. The winter’s cold
had given way to the rare warmth of the Eastern spring. The grass
was green, the trees were in leaf, the sun was just right--not too
warm--like his own balmy California. He was making friends among the
students, his prospects of getting into some of the big games were very
good--he was happy. He had a good chum in Hagner, whose more extended
experience with the hard knocks of the world had made him wise for his
age, and he was a good adviser for Hal.

You see Hagner had worked for everything he had gotten in the world.
He couldn’t remember when he didn’t work. When he was going to Grammar
School he sold papers at night and Saturdays. In the mornings he had to
get up early and deliver milk to the few people who could be induced to
patronize the Hagner dairy which consisted of two cows only--and whose
entire output didn’t warrant a wagon or bottles--so Hans delivered the
milk in tin pails.

One summer he worked in a barber shop, because that was the only thing
that he could find to do around the little town where he lived. When
he got into High School he gave up the milk and paper business to a
younger brother and spent his time clerking in a grocery store every
evening and on Saturdays, and made enough money that way, so that his
parents were content to let him follow out his ambition to secure an
education.

On Sundays he played baseball when it was baseball weather and in Texas
where he lived it was that kind of weather nearly all the year round.
That’s where he learned to like the game and also where he learned
the first principles of it. After he had been graduated from the High
School he went to Wahoo College, which was only fifty miles from his
home.

It was a little more than a preparatory institution, although the
course of study was broad enough so that a graduate from there could
enter Lowell without further examination. The summer before going to
Wahoo College Hagner had sold books--was a real book agent--and he made
enough money in the three months to keep him at college for a year. The
expenses at Wahoo were not large, and there was something left over
for his folks. This he did every year while at Wahoo, so that he was
able to give all of his time at school to his studies, and baseball. He
learned to love the game as nothing else in the world. He found he had
a certain naturalness which few boys possess. He seemed instinctively
to do the right thing at the right time, and this developed a great
deal of confidence in himself. His greatest ambition was to have a fine
education, but as a small boy it didn’t look as though that would ever
come. But little by little, as he did the things he had to do, he found
he was getting there.

He had gone through High School and made his own way, and at Wahoo
College he still made his own way, getting stronger and more confidence
in himself every day. He stood well in his studies and he got his good
marks by hard work and constant application.

On the little college team Hans was quite a wonder. What ability he
displayed there he thought was all natural.

As a matter of fact he studied the game of baseball as hard as he did
his Cæsar. He developed a lot of ability as a batter but he got it by
studying how to hold his bat, how to stand up at the plate, by watching
every movement of the pitcher, and keeping his eye on the ball all the
time and by learning not to be afraid of being hit.

So by the time he had arrived at Lowell he had a lot of confidence in
himself. He knew he could get out at any time and make a living as a
salesman. His confidence and earnestness were a great help to him in
that line, as they were in everything, and Hagner had gotten to the
point, even though only twenty-four, where he was absolutely sure of
himself, and he didn’t have to worry about anything but how to make
the most of his time at the University--how to get the most out of his
studies and how to have the most fun as time offered.

For this reason he was a good deal of help to Hal who had never had
to hustle for himself, although, as he knew, his folks had pinched and
saved in order to give him this first year at Lowell. His folks had
been sending him the funds he absolutely needed every month, with a
little pocket money besides, which Hal spent carefully. He was getting
into the habit of being economical and Hagner’s self-reliance and
confidence spurred him on.

They would talk these things over among themselves often. Hal knew that
if he was to be at Lowell the next year he would have to rely on his
folks again or else win one of those scholarships.

“Better work for the Scholarship,” said Hans. “It don’t pay to owe
anybody, even if it is your own folks. From what I have learned it is
pretty hard for them to send you this money every month, anyhow. I
don’t think I would have worked nearly so hard at school if I had been
spending some one else’s money. It hasn’t been easy work for me to sell
books every summer, but I’ve done it. I don’t like the work very well,
and now that this chance of a scholarship is in sight, I am going to
work my toes off if necessary, to land one of them; I think I’ll get
it, too, if I don’t break my leg or something.”

“That’s a fine thing for you, of course,” responded Hal, “because you
have a regular position on the team right now, and there’s no one to
take it away from you, while I am only a substitute pitcher and general
utility man, who probably won’t get a chance to play in any of the big
games at all.”

It was plain that Hal became discouraged from the talk. But he felt
absolutely certain that he could jump in and take the laurels away
from any pitcher they had, if he could only get in enough games to get
accustomed to the big crowds and the surroundings. But the season was
coming along and Black and Radams were doing the twirling and doing it
well, too.

Then, unexpectedly, one morning there came a letter from home that
Hal’s father had been taken sick and they had to use a little of the
money from Hal’s college fund to tide them over and Hal would have to
get along with about half his allowance for a month, anyhow.

This was a shock to Hal. Not so much the money part, but his father’s
sickness. He hated to think of his father being sick and he not at
home. Then he thought of the money, and his first idea was to get
on a train for California. Yes! That’s what he would have to do. He
couldn’t think of staying at Lowell any longer, spending his father’s
hard-earned money. What he ought to be doing was what Hans had done.
He should learn how to earn money and when he had done that, get his
education.

He felt this was a decision that should be acted on at once. He decided
to pack up right away. He didn’t stop to think he didn’t have anything
like the amount necessary to pay his fare home. Hans wasn’t in his
room and wasn’t to be back until three o’clock, so he thought in his
excitement that he would pack hurriedly and get out without seeing
anybody. He did so.

He wasn’t going to be dependent on his folks or anyone else for another
day. He left a note for Hans. This was at noon. He hunted up a time
table and found that the train for Boston to catch the through train
for the West left at three o’clock. He would buy his ticket and go. He
had no thought of changing his mind. He went to the depot to get his
ticket. All at once, he realized that he hadn’t any money. What was he
to do now? It was one o’clock already. Hal’s mind worked quickly. How
could he get two hundred dollars? Quickly he ran over in his mind the
things he had that he might raise some money on. There was only one
thing that was worth anything like that sum. At first he couldn’t think
of parting with that. It was his watch.

He had never told the story of the watch in Lowell to anyone but Hans.
The previous winter while swimming in the lake at home in California,
a rowboat in which there had been a man and two little girls, was
suddenly capsized. Hal was a regular “fish” in the water, just as
natural there as in anything that he understood at all, and he swam to
the rescue. He caught one of the little girls and held her up with one
hand while he righted the boat, and he then put her in.

By that time the man, who was the father of the little girls, had the
other one safe, but he was a big man and fat and couldn’t swim very
well, so Hal helped them both into the boat again, jumped in himself
and rowed them back to the shore near the hotel where they were
stopping. They were tourists from the East and wanted to reward Hal,
but he didn’t think he had done anything so great, so he ran away. That
was the last Hal heard of it, until a month later a package came by
express addressed to him. He opened it and found a letter and a very
fine gold watch with two large diamonds in the case.

The letter was from the father of the two little girls. He said he had
found out who Hal was and begged him to accept the watch in token of
the sender’s gratitude for the rescue of the little girls. They were
twins and exactly alike--so were the diamonds in the case. Hal hardly
ever wore the watch and so very few knew he had it. Now he decided to
pawn it if he could borrow enough on it to get to California.

He had never been in a pawnshop in his life and he was nervous.
Besides, his time was getting short. He rushed out of the station
and asked the first person he met (it was Crossley, although in his
excitement Hal couldn’t have told whether the man was black or white)
where there was a pawnshop. Crossley didn’t answer, because Hal hadn’t
stopped for an answer and Crossley himself was hurrying. He was already
talking to the policeman on the corner. The policeman told Hal there
was a pawnshop in the other end of town, but that most of the students
who had to raise money that way went to Boston. Hal started out to the
pawnshop the policeman told him about, but when he got there he found
it closed.

By the time Hal got back to the station it was five minutes of three.
He had decided to go into Boston and try to raise the money there on
the watch; then he would go right on home from here. He checked his
trunk, and just then the train drew into the station and he got aboard.

Meantime Hans had arrived back at the house thirty minutes before he
was expected. He straightened things around in his room, put his books
away and after a minute or two found Hal’s note. The note just said
that he had bad news from home, his father was sick, and they couldn’t
send him his allowance. He was going. He was sorry he couldn’t see Hans
again, but he was discouraged and said he would write. Would Hans tell
Hughie the circumstances, etc.? He was leaving Boston on the afternoon
train.

Hans knew the train left at three. He pulled out his watch and saw it
was fifteen minutes of three. It took sixteen minutes to get to the
station on the car. The train might be on time.

The note hadn’t sounded quite right to Hans. Hal ought not leave the
University without first registering out at the office of the college.
He thought there might be something else. Above all he didn’t want
Hal to go to California without seeing him again. He was very fond of
his chum. He thought of these things as he was gliding down the front
steps. To catch that train he would have to beat the car. That meant to
do it on foot.

Hans started to run. Every block put behind him was like a stolen base
to him. By running every block he managed to catch the last car of the
train just as she pulled out. There he stopped long enough to catch his
breath for he knew they couldn’t get off now since it was an express to
Boston without stop.

[Illustration: Every block was like a stolen base to Hans.]

Hans walked into the car. His first glance showed him a blue hat and
suit that looked like Hal’s, and as he came up to the seat he was just
about to slap him on the back with a “Hello! Hal!” when he saw the
fellow had on blue glasses. He stopped, then saw that the face wasn’t
Hal’s and went on through the train, glad that he hadn’t slapped a
stranger’s back in his best college style.

Up in the car next to the smoker he found Hal. He was sitting by the
window resting his chin on his hands and in his hand he held the letter
from his mother which he was rereading.

“You look mighty glum for a fellow that’s going home,” said Hans,
tapping him gently on the shoulder. “What’s up?”

Hal looked up in surprise at the familiar voice and turned to look at
Hans.

“Thought you were not going to be back until three,” remarked Hal. “I
am glad you got back in time to catch the train, though, because I
hated to leave without bidding you good-by.”

“Had to run all the way to the station to catch it. Thought I’d better
see you before you left for good. Would like to know the real reason.
Don’t look well to leave a college like Lowell without some explanation
to the office. What’s the trouble, anyhow?” burst out Hans, in the
short quick sentences which he used when he was much interested.

“This,” said Hal, handing him the letter. Hans read it over and then he
read it again. “Awfully sorry your father is sick, Hal,” he said, “but
I don’t see anything about wanting you to come home. Why, this letter
don’t even say that he is very sick. Don’t see any reason for going
home on that kind of a letter.”

“Well, but don’t you see,” broke in Hal, “they had to break into the
college fund to pay the extra bills and I must get along on less. I
don’t mind that, but this is the first time I knew that all my folks
have saved up in all these years was to go for my start in college,
and when I think of a fellow like you, Hans, who has made his own money
and think that I am here spending my parents’ savings, I can’t stand it
another minute, so I’m going home to learn how to make enough to pay my
own way through college.”

“And spoil your parents’ greatest happiness,” said Hans. “Let me tell
you something. My folks were poorer than yours. They were so poor they
couldn’t think of educating their children. Their greatest happiness
was in work and seeing others work with their hands. They couldn’t
realize what education would do. They had no way of realizing it.
Somehow or other I got the ambition to have an education. In order to
do that I had to earn enough money to pay into the family what I could
have made working daytimes.

“This was only after I was old enough to work for others. So I worked
early in the morning and late at night and made up to the folks the
time I spent at school. Now your parents know the value an education
will be to you. Your father is a Lowell graduate and they have been
saving this money for years in order to spend it on your first year at
Lowell, trusting to luck that some way will be found to let you go on.
It’s been their one great happiness and they’d probably feel mighty bad
to see you turn up at home without their sending for you.

“All you ought to be thinking of is how to get the most out of it
this year and get ready to make the burden lighter for the next year.
Winning one of the Scholarship Prizes would do it of course, but there
are other ways.”

“You put it up to me in a different way than I had thought of it
before,” said Hal. “If I thought I could earn some money working
nights, I think I’d try it.”

“If you think that way about it, I’ll see what I can do. We’ll go round
to the employment department of the University in the morning and see
if they haven’t something to do for a poor and needy student to help
him earn his way, especially one who is utility pitcher on the Varsity.
Meantime I guess we had better send a telegram to your folks asking if
your father is better or worse. We can have an answer by morning.”

“I think that would be a good idea,” said Hal, very much cheered by
his talk with Hans and his suggestions. “Come to think of it, though,
as you say, if he was sick enough to make them want me, they would
telegraph, anyhow, I suppose.”

“By the way,” said Hans. “Where did you expect to get the money to get
home on?”

And then Hal told him his idea about pawning his watch, of his effort
to do so before he started for Boston, and that he had intended to do
it in Boston.

“I wouldn’t do that ever until I had to,” remarked Hans. “Anyway not
to go home on. If you can pawn it for enough to get to California on,
you can pawn it for enough to keep you going at school for the rest of
the term. I wouldn’t do it until I had to, though. It’s a bad practice
to get into, although I never was in a pawnshop in my life, and hope I
never have to go.”

“I wonder how much they would loan me on the watch,” said Hal. “Suppose
we try it and see when we get to Boston. Just to see what it is worth,
anyhow.”

“All right,” said Hans, and just then the brakeman called out Boston
and in a minute or two the train stopped. Neither had ever been in
Boston before except to pass through on his way to the University.
They thought they might as well take in a show in the evening and take
the twelve o’clock train back to the University, which would land them
there about two o’clock in the morning. They were walking up to the
platform to go out through the depot when they met Arthur Delvin of the
Varsity going through the station.

“Hello, fellows,” said Arthur. “What are you doing in the city? By
George, I am glad to see you! Want you to come up to the house for
dinner and then we’ll take in a show. Wait for me in the station, will
you? I have to go out and find a cousin of mine who is coming in and
going right away again, and I have to see that she gets started right.
She’s on this train. I’ll see you in about fifteen minutes.” And off he
went.

There was nothing to do but wait and the boys decided that if they were
going to see some of Boston, Arthur would be as fine a fellow as any to
show them around, and they went into the station to wait.

Meantime Hal had been wondering what his watch was really worth and as
he walked to the door of the station he saw a sign “Pawnbroker” with
three gold balls over the door. This was just like the place he saw at
the University town earlier in the day, and looking around for Hans
who was sitting on a bench absorbed in a newspaper, he quietly slipped
across the street into the pawnbroker’s shop, and pulling out his watch
said to the pawnbroker:

“How much will you loan me on this?” He wondered if that was the way
people generally talked when they tried to pawn things.

[Illustration: “How much will you loan me on this?”]

The man took the watch and looked at it carefully. He examined the
diamonds with a magnifying glass, he opened the case and examined the
works, then he laid it down on the counter and said “Four hundred
and fifty dollars.”

Hal wondered if he had heard rightly. “How much did you say?” he asked.

“Four hundred and fifty dollars,” answered the man. “She’s worth a
thousand.”

“Thanks,” said Hal, picking up the watch and putting it in his pocket.
“I just wanted to know how much it was worth.”

“Come in any time,” said the man, as Hal went out of the door.
Outside he drew a long breath, took out his handkerchief to wipe the
perspiration from his forehead, and started across the street. As he
did so, a young fellow who had been standing in the shadow of the
doorway stooped down and picked up an envelope which had fallen out of
Hal’s pocket when he took out his handkerchief, looked at it, gave a
start and went on down the street.

[Illustration: “As he did so a young fellow stooped down and picked up
an envelope which had fallen out of Hal’s pocket.”]

Hal went into the depot, and as he hadn’t been gone five minutes in
all, Hans hadn’t missed him. Hal told him where he’d been, also what
the pawnbroker had said, and as he named the amount Hans’ eyes opened a
good deal wider, for he had no idea the watch was so valuable.

Presently Arthur came up and the boys told him frankly how they
happened to be in town, and asked him to say nothing about it, which he
agreed to, as Hal had now decided to go back to school. Arthur said he
had come to town on the morning train to do some shopping.

So they went home with Arthur, and having some one who was familiar
with the city to pilot them, they weren’t worried about that. Mr.
and Mrs. Delvin were glad to have a couple of Arthur’s team mates to
dinner, and they went to a vaudeville show, which was a new experience
for Hans. They enjoyed the evening immensely and after a two-hour
ride on the train got home pretty tired, but none the worse for the
experience.



CHAPTER IX

THE DIAMOND MEDAL


There was plenty of excitement in and about Lowell the morning after
Hans and Hal returned from Boston. In fact there had been a good
deal of excitement the evening before, but of this Hans and Hal knew
nothing. They were in Boston having a good time with Delvin.

“What’s all the bustle about?” asked Hal as he and Hans entered the
dining room at training table next morning.

“What! haven’t you heard?” asked Robb, to whom more than anyone else
Hal seemed to be talking. “The diamond studded Championship Medal was
stolen from the safe of the University treasurer’s office yesterday
between twelve and one o’clock. There is no clue of any kind. Orders
are from the faculty that every student in the University shall report
at the dean’s study before six o’clock to-night, and explain his
movements after twelve o’clock yesterday. Seems funny that they should
suspect any student of doing it.”

“Wasn’t there some one in the room where the safe is all day
yesterday?” asked Hal.

“What makes them think it was stolen between twelve and one o’clock?
How do they know it wasn’t stolen a week or a month ago?” asked Hans.

“It seems that the secretary of the University brought it back from
the jewelers at noon yesterday. It had been taken there to have one of
the settings tightened. He had put it in the safe. A few minutes after
one o’clock, Mr. Williams, the treasurer, came in and asked if the
medal had come back yet. ‘I just brought it over,’ said the secretary,
and walked over to the safe to get it. It wasn’t there and he almost
collapsed.

“They searched everywhere a dozen times. It couldn’t be found. Finally
they were forced to conclude it had been stolen. Who could have taken
it? No one but students had called at the office during that hour. It
was hard to believe any student could have taken it, but they had to
admit the possibility.

[Illustration: “Who could have taken it?”]

“The police were notified and asked if they had seen any suspicious
characters around the building. The Chief instructed all the patrolmen
in town to bring in any suspicious characters.

“Finally late last night,” continued Robb, “the policeman down at the
station reported that shortly after one o’clock yesterday a young
fellow had asked to be directed to a pawnshop. He was very much excited
and in a hurry. Might have been a student, but he thought he was a
stranger because most students would know where the pawnshop was, even
if they didn’t have any business there.

“So they have this cop stationed down by the entrance and he is looking
at the students as they go in thinking he can identify the fellow if he
should happen to be a student.”

“Seems silly to me,” remarked Hans, “that they should think any student
of Lowell who would do a trick like that would be so bone-headed as to
try to pawn it in this town. I doubt if any pawnbroker in the country
would take a thing like that. It would be recognized immediately.”

“He could take out the diamonds and melt it up,” said Talkington, who
had joined in the discussion.

Hal’s face was white. He knew they were looking for him, thinking that
he was the guilty party! What should he do? He could account for all of
his time. He would tell them the exact facts, every detail, even his
visit to the pawnshop in Boston to find out what his watch was worth.
Hans was with him all the time, excepting in the pawnshop, and so was
Delvin most of the time. The pawnbroker would no doubt testify for him
that he simply made an inquiry there and pawned nothing.

After breakfast he said to Hagner with as much self-control as he could
muster, “Hans, I’m the fellow they are after. When I was crazy to get
away yesterday for home, and was bent on pawning my watch, I went up
to that policeman at the station and asked him where I could find a
pawnshop.”

“Gee!” said Hans, “that looks bad, doesn’t it? Yes! it looks bad, but
only looks. You’re all right. Wasn’t the pawnshop closed when you got
there? Isn’t it the only pawnshop in town? They can find out that it
was closed, can’t they? Wasn’t I with you all the time in Boston and on
the way there and back? And wasn’t Delvin with us, too?”

“All but during my visit to the shop,” said Hal, “when I learned the
value of my watch.”

“Well,” returned Hans, “the pawnbroker will know you if it comes to
that, and can testify that you didn’t leave anything there.”

“That’s what I thought,” said Hal. “I am going right down there and
tell the whole story. That will let me out, except that I may have to
make another trip to Boston.”

“I’ll go along,” said Hans.

So they went on down. They didn’t see any policeman around outside.
Inside they found Mr. Williams, the treasurer, who came to meet them.
Hal told him that they had heard the police were trying to locate a
fellow who had asked one of them to direct him to a pawnshop yesterday.
He was the fellow, and he said he wanted to tell all about it, which he
did.

Mr. Williams was impressed with the straightforwardness of his story
and told him he needn’t worry about it. He felt sure it wasn’t any
student that had stolen the medal. Only they had to run down this clew
and he was sorry he had been annoyed. Hal told him he would like some
one to go to the pawnbroker in Boston and verify what he had said
about his visit there just to remove any possibility of suspicion that
anyone might have against him on that account. He knew, of course, it
would prove to be as he said, and that was the only space of time he
was alone while in Boston. Without doing this, people might suspect
that both Hans and himself, having made such an unusual trip to Boston
together so soon after the robbery occurred, were in it and he didn’t
want anything left undone to prove that neither of them was in any way
connected with the matter or subject to suspicion.

Hal left with Hans, very much relieved. Not that he had anything to
be worried over, but the way the matter had come about had upset him
more than he himself could tell, and now that he had explained himself
fully, his feelings again became normal, and he went about his work of
the day in a much better frame of mind than he had enjoyed since he had
the accident.



CHAPTER X

UNDER SUSPICION


The theft of the medal was of course the all-absorbing topic at all
places where students came together. Hal’s explanation of his intended
flight and the causes which made him want to know where the pawnshop
was, brought to an end the clew which the authorities had thought would
quickly locate the thief. There seemed to be absolutely no way to trace
the culprit.

A week passed and Hal’s foot became better and he was able to resume
his practice with the team.

On Friday evening Hal was in his room doing his studies, in order to
have them out of the way, so that he could enjoy himself fully on
Saturday and Sunday, without having to think of college work, when he
received a note from Mr. Williams, the treasurer of the University,
asking him if he could come down for a few minutes. The note was
delivered by a blue-coated messenger boy. After reading it, he said he
would go and the messenger left.

Hal went into Hans’ room to tell where he was going, found that he was
not in his room and as they had planned to do some studying together
later in the evening he started to write a note on the pad on the
writing desk. Then he thought Hans would understand better what was up
if he left the treasurer’s note on Hans’ desk. He did this and went on
down to see Mr. Williams.

When he arrived there he found Mr. Williams, Dr. Lawrence, the
president, and Mr. Smith, the secretary, waiting for him. There was
nothing that Hal need be nervous about, and he could think of nothing
they could want him for, unless perhaps they wanted to “call him down”
for leaving the University without explanation.

On second thought he made up his mind that if that were the idea, they
surely wouldn’t have the president of the University on hand. Then he
thought that perhaps the president wanted to hear his story about the
pawnshop, etc., and he wished Hans were with him to verify it. All this
passed through his mind in the few seconds he had to wait until they
noticed his arrival.

“Oh, Case,” said Mr. Williams, “we have asked you down here to-night to
tell you some important news. First, the medal has been found, and----”

“I am very glad it has turned up,” broke in Hal, relieved, “and I
appreciate your telling me in this way, Mr. Williams, because I suppose
you know I have----”

“Yes, that is one reason, Case,” now broke in Mr. Williams, “but there
are certain circumstances in connection with the finding of the medal,
which I regret to say will need a little further explanation on your
part.”

“Why, what do you mean?” asked Hal, growing a little nervous at the
tone used by Mr. Williams.

“I hope,” went on Mr. Williams, “that you have an explanation which
is satisfactory. I cannot quite bring myself to believe, after the
straightforward talk you made to me last week, that you had anything
to do with the theft of the medal, but the circumstances of recovery
demand an explanation from you. When you told me your story the other
day you gave me the address of the pawnshop in Boston where you went to
inquire about the value of your watch. You were so frank about asking
us to go there and verify your story that I didn’t think it worth while
to do so.

“Among the methods used, however, by us in our efforts to recover the
medal we asked the Boston police to visit all the pawnshops and see
what they could find. This morning we had word by long distance phone
from Boston, saying the medal had been found in one of the pawnshops
there and suggesting that we send some one in authority to bring it
back and to go over some facts in connection with the case, which
might aid them in locating the culprit. I was going up anyhow and I
said I would attend to the matter myself. When I arrived at police
headquarters, the chief took me into his private office. He went to his
safe and when he returned he handed me the medal which I now show you
(he held up the beautiful medal in his right hand) and he also handed
me this.” Then with his left hand he picked up an envelope which was
lying on his desk and handed it to Hal.

Hal was puzzled because he didn’t know what that could have to do
with him. He looked up and noticed all three of the officers of the
University watching his face closely. He couldn’t understand it and
naturally became paler. It looked to him like a trap. Then he reached
over with his right hand and took the envelope which Mr. Williams held
out for him.

He felt that something terrible was going to happen and his hand shook.
He took the envelope, looked at it, turned it over, looked at the other
side, and gave a jump. What he saw would make most young fellows jump
even higher than Hal did, for on the address side of the envelope was
written

    “HAROLD CASE,
        ----
            California.”

Hal noticed at once that it was his own writing. It was some seconds
before anyone in the room spoke. To Hal it seemed hours. Finally, it
was he himself who broke the silence.

“Where did you get this?” he asked.

“The police found it with the medal in the shop where it was pawned,
and the broker said it was handed to him by the fellow who pawned the
medal.” This was said slowly in order to give the others a chance to
notice what effect the words had on Hal. “It looks something like your
writing,” said Mr. Williams.

“It is my handwriting,” said Hal.

“How do you explain it?” asked Mr. Williams.

“I can’t explain it,” answered Hal. “I know absolutely nothing about
it.”

“The medal and this envelope,” went on Mr. Williams, “were found in the
pawnshop which you said you had visited that night in Boston. After
I saw the Chief of Police and he gave me the medal and the envelope
he went with me to the pawnshop and when I got there I recognized
the address which you had given me. Then we rode back to the police
department to interview the pawnbroker who has been arrested for
receiving stolen property, and he told me this story.

“‘About five o’clock on Thursday evening of the previous week, a young
man wearing a blue cloth hat and a mixed gray suit of clothes came
into my place and asked me how much I would loan him on a watch which
he laid down on the show case. I picked it up and saw two good-sized
diamonds in the case. I was attracted by the stones and next examined
them with my magnifying glass. They were exactly alike and I saw at
once they were valuable, particularly to me as I had been asked that
day by a customer to find him two perfectly matched white stones.

“‘Then I examined the watch inside and out and saw that it was also
very valuable, and I said, thinking to get the watch cheap, since most
people who pawn things do not redeem them, “I will let you have four
hundred and fifty dollars on it.” The young fellow hesitated and then
asked: “How much is it worth?” and I said, “a thousand dollars,” and
he said, hesitating again, “Thank you, I just wanted to find out how
much it is worth,” and hurried out. I didn’t think any more of it,
except to guess to myself that the watch didn’t belong to the young
man. About five minutes later he came back and I said, “Well, you have
decided to let me have the watch anyhow for a while haven’t you?” He
looked at me rather queerly and said after hesitating as he did before,
“No, I won’t pawn that.” I noticed then he had on blue eyeglasses, but
couldn’t say whether he had them on the first time he called because I
paid more attention to the watch than to him.

“‘Finally he pulled out the medal, a very beautiful piece, and said,
“I can spare this better for a while than the watch if you can let me
have as much on it.” I took it in my hand, and noticing the inscription
on it, said: “Is it yours?” “Of course,” he replied, and as it might
easily be so from the inscription, and as very few people would take a
chance on trying to pawn that kind of a medal if it didn’t belong to
them, I took it and gave him four hundred and fifty dollars and the
ticket. “I may not be able to come for this myself,” he said, “and I
might lose the ticket, so make a note that it is not to be delivered
to anyone, even if he has the ticket unless it is accompanied by an
envelope like this one with this name on it and in his handwriting.”
Then he handed me the envelope which I put in the safe with the medal,
and which I turned over to the police this morning.’”

Hal was dumfounded. What could he say? He thought awfully hard. Finally
he was able to say, “But I was with Hagner or with Hagner and Delvin
all of the time I was in Boston, excepting during the five minutes it
took me to call at the pawnshop about the watch. Besides, I haven’t any
blue glasses. I didn’t have any and wouldn’t have had time to buy any
while there.”

“Are you sure you were only away from Hagner for five minutes? The
pawnbroker said both visits took place within ten or fifteen minutes
all told. The glasses might have been bought before you took the train.
We are not trying to accuse you, Case, we are trying to keep from
having to,” said Mr. Williams.

“I am not sure that it was exactly five minutes,” said Hal. “I am not
sure of anything except that I had nothing to do with the theft of
the medal. And yet I can’t blame you gentlemen very much, because it
certainly does look bad, especially when I was on my way to leave the
University for good.”

Hal had somewhat recovered his balance because he knew, of course, that
it must come out all right somehow, although he had no idea what or how
they were going to do him. He knew he was innocent yet here were a lot
of circumstances that looked like evidence to them and until he could
clear them up he would be under great suspicion.

If they should decide that the evidence warranted action they could
even have him locked up, and he began to think of the books he had
read of people--men, women, and boys who had been unjustly accused of
different crimes and had been locked up for years, many of them never
having their innocence proved. It was a terrible fix for him. All this
went through his mind while the others were consulting.

Finally Dr. Lawrence, the president, turned to Hal and said:

“Mr. Case, it is a terrible thing for all of us to have to consider a
matter of this kind. It is one of the few occasions in my life when I
would rather be anyone else than the President of Lowell University.
Whoever it was who performed this theft may have to answer finally for
the conviction of an innocent young man. We are loath to accuse you of
this crime. In fact, I wish you to understand thoroughly that we do
not accuse you now. At the same time the circumstances are such that
we cannot, we regret to say, exonerate you until the matter is fully
cleared up. You yourself admit that it looks bad for you. It does. But
we will not permit ourselves to believe you guilty until every effort
has been made to clear it up. Meantime, however, not as a punishment
for the matter, but to put it on a basis which while not justifiable
is nevertheless explainable, as the result of your intention to absent
yourself from the University without leave, we have decided that you
must consider yourself off the Varsity for the period of one week. We
rely on you not to leave the University pending the investigation. I am
sorry.”

[Illustration: “You must consider yourself off the varsity.”]

He shook Hal’s hand warmly after this dignified speech and expressed
the hope that the matter could be cleared up soon. He assured Hal that
no expense or labor would be saved in that direction.

Then they let him go home and it was the saddest trip Hal ever took
in the direction of Mrs. Malcolm’s home. Whether they considered him
guilty of the greater crime or not, he was disgraced anyhow. Surely
it was a hard punishment to give an impetuous young fellow for simply
wanting to go home and for the reason that Hal thought he had.

He went up the stairs to his room with a heavy heart--a heart that
ached in every way. He felt that he was done for.

Hans’ door was open and he heard Hal come in.

“Been up on the green carpet?” asked Hans. “That’s what they say,
isn’t it when they send for you like that?”

“Yes,” said Hal, dejected.

“What’s the matter now? Nothing about the medal or our trip to Boston,
was it?” went on Hans. But before he could answer, Hal broke down and
went all to pieces. “I’m disgraced,” he almost shouted in his agony.

“Tell me what happened,” said Hans when he had quieted him down
somewhat. Then Hal told him all that had taken place and what had been
said, the pawnbroker’s story and everything, winding up by repeating
the president’s speech which he could recite almost word for word, so
forcibly had every syllable sunk into his brain.

“I’m disgraced,” he concluded.

Hans was thunderstruck. Did they connect him with it in any way? Was
his name mentioned? Why didn’t they? It was preposterous. He had Hal go
over different parts of the story again and again. They didn’t believe
Hal guilty, yet they put him off the team for a week.

“We must clear this up,” said he, finally, when he had a little time
to think. “We must clear it up within a week. How I don’t know, but it
must be done. Don’t worry about being suspended for a week. No one but
Hughie need know. You can fix it up with him that your foot is paining
you again from Crossley’s spikes and carry your cane and limp a little.
Hughie will protect you. He likes you well enough for that. At the end
of the week you can get well again. We don’t need to worry about that
end of it. We’ve got to go over this thing step by step and account
for everything that happened to you and me from the time you left
this house that day until you got back. Now let’s get busy,” and they
started in on the hardest proposition they had ever tackled.

Item by item they went over the day’s happenings again and again. They
started in with Hal’s leaving Mrs. Malcolm’s house on the way to the
station.

“Did you walk or did you take the car? Who took your trunk! Did you
talk to anybody? Whom?”

