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L.Tom Perry Special Collections 
Harold B. Lee Library 
Brigham Young University 


BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 



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OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2018 with funding from 
Brigham Young University 


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YOUR FATHER, THE JUDGE, SAYS YOU SHOULD COME TO BREAKFAST RIGHT AWAY, 
MISS.’ ’—F rontispiece. 



























































OUR BASE BALL CLUB 

AND 

HOW IT WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP 


NOAH BROOKS 


Author of “The Fairport Nine,” “The Boy Emigrantsetc. 


WITH AN INTRODUCTION 


AL. G. SPALDING 

OF THE CHICAGO BASE BALL CLUB 


New York 

E. P. DUTTON AND COMPANY 

39 West 23d Street 
1884 


By E. P. DUTTON & CO. 


St. Johnland 
Stereotype Foundry, 
Suffolk Co., N. y 


Press of 

y. y. Little &> Co. 
to Astor Place, N. Y 


INTRODUCTION. 


When we consider how strong a hold the pastime of base 
ball playing has upon our people, it is a little surprising 
that more frequent use of the game, as a framework, has 
not been made by writers of fiction. There are very few 
Americans, certainly very few of the younger generation, 
who are not only familiar with the nomenclature and rules 
of base ball, but are enthusiastic lovers of the sport. Even 
among the gentler sex, who may be regarded as spectators 
only of the game, there is to be found much sound 
information and an intelligent acquaintance with the details 
of base ball playing; while every hearty and wholesomely 
taught boy knows everything worth knowing about the game, 
the famous players, the historic contests, and the notable 
features of the sport, as practiced in various sections of the 
republic. 

To write an introduction to a story whose slender plot 
should be threaded on a base ball match seems to be an 
almost superfluous work. But I am glad that Mr. Brooks 
has undertaken to illustrate “The National Game” by a 
story of outdoor life, founded on fact and incidentally 




VI 


INTRODUCTION. 


introducing personages which are not wholly creatures of his 
imagination. The tale here told very cleverly gives the 
reader a glimpse of the ups and downs, the trials and the 
triumphs of a base hall club. It is written by one who is 
thoroughly well informed of the things concerning which 
he gives such vivid pictures, and, while nothing is really 
needed to popularize the game, I am sure the story will 
commend itself to every lover of pure and wholesome 
literature. 


A. Gr. SPALDING. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER I. 

GREAT EXPECTATIONS.9 

CHAPTER II. 

"a scrub game’’ .16 

CHAPTER III. 

AFTER THE BATTLE.36 

CHAPTER 1Y. 

REORGANIZATION BEGINS.41 

CHAPTER Y. 

NOTES OF PREPARATION.51 

CHAPTER YI. 

AN INTERESTING EPISODE.59 

CHAPTER VII. 

IN THE FIELD.69 

CHAPTER VIII. 

A TURN OF THE TIDE.86 

CHAPTER IX. 

HOPE AND SUSPENSE.93 












CONTENTS. 


viii 

CHAPTER X. 

HOW THE GOOD NEWS CAME. 102 

CHAPTER XI. 

IN A NEW FIELD. 117 

CHAPTER XII. 

AFTER THE VICTORY. 139 

CHAPTER XIII. 

PRIDE HAS A FALL. 146 

CHAPTER XIY. 

A STRANGE MESSAGE FROM HOME. 167 

CHAPTER XY. 

MIKE COSTIGANS DISCOVERY. 175 

CHAPTER XYI. 

THE CONSPIRACY LAID OPEN. 181 


CHAPTER XVII. 


A FAMOUS VICTORY 


188 










OUR BASE BALL CLUB, 


AND HOW IT WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP. 


CHAPTER I. 


GEEAT EXPECTATIONS. 



LICE HOWELL was flattening her pretty nose against 


the window pane as she looked ruefully out into the 
misty atmosphere that surrounded her father’s house in North 
Catalpa. It was eight o’clock in the morning, and the great 
base ball match was set for two o’clock, that afternoon. As 
soon as she had risen, Alice had run to the window to see 
what were the signs of the sky, for Alice was an ardent lover 
of the American game, and her heart was set on the great 
match that was to come off on the Agricultural Grounds, 
near Catalpa, that day. The sky was dull and lowering, 
and there was little chance that the game would be called. 

“Your father, the Judge, says you should come to 
breakfast right away, miss,” said the little handmaid of 
the house. 

Alice turned from the window with an impatient sigh, 
saying “Oh dear, Jessie, do you suppose the Jonesville Nine 
will come up to play the Catalpas, this afternoon?” 


10 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


“ ’Deed I don’t know, miss. I hope so, for Miss 
Anstress has promised me that I shall go over to see 
the game if it is played, and goodness only knows when I 
shall get off again to see a base ball match if I don’t 
go to-day.” 

“ But look at the weather! It’s as dark as a pocket, 
and it looks as if it might rain at any moment. Oh dear! 
oh dear! it’s too bad, so it is. And this is to be the last 
game of the season, and the decisive one, too.” And so, 
more talking to herself than to the small servant who trotted 
behind her, with a sympathetic air, the pretty Miss Alice 
went to the breakfast-table where her father waited for her 
with an aspect of amused dignity. 

“ One cannot see across the river for the fog, papa,” 
said the girl, with a disconsolate tone, as she seated herself. 
“The fences are dripping with moisture, and the dam roars 
just as it always does when there is a rain-storm coming 
up. How very provoking!” 

“Well, and has my little girl forgotten that it was the 
day before yesterday that Farmer Boggs was in here from 
Sugar Grove and said that unless they had more rain before 
the frosts set in, it would be a hard year for winter wheat? 
And wasn’t it my little girl who said that she wanted Stone 
River running full, this fall, in order that she might enjoy 
her new club skates when the ice came ? ” 

“But, papa, the crops can wait a day or two for the fall 
rains, I am sure, and I should be willing to give up a whole 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


11 


winter’s skating if the Catalpas would only beat the Jonesville 
Nine—the horrid fellows! And I am sure they would beat 
them, if they only played them to-day, for they are in 
capital form now.” 

“Hush! hush! my daughter,” said Judge Howell, with a 
little shudder, ‘ ‘ that is slang that you are using, and I 
shall have to curtail your base ball amusement if you are 
so ready to pick up the jargon of what they call, I believe, 

* The Diamond Field,’ for I do not want my daughter to 
mingle the slang of the game with her mother’s mode of 
speech.” 

The Judge was somewhat prosy and not at all in love 
with the noble game which his daughter, in common with all 
of the girls of Catalpa, and of the whole Stone River 
country, for that matter, followed with so much enthusiasm. 

The base ball club of Catalpa was made up of some of 
the finest young fellows in the town. Catalpa was situated 
on both sides of Stone River, in northern Illinois. It was a 
busy manufacturing and milling community, and from its 
homes had gone many a stalwart young chap to fight his 
country’s battles in the southwest. The survivors of the 
company that went out and came back, decimated as to 
numbers and not all sound in body, founded the first base 
ball club of the region. The members of the club called 
themselves “The Catalpas,” after their town. Most of the 
players lived on the north side of the river, and were soon 
dubbed “The North Catalpas” by their rivals who, living 


12 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


on the other side of the stream, and in the main portion 
of the town, and forming another club, arrogated to 
themselves the title of “ Catalpa’s Champions.” 

Gradually, the membership of the two organizations 
changed. The old soldiers retired in favor of their sons and 
nephews. The club on the south side of the river was 
reorganized and an entirely new set of young men came 
into it. The name of “The Dean County Nine,” was given 
to the southside club, and, as it was largely composed of 
young men who worked in the flouring mills and the 
lumber-yards along the river front, it was famous for the 
brawn and muscle of its players. 

The Catalpa Nine, on the other hand, was made up of 
students in the Seminary, young fellows in the law and 
county offices of the town, and sons of gentlemen of leisure. 
There was a chasm as wide as Stone River fixed between 
the Dean County Nine and the Catalpa Nine, so far as social 
relations were concerned. The Dean County players called 
the Catalpas “Aristocrats” and the Catalpas retorted with 
the epithet of “Stalwarts” applied to their town rivals. 
When it is added that the finest residences were built on the 
north side of the river dividing the town, and that the men 
of more moderate means dwelt on the business side of the 
stream, the reason for the imaginary line of separation 
betwixt the two ball clubs will be more apparent. 

After repeated and not always friendly matches between 
the rival clubs, they were drawn together by the appearance 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


13 


of a common enemy. From the little town of Jonesville, 
situated eighteen miles down the river, came the Jonesvillians, 
as they called themselves, a powerful and well-trained nine. 
They had challenged and vanquished the nine of Dry Plains, 
the Blue Falls Nine, and their own Home Club, commonly 
known through the Stone River region as “The Jonesville 
Scrubs.” Flushed with victory, the Jonesvillians had challenged 
and played two games with the Catalpas, contesting the 
championship of northern Illinois. It must be admitted that 
the record of neither of the two Catalpa clubs was one of 
which the people of the town had any right to be proud. 
Both clubs, while closely contesting wjith each other, had 
been repeatedly beaten by visitors from the surrounding 
region. Naturally the sympathies of the “Stalwarts” was 
with the “Aristocrats” when an out-of-town club came 
to try conclusions. Every true son and daughter of the 
town of Catalpa was hotly enlisted for the home nine in 
any contest that might be fought out for the championship. 
It was aggravating that the Jonesville Nine, most of whom 
were rough and loud-talking fellows, should conquer the 
whole country, from the Wisconsin line to Lasalle, and from 
Chicago to the Mississippi River. 

That was the reason why Miss Alice Howell, the only 
daughter and the spoiled child of the eminent and widowed 
district Judge, should be downcast and fidgety when she 
looked out and saw, on this fateful morning, that the 
weather gave signs of being unfit for the decisive game 


14 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


for the championship. The Jonesville Nine had won the 
first game. The Catalpas were victors in the second game. 
To-day, if all went well, would give the championship to 
the Catalpas. The Catalpas had regularly “whitewashed” 
the Dean County Nine, in spite of their stalwart strength. 
But they had failed to hold their own against many another 
club from other portions of the country roundabout. In the 
first game for the championship, the Catalpas had beaten 
the Jonesvillians by a score of 24 to 13—an overwhelming 
defeat for the down-river club. But the Jonesville men 
had carried off the second game with a score of 14 to 13, 
which was a close game, and was lost by the Catalpas, as 
their friends all said, by the Catalpas’ being in bad 
condition. Albert Heaton, the catcher, was afflicted with 
blistered hands and could do very little effective work 
behind the bat; and George Buckner, center fielder, had 
been obliged to leave the field just before game was called, 
on account of a sudden sickness in his own home; and this 
necessitated sundry changes that demoralized the Nine, and 
disarranged their plans. 

“And after all,” said Alice, exultingly, as she recounted 
these facts to her father, on the morning of the fateful day, 
“after all, the Jonesvillains only beat by one run. To-day, 
the Catalpas are in splendid form—condition, I mean, and if 
it only would clear off, I am sure they will send the 
Jonesville fellows down the river with what Ben Burton 
calls ‘ a basket of goose eggs,’—I beg pardon, papa, for 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB . 


15 


this bit of slang; but you will observe that it is a 
quotation.” 

“Yes, from a favorite author,” said the Judge, rising 
from the breakfast table, with a shrewd smile. 

Alice flushed, a little angrily, perhaps, for she did not 
like Burton, although he was her cousin and was said to be 
a suitor for her favor. 


CHAPTER II. 


‘A SCKUB GAME.’ 


N OTWITHSTANDING- the gloom of the morning, the 
day came off bright and fine, and by the time the 
train was due from the West, bringing the Jonesville boys, 
the weather was perfect. A serene October sky bent over 
Catalpa, and the bright river flowed rippling toward the 
Mississippi, its banks red and yellow with autumnal foliage. 
Crossing the bridge from North Catalpa and from the 
farming settlements to the north were strings of buggies, 
lumber-wagons and other vehicles; and not a few sight-seers 
jogged along on horseback, all with their faces set toward 
the Agricultural Fair Grounds, just above the town and lying 
to the southward. Catalpa is built on a slope that descends 
from the rolling prairie to the bank of Stone River. Once 
out of the town, one reaches a lovely stretch of undulating 
ground skirted by a dead level plain, admirably adapted for 
a base ball field. The original use of the Fair Grounds had 
almost been forgotten when the ball clubs of Catalpa began to 
practice within the enclosure. The Northern District fair had 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


17 


gone farther North, and the grounds were left to chance 
comers—a travelling circus, or an occasional amateur racing 
match. 

To-day, the blue and white flag of the Catalpas floated 
proudly from what had once been the Judges’ stand, while 
the pale green colors of the Jonesvillians hung lazily from 
a staff driven into the ground to the westward of the track. 
For more than an hour before the time set for the calling 
of the game, a steady stream of people poured into the 
enclosure. The battered and rickety seats had been patched 
up to bear the weight of those who were willing to pay the 
small fee exacted for the privilege; but the mass of the 
spectators were grouped together in the open spaces to the 
westward and southward of these, and farther around 
the ring was a thin line of vehicles of various descriptions. 
Men and women on horseback, young girls crowded into 
wagon-boxes, and boys ramping around on scrubby mustangs, 
filled up the background. 

It was a pretty sight. And while the crowd waited for 
the hour to arrive, much scientific base ball gossip drifted 
about the enclosure. Tillage lads who had worked hard or 
had teased with uncommon assiduity to secure the “two bits” 
needed to gain admission to the grounds, chaffed each other 
vociferously and exchanged learned comments on the playing 
and the qualities of the combatants. 

“ Oh you should have seen John Brubaker play right 
field that day when the Catalpas sent the Jonesvillers home 


18 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


with a big headache,” said one of these small critics, as he 
viewed with admiration Brubaker’s stalwart form reclining at 
ease in the shade of the judges’ stand. “ Why he just 
everlastingly got away with the ball every time one of the 
Jonesvillers gave him one. Then there was Lew Morris, 
there’s no player in the Jonesvillers, ’cept it is Larry Boyne, 
that can catch a ball like Lew, and why the Catalpas keep 
him in the left field, I don’t know.” 

“ Oh you talk too much with your mouth, you, Bill, you,” 
cried a bigger base ball connoisseur. “ What do you know 
about the game ? Why, I saw the Jonesvillains, three years 
ago, when they first played the old Catalpas, I mean the 
soldier boys. That was playing, now I tell you. Hurrah! 
There comes the Nine ! ” 

Pretty Alice Howell, sitting in her father’s carriage and 
accompanied by the Judge and her severe-looking aunt, 
Miss Anstress, clapped her hands at the sight, for the two 
Nines drew near to each other and the game was called. 
The dignified Judge smiled at the girl’s enthusiasm, but, 
as he looked around, he saw that multitudes of other young 
ladies, as well as ladies no longer young—mothers and aged 
spinsters, watched the preliminaries of the game with absorbing 
interest. 

The Jonesville Nine were not so well developed, physi¬ 
cally, as the Catalpas. They were mostly farmer’s sons, born 
and bred on the low prairies to the westward of Stone River. 
It is a region long famous for its prevailing fever-and-ague 



‘•PRETTY ALICE HOWELL, SITTING IN HER FATHER’S CARRIAGE, AND ACCOMPANIED BY THE JUDGE AND 
HER SEVERE LOOKING AUNT, MISS ANSTRESS, CLAPPED HER HANDS AT THE SIGHT.'—Page 18. 









OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


19 


epidemic. The sallow faces of some of the Jonesville players 
suggested quinine and “ cholagogue,” just then a favorite 
specific among the ague-smitten population of Northern Illinois. 
Nor were the members of the visiting Nine as uniform in 
size and appearance as the Catalpas. The breadth of chest 
and vigorous outline of the home nine were not repeated in 
the forms of the Jonesville hoys. 