These were the kind of questions Hans fired at Hal like shots out of
a gun. For once this phlegmatic young man was thoroughly aroused and
excited. Whenever he asked a question that Hal couldn’t answer he would
say “Think! Think!”

They went over everything up to the time Hal took the train, and they
found no clew of any kind. Hal had talked to no one except the ticket
agent, the policeman at the corner, and yes! he did ask another man
whom he met as he ran out of the station about the location of a
pawnshop but the other fellow was hurrying too and he guessed he hadn’t
heard his question because he didn’t stop. Hal hadn’t either.

Then they went all over the incidents of the ride to Boston, meeting
with Delvin, waiting in the station for him, Hal’s visit to the
pawnshop, the dinner at Delvin’s and the vaudeville show but found
nothing that would give them a start.

Then Hans had Hal tell the pawnbroker’s story over again, word for word
as near as he could remember it. When Hal came to the part about the
envelope Hans stopped him.

“Do you remember where you got that envelope and how you happened to
write your name on it?”

“Why yes, I got it off my desk that day when I was packing. I remember
I wrote my name and home address on it and put it in my handkerchief
pocket intending to leave it at the post office as a forwarding address
for my mail.”

“Did you leave it there?”

Hal thought a moment. “No, I’m sure I forgot all about that. I didn’t
go to the post office at all.”

“Then it must have been in your pocket on the train. You may have
pulled it out of your pocket with your handkerchief on the train,”
continued Hans.

“I can’t remember having used my handkerchief on the train,” said Hal,
“but I do recollect now that when I came out of the pawnshop I was
perspiring freely from slight nervousness and the excitement of knowing
the great value of my watch.”

“That might account for its having gotten into the pawnshop,” said Hans
eagerly, “if the thief was near there and happened to see it (then in
a moment). Sure that’s what happened. Didn’t he show up within five
minutes after you left the place? You drop the envelope on the sidewalk
without knowing it, he comes along, sees it, picks it up, and as one
name is as good to him as another, and as he doesn’t expect to call
for the medal again, he fixes up that story for the pawnbroker to show
him he doesn’t want to part with the medal forever and that makes the
broker loan him the money on it, because they had rather make loans to
people who redeem their pledges than not. People who do this have the
habit and become steady customers. We’re doing fine.”

By that time it was nearly daylight. They had been up all night without
noticing it. They felt they had made a start. At last they decided to
get an hour or two of sleep.

Hal went to his bed exhausted but couldn’t sleep, he was so worried.
Hans fell asleep promptly or thought he did. As a matter of fact he was
only half dozing with the problem going through his mind. He was so
intent on it that he was thinking of it unconsciously and as he thought
he was asleep he thought he had a dream of getting on a train to go
some place. Oh yes, he was trying to find Hal, he was getting on the
back end of the train and as he walked into the car he saw Hal sitting
on the last seat of the car, blue hat, mixed gray suit and all, and he
saw himself going up to speak to him and greet him in true college-boy
style, hitting his friend on the back as hard as his right hand would
permit him, and just as his hand was about to fall on Hal’s shoulders
he looked and, “By George!” said Hans, jumping out of bed and running
over to Hal’s room like mad, shouting, “I’ve got him. The fellow with
the blue glasses! Blue hat, gray suit, just like yours on the same
train.”

Then he told Hal about the fellow on the train whom he had almost
forgotten. How he thought he was Hal and was just about to hand him one
when he had noticed the blue glasses and then found it wasn’t Hal. He
wound up by saying, “Find the other fellow with the blue hat, the mixed
gray suit and the blue glasses and we’ve got the medal thief.”

[Illustration: “Find that man with the blue glasses!”]



CHAPTER XI

THE STUDENT DETECTIVES


The first thing they did in the morning was to hunt up Hughie. They
routed him out before breakfast. When they saw him they told him the
whole story from beginning to end. They told him about Hal’s suspension
for a week, and fixed it up with him for Hal to carry his cane and limp
when anybody was around. Then Hans got excused from practice for a few
days, also without any particular reason except the one to Hughie that
he wanted to put in his spare time on a little detective work.

After breakfast they went to Mr. Williams’ house. It was still before
hours, and after a little delay, Mr. Williams came downstairs. Hans
told him about seeing the fellow with the blue glasses on the train,
also that he had a hat and suit on that looked a good deal like Hal’s.
Mr. Williams was deeply interested and gave them both permission to
absent themselves from class for a few days, asking them to report to
him each evening. He said, too, he would tell the detective whom they
would employ that day so they could help run down the clew.

For three days they hunted the town over to find a merchant who might
have sold a blue cloth hat like Hal’s, but without result. The same
thing happened when they tried to find one who had sold a pair of blue
glasses. They didn’t make a bit of progress. The station agent couldn’t
recall anyone with a blue hat buying a ticket to Boston that day. He
didn’t even remember that Hal had worn that kind of a hat or a gray
suit, or even that he had bought a ticket.

The next morning passed also without result. At noon they went over to
Springville, the next town, to investigate the stores there to see if
they could find a clew.

As they were going into the town, the car stopped to give an automobile
a chance to cross the track ahead of them. This called Hans’ attention
to the automobile. There was no one in it but the driver, but he had on
a blue cloth hat and wore blue glasses. Hans jumped up and leaned out
to get a better view of the occupant, shouting to Hal: “Get the number
of that machine quick.” Hal did so, but just then Hans said, in a
disappointed tone, “Never mind the number, the driver’s colored and the
man who wore the blue glasses was white.” So they went back to their
seats more disappointed than ever. When they had gone a little farther,
however, Hans burst out, “Do you remember that number yet?”

[Illustration: “Get the number of that machine.”]

“Yes,” said Hal, “27,843, Mo. There was another smaller number
underneath, but I couldn’t get that one.”

“Let’s go back,” said Hans. “I have a hunch that we ought to
investigate that car.”

With that they swung off the trolley and after waiting a few minutes
along came another car going in the opposite direction.

“That auto may stop in Lowell. I don’t suppose it will do any good, but
it’s the first thing that looks like a clew that we have had, and we’d
better follow it up.”

When they got back to town they visited all the garages in the city
without explaining their mission, and looked at the numbers on all the
cars. They didn’t find the one they were looking for, so they went down
to report to Mr. Williams. He was very much interested.

“Why didn’t you ask the garage people if they had seen a car with that
number?”

“Guess we didn’t know enough,” said Hans. “We’re not such great
detectives after all.”

Mr. Williams thought enough of the clew to say that he would have one
of the detectives interview the managers of the garages and find out if
a car of that number had been in town that day and to see if they could
trace it. “We can also write to St. Louis and find out who owns that
Missouri number.”

Hans and Hal then went to their rooms to get ready for dinner, for
their work made them hungry, although of course Hans had the better
appetite of the two. In the evening they were sitting in Hans’ room
when there was a knock on the door. Hal opened it and there was Mr.
Williams.

“We’ve found the automobile,” said Mr. Williams. “It belongs to one of
the students of the University who has a colored driver. The driver has
been employed for only a month and I am afraid that there is nothing in
our clew. The machine belongs to Crossley.”

Hans jumped about four feet in the air: “Crossley did you say?” The
jump seemed to give him power to think quick. “Could it be possible.
Could he do such a thing? I hardly think so. He wouldn’t have any
reason for it. He has plenty of money.” He was thinking out loud.
“Wait, let me see. He might not want to do it just for money. He
deliberately spiked Hal. He seemed to have it in for him for some
reason. Come to think of it that fellow on the train looked something
like him under those glasses.” Then came “yes, it might have been
Crossley.”

The others sat watching him in amazement. Finally Hans turned to Mr.
Williams and told him what he had noticed about the deliberate spiking
of Hal. He could give no motive and neither could Hal say why Crossley
might dislike him.

When he had finished Mr. Williams said, “I hardly think it could be
possible. Still I think I had better send for Crossley; I will do so
right away.” He promised to let the boys know later in the evening if
anything worth while resulted. As a matter of fact Mr. Williams had
concluded there might be more in the idea than he had let on. He sent
Crossley a note like the one he had sent Hal, asking him to come to the
office at once, late though it was. But he added a few words at the
bottom: “Bring your chauffeur’s hat and goggles.”

When Crossley received the note he read it only once, but he knew it
was all up with him. He had been having a pretty uncomfortable time
himself during the past days, but it was only when he received Mr.
Williams’ note that the utter baseness of his misdeeds became fully
apparent to him. He couldn’t stand the thought of facing Mr. Williams
and Hal.

Like a lot of the boys, he was brave only until he was called upon to
stand a real test, and Crossley’s training wasn’t the kind that would
let him take his medicine. So he didn’t even wait until the messenger
had gone. His automobile was standing at the curb in front of his
quarters. He didn’t stop for anything, not even to pack up, nor did
he wait for his driver. He dashed down the stairs, jumped into his
automobile and went away as fast as his machine could carry him. The
messenger boy reported to Mr. Williams what he had seen and he said,
“He must be the guilty party. His flight surely was a confession.”

He called up Hal and Hans and told them what had happened and that Hal
might consider the suspension removed.

As for Crossley this is where he goes out of the story. They struck his
name from the rolls of the University. No doubt he turned up at his
home in due time, but the University authorities never made any attempt
to punish him. They were satisfied that he had gone without bringing
the fair name of the school into more disrepute.

They packed up his things and sent them to his home, and if they were
ever called upon by Crossley’s father to explain anything about the
matter will probably never be known. Nothing was ever said about it one
way or the other at Lowell. The college people sent out the news that
the medal had been found, leaving anyone to guess whether it had really
been stolen or mislaid.

President Lawrence sent for Hal and thanked him for the courage he had
shown while under the cloud, again expressed his sorrow that he had
been forced by circumstances to put him under suspicion, and Hal went
home feeling more relieved than he had ever felt in his life.

As for Hans he was jubilant. Hal felt particularly grateful to him for
his clever work in clearing up the mystery and wanted to tell the story
at the training table in order that Hans should have full credit, but
Hans objected in his modest way and so they kept the story absolutely
to themselves and were happy.



CHAPTER XII

HAL IS DISCOVERED


The season was coming along rapidly. The first big game of the
year with Armour was only a week off and the Varsity was hardly
prepared for it. Baseball in the big colleges had come to be almost
as scientific as in the professional leagues, which by the way were
full of college men--they having been rapidly replacing the old-time
every-man-for-himself sluggers who learned their baseball on the back
lots, and who while “Kings of the game” in their days were no match
for the scientific brainy players of inside baseball which had been
developed in the colleges. Also the fact that college-trained men were
taking positions in the professional leagues, took a good deal of the
rowdyism out of the game and increased its popularity with the “fans”
all over the country.

Lowell University had been the first to develop the clever “inside
ball” as it had come to be called and the other colleges had taken it
up. A big part of “inside ball” is made possible by the “signals” which
each of the players had to know and remember.

They had signals for every combination that could be imagined, some of
the players, as, for instance, the shortstop, the key to the infield,
had fifteen signals, all of which he had to keep in mind, and any one
of which he might have to use at any moment. The other players had
their own signals, too, and every player on the team must be familiar
with every other player’s signals, while at bat. Otherwise if two men
used the same signals the opposing players would soon catch on to what
was going to be tried.

And so before this first big game with Armour, Hughie spent most of the
practice hours training the men in the use and understanding of the
signals, so that each man on the bases could tell by watching just what
the batter would try to do, and if the opposing team was at bat, the
Lowell boys in the field signaled to each other how to play if the ball
went here or there.

Then there was practice in base running, sliding, etc., particularly
the fall-away slide. Ty Robb and Honus enjoyed the sliding. These two
stole more bases in practice and regular games than all the other men
on the team put together.

The rules of the game give the runner absolute right to the base paths,
otherwise a baseman could always block a runner. The average player,
even though courageous, starts his slide when about fifteen feet from
the bag, so that by the time the bag is reached the slider is not
coming at very fast speed--he is almost stopped in fact, and it is easy
for the baseman to tag him without much danger from spikes. But Ty and
Honus were daredevils. Neither knew what fear was. They got onto the
fact that by starting to slide when about eight feet from the base
they would sail into it full speed, and that nine times out of ten the
baseman was afraid to try to touch them even if he had the ball. So Ty
and Honus were detailed to teach the others how to slide, and everyone
was working hard to perfect the team work.

At the end of the week the team took its first trip out of town, when
they went to Hudson City for the annual game with Armour, which always
had one of the best teams in the East. The boys arrived after an
all-night ride in the sleeper, but by the time breakfast was over and
they reached the ground for a little warming-up practice, everyone was
feeling fine with the exception of Huyler, the substitute infielder
who sprained his ankle, and had been sent to a hospital to have it
attended to, and Hal, who had been brought along, but who saw no chance
whatever to get into the game, since Miner was in fine form and Babe
had developed into a pretty steady winner. Nothing but an avalanche of
singles, two-baggers, and homers would give him a chance that day.

It looked like rain almost up until the game had been called.

Hudson City was one of the largest college towns in the country.
Fifteen thousand people could be seated in the stands, and they were
filled, while five thousand others stood or sat on the ground. A
thousand Lowell boys and two thousand Lowell graduates were seated in
the stands back of third base where the visiting players’ bench was
also located.

Down in the field in front of the section where the Lowell boys sat
were four Lowell boys with megaphones and without coats or hats who
led the yelling and the singing, and the wearers of the green did
their best to make as much noise and sing as loud as the more numerous
adherents of the orange (Armour’s color), who sat in the stands back
of first base and spread out on the field, and who would have won the
game purely on their enthusiasm if they could. Last year Armour had
played at Lowell and had lost, but they had a good time anyhow with
their cheering and their singing, and especially after the game when
the Lowell crowd entertained them.

That afternoon the team came nearer to defeat than at any time so far
that year. The advantage of being champions had been partly offset
by the big hostile crowd in the stand. The feeling of nervousness
was shared by Hughie and the coaches over the one weak spot, first
base, in what would otherwise have seemed to him a championship team.
Dill had been tried and found wanting, and Ross was given the job. He
was at times fit, but at other times he made the rankest errors and
occasionally made such a boneheaded play that it upset the confidence
of the whole team.

“If this is one of Ross’s good days,” said Hughie, “we’re all right;
but if he is as bad as he was two weeks ago in the game with Colfax,
then look out. We have no one else to put in, and we can’t win from
this crowd if it’s a bad day for Ross.”

Then the gong sounded, the umpire said “Play ball,” the Armour boys
took their places in the field and the game was on.

Everson led off for Lowell and drew a base on balls. Captain sacrificed
him to second; Honus drove a hot one to the shortstop, who fumbled but
recovered in time to catch the runner at first, Everson taking third.
Ty placed a neat single over the second bag and Everson came in, Ty
taking second on the throw in. Tris came up next and drove a hot one
past third base and Ty came all the way home on the hit. Tris being
held on first, Delvin hit a screamer down the first-base line, which
rolled to the fence, and Arthur made the round trip with Tris ahead of
him. Ross, the next man up, struck out.

“That’s a bad sign,” said Hughie to himself as Ross walked down to
first and picked up his glove.

Carter, the first man up for Armour, fouled out; Wilson, the next batter,
hit a long fly to Ty; Blair, the next man up, hit a grass-scorcher over
second. Honus rushed over, made a beautiful pick up with one hand and a
perfect throw to Ross ten feet ahead of the runner, and Ross muffed the
ball. Gibbie signaled to Miner to throw to first to catch the runner who
had taken a big lead. His throw was good, but Ross again muffed. The
next man up made a clean hit over third, and Blair, the man on first,
got clear around to third. Hughie signaled the infield to play in close,
because a hit would bring in a run anyhow. The batter tapped an easy
one toward Ross, who picked it up neatly, but while he was making up
his mind where to throw it, the man on third came in and the batter
reached first. The next man sent a high fly to left, which Cap.
gathered in. Score, 4 to 1.

In Lowell’s half of the second we went out in one-two-three order. In
Armour’s half, Miner was unsteady and passed Clymer, the first man.
Then he struck out the second batter. The next man up laid a neat bunt
down toward third; Delvin came rushing in, scooped it up neatly and
hurled it straight for the bag. Again Ross muffed the ball, and before
he had recovered it the batter was safe and Clymer who had received
the base on balls originally was perched on third. By this time the
nervousness had spread to the rest of the team. A hit would mean
another run.

[Illustration: “Again Ross muffed the ball.”]

The next man up, who was the pitcher, dropped an unexpected hit in
short right, but Ty who had crept in pretty close made a quick pick
up and threw to first ahead of the runner who had expected the throw
to go to the plate and had come down slow. But Ty had seen at once he
could not catch the man going home, so he did the unexpected and caught
the man at first, and as good luck would have it Ross caught the throw
while everybody felt that he would have muffed it again if it hadn’t
been so unexpected. Brain, the next batter, hit an easy grounder to
Ross who touched first and the side was retired. Score, Lowell, 4;
Armour, 2.

It was easy for Armour to see that the weak spot in the Lowell team
was first base and they directed all their play toward that point, the
batters trying to drive the ball down that way continually. Then for
three innings and in Lowell’s half of the sixth, the sides went out in
one-two-three order. Miner knew he must make them either strike out
or put them up in the air, and the flies were all caught by Lowell’s
fielders, so the other boys made no runs. Practically the same things
happened to Lowell. We got one or two more hits but they were scattered
and nothing happened.

But in the last half of the sixth inning came more trouble. The first
man up batted a pretty swift grounder toward first base and it passed
through Ross’ legs though Ty came racing in and held the runner on
first. It was a sure thing there would be more runs if they continued
to direct the attack on Ross. Everson and Miner stalled to give Ross
a chance to cool off and Jenkins was tearing his hair on the bench
because he had no one to send to take Ross’ place. Dill, the only other
man who had ever played the bag, was not with the team, and Huyler was
unexpectedly hurt. Once Hughie turned to Hal and said, “Do you think
you could cover that bag?”

“I have never tried it,” said Hal, “but if you order me in there, I’ll
do my best for you and Lowell.” By that time, however, play had been
resumed. The whole team was nervous. They felt that any ball batted to
Ross would be missed, and that if they did stop anything, Ross would
miss the throw. Miner temporarily lost control again, giving another
base on balls, making a man on first and one on second, with nobody
out. This helped to increase the nervousness of the whole team, and
even Hughie began to lose his nerve apparently. Webb, the batter, hit
the next ball pitched for a line drive over Honus’ head, who did the
best he could and knocked it down, but too late to get his man at
first. Three men on bases and nobody out, and any kind of a hit meant a
run, and possibly two. The next man up again directed his attention to
Ross, and hit another easy grounder toward him. Ross made a beautiful
stop and setting himself deliberately for the throw, for he had plenty
of time, threw straight for the plate, but ten feet over Gibbie’s head,
and two runs came in, tying the score. Hughie was wild, the team was
wild, the Lowell “rooters” were wild, the score was tied, no one out,
and Marsh of Armour was on second. Hughie walked over to Hal and said:

“Go in; you can’t do any worse than that.”

Hal said: “I’ll do my best.”

Hal’s entry into the game didn’t help the rest of the team back to
confidence any. The whole team was up in the air, and now they had an
entirely unknown quantity to deal with at the initial sack. Hal was
most nervous of all of them, of course, although as soon as Honus saw
what was up he walked over to meet him and said:

“Don’t worry, I told you several times you would make a good first
baseman, and you paid no attention to me. Now you got to do it.”

Of course, the Armour team knew Hal must be untried, or Hughie would
not have hesitated so long about putting him in, and they decided if
they could, they would continue their attack upon the custodian of
first base. The situation now was a tied score, no one out and a man on
second.

The first man up sent a hot grounder to Honus. He got it, held it
long enough to hold the man on second close to the bag, but too long
to make the throw to first easy. Therefore he threw it with all his
might at Hal, and in doing so he threw it very wide of the bag. Hal saw
it coming with the speed of a bullet; he also saw the runner rushing
toward him along the base line. His throwing or really his pitching
hand was his left hand, and that was bare. To run up the base line far
enough to get that ball in his gloved hand meant a collision with the
runner, to take it with his bare left probably meant a crippled hand
and the loss of his pitching ambition.

All this he seemed to think of as that ball was rushing at him across
a space of possibly one hundred feet from where Honus stood and in
probably one-half a second of time. By that time the ball was upon him.
Should he take it with his left or should he run up the base line and
get it with his right? He did neither; he stuck his left foot in the
bag, whirled quickly around with his back to the ball, stretched out
his right mitt, stuck it out in the air and caught the ball with one
hand.

[Illustration: “He stuck his left foot in the bag, whirled quickly
around with his back to the ball, stretched out his right mitt, stuck
it out in the air and caught the ball with one hand.”]

“Runner out!” was all he heard, and the crowd and his team mates, the
Armour boys and even the man on second were so thunderstruck with the
quickness of it all and the apparent ease with which it was done that
they cheered for five minutes, and the man on second forgot to run home
while he had a chance. Nothing like it had ever been seen before on any
ball ground. Surely he did not think that out while the ball was coming
toward him. He couldn’t have thought it out. He didn’t have time. It
was instinct--a sort of baseball eighth sense. Hughie was dancing up
and down before the bench with joy, plucking blades of grass now with
one hand, now with another, whistling through his fingers, sticking one
leg out before him straight, yelling “Eyah.”

The whole team was wild, but with a different kind of wildness. A
fellow that could do that was a natural ball player. If he could make
one stop like that he could make another. This game didn’t make so
much difference now--they had discovered a first baseman. Hughie knew
it, the whole team knew it--and the opposing team knew it--they all
sensed it. The fans in the stands may not have realized it, and Hal was
sure he didn’t know what it was all about, in fact, he hardly knew yet
what he had done.

The umpire had called time to let the excitement subside, and after a
few minutes play was resumed. From nervousness the team had gone to the
other extreme. They were exhilarated. The next man up hit a low liner
over third. Delvin rushed over, stuck out his right hand and the ball
stuck; two out. The next man hit a hot grounder to Everson, who relayed
it to Hal. Out of pure joy, he fired it about five feet over Hal’s
head. Again the latter figured over quickly in his mind how to get that
ball. While he was thinking about it his instinct made him leap up in
the air and stick up his gloved hand into space, and again the ball
stuck and came down with him as he landed on the bag, two feet ahead of
the runner. Three out.

Again the crowd went wild. “What’s his name? He’s a wonder. Where did
he learn to play first base?” and such expressions were heard on all
sides as he walked to the bench. After that it was easy. The team
simply had the confidence, more of it than they ever had before. Armour
on the other hand was now nervous. Miner didn’t let them have another
hit and the Lowell boys pounded out five more runs, so that the final
score stood 9 to 4 in favor of the champions.

[Illustration: “Again the crowd went wild.”]

After the game Hal’s team mates crowded around him. They were wild with
joy. In the dressing room they kept on cheering him.

“Had a first baseman all the time,” said Hughie, “and didn’t notice it.”

“Told him the first day I saw him he would make a first baseman,” said
Honus, “made a pretty good guess, didn’t I, Hal?”

“I guess it was an accident,” said Hal, at the same time knowing that
he had found his place.

“Accident nothing,” chimed in Robb and Everson in chorus.

Just then in walked good old Fred Penny. They were busy for a few
seconds shaking hands with the old boy. Penny had come over to the
game with a lot of other old Lowell graduates. “I want to see Case,”
said Penny. “I want to ask him where he learned to play first base.”
Then when they introduced him to Hal, he said: “I’d just like to have
been the office boy for about six months around the place where they
teach that kind of baseball.”

“Well,” said Hal, “I suppose after this, I’ll have to give up the
pitching business. I’m willing to tackle this first-base job on one
condition, Penny, and that is that you come down to Lowell for a week
and teach me a little of what you know about playing that position.”

“That’s a go,” said Penny. “I feel like getting into practice myself to
get a little of the stiffness out of my arms and legs.”

That evening they all went to the theater as the guests of the Armour
boys, and after the show took the sleeper at midnight for home. Hal and
Hans therefore didn’t get a chance to see much of the city, not as much
as they would have liked to.

When they got home next morning before breakfast the whole student body
was down to meet them. Tim Murnin hadn’t let any grass grow under his
feet in getting the news back to college. His story had appeared in an
extra issue of the _Lowell Reporter_, the college paper, and they all
knew about Hal’s performance. They had plenty of cheers for the team in
general, but for the moment at least Hal was the only Great One, and he
took his honors as modestly as he could.



CHAPTER XIII

HANS TAKES A TRIP


One day in May Hans came into Hal’s room with a letter from his sister
who had come to New York to be present at the wedding of a former
schoolmate to take place in Brooklyn, the next week. She asked Hans to
come down to New York the following Thursday and accompany her to the
wedding. She was visiting some friends who lived in one of the New York
suburbs and wrote that she would meet him at the Grand Central Station
at two o’clock in the afternoon, and he could then take her over to
Brooklyn to be present at the wedding, which was to be at four o’clock.

Hans had never been in New York before, and hesitated quite a little
about making the trip alone, and wanted Hal to go along. Hal couldn’t
afford to spend the time or money just then, and reminded Hans that his
sister had been in New York before and probably knew how to get around
the best way, and he needn’t be nervous. He thought all Hans’ sister
wanted him for anyhow, was as escort.

So Hans wrote he would be there on time and made his preparations
for the trip to the big city. While he was getting ready he got more
and more excited. Like most boys he didn’t care anything about the
wedding, in fact, he’d rather be going for most any other reason, but
he thought he might stay over Sunday if he got along all right, and see
some of the shows.

“Perhaps I’ll have time to see the _Out Door Weekly_ and get a job for
both of us canvassing for subscriptions in our spare time,” he said.

On Thursday morning, bright and early, he took the train for New York,
which left at five o’clock, but he was not so early but that Hal was up
also to bid him good-by.

“Look out for the confidence men,” said Hal, as Hans was leaving the
house. “If any fellow walks up to you at the station down there and
says, ‘Well! Well! if it isn’t my old friend Hagner’s son Hans! How are
you, Hans?’ you’d better just walk by and not notice him.”

“Oh! I know those fellows,” said Hans. “I’ll see you Monday, and if I
don’t have any other trouble but confidence men, it will be easy.”

But when Hal was going out to chapel the next morning whom should he
meet on the doorstep but Hans with his grip in his hand, and looking
glum and discouraged.

“What! did they get you so soon as all this?” asked Hal.

“Oh! don’t talk to me any more about the delights of New York,”
answered Hans, and that was all Hal could get out of him about his trip
for nearly three days.

By Sunday evening, though, things began to thaw out with Hans. The boys
were both in Hagner’s room, writing their weekly letters home, telling
the folks all about the troubles of the past few days, and also some of
the good things that had happened during the week.

Hans had finished his letter with a sigh, as he evidently wasn’t quite
over his New York experience, and had leaned his head back against the
cushions in the Morris chair and was thinking. All at once he said, “I
have a letter here from my sister which I got yesterday, but haven’t
opened yet, because it probably has a lot in it about my trip to New
York, and I don’t care to hear any more about that.”

“Better read it,” said Hal. “It isn’t fair to people who write you
letters not to at least read them.”

“I suppose I’ll have to read it some time,” said Hans, and he opened
the letter and started to read it. Hal went on with his writing for a
while undisturbed, and then he heard Hans begin to chuckle to himself.
From chuckling he turned to laughing to himself and finally to laugh
out loud. Then he said, “Well, I guess it depends altogether on how you
put it. This letter from my sister tells something about my trip to New
York. It puts it in an altogether different light than I had thought of
it before, and come to think of it, it’s really funny, after it is all
over.”

“I’ve been dying to ask you what happened,” said Hal, “but your face
during the past three days has been dark enough to keep anyone from
asking questions. I suppose father’s friends from way back home got
you anyhow.”

“No, I didn’t see any confidence men,” answered Hans. “What got me was
that I went all the way to New York to attend a wedding and to see some
of the sights of the town over Sunday and here I am back at Lowell
again within twenty-four hours, without seeing either the wedding or
any of the sights and just about $25 to the bad.”

“How could that happen?” asked Hal, showing much interest.

“Well, it was this way,” said Hans. “I got to the Grand Central
Station all right about one o’clock. The sun was shining and I was
feeling pretty good. There were lots of people coming and going, and
the streets outside were so crowded I thought sure there was going
to be a parade. About half past one it started to rain and it rained
harder than it ever rains in Texas. Of course I didn’t have any rubbers
or umbrella along, and when my sister got there she didn’t have any
either. It wasn’t raining and didn’t look like rain when she left the
house where she was visiting.

“She was all dressed up in her finest dress, with big hat, and looked
very pretty, but I couldn’t take her on a street car in that kind of
weather, and so I said, ‘I guess we’ll have to take a cab.’ She said
under the circumstances she would go in a cab, but that she would pay
for it, because she knew I couldn’t have very much money, I guess, and
she gave me her pocketbook with some money in it. I told her she had
better come with me and we would find the best way to get there. She
said we had better take the Twenty-third Street Ferry to Broadway,
Brooklyn, and thought it would be cheaper to take one cab to the ferry,
then ride across on the boat, and get another cab on the other side. So
I asked a cabby to take us to the Twenty-third Street Ferry and after
we had been riding for about ten minutes we got there, and when I asked
him how much I owed him he said ‘Three Aces,’ and I said ‘What?’ and he
said ‘Three Dollars.’ So I paid the three dollars out of sister’s money
(she had fifteen dollars), though I felt like fighting, and we rode
across the East River on the ferryboat.

[Illustration: “I asked a cabby to take us to the 23rd St. Ferry.”]

“When we got over on the Brooklyn side it was raining harder than
ever, and I went out to look for a cab. There was none in sight, so I
telephoned to six livery stables, but there wasn’t any to be had. And
there we were, stuck in Brooklyn in the ferryhouse and the rain coming
down like anything, and no cabs.

“I said ‘we better walk,’ but sis said ‘no, she had an idea’; and she
started for the entrance to the ferryhouse, where I saw a string of
carriages approaching. When I caught up to her I saw it was a lot of
carriages bringing people back from a funeral, and sister was busy
talking to the driver of one of them. Finally we explained things to
the people inside, and they consented to let us have their carriage,
and they thought they could get a carriage on the New York side,
although it was queer to change a funeral carriage into one to go to a
wedding. When we got in I told the driver where we wanted to go, and
he sort of smiled, but, of course, I didn’t know what about. I soon
found out though, as after he had gone about four blocks and turned one
corner the carriage stopped, and the driver got down and opened the
door, saying we were there. I hadn’t asked him how much it would be,
but told him to wait for us, as it was time for the wedding and we only
expected to be there for a little while.

“The building was one of those apartment houses, my sister told me--a
brand new building with elevators and boys with brass buttons, and
all that. This was my first sight of an apartment house--this was the
kind which had little apartments--four rooms and bath, and the young
couple who were getting married had furnished it up very nicely, and
were going to start housekeeping right after the wedding. Because they
had only a little room, they had rented or obtained the use of the
apartment next door, for people to leave their wraps. The boy showed us
in there.

“A maid showed sister into one room and me into another, and said,
‘There is a brush and comb and clothesbrush in the bath-room if you
need one.’ I needed it because I was pretty wet, and my hair was
rumpled. I went into the bath-room, and, of course, turned the bolt in
the door. I brushed my clothes and combed my hair, and then started
to get out. When I tried to turn the bolt it wouldn’t budge. You see
this apartment had never been occupied and this bolt in the door had
never been tried, so when I had turned it to lock it, it had worked all
right, but when I tried to unlock it, it had stuck tight in the door
and I couldn’t budge it. I tried and tried until my fingers were worn
sore and still I was in there.

[Illustration: “I tried and tried until my fingers were worn out.”]

“The weather was warm and I was perspiring like a horse after a race.
I pounded on the door but nobody could hear me, because everybody but
sister and the maid had gone in to the wedding. Sister and the maid
were waiting in the other end of the apartment for me and didn’t hear
me. After about fifteen minutes I began to kick the door and holler. By
that time sister had begun looking for me, and came to the door. She
asked me why I didn’t come out, and I said I was locked in, and I told
her to find somebody. I saw at once that I might be in there an hour or
two, so I said she had better go down and pay off the cabby.

“She said I had all the money, so I slipped a ten-dollar bill (hers)
under the door and she went downstairs to pay him off. He took the ten
dollars and drove off, and that’s the last we saw of him or any part
of the ten dollars, as he took advantage of the rain and my sister
to drive away. Sister came up excited and told me about that and I
commenced to get madder than ever. Also I kept getting warmer. Finally
sister came and said that she had sent for the janitor to come up with
a monkey-wrench.