The Catalpas were well chosen with an eye to symmetry 
and uniformity. They were all brawny and athletic young 
fellows. As they were mostly men of leisure, they had had 
plenty of time to practice, and they were apparently ready to 
give good account of themselves. Chiefly on A1 Heaton, the 
stalwart catcher, did the eyes of the multitude rest with 
favor. He was a tall, shapely young fellow, with a ruddy 
and oval face, bright brown eyes, a keen glance, and a sinewy 
length of limb that gave him pre-eminence in the field. 

The batting game of the Catalpas was better than that 
of the Jonesvillians, as all previous encounters had shown. 
But the fielding of the Jonesville boys was far better than 
that of any other nine with whom they had measured their 
strength and skill. And Larry Boyne, a fresh-faced and 
laughing young man from Sugar Grove, but a member 
of the Jonesville Nine, was the champion catcher of the 
whole region. So long as the Jonesville Nine held on to 
Larry, they felt sure of victory. Larry Boyne was a trifle 
shorter than the average of his comrades. His round and 
well-poised head was covered with a shock of curly flaxen 


20 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


hair, and his sturdy legs, muscular arms and ample chest 
gave token of a large stock of reserved power. “That’s 
the best looking Jonesvillain of them all” was the secret 
thought of many an observant girl and the open criticism 
of many a loud-talking spectator. 

This is the manner of placing the two Clubs:— 


Cataljpas. 


Jonesvilles. 


Lewis Morris, L. F. 
Charlie King, P. 

Hart Stirling, 2d B. 
Will Sprague, 3d B. 
John Brubaker, R. F. 
Hiram Porter, 1st B. 
George Buckner, C. F. 
Albert Heaton, C. 

Ben Burton, S. S. 


Studley, 2d B. 
Larry Boyne, C. 
Morrison, 1st B. 
Ellis, P. 
Wheeler, C. F. 
Martin, L. F. 
Simpson, 3d B. 
Berthelet, R. P. 
Alexander, S. S. 


The Catalpas won the toss and went to the field, with 
due consideration for the improvement of their chances in 
the final innings, and the game began with a comfortable 
feeling pervading the champions of the home nine. The 
winning of the toss was a good omen, everybody thought. 

A buzz of half-suppressed excitement swept over the 
field as Studley, of the Jonesville Nine, went first to the 
bat. He sent a low ball to second base which Hart Stirling 
failed to hold, and Studley got to first base. Larry Boyne 
followed and sent up a sky-high ball, and Studley, having 
stolen to second and third base, got safely home, while 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


21 


Larry reached second base. Morrison sent a good right 
fielder, on which he got halfway around, while Larry, with 
a rush, made the home run, adding one more to the score 
of the Jonesvilles. Alice bit her lip with vexation, but some 
of the more magnanimous of the townspeople commented, 
under their breath, “ Good for the red-cheeked Irishman! ” 

Great things were expected of Ellis, the champion pitcher 
of the Jonesvillians, who went next to the bat, and who was 
reckoned as nearly as good with the bat as with the ball; 
but he made a poor strike, and, with a long-drawn “ Oh-h-h! ” 
from the sympathetic friends of the home club, the ball 
dropped near the home base and the young champion 
of Jonesville went out on his first. Next, Morrison, in 
his haste to get to third base, was put out by Will 
Sprague, and the fortunes of the visitors visibly waned. 
Wheeler, who went next to the bat, provoked a murmur 
of approbation from the spectators, who were now warming 
up to the game, and who admired the handsome proportions 
and springy movements of the center fielder of the Jones- 
villers. He sent a resounding ball safely to the right field, 
got to first base, but, overrunning the second base, was 
neatly put out by Hart Stirling, the second base man of 
the Catalpas. Thus closed the innings—two runs for the 
visiting Nine. 

“Not much to brag of,’ 7 remarked Bill Yan Orman, the 
big pitcher of the Dean County Nine. “Not much to 
brag of, and I don’t think that the Jonesvillains are feeling 


22 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


first rate over this. Let them wait until A1 Heaton and 
Charlie King get after them. Then they’ll sing small, I 
allow.’’ 

“Hush up, you, there goes Lew Morris to the bat for 
the Catalpas. He’ll show them something. Look at that 
chist of his! Glolly! don’t I remember him, though! ” 
remarked Hank Mitchell. 

Lew Morris, tall, handsome and sinewy, deserved the 
praises lavished upon him, as he stood, modestly but 
confidently, to open the innings for the Catalpas. But, 
to the great disappointment of his admirers, he failed to 
make a hit and was sent to first base on three called 
balls. Charlie King justified the expectations of his friends 
by striking a tremendous ball to right field, on which Lew 
Morris tallied one, but in trying to ''get to second base, was 
put out by Studley in excellent style. Hart Stirling followed, 
making the first quarter, and Will Sprague went to second 
base on a strong hit to right field, which brought Stirling 
home. John Brubaker next went to the bat, with an air 
of serene confidence, but he failed to satisfy the expectations 
of the onlookers, and went out on a foul tip. 

“ Your champions do not seem to be in good condition, 
to-day, Alice,” said the Judge, demurely. “I am just 
beginning to become interested in the game, and I must 
say that I shouldn’t like to see the Catalpas beaten.” 

“ Thank you, papa,” said Alice, her eyes sparkling with 
excitement. “ I thought you would get waked up if you 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


23 


once saw the play and realized how much depends on the 
game to-day.” 

“It’s the championship of the Northern District, is it not, 
my child?”' 

“Yes, and if the Catalpas don’t win now, I am afraid— 
well, I don’t know what I am afraid of. But they will be 
dreadfully discouraged.” 

“So shall I be,” said the Judge, gravely turning his eyes 
to the stand, where Hiram Porter, the first base man of 
the home nine, and an honor man in his class at Ann 
Arbor, had taken up the bat. Hiram retrieved the failing 
fortunes of the Catalpas by a powerful ball to center field 
on which he reached the first base. George Buckner, who 
followed, sent a high ball which was beautifully caught by 
Studley, on second base, amidst murmurs of applause, as 
if the townsmen and townswomen of the Catalpas were 
half-ashamed to give full expression to their extorted 
admiration of the visitors’ good play. 

“That was well done, anyway,” remarked Hank Mitchell, 
“ and that winds up the first inning with three outs and 
three runs to two for the Jones villains. Come, you must 
wake up, Catalpas, or we shall get licked again.” 

“Wait until the Catalpas come in on the last innings, 
and then you’ll see some fun. They are laying low for black 
ducks, and don’t you forget that. We’ve tried them too 
many times, Hank, and you know it.’’ This was Yan 
Orman’s shrewd comment, as the second inning began with 


24 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Martin, the Jonesville left fielder, at the bat. He should 
not have made the first base “by rights” as the observant 
Hank remarked, under his breath, but Charlie King and 
Hiram Porter fumbled the ball, and he got safely to first. 
Simpson struck the ball straight into the pitcher’s hands 
and went out ignominiously. Then Berthelet went out on 
three strikes, and the spirits of the sympathetic spectators 
rose perceptibly. Two out and no runs for the visitors. 

“Things are looking dark for your friends from Jonesville,” 
said the Judge. “ And, by the way, isn’t there danger of 
their getting what you call ‘ a goose-egg.’ in this game, 

Alice?” 

“0 yes, papa,” she answered, “I shouldn’t wonder the 

least bit if they should be whitewashed in this inning, but 

there are so- many chances against it that I wouldn’t like 
to boast too much beforehand. Those Jonesville boys are 
awful sly! ” 

“ That’s Sam Alexander at the bat now, trying in vain 
to strike the ball.” And, as Alice spoke, Alexander walked 
to first base on called balls, and Martin cleverly made his 
home run, scoring one for the Jonesvillians. “So they 

will not be whitewashed, at all events,” said Alice, with a 
little sigh. 

Studley now made his second base by a ground ball to 
third base which Will Sprague failed to stop, and by which 
also Alexander came home. Larry Boyne, smiling, but 
keenly alive to the critical condition of affairs, now went to 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


25 


the bat, made a magnificent ball to center field and went 
to first base whither he was quickly followed by Morrison, 
and Studley scored another run for the Jonesville Nine. 

Next, amidst great excitement, for the play was now 

waxing hot, Ellis struck a splendid right fielder, by which 
Larry and Morrison easily reached the home plate and 

Studley got to second base. The spectators trembled with 
excitement as Wheeler made a capital safe hit to center 
field, Studley got in, Wheeler reached the second base, 
stole to third, and, by the wild throwing of the Catalpas, 
got home on a passed ball. 

Next, Martin got to first base on a slow ball to right 
field, and then home on passed balls. He was followed 
by Simpson, after two strikes, on which he got to first 
base and came dangerously near being put out by Hart 

Stirling, who made a fine one-handed catch amidst the 
ringing applause of the spectators, Alice Howell’s small 

handmaid exciting much mirth by her shrill exclamation 
of “isn’t he grand!” when Hart, with a tremendous 
leap, secured the ball as it was flying far above his head. 

Berthelet then went out on a foul tip leaving Simpson 

on the base and closing the innings for the Jonesvillians. 
A1 Heaton having gone to the bat for the Catalpas, 
made his first base on called balls, and when Ben Burton, 
who succeeded him at the bat, made a good hit, he reached 
third base. Burton then got to second base, and A1 

Heaton reached the home plate, while Larry Boyne was 


26 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


attempting to throw Burton out at second base. Lew 
Morris next got to first base through the muffing of 
Studley, but was forced out by Charlie King, who sharply 
followed him to the first. Will Sprague sent the ball well 
up into the sky, but Berthelet, the agile and keen-eyed 
young Frenchman in the right field, caught it handsomely, 
and Will retired in good order. John Brubaker went to 
first base, and then Ellis, the Jonesville pitcher, made a 
muff with his ball, giving the Catalpas one tally. Hiram 
Porter followed with a safe hit, but George Buckner went 
out on a foul ball and the inning closed with a score of 
ten for the Jonesville boys and eight for the Catalpas. 

The Jonesvilles opened the third inning by sending 
Alexander to the bat. He was sent to first base on 
called balls, and was followed by Studley, who sent a ball 
to Ben Burton at short stop, but which Ben muffed, and 
Studley got safely to first base. Larry Boyne followed 
with a winged ball which he sent flying to the right field 
and which enabled him to reach second base and brought 
Alexander and Studley home. Morrison sent an air ball 
to left field, by which he reached first base, and Larry 
came home. Then Ellis hit a ground ball to Ben Burton 
at short stop, which Ben muffed again, allowing Larry to 
come home and Ellis to get to first base. Wheeler made 
first base on a ground ball to left field, and Martin sent 
a slow ball to center field which reached the first base 
before him. During the passage of the ball, however, 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


27 


Morrison came home, and Ellis subsequently tallied on 
a passed ball. Simpson went to the bat and was struck 
out, and Berthelet, who followed, was neatly caught out on 
a foul fly by Ben Burton, who thus partially retrieved 
his reputation and the inning was closed for the Jonesvilles. 

The showing for the Catalpas' was now pretty dark, 
and it did not improve during their next inning. A1 
Heaton, who led for the home nine, was put out in 
attempting to steal from first to second base, and Ben 
Burton, who followed him, met with a similar disaster. 
Lew Morris went to first base on a hall to short stop 
which Alexander overthrew to first base. Next, Charlie 
King hit an air ball which was caught by Alexander at short 
stop, leaving three out with Morris dead on the second 
base. The score then stood, Jonesvilles, 15; Catalpas, 8. 

“A whitewash!” cried Hank Mitchell, uncertain whether 
he ought to exult as an old adversary of the home club, 
or be downcast as a citizen of the town of Catalpa. But, 
his patriotism rallying in time, he cried to Andrew Jackson 
Simis, a Jonesville spectator, ‘ ‘ I s’pose you think your boys 
are going to get away with us, this time ? Just you wait 
till the last innings, and then you will see them come up 
with a rush.” 

“They’d better begin to rush pretty quick, then,” was 
the sneering answer. “ I guess your goose is cooked.” There 
was a stir among the Dean County Nine, who, with their 
friends, sat together at the end of the range of seats, when 


28 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


this unfriendly remark was flung out. There were threatening 
glances and clenched fists in the group of Catalpa boys. 

“Here! here! no squabbling!” cried Deputy Sheriff 
Wheeler, hurrying up, as his vigilant eye fell on the 
angry-looking knot of lads. “These men are visitors; can’t 
you behave yourselves ? ” 

But the Catalpas were in nowise cast down. Lew Morris, 
their captain, went among the boys and impressed on them 
something of his own cheerful courage and roused them to 
the importance of making a tremendous effort in the next 
inning. Perhaps the Jonesvillians were unduly elated. Their 
first man at the bat, Alexander, was put out by sending 
the ball almost directly into the hands of Hiram Porter at 
first base. Then Studley sent a good ball to center field, 
on which he went to first base, and went to second while 
Larry Boyne was batting. Larry tipped a foul fly which 
A1 Heaton caught, and Morrison, who succeeded him, was 
caught out in a precisely similar manner, and the inning closed 
with Studley left on the second base and a “whitewash” 
for the visitors. 

There was great uproar in the crowd around the field, 
as soon as the Catalpas went in their turn to the bat. 
The townsfolk forgot all decorum in their delight over the 
semblance of victory thus snatched from defeat. They cheered 
the Catalpas as they came in from the field, and by their 
noise, at least, showed that no impartial judgment could 
be expected from the majority of the spectators. Judge 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


29 


Howell critically looked over the crowd and remarked to 
Alice that he thought it was bad mannered in the townspeople 
to exult over the defeat or reverses of their visitors. 

“But it is because they know that the Catalpas are 
going to be beaten, after all,” said Alice, with a tone of 
great despondency. 

“Going to be beaten?” asked the Judge, with surprise. 
“Why, haven’t they just given the Jonesvilles a whitewash, 
as I think you call it, and the score is 15 to 8, with your 
favorites going to the bat?” 

“Yes, papa, that is so; but you see that the Jonesvillains 
play a much better fielding game than the Catalpas, and I 
am sure that our club will never be able to regain what 
they have lost.” 

Miss Alice soon began to think that she had lost hope 
too soon, for the Catalpas scored three runs in their inning, 
Hart Stirling having made a home run on a tremendous 

ball sent to left field where it was muffed shamefully, 
first by Martin and then by Simpson. Will Sprague and 

John Brubaker followed him successfully, and Hiram Porter, 
who had made his first base, was put out by Morrison. 

The same fate overtook George Buckner and A1 Heaton, 
who were put out by the active and vigilant first base 

man of the Jonesvilles. Nevertheless, the inning closed with 
a decided gain for the home nine, the score being 15 for 
the Jonesvilles, 11 for the Catalpas. 

There was intense but suppressed excitement all around 


30 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


the field, as the visitors sent Ellis to the bat, and he was 
at once caught out by Hart Stirling on a fly sent to 
second base. Wheeler made first base, and Martin, who 
followed him, was put out on first base, while Wheeler came 
home on a ball balked by Charlie King. Simpson was put 
out on first base, and the Catalpas took their inning, 
sending Ben Burton to the bat. He was caught out by 
Studley; then Lew Morris was put out at first base by a 
ball sent by Alexander to Morrison; next Charlie King 
went out on called balls, and, amidst cries of “another 
whitewash!” the inning closed with a score of 16 to 11, 
in favor of the visitors. 

In the sixth inning, the Jonesvilles added eight to their 
ecore, and the Catalpas gained seven, thus making the home 
nine a little more hopeful, although the relative distance of 
the two nines was not changed. The feature of this inning 
was a grand hit to the center field made by Larry Boyne, 
on which he made first base and brought home Alexander 
and Studley, who were on the second and third bases, re¬ 
spectively. The score stood thus: Jonesvilles, 24, Catalpas, 18. 
And there was no exultation in the ranks of the townsfolk. 

Larry Boyne went to the bat in the next inning, for 
the visiting Nine. He sent a magnificent air ball so high 
that it seemed lost in the misty blue of the October sky. 
But it descended straight into the hands of John Brubaker 
in the right field, and a chorus of “ ah-h-h’s ” went up 
from the assembled multitude. Morrison was caught out on 


OUB BASE BALL CLUB. 


31 


a foul fly; Ellis shared his fate, and Wheeler was put out 
on first base. Great was the exultation among the citizens 
of Catalpa. The Jonesvillers had been again whitewashed. 
The short October day was wearing on apace, but the 
chances of the Catalpas were improving as the light went 
down in the west. 

The home nine added three to their score in the inning, 
home runs being made by John Brubaker, Hiram Porter, 
and George Buckner. A1 Heaton and Ben Burton were 
both put out by foul flies. Charlie King was put out on 
first base, leaving Lew Morris on third base. But 
as the score stood 24 for the Jonesvilles and 21 for the 
home nine, the spirits of the majority of the spectators, 
whose sympathies were all one way, began to rise. Perhaps 
the Jonesvillers would be sent home without the championship. 

But these hopes were dashed by the next inning, which 
was the eighth, the Jonesvilles having gained one run, while 
the Catalpas were ignominiously “ whitewashed.” The visitors 
showed their good qualities in the field by a fine double 
play in their inning. Hart Stirling being on the first base, 
Will Sprague hit short to Ellis, who sent the ball to, 
Studley at second base, cutting off Stirling; and John 
Brubaker, in attempting to steal from first to second 
base, was run out by Studley and Morrison. 

Nobody stirred from the field, although the day was 
dying slowly and the simple habits of the Catalpa women 
called them home to their household duties. The decisive 


32 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


inning was near at hand, and as Alice stood up in her 
father’s carriage, in order to get a better view of the 
game, the hitherto orderly crowd closed in around the 
players. Spectators and players drew a long breath as 
Larry Boyne went to the bat for the Jonesvilles. He 
wielded the bat with great skill and dexterity; but Charlie 
King’s pitching was wonderfully clever, and Larry went 
out on a foul tip to A1 Heaton, catcher. Morrison made 
third base on a safe hit; Ellis made first base and Morrison 
came home on a ball muffed by Charlie King, and then 
Martin, on a center field ball hit, brought Ellis and Wheeler 
home. Simpson now made first base on a hit to the 
right field, and an overthrow brought Martin home and 
gave second base to Simpson. Berthelet was caught out 
on a foul fly by A1 Heaton, and Simpson, in attempting 
to steal home, was run out by A1 Heaton and Will Sprague. 

“Three out on the last inning!” roared two or three 
of the Dean County Nine, great hulking fellows, who 
stood near the carriage of the Judge. Alice looked at them 
reproachfully, although her cheeks were ruddy with half- 
suppressed excitement. 

“It’s real mean of them, isn’t it, papa?” she said. 
“ They will not seem to consider that we should be very 
angry if we were treated thus in Jonesville.” 

Now went Hiram Porter, big and handsome Hiram, to 
the bat for the Catalpas. Hiram looked as tall as a giant 
in the gathering twilight, and he stood ug^ in manly 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


33 


fashion. But Hiram was put out on first base by a 
ball sent by Studley to Morrison, and George Buckner, who 
followed him, had great ado to save himself. But he made 
first base, and A1 Heaton next sent a singing ball to center 
field, on which he went to second base and Buckner to 
third. Ben Burton then undertook to bat Buckner home, 
but he was, himself, put out on first base. Lew Morris 
then took the bat, sent a high ball to center field and 
secured the first base. Charlie King followed to the first, 
and amidst despondent cries of “Three out!” the game and 
the inning ended with a score of 29 for the Jonesville Nine 
and 23 for the Catalpas. 

Deputy Sheriff Wheeler, forgetting for the time his 
official dignity, stood up in what was once the judges’ stand 
and shouted, “Three cheers for the champions of Northern 
Illinois ! Now, then ! Hip ! Hip ! Hip ! ” 

The cheers were given with a pretty good will, considering 
how great was the disappointment of the townspeople. The 
captain of the Catalpas set a laudable and manly example 
to his comrades by going straight to Larry Boyne, the 
captain of the Jonesville Nine, and, grasping him warmly 
by the hand, congratulating him on the victory so honorably 
and handsomely won. 

“Of course you can’t expect that a fellow can say that 
he is glad to have lost the day; but you have worked hard 
for the pennant, and it belongs to you without any 
grumbling.” 


34 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Larry, with his ruddy face still ruddier than before, re¬ 
sponded in frank fashion and then the crowd began to melt 
away, for the darkness was coming on. Passing by the Judge’s 
carriage, yet entangled in the throng of vehicles, Larry 
glanced up at the pretty girl whom he had noticed with 
distant admiration. The Judge intercepted his glance, and 
leaning over with what was meant to be a gracious smile, 
said, “This is Larry Boyne, the famous catcher of the down¬ 
river nine? Well, I congratulate you, young man, on your 
well-won victory and on your own beautiful playing.” 

Larry very much taken aback by this unexpected con¬ 
descension from the great man of Catalpa, touched his cap, 
blushed and stammered and gladly rejoined his comrades. 

“Fine young man, that,” said the Judge, sententiously, 
as his carriage slowly drew out of the crowd and moved 
toward the gate. 

“If a few such players as he were in the place of some 
of the muffs in the Catalpa Nine,” said Alice, “I think that 
the championship of the whole State would belong in this 
town.” 

“Why I do believe my little daughter is crying!” cried 
the Judge. 

“I am not crying,” said Alice stoutly. “But I confess 
that I am mad enough to cry. Are we always going to be 
beaten by every scrubby nine that comes here, I’d like to 
know ? ” 

Dr. Selby, the staid and dignified village town apothecary, 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


35 


who was walking by the carriage, heard the indignant 
outburst, and looking up, said with a smile, “ We’ve got the 
timber here for a first-class nine, Miss Alice, but the thing 
is to get the timber together.” 

Judge Howell, with his grandest manner, said, “If there 
is any movement to retrieve the honor of Catalpa in the 
base ball field, please count on my assistance and support.” 


CHAPTER III. 


AFTER THE BATTLE. 

T O say that the town. of Catalpa was very deeply 
mortified by this latest and most signal defeat of the 
favorite Nine would be a mild way of putting the case. 
For weeks afterwards, nothing was talked of in the place 
but the disgraceful overthrow of the Catalpa Nine. Very 
soon, so high did the debate run, there were two sides 
formed among the townspeople, one party blaming the 
Catalpas for their lack of training and practice, and the 
other excusing them for their evident inability to cope with 
the sturdy farmer boys from “down the river.” 

“I tell you it is not mere brute muscle that our fellows 
want,” said ’Squire Mead, one of the great lights of the 
town, “it’s not brawn, but skill, that they must acquire 
before they can stand up against the base ball players of 
this part of the country. Let them pay more attention to 
work, and less to frills, and they will come out all right.” 

But Dr. Selby, whose son was one of the rising players 
in the less aristocratic Dean County Nine, would have none 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


37 


of this sort of argument. Tom Selby was not only a wiry 
and agile player in the field, but he was the best oarsman 
on the river, and he could lift a barrel of flour, properly 
slung, “without turning a hair.” He had done it often. 
His father believed in muscle. 

“ How there’s Bill Yan Orman, the Dean County Nine’s 
catcher,” Dr. Selby would say, “who is like an ox in 
appearance, and I really believe could stave in the panel of 
that door with one blow of his fist, but who gets about the 
bases as spry as a cat, and who has got down the curve to 
such a fine point that nobody can pitch like him in half 
a dozen counties. Sam Ellis, the champion pitcher of the 
Jonesvilles, cannot hold a candle to Yan’s pitching. And do 
you pretend to tell me that any light-waisted young fellow, 
like Will Sprague, for instance, could ever, by all the 

training in the world, make such a catcher or such a 
pitcher as Bill ? ” 

It was the old question over again—skill against muscle. 
But Judge Howell, whose opinions on all subjects whatever 
commanded respect, probably gave voice to the average 
public judgment when he said, “ What we want, gentlemen, is 
muscle and training. I am confident that in this good town 
of Catalpa there are more than nine young men who can 

give time to the practice necessary for the purpose, and who 

are endowed by nature with the requisite powers for the 
development of first-rate base ball players.” 

“Good for you, Jedge!” It was Tony May, an aged 


38 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


and disreputable loafer in the store where this debate was 
taking place, who spoke. Tony was usually called “ Rough 
and Ready ” because of his frequent use of that phrase 
as applied to himself. Having applauded the Judge’s remark, 
he drew back, a little confusedly, and murmured “ ’Scuse me, 
Jedge, I didn’t mean to be interruptions, but you know I’m 
rough and ready, rough and ready, Jedge, and that ’ere 
remark of yourn does seem to be about the fust sensible 
thing I’ve hearn in this ’ere jag of words. ’Scuse me, 
Jedge, fer sayin’ so; you know I’m rough and I’m ready.” 
And the speaker subsided into a corner pulling his ’coonskin 
cap down over his shaggy brows. 

Judge Howell, with an additional stiffness perceptible in 
his manner, waved his hand towards the dry goods boxes in 
the angles of which “Rough and Ready” had dropped and 
said, “Our friend here is enthusiastic. He has a right to be. 
His son Fremont has certainly distinguished himself, before 
now, as the right fielder of the Dean County Nine. But 
does anybody know if that handsome young Irish lad, Larry 
Boyne, could be drawn from the Jonesville Nine, in case we 
should desire to reinforce our home nine by drafts on 
foreign material, so to speak ? ” 

Nobody knew; but Jason Elderkin, the storekeeper, leaned 
over his counter, pausing in his occupation of measuring off a 
yard of Kentucky jean, and said: 

“I tell you what it is, Judge, that’s the likeliest young 
fellow in these parts. He lives with his mother over to Sugar 



"WHAT WE WANT, GENTLEMEN, IS MUSCLE AND TRAINING.”—Page 37. 









































OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


39 


Grove, and started in to read law with ’Squire Welby, over 
to Dean Center; but he bad to give it up on account of bis 
father’s being killed by being crushed under a tree that he 
was felling. Awful blow to the boy, likewise to his ma. 
The Jonesvilles pay him something for playing with them; 
so I’ve hearn tell.” 

This suggestion created a momentary stir in the congress, 
for the gathering had by this time assumed such a character. 
Two or three of the speakers did not see how anybody could 
think of making a professional club out of an amateur, such 
as the Jonesville Nine pretended to be. If Larry Boyne was 
paid a salary, why were not others? And if salaries were 
paid to the men, it was a professional club, wasn’t it? 

“ I don’t know enough about what we may call the 
etiquette of the game to decide what is an amateur and 
what a professional club,” remarked Judge Howell, in slow 
and dignified accents. “But if we are in earnest in this 
proposition to organize a really creditable base ball club in 
Catalpa, and I take it that we are,”—and here he glanced 
at “Rough and Ready,” who had slid forward into sight 
again,—“and I take it that we are, I say, we may as well 
make up our minds to put our hands into our pockets and 
help the boys a little, otherwise we shall go down again.” 

“Right as a trivet, Jedge,” cried Rough and Ready. 
“ Right as a trivet; for unless we take hold all together, we 
shell go down to where flour is nine dollars a bar’l and no 
money to buy it at that; ’scuse me, gen’lemen, but I’m rough 


40 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


and ready, you know. I allow that the Jedge here speaks 
the senterments of the community.” And the old man 
retreated into the depths of his ’coonskin cap. 

The oracle of the grocery store was right in saying that 
Judge Howell spoke the sentiments of the community in 
regard to the necessity of taking hold in earnest and 
organizing a base ball club, if anything serious was to be 
accomplished. The project took definite shape at once. 

“Why,” said Weeks, the bridge-tender, who, from his 
position, came into contact with half of the townspeople, nearly 
every day, as they crossed and recrossed the river. “Why, 
every town north of Bloomington, as far as I know, has got 
a champion base ball nine, and why should Catalpa be 
behind the rest? That’s what I want to know. And if we 
are to have champions, we have got to take hold and help 
the boys, like they do in other towns. And the very first 
thing I want to see done is the licking of them Jonesvilles. 
They are so everlastingly set up by their carrying off the 
pennant that they are ready to challenge all creation. So 
I’m told.” 

Around many an evening fire and in many a lounging-place 
in the town, the question was animatedly discussed, as autumn 
waned into winter, and most outdoor sports became a little un¬ 
seasonable. It was decided, in that informal and irregular 
way with which a western community settles its internal affairs, 
that there must be in Catalpa a first-rate base ball nine, 
and that it must be organized before the spring opened. 


CHAPTER IV. 


REORGANIZATION BEGINS. 


HERE now, Larry ? ” asked ’Squire Mead, meeting 



Larry Boyne, on Stone River bridge, one wintry 


day in November. Cold weather had set in early, and huge 
cakes of ice had already formed on the edge of the dam, and 
a light fall of snow gave promise of sleighing for Thanksgiving 
week, then not far off. Larry was mounted on a sorry-looking 
nag, borrowed from a Sugar Grove neighbor, and he carried 
behind him a big bundle of knitted mittens, the handiwork 
of his mother and sisters, to be exchanged for goods at one 
of the stores in town. 

“ Oh, I’m just going to town to trade a bit, and I have 
a message from A1 Heaton that he and his father want to 
see me about joining a new base ball club to be gotten up 
here. Know anything about it, ’Squire?” 

“Well, yes,” replied the ’Squire, “I’m told that there is 
something of a stir in town about the matter.” The crafty 
old lawyer did not say how much the stir was indebted to 


42 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


him for its existence. “Quite a stir, Larry, and they do say 
that they will get up a new nine; even if they have to hire 
players to go into it.” 

Larry’s cheeks flushed even deeper red as he replied, 
“There is no disgrace in hiring players to help out, I suppose, 
’Squire ? I was paid a share of the gate money while I was 
with the Jonesville Nine, and they have offered me a regular 
salary if I go with them next season. But I wouldn’t touch 
a penny of it if I thought it was the least bit off-color for 
a fellow to take pay for his services.” 

“No, no,” said the ’Squire, warmly, “there is nothing in 
that that an honorable and high-toned young fellow like 
you are could object to; and if I were you, I would make 
the very best terms I could for next year. You have been 
obliged to give up studying law, I hear, on account of the 
death of your father. If you do well in the ball-field, next 
summer, you might save up enough to set you right next 
year, so far as studying is concerned. And, between you 
and me and the gate-post, A1 Heaton and his father are 
bound to have you in the new nine. So make as good a 
bargain for yourself as you can. A1 can’t play next season.”' 

“Why, what is the matter with Al? Why can’t he play 
any more ? ” 

“It’s mighty cold standing here talking on the bridge, 
Larry, and I don’t know that I have any right to give Al’s 
reasons, but I have a notion that his mother objects to his 
going around the country playing base ball. She’s got high 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


43 


and mighty airs since her Uncle George was elected to 
Congress from the Sangamon District, and I reckon that 
that is what is the matter with Al’s base ball business. 
Pity J tis, too, for A1 is a first-rate catcher. Nobody like him, 
unless it is Larry Boyne,” he added with a kindly smile. 

Larry thanked the ’Squire, and, with a hearty “good-bye,” 
went thoughtfully on his way across the bridge. As his 
steed climbed Bridge Street, Larry was conscious that he 
had several new ideas in his head. And when, his little 
errands done, he found his way to Mr. Heaton’s counting-room 
in the mills near the dam, he had made up his mind that 
Jonesville had no claim on him and that he belonged no more 
to Jonesville than he did to Catalpa. In other words, he was 
in the market for employment. The mortgage on the farm 
must be paid off; his sisters and the little brother must be 
kept at school, and he had his own way to make in the 
world. To take one season’s compensation as a base ball 
player would help matters at home very much. It was a 
gleam of hope in an otherwise gloomy outlook for the young 
man. 

“Glad to see you, Larry,” said Mr. Heaton, heartily. 
“ Al’s been waiting for you this some time, and we may as 
well go right to business. The boys are talking of getting 
up a first-class nine, and as my son cannot very well go 
into it, next year, he has coaxed me to turn in and help 
the others. And so I will, for I want to see old Catalpa 
come out ahead at the end of the season.” 