“While we were waiting for the janitor the wedding had taken place and
the news got around that one of the guests was locked in the bath-room.
That broke up the reception more or less and the whole crowd came over
to the other apartment, and stood in front of the bath-room door, to
advise me how to get out. After half an hour, the janitor came, but
there was no way for him to get the monkey-wrench to me. Finally, he
said he would go round to the other apartment across the airshaft and
if I would hang out of the window on one side, he would do the same on
the other and I could reach the monkey-wrench. We did this, and both of
us got soaked good and hard by the rain, but I managed to get hold of
the wrench by hanging onto the window-sill by my toes. I was pretty mad
by that time, but I knew I’d get out quick now, so I walked up to the
door, put the wrench on the knob which was flat on both sides, and gave
her a mighty twist, and crack! the knob broke off, and I was worse off
than ever.

[Illustration: “If I would hang out of the window on one side, he would
do the same on the other.”]

“Then the people outside suggested taking the hinges off the door,
which was a good idea, but it would take more than a wrench to get the
pins out, so the janitor started for a screw-driver. After another half
hour he appeared at the window across the airshaft again, and I got the
screw-driver and another ducking from the rain, and started to work on
the pins.

“They had been put in to stay, but I managed to get them out in three
quarters of an hour, and told the folks outside to push. They pushed,
but the door wouldn’t budge. You see the bolt in the other side of the
door was just long enough to hold the door tight and it couldn’t be
opened even then.

“By that time it was seven o’clock and the janitor got an axe and broke
out the lower panels with that, and I finally crawled out. Just as I
did so three policemen came into the apartment and outside I could hear
the fire gongs. Somebody looked out of the window and there was a hook
and ladder company, which had come in answer to the telephone call of
one of the guests, and were going to get me out by way of the bath-room
window. The wedding, however, was over, the bride was in hysterics, and
there was nothing left to do, since it was still raining hard, but to
get another cab back to New York in the hope of getting to the station
in time to enable sister to catch the 8.03 train for Westchester, the
town she was visiting in, and where they were giving a card party in
her honor that night. I was to go, too.

“We arrived at the station at exactly 8.04 P. M. The cab fare was five
dollars. The next train she could get would be 9.30, and we hadn’t had
a bite to eat since noon. There was nothing to do but have some dinner,
which I was in no mood for. We went to one of the hotels near by and
ate a little something. When the waiter brought the bill, it was nine
dollars and eighty cents, and I never paid over fifty cents for a good
dinner in my life. I had paid out eighteen dollars in cash for three
different cab rides--one of ten minutes, three dollars; one of five
minutes, ten dollars; and one of an hour, five dollars. Fifteen dollars
of this was sister’s money. The dinner cost me nine dollars and eighty
cents, which made twelve dollars and eighty cents of my own money I had
spent on a wedding which I didn’t see, and on a trip to New York on
which I saw nothing but a lot of thieving cabbies.

“By that time I was so angry I was red in the face, and the madder I
got the more sister laughed, until I got out of patience with her and
put her on the train, while I took the sleeper for Lowell, and I have
been mad at things in general ever since, until now I begin to think
it was laughable myself, after it is all over, though it cost a lot of
money, and I didn’t see much of the big city.”

While Hans was telling this Hal sat in his chair and roared and laughed
until he couldn’t laugh any more. It must have been awfully funny with
Hans telling it in his own peculiar way. Hal said finally he thought
Hans had had a pretty good time riding around in cabs all day just like
a real New Yorker, but Hans said he had enough of riding in cabs, and
he didn’t like weddings anyhow.

After a little while, Hal finished his letter and went into his own
room. Then he sat down to write the story of Hans’ experience in New
York to his folks. He started in with a new sheet of paper and just
for fun he wrote it out like a story, heading and all. The heading was
like this:

GOING TO A WEDDING IN BROOKLYN FROM NEW YORK, U. S. A.

By Harold Case

Then he wrote out the story very much as Hans had told it to him,
adding a touch here and there as the funny side of it occurred to him
again, and when he had finished it he started to put it in the letter
which he had written to his folks at home. What he really did, however,
was to make a mistake through pure carelessness which, had he only
known it, was to cause him not only a lot of joy but a great deal of
happiness.

He had addressed a letter to the editor of the _Out Door Weekly_ in New
York for terms to agents soliciting subscriptions to the magazine, as
Hans and he had talked about before Hans’ trip to New York. The scheme
was for Hans and himself to try to get orders for the magazine by the
year from the people who lived in near-by towns, and the letter had to
be written, now that Hans had come back from New York without seeing
the people. Now when he came to put the story about Hans, intended only
for his folks, in the letter he had written them, he picked up the
wrong envelope and stuck the story in the envelope addressed to the
editor of the _Out Door Weekly_, and the letter he intended for the
editor he put in the envelope addressed to his folks along with his
regular letter. Then he mailed them and went to bed.

About a week later, among the letters received by Hal was one from the
_Out Door Weekly_, and Hal opened it to see what they had to say about
the job of getting subscriptions which they had asked for. When he
opened the letter something dropped out of it to the floor, and upon
picking it up found it was a check for $250, made out to Harold Case.
Of course, he didn’t understand this so he opened the letter, and this
is what he read:

    “MR. HAROLD CASE,

    “DEAR SIR: We beg to advise you that your story has been
    accepted by the editor and will appear in the next issue. We
    have taken the liberty of putting our own title on it.

    “Inclosed please find check for $250 in payment of same.
    Any time you have any stories as good as this to submit for
    publication, we trust you will favor this magazine.

                                  “Yours very truly,
                                      “WALTON KEMP, _Editor_
                                            “_Out Door Weekly_.”

Hal couldn’t understand it and so he took the letter, check and all,
into Hans’ room, and asked him what he made out of it.

“Guess somebody made a $250 mistake,” said Hans.

“They certainly have got me mixed up with some author,” answered Hal.
“I didn’t send them any story. The only thing I have sent to this
magazine is the letter which you asked me to write about the job as
agents for their magazine.”

“Well, have you written any stories to anybody?” asked Hans.

“Not that I know of,” answered Hal. “The only story I have written
lately was this. When you told me the tale of your New York visit the
other night I sat down in my room afterwards and wrote it all out, and
sent it to the folks, thinking they would enjoy it. They feel as though
they know you as well as I do by this time.”

“I have it,” said Hans. “I’ll bet I know what you have done. You went
and put the letter for the magazine in the letter to your folks and you
put the story about me in the envelope addressed to the magazine, and
they’re going to publish that story about me all over the country.”

“I don’t suppose I could make a mistake like that,” said Hal.

“Well, I don’t suppose you could either. But say, wouldn’t it be a
lucky mistake if you had done it. Think of making a mistake like that
and getting $250 for it. Think of being an author and not knowing it.
That would be rich. If you did make that mistake I think I ought to
lick the stuffing out of you for advertising me all over the country.”

“All right; but say, maybe I did make that mistake. Guess I am not
entitled to this check unless I did do something for it, but what on
earth anybody would want to pay $250 for that kind of a story for, I
don’t quite see. Now if I did make that mistake and they think enough
of the story to pay $250, it would look foolish, wouldn’t it, for me to
write them now and tell them they made a mistake. Wouldn’t the best way
be to wait until Saturday when the next number of the _Weekly_ appears,
and we can then see what story they refer to. And say, if that should
be so, and I made the mistake the way you guess, I’ll give you half of
the profits provided you agree not to lick me. Anyway, there’s no other
name mentioned but just Hans.”

So they decided to hold the check and wait for the next number of the
magazine which was five days off. They were very much excited about it.
They could hardly wait until Saturday came. On Friday Hal got a letter
from his folks in answer to the one he had mailed ten days before, and
in it his father returned him the letter addressed to the magazine in
which they had asked for a job as agents.

Hal then knew he had made a mistake in inclosing the letters and had
sent the story about Hans to the magazine. It began to look like the
$250 check was really his, by the greatest possible luck. The next
morning they could hardly wait for the news store to open. They were
both on hand before the doors were unlocked. When the place was opened
they found the magazine wouldn’t arrive until ten o’clock. That was
four hours to wait. They went home to breakfast but were on hand
promptly when the package arrived from the depot, and eagerly bought a
copy. Hal turned the pages one after the other until he came to a story
headed:

“TO A BROOKLYN WEDDING AND BACK AGAIN”

A STORY FROM REAL LIFE ABOUT HANS

By Harold Case

“There she is,” said Hal. “Now what do you think of that?” They read
it through together. Eight whole pages. It was almost exactly as Hal
had written it. The editor had changed a word here and there and it was
illustrated with imaginative pictures of Hans at the Grand Central,
Hans dealing with the driver of the funeral coach, Hans hanging out of
the bath-room window, and every kind of way.

“By George,” said Hans. “You are an author and it would be rude to lick
an author, but you won’t have to canvass for the magazine subscribers
for a month or two anyhow.”

“Well, you won’t either,” said Hal. “We’ll divide it up and when the
money’s spent, I’ll send you on another trip to New York, and if you
can get something else to happen to you, I may be able to get another
story.”

Then they went down to the bank and had the check cashed and Hal
counted out one hundred and twenty-five dollars which he gave to Hans
who immediately put his in the bank again, to his own credit, while
Hal rolled his up, put a rubber band around it and stuffed it in his
trousers’ pocket.



CHAPTER XIV

PREPARATIONS AT THE RIVAL COLLEGE


The progress of the nine was quite satisfactory to Hughie and the
coaches and they began to feel as though they had the championship
again in their inside pockets, and they were right in thinking so,
because never before in all the ball teams put together, in college or
out, had there been so many individual stars on any one team.

“This,” said Hughie, talking with Penny who had been down for a week,
“has been the greatest luck that any baseball manager ever had, to
find himself at the beginning of the training season with five of the
most important positions of the team vacant and then to discover among
the freshmen, a bunch of fellows like Case, Hagner, Robb, Talkington
and Radams who make good right away. Of course, I’d not tell them so
to their faces, but those fellows are playing their positions better
than any fellows who ever played those corners before. They ought to
be world’s champions. Those boys, especially when steadied by the
more experienced bunch we have left, Everson, Larke, Gibbs, Black and
Delvin, ought to beat any team in the world.”

“They haven’t been beaten yet,” said Everson, who just came up, “and I
don’t think we are going to be licked this year. Did you ever see such
a bunch of stars?”

“If Jefferson College has anything like our kind of luck in discovering
stars among the freshmen, there will be the hottest series of ball
games that ever was played anywhere between two teams,” said Penny.

“It’s hardly possible that Jefferson should have anything like the same
kind of luck,” remarked Hughie.

Meantime, however, some very similar talk was going on at Jefferson.

“They licked us at football this year all right and I still think it
was mostly luck that they did,” said Captain and Manager Frank Church
to his coaches and captains about this same time, “but we’ve got them
this year on the ball game. Won’t Lowell be surprised though when we
turn ’em inside out on the diamond.”

“Did you ever know of anybody else having the kind of baseball luck we
have had this year?” asked Tommy Beach, center fielder on the Jefferson
team and good friend of Church’s.

“No,” said Church, “I’ve seen the bad luck come in bunches often
before, such as having a half dozen of the team put out of the game on
account of injuries in a day, but no one ever had the good luck we have
had in picking out fine kids from a bunch of freshmen recruits, and
have them develop into stars after the few games we have played.”

“This Lowell crowd has put it over us in the past,” said Big George
Mellen, star pitcher of the Western college, “but methinks that when we
have finished our games with them this year, with the team we have now,
this bunch of fellows will have wiped out not only all the disgrace of
the football defeat, but also the long string of baseball beatings they
have handed us in the past years.”

About this time, too, various graduates of Lowell who lived in the
West and had had a chance to see some of the games which Jefferson had
played with other Western colleges, began to think that Church had
finally succeeded in putting a team together that would, if they kept
up the pace which they had set for themselves, give Lowell a pretty
hard tussle.

They could not quite speak what was really their true opinion because
of their great belief in Jenkins, but when they looked way down deep in
their hearts they not only felt these Western boys might give Lowell
a pretty good tussle, but they were very much afraid they would take
the championship. So they began sending what seemed at first to their
friends at Lowell to whom they wrote some wonderful stories of the star
players on the new team at Jefferson College, and gave many warnings
that at last Church had a real ball team, and that when he brought his
boys to Lowell the championship would at least be in danger.

George Davids wrote to Delvin about a fast shortstop, who, strange
to say, had come from the East to attend this Western college. “His
name is Eddie Hollins,” wrote George, “and he is a star performer.
He came direct here from Columbus College and I am surprised that you
didn’t hear of him in time to induce him to go to Lowell. Of course,
you wouldn’t be looking for a shortstop if you still had Brinker, and
I hope you have had some luck in getting a new one. Hollins, however,
is very fast on the bases and a wonderful fielder. Besides he is a
crack-a-jack with the bat. You know I once had an idea about playing
short myself, but this boy acts as though he had years of training
under Joe himself.”

From Amos Russell came a long report to Black about a wonderful pitcher
that had been discovered. “His name is Cam,” wrote Russell, “and his
curves are longer and wider than his name. He was born in Kentucky
which explains why he happened to come to Jefferson. He is a right
hander, with great speed, sharp curves, and he is long on control. I
really think you had better send some one out here to look the whole
team over. You may be able to discover some weak points. I have looked
them over several times, and I think that for once dear old Lowell will
have to hustle if they beat this team.”

Dear old Pop Anderson took particular pains to write about the
Jefferson team in general. “I don’t want to scare you, my dear Hughie,”
wrote Pop, “but you had better be prepared to outdo even yourself when
you come out here to play this year’s Jefferson team. We didn’t have
such a very easy time with them last year, though the effort it cost
made the victory just that much sweeter. You asked me to write you
fully of what I think and I will do so.

“At first base they have, of course, Frank Church who is, as you know,
still the captain-manager. I need not say much about him because you
know he is one of the greatest first basemen ever known, and it was his
ability as a manager you had to beat last year. I hope you have found
some one nearly as good as Penny to play first. You will need him.”
Hughie chuckled to himself as he thought of his own wonder at first
base.

[Illustration: “Frank Church was still Captain Manager.”]

“At second,” wrote Pop further, “they have as you know La Joy who
is one of the best batters around in the West. He also is as fine a
fielder as ever, but, of course, you have Johnny Everson and you need
not worry about that position. At third, Laird was on last year’s team,
the best third sacker they ever had out here and better this year than
ever. At short they have a youngster named Hollins. He is a wonder and
a great batter. He is brilliant, heady and fast, and is a dangerous
player both at bat and on the bases. He can play second even better.

“They seem to have had a good deal of luck in picking up freshmen
youngsters who can fill the holes in the team made by the graduations
of last year. I think this Hollins is a great shortstop, and I hope you
have found a good one in Joe’s place, as you will surely need him.”
Again Hughie smiled to himself. He was no doubt thinking of Hagner, his
big awkward-looking shortstop. Whenever Hughie wanted to feel real good
he drew a mind picture of Hagner going after a hot grounder or a Texas
Leaguer out his way.

“They have a great right fielder out here named Twitchell, also a new
man in the position. He is a fine batter and a good thrower. In center
is Thomas Beach, just as good in the field chasing flies as he was a
couple of years ago at third base. You will, I know, never forget the
trouble this young Beach person has caused Lowell teams. In the past,
reports of the first inning in so many games read ‘Beach got a double
or triple to left.’

“One thing I have noticed, though, Beach is still weak when it comes to
getting caught at third. Do you remember how last year King caught him
off third three times when with Church on first and Tommy on third,
they attempted a double steal? I’ve seen him get caught twice this year
the same way. Funny, isn’t it, that he can’t get over that play. He
just can’t resist the temptation if the catcher makes a motion as if
to throw to second to stop a steal, to make a false start toward the
plate, and when the catcher throws to third instead of second, Beach
gets caught almost every time. Hope you can work it on him this year
again.

[Illustration: “Beach gets caught this way every time.”]

“Warcford in left is only a fair fielder, but a wonder with the bat. He
comes from Kansas and is likely to make trouble at any time with his
stick. He hits all kinds of pitching.

“You will have finally to deal with George Mellen in the pitcher’s box.
He is better than ever. He has won twelve straight games this year and
is almost as good a batter as any man on the team. There is also a
young pitcher named Cam who promises to be a wonder. For catcher they
have a youngster, a freshman named Roger Brest. This fellow is a wonder
also. Of course, with Gibbie on the team--and I think he ought to be
fine this year--you may have the advantage of a catcher with experience
on big college teams, but Brest seems to be a find, and I think is as
good as any. On the whole, they seem to have had remarkable luck out
here with the team this year.

“It will take all your ability as manager and as good a team as you
had last year to beat them, and if they keep up the pace they have set
with the smaller colleges out here, you may have the fight of your
life on your hands. They haven’t been scored on as yet. I hope you
have something good up your sleeve. If you have had any luck with your
recruits, we ought to have the best series of games of college ball
ever played between two nines in the history of the sport, and with an
even break of the luck, it will be the best team to win.”

Of course all of the reports from all sources were laid before a
committee consisting of Hughie, Everson, Larke, Gibbie, and one or two
others. It made even Hughie a little anxious. In the enthusiasm over
his team he hadn’t given much thought to Lowell’s great rivals, because
he couldn’t see how another school could have such luck as he had in
finding stars. Every fellow on the nine was a wonder, in his opinion.
It looked like an all-star team.

They went over the reports together and compared the two teams, man for
man, as best they could. The result was enough to make them anxious and
they finally decided to send Young, the coach, who could tell a real
ball player across a fifty-acre lot, out to Jefferson to look over the
rival team and get as many pointers as he could.

No doubt some fellow from Jefferson had already been looking the Lowell
team over in action or would be around soon, but of course there was no
way to prevent this, and besides there was no reason why it shouldn’t
be done. The rivalry between the two schools was of the keenest, in
every way.

On the whole the boys decided that if the team kept on as they had
been--working together like a machine--and if they could avoid a slump,
they would have just as good a chance to win as the other fellows,
and perhaps a little better. They were the champions and had been for
years; and this would give them a slight advantage.

So they worked a little harder in practice, trying to perfect
themselves more and more in their signal and other inside work, and
every man on the team pledged himself again and again to Hughie to try
a little more earnestly than he had before, if that were possible, for
the honor and glory of the university. And this helped them to keep
from getting nervous when they thought of these reports of Church’s
team at Jefferson.



CHAPTER XV

THE “LOWELL REPORTER”


The _Lowell Reporter_ was the college paper of the University. It
appeared once a week and in it was printed all the news of the college
world, and announcements of various kinds. The advertising columns
furnished an opportunity for a couple of young hustlers to earn enough
money soliciting advertisements to keep them in school.

The paper was edited entirely by the students under the watchful eye of
the faculty and especially of Professor Bennett, assistant teacher of
English and of many years’ experience as a newspaper writer and editor.
He also had under his direct supervision a small class in journalism,
a department which had but recently been founded. The University let
the students’ committee publish the paper themselves, i. e., to get
it ready and then just before being printed, Professor Bennett would
go over the copy in order to be sure that nothing contrary to the
policy of the University was published and once in a while to curb the
enthusiasm of this or that writer, when he allowed his imagination to
prepare any article that was not in keeping with the dignity of the
institution.

Timothy Murnin, a young Irish lad of American parentage, was one
of the two fellows who kept themselves in college by hustling for
advertisements for the _Reporter_. Timothy’s one ambition was to be the
owner and editor of a big city newspaper, and his job of hustling for
advertisements was the best start he could have made in that direction
if he only knew it.

Besides attending to his studies and getting most of the advertisements
for the _Reporter_, Tim added to his many duties, by request of the
student body, the job of reporting all the sporting events of the
college. His many duties didn’t give him a chance to indulge in any of
the games himself, but he had a wonderful knowledge of all the sports,
football, baseball, basketball, track work and everything. In baseball
he was particularly fit. Like all good healthy boys in this country he
loved the great American game of Baseball. He loved it for the same
reason that millions of others loved it--its squareness and thrills.

He knew the game from “soup to nuts,” as he would say in talking about
the ability of this or that great player. He could give you offhand the
records of all the great college teams in the country for twenty years
back and the individual fitness of almost every player. He had them all
on his finger tips, and his reports of the games at college were filled
with items showing that this first baseman acted like old Pop Anderson,
yonder pitcher reminded him of Russell, or some young catcher threw
down to second like Charley Burnett, or that so and so stood up to the
bat like old Dan Brewers or King Kelly.

Once in a while he surpassed himself, and his report of a dull and
uninteresting game was many times more exciting and enjoyable than
the game itself. Such a game was the one the team played with Barber
College along about the middle of April. The team had been going along
pretty well in the half dozen or more games which had been played with
the minor colleges, all of them preparatory to the bigger games toward
the close of the season. Lowell had had a rather easy time of it up to
the fourth inning, at which time the score stood 7 to 0 in favor of
the Varsity. The game had been played in a drizzle of rain, the ball
was wet, the grounds slippery, and errors were the rule instead of the
exception. Fielders had tumbled over themselves chasing balls over the
wet grass, and players who had attempted the fall-away slide could
hardly be recognized on account of their mud-stained uniforms.

In the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, Miner had given way to Babe,
as the game looked safe and Babe had an off day, for Barber secured six
hits in the three innings, which, mixed with the errors, enabled the
visitors to pile up five runs while the Lowell team was doing nothing
in the tally line.

The game ended, however, with Lowell still two runs to the good and the
game was ours, but this is the way Tim’s report of parts of it looked
in the _Reporter_ the next day after he had reduced his idea of the
contest to writing. Here it is:

    LOWELL, 7; BARBER, 5.

    Jones, one of the big family, the first to swing the willow for
    the enemy, pushed a grass cutter to Hagner, who relayed it to
    the custodian of the first salt bag. Knight hit a sunscraper
    into the meridian and Gibbie pocketed it on the return trip.
    Wilson stung the pellet to Robbville, which Ty annexed without
    leaving his office.

    Ross launched a Lusitania to Amberg, which broke down in
    midocean. Everson loafed around the rubber for four misfits and
    got them. Little Arthur stung a beauty over the near station,
    which took him to the first stop and opened the switches for
    Everson’s run to the middle junction, Hagner bumped a daisy
    scorcher to Joe, which the latter pickled, but it went as a
    sacrifice, as Delvin navigated to second and the Human Crab
    breezed to third. Ty swung his trusty locust against the first
    groove cutter and the horsehide stamped his initials on the
    Clubhouse flag pole, while he almost beat Everson and Little
    Arthur to the water cooler after his circle of the bags. Mr.
    Talkington, while waiting on four, was chased with three, and
    Larke sent one singing to the curve box, which the slab artist
    tossed to the initial sack ahead of him.

    [Illustration: “Everson loafed around the rubber.”]


    SECOND INNING

    Amberg sent one over the shortest route to Everson. Wheeler
    spun three times and sat down. Dorner imitated Wheeler
    perfectly.

    Black did what was expected of the pitcher. Gibbie got a one
    timer back of Wilson. Ross arched one to Knight. Everson
    dropped one in front of the rubber, Gibbie annexing the
    keystone bag. Little Arthur was there with a dew drop which
    Wilson picked off the grass too late to shut the door on either
    Gibbie, Everson or Delvin who slid into the vacant chairs and
    all the seats at table were occupied.

    The big German lad leaned gently against the leather apple and
    knocked it out of the orchard, shaking the tree for four more
    juicy ones for Lowell. Ty fouled to Bowman. Three out. Score,
    7-0.

    After that for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth spasms
    neither side got a look in, although three hopefuls from each
    college went boldly to the front, only to be cut down in their
    youth, before crossing the Rubicon.


    SEVENTH INNING

    In the stand-up session, however, the tonsorial artists made
    the Lowell hair stand up. Hughie sent the Infant in for a piece
    of the pie. Jones, the first shaver up, swung the sign on a
    drop and raised it over Arthur’s study box for a single.

    The fellow with the after 6 P. M. name waited patiently, and as
    the Babe couldn’t see the plate because Knight was so near, he
    walked. Wilson hit a slow one to Johnny which he came in on and
    rolled around the sod while Jones, Knight and Wilson perched
    on the salt bags. Hughie wigwagged the infield to come close,
    so they could hear the song of the Whirling Sphere and join
    in the chorus. Amberg binged one which knocked the wind out of
    Hagner’s organ, and Johnny picked up the sphere and heaved it
    at the Barber band which was sitting back of Gibbie behind the
    screen, to make them join the music.

    [Illustration: “Hughie wigwagged the infielders to come in
    closer.”]

    Jonesy and the Utter Darkness beat a fast tattoo on the base
    lines and disappeared over the horizon to the visitors’ bench
    after their final journey toward the West. Loud pedal by the
    band and the Barber chorus and two tallies.

    Babe got himself in tune by this time and whanged out three
    high but perfect notes which Wheeler tried to reach in unison
    with him, but couldn’t. Wilson, who had reached third while the
    loud pedal was open, was lulled to sleep by the sweet strains
    and caught napping by Gibbie. Dorner sent a whistler out to
    Talkington who muffled it and the singing practice was over.
    Score, 7-2.

The report of the game went on in this style to the end. Tim had
discovered a new language and he was proud of his effort. When he had
finished he turned in his copy. A few minutes after he reached home
he was called to the telephone. It was Professor Bennett speaking,
and he asked Tim if he could come around and see him right away. He
had something to talk with him about. When he reached the professor’s
office he found him sitting with a puzzled expression looking at some
manuscript which Tim thought was his. It was:

“I don’t quite understand this, a-- I suppose it is a report of the
baseball game with Barber yesterday.”

“That’s it,” said Tim; “don’t you think it’s pretty good?”

“Have they changed the baseball terms recently? I hadn’t heard of
it. If not, and this is only an original way of yours of reporting
what took place at the game, I’m afraid that we will have to dispense
with it. I’m afraid that coming out as it does with the O. K. of the
department of English, the _Lowell Reporter_ will be discredited among
the alumni.”

“I hope you won’t cut it out,” said Tim. “Yesterday’s game was mostly
a one-sided and dull affair, and I thought I’d liven it up a bit by
putting some spirit into the report.”

“Well, but the words and terms you use are not understandable.”

“I think you are mistaken, Professor, about that. I think even the
smallest boy who knows anything at all about baseball could understand
perfectly what is meant.”

“Suppose we go over it together,” said the Professor, “and let me see
if I can get an idea what it is all about. Now, right at the beginning
you say Jones, one of the big family (I can understand that), the first
to swing the willow for the enemy, etc., what do you mean by that?”
asked the Professor.

“Well,” answered Tim, “the bat is made of willow, the Barber nine is
our enemy for the time being. A grass cutter is a ball that is rolled
swiftly over the grass. Jones hit a ground ball to shortstop, who
picked it up and threw it to first base.”

“Good,” said the Professor. “Now let’s see the rest of it. Knight hit a
sunscraper into the meridian and Gibbie pocketed it on the return trip.”

“Perfectly plain, Professor,” said Tim. “A high building is a
skyscraper--then a high ball might be a sunscraper--the meridian is
directly overhead, isn’t it? Then this ball that Knight hit went
straight up in the air, very high, Gibbie the catcher caught it easily
when it came down.”

“Not bad,” said the Professor. “Let’s take the next line. Wilson stung
the pellet to Robbville, which Ty annexed without leaving his office.
What----?”

“That means,” continued Tim, “that Wilson hit the ball hard to right
field where Tyrus Robb plays, and hit it absolutely into his hands. He
didn’t have to leave his office means, he didn’t have to move to get
it.”

“I begin to be interested in your new style of English. It seems all
right if you have a key handy. Are you going to furnish a glossary of
terms with each of your reports after this, Murnin?

“Suppose we go on. Now then you say: Ross launched a Lusitania to
Amberg which broke down in midocean. What possible connection can there
be between a fast liner and a ball game?”

“You have it. Fine. Don’t you see how quickly the meaning comes to
you when you get a start? Lusitania--a fast liner--launched to
Amberg--went straight for him--broke down in midocean--it stopped when
it got to Amberg, who caught it.”

“Good, now let’s see if I can figure it out myself. Everson loafed
(waited) around the rubber (the plate) for four misfits (four balls, I
guess); Little Arthur (must be Delvin) stung a beauty (a good one) over
the near station--near station? (Oh! yes, third base) which took him
to the first stop (first base) and opened the switches for Everson’s
(let’s see, where was Everson? Oh, yes, he got a base on balls and was
on first) run to the middle station (Everson got to second), Honus
bumped a daisy scorcher (now, what’s a daisy scorcher, Tim?)”

“A low ball, not one rolling on the ground, but a little raised, about
as high as the daisy blossoms.”

“Good, Honus bumped a daisy scorcher to Jones which the latter pickled
(he must have gotten it and put Honus out if it went as a sacrifice).
Delvin navigated to second (advanced to second) and the Human Crab
breezed to third. (Who’s the Crab? Let me see, he must have been on
second. Do you call Everson the Human Crab?)”

“Yes,” said Tim.

“This is the situation now, isn’t it? Everson on third, Delvin on
second. All right, now let’s see what happened.”

“Ty swung his trusty locust (thought it was willow) against the first
groove cutter (let me see, that must mean a ball put over the plate)
and the horsehide (ball) stamped his initials on the Clubhouse flag
pole (the ball must have hit the flag pole, eh?) and Ty almost beat
Everson and Little Arthur to the water cooler (that’s almost too plain,
Tim. Ty made a home run and brought home Everson and Delvin. Better
improve that one a little).”

“I think it will average up,” said Tim.

“All right,” said Professor Bennett. “What happened next? Mr.
Talkington (why mister, I wonder?) while waiting for four (trying to
get his base on balls) was chased with three (what, get his base on
three balls?).”

“No, sir, he struck out. They chased him to the bench.”

“Oh, I see!” said the Professor. “Larke sent one singing to the curve
box (that must be the pitcher) which the slab artist (pitcher) tossed
to the initial sack (first).”

“I really think some of it is too plain,” said the Professor, rather
more pleased than he would let on. He found himself quite an adept in
this new language.

“It improves as you go along, I think,” said Tim.

“Let’s see what happened in the second inning,” went on the Professor.
“Barber College goes to bat now, doesn’t it? Amberg hit one over the
shortest route to Everson (that must be a straight-line hit), Wheeler
spun three times and sat down (spun what? I don’t get that).”

“When a fellow strikes at a ball hard and misses he generally spins
around,” said Tim. “Wheeler missed three strikes which he tried very
hard to hit.”

“I see,” said the Professor, “and Dorner did the same. So Black struck
out two in succession, eh?”

“Black (was Black the first man up?) did what was expected of the
pitcher. What is expected of a pitcher at bat? I don’t get that.”

“Pitchers generally bat poorly. Black struck out,” said Tim.

“Oh, I see! Gibbie is up next. Gibbie got a one timer (that’s a
one-base hit, I guess) back of Wilson (let me see, where does Wilson
play? Oh, yes, third!). Gibbie got a one-base hit back of third (very
plain), Ross arched one to Knight (an arching fly), Everson dropped
one in front of the rubber (a bunt, I am getting on splendidly again),
Gibbie annexing the keystone bag (Gibbie got to second), Little Arthur
was there with a dew drop (dew drop? What’s a dew drop, Tim?).”

“A little fly ball that comes down out of the sky and lights on the
grass without touching anything,” said Tim.

“Oh, I see! it was a little fly that should have been caught, but no
one got there in time. Wilson picked it up too late to shut the door
on either Gibbie, Everson or Delvin (couldn’t prevent them from what?)
who slid into the vacant chairs (did he want to shut the door on the
chairs?). You used a bad one there, Tim--and all the seats at table
were occupied (bases all full, eh?).

“The big German lad (Hagner) leaned gently against the leather apple
(leaned against the ball. Do you call Hagner’s style of hitting,
leaning?) and knocked it out of the orchard (over the fence) shaking
the tree for four more juicy ones (you mean four more runs) for Lowell.
Ty fouled to Bowman. Three out (why, such ordinary English?).

“After that for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth spasms (innings)
neither side got a look in (very ordinary, Tim), although three
hopefuls from each college went boldly to the front, only to be cut
down in their youth before crossing the Rubicon (you are giving out,
Tim, this isn’t nearly so good).”

“Wait until you strike the music in the seventh inning,” answered Tim.

The Professor went on reading, “In the stand-up session (oh, yes!
seventh inning), however, the tonsorial artists (good! the Barbers)
made the Lowell hair stand up (I don’t get that one).”

“Gave us a scare,” explained Tim.

“Hughie sent the Infant in (Infant?)”

“Radams,” said Tim, “his nickname is Babe.”

“Oh, of course, the Infant,” went on the Professor. “Hughie sent the
Infant in for a piece of pie (piece of pie, why pie?).”