44 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Young Heaton, with evident regret, told Larry that he 
would he unable to play in the Catalpa nine, but that it 
was his dearest wish that the club should be the champion 
club of the state. “ So,” said he, “with my father’s consent, 
I have agreed to give my monthly allowance for the benefit 
of the club, and that will help make up a pool to pay 
expenses. We can’t get good players (I mean players to 
compete with Chicago and Springfield, and other large 
cities), without paying them something—gate-money anyhow, 
and perhaps more.” 

Larry said not a word. It was yet a new proposition, 
this of earning money as a professional ball player. Somehow 
it did not strike him pleasantly. But he listened respectfully 
while Mr. Heaton unfolded the plans that had been slowly 
matured since the signal defeat of the Catalpas, last October. 
They must organize a new nine. Some of the old players 
must be dropped, and two, A1 and Lewis Morris, had already 
declined to play any longer. New men must be found to 
take their places. Would Larry join the new nine? Bid 
he recommend any other pla}mrs in the vicinity? 

Larry’s ruddy face glowed as he walked up and down 
the little counting-room, thinking over the situation. Mr. 
Heaton watched the young man’s well-knit and graceful 
figure with admiration, and winked at Albert, as if to say, 
“That is your man. Get him if you can.” 

“ I’ll consider any offer that you make in behalf of the new 
nine, Mr. Heaton,” said Larry, “and if I were to suggest 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


45 


any other players from the Jonesvilles, I should like to say 
a good word for Sam Morrison and Neddie Ellis. Morrison 
is our first base man, and Neddie is as good a pitcher as 
there is in the country, unless it is Charlie King. I hope 
your men don’t think of letting out Charlie?” 

“Oh, no,” replied young Heaton, “they want him to 
stay, and he says that he’ll not only stay but will give in 
his share of the gate-money for the use of the club. Oh, 
Charlie’s clear grit, he is, and he’ll stand by the club,” said 
the young man, with friendly warmth, dashed with a little 
regret, perhaps, that family complications forbade him a 
similar sacrifice. 

The details of the bargain could not be settled at once. 
Mr. Heaton and his son were the representatives of a com¬ 
pany of public-spirited citizens who were bent on getting 
up a good base ball club. They could only secure Larry’s 
promise to wait for terms from them before accepting any 
other engagement, and to give them some hint as to what 
compensation he should expect. This last, however, Larry re¬ 
solutely declined to do; and, after some debate, young Heaton 
exclaimed, “Well, hang it all, Larry! What’s the use beating 
round the bush ! I think our folks have made up their minds 
that they will give you a share of the gate-money, say one 
eighth, and a salary of a thousand dollars for the season. Does 
that strike you favorably ? ” 

Larry’s eyes shone as he said, “It strikes me as being 
more than I am worth.” , 


46 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


“ Well, this is all informal and entirely between us, you 
know,’’ said Mr. Heaton. “You will keep the matter to 
yourself until we have reported to the rest of the committee, 
for there is a committee,” he added with a smile. And 
so the matter was concluded, and Larry, mounting his horse, 
with a cheery salutation to father and son standing in the 
mill-door, rode across the bridge into the November twilight, 
with a light heart. 

The next day, Lewis Morris rode over to Sugar Grove 
to expostulate with Larry. He had heard that the Heatons 
had offered Larry one thousand dollars and one-eighth of 
the gate-money. “Now,” said he to Larry, “ I cannot play 
with the nine, next season, neither can A1 Heaton, and the 
chances are that Will Sprague will drop out, too. Charlie 
King does not need any pay or any income from the playing 
to induce him to go. So he will not want any gate-money. 
Geo. Buckner says he will go along as an extra man, and 
he will take neither salary nor gate-money. If we get 
Sam Morrison and Neddie Ellis, we shall have to pay them 
gate-money at least. But there will be, according to my 
figuring, only seven out of ten to draw on the gate-money, 
for Hiram Porter, I am sure, will decline to take anything 
for his services.” 

Larry expressed his entire satisfaction with the terms 
offered him by Mr. Heaton, on behalf of the new club. He 
was willing to do what he could, short of any great sacrifice, 
to make up a strong nine. He would take less salary, or 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


47 


less of the income of the club, if that were necessary to 
induce the best men to join it. 

“ That’s very good of you, Larry, old boy,” said Morris, 
heartily, “but you can’t afford to waste your summer playing 
base ball for nothing. I want them to take Bill Van Orman 
from the Dean County boys. How do you think he would 
do?” 

“First-rate! First-rate!” cried Larry, with enthusiasm. 
“I do not think of another fellow on the river as good as 
he is as catcher, unless it is A1 Heaton, and he is out of the 
question.” 

“Unless it is Larry Boyne,” said Morris, reproachfully. 
“You are a great sight better catcher than Bill Yan Orman, 
and I should hope you would take that place if you were 
to go into the new Catalpa Nine. 

Larry protested that he had watched Yan Orman’s 

catching for two seasons, and had made up his mind that 

he was the best man in that position that could be got, now 
that A1 Heaton was out of the field. Would Yan Orman 
serve at all? 

“Oh, yes,” replied Morris. “All of the Dean County 
boys are just wild to get into the new nine. They are 
willing to play for Catalpa, and they don’t care whether they 
are in their own nine or in a new one. They drop all 
thoughts of rivalry, so far as the future is concerned.” 

As Lewis Morris cantered back from his visit 1o Sugar 

Grove, he met Cyrus Ayres, driving homeward from town, his 


48 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


lumber-wagon making a great din as it rattled and rumbled 
over the rough, frozen road. The two young men exchanged 
greetings as they passed, and Cyrus call out to Lewis some¬ 
thing which the noise of the wagon drowned; so, turning 
back, he said, “What was that you were saying about Bill 
Yan Orman? ” 

“ Oh, I only said that Bill is to be catcher in the new 

nine. I was in Jase Elderkin’s store, just now, and he 

allowed that Bill would take anything the boys had a mind 
to give him. But Charlie King and Ben Burton said that 
Larry Boyne wouldn’t want to serve as catcher, if he did 
go into the new nine, and that Bill would be the next 
best man, and Larry would go on one* of the bases. Say 
first base. How’s that, think ye ? ” 

“I don’t like it,” said Lewis, “but we’ll see what we 

shall see. I am willing, so far as I am concerned, to leave 

it all to Larry. He has got a level head, and don’t you 
forget it.” 

“Bight you are,” responded Cyrus, as, giving the reins to 
his impatient team, he rattled noisily down the river road. 

As he passed Judge Howell’s handsome house, Lewis looked 
up and caught the glance of Miss Alice, who was sitting in 
the window-seat, curled up on a big cushion, and scribbling 
something that seemed to puzzle her very much. The girl 
wrote, re-wrote, erased and wrote again. Finally she held 
her work, somewhat blurred and scratchy as it was, at arm’s 
length, and said in soliloquy, 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


49 


“I really think that is the very best thing that could 
be done! But I wonder what I put that young Irishman’s 
name at the head of the list for ? ” 

With a faint pink tint suffusing her cheek, she drew a 
line through the name at the top of the page, wrote it at 
the bottom, and then laughed softly to herself. Just then 
Lewis Morris rode by, gallantly taking off his cap as he 
passed the house. If Mr. Lewis could have looked over 
Alice’s shoulder, he would have read this list of names: 

S. Morrison, L. F. 

Neddie Ellis, C. F. 

Charlie King, P. 

Hart Stirling, 2d B. 

John Brubaker, It. F. 

Hiram Porter, 1st B. 

Ben Burton, S. S. 

Wm. Yan Orman, 3d B. 

Lawrence Boyne, Catcher. 

Alice concealed the paper in her pocket, as she saw her 
father drive up the road from the bridge. Then she took 
it out again with a pretty little air of determination, saying 
to herself. “My papa knows that I am so much interested 
in the new nine scheme, why shouldn’t I tell him that 
this is what I think about the re-organization?” 

So, when the Judge, that night, drew his motherless 
child to his knee, she brought to him the list of players 
which she had made out. 


50 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


“ Perhaps you will think it mannish in me, papa,” she 

said, “ but I have made out a list of the players in the new 

Catalpa nine. I have a whim that this is about the way 
they will be placed.” 

The Judge took the crumpled and blurred paper, and 

running his eyes over it, said, “That is a good cast, as they 
say in the theaters, Alice; but don’t you think you are a 
little premature ? The new nine is not yet formed, and 
until they begin to practice they can hardly tell where 

each player should be placed. I don’t pretend to know much 

about the game; not so much as my little daughter does, for 
example, but isn’t that about the way it strikes you?” 

Alice admitted that her father was right. But she had 
given a great deal of thought to the matter. Everybody 

in the town was discussing this absorbing topic. And, out 
of all that she had heard, she had evolved this cast of 
characters, so to speak. Anticipating the story of the 

Catalpa nine a little, it may be said that Alice Howell’s 
list, although its features were known only to herself and 
her father, was adopted with two exceptions, Larry Boyne 
was chosen to the third base and Bill Van Orman took 

the position of catcher. But this was not done until far 
later in the winter, when the new nine was finally organized 
for the summer campaign. 


CHAPTER Y. 


NOTES OF PREPARATION. 

O N the ridge above the town of Catalpa stands a huge 
building known as “The Fair Building. 77 When the 
Northern District Agricultural Fair was held in Catalpa, this 
structure was used for displays of mammoth squashes,- 
women’s handiwork, exhibits of flax, wheat, flour, and the 
other products of the fertile region of Northern Illinois. 
Now it was given over to desolation and neglect. The men 
who had helped to pay for its erection were not willing to 
signify by tearing it down that they had given up all hope 
of ever winning back to Catalpa the institution that had 
moved away up to the northern part of the state. Some 
of these days, they said, the Fair would come back to 
Catalpa, and then the building would be ready for the show, 
as of old. 

The promoters of the new base ball club scheme had no 
difficulty in securing permission for the players to practice 
in the building. Accordingly, when the leisure days of 


52 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


winter came on, the lads betook themselves to the lonesome 
and barnlike structure and warmed themselves with the 
exercise that pitching, catching and running made needful. 

“If we had had this old ark built for us,” said Hiram Por¬ 
ter, whose father was one of the Directors of the Agricultural 
Society, “it couldn’t have been better planned. Suppose we 
call a ball sent up there where Marm Deyo used to spread 
out her wonderful bed-quilts a foul ball? And then we 
might imagine that the lower gallery is full of girls looking 
on at Larry’s scientific pitching. Gals—gallery; see ? ” and 
the boys all laughed at Hiram’s small joke, for their spirits 
rose as they warmed to their work. 

Thither went, also, occasionally, a favored few of the 
townspeople who were very much waked up now over the 
work of the Nine that was to be the champion of the 
region, if not of the State. To such an extent had the men, 
women and children of Catalpa been aroused by what was 
going on, that a stranger coming into town and hearing 
the gossip around the street corners and in the more 
comfortable stores and shops, would have supposed that 
Catalpa was devoting itself exclusively to the practice of 
base ball. It was the dead of winter, and, except a few 
teams slowly pulling in from the outlying country, with a 
few farmers in quest of the necessaries of life from the 
town stores, very little life was visible about the place. 
Occasionally, a fierce snow storm would sweep over the town, 
blocking the streets, and cutting it off from all communication 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


53 


except by railroad. The main street would be desolate, and 
the bridge show only a solitary passenger whom dire 
necessity brought out in such a cold and wintry gale as 
the “blizzard” proved to be. 

At such times, however, up in the big Fair Building 
whose yawning cracks let in the driving snow, and on whose 
roof the shingles rattled merrily, a party of hardy and stal¬ 
wart young fellows was sure to be found practicing arduously 
for the work of the coming summer. Around the hot stoves 
in the lounging-places, down town, grown men were talking 
of base ball, and small boys, hanging eagerly on the outer 
edges of the groups, drank in with silent intelligence the 
words of wisdom that dropped from the lips of their elders. 
For a time, at least, it looked as if nothing would ever be 
done in that town but to prepare, for the base ball season 
of the next year. 

But the winter wore away and the regular industries of 
the Stone River Valley began to revive. The ice went out 
of the river with the usual rush, and people wondered, as 
they always had, if the bridge would stand the pressure of 
the ice-flood. The roads were once more channels of 
bottomless mud, and eastern people, whom business errands 
brought out into that part of the country, sourly berated 
a country “in which everything depended on the state of 
the roads.” The blue jays were calling from the tree-tops 
and the meadow larks were whistling along the fences. The 
prairies were gradually growing green, and the low places 


54 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


and hollows where the snow lately lingered became shining 
pools reflecting the tender blue of the spring sky. 

One day, Bill Yan Orman, after carefully going over the 
Agricultural Fair Grounds in company with A1 Heaton, 
reported that it was about time to begin practicing out of 
doors. For months, the members of the new nine had been 
wishing for the day to come when they could get out into 
the open air and put some of their indoor practice into 

actual work. So, with the assistance of a few of their 
associates who were not members of the new club, they 

organized two nines and went to work in earnest. 

The long winter had borne its fruit. The talk and gossip 
of the town had run almost altogether to base ball. There 
was nobody in Catalpa, unless it was poor old Father 
Bickerby, who was stone deaf, who had not heard the 

smallest particulars of the progress of the new nine discussed. 
Did Larry Boyne make a particularly fine running, one-hand 
catch in the practice of a winter’s afternoon ? It was 

minutely described that night over a hundred tea-tables in 
Catalpa. Did Charlie King bewilder everybody, some day, 
by the dexterity and rapidity of the balls that he delivered, 
so that even the players, always reluctant to praise each 
other, applauded him? Sage old men hanging over the open 
fire - in the drug store would say that Charlie King ‘ ‘ would 
warm those Jonesvillers, next summer.” 

And. what was of more immediate importance, the 
financial arrangements necessary to start the club prosperously 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


55 


on its way were perfected while the dull times of a west¬ 
ern winter pervaded the town of Catalpa. Judge Howell, 
himself, with an air of great condescension, headed a list of 
gentlemen who agreed to give a certain sum to enable the 
club to carry out their campaign. Others followed the great 
man of the town, according to their ability. And others, 
again, pledged themselves to lend any sum that might be 
required to make up a possible deficiency. But, so many 
who were able to give outright to what they called “ the 
good cause ” came forward with their gifts, there was no 
chance for any deficiency. Since the outbreak of the war, 
when everybody was scraping lint, making “comforts” for 
the soldiers, or marching to the front, there had not been so 
hot a fever of enthusiasm in Catalpa. 

The soldiers of this new campaign were the lusty young 
heroes up in the Agricultural Pair Grounds who were doing 
battle, every day, with imaginary foes and making ready to 
face the real antagonists who could not now be very far off; 
for the base ball season would open in a few weeks. There 
was a little jealousy over the choice of a captain. Gradually, 
the place of each man in the nine had been settled without 
much debate. As we have seen, the list that Alice Howell 
had made up, in the privacy of her own solitude, became that 
which the players finally fixed upon, except that Larry Boyne 
went to third base and Bill Yan Orman took the place of 
catcher, instead of the positions which the fair Alice had 
assigned them in her draft of an ideal nine. 


56 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Ben Burton was supported for the captaincy of the club 
by several of the members, all of the new players, except 
Larry Boyne, being in favor of choosing him. Ben was a 
warm champion of his own claims to the place. Larry, on 
the other hand, modestly, but very decidedly, supported Hiram 
Porter for the post of Captain. He was in every way fit for 
it, and he and his father had done more for the new club 
than any others. Besides all that, the Porters held a first-rate 
social position in Dean County and that would count for 
something in the organizing of the campaign. The young 
men considered the withdrawal of A1 Heaton, and the cause 
of his loss to them, and they laughed at the thought. Ben 
Burton was very savage at the suggestion that his family 
was not just as good as the Porters. What had family to do 
with base ball, anyway ? 