“Well, the game was easy and Hughie wanted to give Babe a little
practical experience.”

“I see,” said the Professor, “very good, indeed, we will continue.
Jones the first shaver (he must have been a Barber man) swung the sign
(the sign?).”

“Yes, the sign--the barber pole--the stick--the bat.”

“Ah, yes, very good; swung the sign on a drop (drop ball) and raised it
over Arthur’s study box (study box--do you mean--of course, you mean,
he raised it over Delvin’s head) for a single. The fellow with the
after 6 P. M. name (let me think. Guess you’ll have to help me again,
Tim).”

“Read a little farther,” said Tim.

“The fellow with the after 6 P. M. name waited patiently, and as the
Babe couldn’t see the plate because Knight was near (oh, yes! I see his
name was Knight, very good, indeed, Babe couldn’t see the plate, ha!
ha!) he walked. Wilson hit a slow one to Johnny which he came in on and
rolled around the sod (Everson must have fumbled), while Jones, Knight
and Wilson perched on the salt bags (very ordinary that last), Hughie
wigwagged (signaled) the infield to come close so they could hear the
song of the Whirling Sphere and join in the chorus.

“Amberg binged (must mean hit) one which knocked the wind out of Honus’
organ (the ball hit Hagner in the stomach, I should say, from reading
that), Johnny picked up the sphere (ball) and heaved it at the Barber
band sitting back of Gibbie, behind the screen, to make them join the
music (he threw wild and high past Gibbie), and Jonesy and the Utter
Darkness (Utter Darkness? Oh, yes! Knight again) beat a fast tattoo on
the base line and disappeared over the horizon to the visitors’ bench
after their final journey toward the West. (Now, if I understand that,
it means Jones and Knight both scored and went and sat down on the
bench with their fellow players. Is that the idea?)”

“It is,” said Tim.

“Well, we’d better finish this inning, anyhow. Babe got himself in
tune by this time (you mean he got in harmony with the requirements
of his job, I suppose) and whanged out three high, but perfect notes
(he sent up three good balls), which Wheeler tried to reach in unison
with him (Wheeler tried to hit each of them) but couldn’t (in other
words, Wheeler struck out); Wilson, who had reached third while the
loud pedal was open (let’s see, Wilson had got to first on Johnny’s
error. Then this must mean he got around to third when Johnny made the
wild throw past Gibbie), was lulled to sleep by the sweet strains (was
so delighted that he got careless) and was caught napping by Gibbie
(Gibbie caught him off third base), Dorner sent a whistler (a fast one)
out to Talkington who muffled it (do you mean muffed? Oh, no, I see! he
caught it and that muffled its whistle), and the singing practice was
over. Score, 7-2.

“I think that is about all I can hope to learn in this first lesson in
your new language, Murnin,” said Professor Bennett, resuming some of
the dignity which he had dropped when he had become interested. “When
I first saw this I thought it wouldn’t do at all, but there seems to
be something about this new language of yours which makes the report
of a ball game quite interesting, and, I shall, therefore, let the
story go in the _Reporter_. I wish, however, that you would write out
a class-room copy of the report in plain English so that I can have a
defense handy in case any one asks questions of me.”

Tim did this but the report of the game as it appeared in the
_Reporter_ was so much of a puzzle that it created a disturbance. The
principal trouble was that the members of the faculty failed to look
at the matter in the same light that Professor Bennett had, and they
decided that future games should be reported in the former style.

[Illustration: “The faculty didn’t look at it in the same light.”]



CHAPTER XVI

THE ALUMNI GAME


Every year about this time there would be quite a gathering at the
University of old Lowell graduates. They came to see the team work,
in one or two games and in practice, and once each year the graduates
would make up a nine of the old timers who had come, and challenge the
new Varsity to a game. It was one of the traditions of the University
that the old graduates’ team always won this game, notwithstanding
their stiff knees, and other joints, to say nothing of their poor
throwing arms. The occasion was more of a reunion than anything else,
generally. Yet at the same time the old fellows were often able to give
valuable pointers to the new team, and, on the whole, aside from the
fun of the occasion, and the good it did the youngsters, it served to
bring the sons of Lowell more closely together.

Of course, the occasion was always too good a one to be missed by the
practical jokers, and the old graduates, with the aid of some of the
Juniors and Seniors, always picked out the good-natured young freshmen,
to play these jokes upon. In the meantime the fact that these practical
jokes were played was carefully withheld from them. The evening before
the game, the graduates had announced the team which would play next
day.

    1st Base          Ollie Taboo
    2nd Base          Johnny McGrew
    3rd Base          Jimmy Cullins
    Shortstop         Bill Fahlen
    Right Field       Mike Donil
    Left Field        James McKleer
    Center Field      Fielder James
    Pitchers          Joe Maginte
                      Jack Cheeseborough
    Catcher           Jim Maquire

All of them were old time stars at Lowell, and though out of the game
were never forgotten by the boys at school, because they each had
a sure place in the Lowell Hall of Heroes. The youngsters were all
on hand to see them and hear again the stories of their remarkable
playing. On this occasion there was always a “fanning bee,” as the boys
call it, and reviews of Lowell victories of the past.

As Hal was on his way home alone that night, having stayed around
longer than Hans, he heard some one following close behind him, and
after he had gone a couple of blocks someone touched him on the
shoulder and said, “Hello, Case, what’s the hurry?” Turning round he
saw that it was Johnny McGrew, the old timer who was a great second
baseman and who was on the team which would play the next day. After
they had walked a little way, McGrew suddenly said: “Case, I want you
to do something for me. We old fellows are no match for the wonders,
including yourself, which Hughie has on the Varsity this year, and
we’ve just got to win to keep up the old team’s reputation. You just
write down the signals which Hughie uses, and that will enable us to
lick the spots off you. Nobody will know about it, and I’ll see that
you get a hundred and twenty-five dollars for it.”

Naturally Hal became very indignant, and proceeded to show it by
preparing to fight.

“Now don’t get mad, kid,” said McGrew. “Nobody need know. Think it
over and I’ll call around at your room in the morning and fix it up
with you.” Then without another word he turned on his heel and went
back. Hal was so mad he did not know what to do for several minutes.
His first thought was to go back to the hotel where these old fellows
were staying and where he knew he would still find a large number of
his student friends and denounce Johnny. Finally he thought of Hughie
and he became almost sick at the thought that anyone would take him for
that kind of a lad.

[Illustration: “Now don’t get mad,” said McGrew.]

“I’ll go to see Hughie and tell him all about it,” said Hal to himself.
“As they have approached me and found I wouldn’t do what they wanted,
they will probably tackle some one else who may fall.” So he hunted up
Jenkins whom he found in his rooms with Everson and Larke, laying out
the campaign for the game next day. By this time Hal was so angry he
didn’t wait to see Hughie alone, but blurted out his story to the three
of them. They were very much surprised, and thanked Hal for coming to
them with the warning.

“I wonder,” said Larke, “if that’s the way they win from us youngsters.”

“What’s the matter with putting up a job on McGrew?” said Everson.

“Say, that would be a slick idea,” said Hughie. “I’ve got the scheme.
You go home, Hal, to-night and say nothing. When McGrew comes in the
morning you tell him you’ll do it, but that I never give out the
signals until after morning practice, and that you will get them for
him and hand them to him when the teams are dressing for the afternoon
game. Also that he can hand you the money later.

“What you really give him, though, is a blank sheet of paper. He’ll
walk off with that, thinking he has the signals, and the real joke will
be on him and he won’t dare peep while we can enjoy it secretly.”

Hal did everything as he was instructed. McGrew called, and when Hal
told him about how he would do it he said, “That will be all right.”

Hal promptly met him in the dressing room and handed him the paper at
the proper time, and he stuck it in his pocket. Hughie was, of course,
watching, but instead of laughing to himself and enjoying the joke on
McGrew he ran over, stuck his hand in McGrew’s pocket and pulled out a
paper.

“What are you fellows up to,” he asked, and then he opened the paper
and looked at Hal in surprise. He started to read and his eyes bulged
almost out of his head. “Why, these are the day’s signals,” said
Hughie. “What does this mean?”

[Illustration: “Why these are to-day’s signals,” said Hughie.]

“It means that one youngster on the Lowell team hasn’t stood the test
of loyalty which is required of our Alma Mater. I arranged with Case
last night to tip me off to the signals to-day in this way. I paid him
a hundred and twenty-five dollars last night,” said McGrew.

“Is this true?” asked Hughie. “Did you write this?” as he handed Hal
a sheet of paper of the same kind he had handed McGrew. Hal took the
paper and almost collapsed. On the paper was the following written in a
very good imitation of his writing:


    “SIGNALS.”

    “When Hughie uses a player’s name after the word careful, as
    for instance ‘Careful Johnny,’ even though mixed up in a lot
    of talk from the coaching lines, it means that the coach has
    discovered that the opposing pitcher is about to throw a fast
    straight ball, and Johnny at bat is thus given the signal to
    hit at it.

    “With two men on bases if Hughie raises his cap, it is a signal
    for a double steal.

    “When Hughie pulls grass with his right hand it means hit the
    next ball pitched, and when he pulls the grass with his left
    hand it means try to get a base on balls. If he lifts his left
    foot and whistles it means that right field is the best place
    to hit it, and if he does the same but with his right foot it
    means that the left fielder is out of position and the best
    place to knock the ball is there.

    “When a batter walks up to the plate with two bats in his hand
    and one or more of his team mates on base, if he throws the
    extra bat behind him with his left hand, it means that he is
    going to hit the first ball pitched.

    “If he throws the extra bat away from him with his right hand
    it means that he has orders to try to get a base on balls.

    “If Hughie, on the coaching lines, unbuttons the top button of
    his sweater it means that the fellow on first must get ready to
    steal second. If Hughie, on the coaching lines, jumps in the
    air and waves his arms, yelling Eyah! Eyah! twice, it means to
    the batter ‘Bunt.’ If he only says Eyah! once it means hit it
    out as hard as you can.”


    “CATCHER’S SIGNALS.”

    “If the catcher in telling the pitcher what kind of a ball to
    serve up lays two fingers of his bare hand against the inside
    of his catching mitt, thumb outstretched, he is signaling for
    an outcurve. One finger means an incurve. With two fingers
    on the glove, thumb turned under, a low outcurve is wanted.
    If with one finger on the glove, thumb turned under, a low
    curve is asked for. The whole hand doubled up in the glove
    means ‘send one wide of the plate, I have detected a signal to
    steal.’ Holding out the gloved hand without touching it with
    the other means send a straight ball waist high right over the
    plate.”

It was an exact copy of the signals which Hughie had given out in the
morning. Hal was mad. He never was so mad before in all his life. He
was mad enough to kill some one.

“I can lick any fellow that suggests such a thing, and I am going to
start in right now on the bunch of you.”

The first fellow he started for was Hughie. Just then Hughie winked at
him, and he stopped and looked at McGrew. McGrew was laughing and so
were all the rest, for by this time the room had filled up with old
graduates, and it suddenly began to filter through Hal’s brain that
this was one of those harmless practical jokes that he had heard about.
He thought it was cruel, of course, but McGrew said he had heard a
lot about Hal and among other things it was said that he was so even
tempered that he wouldn’t fight with anybody, and they wanted to see
what it would take to make him fight. They were satisfied now that he
could be depended upon to fight at the drop of the bat, whenever there
was anything worth fighting about.

Then they showed him that each fellow on the graduates team had a
type-written copy of the signals, anyhow, furnished by Hughie. That was
one of the rights which every player on the Alumni team could enjoy for
one day in the year. The old graduates’ club was expected always to win
its game with the Varsity, and how on earth would they have any show
against these modern Lowell teams, with their inside baseball and their
new trick plays, if they didn’t have the signals?

Then they all shook hands with Hal and told him he was a member of the
“Tried and True Club” of Lowell, and made him understand that this was
an honor very rarely given to a freshman, but that they wanted him to
have it because of the wonderful work he was doing as a first baseman.
When he shook hands with McGrew, however, he got another bump.

“Better give me back my one hundred and twenty-five dollars now, old
boy. I suppose you have it with you.”

Hal thought of his half of the story money which had come from the
magazine, and it was in his trousers pocket that moment. Was this
another one of their jokes, and how did they know he had it, was what
he thought. What he said was, “What do you know about my one hundred
and twenty-five dollars, brother,” and they all laughed at Hal’s quick
guess this time.

“Well,” said Fielder James, “you don’t know perhaps that I am connected
with the _Out Door Weekly_, but the other boys do. The editor, knowing
that I was coming up here, showed me a story in a recent issue of
the magazine and asked me to look up the author of the story, Harold
Case, and arrange with him for some more of them. I had seen your name
mentioned in the _Reporter_ every week, but I didn’t connect you with
the author chap, because they have called you Hal lately in the paper.
So when I arrived I was looking for Harold Case, the author. I found
only one person in the town by that name, yourself, so I asked my
friend, Jimmie Hamilton, the cashier of the bank, to help me find the
author, he having been here for twenty years, and I told him why.

“He said it must have been you, as you were in the bank a few days
before cashing a check from the _Out Door Weekly_ for two hundred and
fifty dollars, and dividing it with Hagner. He saw you give some of
it to Hagner, and then Hagner deposited one hundred and twenty-five
dollars to his own credit in the bank and he guessed you must have
divided with him. That was the first time I got the idea that Hans
might have been a real live person, because in the college news he is
of course referred to as Hagner. We just guessed you probably had the
one hundred and twenty-five dollars in your pockets, and so we arranged
the practical joke to fit what we knew. Now is it a real story or not?”

“Let’s go and ask Hans,” was all Hal would say. When they did get to
Hans they made him tell the whole story over and McGrew said, “If you
come to New York again let me know and I’ll lend you my auto.”

Hal was happy. It meant a great deal to him to be recognized by these
older graduates as their equal, and he had a right to be happy. It was
recognition of his merit by those whose opinion was valuable, because
they had enough practical experience of the world to enable them to
recognize true worth. None of the other Freshmen on the team were let
into the secret of how the old graduates were able to beat them so
badly. They marveled at the fact that the old timers were on to every
play that the boys attempted, and they had a great respect for the old
crowd that licked the Varsity that day by the one-sided score of 11 to
2.

But in the evening the old graduates’ club gave the team a little
dinner at which this tradition of the university was explained for the
benefit of the other youngsters, Hans, Ty, Tris and Radams, Ross and
Huyler. Then they were all initiated into the mysteries of the Lowell
O. K. Club, which meant that the team had been inspected by the old
boys who had won laurels for Lowell in the past, and was good enough in
their minds to go against Jefferson.



CHAPTER XVII

THE MAKING OF A FAN


Hiram Parker lived in the house with Hal and Hans. He it was who had
rented the third floor room at Mrs. Malcolm’s on the same day that Hans
had moved in. He had not arrived until the day following Hans and, as
said before, prepared his own meals in his rooms, and was such a quiet,
serious fellow that neither Hans nor Hal got very well acquainted with
him, or in fact saw him very often. Parker was a Senior. He was well
thought of in the university, especially among the members of the
Senior Class, who knew him for his earnestness.

Parker was a poor farmer’s son. He had to work harder than any other
fellow in the university, and he had to do the things the hardest way.
Not over bright naturally, he had to make his way by hard study and he
was able by the force of his will to overcome obstacles which one with
less determination would have balked at. When he entered the university
he was thirty-five years old. He was so poor and the little money he
earned in vacation time was really such a small amount that he had less
to spend than any other fellow in the school and he devoted all of his
time to his studies and paid no attention to the social features of
college life, and very little more to athletic affairs.

Shortly after the last holiday vacation he had found himself still more
cramped for funds, and finding that Mrs. Malcolm would let him have the
third floor front room for twenty-five cents per week less that he had
been paying, he had taken her room and moved in. His constant struggle
was to be able to live long enough to get through his course, and he
allowed himself no penny’s worth of spending money, nor any recreation
whatever. He had his mind on the main chance all the time and for him
it was to be graduated with honors from Lowell.

Parker was narrow-minded then, but he became a great preacher in later
years and broadened out a lot. His life was altogether serious, and
being much older than Hans and Hal and having undertaken to complete
the college course in three years instead of four he was too serious
even for a fellow of Hans’ disposition, who while earnest in all
things, managed to get the most out of life as he went along.

Occasionally the boys would meet Parker on the way home or on the
stairs. Being full of baseball all the time, they tried to talk about
it to Parker. He would listen attentively when they showed their
enthusiasm in this way and then he’d say, “I don’t know anything about
the game, boys. Never saw but one in my life and when it was over, I
knew less about it than before. It looks like a good game for a lot of
lunatics.”

“You wouldn’t think that way if you knew the game,” said Hal. “Nothing
like it for exercising all the muscles and keeping you strong and
healthy.”

“Clears your brain just to watch a game if you understand it,” said
Hans. “Rests your brain after the hard work of study.”

“I never had time to rest,” said Hiram. “College is a serious thing
with me.”

“It doesn’t pay to work all the time,” remarked Hans. “You know the old
saying ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’”

“Yes, I know that, but I’m strong yet and I have been rather dull all
my life,” replied Parker without noticing the humor of his remark.

“Why don’t you take a day off and come out and see one of the games
some day?” asked Hal.

“Maybe I will some day,” Parker would reply, and would then go on up to
his room.

But the drawing nearer of the big games of the season caused a lot of
excitement around the university, so much, in fact, that even fellows
like Parker began to be affected by it.

On the day of the game with Chadwick College which was the last game at
home before the first game with Jefferson now only a week off, Hal met
Parker coming in just as he was going out to the grounds. Hal was not
in the game that day. He had developed a bad boil on his left hand and
Hughie wasn’t taking any chances on having that hand out of commission
a week later, by having it further crippled.

So Hal was given a lay off from the team to give his hand a chance
to heal, and as he was very anxious not to miss those great games, he
made no kick against Hughie’s orders. At the same time it was tough
to think of sitting in the stand while Hans and the other boys were
enjoying themselves in the game with Chadwick which was generally an
easy game for Lowell to win. Chadwick College was not in the same grade
as Lowell, but sentiment for the founder, Father Chadwick, known as
the Father of Baseball, and the memory of what he had done for the
great sport served to keep the game on the regular schedule, and it had
always taken place just before the first great game with Jefferson.

“Come on along to the game,” said Hal as he met Parker.

“I have a good notion to. For once I haven’t much to do to-day. Been
thinking for some time I’d go out and see a game. I’ll go if you’ll
find some one to explain it to me,” answered Parker.

“I’ll explain it to you myself,” said Hal. “I’m not allowed to play
to-day on account of this boil on my hand.”

“All right, then, I’ll surely go.”

When they got out to the grounds Hal found a couple of seats in the
stand back of first which was his favorite place when watching a game,
as from there he could see all of it and watch all the plays. When play
started, though, he didn’t have much time to think of the game, he was
so busy answering Parker’s questions.

When Parker had told him he didn’t know anything about the game of
baseball, Hal thought of course, he didn’t mean that he knew nothing at
all about it. He supposed Parker would know what the idea of the game
was, but when Parker asked him what they had those big bean bags out
there for, Hal commenced to realize that here was a fellow who didn’t
know as much as a girl even about the great American game.

Once he had taken a girl cousin to see a game in California, and the
foolish questions she asked him made him vow never to take a girl to a
ball game again.

“What has that fellow got the cage on his face for?” was one of the
first questions Parker asked.

“That’s Gibbie, the catcher,” answered Hal. “He stands behind the plate
and he might get hit by a foul tip.”

“What’s a foul tip?” was the next question.

“A foul tip occurs when a batter strikes at a ball and almost misses
it. The ball just touches the rounded side of the bat, and of course
changes its direction. It does this so quickly that the catcher
sometimes can’t see it and it might hit him on the head,” replied Hal.

“I see,” said Parker. This was during practice before the game.

“What’s the idea of the game anyhow?” asked Parker next.

“Well,” began Hal, looking at Parker to see if he was serious or
joking. Parker was serious. “There are nine men on each side. One side
goes out in the field and the other side is at bat. When there are
three out they----”

“I thought you said nine were out,” broke in Parker.

“No, there are only three put out. I guess you were thinking about what
I said that one team of nine players takes position in the field to
catch the ball.”

“Does it take nine men to catch a ball?” asked Parker.

“No, only one,” said Hal, “but they have a man in each of the locations
where the ball is likely to be hit.”

The people in the seats in front turned around to look at Parker to see
who it might be. They wanted to see what a fellow looked like who was
as ignorant of the great American game as he seemed to be. Just then
the game began, the umpire said “play ball,” and after Hal had told him
that the umpire was the judge of play, Hal and Parker directed their
attention to the diamond. Presently the pitcher threw the ball. Ross
was at bat. It was a ball and Ross didn’t strike at it.

[Illustration: “The people in the stands turned around to see who it
might be.”]

“Why didn’t he hit it?” asked Parker.

“It wasn’t the right kind of a ball to strike at,” replied Hal.

“Do they use different kinds of balls?” asked Parker.

“No, they use the same ball all the time.” Hal saw that he would have
to explain about balls and strikes.

“You see, a batter can get four balls or three strikes. If he gets four
balls he runs to the base. If he gets three strikes he’s out.”

“Why don’t he always take the four balls?”

“Well, you see the pitcher fools him.”

“How?”

“The pitcher tries to make the batter think balls are strikes and
strikes are balls.”

“Doesn’t the batter know the difference?”

“Not until the umpire tells what it is. Sometimes even the pitcher
doesn’t know if it is a ball or strike until the umpire says what it
is,” explained Hal. He was thinking of the many times umpires have
called balls when the pitchers thought they were over the plate.

“Then what’s the use of having a batter?” asked Parker, bringing
his logic into play. “Why don’t the batters stand up in line behind
the umpire and let him tell each one in his turn if it’s a ball or a
strike?”

Before he could answer, however, Ross had hit the next ball. The umpire
called “foul ball” and the Chadwick shortstop, third baseman, and
catcher were all running to make the catch as it was a high foul over
toward the third base stands.

“What are they all running for?” asked Parker.

“To catch the ball,” answered Hal.

“I thought you said it only took one man to catch a ball.”

Again Hal tried to explain.

“You see, when a batter hits the ball the fielders try to stop it and
throw it to the base ahead of the runner. If the ball gets there before
the batter, he’s out. If he gets there first he is still in the game.
The player who throws to the base is credited with an assist, or a put
out if he catches the ball before it hits the ground.”

“But why doesn’t the batter run if he hit the ball?”

“Foul ball,” said Hal. “A foul ball, that is a ball which strikes
the ground outside of those white lines” (pointing to the foul lines
left and right) “doesn’t count as a hit. For a hit, a ball must be
fair, which means striking inside those lines. A foul ball counts as a
strike, but if it is caught it’s an out.”

“I see,” said Parker.

The game had meantime proceeded. Ross had three balls and two strikes.
The pitcher sent up the deciding one. “Four balls, take your base,”
called the umpire. Ross walked down to first.

“Why doesn’t he run?” asked Parker.

“He doesn’t have to run,” replied Hal.

“But you said if he got four balls he could run to first base.” This
showed Hal that Parker was absorbing the points and he took some
encouragement.

“They usually let them walk on four balls, as he can take his base on a
walk by the time the pitcher is ready again,” he replied. By this time
Ross had reached first and was standing there with one foot on the bag.

“Why doesn’t he take the base if it is his?” was the next question.

“He doesn’t really take the base,” explained Hal. “He is simply
entitled to go to it and be ready to run to second base.” He saw that
he would have to be very careful in his choice of words if he was to
teach Parker much of the game. Everson was next at bat. He hit the
first ball for a long fly to left and started on a slow trot toward
first, while Ross remained at the bag.

“Why doesn’t the fellow on first run?” asked Parker.

“He is waiting to see if the ball is caught,” said Hal.

“Can’t he run unless the ball is caught?” Parker went on.

“Not on a fly. He has to wait until the ball is caught. After a fly is
caught he can run to the next base.” The fielder muffed the ball and
Ross ran like the wind to second, Everson reaching first easily.

“I thought you said he couldn’t run until the ball was caught. That
fellow out there missed it,” came from Parker.

“I ought to have told you at first that if a fielder muffs a fly ball
everybody runs, except in the case of a foul,” explained Hal.

“Yes, but there are only two of them running,” Parker replied.

Hal laughed. Everybody near them was paying more attention to them than
to the game. They were calling Parker “the Rube.” One freshman said:
“Get a copy of the ‘Book of Rules,’ Rube, and learn it by heart before
the next game.”

The game proceeded for some time and Hal did the best he could to
answer the many questions Parker put to him. He had his own troubles
when it came to explaining the “hit and run play,” “the double steal,”
and the “squeeze play,” especially the latter. Some one in the stand
said when Ty was on third base and Tris at bat with one out, “They’re
going to work the squeeze.” They did work it, and successfully, as
sometimes happens, and the fans yelled, “Did you notice that squeeze?”

“I didn’t see anybody get squeezed,” said Parker, “who was it?”

“Why,” said Hal, “Ty was on third and Tris squeezed him in.”

“Did he hurt him?” asked Parker.

The crowd around them yelled. Hal knew it was almost as hard to
describe the squeeze play as to justify it, but he did his best and
Parker said finally he understood it all right, but it is doubtful if
he really did.

The game had developed into a really exciting one for an inning or two.
For the first few innings the pitchers had held the batters safe and
there were few hits made. In fact, up to the beginning of the seventh
inning Lowell had secured but three hits and Chadwick three. Lowell had
one run, worked out by a two bagger by Robb, a clean steal of third and
he had been brought home by Tris on the squeeze play already mentioned.
In the first half of the seventh, Chadwick knocked out three runs on a
couple of hits mixed with a bunch of errors on the part of Lowell.

In the meantime by repeated explanation of the different plays, Parker
had begun to understand some of the first principles of the game. He
had already gotten to the point where he didn’t ask as many questions.
He was watching the game. Six short innings of baseball had planted
the seed out of which would some day grow a “full fledged fan.” He
didn’t understand much of it, of course, but he had begun to feel the
alternate strain and relaxation which everyone feels when watching a
game. It has been the same for years with all of us.

When “our” side is at bat you are always hoping the batter will hit it
safe. You watch the pitcher wind up. Your muscles are tense. You see
the ball leave his hands. You see the batter prepare to strike at it.
He strikes and misses. The umpire calls “one strike.” You relax. Again
the pitcher delivers the ball. Again the muscles become tense. The
umpire says “one ball” and again you sink back in your seat in perfect
repose. By this time the pitcher is again ready. The third time the
ball is sent toward the batter like a white streak. Somehow you feel
he is going to hit it this time. As before, your muscles become tense.
You hear a crack of wood against leather. You raise yourself up in your
seat. It’s a foul fly back of the plate. You see the catcher throw off
his mask and run up for the ball. You are absolutely rigid. You see the
set and determined face of the catcher as he comes running toward you,
his mind on nothing but the catch he hopes to make, he sees nothing
but the ball. You, yourself, are thinking of nothing else. You hope he
misses it. Now it’s coming down close to the stand. He’s almost under
it. He’s going to get it. Just then he stubs his toe on a pebble and he
muffs it. You are glad. You relax. You cheer him for missing it. You
look round you. There are ten, twenty, forty thousand people, a moment
ago just as tense and rigid as you, thinking of nothing else but that
catch, who are now settling back in their seats, happy and content,
everyone of them, excepting of course the few “rooters” for the other
side.

The next ball pitched is a good one, fast and straight over the plate.
The batter sets himself to meet it fair and square. You do likewise,
as if you would help him. Now he pulls back his bat, he swings, he
meets it fair, you can tell by the sound it makes that it’s a long
hit. You see the center fielder, look once to get the direction, then
turn his back to the ball and run just as hard as he knows how. You
stand up, everybody stands up, not a word is spoken. It seems as though
minutes are passing until the play is decided. Soon you see the fielder
turn half way round to look and then he goes on running. He is still
too far away. You see him getting near the ball, but not near enough
to catch it. By this time the ball is going over his head. He has lost
it. No, he makes one try at the right moment. He takes a mighty leap
into the air, up goes one hand, the ball hits his glove and sticks, he
comes down to earth, he rolls over half a dozen times on the grass, but
he comes up finally with the ball in his hand and you begin to relax.
Then you start to jump up and down, you wave your hat, you throw it up
in the air, and wave your arms and you try to yell louder than your
neighbors. If you look around, you will see forty thousand people doing
the same. Yelling and cheering and waving arms, hats or anything that
comes within reach. You are cheering the other side, but you don’t
mind. It was a wonderful catch.

[Illustration: “He comes down to earth.”]

And so it goes, through nine whole awfully short innings always. Time
flies so quickly at a ball game. It’s over before you want it to be.
Our side wins! You go home happy. Our boys lose? Well, better luck
to-morrow.

In the second half of the seventh inning of the game with Chadwick,
this Lowell team just had to get at least three runs, so Hughie told
the boys and he would be obliged if they would get a half dozen.
Everson was the first man up and he got an infield hit to short which
he beat by inches. Then the Lowell boys on the bench commenced to get
busy, for they had sensed the “break.” There comes a time in almost
every game of ball, which has become known as the “break,” when the
game can be won for one team or the other. There is no definite period
of the game when this occurs, but the players seem to sense it. Let a
batter get to first and if you see the players on the bench commence
to reach for their bats, swing them a few times, laugh, get excited
and dance up and down like boys with a new toy, you will know that the
“break” has come then, and that the game will be won or lost right
there. So it was at this point in the game with Chadwick.

Delvin was the next man up. He got a single to right field. Next came
Hans. He hit a grounder over second base which couldn’t be stopped and
the bases were full. Ty came up with his little black bat and hit the
ball over third base for a two bagger and Everson and Delvin raced home
for runs. Hans got to third and Ty reached second. Tris knocked the
ball to shortstop, who was nervous by this time and made an error. Hans
got home and Robb reached third while Tris was on first. One more run.
The Larke hurried to the plate and after fouling off a couple, hit one
fair and square and the ball made a high flight straight for the left
field fence, and went over. A home run, and Robb and Tris scored ahead
of him. The “break” was over, the opposing players settled down. The
pitcher steadied himself, recovered his nerves, and the next three men
went out in order. The rest of the game went along without any further
excitement. The “break” in the seventh inning was the meat of the whole
game.

Parker and Hal went through the inning like all the rest. It got so
exciting for Hal that he forgot all about Parker and when he did
remember him he saw that Parker had forgotten him. Parker was standing
up on his seat with all the rest of them, bareheaded, for his hat had
been discarded many minutes before. His hair was disheveled, his coat
was in his left hand and he was whirling it above Hal’s head while with
his other hand he was slapping his neighbor on the right violently on
the back with a newspaper, while that party was hugging the fellow in
front of him.

“I see you have joined the ranks of the lunatics, you told me about the
other day,” said Hal.

“Me for the ball game after this,” replied Parker. “Think of it. Here
it’s my first game of ball since I came to college, nearly the last
game of the year, and me a Senior. I’ve been asleep. I’ve missed
things.”

“That’s the way it gets everybody,” said Hal. “It surely is the great
American game.”

Parker was sorry when the game was over. It was a great experience for
him, and during the remaining few days of the term he had many talks
with Hans and Hal about baseball and after he was graduated and became
a famous preacher he became and remained a faithful enthusiast. Thus
are “fans” made.

[Illustration: The Making of a Fan.]



CHAPTER XVIII

THE TRIP TO JEFFERSON


During the second week in June, the week of final preparation for
the trip to Jefferson and the first of the three championship games
with Jefferson, final examinations interfered to some extent with
the baseball practice, but by getting out on the field very early in
the morning and late in the afternoon, with here and there a special
shifting of the examination hour, for this or that member of the team,
the nine put in a pretty busy week.

Coach Young had returned from Jefferson with a complete confirmation of
the early reports about the nine that Captain Church had developed in
the western college, and letters kept coming in daily from alumni in
the west, sounding the warning that Hughie and his boys must “prepare
for the battle of their lives,” as Church had built up a wonderful
baseball machine--one that it would be the greatest task to beat.

This talk had its effect on the Lowell boys, and Hughie and Captain
Larke were a good deal worried. After a consultation they decided to
telegraph to Johnny McGrew, Conny McGil and Pop Anderson to come on to
act as assistant coaches and help put on the finishing touches. Most of
the time was put in signal and batting practice, as all other games
were out of the way. The coaches figured that with equal ability in the
pitching department the batting would win the games, if backed up by
perfect team work, which only a thorough understanding of the signals
could make possible.

Finally the great day came for the trip to the western college. A
special train of twelve cars was provided and with the cheers of all of
the students that couldn’t go along, professors and the townspeople,
ringing in their ears, they started.