The discussion grew warm, after a while, and Larry and 
Ben were brought into sharp antagonism. There had been 
rumors that Larry Boyne had dared to show to Miss Alice 
Howell some of the little attentions with which the young 
swains of the region were wont to manifest their admiration 
for a young lady of their choice. He had even gone so far 
as to ask her to allow him to drive her to a little dancing 
party given in Darville, one of the numerous rivals of Catalpa, 
a little prairie town on the Rush River Railroad, twelve miles 
distant. Alice, warned by a suggestion from her father, who 
exhibited a species of panic at the bare idea of the invitation, 
had declined the young man’s kindly offer, and had staid at 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


57 


home to murmur at her hard fate. Ben Burton could not 
seriously cherish a belief that Larry Boyne was “paying 
attention 77 to the Judge’s daughter; but he felt that he, 
somehow, owed him a grudge. 

The impending storm, if any really did impend, blew over 
when it was ascertained by ballot that Hiram Porter was the 
choice of the club. And Hiram, who was tall, dark, strong, 
long of limb, handsome and skillful, was accordingly chosen 
captain of the Catalpa nine. Ben Burton, with some show 
of generous magnanimity, clapped Hiram on the back and 
boisterously congratulated him on his having secured the 
coveted honor of the captaincy. But Larry, with a manly 
air, said, “You’ll find that all the boys will take orders from 
you, Hi, with as much cheerfulness as if we were soldiers in 
the field and you were leading them to battle. Isn’t that so, 
fellows?” 

The rest of the young men noisily and heartily asserted 
their allegiance to their chief, and the new club began their 
final preparations for the field with enthusiasm and harmo¬ 
nious good-will. 

By the evening lamp, that night, in Judge Howell’s house, 
the matter was discussed by the Judge and his daughter. 
“It is an excellent choice, Alice, my child, don’t you think so?” 

“Certainly, papa, but it is not of very great importance, 
after all, who is captain of the nine. ‘The play’s the thing,’ 
as Hamlet says; isn’t it Hamlet, papa?” 

“I don’t know about that, my little girl, I am somewhat 


58 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


rusty in my Shakespeare; but the play is the thing, I suppose. 
Nevertheless, since social rank does not go for much in base 
ball, I should have been glad to see Larry Boyne made the 
captain of the new nine. 

“ Oh, papa, that was not to be thought of. He is a new 
recruit. Who knows how he may turn out? He may be a 
secret emissary from Jonesville to ‘throw the game/ some day.” 

“Bless my life!” cried the Judge, “I never thought 
of that.” 


CHAPTER VI. 


AN INTERESTING- EPISODE. 


LTHOUGH the stock of the Catalpa Base Ball Club 



was divided among many share-holders in the town 
of Catalpa, it was evident that the mere holding, or 
non-holding, of shares made no difference with those who 
were engaged in the active duties of playing. To be sure, the 
nine had not yet begun their summer campaign. The first 
of April was early enough for the beginning of outdoor 
practice, and active work in the field would not open until 
the first of May; but enough had been done, in the 
preliminary organization and preparing for the summer’s 
work, to test the temper of the members of the club. It 
was not a purely business-like venture into which these 
young men had gone for the purpose of making capital or 
money for themselves. They were burning to retrieve the 
reputation of 41 Old Catalpa” as they called their town, albeit 
it was one of the youngest in Northern Illinois. 

And so, as Larry Boyne and A1 Heaton were sitting on 


60 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


the rail fence that encloses the Court House of Dean County, 
in Catalpa, discussing the future prospects of the club, both 
were confidential and intimate in their exchange of opinions 
concerning the members of the nine. 

“Ho, I tell you that you are wrong, Al, in your estimate 
of Ben Burton,” said Larry, earnestly. “I do not think that 
I could be prejudiced against Ben; and I try to judge him 
fairly; and so I cannot bring myself to believe that he would 
be tricky, or that he would undertake to play any foul game 
on me, or on anybody else, for that matter. He is sullen 
and moody, at times, and I know that he took to heart his 
defeat as candidate for captain of the club. I know that he 
don’t like me, although I don’t know why he should dislike 
me, as he certainly does.” 

“Pooh! Larry,” was Albert’s frank reply, “you know 
well enough that he fancies that you are in his way as a 
suitor for the hand of a certain young lady, whose name 
shall not be mentioned even in this very select society. 
He knows that that young lady smiles on you in the most 
bewitching way, and he knows—’’ 

“ Oh, see here, Al,” interrupted Larry, with flaming- 
cheeks, “you are riding your horse with a free rein, don’t 
you think so? I have no right to think of any young lady 
with the seriousness you seem to put into the matter. I 
am young, poor, and without friends or influence.” 

“Hold on there, Larry,” cried young Heaton, warmly. 
“You have no right to say that. You will never want for 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


61 


friends. You have a town-full of them, and when you need 
any one to stand by and back you up in anything you 

undertake, you can just put out your hand, without getting 
off of this rail, to find one friend that will be the man to 
stand right there as long as he is wanted.” 

Larry laid his hand on Albert’s knee as he said, “I 
know that, Al, and it is good to- know it and to have you 
say it in that straightforward way of yours, and I will say 
too, that your father called me into the mill, the other day, 
and said pretty much the same thing to me; and he told 

me that he should consider it a favor, or something of that 

sort, if I would allow him to have a fatherly lookout for 
the folks at home, while I am off, this summer, in case 

anything should happen.” And Larry’s honest blue eyes 
filled with moisture as he looked far off over the outlying 
prairie, ' in the vain effort to conceal how deeply he had 
felt the kindness showed to him. 

“That was very good of the Governor, I’m sure,” said 
Albert, stoutly, “and I don’t care if he is my father of 
whom I am saying it. But it’s nothing more than fair for 
him, and for the rest of us who stay at home, to do what 
we can to keep your mind at ease about your folks while 
you are out in the ball field for the summer. But what I 
was getting at is this: Ben Burton is down on you; he will 
try to get the advantage of you, if he can; and, what is of 
more consequence to all of us, he would not scruple to 
bring the whole club into disgrace for the sake of gratify- 


62 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


ing any selfish purpose that he might happen to have in 
view.” 

“But what evil purpose could he have?” demanded 
Larry. 

“As I said before, I don’t know. I don’t want to do 
Ben an injustice, but I do know that he is underhanded 
and mean. So you look out for him. As far as his 
relations to you are concerned, I might say, if you were 
not so everlastingly toploftical about it, that he is jealous 
of you on account of your supposed good standing with 
Alice Howell—” 

“Oh, hush—h-h-h! ” .cried Larry, looking around in un¬ 
feigned consternation, to see if there were listeners near. 
“You really must not mention that young lady’s name in 
that manner, nor in any manner connected with my own. 
It would be almost insulting to her, it would fill the Judge 
with wrath (and I shouldn’t blame him for being angry), to 
know that gossiping young fellows like us were using his 
daughter’s name in this light fashion.” 

“And why, I should like to know?” answered Albert. 
“ He need not put on any high and mighty airs. I have heard 
my father say that when the Howellses came here from 
Kentucky, when the Stone River country was first settled, 
and old man Hixon was running his ferry across the stream 
here, they were so poor that they wore bed-ticking clothes, 
went barefoot, and lived on hog and hominy for many a 
year afterwards. Side-meat was good enough for them then, 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


63 


The fat of the land is not good enough for them now. It 
just makes me sick ! Such airs! ” And honest Albert got 
down from the fence to give freer expression to his deep 
disgust. 

Larry went away from this casual meeting with his 
stanch friend Albert with a sense of depression. His nature 
was unsuspicious and he chose to think that all men were as 
honest and as frank as he certainly was. Young Heaton’s 
talk had shaken his faith in human nature as far as that was 
represented in one man—Ben Burton, the open-eyed and 
bluff Ben Burton. No wonder Larry repelled A1 Heaton’s 
notion that Ben “was not altogether square” and should be 
watched. 

Larry was to stop at Armstrong’s blacksmith shop, on 
the north side, on his way home, to have his horse shod. 

So, as he was leading the animal across the bridge, lost 

in thought and dwelling somewhat darkly on his conversation 
with A1 Heaton, he did not notice that a young lady, very 
charmingly dressed and daintily booted and gloved, was 
tripping along toward him from the opposite side of the 

river, in the foot-walk that skirted the lower side of the 

rickety old wooden bridge. He did not look up until his 
steed, never very easily startled out of a heavy and 
slouching gait, jumped wildly at a sudden flash from a 
sky-blue parasol which the young lady deliberately shook 
at him. 

“ Whoa, Nance! ” cried Larry, astonished at the beast’s 


64 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


unprecedented skittishness, “you old fool!” but here he 
stopped, for his eyes fell on the bewitching apparition on the 
other side of the timbered rail, and he colored deeply red as 
he beheld Miss Alice ready to giggle at his confusion 

“Good day, Mr. Boyne,” said the girl, “I am glad I 
have met you. I wanted to ask you how the club is getting 
along, and if you think you will be in good, condition for the 
coming season. To be sure, papa tells me that he has every 
confidence in your success; but then, papa is hardly a judge 
in base ball matters, you know, although he has learned a 
great deal lately, and so have many other people, and they 
all seem very confident; but the wish is father to the 

thought, you know, and so I thought I would like to see 
some one in whose judgment and candor I could put a 
great deal of confidence, a very great deal, you know, 

and see what he thinks about the prospect before us. I 
say ‘ us/ you see, because it is a sort of town matter. 

Now isn’t it?” 

The young lady had rattled on in a random man¬ 

ner, as if she was giving time for Larry to recover 
himself. Certainly, he needed time. He was covered with 
blushes, not altogether becoming, for his natural color was 
quite deep enough for all artistic considerations. But as he 
stood there, cap in hand, the river breeze lightly lifting his 
brown curls and fanning his hot cheeks, the maiden’s bright 
eyes rested on the picture with a certain sense of satisfaction, 
and she said to her most secret and hidden inner self that 



I WANTED TO ASK YOU HOW THE CLUB IS GETTING ALONG.”—Page 64. 


















































OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


65 


there were very few handsomer young men in the region 
than he who stood before her. 

Larry, laying his brown hand on the timber guard that 
capped the railing betwixt them, said, “You startled me so, 
Miss Alice, that I almost forgot my manners; and I haven’t 
mucl^ Oh, you wanted to know about the prospects of the 
Catalpa Nine? Well, I do not think it would be wise to 
build many hopes on the future until we have met at least 
one of the best nines of the country about us. Some of our 
friends think we are going to sweep the deck. Excuse the 
expression. And some are even talking of our being the 
champion nine of the state.” 

“Why,” said the girl, “don’t you hope for the 
championship? Is not that what you are going out to 
get ? ” 

“Of course, Miss Alice, we hope for everything that is 
in sight, as the saying is; but we cannot expect, with any 
sort of reason, for so great success as that during our very 
first season. The matches are now nearly all made up for 
the coming season, and if we were never so good players, 
we should have no chance for the championship, I am 
afraid.” 

“I never thought of that,” said Alice. “What an awful 
lot you know about base ball. But then that is because you 
are a man. My papa says that girls have no business learn¬ 
ing about base ball. Now what do you think, Mr. Boyne?” 

“I am not used to being called ‘Mr. Boyne’ for one 


6b 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


thing,” replied Larry, gallantly, “and I should feel very 
much honored indeed if Miss Howell would remember that I 
am only ‘ Larry ’ the new third base man of the Catalpa 
Nine.” 

The heavy rumble of a farm wagon driving up on the 
hown end of the bridge at that moment warned Larry that 
he must get out of the way. So, with a few concise words 
as to the all-absorbing topic of the day, he bowed, replaced 
his cap, and passed on to North Catalpa. 

Sal Monnahan drove the sorrel horses that now came 
pounding along the wooden way. When she reached her 
home in Oneosho Tillage, that evening, she informed her 
nearest neighbor that she had seen “Larry Boyne lallygagging 
with that high-strung darter of Judge Howell’s, on the North 
Catalpa bridge, that arternoon, and then when the gal came 
off she looked as if she had been talking with her 
sweetheart, her eyes were so shiny, just like dimonds, and 
her cheeks were as red as a poppy in the corn. It do beat 
all how that young Irish feller gets on with folks in town. 
Gals and fellers—all the same.” 

As for Larry, he went across the bridge, leading his nag, 
and walking so lightly that it seemed to him that his steps 
were in the air. While Armstrong was shoeing the horse 
and chatting the while with Larry, he thought within himself 
that this was a particularly fine young fellow, and that it was 
a pity that he was poor. Presently his thoughts took shape 
and he said: 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


67 


“Don’t you think you are too smart a chap, Larry, tc 
waste your time playing base ball?” 

“I am not going to waste much time playing, Tom. I 
know enough about base ball to know that a player doesn’t 
last as a good player more than ten or twelve years. He 
is too young to play before he is seventeen years old, and 
he is done for and is dropped out by the time he is thirty. 
So if I had any notion of making ball-playing my calling 
in life, I should have that fact in view to warn me. Oh, no 
Tom, I am only making this a bridge to carry me over a 
hard place.” 

“That’s good sense. I was afraid you were going off 
with the base ball fever, and so never be fit for anything 
else. That’s what will become of some of those young kids 
over in town who don’t think of anything, from morning till 
night, but base ball. I always thought you had more sense 
into you than most of the boys around here. You are older 
than your years, Larry,” and the plain-speaking blacksmith 
looked admiringly in the young man’s face, “older than your 
years.” 

“ Older than your years.” These words rang in Larry’s 
ears as he swung himself lightly into his saddle and ambled 
down the river road to Sugar Grove. 

The blacksmith looked after him and muttered to himself, 
“He is smart enough to be anything in the way of a lawyer 
that there is in these parts. And if he were to cast sheep’s 
eyes on the Judge’s daughter, or on anybody else’s daughter, 


68 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


for that matter, I just believe tie would win her in time. 
He’s got such a taking way with him.” And honest Thomas 
Armstrong resumed his work with a mild glow of pleasure 
stealing through him as he thought of Larry Boyne and his 
possibilities. 


CHAPTER VII. 


IN THE FIELD. 

I T was an impressive occasion when the Catalpa club 
started on their first pilgrimage. They had arranged a 
practice game with the Black Hawk Nine, of Sandy Key, in 
the central part of the State, to begin the season with. 
Other games were arranged for later work, but this match, 
which was partly for practice, and partly to test the material 
of the new nine, was felt to be one of the most important. 
From Sandy Key the Nine were to go to Bluford to play the 
famous “Zoo-zoo Nine,” as they called themselves, of that 
city, and then they were to begin a struggle for the 
championship of Northern Illinois with the Red Stockings 
of Galena. How much depended on the result of the 
meeting of the Black Hawks and the Catalpas, you who 
have followed the career of a base ball nine can best 
reckon. 

In Catalpa, at least, the game would be watched with 
great, although distant, interest and absorption. Two or 


70 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


three of the more active promoters of the Base Ball scheme 
were to go down to Sandy Key, which is on the Illinois 
Central Railroad, to witness the struggle of their favorite 
champions with the strangers. The Black Hawks were 
renowned as fielders. They had acquired a reputation that 
inspired terror among the base ball players of the southern 
portion of the state; and when it was noised abroad that a 
new nine from Dean County, heretofore unknown in the 
Diamond Field, had actually challenged the Black Hawks, 
experienced amateurs and professional players made remarks 
about the assurance of the new men from the North that 
were not intended to be complimentary or encouraging. 

The Catalpas had adopted blue as their standard color, 
and a uniform of blue and white, with a pennant of white, 
edged and lettered with blue, carried the colors of the club 
into new and untried fields. Great was the enthusiasm of the 
townspeople when the club, packed into two big omnibuses, 
with their friends, finally departed for the railway station, 
which was on the outer and upper edge of the town. A 
vast number of sympathizing friends and well-wishers attended 
the party to the station, and those who remained in town 
watched with a certain impressiveness the coming train as 
it skirted North Catalpa, crossed the tall trestle work that 
spanned the river below the town and finally disappeared in 
the grove of trees near the depot. 

It had been told all abroad that the new nine was to 
make its first sally on that train, and the jaded and dusty 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


71 


passengers from the North looked from the windows with 
languid interest as the lusty young fellows made a final rush 
for the cars, followed by the irregular cheers of the bystanders 
and accompanied by a goodly number of their old associates 
who were “going to see fair play.” The conductor, with 
an affectation of indifference that he did not feel, disdained 
to look at the surging and animated crowd, but turned his 
face toward the engine, waved his hand, and shouted “ all 
aboard! ” just as if he did not carry Catalpa and its fortunes 
with him. The train rolled away, innumerable handkerchiefs 
and caps waving from its windows, and hearty and long 
resounding cheers flying after it. A cloud of yellow dust, 
a hollow rumble of the train on the culvert beyond, a 
tall column of blackness floating from the engine over the 
woods, and the Catalpa Nine were gone. 

“I never felt so wrought up in all my life,” said Alice 
Howell, confidentially, to her friend Ida Boardman, as they 
descended the hill toward the town. “It seems, sometimes, 
as if I was sure that our Nine would win, and then, again, 
I am almost certain that they will be beaten by the Black 
Hawks. I saw the Black Hawks play the Springfields, last 
summer, and they were glorious players; such fielding! Oh, 
I am almost sure they will out-field our boys.” 

“If our nine were all like that Larry Boyne; Avhy, isn’t 
he just splendid? If they were all like him, I should have 
no fears for Catalpa. And then there’s Hiram Porter, 
how beautifully he does handle the bat! Don’t you think 


72 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Larry Boyne is the handsomest young fellow in the Nine, 
Alice ? ” 

Alice colored, she knew not why, as she made answer: 
“I don’t see what good looks have to do with playing. 
You are so illogical, Ida. What do you think of Ben 
Burton, for example. Don’t you think he is handsome enough 
to make a good player ? ” 

“Ben Burton! why he is perfectly horrid, and so dis¬ 
agreeable and high and mighty in his ways. I detest him, 
and if anybody loses the game, to-morrow, I hope it will 
be he. No, I take that back, for I cannot bear to think that 
anybody will lose the game for our Nine. Do you, Ally?” 

Alice agreed most heartily with her friend that it would 
be a strange and lamentable catastrophe if the game at Sandy 
Key should be lost by the Catalpas. 

“But I am afraid, I am afraid,” the girl repeated as 
the twain slowly paced down the plank walk leading to the 
town. Her words were re-echoed, that day, many times by 
the people of Catalpa who would have given a great deal 
if “the boys” could have been thereby assured of success 
on the morrow. 

Meantime, as the train was speeding onward, the nine 
were in high spirits and full of fun. For a time, at least, 
their thoughts were with those left behind rather than with 
the unknown adversaries that were before them. They were 
too young and buoyant to borrow trouble. Their spirits rose 
as they plunged forward into new scenes, and all suggestions 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB 


73 


of possible defeats were left unheeded for to-day. Only Larry, 
“ older than his years,” felt a little foreboding at the entrance 
of this most important crisis of his young life. But his 
cheery face showed no sign of distrust or anxiety. He was, 
as usual, the center of a lively and talkative group of his 
comrades. He wore in his button-hole a delicate knot of 
flowers which had come there so mysteriously that none of the 
noisy fellows about him could guess who had put it there. 

“Who is she? Why didn’t we see her?” queried the 
laughing boys as they pressed around Larry, affecting to sniff 
great delight from his nosegay. Larry’s face beamed as he 
told them that this was a reminder that every Irishman must 
do his duty, and that he was going to carry the little bouquet 
to the field of victory for the Catalpas. 

“Those pansies grew in Judge Howell’s garden,” said Ben 
Burton, surlily, from his seat. Larry’s eyes flashed at the 
covert insult that he thought he saw under Ben’s sneer. 
But he said not a word. 

“For shame, Ben Burton!” cried A1 Heaton, “for shame 
to call names like that! ” 

There was a little cloud over the sun for a fleeting 
moment. But Larry’s bright face and cheery voice soon 
dispelled the transient shadow, and the talk was turned 
into merrier channels. Ben Burton grumbled to 1 himself, 
and, as he saw how his fellows clustered around Larry, whose 
brown and shining curls were only now and again visible 
among the lads who pranced about him, he said to Bill Van 


74 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Orman, “Thinks he’s the biggest toad in the puddle; don’t 
he, Bill?” Bill, whose nickname was “The Lily,” because he 
was so big, and red, and beefy, only opened his eyes 
in surprise. 

The telegraph office in Catalpa was in the second story 
of Niles’s building, a brick structure on the main street of the 
town and chiefly occupied by lawyers and doctors. The 
narrow stairway was found too narrow for the throngs of 
people who flocked thither, next day, to learn the news from 
the contest in Sandy Key. Arrangements had been made 
by The Catalpa Leaf , the only daily paper in the place, to 
publish bulletins from the base ball ground, as fast as received. 
To all inquirers, Miss Millicent Murch, “the accomplished 
lady operator,” as the local newspapers called her, stiffly 
replied that the telegraph office had no news to give away 
and that the editor of The Leaf would distribute his intelligence 
as soon as received. 

Even to so great a personage as Judge Howell, who early 
appeared in search of information, the young lady gave her 
one unvarying answer. But public excitement ran high when, 
about two o’clock in the afternoon, a despatch from A1 Heaton 
was received by his father, saying that the game had been 
called and that “the boys were in tip-top condition.” Mr. 
Heaton signified his intention of staying at the office or 
thereabouts, until the game was over, in order to receive 
Al’s despatches. 

“Is Albert going to send despatches from the ball 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


75 


ground, all day, Mr. Heaton?” asked Alice Howell, who, 
with sparkling eyes, was eagerly waiting for news from the 
absent company. 

“Indeed he is, Alice,” said Mr. Heaton. “That is what 
he went down to Sandy Key for, and I think you know my 
boy well enough to believe that he will keep us informed. A1 
is as much of an enthusiast in base ball matters as you and 
I are, my dear, and if he is alive and well we will hear 
from him until the fortunes of the day are decided.” Mr. 
Heaton smiled in a kindly way as he looked down into the 
bright face of the young lady, and added, “And I believe 
and hope that he will send us a pleasant message before the 
day is done. Depend upon that.” 

“I hope so too, Mr. Heaton,” Alice replied, with a slight 
cloud passing over her countenance, “but somehow, I feel as 
if we were to be defeated this time. I don’t know why. 
But that is my superstitious notion about it.” 

Meantime, the telegraph machine had been industriously 
ticking and Miss Millicent writing as industriously, while the 
bystanders were talking in low tones. 

“A message for Mr. Heaton,” said the operator, with 
perfect composure, as she folded and placed in an envelope, 
duly addressed, a telegraph despatch which she handed to 
Mr. Heaton. 

“Hateful old thing!” murmured Miss Ida Boardman, 
“ she has had that message all the time and said nothing 
about it until she got good and ready.” 


76 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


“Hush!” said Alice, in a sort of stage whisper, “let us 
hear the news.” 

Mr. Heaton, having glanced hurriedly over the despatch, 
cried, “Good news from the boys! Hear this!” A dead 
silence prevailed in the office as the beaming miller read:—• 

Hurrah for our side! First two innings oner. Catalpas 
score two. Black Hawks none. Great excitement in Sandy Key. 
Everything lovely. 

ALBERT. 

“Hooray!” broke from many lips, and the waiting crowd 
below the 'windows, hearing the cry, took it up and a fusil¬ 
lade of irregular and scattering hurrahs scattered along the 
street. Judge Howell, who had lingered during the noonday 
recess of his court, admonished the crowd that the lady at 
the telegraph desk would be embarrassed by the confusion, 
whereupon the company went out and added their joy to 
that of the assemblage that crowded around a bulletin that 
was at once posted by the door of The Caialpa Leaf office. 

“What did I tell you, Alice,” said Miss Ida, regardless 
of the fact that she had told her nothing. “Didn’t I say 
that the Catalpas would win?” 

“But the game has only just begun,” said Alice. “I am 
still hoping and fearing, and I am not going to be put off of 
my base, so to speak, by the first news which happens to be 
good. Only two innings, Ida; remember that.” 

The cheering of the small boys and the excited comments 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


77 


of the still smaller girls, however, proved infectious. One 
would think that a great battle had been fought, and that 
victory was already assured to the household troops. The dry- 
goods man laid down his yard-stick; the carpenter dropped his 
plane, and even the old bridge-tender forsook his post long 
enough to stroll into the nearest barber-shop and ask for the 
news from ‘ ‘ the boys” in Sandy Key. 

“Another bulletin!” cried Hank Jackson, the burly 

short stop of the Dean County Nine, as the tall form of 

Mr. Heaton emerged from the telegraph office. This time, 
the face of the ardent champion of Catalpa’s prowess was 
not illuminated by a smile. Mounting a convenient dry-goods 
box, he announced that two more innings had been played 
and that the score then stood two and two, the Black 

Hawks having made two runs, and the Catalpas having 

added nothing to their score. A blank silence fell on the 
assemblage and Henry Jackson vengefully planted his big 
fist, with a tremendous thud, upon the short ribs of a side 
of beef that hung from the door-way of Adee’s butcher shop. 
“That for the Black Hawks,” he muttered,- with clenched 
teeth. 

But a great triumph was in store for the friends of 
the absent sons of Catalpa. Even while Alice Howell was 
trying to cheer her despondent friend Ida with the suggestion 
that the game was “yet young,” the Editor of The Leaf, 
whose despatches were sent to him across the street in a 
flying box attached to a wire, put his dishevelled head out 


78 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


of liis office window and excitedly cried, “ Three cheers for 
the Catalpa Nine! Fifth inning, Catalpas, five; Black Hawks, 
one! ” 

There was something like a little groan for the discomfited 
Black Hawks and then a wild yell broke out for the home 
nine. The small boys hurrahed shrilly and lustily, and 
even the street dogs, sharing in the general joy, barked 
noisily and aimlessly around the edges of the crowd. Miss 
Anstress Howell, scanning the joyful mob from the windows 
of her brother’s office, remarked to herself, with aggravated 
sourness, that it was perfectly ridiculous to see Alice 
mixing herself up there in the street with a lot of lunatics 
who were making themselves absurd over a pesky base 
ball game, away down in Sangamon County. It was 
unaccountable. 

Judge Howell, sitting on his judicial bench in the court¬ 
house on the hill, heard the pother m the town below and 
covertly smiled behind his large white hand to think that 
the home nine was undoubtedly doing well in Sandy Key. 

Once more the traditional enterprise of the daily press 
vindicated itself with the earliest news, and Editor Downey 
put out of his office window his uncovered head, every hair 
of which stood up with excitement, as he bawled, “Sixth 
inning, Catalpas, none; Black Hawks, two. Seventh inning, 
no runs scored.” 

“Now you yoost keep your big fists out of my beef!” 
said Jake Adee, with his wrathful eye fixed on Hank 



" THREE CHEERS FOR THE CATALPA NINE.”—Page 78. 





















OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


79 


Jackson, who was looking around for some enemy to punch. 
There was depression in the crowd, hut Alice Howell 
smiled cheerfully in the rueful face of Mr. Heaton and 
said that she felt her spirits rising. She was getting more 
confident as the rest of the party became despondent. 

The innings had been made rapidly. Scarcely an hour 
had passed, and, so intense was the interest in the game, 
that everybody thought the despatches had trodden upon 
each other in their hurry to tumble into Catalpa. It was 
a warm, bright day, and the prairie wind blew softly down 
the hill above the town. To look into the knots of people 
standing about the street corners, one would suppose that 
it was an August noon. Everybody was perspiring. It was 
a warm engagement down there in Sandy Key where the 
boys were vigorously doing battle for the honor of old 
Catalpa. But it seemed even hot in the town where the 
people waited for the news. 

So when Mr. Heaton, radiant with joy, and without 
waiting to come down the stairs of the telegraph office, 
put his leg and his head out of the window of the building 
and cried “Good news again!” everybody stood breathless. 
As Miss Anstress Howell afterwards remarked, with disdain, 
one might have heard a pin drop. 

Victory! victory! Eighth inning , Catalpas, nine; Black 
Hawks , none. Glory enough for one day. Your loving son, 

ALBERT. 


80 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB . 


Then went up a shout that reached the jury in the case 
of the County of Dean against Jeremiah Stowell, shut up 
in the close room provided in the court-house for jurors 
and other criminals, and which startled Judge Howell, who, 
looking out of the window from his private room, beheld 
his daughter, flushed and almost tearful with joy, hurrying 
across the court-house green, eager to tell her father the 
good news. The solitary horse-thief in the jail heard that 
hurrah and wondered if relief was coming to him from his 
long-delayed accomplices. Dr. Everett, reining his sturdy steed 
at the next street corner above the telegraph office, asked 
a wandering small boy what had happened, but got no answer, 
for the urchin was off like a shot to tell his mates who 
were bathing prematurely down under the mill dam. And 
careful housewives, making ready their early suppers, in houses 
beyond the railroad track, heard the yell of triumph, and 
softly laughed to be told in this far-off way that the Catalpa 
nine were victorious over their adversaries in Sandy Key. 

The game was virtually decided. The ninth and last 
inning showed one run for the Catalpas and a “goose egg” 
for the Black Hawks. There was more cheering in the street 
under the windows of the telegraph office. Somebody suggested 
that the flag should be hoisted on the Court House, but fears 
of Judge Howell’s displeasure and veto prevailed, and the 
proposition fell dead. Hiram Porter’s father, however, raised 
the stars and stripes over the Catalpa House of which he was 
proprietor. Editor Downey flung out from his third story 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


81 


window the red bunting with the white Catalpa Leaf that 
symbolized his standard sheet to the world below. 

Later on, when the wild shower of despatches from A1 
Heaton, Hiram Porter, and others of the home nine, had 
ceased for a time, this bulletin appeared on the board of The 
Catalpa, Leaf. 

A GLORIOUS VICTORY FOR OUR NINE! OLD CATALPA TO THE FRONT! 


123456789 

Catalpas. 20005009 1=17. 

Black Hawks. 00021200 0=5. 


First Base by errors , Catalpas, 8; Black Hawks, 1. 

Earned Runs , Catalpas, 7; Black Hawks, 1. 

Struck out , Catalpas, 2; Black Hawks, 5. 

Our esteemed fellow citizen, Benjamin F. Burton, especially 
distinguished himself with his fine play at short stop, and 
Larry Boyne, of Sugar Grove, did some of the most brilliant 
work in the game, having made the highest number of runs of 
any man in the Nine, and being ‘ like lightning ’ as a third 
base man. Great excitement prevails in Sandy Key, but our 
men have been treated with distinguished courtesy by the citizens. 
The receipts at the gate were nearly $1,000. 

When A1 Heaton came home, next day, he was the hero 
and oracle of the hour. By reflection, he was shining with 
the honors of the Catalpa Nine. Wherever he went about 




82 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


the town, lie was sure to become the center of an admiring 
knot of fellow-citizens and small boys, eager to learn bow 
the absent ball-players bore themselves in the arena at 
Sandy Key. 

“I tell you what it is, fellows,” said Albert, “you should 
have seen ‘The Lily,’ as they call Bill Yan Orman, get on the., 
home base in the fifth inning. He never stopped to look 
for the ball. He seemed to have eyes in the back of his 
head, and just as he was on the point of being caught out, 
when he was at least ten feet from the home base, he gave 
a lunge and threw himself flat on his stomach, ploughed up 
the turf as he plunged forwards, and, reaching out, grabbed 
the bag with his hands before he could be put out. Ten feet 
did I say? Well, I should say it was nearer fifteen feet. 
And you should have seen ‘ The Lily’s ’ track where he 
scooted along that turf.” 

“The Leaf's correspondent telegraphed that Ben Burton 
covered himself all over with glory,” remarked Jason Elderkin. 
“How was that?” 

“Well, you see that Ben, being at short stop, had many 
opportunities to do good work, and he put in some very 
fine licks at different times. For instance, in the first 
play he put out Harris, the Black Hawk’s pitcher, after 
having muffed the ball, and then picked it up on the run. 
Everybody said it was one of the best infield plays of the 
day. And in the eighth inning, he made a beautiful run, 
stealing two bases just as easy as falling off a log. Oh, I tell 


OUB BASE BALL CLUB. 