The team occupied a special coach in the rear of the train, and no
one not a member of the Varsity was allowed in the car, excepting of
course, special coaches, Young, McGrew, McGil and Pop Anderson. With
these surrounding them in the car, Hughie, Captain and Johnny laid out
the plan of the coming battle.

They had their own private chef aboard, the same who prepared the meals
at the training table, so that with the exception of riding across the
country at the rate of sixty miles per hour, they were as comfortable
and fully as much under training orders as at home. The other cars on
the train were occupied by the great body of students who made the
journey with the team to attend the game, three coaches being filled
with the Lowell Organized Noise Club. All along the route, whenever the
train stopped, and they made stops all along the line to take on Lowell
Alumni--there were crowds of Lowell graduates at the station to cheer
and wish them Godspeed.

We will turn our attention, however, to the special car at the end of
the train with the nine.

There is nothing like a long railroad journey to get you acquainted
with people and to give you a chance to note the peculiarities of the
others in the car and this would be especially true in the car referred
to where everyone was interested in one thing. Every man on the train
felt that the result might depend upon him. The good batters would
wonder if their favorite sticks were aboard.

Ty Robb, quiet and nattily dressed, high strung, nervous, built like a
greyhound, with slight waist and magnificently formed shoulders, small
ankles and wrists and a poise to his head like the ideal Grecian youth,
came as near being a perfect built athlete as any one on the train; but
even this well-balanced youth was not above being superstitious, for he
got a little bit nervous along about bedtime, and finally hunted up his
little old black bat out of the bunch and took it to bed with him.

Hans, directly opposite in temperament, ponderous in his movements,
anything but nervous, but equally superstitious, saw Ty coming down the
aisle with his bat and went him one better, for in addition to getting
his favorite bat, he dug out his old glove--the one with the hole in
the middle--and slept that night with it under his pillow.

Captain Larke had no superstitions to bother him, nor was he nervous.
His responsibilities as captain of the team never in any way interfered
with his playing. His movements were always graceful and he had an
eye that was particularly clear when it came to judging the speed of
baseballs knocked out to left field. One habit, however, of college boy
life, the captain never would acquire. He was born in Kansas and ever
since he could remember he had owned a big cowboy hat and the college
boy’s cap was so insignificant by comparison that he never would wear
one of them. Larke’s hat was a kind of mascot with him, no doubt, for
he always kept it on such trips as this where he could keep his eye on
it when not on his head.

Johnny Everson, small in physique, but large in brains, self-possessed
and confident at all times, had made one of his nice little speeches
to the boys at dinner, and when he went to bed he wasn’t thinking
about bats, balls or gloves or worrying about the part he might have
to play on the morrow. He lay awake in his berth a long time, however,
rehearsing the impromptu speech he intended to make at the dinner which
he knew the Jefferson boys would give the team whether the game was won
or lost.

Hughie had a good many things to think about so he didn’t get much
time to let superstition work. He was busy with his batting order and
signals for the coming game, but just before going to sleep he did
wonder if the grass at Jefferson was longer and thicker at third base
or at first.

Delvin, like a number of the older fellows on the team, had made the
trip before and was not unfamiliar with sleeping cars. Delvin was a
grand fellow almost all the time, quiet, and a great reader and he
rarely ever kicked about anything. But put him on board a sleeper and
along about bedtime you could always hear him grumble, and no wonder,
for there never was a berth made long enough to accommodate all of
his length, and so he had to curl up when he slept on a train and
during the night Arthur woke up the whole bunch several times with his
grumbling.

Gibbs, big, strong, and brainy as lots of these boys are who came from
Canada, was pretty tired from the long ride with no activity, and at
bedtime went to bed and to sleep with no apparent thought of the hard
work before him the next day. But during the night he must have dreamed
about a ball game, for suddenly the whole car was aroused by the noise
of breaking glass and some one was shouting, “You will try to steal on
me will you?” and when the boys stuck their heads out from between the
curtains they saw Gibbie in one end of the car in pajamas over which he
had put on his shin guards, pad, mask, and glove and at the other end
of the car could be seen a badly shattered mirror through which Gibbie
had just a moment before thrown something. He had been walking in his
sleep, and putting on all of his catching outfit had for five minutes
been making signals at himself in the glass at the other end of the
car. Thinking he saw a base runner, he picked up what he thought was a
ball (it was in reality one of Hans’ big shoes), and snapped it at his
own image in the mirror beyond. He missed the porter, who happened to
be coming down the aisle just then, but made a perfect throw and the
shoe went sailing into the mirror. They finally managed to wake him
up, but had a hard time doing it, for Gibbie kept saying, “Don’t put
me out of the game. I want to catch every game on the schedule this
season.”

[Illustration: “You will try to steal on me?”]

For Hal the trip was a great novelty. He and the other freshmen had
never taken a railroad ride in a private car, and it was a great
novelty for them. The ovations the boys received at the different
stations were particularly interesting and at most every station the
Alumni and friends of Lowell, after shaking hands with the old boys
on the team and wishing them good luck, would always ask, “Where’s
Case? We want to see Hal and Hans, also Robb and Talkington.”
Between stations he read a few short stories for boys as he was
always interested in them. Hal was not known to be superstitious and
did nothing on going to bed that would show that he was, so it is
impossible to write down anything about him here along this line.
Hal, however, did wear his cap on the train and just before he went
to bed he took a wad of chewing gum out of his mouth and stuck it on
the button on the top of his cap. There may have been no superstition
connected with that, however. He probably only wanted to put it where
he could find it.

Huyler, the utility and pinch hitter, got a new nickname on that ride.
They called him the “Candy Kid.” No one knows who started it, but the
idea may have been suggested by the numerous confectioners’ signs which
dotted the landscape all along the route, and particularly those of one
manufacturer whose goods were continually offered by the newsboys on
the train.

Black, whose youth was spent in the coal districts of Illinois, was
happy because he was on his way to his own state, and whenever they
passed a trainload of coal on the way, he would tell the boys what
a great business coal mining was. You would not think he would have
much love for coal or the mines either, for as a boy he had lost two
of the fingers of his right hand by getting his hand caught in some
machinery at one of the mines near his home while playing around it.
But Miner always said that if he had more than three fingers left on
his pitching hand he probably could not throw the kind of curves which
he did, but would have to pitch the same as others, and he probably
wouldn’t amount to much as a pitcher if he did.

For Babe Radams the ride was one of doubt. He wanted to get into the
game the next day but only an accident to Miner would give him a
chance, and he thought very likely that he would have to sit on the
bench. He wouldn’t think of hoping that Miner would have to be taken
out of the box, but he felt confident that he could take care of the
job if he got a real chance, and perhaps they would let him pitch the
second game, if Lowell won the first. Babe’s thoughts were, however,
all for the glory of Lowell and so he really wished that it wouldn’t
be necessary to call on him during the first contest. He had acquired
a good deal of glory as second pitcher on the team and felt sure that
next year he would be the first pitcher for the team, since Miner would
be out of school.

Before one o’clock, however, all the excitement had settled down in the
car and everybody was asleep. Gibbie had forgotten his troubles and
Delvin had quit grumbling, and the rest of the boys were glad, so they
slept on undisturbed until the porter awoke them about seven in the
morning and told them they had arrived.



CHAPTER XIX

BEFORE THE BATTLE


When the boys awoke to find themselves in the western city, the seat of
Jefferson College, a great crowd was on hand to meet them. They were
mostly Lowell Alumni who lived in the towns in the West. Many of them
had traveled hundreds of miles to attend the game, and win or lose,
cheer for Lowell. A number of the members of the team were greeted
at the station by their fathers and mothers and sisters who had not
seen the boys since the holiday vacation. Then there was also a fair
sprinkling of sweethearts to greet them.

There was nobody to meet Hal, for his folks couldn’t afford to come all
the way from California. His father’s illness, however, had not been
serious and he had gone back to his work and was thus able to send Hal
his original allowance, so the boy’s worry about money was over. In
fact, he had money in the bank, for Hans had a long talk with Hal after
the Alumni game, and had convinced him that it would be a good time to
show a little thrift, so Hal had put his one hundred and twenty-five
dollars in the bank, and Hans had gotten him to agree not to touch it
until it was absolutely necessary. He had never had a bank account
before and he was proud of it, now that he had started. He had not
written any more stories for the _Out Door Weekly_, because Hans had
made no more trips to New York.

Seeing most of the fellows talking to parents, sisters or sweethearts
gave Hal a touch of homesickness, but it was not for long, as presently
the whole team was gathered into a half dozen waiting automobiles and
driven through the streets and out to the Jefferson Club House, which
was within the grounds occupied by the Stadium. Here the boys could
bathe and limber up during the morning hours for the game, which was to
begin at two o’clock.

On the way to the club the automobiles made a detour of the streets,
including a trip past the college buildings and the fellows had an
opportunity to get an idea of the extent and grandeur of this wonderful
western college. There were quite as many buildings as at Lowell, and
they were much finer in many respects, but the newness did not make you
think of classic halls and college traditions as did the old ivy-clad
buildings at Lowell. In years to come this might possibly be said of
Jefferson, but it takes time to build up a college and only age can
bring to it the loved traditions such as were associated with Lowell,
and the boys were glad that they were enrolled as students in the older
and more famous university of the East.

Jefferson College had been founded but twenty years before. A very
rich man had endowed it with millions and added more millions every
year. The best teachers that money could secure were obtained and the
college had done remarkable things for the boys who entered it, but
no amount of money they could spend could give that which Lowell had
spent more than a hundred years to acquire--recognition as the greatest
seat of learning in the country. But the western college was proud of
the remarkable progress she had made in so short a time and she was
reaching out in every way, hoping that some day she would overtake and
pass her great rival.

Naturally athletics was selected as one of the chief fields of effort.
Her managers knew that athletic supremacy would give the college the
greatest prestige. Championships in the different branches of sport
would attract students, and with a full roster of students, year after
year, it was thought to be only a question of time when all the rest
would come to her.

So they had built a magnificent athletic field costing over a million
dollars, the finest equipment in the country. There were enough seats
to accommodate 50,000 people, and every seat was taken at the big
games which took place there, for the people of this Western city were
proud of their college, as they had a right to be, and they made up
attendance what Jefferson lacked in alumni, and they “rooted” just as
hard for their college as they would have had they graduated from the
beautiful though as yet not classic halls.

The rivalry between the two schools was therefore keen, even though one
was, in baseball at least, the defender and the other the aggressor.
Lowell came to Jefferson as the recognized champion in both baseball
and football this year and of two teams evenly matched, Lowell would
have the slight advantage which champions always have and her games
were usually conducted with this advantage in mind.

Jefferson on the other hand had still to win the championship and was
fighting hard for a reputation. She was inclined to conduct her games
desperately, to try by the force of brawn to overthrow the champions.

For this reason the annual struggle over the Baseball Championship
stirred up a lot of excitement and this excitement was felt throughout
the city.

On the day of the great game, business houses closed early and everyone
talked baseball. Everybody that could get in went to the game. Many
were always turned away, for even the vast amphitheater seating fifty
thousand was not big enough. After all the seats had been filled and
ten thousand others were let on the field to sit on the grass or stand
for two hours through the contest, the gates would be locked and no
more could get in.

Long before ten o’clock the streets surrounding the field were crowded
with people standing in line hoping to get one of the choice seats,
many of which were not reserved. At eleven o’clock the gates were
thrown open and for more than an hour the people poured into the
grounds in a steady stream. By 12.30 the stands were full and ten
thousand or more had been let out on the field below the stands to sit
in cramped positions on the ground or stand with aching legs through
the great game. If anyone in that crowd got tired standing, he didn’t
show it.

At one o’clock the two teams emerged from the club house to make the
annual march across the field to the benches reserved for players. They
were preceded by a band of sixty pieces. Jefferson College wore white
uniforms and maroon stockings and sweaters, Lowell wore gray uniforms
and green stockings and sweaters, for the home players always wear
white. As they came marching across the field, both teams abreast in
one single line, the crowd in the stands arose and began to cheer.

Hal and Hans looked ahead of them at the thousands who had been crowded
out onto the field. Neither of them had ever before seen such a crowd
to say nothing of playing ball before so many people. In two thirds
of the stand, from the extreme left way over almost to the visitors’
bench, nothing could be seen but a mass of white and maroon. Back of
third base from where they approached, the maroon gave place to green.
As they came nearer they could see the white places represented white
shirt sleeves or ladies’ dresses or straw hats. The maroon they saw
was the color of Jefferson in the form of thousands of flags, banners,
and handkerchiefs, while the green on the left was caused by the green
of their own university proudly worn by more than ten thousand Lowell
men. On the field the crowd was mixed, maroon and green and white, for
here there were no reserved spaces. Each had to shift for himself and
in the effort to find the best place to see the game and have the most
possible fun, maroon mixed freely with green even before the game began.

Down in front of the Jefferson players’ bench sat the Jefferson Singing
Club which led the singing and yelling for the Western school, while in
front of the visiting players’ bench near third base could be seen the
Lowell Organized Noise Club.

As they approached the home plate, the Jefferson team turned to the
left and the Lowell team to the right and after the teams had reached
their respective benches the Jefferson Singing Club arose and placing
their megaphones to their lips began singing

    “FAIR LOWELL.”

Gradually the volume increased as the first base stands took it up,
and as the Lowell students and adherents recognized the first notes of
their dear old College Song, they quickly joined in and sixty thousand
voices were singing in one chorus. As soon as the song was finished
the singing coaches started the Lowell yell; for several minutes the
familiar

    Well! Well! Well!
    Yell! Yell! Yell!
    Spell! Spell! Spell!
    L--O--W--E--L--L
    Oh! Well! Oh! Well!
    Go Tell! Go Tell!
    Everybody we’re from LOWELL

echoed and reëchoed over the field.

Then, just as the last echoes were thrown back from the distance, the
Lowell boys, not to be outdone by the delicate compliment of their
rivals of their own accord also, struck up the Jefferson song,

    ALMA MATER.

More quickly than before it was taken up by the vast audience, because
they were now on the alert, the band joined in and for five minutes
more the resounding notes of the Western song were thrown upon the air
from sixty thousand throats to be followed by the familiar Jefferson
yell, which made the biggest noise of all because more of the crowd
were familiar with it.

    J--E--EFF
    J--E--EFF
    J--E--EFFERSON
    JEFFERSON JEFFERSON
    RAH ROW RAY RI REE RAW RUN
    That’s the music for JEFFERSON.

Then for the forty minutes of practice allowed the team, the Jefferson
crowd, the band and Lowell’s representatives in turn sang their best
songs, and gave their yells, all but the band, of course, which in this
instance made less noise and also less music than any one of the three,
if you can ever call noise music.

Jefferson would start her baseball song going to the tune of “Maryland,
My Maryland.”

    Thy sons are battling for thy name
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson
    They go to die or win this game
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson
    Give them your cheers in loud acclaim
    Help them to-day withstand the strain
    And they’ll add glory to your fame
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson.

    The Champions are our foes they say
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson
    For twenty years they’ve blocked our way
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson
    We have a team to cause dismay
    To any nine that tries to play
    Baseball with this big school to-day
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson.

    We’ve got the lads who hit the ball
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson
    Where Lowell boys are not at all
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson
    We’ll make those Champions look small
    We’ll hit them over the outer wall
    And raise that rag on Chapel Hall
      Jefferson, dear Jefferson.

And just as soon as they had finished, the Lowell contingent would cut
loose with their version of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

    The Lowell team is on the job
      Her nine is fit and strong
    She has got the boys who hit the pill
      And they’ve been champions long
    She’s better this year than ever before
      She’s never yet been wrong,
    So let the game go on.

    _Chorus_

    Here’s three cheers for good old Lowell,
    Here’s three cheers for good old Lowell,
    Here’s three cheers for good old Lowell,
      So let the game go on.

    We’ve seen them come and seen them go,
      For twenty years or more;
    They never yet have beat us,
      When they came to add the score.
    They have tried to steal our signals
      They have worked till they were sore,
    So let the game go on.

    _Chorus_

    For Lowell’s got the pitchers,
      And we’ve got a back stop true
    The infield is a bunch of stars
      The outfield’s nifty too,
    They’re all .300 hitters,
      And you’ll meet your Waterloo,
    So let the game go on.

    _Chorus_

Presently the chosen umpires, Sel. O. Lafflin of American College and
Robert M. S. Lee, of National University, came onto the field. They
consulted with Hughie and Church, agreed upon the ground rules, and
presently Lafflin, who was to umpire behind the bat, stepped to the
plate and then turning to the stands said:

“Ladies and Gentlemen: The batt’ries for to-day’s game are--For Lowell,
Black, pitcher and Gibbs, catcher. For Jefferson--Mellen, pitcher
and Brest, catcher; Black and Gibbs for Lowell; Mellen and Brest for
Jefferson. Play ball.”

[Illustration: “Ladies and gentlemen! The batteries for to-day are----”]

Quickly the Jefferson players arose from the bench and trotted out onto
the field. The Lowell boys on their bench stirred nervously, eager to
get into the fray. Everson carefully selected his favorite bat from the
row of them which was on the ground before the bench and stepped to the
plate.

There wasn’t a sound to be heard on the grounds or in the stands.
Everywhere was silence. Mellen stood there in the pitcher’s box, the
new white ball in his right hand, eying Everson with intense scrutiny,
trying to solve what his greatest batting weakness might be. Everson
looked back at Mellen, waiting, perhaps a little nervous but with a
look of determination on his face. He stood at the rubber, his feet
slightly apart, his bat firmly grasped, his head to one side as if
listening, but his eye on the white round thing in Mellen’s hand, and
he never took his eye off that ball. The game was about to begin. The
first ball pitched might decide the game. His turn at bat if successful
might win it, his failure to do just what Hughie had instructed him to
do might lose the game. Mellen began to wind up. He pulled back his
right arm, twisted himself, looking back of him; he turned back again
facing the batter; he brought forward that strong right arm of his, the
ball started toward the plate, a white streak. The game had begun.



CHAPTER XX

THE FIRST GAME


      LOWELL              JEFFERSON
    Everson, 2b         Laird, 3b
    Larke, lf           Beach, cf
    Talkington, cf      Church, 1b
    Robb, rf            Hollins, ss
    Hagner, ss          La Joy, 2b
    Case, 1b            Warcford, lf
    Delvin, 3b          Twitchell, rf
    Gibbs, c            Brest, c
    Black, p            Mellen, p

“Ball one,” called the umpire as the first ball released by Mellen sank
into Roger’s big mitt, and the crowd settled itself temporarily to
watch the big battle. Mellen had sent up a wide one just for a feeler
and Johnny let it go by. The second ball cut the plate in the middle,
but Johnny never made a move.

“Strike one,” said the umpire.

Everson struck at the next one only to foul it off over the stand and
it was two strikes and one ball. Mellen quickly sent up a good one
guessing that Johnny would be looking for a ball, but Everson saw it
was going to be good and took a hard swing at it and met it squarely,
knocking a very fast grounder over second base which looked good, but
La Joy of Jefferson hurried over, made a very graceful reach with his
right hand, and turning, threw, without looking, straight to Church,
and Johnny was out by a foot. One out. The crowd sat up, for it was a
hard ball to field, although Larry made it look easy.

Larke was the second man up. He fouled off the first two balls offered
to him, let one pass for a “ball,” and as the next one seemed to be
coming where he liked it, swung hard at it and missed.

“Out,” said the umpire and Talkington trotted up to the plate.

He hit the first ball pitched far out to right field but Mellen had
motioned the fielders to play back and the ball went straight into
Twitchell’s hands for the third out.

The sides now changed places amid the cheers of the crowd, for the game
promised to be particularly interesting.

Laird, the first man up, after missing one, hit a pop foul over by the
Jefferson bench which Delvin caught after a quick run.

Beach drove a hot grounder to Delvin, who made a fine stop and throw to
Case and there were two out.

Captain Church of Jefferson was next up. Miner sent one of his fast
inshoots to cut the inside corner of the plate, but it was a little
wide and as Church couldn’t get out of the way, the ball grazed his
shirt and Church got his base.

Hollins was next at bat, but Gibbie got the idea that Church would try
to steal second right away, so he motioned Miner to send up a fast
wide one. Church tried it but was caught a dozen feet off the bag by
Gibbie’s perfect throw to Everson.

In the second inning Robb was first up. He struck hard at the first
ball pitched, and missed. Then he bunted the next ball, but it rolled
straight to Mellen and he was an easy out, Mellen to Church.

Then Hagner came up for his first turn at bat. The Lowell crowd began
a great noise of cheering, for they had a feeling that something would
happen now. They had long been in the habit of expecting action in the
game when Hans came to bat. But Hans showed no signs of excitement
as he walked to the plate. He stood there in his loose, awkward way,
studying Mellen, and Mellen was studying him. Perhaps Mellen had better
thoughts than Hans, for he served up a ball that looked good to Hans
and he struck at it hard and missed. The second one looked just as good
and he missed that one too. When Mellen delivered the next one, Hans
thought he would look it over carefully and if it looked like the other
two he would let it go by. It did look like the others, coming straight
for the plate, and so he waited for it to curve, but it came straight
over the plate and Hans didn’t move, but the umpire said, “Three
strikes. Batter up,” and Hans had struck out.

Hal now came up. There were two out and he wanted a hit. The second
ball looked good, so he hit it for a grounder to the right of Laird
and raced to first, but Laird made a stab, got the ball, and without
setting himself, made a very quick but low throw to Church. The
Jefferson Captain, however, made a beautiful pickup and Hal was out.

Now it was the second turn for Jefferson at bat.

Hollins without waiting drove a hot grounder right over first base that
looked like a hit, for Hal was playing about twenty feet off. Somehow
or other, however, Hal got over near it, threw himself the last six
feet of the way, stopped the ball while falling and then, as he lay on
the ground, tossed to Miner, who had covered first, for a put out. The
rest of the Lowell team looked pleased, for he had saved a hit and the
crowd was excited. The Jefferson boys couldn’t figure how they could
get hits when such fielding was possible.

[Illustration]

At any rate they all thought this but Larry. He walked up to the plate
and stood there swinging his bat carelessly. Wherever Miner pitched
a ball, Larry would reach up or down with his bat and touch the ball
somehow. He fouled off one after the other until he had lost seven
balls over the stand behind him and then he hit the eighth one fair and
square for a long liner to center which ought to have been good for a
double, only Talkington raced over and by extremely fast fielding held
it to a single.

The seven fouls and the hit by Larry had made hard work for Miner and
so when Warcford came up for his first time at bat he hit a Texas
leaguer to short left which fell safe and he took first while Larry
reached second.

It looked as though Jefferson would score surely, and especially with
Twitchell at the bat and runners like Larry and Warcford on the bases.
It looked even more dangerous when Twitchell hit the first ball Miner
pitched for a very fast grounder right over second, but Everson raced
over, made an almost impossible stop, tossed the ball to Hans on second
who relayed it to Case at first completing a fast double play and
letting Miner out of a dangerous hole.

It was the beginning of the third inning. So far Jefferson had the
better of it, two hits, while Lowell hadn’t had a man on base.

Arthur came to bat and struck out. So did Gibbie and when Black came up
Mellen made it a strike out for the side, for he got Miner, too.

Lowell took the field for the second half of the third and Miner
proceeded to repeat Mellen’s stunt.

Brest was the first up and Black undertook to fool Roger, who, however,
while pretending that he was going to strike by running out to meet the
ball, completely fooled Black, and so Roger got his base. Big Mellen,
the pitcher, tried to bunt, but Hal who was expecting this had started
for the plate on the run the moment Black started to pitch. The bunt
started for the first-base line and Roger started for second, but
before the ball had rolled three feet Hal had it. He tagged Mellen out
and whirling quickly threw to Everson who almost missed because it was
done so swiftly. However, he caught the ball and tagged out Brest as he
started to slide. The play saved a run, for Laird, the next man, drove
a single to left and Brest could easily have scored from second but for
the wonderful double play started by Hal. Of course Laird got to first,
but the players all relaxed a little after the exciting play and Laird
walked a few feet off the base, when Gibbie caught him napping by a
quick throw to Case, and there were three out.

Jefferson had come a little closer to scoring in the third. Lowell was
fielding all right but they had not gotten a hit.

Everson came up first in the fourth, and you could see by his
expression that he meant to change things. He got a near hit. But for
Hollins it would have been a single, but Hollins robbed him by a great
stop on his left side and threw to Church, and Johnny was out. Larke
also got a near hit, a two-bagger had not that big Twitchell turned
it into an out after a long chase. Then Talkington hit a dandy liner
about five feet over La Joy’s head, apparently, but Larry leaped up and
caught it and Lowell again went to the field without a hit.

In their half, Jefferson broke the ice. Little Tommy Beach opened the
inning with his regular two-base hit past third, the kind no fielder
can get. Captain Church didn’t wait for more than one ball to be
pitched. He hit the first one hard--a bounder to Hans, who threw to
Delvin, and Beach was out. With Church on first and Hollins to help him
they worked the hit and run, Church getting to third and Hollins to
first. One out and men on first and third.

A run was almost certain, especially with Larry up. He made good with a
long fly to Talkington, who made a great catch and a fine throw to the
plate, but a perfect slide by Church made it impossible for Gibbie to
tag him, and the score was 1 to 0 and two out, with Hollins on second
and Warcford at bat. Sam drove a long liner to left center, and Larke
starting with the crack of the bat got it after a hard run and the
inning was over.

[Illustration: “A perfect slide by Church made it impossible to tag
him.”]

In the fifth inning Lowell didn’t get a hit, but did get two on base.
Robb first hit a grounder to Church but was out, Church unassisted.
Hans, taking time to study Mellen’s curves, walked. Hal hit a grounder
to Hollins, who fumbled and both runners were safe. Lowell now had men
on bases for the first time and were where Jefferson was in the fourth
inning, but Delvin hit a fly to Beach and Gibbie struck out, so Lowell
did no better than Jefferson in their first effort with men on the
bases.

In the Jefferson half, Twitchell bunted, and Delvin, just to even up
things, fumbled the ball. Brest bunted toward first, but Hal again
fielded perfectly and throwing to Hagner, forced Twitchell. Then Mellen
singled to center and Talkington’s throwing arm came into play, for he
caught Roger trying to get to third by a fine throw to Delvin. Laird
rolled an easy one to Hagner and was out at first.

In the sixth, Hughie told the boys they would have to show something
or their chances would dwindle. He told Black to get on if possible but
the best Black could do was to hit an easy roller to Mellen, who threw
him out at first.

“All right,” said Hughie, “we don’t expect pitchers to tire themselves
out running.” Then he signaled Everson to try to get a base on balls.

Johnny let the first one go by. “Strike one,” announced the umpire.
“Ball one,” he said as the next one came over. The third ball looked
good, but Johnny had been told to wait it out and the umpire announced
“Strike two.” The next one sent up by Mellen was intended to fool
Johnny. It was all but over the plate but Johnny didn’t move. “Ball
two,” said Lafflin. The fifth one was just like the last one, and the
umpire shouted “Ball three” and the Lowell rooters began to hope.
It was now three balls and two strikes. The next ball would be the
important one. On it came, almost waist high. It looked like a strike,
sure, and Johnny was about to hit at it when suddenly it began to drop
downward and before it had hit the ground in front of the plate (which
it did do) Johnny was off to first for he knew it was a ball.

Captain Larke walked up to the plate with a confident air.

“Now’s the time,” shouted Hughie from the coaching line. “You can do
it, Fred,” he continued. “Make it a two-bagger while you’re at it and
we’ll only need one more.”

Fred nodded in reply and then as the ball sped toward him he swung
hard for a two-bagger to left center that brought Johnny home with the
tying run. Talkington had the fever by this time. He came to bat and
let two go by, but the third he hit for a mighty drive to center.

With the crack of the bat Little Tommy Beach started for the fence,
running as fast as he could and never once looking back at the ball.
When he got to the fence he turned quickly, raised his hands about as
high as his head and caught the ball as easily as though he had been
standing there watching it all the time. He himself couldn’t tell how
he knew just where that ball would drop, but everybody knew he had
robbed Talkington of a home run, and Larke had to hustle back to second
for he had been so sure that it wouldn’t be caught that he hadn’t
waited. That catch by Beach was enough to stop any one from trying to
knock the ball over the fielders’ heads.

Robb must have thought so, anyhow, for he hit one on the ground to La
Joy, who made easy work of getting it to first ahead of Ty. The score
was tied, and it had looked a moment ago as though one run would win
the game.

Now it was Jefferson’s turn to go out in one, two, three order. Beach
fouled out to Gibbie, Church struck out and the best Hollins could do
was to drive a long fly to Ty, out in right field, of which he made an
easy catch.

In the seventh inning Hans drove one to Hollins and was retired on an
easy throw to Church. Hal bunted and was again thrown out by Mellen,
and Delvin flew out to Twitchell, so there was little chance for Hughie
to get excited on the coaching lines. For Jefferson it was almost the
same, La Joy went out, Hagner to Case. Warcford hit a high one which
Johnny got easily. Twitchell’s was an easy grounder to the box and he
was thrown out at first.

When the eighth inning started, however, there was a feeling throughout
the crowded stands as though something were going to break. One felt
it in the air. The Lowell players were mildly excited. The feeling was
shared by Gibbie, who was first to bat. Hughie felt it was then or
never and said: “It’s up to you, Gibbie,” and Gibbie stood up to the
plate as though he meant business. The first ball pitched he hit for a
foul. The next one was called a strike, the third was a ball and the
fourth Gibbie rapped for a clean single to right.

Black came up and immediately sacrificed Gibbie to second. By this
time the players on the beach were jumping up and down, much excited,
picking out bats. They had sensed the break and they each hoped the fun
would last until it came their turn at bat. But it was hardly a real
break, and the enthusiasm died down some when Everson stepped to the
plate and knocked a high foul which Laird held after a wonderful catch
close up to the stands, but Larke again came to the rescue of the base
runner and on a long single to left along the foul line brought Gibbie
home. Talkington then tried again to put one over Tommy Beach’s head
but Tommy made another of those circus catches and the side was out.

Then for Jefferson it began to look like defeat, for Black tightened
up and struck out Roger on three pitched balls only one of which the
latter struck at; Mellen hit one but Delvin stopped it nicely and threw
wide to Case, who made a one hand stop, and Black got Laird on three
strikes.

In the first half of the ninth Lowell tried hard to add another run and
came near doing so. Robb drove a single far out to left center which
Warcford fielded beautifully after a long run and threw to La Joy in
time to catch Ty sliding while trying to stretch it into a two-bagger.
Hans drove a single to right and then Hal came up for his last time at
bat. On the hit and run he drove a grounder between short and third
which Hollins fielded beautifully but threw poorly to Church, and Hans
continued on to third while Hal remained on first and Delvin came to
bat. The hit and run had worked so beautifully that Hughie decided on a
double steal. Hal started for second and drew the throw, and Hans led
off third, but big Mellen intercepted the throw and Hans was caught
after practically the whole Jefferson team had chased him up and down
the line between third and home, while Hal got around to third.

It was now up to Delvin to make a hit if the run was to count and he
made a good try with a long liner to left center, which both Beach and
Warcford went after. Warcford being taller was just able to touch the
ball by leaping as it went over his head. It looked good for a muff,
but Beach, near at hand by this time, made a quick jump to the right as
the ball was partly stopped and deflected in its flight by Warcford and
turned a sure error into an assist for Sam and an out for himself by
his quick catch for the third out.

[Illustration: “Beach turned an error into an out.”]

Lowell was through and the game was theirs if they could hold Jefferson
for another inning.

The Jefferson crowd started their continuous cheers as Beach came
to the bat for the final half. Black studied him carefully. Beach’s
fielding had been wonderful and all of the Lowell boys were calling
“get this first fellow; if you can stop him the game’s ours.” Black
determined to make a supreme effort to strike him out. The first ball
Tommy let go by and the umpire called “strike one.” The next one he
struck at and fouled off. “Strike two.” The next two were balls and the
fifth was wide of the plate, but Tommy struck at it and he was out.
Church came up and hit the second ball. It was a fast grounder to the
left of Everson. He made one of his famous stops and tossed to Case for
the second out.

Hollins came up and hit the second one far out over Talkington’s head
and it would have been a homer but for Tris’ fast recovery and fine
throw. Church, coaching now at third grabbed Eddie as he was going past
third in an effort to get home and pushed him back to the base or he
would have been out. He thought Larry, who was next up, would be likely
to get a hit--at least it was the better chance to take.