83 


you, Ben is a first-rate player, and they say that the Captain 
of the Chicago Calumets was down there and wanted to 
know if Ben would go into their Nine, next season. Ben 
was very high and mighty about something, and I guess that 
that was what was the matter with him. He was very much 
set up about something. 77 

The mention of the famous Calumets evoked much 
enthusiasm among the base ball connoisseurs of Catalpa, and 
it was noised about the town that that club might be induced 
to accept a challenge from the Catalpa Nine. Albert Heaton, 
when asked what he thought of the possibility of such an 
event, shook his head. 

“I tell you what, Doctor, 77 he said to Dr. Selby, “we all 
thought it pretty cheeky in our boys to accept a challenge 
from the Black Hawks, and it is astonishing that we got 
out of the scrape as well as we did. To be sure, we came 
off with flying colors, and we have made a great reputation, 
that is to say, the boys have, for I am not in the Nine. 
But the Calumets are the champions of the State, and I 
suppose they will be to the end of the season; to the end 
of the chapter, unless something very unexpected happens. 
I guess our boys had better be contented with the laurels they 
will win outside of Chicago, this year, at any rate. 77 

But that very day while Albert was strolling across the 
bridge with Miss Alice Howell, and pouring into her ear 
a glowing account of Larry Boyne’s prowess in the field 
at Sandy Key, he told her, in the strictest confidence, 


84 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


that the Catalpas would never be satisfied until they had 
measured their strength with the famous Chicago nine, the 
Calumets. 

Alice’s eyes sparkled, whether with the excitement stirred 
by Albert’s narrative of Larry’s exploits, or at the prospect 
of so bold a dash for fame as that proposed by the Catalpas, 
it is not easy to say. The young girl’s ardor cooled when 
she considered the chances against the success of the Catalpas 
in so unequal a contest. 

“I did not believe that we should beat the Black 
Hawks,” said she. “I was almost sure that we should be 
defeated, and when the tide began to turn in favor of the 
Catalpas, I could not bring myself to believe that we were 
actually going to carry off the honors of the day. It was 
a famous victory, to be sure, and I hope that the Nine will 
be able to do as well through the season, and then, if all 
goes well, another season may see them pitted against the 
best nine in the state, even the best in the country; who 
knows ? They have made a glorious beginning, haven’t 
they, Albert ? ” 

Of course this was conceded by so fast a friend of the 
absent Nine as A1 Heaton certainly was, and -it was also 
clear to even an impartial observer that the Nine had made 
something of a name for themselves, at the very outset of 
their career, by defeating the Black Hawks, a Nine of 
established reputation, victors in many fields. 

“What would you think if our nine were to play the 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


85 


Calumets, papa?” asked Alice that night, as they lingered 
over the tea-table. 

“Think?” said the Judge. “I should think that it was 
a great piece of assurance.” 

“So should I!” replied Alice; “but I wish they could 
do it.” 


CHAPTER Till. 


A TURN OF THE TIDE. 

D EFEAT, utter and overwhelming, followed the Catalpas 
to Bluford, where they played the “Zoo-Zoo Nine” of 
that city. The “Zoo-Zoos” were picked players, the lineal 
descendants of a company of Illinois Zouaves renowned 
in the Civil War for their bravery, dash, and skill as 
skirmishers. The original founders of the club had long 
since disappeared from the field of action, but their successors 
bore up the banner of their illustrious namesakes with 
infinite credit. None of the Catalpa people had gone to 
Bluford to witness the game, A1 Heaton being sick at home 
and the other immediate friends of the Nine being too busy 
with their farms and merchandise. And so it happened that 
the only news that came to the town from Bluford dribbled 
in from the Keokuck evening papers, sent by wire to the 
editor of The Catalpa Leaf , late at night. Mr. Downey did 
not think it worth while to post on his bulletin board the 
discouraging news that the “Zoo-Zoo Nine” had beaten 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


87 


the Catalpas by a score of eleven to one. But the news 
got out, of course, for the whole town was on the alert to 
hear the result from Bluford. 

Albert Heaton was sitting up in bed, alternately shaken 
with ague and parched with fever, when his little sister 
brought him the unwelcome tidings. He groaned aloud and 
asked if Alice Howell had heard the news. Mrs. Heaton, 
a motherly woman who had no patience with base ball 
players that go about the country, like circus-riders, re¬ 
marked, with some asperity, that she should suppose that 
Judge Howell would put a stop to Alice’s giving so much 
time and attention to base ball. For herself, if she had a 
grown-up daughter, she would try and put something else 
into her head than base ball and such mannish and vulgar 
doings. If Alice’s mother was alive, it would be mighty 
different in the Howell family. As it was, the Judge 
allowed Alice to do just about as she pleased, and it was 
a shame, so it was, for a nice young girl like Alice to be 
permitted to make a tom-boy of herself. Flirting with that 
young Irish fellow from Sugar Grove! Hid anybody ever 
hear of the like? 

“Oh, mother,” sighed poor Albert. “If you only knew 
how sick and sore I am for the boys, you would let up on 
Larry. If you had let me go with the Nine, perhaps I 
might have helped them out of the defeat. At any rate, 
it might have been less of a clean-out than it is. Dear me! 
How cold I am! Cover me up and let me be.” 


88 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


With a pang of remorse at having added unwittingly 
to Albert’s sufferings, his mother soothed the sick boy and 
left him to sorrowful meditations. ‘ ‘ And I was fool enough 
to think that the boys would be able to challenge the 
Calumets.” With these repentant meditations, Albert sunk 
into a feverish and uneasy sleep. He might have dreamed 
(perhaps he did) that at that very moment, Alice Howell 
was looking out into the gloom of the moist summer night 
and lamenting with bitterness the defeat of “our nine.” 

Next day, when The Leaf came out, and fuller particulars 
of the game were made known in a despatch from Charlie 
King, there was nothing to mitigate the gloom of the friends 
of the Catalpas. Singularly enough, some of the Dean 
County Nine, who had been among the most enthusiastic 
“boomers” of the Catalpa Nine, now assumed a most 
discouraging attitude. They were sure, so they said, that 
the Catalpas would be defeated all along the line. They had 
won the game at Sandy Key by a scratch. They had found 
their true level in Bluford. They would be beaten along 
the river, for it was well known that the nines in the river 
towns were far ahead of those in the interior of the state. 

Something of this talk reached the ears of A1 Heaton, 
who was still suffering from fever-and-ague. He took up his 
bottle of cholagogue and shook it at his terrified little 
brother (who had retailed the gossip of the drug store, 
where he had been sent on an errand), and said, “ If you 
hear any such infernal nonsense as that, down town, Dan, 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


89 


you go and tell Tom Selby that I want him to lick the 
first fellow that says anything against our nine. Do you 
mind me?” 

Little Dan promised stoutly that he would give Tom the 
message. Whether he did or not, it came to pass that 
Henry Jackson and Thomas Selby had a discussion, that 
very night, and that Dr. Selby sent his son home with strict 
injunctions to cover his face with brown paper and vinegar, 
while the big-fisted Henry went to bed with a bit of raw 
beef on his eye. 

There is nothing like news from the field of battle to 
bring out the partisan feelings of a community far from the 
scene of strife. Catalpa was stirred to its very depths by the 
ill tidings brought from Bluford. Those who disapproved of 
base ball asserted themselves in the most unexpected and 
exasperating manner. Nobody had suspected that there were 
in Catalpa so many who sympathized not with the home nine 
and who secretly wished that they might be defeated. But 
the fact that the nine had met with disaster only stimulated 
their friends to new courage and stronger hopes for the 
future. This was a time, they said, for the friends of the 
nine to show themselves. Mr. Heaton sent an encouraging 
despatch to Larry Boyne, assuring him that the temporary 
reverse had only strengthened the confidence of home 
friends of the club. Even Judge Howell, who was greatly 
concerned lest the nine should be unduly depressed by their 
reverses, authorized Lewis Morris to write to Hiram Porter, 


90 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


as Captain of the club, and say to him that the club must 
be prepared for occasional defeats and that the next news 
from “the front” would undoubtedly be inspiring to the 
many supporters of the Catalpas. 

“The Judge is a brick!” said Larry Boyne, when this 
message was read to the members of the club, as they 
lounged in one of the bed-rooms of Quapaw House, in 
Galena, where the boys were waiting to begin the 
championship series of games with the Red Stockings. 

“That’s just what he is!” exclaimed “The Lily,” bringing 
his somewhat battered fist down with emphasis on a 
convenient pillow. Bill had had hard luck in the late 
contest. His fingers had been badly sprained and twisted, 
and he had played with infinite difficulty on account of the 
battering that he had received in a game played with the 
Fulton City Nine, when the Catalpas were on their way to 
Bluford from Sandy Key. But he was still confident and 
determined. 

“ I suppose some of the folks at home think that we are 
going to get beaten right along, every day from this out,” 
he continued, with a scornful laugh. “They don’t know us, 
do they, Larry ? They don’t know what we had to contend 
with in Bluford, what with being used up with that hard 
ride on the strap-iron railroad and the lame fingers of your 
humble servant. Oh, yes, I suppose there is downheartedness 
among the boys at home.” 

“But I know one chap who is not downhearted,” said 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


91 


Larry Boyne, cheerfully, “and that is A1 Heaton. He will 
never get discouraged, whatever happens. And then there is 
his father, his despatch shows where he stands. A1 is clear 
grit and so is his father; you may depend on that, boys.” 

Ben Burton, who had virtually lost the game in Bluford 
by his repeated muffing of the ball, as well as by his failure 
at the bat, sneered as he said, “I suppose a certain young 
lady in North Catalpa prompted the Judge’s despatch, didn’t 
she, Larry?” 

Larry, with reddening cheeks, protested that he had no 
idea that Judge Howell needed any prompting from anybody 
to send a good word to the boys when they were away from 
home; he was too kind-hearted a man, although a little stiff, 
to require any hint from outsiders to do the fair thing by 
the Base Ball Club in whose welfare he had already shown 
great interest. 

“ I didn’t say ‘ outsiders/ Larry,” replied Burton, 
persistently. £ ‘ I said that he was probably prompted by a 
young lady.” 

At this, Larry deliberately rose and walked out of the 
room, without a word. 

“I say, Ben, can’t you quit your everlasting nagging of 
Larry,” broke in Hiram Porter, as the door closed with a 
bang behind that indignant young man. “ What’s the use of 
your getting into a debate, every day or two, about some 
mysterious young lady that you two fellows are thinking 
about ? Let up! I wish you would.” 


92 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Ben muttered something about the Captain’s showing his 
little brief authority in matters that did not concern the club, 
when, by general consent, the meeting was broken up for the 
more important business of practice on the Galena Base Ball 
Grounds, placed at the disposal of the visitors by the 
managers of the championship series. 


CHAPTER IX. 


HOPE AND SUSPENSE. 

X T was the custom in Catalpa for the storekeepers to hang 
out at their doors a little blue flag when they wanted 
the services of an errand boy. Seeing this signal at the door 
of Jason Elderkin’s dry-goods store, Rough and Ready, wear¬ 
ing in the heats of summer as in winter his ’coon-skin cap, 
shambled in and asked what was wanted. Jason lifted his 
spectacles from his nose and said, jocularly: “Why, Rough and 
Ready, I thought you had gone up to Galena to see the 
match between the boys and the Galena Club. 77 

“No sir-ee, 77 replied the old man, “I have staid at home 
to keep the town in order. Me and Jedge Howell, we have 
to look after the boys at home, you know, or some of these 
frisky young colts like Jase Ayres would get away with the 
town whilst we were gone. 77 And the old man chuckled as 
he added, “ Cap. Heaton, he and his boy A1 have gone 
together, and they do say that Mrs. Heaton is just wild 
because she can’t keep the old man at home when base ball 
is going on. Well, it does beat all natur 7 , don’t it? Here’s 


94 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


A1 kept out of the Nine because it isn’t high-toned enough 
for Mrs. Heaton; and here’s father and son gone a-galivanting 
up to Galena to see the show.” 

“I hear that A1 has sent a despatch to the Judge’s 
daughter saying that the Catalpas are going to carry off 
the honors this time, and no mistake,” said the storekeeper. 
“How’s that, Rough?” 

“ Seein’ as how this bundle is going over to Boardman’s, 
I’ll jest drop in at the Jedge’s house on my way back, and 
see if Miss Ally has got any news from the seat of war, as 
it were, and if she has, she’ll be sure to tell me. Oh, she’s 
clear grit, too, is that gal, and she knows that I set a heap by 
Larry. Larry! why, it was him what give my boy all the 
points he has got in the game, and you may lay your bottom 
dollar that that boy is goin’ to be the all-firedest batter in 
the Stone River country; and you put that down to 
remember.” 

The garrulous old man shouldered his bundle as he spoke 
and plodded down Bridge Street and so across to the north 
side of the town. It was the day for the first game of the 
championship at Galena. The hot suii poured down into the 
Stone River Yalley with great power, and the bleached surface 
of the old wooden bridge shimmered with undulating lines of 
heat as Rough and Ready toiled on his way. The roar of 
the dam had a cooling sound, and the group of cotton-woods 
and willows on the little island above were green and 
refreshing to the eye. But no breeze drew up the river, 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


95 


and all of the north side was steeped in liquid sunshine, the 
trees standing motionless and the yellow road glaring in the 
blinding light. The toll-keeper’s dog panted in the shade of 
the toll-house, lolling his tongue as old Rough and Ready 
passed by, without stopping for a word of gossip with the 
keeper who dozed within the doorway. 

The old man paused, when half-way across the bridge, 
to lift his furry cap from his head and wipe the servile drops 
from off his burning brow. While he rested his bundle on 
the guard rail of the bridge, Miss Anstress Howell, the Judge’s 
aged sister, came mincing along from the North Catalpa side, 
cool and fresh as if she had never before been outside of 
a bandbox. 

“I wonder ef it will be safe to tackle her for news from 
Galena?” muttered the old man to himself. “ She’s a dangerous 
team to fool with. Mebbe she’ll get away with me, but I’ll 
try it.” 

“Good arternoon, Miss Howell. Fine hot day. Good 
growin’ weather, as the farmers say. Hev you heerd that 
any of your folks got a despatch from Galena givin’ any 
account of how the ball opens ? ” 

Miss Howell’s manner stiffened a little as she said, with 
a slight toss of her head, “Judge Howell, my brother, is 
holding court in Pawpaw, to-day, for Judge Sniffles, and 
nobody else but the Judge would be likely to have any 
despatches concerning base ball.” 

“Well, Miss Howell, I heerd over in town that Miss 


96 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Ally had a message of some kind, no offence to you, marin, 
and I want to hear from the boys powerful bad, you see, 
and so I make bold to ask if Miss Alice mayn’t hev a 
despatch, or something from Larry, I mean Al.” 

“There is altogether too much nonsense about this base 
ball business in Catalpa, Mr. Rough,—excuse me, I forget 
your other name. It does seem to me as if the people had 
gone crazy, and the weather so hot too! Excuse me, I don’t 
know anything about what is going on in Galena, no more 
than a child, I may say, and if any grown people want to 
begin over again and make children of themselves with 
playing ball, they have my sympathy.” 

So saying, and flirting off an imaginary fleck of dust from 
her gown with a spotless handkerchief, Miss Howell resumed 
her deliberate walk across the bridge. Rough and Ready 
replaced his cap, and looking after her said, “ Sarves me 
right! I might hev knowed that I should get the worst on 
it in a talk with her. My grief! But she is a teaser. Has 
forgot all about the time when she was a young gal, it’s so 
long ago. P’raps she never was young.” With this, the old 
man shouldered his bundle and slowly made his way northward. 