It looked as though the score might be tied, and if it hadn’t been for
the fact that Warcford and Twitchell both followed La Joy, it might
have resulted in a deliberate present of a base on balls to Larry.
Black, indeed, did pitch two wide ones to tempt Larry to strike, but he
didn’t bite. The next one Larry was also going to let go past, but as
it came straight over he struck at it and went out in Ty’s territory
far over his head.

It looked like a sure home run also, and Larry was on his way to first
when the ball struck foul by not more than two feet, so he had to come
back and Hollins returned to third. Miner sent up another wide one,
but Larry reached out with his bat and sent it out to left field along
the foul line and was again near first when the ball hit the ground
foul by not more than a foot. So he had to come back again. By this
time Black had decided Larry’s eye was too good and undertook to give
him a base on balls. He did give him another ball, and tried to send up
a fourth one, but Larry reached out again, gave it a quick tap, and it
was a foul fly which came down in Hal’s mitt very close to the bag, and
the game was over.

                             BOX SCORE

  LOWELL          AB R H PO  A E   JEFFERSON      AB R H PO  A E
  Everson, 2b      4 1 0  3  2 0   Laird, 3b       4 0 1  1  3 0
  Larke, lf        4 0 2  1  0 0   Beach, cf       4 0 1  4  0 0
  Talkington, cf   4 0 0  1  1 0   Church, 1b      3 1 0 10  0 0
  Robb, rf         4 0 1  1  0 0   Hollins, ss     4 0 2  0  3 2
  Hagner, ss       4 0 1  2  4 0   La Joy, 2b      3 0 1  2  2 0
  Case, 1b         4 0 0 10  3 0   Warcford, lf    3 0 1  0  2 0
  Delvin, 3b       4 0 0  3  2 1   Twitchell, rf   3 0 0  3  0 0
  Gibbs, c         3 1 1  5  1 0   Brest, c        3 0 0  7  0 0
  Black, p         2 0 0  1  1 0   Mellen, p       3 0 1  0  4 0
                  --------------                  --------------
                  33 2 5 27 14 1                  30 1 7 27 14 2

  LOWELL      0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0--2
  JEFFERSON   0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0--1

  Two Base Hits--Beach, Larke.
  Three Base Hits--Hollins.
  Sacrifice Hits--La Joy, Black.
  Stolen Bases--Hollins.
  Left on Bases--Lowell, 7; Jefferson, 2.
  First Base on Errors--Lowell, 2; Jefferson, 1.
  Double Play--Everson, Hagner, Case--Case, Everson.
  Struck out by Mellen, 6; by Black, 4.
  Bases on Balls off Mellen, 2; off Black, 1.
  Hit by Pitcher, by Black, 1.

It had been a hard game to win and might easily have been won by either
side.

Almost every man on the Lowell team had saved the game by excellent
work at one stage or the other, and the boys knew that the luck of
the game had as much to do with their victory as anything. They knew
now that they were up against one of the best teams of ball players
that could possibly be brought together, and no one could say which was
the stronger of the two. If the luck of the game should desert them in
the next two, the result might easily be in favor of Jefferson. The
championship was really in danger.

Hughie congratulated all of the boys on their excellent playing, and
while none of them had done very much with the bat for they had been
opposed by a wonderful pitcher, it was satisfaction to know that
Jefferson had just as hard a time trying to hit Miner.

He was particularly pleased with the fine fielding displayed by the
youngsters Hans, Hal, Ty, and Tris, who had stood staunch under the
first big firing, but what pleased him more than anything was that the
old stand-bys like Larke and Everson and Gibbie had been responsible
for the actual runs and he felt pretty confident of the final outcome.

Church, of Jefferson, on the other hand, got his encouragement out of
the fact that his team had played fully as well as Lowell, and with a
little luck would have won. A little less wind when Larry got a foul
instead of a homer in the ninth would have given them the game, and
he told the boys he felt sure the luck would average up, and that the
championship would be won this time.



CHAPTER XXI

RETURNING HOME


At midnight the Lowell special started on the return trip, with another
special train, bearing the Jefferson team and her faithful rooters,
trailing them.

The celebration after the game had been glorious but pretty strenuous,
and the boys were tired. They all tumbled into their berths and went
promptly to sleep.

Early in the morning, however, they were awakened by the noise of
cheering, and looking out of the windows of the car they could see
they had stopped at a station crowded with people. It was hardly six
o’clock, but the platform was crowded with an enthusiastic mob, giving
the Lowell yell and calling on the boys to get up and show themselves.
The train pulled out before they could do this, but they got up and
dressed and had an early breakfast.

Then they prepared themselves for the all-day ride to the East.
Presently they stopped again. A still larger crowd was at the station
with the familiar green flags and banners. This time the boys went out
on the platform and joined the chorus of Lowell songs and yells.

So it went all day. Wherever they stopped there were cheering crowds
and songs and yells. Every once in a while they called on Hughie for
a speech and he would do his best in reply. It was almost the kind of
a ride which the President makes on his occasional swings around the
circle. Certain it is that no President ever got a more enthusiastic
reception than did the Lowell boys that day.

During the course of the morning when there was about an hour’s run to
the next stop, Johnny Everson and Arthur Delvin found Ty Robb in the
far corner writing busily.

“Writing to the folks?” asked Johnny.

“Don’t bother me,” said Ty, “I have an inspiration.” So they left him
alone, but presently he came up to where Hughie, Larke, and Everson
were sitting and talking things over, and said: “I’ve made a brief
report of the game for the boys at home. I saw a peach back there at
the last station, and whenever I see peaches I think of ’Gene Field’s
little poem.” Then he started to sing.

[Illustration: “Don’t bother me,” said Ty.]

    A baseball team out at Jefferson grew,
    A pretty good team it was they drew,
    Managed by Church and captained, too,
    It grew. It grew.
        Listen to this tale of woe.

    They challenged the team of the Emerald hue
    That had beaten the Eastern teams very blue;
    They were captained by Larke and managed by Hugh,
    Too true. Too true.
        Listen to the tale of woe.

    The Lowell boys came on the fast choo choo,
    They began to play the game at two to 2.02
    And soon the trouble began to brew,
    Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!
        Listen to their tale of woe.

    Then Tommy came along with his mind in a stew
    And placed to his credit a bagger-two
    While Larry brought Church home and Black began to rue,
    But they were through.
        Listen to their wail of woe.

    Johnny got his base and Larke got two,
    This was in the sixth and brought Johnny through,
    The eighth saw Cap. make another accrue,
    Score two. Score two.
        Listen to our lack of woe.

    The rest of the innings showed us nothing new,
    Each side to bat and each side withdrew,
    The batters the pitchers couldn’t subdue,
    Hip Huroo. Hip Huroo.
        Listen to that tale of woe.

    What of the team that Jefferson grew?
    Licked by Lowell of Emerald hue,
    Another game and its mission is through.
    They 1, We 2,
        Wait for the next tale of woe.

As Ty sang the other boys gathered round him and as most of them knew
the tune they were presently crowding close, looking over his shoulder
at the words and joining in. Then they made copies of it and sent them
by the porter into the other cars of the train. Pretty soon everybody
on the train either had a copy or had learned the thing by heart and
whenever they stopped at a station they would all get out on the
platforms or lean out of the windows and introduce the new song to the
crowds at the stations, always leaving a few copies behind. By the time
they reached Lowell, early in the evening, Robb’s doggerel song had
been sung from Cleveland to Lowell and found its way the next day into
most every big paper in the country, so that almost every Lowell man in
the land knew it within twenty-four hours after it was composed.

Presently the train pulled into the station at Lowell. The boys looked
out at the mob that was there to welcome them. Hal and Hans thought
of the former return to Lowell when Hans had brought him back. This
was a different kind of home coming. There was no walking or riding in
carriages that night. It was shoulders for the team, surely, and they
prepared for it.

The crowd at the station was singing the Lowell songs and yelling
and cheering, but presently as the team and the others on the train
appeared, the latter began singing Robb’s “Peach Song” again, and the
crowd stopped to listen. They heard it, they seemed to drink it in,
they learned it all at once, it seemed, for presently they were all
singing this rather dirge-like chant of a Lowell victory.

Hughie tried his best to get the team away from the crowd, for they had
a hard game ahead of them next day, but he gave it up finally, saying
only, “All right boys, do as you please with us but don’t hurt us;
we’ve got to lick them again to-morrow.”

Then they grabbed Hughie, lifted him upon strong shoulders, corralled
the rest of the boys in a similar way and through the streets of the
old college town they took them, a happy, joyous procession, the
band in front playing, and the horns blowing. Finally they were let
go to their homes where they could get another refreshing sleep in
preparation for the second and perhaps final struggle which would take
place on the morrow.

[Illustration: “They grabbed Hughie and lifted him upon strong
shoulders.”]

The crowd that welcomed Jefferson, which arrived an hour later, was
not so large but it gave them a rousing welcome just the same. They
knew that Jefferson had fought hard and bravely, and it had been no
easy task to beat them; but Lowell had won, and they could afford to
give the losers a generous welcome. They let the Jefferson team ride
in carriages, however, contenting themselves with singing a few of the
Jefferson songs, mingled with their own loved ones. They didn’t sing
Ty’s “Peach Song” but Jefferson had heard it all along the route and
they were determined to make Lowell sing an entirely different one
before another twenty-four hours had passed.



CHAPTER XXII

DISTINGUISHED FANS


The day of the second of the big games broke clear and warm. The same
excitement was to be noticed around the old college town as on the day
of the first game at Jefferson. Lowell, however, was not located in so
large a city, and therefore the people who had come to the game were
more noticeable. Special trains from Boston, New York, and other points
began pouring their loads of Lowell and Jefferson rooters into the old
station before nine o’clock in the morning, and the steady stream of
arrivals continued until game time, which was again two o’clock. For
the early arrivals time might have hung heavy on their hands had they
not found a chance to let off some of their steam, by parading the
streets, and singing the old college songs.

A procession of Lowell “rooters” would march up one street singing
“Fair Lowell,” while down another street would come the Jefferson
crowd, though smaller, singing their “Alma Mater.” Whenever they met
there would be a great mingling of college yells, which didn’t sound
nearly as well as when they were separated and which, to anyone without
the college spirit probably sounded as though a lunatic asylum had
been turned loose upon the town. But nobody without this college
enthusiasm could be found that day at Lowell, so the boys and girls
paraded up and down the streets to their hearts’ content, and finally
took up the march in the direction of Lowell field, where the same
scenes took place which had been seen at Jefferson on the day of the
first big game. The band played for the entertainment of the crowd.
Noise clubs led the yells and the songs, the crowd joined in, and thus
they entertained themselves until game time.

Around the public square, and more particularly in front of Lowell
Arms, the most popular hotel in the town, was assembled a great crowd,
and only a championship ball game itself could have kept the guests of
this inn from being the center of the universe on this day, for the
President was to arrive during the morning and the hotel was already
filled with Senators, Representatives, Ambassadors and big politicians,
who are likely to hover around the President on such occasions, to let
some of the reflected glory shine upon them.

Many of them came for the sole purpose of seeing the ball game, but
others, who are playing the political game all the time, hoped to catch
the President’s ear during his visit.

When the President did arrive and was welcomed by such enthusiasm as
the townspeople, students, and visitors could spare from the baseball
game, he turned a deaf ear to anyone who had anything to say on any
subject but baseball and college life. He was bound to be a boy again
whenever he came to Lowell and the annual games were his special
delight.

Out at Lowell field they had arranged a special box for the President
and other distinguished guests, which he occupied for a little while,
but when it came time for practice he said, “It don’t seem quite like
a ball game sitting here. I’m going over there and sit with the boys.”
And he did. They made a place for him in one of the seats in the first
row of the regular grand stand, where the sun could shine on him, and
when he got warm he took off his hat and coat just like any other fan,
and enjoyed himself to the limit.

Lowell field was not as new and substantial a place as the Stadium at
Jefferson, but the stands would hold almost as many people, and the
grounds, being larger, more standing room was found on the field.

By one o’clock every inch of space was occupied and the gates were
locked. Never before had so many come to see a game at Lowell. This
time, however, the Lowell folks outnumbered the Jefferson adherents.
To-day more than two thirds of the people waved green flags and banners
and the balance showed the colors of the rival school. The complexion
of the crowd was reversed. Some who had been at the other game wondered
if this was a sign that the score would be reversed, too. Jefferson
fellows, who were just a little bit superstitious hoped so, while
the Lowell crowd said they didn’t believe in superstitions of any
kind. Finally the teams marched onto the field, the University Band
preceding them, but this time as they reached the plate, it was the
maroon which sat on the bench back of third base, and the green went
back of first.

“We licked them when they had the advantage of being on their own lot,”
said Fred Penny who was sitting in the stand with Johnny King, “and I
guess now we have them on our own lot, we will make it two straight.”

The practice before the game gave the crowd a chance to pay their
particular respects to the individual members of the team, by special
songs and cheers for each of them. The band played “Hail to the Chief”
once for the President and two or three times for Hughie. Then each
member of the team was introduced to the President, and as each member
of the team came up the Noise Club announced:

  Here he is--HONUS.
  What’s the matter with HONUS?

And then everybody would sing:

    For he’s a jolly good player,
    For he’s a jolly good player,
    For he’s a jolly good player,
    Which Jefferson can’t deny.

And they gave a special yell for each of the particular stars of the
first game. It was enough to make any player nervous and anxious and
it’s a wonder it didn’t. What it did do, however, was to make every
one of the boys take a special vow to play the game of his life that
day.

Again the two men in the blue suits and blue caps trotted out on the
field. Again the umpire, who was to work behind the bat (this time it
was M. S. Lee), consulted with Hughie and Church. The gong sounded. The
umpire said, “Play ball.” The Lowell boys trotted out onto the field to
their positions. Again the umpire took off his cap, faced the stands
and said:

“Ladies and gentlemen: The batteries for to-day’s game are Cam,
pitcher; Brest, catcher for Jefferson. Radams, pitcher; Gibbs,
catcher for Lowell. Cam and Brest for Jefferson. Radams and Gibbs for
Lowell--Batter up.”

This time Laird of the Western school stepped quietly to the plate. He
looked at Radams and Radams looked at him. Each was studying the other,
though to-day Radams had a little advantage. He had seen Laird at bat
and Black had gone over the other game carefully with him so he knew
something about each of the batters. At least he was sure he did have a
slight advantage, and so he did not hesitate an instant, but began to
shoot them over. The second big game was on.



CHAPTER XXIII

THE SECOND STRUGGLE


      LOWELL              JEFFERSON
    Everson, 2b         Laird, 3b
    Larke, lf           Beach, cf
    Talkington, cf      Church, 1b
    Robb, rf            Hollins, ss
    Hagner, ss          La Joy, 2b
    Case, 1b            Warcford, lf
    Delvin, 3b          Twitchell, rf
    Gibbs, c            Brest, c
    Radams, p           Cam, p

When the teams lined up at Lowell for the second game, the batting
order was the same but there was a somewhat different air to be noticed
among the players. The boys who hit the ball were not satisfied with
their batting records in the first game, and they were determined to
knock somebody out of the box. This time it was Jefferson’s first turn
at bat, and as Laird came up Radams prayed for a little luck to enable
him to get a good start. Thinking about it so much spoiled his control,
for when he had pitched six balls the count was two and four and Laird
was walking down to first as a result.

Beach was true to his first inning record and got a nice single to
right field and Laird got to third. Captain Church came up with lots
of confidence and tapped the ball smartly, but it was an infield fly
which Everson caught near the pitcher’s box. Radams was having a hard
time with his nerves, apparently, for he gave Hollins four bad ones in
succession and he walked to first also. This brought La Joy to bat and
he hit a fast grounder over second, but Hans made a one-hand stop right
at the bag, touched second forcing Hollins and threw to first for the
third out.

[Illustration: “Hans made a one hand catch.”]

“Let’s do something in the first inning besides field,” said Hughie, as
Everson started for the plate with his bat.

“Here goes,” said Johnny. Cam, the pitcher, was sizing up Johnny and
also wishing, as had Radams a moment before, for a little luck in
getting the first man. When he pitched the first ball, however, Everson
waded right in and turned it into a single to right and was off for
first like a streak. Larke immediately hit a low roller to La Joy who
got the captain at first, but Johnny had reached second before Larry
had stopped the ball.

Talkington, after getting two strikes and three balls, hit an easy
fly to Twitchell in right. Cam was willing to let Tris hit it, but he
was trying to make him hit it in the air, and Tris did; but when Cam
pitched the same kind of a ball to Robb, Ty rapped it for a long triple
out over Warcford’s head, scoring Everson. Hans got a base on balls
and stole second; then while Cam was winding up to pitch to the next
batter, Ty started for home, but Roger tagged him easily this time as
he was attempting his great slide, and the side was out.

Warcford was the next man up for Jefferson. He struck at the first ball
Radams pitched and it went over Delvin’s head for a neat single. It
surely looked as though there would be some hitting. Twitchell next up,
struck at the first ball and missed and Delvin played out so as to be
able to stop anything that came like Warcford’s hit of a moment before,
but Twitchell bunted the next ball toward third, so Delvin couldn’t
get it in time to catch either runner, and they were both safe. Then
Brest sacrificed and Warcford and Twitchell perched on third and second
respectively. Cam struck out, but Laird singled to left, scoring
Warcford, and Twitchell tried to get home too, but was caught at the
plate by Captain Larke’s beautiful throw to Gibbie.

In the Lowell half, Case was first up and the best he could do with
Cam’s curves was to hit one of them to Hollins who fielded it in time
to get Hal at first. Delvin drove a long fly to center, but Beach got
it. Gibbie put new hope into the inning by doubling to left center, but
Radams struck out.

Beach was up again in the third, and Radams tempted him to miss three,
and he was out of the way. He had almost as good a time with Captain
Church, who hit the third one on a line into Robb’s hands out in right.
Hollins, however, drove a single over the first bag which was fair by
inches, and La Joy came up. This time Radams decided on a base on balls
after getting Hughie’s signals from the bench and it went through all
right; but before Warcford got a chance at a good one Hollins undertook
to steal third and was caught by a quick throw from Gibbie to Arthur.

Everson went out on a good stop by Cam which he tossed to Church at
first. Larke tried to put one between Beach and Warcford in left
center, but it went a little too high and Beach got it easily.
Talkington bunted along the first base line and was safe, but would
have been out if Church hadn’t expected it would roll foul, for he
could have easily thrown Tris out to Cam, who covered first. The Lowell
boys were looking for something good from Robb, but the best he could
do was to hit one in the air out Twitchell’s way and it was an easy
catch.

When Warcford came up first in the fourth, Hughie signaled the outfield
to play way out. He motioned a second time to Robb and he went almost
out to the fence. Warcford noticed this and thought if he could drop
a short fly in right field it would drop safe. The ball came to him
just right, and Hal noticing where Ty was playing started after it,
but presently he saw Ty coming full speed ahead and knew that Ty had
a chance for it, so he stopped. Just as the ball was about to hit
the ground Ty stuck out both hands and got it and then turned two
somersaults on the grass--one of which he couldn’t help. Twitchell
drove a single between Everson and Case which Ty fielded, and Roger hit
the first ball with a mighty swat on a line straight to Everson, and
Twitchell was doubled off first before he could even try to get back.

Hans first to bat in the Lowell half of the fourth picked out a nice
spot in left field, and placed a neat single where Warcford couldn’t
get it. Hal, under instructions, made a sacrifice bunt and was out
at first, Hans taking second. Arthur got three balls in a row and it
looked as though Cam was going to walk him, but the pitcher fooled
him by putting the next two straight over and then it was strike out
or hit it. Arthur did his best and struck out, but while he was doing
this Hans made a clean steal of third, to the great surprise of the
Jefferson team and especially Roger Brest the catcher, who didn’t even
throw to catch Hans. Having in mind Gibbie’s double in the second
inning Cam gave him a base on balls. Radams then made a good effort to
get a hit, but the ball went to the pitcher’s box, so Cam got credit
for an assist and the side was out.

Cam was first up for Jefferson in the fifth. He struck at the first one
that Radams pitched to him. The second ball the umpire called a strike
and Cam bunted the third one and was out. The Lowell boys and rooters
got a good deal of amusement out of this, but anyone is liable to make
a mistake of this kind. It, however, gave Lowell the edge on Jefferson
for that inning. Laird, next up, drove one to Hans which almost knocked
him down. Hans tried to throw it just as hard to Case, but threw it
high and Hal had to jump for it, which he did, and saved Hans an error.

Beach let one strike be called on him, and then he banged into the next
one for a hit to left center that hit the fence and was an easy triple.
In fact, it would have been the easy homer which Beach tried to make
out of it but for the wonderful relaying of the ball by Captain Larke
and Hans. Hans ran out into left field and caught the ball as Larke
threw it to him and turned, without looking, and threw it straight to
Gibbie at the plate who didn’t have to move his hands an inch to make
the catch and who tagged Beach not over six inches from the plate. If
Hans had stopped before making the throw to get his direction, Beach
would have been safe, but he couldn’t have made a more perfect throw
even if he had looked. It was the greatest play of the game so far.

In the Lowell half Johnny hit a grounder to Church who was playing
back on the grass and the two had a foot race to first, Everson sliding
feet foremost. It looked to many as though Johnny beat Church, but the
umpire waved him out, and after a few remarks Johnny stuck his chin in
the air a little higher and walked to the bench.

Captain Larke came up determined to make up for what he thought was a
poor decision, and placed a neat single over second base, which rolled
to center, and stole second on the first ball pitched, Brest’s throw
being a little late and high. Tris felt like doing something, but his
best effort was a foul fly in the direction of the bleachers near third
base which nobody had a right to get, but which Laird got just the same
after a long run and a beautiful catch.

Ty Robb now came up, swinging three bats. Larke was on second and
watching Ty closely, as the hand with which the batter threw away
the extra bat was a signal which gave the runner the tip on what his
instructions were, but Ty was carrying three bats, and three bats had
never been included in the signal list, so Larke was puzzled. Just
because he was puzzled, perhaps, he thought this signal might mean
steal third, so he started to do so. Ty saw him and tapped the ball
for a bunt toward third and beat it out while Larke perched safely on
third. Hans then came up and singled to right, scoring Larke, but Ty
tried to get to third on the play and was caught by a fine throw from
Twitchell to Laird.

Church started the ball rolling in the sixth by an easy grounder to
Everson who fumbled, and the Jefferson captain was safe. Hollins
bunted along the first base line, but Hal was on his job and fielded
the ball quickly to Hagner, forcing Church. La Joy then dropped a
beautiful single to left and Hollins had to stop at second, making
runners on first and second. Warcford drove a low liner between first
and second and La Joy started toward second. The batted ball hit him on
the left foot and rolled into Hal’s hands.

La Joy was out on this play, of course, and Hollins had to return to
second. Twitchell now came up and hit the third ball pitched for a two
bagger to right center, which Robb received and threw to the plate, but
Hollins and Warcford scored, and Twitchell went to third on the throw
in. He overslid the bag, however, and was out when Gibbie snapped the
ball to Delvin, who tagged him before he could recover. Hughie sent
Miner out to warm up.

Case put up a foul back of the plate and Brest caught it near the
screen. This was close to the box in which the Vice President and the
notables were sitting. “He has it,” said some one, as Roger made the
catch. The Vice President turned to see who had spoken. “What kind of
baseball talk is this? Say ‘he’s got it’ not ‘he has it.’” Delvin hit a
grounder which struck Cam on the leg and glanced off in the direction
of the first base, where Church picked it up and touched the bag for an
out. Gibbie tried to get a base on balls but was called out on strikes.

Brest was the first batter in the seventh. Babe managed to give Roger
a base on balls. Cam sacrificed him to second and Laird, the third
batter, hit sharply to Hans who threw to Delvin and caught Brest.
Beach, the next batter, gave the signal to Laird for the hit and run
and worked it successfully and then also tried to work the double
steal. They were unsuccessful, as Laird was caught at the plate by
quick work between Everson and Gibbie.

In the second half, with the crowd standing, Huyler, the pinch hitter,
went in to bat for Babe and drove a long fast liner to right which
Twitchell caught after a great run backward. It should have been a
triple, at least, but the way these two teams were fielding it was
almost impossible, seemingly, to drive the ball out of their reach.
Everson went out, pitcher to first, and Larke also was out by way of
shortstop to first.

Black in the eighth inning went in to pitch for Lowell. Church, first
up, was easy for Everson and Case and then Case and Black attended to
Hollins.

La Joy walked to the plate and stood there swinging his bat carelessly
and easily. Finally Black, after looking him over, pitched a ball that
cut the plate and before Larry hit it, Miner knew part of what would
happen. When he saw it leave the bat, however, and heard the crack he
knew that ball was headed for outside and sure enough it was. It went
over the center field fence ten feet high and never was found. Larry
simply jogged around the bases while Lowell’s hopes seemed to be dashed
to earth. Sam Warcford took encouragement from Larry’s swat, but his
hit got no farther than Delvin, who threw him out at first.

Hughie put some ginger into the boys at this stage of the game.
“They’re only two runs ahead and we’ve often made six in one inning,”
said he as Talkington walked to the plate. Tris did his part, and
drove a single to right which might have been a two bagger but which
Twitchell fielded perfectly, and Tris went back to first, when
Twitchell threw to second. Then Ty bunted to the pitcher’s box and Cam
fumbled, and both Tris and Ty were safe, Cam was clearly going up and
the Lowell rooters were doing all they could to help him.

Hans came up and Church walked over to the box and tried to give Cam
a chance to cool off a bit by talking to him and instructing him also
to give Hans his base. Cam pitched two balls very much to the right of
the plate from the catcher’s position which Hans couldn’t have reached
with a twelve-foot bat, and then Hans jumped to the other side of the
plate and started to bat left handed so as to reach the balls, but then
Cam put the next two very much to the left of the plate and there was
nothing for Hans to do but walk to first. There were now three on bases
and Hal was up.

Here was the first real chance he had had in either game to show what
he could do with his bat and everybody else had been hitting Cam so
here was his chance. Just then, however, Captain Church waved to Cam
with his right and motioned to Mellen with his left and Cam left the
box and Mellen went in. “Well,” thought Hal, “Mellen probably isn’t
very well warmed up and he ought to be able to hit now.” The first two
balls pitched were bad ones and were so called by the umpire.

“Just let him put one over,” said Hal to himself, “and I’ll put it
over the fence.” But Mellen wasn’t pitching that kind of a ball just
then. The third ball pitched Hal struck at and missed. The next one
was straight over but looked high, and the umpire called it a strike,
at which the stands roared in rage. The next one was a pretty good one
but Hal took a chance and let it go by and the umpire called “Ball
three.” It was now two strikes and three balls, and Mellen decided
to put the next one over and take a chance. It came straight for the
plate; Hal took a mighty swing at it and the ball started on a line for
second, but Mellen stuck out his right hand, knocked it down and threw
to Brest in time to force Talkington at the plate. Hal’s chance was
gone. He would have made good only Mellen didn’t mind taking a chance
with his pitching hand. Most pitchers would have preferred to sidestep
the danger. There were still three on base and Arthur was at bat. He
got three balls and two strikes on account of fouls, and then Mellen
gave him one where he could hit it but it was a pop fly which fell
into Hollins’ mitt and there were two out. It was now Gibbie’s chance
to save the game, but Mellen’s pitching was too swift for him until he
also had three balls and two strikes and then he knocked a long fly to
Warcford and the inning was over.

Black gathered himself together for a mighty ninth inning effort. He
felt sure of the fielding of the boys behind him, but he made up his
mind to take as few chances as necessary. So he decided to strike out
the side if he could, and after he had succeeded in doing that with
Twitchell and Brest, he had a lot of confidence in his ability to do
the same to Mellen, and he did it.

The last half of the ninth opened rather well for Lowell. Black was the
first man up and he fooled the entire Jefferson infield by a perfect
bunt which put him on first. This surely was a good start.

Everson, however, waited too long. He let two strikes be called on
him, and they were good ones, too. The third one looked good also and
Johnny struck at it and missed and there was one out. Captain Larke
then knocked one down the line toward Church and the latter tried to
complete the out unassisted, but Larke beat him to the bag and Black
reached second. Tris knocked a slow rolling grounder to Hollins and by
the time he got to it he could only catch Tris at first, for Black had
reached third and Larke was at second.

Robb came to bat feeling good. He was to have his great chance after
all. Two men on bases and a single would tie the score. He even allowed
himself to remember that a homer would win the game for Lowell. Mellen
on the other hand realized his great chance. If he could outguess Robb
this time there would be a game to Jefferson’s credit. His was the
first move and he tried to tempt Ty with a ball, but Ty let it pass.
Then Mellen tried him with another one of the same kind, thinking,
perhaps, Ty would bite on the second one, but he just waited.

The next ball came straight over the plate and Ty hit it and it went
sailing out over first base, a fast liner that didn’t stop till it hit
the fence, but it was like La Joy’s ninth inning hit in the first game,
only longer, for it struck the fence two feet outside of the line and
the umpire said, “Foul one strike.”

The next ball also came straight and Ty thought to fool them by
bunting. He did, and almost perfectly, as the ball didn’t roll over
six feet in all. Black was nearly at the plate before Ty got started
to first but as hard luck would have it the last foot of the distance
the ball rolled outside the foul line and it was “Two strikes” and
everybody went back to where they were before. Then it was a study to
watch Mellen and Robb.

Would Mellen send another one straight over and try to make him think
it would curve or would he send one up wide of the plate and make it
curve in, or would it be a high one that would drop to the strike level
at the plate? It was a great guessing match that lasted for several
seconds.

Then slowly Mellen began his wind up. The ball started for the plate.
It was coming straight over. Was it possible that Mellen had decided
to take a chance on his hitting it safe? Ty thinks he’ll fool him on
that. He will just put that ball over the fence. He pulls back his bat
to meet it squarely. He makes a savage swing at it and listens for the
crack of the bat. Instead he hears a thud--and Ty knew he had struck
out, and the game was lost to Lowell by the score of 4 to 2.

                                BOX SCORE

  JEFFERSON      AB  R  H PO  A  E   LOWELL          AB  R  H    PO  A  E
  Laird, 3b       4  0  1  2  1  0   Everson, 2b      5  1  1     2  3  1
  Beach, cf       4  0  3  2  0  0   Larke, lf        5  1  2     0  2  0
  Church, 1b      4  0  0 10  0  0   Talkington, cf   5  0  2     0  0  0
  Hollins, ss     4  1  1  1  3  0   Robb, rf         5  0  2     2  0  0
  La Joy, 2b      4  1  2  0  1  0   Hagner, ss       4  0  2     2  3  0
  Warcford, lf    4  2  2  1  0  0   Case, 1b         3  0  0     7  3  0
  Twitchell, rf   3  0  3  3  1  0   Delvin, 3b       4  0  0     3  2  0
  Brest, c        2  0  0  8  0  0   Gibbs, c         4  0  1     8  2  0
  Cam, p          1  0  0  0  4  1   Radams, p        2  0  0     0  1  0
  Mellen, p       1  0  0  0  1  0   Black, p         1  0  1     1  0  0
                                     Huyler[A]        1  0  0     0  0  0
                 -----------------                   --------------------
                 31  4 12 27 11  1                   39  2 11 [B]25 16  1

  JEFFERSON   0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0--4
  LOWELL      1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0--2

  Two Base Hit--Gibbs, Twitchell.
  Three Base Hit--Robb, Beach.
  Home Run--La Joy.
  Sacrifice Hits--Brest, Case, Cam.
  Stolen Bases--Hagner, 2; Larke, 1.
  Left on Bases--Lowell, 10; Jefferson, 6.
  First Base on Errors--Lowell, 1; Jefferson, 1.
  Double Play--Hagner, Case--Everson, Case.
  Struck Out--by Radams, 3; by Cam, 3; by Mellen, 2; by Black, 3.
  Bases on Balls--off Cam, 3; off Radams, 4.
  Hits--off Cam in seven innings, 8; off Radams in seven innings 11.
  [A] Batted for Radams in seventh inning.
  [B] Cam out bunting third strike. La Joy out; hit by batted ball.

It was now one game apiece and it would take a third to decide the
championship.



CHAPTER XXIV

HANS’ SECOND TRIP TO NEW YORK


For the second time in the history of the contests between the two big
schools each had won a game and it was necessary to play a third game
to decide the championship. To provide for such cases they had a rule
that where a third game was necessary it must be played on neutral
ground, the location to be agreed upon by the captains. This was
generally done by tossing a coin. The winner had the right to name the
place.

This was a very important matter to decide in such a simple way, as the
team securing the choice of location for this game also secured sixty
per cent of the gate receipts after the expenses were paid, the money
all going of course to the athletic fund. You would think that this
arrangement and the attractive feature of the gate money would cause
the boys to try to break even on the first two games every year, but
the fact that this was only the second time in twenty years that it
occurred goes to show how square the games were.

When they came to toss the coin this time Hughie called, “Heads,” and
heads it was. He promptly said, “We will play it at the Polo Grounds
in New York,” and Mr. Williams, the treasurer of the university,
immediately arranged the matter by telegraph.

This suited both teams very well. They would break training immediately
after the game and the long strain would be over, whichever team won
the final game. The game would be played on Thursday, and they could
take Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to have a look at the big city, and
victors and losers would be royally entertained by the alumni of both
colleges who lived there.

So they arranged for the reception of the team’s return to take place
on the following Monday evening and everybody hoped and believed they
would come back as champions again.

The Jefferson team meantime were hailed as friends and were given
morning practice privileges on Lowell field and treated right royally
so far as the training rules would permit. They got very well
acquainted during the four or five days they spent together, and the
old timers on both the teams regaled the youngsters with tales of the
thrilling plays that had occurred between Jefferson and Lowell teams
of the past. Most of them had been told many times at each school, but
repeated under such conditions were doubly interesting.

During one of these fanning bees the talk as usual turned to famous
fielding stunts, and many stories were again told of famous fielders
and the baseball instinct. “I think the greatest fielder who seemed to
have this instinct,” said La Joy, “was Hugh Duff. I have seen him a
score of times out in our sun field catch the ball by instinct after
losing it in the sun. Where another fielder would dodge and turn his
back, Duff would just stick his hands up and catch it. He himself said
often that he didn’t know how he did it.”

“Well, I think the fellow who had the highest development of playing
ball by instinct,” said Pop Anderson, who was staying around with the
boys, “was Walter Brodie. He seemed to know from the sound made by
the bat, when the ball was hit, exactly where it was going. Many a
time I have seen him start to run for a hard-hit fly ball without even
looking, run fifty or seventy-five feet even, and then turn around for
the first time in exactly the right spot to make the catch. He often
used to give exhibitions before the games of turning his back to the
ball almost as soon as it was hit, taking a run outward and making the
catch with his hands behind his back and his back to the ball. It may
have been practice, but how he knew where the ball would fall will
always be a great mystery to all who saw him do it.”

“I’ll tell you, Ty,” said Captain Larke, “of a fielder whose record
you can look up and when you get to be as good as he was, you will be
pretty near the top. I mean Tom McCarthy. It was he who introduced the
trapped ball on outfield flies. If you can learn to trap a ball as well
as he did you will have learned something which almost every outfielder
has tried but failed to do.

“To ‘trap’ a fly ball is to make a pick up out of it, as you know. In
one Lowell game years ago with Biltmore, Tom worked his ‘trap’ for two
double plays. Once there were men on first and second. The batter sent
a short fly to Tom. Of course the runners held to the bases. Instead
of making the catch which would have been easy, Tom scooped it off the
ground. The man on first was, of course, forced and the man on second
was caught on his way to third. Later in the same game on the same kind
of a fly ball, Tom made believe he was going to trap the ball again, so
the man on second took a big lead. Tom, however, made a fly catch out
of it and throwing to second made a double play once more.”

“You’ll never be able to catch a Jefferson player again like you did
last year,” said Frank Church to Everson.

“How’s that,” said Talkington.

“Well, I won’t mention the name of the boy he caught, because he is
present and he doesn’t like the story, but this same brilliant player
was on first in one of the games and had started to steal second. The
batter made a beautiful line hit to center on a line about fifteen feet
high. Everson, there, stood at second, looked up and pretended to be
getting ready to catch a nice little pop fly. Seeing this, our good Mr.
Player having failed to keep his eye on the ball hustled back to first,
but by the time he had got back and taken a second look he saw the
center fielder picking up the ball. Before he could get to second, the
ball had been thrown to Johnny, here, who touched the bag for a force
out. Johnny only laughed but our good player said to him then, ‘Grin,
you little shrimp, grin. You had me good, but I’ll get you some day for
it.’”

Everybody had a good laugh at this, even Martin, for by this time they
knew who it was by his sheepish expression, but they didn’t see how he
could get even with Everson.

So they played many of the games over again and got very well
acquainted with each other and the rivalry between the two schools was
laid aside for the time being. They left for New York on Wednesday
afternoon on the same train and acted like good friends together until
the next afternoon in New York when they entered the Polo Grounds with
its row after row of seats entirely surrounding the big park, when the
big crowd that had come to see the final game stirred up all the bitter
rivalry and they prepared for the big battle.

When they awoke in New York in the morning, the players, many of whom
had never been there, were somewhat surprised to find that the town was
apparently not excited about what was going to happen. People seemed
to be going about their business just the same as though the baseball
championship was not to be decided there that day. They didn’t realize,
of course, what a big city New York is nor the habits of its people.

By noon, however, the crowds on the trolley cars and elevated traveling
northward were enormous, and it soon developed that the town was headed
for the Polo Grounds. New York had simply hustled in the morning to
get its business out of the way, so it could do as it pleased in the
afternoon and it pleased New York to try to see the game.

When the teams got up to One hundred and Fifty-fifth Street they were
as much surprised as they had been in the morning. The whole town
seemed to be there. Enough to make a good-sized city inside and about
twice as many outside trying to get in.

The gates were locked at noon, three hours before the game. There was
room for no more. The players got through the crowd as best as they
could. With the help of the policemen, they managed to clear sufficient
space in front of the stands to engage in a little practice and to
warm up the pitchers. But there was little real practice done that day
outside of enough to limber up their muscles.

Their biggest effort was to keep their nerve in front of that immense
crowd. The familiar scenes of the other games were presented, but now
green mixed with maroon throughout the stands. One section of seats all
green, the next maroon, etc. The same noise clubs led the cheers and
songs. Most of the people in the stands knew the songs and cheers of
the rival schools. They gave them with a wealth of music. A yell and
then a chorus. The singing coaches started “Fair Lowell.” The stands
took it up. The wave of sound mounted and mounted as the crowd joined
in and rose on its feet until all the stands presented the thrilling
spectacle of a singing multitude, with a kaleidoscopic background of
color that changed from green and white to maroon and white and back
again, a grand glorious tumult of voices. They sang the “Alma Mater,”
too.

The umpires emerged from under the stands and walked out onto the
field. There was no consultation with managers. The batting orders had
been handed in early. The gong sounded. It was time for the game to
begin. Then came a sudden stop. Which team was to go to bat first? Of
course it was neutral ground and that question must be decided. Hughie
and Church tossed the coin. They looked at it as it landed on the turf.
Was it heads or tails? They both walked back to their benches. The
umpire made his usual announcement of the batteries.

The crowd did not yet know which team had won the advantage of first
in the field. The umpire said, “Batter up.” Then from the Lowell bench
you could see the team arise quickly and trot out on the field. The
Lowell “rooters” started a mighty cheer. The advantage of first field
was theirs. It was only a slight advantage but their team thought it an
advantage and that made it one.

A sudden hush falls over the vast multitude. You can almost hear a pin
drop. Laird at the plate, and Black in the box. Again that first ball
may be the all important one. On it may hang victory, or defeat for
either side. The crowd sits back silent, waiting. They are ready. So
are the players. Alert, waiting. Suddenly the ball shoots toward the
plate like a white streak. The big final battle is on.



CHAPTER XXV

THE FINAL GAME


      LOWELL              JEFFERSON
    Everson, 2b         Laird, 3b
    Larke, lf           Beach, cf
    Talkington, cf      Church, 1b
    Hagner, ss          Hollins, ss
    Robb, rf            La Joy, 2b
    Case, 1b            Warcford, lf
    Delvin, 3b          Twitchell, rf
    Gibbs, c            Brest, c
    Black, p            Mellen, p

Laird waited and Black pitched two balls which didn’t fool him any,
and then Miner put two over which cut the corners of the plate, one
of which Laird struck at and missed and the other was called by the
umpire. It was two and two. Then Miner tried to tempt Harry with a wide
one and the umpire called it a ball, making it two and three, and Black
was forced to put it over. He served up one of the kind that is hard to
put outside of the diamond and Laird hit it for a bounder straight to
the pitchers’ box and Miner set himself for an easy assist, when just
as the ball was all but in his hands, it took an extra bounce and went
high up over his head and neither Miner nor Everson could get near it
in time to catch Laird at first.

Beach let two go by and then hit one on the ground to Everson, who
tried for a force out at second; but Laird beat this throw and both
runners were safe.

Captain Church immediately sacrificed Laird and Beach to third and
second respectively. On his way to the bench, the Jefferson captain put
his right hand on Hollins’ left shoulder as he passed him and Hollins
walked to the plate and gave Laird the signal for the “squeeze” play,
Laird started for home as soon as the pitcher began to wind up and
Hollins hit the ball smartly for a grounder between third and short
which Delvin went after and fumbled. There was no chance to get the
runner at the plate of course. The squeeze had been worked beautifully,
and with the Lowell infield watching for it. Arthur’s fumble was just
bad enough in addition to give Hollins time to get to first and this
and the first score put Black in the hole to such an extent that when
La Joy came up he wanted to give him a base on balls, but only decided
to do so after Hughie gave him the signal from the bench.

This bit of strategy, however, and the hope of thereby retiring the
side on a double play didn’t work for Sam Warcford was the next batter.
Everybody was expecting him to try for a long one but he turned his
best chance into what was better still, a Texas Leaguer in left which
scored Beach.

It began to look like the kind of a game the fans like right there.

The infield came in and Twitchell, the batter, tried to drive one out
of Hans’ reach to his right, but Hans made a beautiful stop and threw
to Gibbie, forcing Hollins.

The Lowell boys breathed a little easier as there were now two out
although the bases were filled.

Roger Brest came to bat and Black had in mind the way Roger had worried
him in the other games and decided to get him. Brest let the first one
go by and it was a strike. The second ball he struck at with a mighty
swing and missed. Roger seemed to be slow in recovering from his swing
and Miner tried to sneak a straight one over on him. But Brest was only
pretending for he hit that ball for about as swift a liner as ever was
hit, about six feet to Hal’s right. It looked like a sure hit and the
Jefferson Singing Club was already cheering Roger when Hal stuck out
his right hand and the ball stuck in his glove. Then it was time for
Lowell to cheer, for the spectacular catch had saved two runs at least,
and four runs in the first half is almost too much of a handicap. It
had been a hard inning for Lowell to get by.

Everson started the ball rolling by hitting the first ball for a single
to right, just to show the other fellows that there were others who
had batting eyes. Captain Larke’s attempt at a safe one through the
pitcher’s box went a little too near where La Joy was playing and
Everson was forced at second.

Talkington tried hard to put one over Twitchell’s head, but all he got
out of it was the satisfaction of seeing that sterling right fielder
make another of his sensational catches.

Robb hit one in Hollins’ direction which was too hot for the Jefferson
shortstop to handle, though it was almost straight into his hands and
it went as an error against him and Robb was safe.

It looked as though Mellen intended to walk Hans, who was next up, for
the first three balls were wide of the plate. The fourth, however,
whether intentional or not, cut the outer corner and Hans quickly
turned it into a long single to left center, which scored Larke. Robb
thought this was a good time to tie the score and tried to come all the
way home on the play. At that he came pretty near making it, for he
made a beautiful slide and was nipped by inches on the relay from Beach
to Hollins to Brest. The crowd settled back to enjoy what promised to
be one of their favorite games--lots of hitting and sharp fielding.

[Illustration: “Robb tried to steal home.”]

The second inning opened with Mellen at bat, and Black went after him.
He got two strikes on him right away, but Mellen made a weak effort on
the next ball and it rolled to the pitcher’s box and was an easy out
for Miner and Hal.

Black then thought he’d make it one of his good innings. He completely
outguessed Laird who struck out, and when Beach looked as though he
didn’t believe he could do it again, he put one straight over on Tommy
after the latter had fouled one off and let another be called on him,
and Beach struck out also, retiring the side.

In the second half Hal was first at bat. Hughie told him he just had
to get on base and to hit it out. Mellen put one over that looked good
and Hal struck at it with his short bat and missed. The next one looked
even better and Hal hit it for one of those fast curving singles over
Laird’s head which landed him on first.

Delvin fouled out to Laird and Hal made a clean steal of second on the
first ball pitched to Gibbie. He then made an effort to steal third and
in Roger’s anxiety to catch him he tried to throw before he had the
ball secure in his hand and it bounded off his glove for a short passed
ball, while Hal reached third easily.

Gibbie came across with the needed long fly to Warcford in left and Hal
brought in the tying run.

Black, next to bat, made a hard try to hit one of the three balls that
Mellen pitched him, but he missed all three of them and as he picked up
his glove and walked into the box, Hughie said, “That’s the way, old
boy, save your wind and strength for pitching.”

Captain Manager Church was first at bat and he hit one on Arthur’s
left, which both Delvin and Hagner went after. It was too fast for
Arthur to get his hands on, but Hans made a quick lunge and got it
fifteen feet back of Delvin and threw quickly to first where Hal made a
neat pick up and retired Church. Hollins tried to bunt the first ball
pitched and missed. Then he struck hard at the second one and missed,
and with his mind on nothing but fooling the Lowell infield by his
change of tactics he forgot all about the rules when he saw the Lowell
boys playing back and bunted the next ball which rolled foul and he was
called out.

La Joy made one of his mighty efforts after getting two strikes, and it
went out to left field where Captain Larke caught it after a long run
close to the foul line.

[Illustration: “Capt. Larke caught it after a long run.”]

It began to look as if each full inning would be practically the same,
for the Lowell half of the third was also short. Everson batted one to
La Joy which was easy for him, and Church, then Larke and Talkington
were both retired by Hollins and Church.

In the Jefferson half of the fourth the fun began anew.

Warcford fouled off the first two over the stands and when Black
offered him another one he didn’t do any waiting either, but rapped it
far out over to right center in Robb’s territory. Ty picked it up after
a stern chase and relayed it to Hal, for Sam was already well on his
way to third and Ty played to catch him at the plate in case he tried
to get home.

Things looked a little better, however, when Twitchell went out on
a pop foul to Gibbie. Black thinking of the near damage which Brest
had done in the first inning walked him, planning to get Mellen and a
possible double play, but Big George knocked out a beautiful sacrifice
fly to Talkington which scored Warcford. Tris saw that he couldn’t get
the runner on third and quickly threw to Everson on second, catching
Brest between the bases. He was finally run down by Johnny and Hal,
the latter getting the put out.

This made the score three to two in Jefferson’s favor and it was up to
Lowell to do a little better.

Robb missed one and fouled off another. The third one was also a foul,
a tip, and Roger held on to it making a strike out for Ty. Then Hans
walked to the plate and crouching in his accustomed manner watched two
go by--one a strike and the other a ball. The third one he hit on a
beautiful line over Hollins’ head between Beach and Warcford. Beach
fielded it and threw to third as Hans had already passed second. He,
however, went back when he saw that the throw would beat him.

Hal came up and giving the signal to Hans hit a fast grounder to the
left of the pitcher’s box which went toward second like a shot and was
well fielded by Hollins. Hans was, however, almost home by this time
and all Hollins could do was to catch Hal at first which he did. The
score was again tied and two out, Delvin made the third one by knocking
a fly into Warcford’s hands.

It had been nip and tuck between the two teams up to this time with the
advantage of a lead, when there was any, always with Jefferson, and
Lowell’s best efforts were used to keep even.

The strain was beginning to tell on both teams, and Black buckled down
to outguess Laird, the first man up in the fifth, but Laird was the
best guesser and got a base on balls when Miner failed to put the third
one over. Tommy Beach made a beautiful bunt down the third base line
and as Laird had a good lead off first he got all the way around to
third when the throw went to first and Beach was out.

Church at bat signaled Laird for another squeeze play and Harry did
his part all right, but Jefferson’s captain missed the ball and Gibbie
touched Laird out at the plate. Then Church hit a fast bounder to the
left of Arthur who made a great stop and throw to Hal, retiring Church.

Gibbie came to bat and singled to right and there was great hope of
Lowell getting the advantage. The plan went through all right so far as
Miner was concerned, as he sacrificed and Gibbie reached second.

This brought Johnny to bat and he had the hard luck to touch one of
Mellen’s twisters for a foul which fell into Roger’s big mitt and there
were two out.

Captain Larke tried to knock the ball out of the diamond but the best
he could do was an easy roller to La Joy who, however, made a mess of
it with two attempts at picking it up before getting it, and by that
time Larke was safe on first and Gibbie on third.

Larke started for second to draw the throw for the double steal but
Roger couldn’t be tempted to throw the ball any place and Cap got
credit for a steal. Having struck out Robb before, Mellen walked
Talkington, filling the bases, and then Ty knocked a fly to the fence
in center field; but when it came down Beach was there waiting for it.

Hollins, the first batter for Jefferson in the sixth, ought to have
been out, as he knocked a liner direct into Robb’s hands. Ty dropped
it, however, and Hollins hustled to first. The error upset the boys
a little and when Hollins started to steal second Gibbie made a poor
throw and the Jefferson shortstop was safe.

La Joy waited and got his base on balls which was good judgment on
Black’s part as it later developed. Warcford came to bat and struck
viciously at the first ball and missed and the infield guessed that Sam
was bound to hit it out. All but Hal did, at any rate, for when Miner
pitched the next ball and Sam bunted Hal started on his bunt fielding
run to the plate, and making a quick stop he threw to Delvin at third,
forcing Hollins. Then, with Warcford on first, Twitchell hit a fast one
to Case, who made a one-hand stop, threw to Hans who covered second,
and then hustled back to first in time to receive Hans’ return throw
completing a quick double play and retiring the side.

Hans came up in the Lowell half and got another double. Hal sacrificed
him to third and it again looked as though Lowell might take the lead.
Delvin made what ought to have been a hit, for he drove a fast liner
toward first, but Church stabbed it after a mighty leap into the air,
and there were two out. Then the Lowell hope died down once more when
Gibbie hit one to Mellen, who threw him out to Church.

Brest struck at three fast ones and missed all of them. Mellen went
out also on a grounder that was easy for Hans and Hal. Laird came along
with a pretty single to left, but was immediately caught stealing,
Gibbie to Hans.

In the Lowell half Black hit one between first and second, which Church
fielded nicely and threw to Mellen who covered the bag.

Everson hit a bounder to Hollins who let it roll between his legs, and
Johnny was safe. Larke hit one, which La Joy got with little effort and
tossed to Hollins, forcing Everson. Larke immediately stole second,
Roger’s throw being high. Talkington caught them all napping by bunting
toward third and reached first safely. Then it was Robb’s turn and he
tried hard swinging on the first ball pitched which was one of Mellen’s
twisters again, and it went foul back of third and was caught by
Hollins after a great run.

The eighth started well and ended badly for Lowell.

Tommy tried for his usual two bagger, but Talkington got in the way of
his fast liner after a mighty run and there was one gone.

Church tried to put one in short right but it went up in the air and
foul. Case got it after a backward run near the first row of the grand
stand.

Hollins dropped a short bunt in front of the plate and Gibbie fumbled
it. Hollins was easily safe. It did not look bad to Black, however, as
there were two out and the boys were fielding nobly, and Miner intended
to make the next batter knock a fly if he hit it at all. It happened,
however, to be La Joy. Larry fouled off four and it was certain in
Black’s mind that if the kind of balls he was pitching were hit they
would go up in the air, so he put over another one. Larry acted badly,
however, for he straightened out that curve for a two bagger between
Robb and Talkington, which scored Hollins. This rather got Black’s
nerves temporarily and he didn’t have perfect control of himself. When
Warcford stepped to the plate, Gibbie signaled for a low ball. Black
insisted upon sending them up on the inside. Here is where Black went
wrong, for Warcford hit the first one for a single to left and La Joy
scored from second. Two runs in and both of them after two were out
and it looked like the game. To complete the inning, Warcford tried to
steal, but Gibbie nailed him by four feet on a perfect throw to Everson
and the inning ended with the score 5 to 3 in favor of Jefferson.

It looked bad for Lowell, as they had been behind at all stages of the
contest and the score as it stood then, taking into consideration the
high-class fielding of both teams, made it look as though Lowell was
surely beaten.

“Now is the time to do it,” said Hughie as Hans walked to the bat.
“This is the one grand chance to get them. We only need three, Hans,
and you can get one.”

Hughie’s coaching made no difference to Hans either way. He kept his
eye on Mellen and the ball and when Mellen finally sent one up Hans
smashed it for a single to right which got him to first.

Hal tried to hit it out and got a long fly to Warcford which kept Hans
on first.

Delvin came up determined to do or die and he dropped a beautiful
single in left which Warcford fielded quickly, holding Hans on second.
Then Gibbie tried to knock the cover off the ball. He struck three
times at what appeared like good ones and missed three of them, which
was very good work on Mellen’s part. Hughie now sent Huyler up to bat
for Black. Being two out Hans and Delvin started and got away with a
double steal, Hans going to third and Arthur to second.

It was the only chance Huyler had in the game. He landed on the second
ball pitched for a beautiful liner which went to the right field fence,
but the unbeatable Twitchell made it look like an easy out, for he
timed the ball to the instant and made a running catch that was as
clever as any that had been made in the entire game. This made three
out and Jefferson still two runs ahead.

The Jefferson crowd felt they had the game salted away and the team
needed only to hold its advantage and the Championship was theirs. At
the same time they intended to make the most of their last time at bat.

Babe Radams went in to pitch for Lowell and Twitchell feeling good
over his line catch of a moment before couldn’t be stopped. He leaned
against the third ball the Babe tossed up for a well-played single to
right. This hit and Brest’s monkey shines at the plate got Babe going
for a minute and Roger walked. Mellen, good hitter always, wanted to
drive it out, but Captain Church ordered the sacrifice, and Twitchell
reached third, and Roger got to second.

Laird came up to turn the trick and knocked one that took just one
bound in Hans’ direction, and then tried to get over Hagner’s head, but
Hans went up in the air, lurching somewhat to the right, got it, and
with the same motion fired the ball to Gibbie, who got Twitchell at the
plate. To the crowd it looked safe, but the umpire said “out” and that
settled it.

Babe’s nerves were on edge by this time and unfortunately he hit Beach
with a pitched ball and the bases were full. This put everybody more or
less up in the air and anything might happen.

Church now came to bat. He was trying to make Babe walk him, and he
did get three balls. Then Babe put two over which the Captain-manager
missed. The last one he hit right over third base and nine times out of
ten it would have been a safe hit but Arthur managed to knock it down
with his right hand, and then picking it up hurriedly he fired it in
Hal’s direction, but high. If there ever was a ball that was headed for
the grand stand it was that one. For height it came near the record.
The Jefferson crowd went wild, but they had never really seen Hal climb
into the air. He ran three steps, made a mighty leap into the air,
his back to the ball, and then that right hand of his shot up one,
two, maybe four feet higher, and he got it. He was as far from the bag
almost as the runner, only he was up over it. He came to earth feet on
the base and as the umpire waved his hand for the out, Hal and Church
came together and the breath was knocked out of both of them.

He had to call time, for these boys were both unconscious for a few
minutes.

When Hal opened his eyes his first words were, “Did I get it,” but he
couldn’t hear the answer, as the stands were yelling, “Oh, you Hal! Oh,
you Case!” and then he heard Arthur say, “You saved the game for us,
Hal. We’ve got another chance,” and when he turned to Hughie the latter
just shook his hand. He was too much overcome to speak.

Then Lowell went to bat for the final half of the ninth with renewed
courage, for the God of Champions surely intended them to have another
chance when he enabled Hal to make that stop.

It had been a stern chase all the way for Lowell and now it was up to
them for the last time. It would take three runs to win, but they had
often made three or more runs in the last half and Hal’s catch had put
the fire back into their hearts.

That’s the way they felt when Everson, the head of the batting list,
came up. If he could get a base on balls he would have a good start
thought he, at least he decided to wait until the count was two and
two. That’s the way it worked out--two balls and then two strikes, one
of which Johnny tried for. He guessed that Mellen would try to put the
next one over and Johnny decided to hit it out. Mellen on the other
hand wanted him to guess that way and he sent up what looked like a
fast straight one. Johnny gave his sharp quick swing and missed. He had
struck out.

It was a bad start. Larke came up and without waiting banged the first
ball past the pitcher and out toward second base. The ball hit the bag,
and glancing off at an angle to the right rolled straight into La Joy’s
hands and it was two out and hope almost dead.

“They have to put three out before we’re beat, boys,” called Hughie
after Talkington as the latter picked up his bat and started for the
plate and all the Lowell rooters prayed hard even while hope died
within them.

Mellen in the box, cool, confident, and with the big strain nearly
over, was tempted to fool with Talkington. He had hopes of striking him
out. He started two balls straight for the plate but they curved out.
Tris let them go by and the umpire said after the second one, “Ball
two.” Then he started one wide of the plate but failed to get the curve
on it and it went for third ball. The next two came straight over but
Tris never moved and let the umpire call “Strike two.” The crowd stood
up ready to go home as Mellen let go the last ball. It was a wild pitch
that hit the ground in front of the plate and Talkington trotted to
first. The crowd sat down again. There might be something doing after
all. Mellen was surprised and a little nervous. He let the first one
slip a little and it came within reach of Ty’s bat, who connected with
it for a single to right on which Talkington got to third. Then Ty
stole second, which wasn’t hard, as Roger didn’t dare throw.

The slight chance had developed into an opportunity for the next
batter, who was Hans.

Hughie was on the third base line yelling, “Eyah! Eyah! We’ve got them,
boys!” pulling grass with both hands, yelling, whistling, kicking the
air and calling, “You can do it” to Hans.

Church walked over to the pitcher’s box and La Joy and Brest joined
them where they held a consultation at which it was decided to walk
Hans. This was a natural thing to do, as Hal who was up next, while
a good batter, was not so sure to get it safe. Hans knew what they
were up to and the Jefferson boys knew he knew it. So he stood there
at the plate, more or less resigned to his fate, acting as though it
wasn’t any use even to watch the balls as they were pitched. At the
same time he was standing a little nearer the plate than he usually did
although Mellen didn’t notice this. Hans let three go by and they were
about as wide of the plate as three balls could be. Hans hadn’t moved.
When Mellen started to pitch the fourth ball Hans’ bat was swinging
in his left hand. The ball came on high and wide and apparently Hans
was going to take his base but as the ball approached he took one step
forward, swung his bat up and out and met the ball on the nose. When
Mellen heard the crack of the bat his arms dropped to his sides and he
didn’t even turn to look where the ball went. He knew that ball wasn’t
meant to be caught by any fielder within the grounds. As it went over
Twitchell’s head that fellow also knew it would do no good for him
to give chase and as for the rest of the Jefferson team, all of them
except Church and La Joy stood still with mouths open and watched the
ball go sailing clean over the right-field bleachers into the runway
which leads from the ticket offices into the grand stand, and if they
could have followed it after that they would have seen it bounce beyond
the turnstile and clear out onto the elevated tracks, where it dropped
through to the street. The aforesaid Church and La Joy merely took off
their caps, threw them into the dust and stamped on them. Then they
picked them up, brushed them off and put them back on their heads.

[Illustration: “He took one step forward, swung his bat up and out and
met the ball on the nose.”]

Meanwhile Talkington, Robb and Hagner had touched the plate and were
trying to get through the crowd of Lowell rooters who had surrounded
them and the other members of the team.

It was nothing but shoulders for the boys after that. Up they went
surrounded by thousands for a parade around the park.

“Where’s Hal? He saved it!” shouted the crowd, and then, “Where’s Hans?
He won it,” and after they had borne these two to the head of the
procession, though no one could tell how it was possible, they carried
them round the field a dozen times to the music of Lowell songs and
yells, to finally land them at the Club House door where they left them
to bathe and dress, after giving them to understand they were expected
to attend the Lowell banquet at the Waldorf at eight.

Words could not describe the reception given to Hans and Hal by their
team mates in the club house of the New York Nationals that afternoon,
so no attempt will be made to do so, suffice it to say that it was
thoroughly impressed on both that but for them the championship had
been lost, and their names went to the top of the list of the Lowell
Hall of Heroes.

                                BOX SCORE

  LOWELL          AB  R  H PO  A  E   JEFFERSON      AB  R  H    PO  A  E
  Everson, 2b      5  0  1  1  1  0   Laird, 3b       4  1  2     1  0  0
  Larke, lf        5  1  0  1  0  0   Beach, cf       3  1  0     1  1  0
  Talkington, cf   5  1  1  2  1  0   Church, 1b      5  0  0     9  1  0
  Robb, rf         5  1  1  0  6  1   Hollins, ss     4  1  0     3  5  2
  Hagner, ss       5  2  4  2  2  0   La Joy, 2b      4  1  1     0  5  1
  Case, 1b         2  1  1 12  5  0   Warcford, lf    4  1  3     3  0  0
  Delvin, 3b       4  0  1  1  0  1   Twitchell, rf   4  0  1     2  0  0
  Gibbs, c         4  0  1  7  2  1   Brest, c        4  0  0     6  0  0
  Black, p         2  0  0  0  2  0   Mellen, p       3  0  0     1  1  0
  Radams, p        0  0  0  0  0  0
  Huyler[C]        1  0  0  0  0  0
                  -----------------                  --------------------
                  38  6 10 26 19  3                  35  5  7 [D]26 13  3

  LOWELL      1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3--6
  JEFFERSON   2 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0--5

  Two Base Hits--Hagner, 2; La Joy, 1.
  Three Base Hit--Warcford.
  Home Runs--Hagner.
  Sacrifice Hits--Case, 2; Church, 1; Beach, 1; Black, 1; Mellen, 1.
  Stolen Bases--Case, 2; Larke, 2; Hollins, 1; Hagner, 1; Delvin, 1,
      Robb, 1.
  Left on Bases--Lowell, 8; Jefferson, 8.
  First Base on Errors--Lowell, 1; Jefferson, 1.
  Double Play--Case, Hagner, and Case.
  Struck Out--by Black, 3; by Mellen, 4.
  Hit by Pitcher--by Radams, 1.
  Wild Pitch--by Mellen, 1.
  Hits--off Black, 6 in eight innings; off Radams, 1 in one inning.
  [C] Batted for Black in eighth inning.
  [D] Hollins out bunting third strike.



CHAPTER XXVI

HAL-HONUSED


Tim Murnin witnessed the great deciding game from the press box, at
the Polo Grounds, where he found a lot of other budding newspaper men
who had been sent to New York to report the game for various journals.
At a big ball game you find all kinds of people, and every class
of newspaper or periodical reports the big games for its readers.
Naturally these reporters try to make their reports interesting to
their particular kind of readers and that is why, for instance, Swat
Milligan in reporting the game to the _Railway Signal_ described it in
language that was perfectly intelligible to its readers, although it
might be puzzling to the patrons of the _Farm Weekly_.

After Tim got started on his report he got to looking over the shoulders
of the other reporters and had a great idea.

This is it. He would crib an inning or a part of an inning from each of
the writers near him just to get their style, and he did it. When he
got the jumbled mass together and arranged it according to the innings
he wrote an introduction and wired the report to Lowell, where it
appeared in the _Reporter_ the next day. Here it is:

    LOWELL, 6--JEFFERSON, 5.

    “Hal and Honus, the incomparable and inseparable beauties of
    the Lowell posy garden, render the Jefferson assault hopeless
    and Tim Murnin’s pets are returned as champions.

    “Childe Harold, the peerless bunt killer from the Pacific,
    stopped them all. He dug them out of the trenches, climbed into
    the ozone for the high ones, and stabbed the wide ones for as
    natty a row of put outs as ever graced the fourth column of the
    box score.

    “Honus bumped the opposing slab artists for an accumulation of
    ordinaries, repeaters, and a varied assortment of stick talk,
    including a sizzling homer that made dents in the car tracks on
    Eighth Avenue, and brought in a quarter dozen of much needed
    tallies, just enough to save the day.”

When the game opened Tim looked over the shoulder of Swat Milligan, of
the _Railway Signal_, sitting on his right, and this is what he read as
a report of the first half.

    “The Laird of the West bumped one out of the home station which
    Miner tried to flag as it switched to the overhead track, and
    got a through ticket to Caseville.

    “Beach rolled one out of the depot which ran local all the way
    to Everson, but by the time Johnny shut off the power Laird
    had caught an express which landed him safely at the middle
    junction and Beach was returning to the first stop for more
    coal.

    “Captain Church went out on the Sacrifice Limited and Laird and
    Beach rolled into the next stops on time.

    “Hollins now received orders from the Chief Dispatcher to
    squeeze the Laird Limited through and relieve the congestion.
    He made an opening and the Laird came through with wide open
    throttle while Hollins went to Caseville.

    “Larry wanted a special for a joy ride but there was nothing
    nearer than the first station, and the General Superintendent
    suggested that he walk there.

    “Warcford coaled one up for a long run to Larketown, but the
    steam gave out back of Port Arthur on the Texas League Division
    and Sam went to Caseville too as Beach pulled into the depot
    and went to the tank for water.

    “Twitchell engineered one out to Hagnerville, but Hans got his
    hand on the throttle and putting on the reverse backed it into
    the home station where it ran into and wrecked the Hollins
    Local.

    “Brest then pushed out a Cannon Ball Express on the upper
    level, but Hal was walking the track and it came to a dead stop
    when he set the block against it.”

For the second half of the first inning and first of the second, Tim
poached on the efforts of Francis Huff, of _The Flower and Fruit
Weekly_ and what he saw looked good enough to put in his own copy.

    “Johnny Everson dispatched an unmarried one to right just to
    show he had an eye for beauty. The captain pushed a clover
    kisser to Larry and reached first as Johnny faded at second.
    Talkington arched a rainbow to the outer gardens, but Twitchell
    was there and plucked the bags of gold from the other end.

    “Robb then shot a bunch of pepper at Hollins which the latter
    made a mess of, and Ty got to first.

    “Hans was invited to walk down to The Church but he preferred
    to stay where the posies wave in the breeze until he poked a
    blossom nipper out to Warcford’s daisy patch and Larke came
    home with the first bouquet for Lowell.

    “Ty was anxious to bring his bouquet home, too, and show it to
    Hughie, but his flowers were already in full bloom and wilted
    in the dust at the plate when Roger touched them.

    [Illustration: “Ty was anxious to bring his bouquet home.”]

    “Lowell now went into the garden and Mellen planted himself at
    the rubber. He looked ripe to Black who tried to pluck him.
    He nearly did it, too, and Mellen, weakened, dropped from the
    vine, and rolled to Miner who tossed him out of the garden to
    Hal. Black then alone got the Laird’s goat and sent him to the
    shed and with three swings cut down the young Beach that grew
    where the Laird had stood.”

Then there was a fellow sitting in front of him whom nobody knew, who
was writing busily. He must have been connected with some burglar
sheet, for he was using the kind of talk that made Tim look to see if
his pocketbook was still there, after he had dug up this sample, which
was no doubt intended for, say, the _Second-Story Weekly_ or something
like that.

    “In the second half of the deuce stanza Childe Harold got the
    combination of the safe and stole a maiden who danced on his
    left. Arthur came out of the coop to show what he had but his
    best was chicken which roosted finally in Roger’s mitt.

    “When Gibbie came up Hal turned robber and purloined the middle
    cushion and then the third also, in broad daylight, while Roger
    made two efforts to grab his gun. Gibbie lifted a high one that
    looked good to go over Warcford’s second story but Sam turned
    porch climber and arrested it. Black thrice got the scent but
    immediately lost it and was sent to the box to look for the
    other clews.”

Abe Zeager, of _Pulpit Platform and Song_, sat right next to this
second-story fellow so it averaged things up, thought Tim, as he copied
what was said about the next full inning.

    “The Church Captain opened the next meeting with a few hot
    remarks which he addressed particularly to Delvin and Hagner.
    They were too deep for Arthur’s study box but struck Hans about
    right and he put Hal next as the Jefferson captain meandered
    down the first aisle and the captain felt put out.

    “Hollins was called out in open meeting for violating the rules
    of the committee on buntings, having offended the third time.

    “La Joy started a song with a false high note. The Larke caught
    it up and the Professor dismissed the class on the strength
    of it, there being no score, and it was the time for Lowell’s
    Choir practice.

    “But it was of short duration, as Everson’s first note was off
    the key and on Larry’s kick Johnny was put out of the class and
    Larke and Talkington went out to Church after trying to get
    beyond Hollinsville.”

Then on the other side of this fellow, strange to say, sat Frank
Dichter, of the _Police News_, who no doubt was putting it all in
language that the boys down at headquarters could understand and Tim
didn’t have to look any farther for a characteristic account of what
happened to Jefferson in their next time at bat.

    “Warcford scared the top row of the left-side bleachers twice
    and two small boys got passes to the inside.

    “The third one stayed inside and in front and Sammy pulled
    up at third when he saw Church waving the red lantern as Ty
    relayed the ball to Hal, who ferried it to Gibbie. Twitchell
    handed a horseshoe to Gibbie, Roger the cop was let go to his
    beat without swinging his stick. Big George pried the lid off
    when he handed a long one to Tris and Warcford got away with
    the goods.

    [Illustration: “Church waving a red lantern.”]

    “Roger was caught off his beat and chased to the station by
    Johnny and Hal.”

Farther over in the box Tim heard some ticker talk about the market,
etc., and he went over to see if he could decipher the stuff that was
being sent out by Sid Mercury, of the _Salesman’s Review_.

    “Ty hurried out to see what was being offered in the market,
    but after missing the best there was, he sent an inquiry up
    among the dollar sitters and when he again thought he saw a
    good thing he found it was only a tip which Roger had acted on.

    “The mighty Hagner Honused forward and after inspecting the
    Mellen spring samples gave an order for three bags, paying for
    two for immediate delivery. Beach the credit man canceled the
    order for the extra bag claiming Honus’ credit wasn’t good for
    the third but he wasn’t anxious to extend himself anyhow.

    “Hal came up but he wasn’t ready to buy although he did make a
    pretty fair offer to Hollins for the best he had in the shop,
    which the latter turned down through his manager.

    “Honus had, however, done so well in negotiating his two bags
    by this time that he hurried home to look for more bargains.

    “When Mellen drove the next one down the lane Arthur hitched a
    fly kid on to his wagon and he gave it a long ride to Warcford.”

There was a fellow sitting some distance away who had on a sailor suit
and Tim asked him who he was. “I’m Sam Lane, of _Man of War’s Man_, and
I’m telling the boys about the game in the style they like.”

    “In the first half of the fifth Miner sent one up through the
    outside passage after it was two and three and the Harbor
    Master gave The Laird clearance papers for the next port of
    call. The Laird then turned pirate and started to run wild on
    the high seas with the patrol ship Gibbie in hot pursuit when
    the Pirate Brig Beach made a sortie under short bunting and the
    fight was centered on the Beach while The Laird entered a cove
    at Delvin’s Island.

    “Captain Church, of the Pirate League, then set all sails and
    primed the guns to squeeze the enemy, while The Laird made a
    dash for the home shelter, but he miss-fired and The Laird
    went to the Gibbie as a prize.

    “Captain Church then made an effort to rescue himself by
    jumping with a lifesaver, but the latter floated toward
    Delvin’s Island while the tide carried the captain toward
    Caseville, and Hal got him out with a jerk.

    “Gibbie came alongside and launched a screamer to the side one
    should always pass on. Miner laid himself on the altar and
    Gibbie jumped to the second landing.”

Just as Tim was going back to his seat he heard Norman Rhodes, of the
_Churchman_, clicking it off like this.

    “The Human Crab then offered his mite, but it was tainted money
    that dropped into Roger’s contribution box.”

And farther along he caught the reporter for _Janitors’ Hints_ sending
this.

    “Captain Larke pushed a vacuum cleaner to La Joy which picked
    up dust all the way and reached first when Larry couldn’t stop
    the motor and Gibbie was beating the rug at the near station.”

Tim then asked Van Lent, of the _National Detective_, how he liked
the game and the latter handed him his report of the next half inning
saying, “You can see what I am saying about it.”

    “Larke wirelessed Gibbie the code word for the double pilfer
    and although Pinkerton Roger received the message too he was
    afraid to leave the home station without an operator and
    couldn’t prevent the captain from committing the crime.

    “Mellen pinned four stripes to Talkington’s batting suit,
    filling all the cells, and then Robb tried to arrange a get
    away for the bunch by a breakaway over the center fence but the
    Chief Hawkeye of the Jefferson outer guard stone-walled it and
    the prisoners were all sent to the yard.”

S. C. Rice, of the _Bakers’ and Confectioners’ Daily_ was kneading his
report of the game into shape so that his folks could see it and he was
going along like this.

    “Hollins, who was the first to stir the batter in the sixth,
    hoisted a wad of dough to Ty whose fingers were buttered,
    however, and Eddie was presented with the first bun.

    “It tasted like more and Eddie reached through the kitchen
    window and stole the second.

    “Larry loafed around the office door and they gave him a pass
    to the free lunch counter. Warcford started one toward China
    which Hal dug out of the turf, and snow balled to Arthur, who
    congealed to it in time to put Hollins on ice.”

Passing back to his regular seat Tim heard the operator for _English
Society_ who happened to be Buckingham Roseberry wiring this to his
sheet.

    “Twitchell jolted a bounder to Childe Harold who diverted it to
    Hans, eliminating Warcford and then returned to his doorstep in
    time to put the ‘not-at-home’ sign out before Martin called,
    when Hans handed it to him.”

The readers of _Ivory Ball Review_ were going to be entertained the
next day by a description of the contest, which ran something like the
following, from Hugh Fullers their correspondent.

    “Hans miscued twice and then made a two cushion shot into the
    second pocket. Delvin attempted a follow through on a shot to
    the right corner, but was kissed off by Church. Gibbie tried
    a long draw past the middle pocket but was froze, Mellen to
    Church and all he got was, ‘You ought to have had it.’”

While Ernest Banigan, of the _Daily Provision Market_, was crowding
the telegraph lines with the following rehash, although Tim thought
that in the last part of the report of the particular play noted Erny
was getting his wires crossed, though he may have been reporting for
_Motor_ and _The Watch Tower_ as well.

    “Brest hit the hole in three large doughnuts that Miner passed
    to him from the pretzel station, Mellen’s barker went into
    the Hagner-Case sausage factory. Laird hoisted a cuckoo over
    Delvin’s tower, which Arthur almost caged with his hands
    over his belfry and Harry motored to first but had his tire
    punctured by Gibbie and Hans between the first and second
    controls.”

Medil Larder, of the _National Butcher_, handed up this contribution
when Tim asked for a sample of his style.

    “Black, the first to show his willingness in the Lowell half,
    burned one at Church, who assaulted it for a knockout with a
    side swipe from Mellen.

    “Everson sneaked one to Hollins which treated Eddie like the
    pig in the alley did the bow-legged man and Johnny ambled to
    the first feed trough. Larke chased one to second which Larry
    stabbed and Johnny was slaughtered at the midway and sent to
    the packing house.

    “Larke jumped into the chute and slid all the way to the second
    salt bag.

    [Illustration: “Larke jumped into the chute.”]

    “Talkington sneaked down the line on a bunt which caught all
    the infield pickets napping while the captain dusted the near
    bag with his sun shield.

    “Robb’s fat was a foul that went into Hollins’ pan and the
    inning was in the soup.”

And Jacob Morass, of the _Farm Weekly_ and the _Country Banker_ was
killing two birds with one stone like this.

    “In the eighth act the curtain rose with Little Tommy Beach in
    the center of the stage.

    “Tommy hit a bender on the wishbone and boosted it to the
    middle gate, but Talkington hugged it for an early demise, and
    his wishbone was where his backbone ought to be.

    “Church winged a broiler to the poultry farm back of first and
    Case wrung its neck. Hollins pushed a fresh-laid one over the
    edge of the plate which Gibbie scrambled and Eddie reached his
    nest.

    “Larry knocked four over the barn and then straightened the
    kinks in the next one which went for a repeater to Tris and
    Eddie wiped his feet on the ‘welcome’ mat at home.

    “Sam, the Kansas farmer, dug a furrow between Arthur and Hans
    and planted himself at Caseburg while Larry drove his hack all
    the way to the barn on the dead run.”

L. Moore Betts, of the _Commercial_, with its varied class of readers
tried to cover all the trades from Wall Street to Bill Boards and was
turning out page after page of this kind of stuff.

    “The Certified Accounts made their report showing the large
    surplus of two for Jefferson and it looked like bankruptcy for
    Lowell.

    “Hughie went down to the Curb Market and started to bid up
    prices.

    “Hans uncorked a popper that he traded for a single hassock.

    “Hal unbuckled a blue domer which Warcford kittened to and Hans
    was anchored.

    “Arthur unbridled a broncho bucker that chortled down between
    Eddie and Laird and ran to Sam, and Hans pranced down to the
    midway. Gibbie expired on three fractures, and the Candy Kid
    came up with his box of sweets.

    “While Mellen was smacking his lips Hans and Arthur sneaked
    behind the counter and touched the ticket box for a ride to
    the next branch stores, but when Huyler tried to stamp his
    trade-mark on the billboards, Twitchell was there with an order
    that canceled his permit.”

Rothe Child, of _The American Youth_, jumped from tin soldiers to
airships for his similies and Tim thought that a half inning would be
enough.

    “The Infant Prodigy was now sent to the front to propel the
    puzzlers.

    “He put up a jig saw that Twitchell fitted together and made a
    bird that lit in right.

    “Roger danced a jig at the plate to amuse the Babe, and was
    told to lead the march.

    “Twitchell and Roger advanced farther into the enemy’s country
    over Mellen’s dead body and Laird came out of hiding.

    “Harry unlimbered a Zeppelin Limited that had the ‘standing-room-only’
    sign out as it started on the air-line track toward Honusburg. Hans
    set the signals against it and then climbed into the empyrean blue
    for a puncture that wrecked the airship, and Twitchell was overcome
    at the home station when Gibbie told him the news.

    “Babe was sued when he assaulted young Beach, and the jury
    awarded him damages to the extent of one free ride, and there
    was a rooster on every perch in the coop.”

Sol Singer, of the _Volunteer Fireman_, heard what Tim was doing by
this time and he said, “How do you like this.”

    “Things were as exciting as a ‘Fighting-the-Flames’ show at
    Coney Island and the Lowell boys had offers of passes for ‘A
    trip to the moon.’

    “The captain of the Arson Band sneaked forward to light the
    fuse and start the conflagration while his pals hauled down the
    champions’ flag and as the infant burned the third one over
    the Captain fired a dynamite bomb over Delvin Square to set
    fire to the city, and the robbers got busy. Little Arthur,
    however, guarding his station, was prepared to die a patriot
    and although he had to handle it with gloves he knocked it down
    and quickly turned in the alarm calling out all reserves.

    “He then proceeded calmly to throw the thing out of the lot,
    but missed, and it was headed for the top floor of the Lowell
    Hall of Heroes which it would have destroyed had not Hal got
    out his scaling ladder and grabbed it as it was going through
    and the Arson crew was sent away when Hal came down with the
    evidence.”

By this, however, Tim thought it was time to put a little of himself in
to the report, and he contributed the last half of the ninth himself.

    “Then it was up to the Dr. Lawrence’s Willing Workers to beat
    it to the woods and not come back empty-handed if they wanted
    any supper that night, with little brother Hughie tugging at
    the apron strings telling how hungry he was.

    “Johnny was the first to shoulder his gun and walked down the
    lane boldly with his chin in the air, promising to come back
    with one bag full at least.

    “He saw game, too, but after pulling the trigger three times
    discovered his gun wasn’t loaded and came back for ammunition,
    but was sent to bed without partaking of the feast.

    “Larke started out with his double-barrel shotgun all loaded
    and primed and saw tracks immediately, but as luck would have
    it when he followed them over behind La Joy’s barn old man
    Larry grabbed him and chased him out of the lot through the
    first gate.

    “Tris stirred up three crows and a couple of whistlers as soon
    as he got to the shooting grounds. The crows were too far away,
    however, and the whistlers were too fast for good shooting, so
    he waited. Tris became discouraged when the next was a crow
    which landed on the ground in front of him and the game warden
    told him they were running better down by the first turn.

    “Ty walked to the firing line with just one bullet in his rifle
    with which he winged a bird that dropped in right field, Ty
    going to the first trap while Tris ran to the third, with Laird
    and Twitchell trying to put salt on his tail. Ty then grabbed
    Larry’s bag and he had two.

    “Hans was sent out to bring in the game, and Mellen, who was
    operating the trap, was ordered to serve four of the closed
    season kind and chase him to the duck pond.

    “The first was a ladybird far out to the right, the next was a
    mud hen that hugged the ground, the third was a waxwing far out
    of Hans’ reach. The fourth was a moth ball intended to lay Hans
    away for good; but he made one of his muscle-racking lunges,
    and hitting that moth ball on the solar plexus, released a
    humming bird that darted where the nightingale warbles its
    lay and the glowworm glimmers, while Hans snatched four full
    bags and almost beat Tris and Ty to the supper table, and the
    suspense was ended.”



CHAPTER XXVII

AWARDING THE PRIZES


It would be impossible to describe in words the reception which the
team received upon its return to Lowell after this memorable game at
the Polo Grounds. Of receptions, there had been plenty to victorious
teams at Lowell, but all those that had gone before could not compare
in any way with the glorious welcome that was given the team of 19--.

Commencement was still a few days off, but the season was over and it
was time to put away the ball, bat, and glove, so far as real games
were concerned. Very soon commencement day would arrive and that day
would see the departure from school of some of the greatest players the
college world has ever known.

The evening before commencement the scholarship prize winners were
announced by the Intercollegiate Athletic Association. There were
hardly any surprises on this score, for it was apparent even before the
games with Jefferson, to the few who had seen the two teams play, that
Lowell would again carry off the prizes.

The wonderful showing made by Case, Hagner, Radams, and Robb during
almost the entire season, put them so far ahead of all competitors
that there could be but one result.

Hans, of course, standing head and shoulders above all of them in the
records, carried off the prize as the best all-round man. Hagner was,
next to Hal, the happiest man in school. No more selling books for him.
His college course was assured. Furthermore, he received an invitation
from the Pirates to join them at the end of his course at a salary
which was so tempting that right then he signed a contract to begin as
soon as he graduated, or before, if he chose.

Case also need not worry in future about his college expenses. All
tuition and five hundred dollars per year during his college course
was a wonderful thing for him, he thought; but when the manager of the
Highlanders came along and offered him five thousand dollars a year to
play with them after he was graduated he could hardly contain himself.

[Illustration: Hal and Hans get offers from professional ball clubs.]

Radams was the winning pitcher, according to the records, and after
considering a lot of offers he agreed to play with the Pittsburg
Pirates, upon leaving school, if at all, because Larke and Gibbs had
wanted him to.

Robb drew the other scholarship prize and there was a great scramble
among the professionals to induce this heavy hitting outfielder to come
with them. Jenkins, however, took Robb aside and told him quietly that
instead of practicing law right away, he was going to play professional
ball for a few years, that he had received such a tempting offer from
the Tigers to manage their club that he could make more out of it than
out of the law, and that professional baseball had been put on such a
high plane in the last few years that it was as good a profession as
any. He got Robb to agree to play ball with the Tigers, if he played on
any professional team in the future.

Talkington fell a victim to the wiles of a Red Sox scout, so far as
his promises were concerned, and agreed to join them as soon as he was
graduated.

Several of the graduating players thought as Jenkins, and could not
resist the tempting offers of large sums to join the big leagues and
play ball for a living for a while.

Larke and Gibbs, as stated before, joined the Pittsburg Pirates. Larke
as manager, and that’s how Radams came to show up there later.

Everson said he was going into the shoe business in New York State,
and he did; but he couldn’t resist the temptation offered him by the
Cubs and for many years played a rattling game at second base for them,
and made a lot of money in this way. When he got there he was much
surprised to find Miner Black pitching for them.

Delvin was signed by the famous New York Giants and for years was the
premier third baseman of the country.

And as these alumni boys traveled over the country entertaining
thousands by the display of their ability in the national sport they
ran across most of the Jefferson team of their college days.

Frank Church became captain-manager of the Cubs where Everson and Black
played and of course they had to talk over the great college games of
19-- again.

Twitchell was showing the fans down in Cincinnati how to play right
field.

La Joy turned up as manager and second baseman of the Naps of Cleveland.

Sam Warcford and George Mellen found old foes and made new friends
when they met Jenkins and Robb on the Tigers, and you would have seen
the surprise of your life if you had been present when Howard Cam
and Tommy Beach hunted up the manager of the Pirates and found it was
former Captain Larke of Lowell.

Roger Brest, it was learned, was trying his hand at managing the
Cardinals of St. Louis, while Hollins landed with the Athletics of
Philadelphia, and Harry Laird went with the Red Sox of Boston.

And so, boys, you who read this have read the story of the two greatest
baseball teams ever known and seen how most of them learned their
baseball; and you who live in the big league cities, if you want to see
some of these boys play, you can do so almost any day from April to
October. These fellows are just as much the heroes of the game to-day
as they were at Lowell. They like to play the game for the fun there is
in it as much as the profit. They like it for its thrilling situations
and its excitement. They love to see the big crowds and when the stands
are filled and they have to let the crowd out on the field they play
their best and they all are just as anxious to win every game, as they
were back in those good old days at Lowell.



CHAPTER XXVIII

SATO WRITES HOME


Sato, the only member of the Jap nation at the university that year,
had not attended any of the games at Lowell up to this time, but the
excitement around the school caused him to follow the crowd one day,
and afterwards he wrote home to Prince Igo, his father, his impressions
of the great National Game as follows:

“Baseballing is great college sport presently. I walk to-day much
distance to where town ceases and come against high board fences; also
law guardian, from which issue big noises frequent. Then silence great.
Soon of each more. I ask law guardian why such yells.

“He reply, ‘It is the fans. Man came home.’ Am now desirous also to
welcome traveler’s home coming.

[Illustration: He reply, “Man came home.”]

“‘Away long time has gentlemen been?’ In interrogate.

“He answer, ‘Been long time since he came home before.’

“Then I approach said gates of welcoming and enter one saying grand
stand, giving printed pasteboard to much red-faced man at door.

“He destroy said printing and present to me one-half; the other he
keep. On honorable pasteboard is printed ‘rain check’ and I presently
comprehend thus the stopping rain in great United States when
baseballing is to happen.

“I proceed along walkboard continuous until emerging into great
pavilion where persons numerous are all sitting in seats many, but I
see not the fans law guardian promised, though it is day warm very.
Presently spectators make grand stand shouting the Big Banzai as
honorables in white suits run very hard.

“‘What is it?’ I remark to enormous German intelligence on left.

“‘Another man home,’ he correspond.

“I am much enthusiasm also. It is more august noise than Russian
surrendering.

“Presently, Mr. Gray Pitch lift strong arm holding white ball of much
hardness high. Another Gray Mr., the Hon. Catch, has responsibility for
all balls Mr. Pitch shoot and he try to stop all. The ball shoots with
swiftness great so Mr. Catch wear large cushions on hands, also bird
cage on face, with boards in front of legs. Third Mr. what they call
Bat is positioned in front Mr. Catch to make impossible said stopping
by hitting ball.

“Of a suddenness Mr. Gray Pitch preparation himself for enjoyable
spasm. Ball holding high, he make large twistings, himself turn half
way, leg raises and quickly shoots little ball straight at Mr. Catch’s
head. Hon. Bat makes large effort vainly.

“‘Strike one,’ gleefully announces Hon. Empire in loud voice.

“Again Mr. Pitch make necessary, twists preparation to his shoot. Mr.
Bat fail making attempt but Hon. Empire cries agonizing, ‘Struck two,’
at which thin Irish spectacles on right speaking violently remark,
‘Robber! Thief! Kill the Empire!’

“I look expectant to witness demise of Hon. Empire, but it happens not
immediate. Much disappoint I feel, having extreme good sitting for
witness such scenes. Then, think perhaps it later will occurrence when
dark.

“Once more Mr. Gray Pitch causing ball shoot fast. But Mr. Bat watching
very close. He make great smash with large stick against middle of
small ball and at once change name to Mr. Run, making great haste
leaving home for first white cushion. Then turn, with much glee, from
all standers up, on left side and hasten quick after direction ball
went toward number two cushion. Mr. Gray Field now pick up ball quick
and throw at Mr. Run.

“All grand standers now project loud shoutings of ‘Make slidings, Mr.
Run. Make big slidings, Oh run,’ and answeringly Hon. Run sliding on
his stomach to No. Two cushion, but Hon. Empire wave his hand and say
quickly, ‘Out’ and Hon. Run then walk with much slowness and mutterings
of words to waterpail and drink.

“Presently when Hon. White Suits are much weary from hittings and
slidings they exchanging places with Hon. Gray Suits and Gray Suits
play Mr. Bat.

“The Mr. White Pitch try to make great original twistings and shoots.
Mr. Gray Bat finds hitting impossible and Hon. Empire says, ‘Struck
three, out.’ But now the Hon. Irish on right do not cry ‘Robber! Kill
him!’ Himself and all others surrounding make more standings and cheer
Mr. White Pitch magnitudinous and say, ‘Oh, you pitch!’

“After more twistings by White Pitch, Mr. Next Bat walk leisure to one
cushion. Mr. Third Bat likewise.

“Suddenly boy diminutive with large voice in front say, ‘Get the hook’
and then Mr. White Pitch drop was white ball and retire and I wait for
him return with hook, but I am distracted otherwise, seeing bigger
White Pitch proceed and pick up ball. Then still more different twists
by Mr. Bigger White Pitch and swift shoots. Supreme big effort by Mr.
Gray Bat and loud crack.

“‘Fowl,’ say Empire and three runnings of white suits. I arise to look
at white suits chasing fowl, but impossible to see account front rows
standing on seats. Next yellings, ‘He’s got it,’ and sitting down of
all, and I see Mr. Big Pitch holding ball upraised, but no chicken. I
think they catching fowl outside for big dinner to homecomers.

“Now Mr. Second Bat run quickly to three cushion and Mr. Now Bat propel
ball with stick very far; but Mr. White Field catch quick and throw to
Hon. Catch while Mr. Three Cushion occupant running home.

“‘Safe,’ say Hon. Empire at which all bystanders yell angrily, ‘Robber!
Thief! Hang him!’ I climb nearby post to witness national mode of death
and see all white suits surrounding Hon. Empire, but no rope.

“Presently all walk away and again I am disappoint, having much finer
location for view such interesting proceedings.

“Then more of same twistings and runnings by both white suits and gray
suits exchanging places until dark, when grand standings make big
runnings to outside.

“I wait much patiently to see Hon. Empire get hangings now but
presently Mr. August Watch come by and say, ‘G’wan, game’s over,’ with
many pointings to outside and I consider possible I find Hon. Empire
and all white suits over fence making big killings, so I exit myself
through glee gates backward where I find only majestic stillness.

“So I return to domicile.”


THE END



WON IN THE NINTH

A BASEBALL STORY

By CHRISTOPHER MATHEWSON

The Famous Pitcher of the New York Giants. The first of a series of
Boys’ Stories on Sports to be known as the MATTY BOOKS, by Christopher
Mathewson and W. W. Aulick, the well-known sporting writer, who will
also act as editor of the series.


It is a college story about baseball. The hero is a fine young fellow
whom many fans will at once think they recognize as a popular player.
He enters a big Eastern University from the far West, gets on the
Varsity after many trying experiences, as extra pitcher, but by
accident one day it develops his natural position is as fielder and he
becomes a star and wins a scholarship, which insures his education.

Throughout the story the author describes thrilling moments of actual
games, some wonderful catches, and gives many stories, some of them
humorous, of famous players and games.

He also reveals some of the secrets of “inside baseball,” “signals,”
etc., and in a supplement, illustrations and descriptions of the way he
holds and delivers his famous Fade-away and other deceptive curves.

The description and playing characteristics of many of the hero’s
team-mates remind one of famous players of the present day. The
author has placed in one college boys who from their ball-playing
ability might easily be taken to represent his selection of a first
ALL-AMERICAN TEAM and in a rival college the boys whom he might pick
for ALL-AMERICAN TEAM No. 2. The games played might also be taken
to represent his idea of what would occur in a series between two
such teams. Mathewson’s position in the game and his knowledge of
the players fit him especially for this, and the book should be read
eagerly by players and fans.

    PRESS COMMENTS

    The greatest baseball story ever written.--_New York World._

    A mighty good story of college life runs through the
    book.--_Pittsburg Dispatch._

    Every fan should read it.--_Denver Post._

    A book which every boy from eight to eighty should
    read.--_Boston Globe._

_302 Pages, 12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Price, Net, $1.00_


  R. J. BODMER COMPANY, PUBLISHERS
  437 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK

  Sales Agents: NEW YORK BOOK COMPANY
  147 Fourth Avenue, New York



TO THE READER


The next in the series of MATTY BOOKS will be a Football Story by the
same author. Matty was, during his college days, as great a football
player as he is a pitcher to-day.

If you will fill out this blank and mail to us, we will give you
advance notice of the date of publication of the football story.

    R. J. BODMER COMPANY
    PUBLISHERS
    437 FIFTH AVENUE      NEW YORK

    Name__________________________

      Street Number_______________

        City______________________



                             THE FADE-AWAY

                                  AND

                        OTHER DECEPTIVE CURVES

                       AS HELD AND DELIVERED BY

                           CHRISTY MATHEWSON


                     ILLUSTRATIONS BY COURTESY OF
                    AMERICAN SPORTS PUBLISHING CO.
                      FROM “HOW TO PLAY BASEBALL”

[Illustration: Mathewson’s Fade Away Ball--The ball is held lightly
with the forefingers and thumb, and a slow twist is given to it. It
sails up to the plate as dead as a brick, and, when mixed in with a
speedy straight or in-ball, causes the batter to often strike at it
before it reaches him. It is a “teaser” for the third strike.]

[Illustration: HOW BALL IS GRASPED FOR START OF THE “FADE AWAY.”]

[Illustration: THE BALL LEAVING THE HAND AS IT GETS THE FINAL TWIST OF
THE WRIST FOR THE “FADE AWAY.”]

[Illustration: Mathewson’s Drop-curve--His most effective ball, and
he has wonderful control of it. In fact, he makes it “talk.” The two
forefingers and the thumb give the rotary motion necessary for the
curve, while a downward swing and quick snap of the wrist give it the
quick dropping kink.]

[Illustration: Mathewson’s High In-ball--This is a most wicked
delivery--the whisker trimmer. The thumb touches the ball very lightly
and the forefingers grasp it firmly. This delivery is used mostly to
drive the batter away from the plate so as to make the curve more
effective. It is a dangerous ball to stand up against.]

[Illustration: The Straight, Swift Ball--Mathewson gets tremendous
speed with this delivery, said to excel that of the famous “Hoosier
Cyclone,” Amos Rusie, when in his prime. The arm is swung straight over
the shoulder, with no wrist movement.]

[Illustration: The out-curve is produced usually by grasping the ball
with the first two fingers and the thumb, with the back of the hand
turned downward. The fingers are pressed firmly against the ball, which
is gripped tight. The out-curve may be either fast or slow.]

[Illustration: The in-curve is pitched with a side-arm motion, the ball
being released over the tips of the first two fingers, the arm being
swept around with a lateral motion. Some pitchers throw an in-curve by
grasping the ball with all four fingers and permitting it to slip over
the tips.]

[Illustration: McGINNITY THROWING AN INSHOOT, THE BALL ROLLING OFF HIS
FIRST TWO FINGERS.]

[Illustration: HOW McGINNITY TURNS HIS HAND TO PITCH A DROP BALL.]

[Illustration: POSITION OF THE BALL FOR AN OUT-CURVE AS McGINNITY
PITCHES IT, THE BALL BEING RELEASED BETWEEN THE THUMB AND FIRST
FINGER.]

[Illustration: HAND JUST BEFORE THE “SPIT BALL” IS FREED, THE BALL
SLIPPING OVER THE ENDS OF THE FINGERS OF CHESBRO.]

[Illustration: ARM FULLY DRAWN BACK TO PITCH THE “SPIT BALL,” SHOWING
THE POSITION BEFORE IT IS BROUGHT FORWARD, BY CHESBRO.]

[Illustration: Drop-curve--The ball for the drop-curve is held in
identically the same position as for the out-curve, except that the
back of the hand is held directly down, the arm being brought straight
over the shoulder at the moment of delivering the ball.]



 Transcriber’s Notes:

 --Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

 --A Table of Contents (all versions) and a List of Illustrations
   (browser and mobile versions) have been provided for the navigational
   convenience of the reader.

 --Punctuation and spelling inaccuracies were silently corrected.

 --Archaic and variable spelling has been preserved.

 --Variations in hyphenation and compound words have been preserved.





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