But Alice had received a telegram from Galena, and as 
Rough and Ready climbed the slope by the Judge’s house, a 
sunny head was popped from one of its upper windows and 
Alice’s cheerful voice cried, “ Oh, Roughy,—excuse me for 
calling you Roughy, but I’m so glad!—Albert Heaton has 
telegraphed to me that the Catalpas have made ten runs in 



"GOOD ARTERNOON, MISS HOWELL. FINE HOT DAY."—Page 95. 































OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


97 


the first three innings and the Galenas only one! Isn’t that 
perfectly splendid? Does anybody over in town know anything 
about it ? ” 

“Bless your bright eyes! Miss Ally, no; the whole town’s 
asleep. It’s a hot day, you know, and there’s nobody stirring. 
All the farmers are busy with their craps, and the streets 
are as lonesome as a last year’s bird’s nest. Ten to one. 
did you say ? By the great horn spoon! I must go back 
and wake up the folks.” 

Suiting the action to the word, the old man tossed Mrs. 
Boardman’s bundle of sheeting over the fence and made his 
way back to town as fast as his rheumatic legs would carry 
him. Half way across, he met Lewis Morris who was on his 
way over to verify the rumor that he had caught concerning 
the early success of the Catalpas in Galena. 

“Hooray for our side!” cried Bough and Beady, 
exultingly. “ I have heard it from the gentle Miss Ally. 
Our boys have made ten runs in the first three innings, 
and the Galena fellows have made one—one whole one.” 

“Then I’ll turn right around and tell the news in 
town!” said Lewis, with excitement. “I’ll have to stir 
the people up, for the whole town has gone to sleep, except 
Dr. Selby, and he was sweating at every pore, as I came 
by the drug store, for thinking of another defeat for the 
Catalpas.” 

Bough and Beady gazed after the rapidly retreating form 
of the young man who turned and stepped swiftly across the 


98 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


bridge. Then, putting his hand to his ’coonskin cap, as if 
trying to recall something to his mind, he murmured, “ If I 
didn’t go and leave that ther bundle of sheetin’ in the Judge’s 
dooryard! ’Pears to me as if that pesky base ball had 
knocked my wits clean out.” And, smiling at his own feeble 
joke, he retraced his steps to the North Catalpa side of the 
river. 

When Lewis Morris reached the center of the town, he 
saw a knot of men and boys gathered around the bulletin board 
of The Leaf. “Just my luck,” he muttered. “Downey has 
got the news out, and they have taken the edge of it off 
before I could get back.” 

But Lewis forgot his little disappointment when he eager¬ 
ly scanned the bulletin which the editor had posted during 
his brief run across the bridge. This was what he read: 

An overwhelming victory for our nine! In the contest to-day, 
the Catalpas were the victors by a score of 13 to 3. Great 
enthusiasm prevails and the visiting nine, are now being cheered 
by the excited populace. The result has astonished everybody, 
none more so than the defeated nine and their immediate friends. 
Our esteemed fellow townsman, Mr. Albert Heaton, Senior, has 
telegraphed, to The Leaf the score by innings, as follows : 

123456789... total. 


Catalpas . 541002100...13. 

Galenas . .. 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 ... 3. 


Errors, Galenas, 13; Catalpas, 1. 




OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


99 


“ Here’s Lew Morris! ” cried brawny Hank Jackson, 
“Glory enough for one day! hey, Lew? Everybody in 
Galena was astonished, they say, and so was everybody 
in Catalpa, for that matter. Why, I was just coming along 
the street with Andy Brubaker, and we was a-talking about 
the chances of our nine’s giving up the season if they got 
cleaned out in Galena, when I heard Mr. Downey tell Dr. 
Selby that the home nine had beat the Galenas on the first 
six innings, and says I to him, ‘If that’s so, Mr. Downey, 
why don’t you put it on the bulletin?’ Sure enough, he 
went up them stairs, five at a time, to have it done, and 
no sooner had he got up there than he put his head outen 
the winder and screeched, ‘ The Catalpas have won the game 
by thirteen to three! ’ Gosh! you should have heerd the 
whoop that the boys gave! And there it is, as big as life.” 
And Hank regarded the bulletin board with an affectionate 
interest. 

The fact was that the community of Catalpa was unprepared 
for any such victory as that which had dropped in upon them, 
as it were, like a bolt out of a clear sky. The defeat at 
Bluford had unnerved all but a few faithful and undaunted 
spirits, and the usual dull current of town life had resumed 
its sluggishness until the unexpected news from the north 
had startled the townsfolk into new alertness. It was a 
great achievement, as the Galenas were famed for their 
prowess in the Diamond Field. They were reckoned as first 
in the number of batters in their nine. One of them, Devoy, 


100 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


stood very near the head of the list of champion batters in 
the state, and another, Shallcross, was not far behind him in 
his general average. Yet the Catalpas had “got away with” 
the famous players. It was marvellous how the news flew 
through the town and out upon the prairie, so that by the 
time the moon rose, red and full, over the bluffy banks above 
Catalpa, in innumerable cabins and farm-houses, far out on 
the distant wheat-farms, and over many an evening meal, the 
details of the triumph and its probable effect on the fortunes 
of “our nine” were discussed with a glow of pride, or with 
a lively curiosity. 

“The boys,” in Galena, resting from their labors, and 
withdrawn from the admiring attention of the citizens of 
the town, lounged in a big bedroom in the Quapaw House, 
and told, over and over- again, the stirring incidents of the 
day—incidents on which so much depended that they now 
became almost like ancient history in importance. They 
were not too tired to play another game right then, so 
exhilarated were they by their unwonted success. There was 
no murmuring, no jealousy, and no “nagging” in the party 
now. Every man was elated and flushed with a sense of 
his own value as a factor in the game that had been played, 
as well as in that which was to be played on the morrow. 

“Somehow, boys, I feel it in my bones that we are going 
to beat to-morrow,” said Larry Boyne, who had won fresh 
laurels in the field, that day. And Larry’s bright eyes sparkled 
anew as he spoke. 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


101 


“Well, that’s a new role for you to play, Larry,” said 
A1 Heaton who was admiringly hanging over Larry, whom 
he regarded as the rising player of the country. “You 
always were a croaker, you know, Larry, old boy, and for 
you to say that you feel confident of victory now, makes me 
almost shudder. It seems as if you were losing your head; 
only I know you are not.” 

“Ho, old chap, I am not losing my head. But you know 
I am rather superstitious; at least, my mother says so, and I 
have a queer notion, to-night, that we are going to do as well 
to-morrow as we did to-day.” 

“That’s an encouraging sign, Larry,” broke in Captain 
Hiram Porter. “But you fellows must all do your level best, 
all the same, and we mustn’t let any notion of our superiority 
run away with us, for we are not superior, perhaps except that 
I do think that we are better fielders than the Galena boys.” 

“Whatever happens to-morrow, Al,” said Larry, as they 
broke up their sitting for the night. “ Put it down that I 
said that we were to win the second game in this champion¬ 
ship series.” 

“And if we lose, you will charge it to some adverse fate, 
won’t you, Larry?” 

“ In the bright lexicon—you know the rest, Al.” 

By a singular coincidence, at that very hour, Miss Alice 
Howell, writing to her father the glad news, added a postscript 
thus: “You will think me overconfident, but I am sure the 
Catalpas will win the championship.” 


CHAPTER X. 


HOW THE GOOD NEWS CAME. 

C ATALPA was wide awake, next day, although the 
weather was hotter than ever and the little breeze that 
drew in from the prairie was laden with heat. The unexpected 
result of yesterday’s game had set everybody to speculating on 
the issue of this day’s contest. Some scandal was created by 
the appearance of Hank Jackson on the street with a roll of 
bills, offering to make bets on the game. It had never been 
the custom of anybody in Catalpa to wager anything on a 
base ball game, and there was some frowning now on the 
part of conservative and upright people; and those who were 
not specially conservative, but who disapproved of gaming, 
did not hesitate to reprove Hank in terms more forcible than 
elegant. Hank had spent some days in Bloomington, where 
he had frequented pool rooms and had acquired a taste for 
betting, and his brief experience was regarded by the younger 
portion of Catalpa with much awe and interest. He was 
followed about by the smaller boys of the town who listened 
while he bantered some of his cronies into making bets. 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


103 


But public opinion in Catalpa was not yet educated to the 
point of engaging in gambling on the uncertain result of a 
base ball game. Added to this, it should be said, was Hank’s 
persistence in offering bets on the defeat of the home nine. 
That was an unpopular side. Almost everybody wanted the 
Catalpas to win the game. It would decide the championship; 
and, although it was almost too much to hope for, there was 
a feeling of confidence through the town that was quite inex¬ 
plicable. So, Hank, after making a swaggering tour of the 
shops and stores, but without receiving much popular coun¬ 
tenance, quietly dropped out of the throngs which gathered 
at the street corners and in other public places. It was in 
vain that he argued with rude logic that it was just as safe 
to bet on a base ball game as on a horse race. Yery few 
who listened to him cared to encourage this new sort of 
gambling. 

This time, it was A1 Heaton who fired the heart of Catalpa 
with the first intelligence from the Diamond Field. It was 
nearly three o’clock when his first despatch arrived, and the 
game had been called at two o’clock. There was much 
grumbling in the main street of the town, where numerous 
groups stood in the shade of awnings and tall buildings, 
waiting for the news. The windows of The Leaf office 
opened on this street, as well as on the side street on which 
the telegraph office was situated. Editor Downey had, 
announced that he had made arrangements with Albert 
to send news directly from the base ball grounds in G-a- 


104 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


lena, and that he would display a bulletin from his office 
windows. 

Accordingly, when there was hung out a big white 
sheet of paper, with black lettering thereon, the assembly 
below was hushed in expectation. The despatch ran thus: 

Everybody confident. Larry Boyne says our nine will win 
the game. Weather hot, and the dust intolerable. Loolc out for 
fun. 

ALBERT HEATON. 

“ What does he mean by looking out for fun; and who 
cares what Larry Boyne thinks ? ” growled Hank Jackson. 
“I should think he might send us something more bracing 
than that by this time.” 

But the straggling cheer that greeted Albert’s encouraging 
message drowned Jackson’s grumbling, and the crowd showed 
by their excitement that they were ready to accept the 
slightest omen as proof positive that the Catalpa nine would 
carry the day. So, when Judge Howell’s carriage drove up 
and halted under the shade of the huge catalpa tree that 
grew in front of Dr. Selby’s drug store, from which the fair 
Alice could see the throng and watch for the bulletin from the 
newspaper office, there was a little hurrah from some of the 
younger lads. They seemed to think that the young lady, in 
some fashion, represented the absent Judge, who was now re¬ 
cognized as one of the steadfast friends of the band of heroes. 

“That’s a good sign! I’ll swear to gracious!” said Rough 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


105 


and Ready, in a low and hoarse whisper, as he saw the 
Judge’s handsome bays, champing their bits, and prancing 
uneasily under the shade of the spreading catalpa. “It’s a 
good sign, for that gal never went back on the nine, and her 
coming will bring good luck. Mark my words, Jake! ” 
Jake, the big butcher, nodded his head and only said “yaw,” 
when the bulletin was again flung out from the window of 
the printing-office. 

The magical black letters were read in silence broken 
only by the stamping of the horses tethered along the street 
and worried by the flies. This is what the eager spectators 
read: 

First inning — Catalpas , 1; Galenas , 0. 

“A big round goose egg!” screamed Lew Morris, with 
delight. Then he raised a hurrah, and the small boys took 
up the yell. Horses jumped and tore at their halters and 
vagrant dogs barked madly about the street. Then there were 
smiles and even broad laughter among the devoted supporters 
of the home nine. Almost everybody looked pleased, and 
Dr. Selby, with the easy confidence of an old friend, went 
to the side of the Judge’s carriage and shook hands heartily 
with Miss Alice who was waving her parasol with a vague 
notion that it was necessary to celebrate the auspicious 
opening of the game. 

“I didn’t tell you, did I, doctor, that I dreamed, last 
night, that we had won the game ? Well, I did. Aunt 
Anstress says that dreams go by contraries and that that 


106 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


means our nine will be defeated. But I don't believe that: 
do you, doctor ? ” 

“ Well, I don’t believe in dreams, anyhow, Miss Alice, 
and so I hardly think that that counts. But we will keep 
on thinking that the boys will beat, to-day, and even if 
we are disappointed, we have yet one more chance.” 

The doctor, accepting Alice’s invitation, took a seat in the 
carriage from which advantageous point he looked over the 
gathering throng, now reinforced by arrivals from the region 
roundabout the town, for the news had gone forth that 
despatches were coming in from A1 Heaton, and every man, 
woman and child who had the least interest in the game 
(and these were many) and could leave the labors and duties 
of the day, was there to hear. 

“It looks as it did in the war, when the news from 
Shiloh and Vicksburg was coming in; doesn’t it, doctor?” 

“I don’t know about that, Alice. I was in the war, 
myself, you know; was at Port Hudson and Vicksburg. 
You were a baby then, and I believe your father was in 
Congress. Yes, I guess it does look like war times. But 
see ! There comes another bulletin! ” 

Editor Downey had rigorously excluded from his office 
all outsiders, and was devoting his personal attention to 
the all-important business of the day. With his own hands, 
he hung out the paper sheet bearing these words: 

2 d inning ,— Catalpas , 0; Galenas , 1; 3c? inning , Catalpas, 0; 
Galenas , 0. 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


107 


“Not so good as it might be,” remarked Dr. Selby, 

cheerfully, “but it will grow better, by and by.” 

A little cloud passed over the face of Alice, and she 
bit her lip with vexation as Hank Jackson bawled with 
a rough voice, “Ten to five on the Galenas!” 

“If I were a man, I’d like to take that offer,” she said, 
her eyes sparkling. 

“Oh, no, you wouldn’t, Alice,” cried her friend Ida. 

“You wouldn’t encourage gambling on base ball, I’m sure.” 

“Perhaps not; but if I were a man, I would like to 
thrash that big ruffian.” 

Better news came, after a little while. The bulletin 

for the fourth inning showed four for the Catalpas and a 
big round “ 0 ” for their opponents. At this, there was a 
general and apparently concerted hurrah from the company 
in the street below. Editor Downey, as if thinking the 
cheer a personal compliment, put his frowsy head out 

of the window and bowed with as much grace as was 

possible under the circumstances. 

“Mr. Downey’s hair looks as if he was laboring under 
great excitement,” said the apothecary, blandly smiling at 

the editor’s somewhat towseled appearance. “Every indi¬ 
vidual hair is standing on end, as if he were charged with 
electricity.” 

Alice laughed joyously and seemed glad to find some¬ 
thing under which she could cover her great elation 

at the good news from the North. Miss Ida uttered 


108 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


sarcastic remarks about the editor's exuberant comments 
in the morning paper regarding the coming contest in 
Galena. She declared that she did not think the game 

nearly as important as any one of the decisive battles of 

the war. And she was sure that The Leaf would be 

perfectly ridiculous, nex4 day, if the Catalpas were to 
win the championship. Her remarks were cut short by 
the display of another bulletin announcing the result of 
the fifth inning in these terms:— 

Hurrah for our nine! Fifth inning — Catalpas , 0 ; Ga¬ 

lenas , 0. 

“What in thunder does that mean?” asked Lew Morris, 
angrily. “Why does the numbskull tell us to hurrah for 

our nine when both sides have a zero ? ” 

A yell of derision went up from the crowd, and the 
editor, hearing groans and cat-calls in the street below, put 
out his head and, with much trepidation, cried, “It was a 
mistake. I forgot to put on the sixth inning. Catalpas, one; 
Galenas, nix! ” 

A loud laugh greeted this sally, and the crowd good- 
humoredly proposed three cheers for The Catalpa Leaf ) which 
were given in a random fashion, mingled with laughter. Mr. 
Downey, now well-smeared with ink, and perspiring with 
excitement, acknowledged the salute with gravity. 

‘ ‘ Six innings played and the Catalpas are six to the 
Galena’s one! ” exclaimed Alice, who was keeping the score 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


109 


with an assiduity that seemed to come from a belief that 
exactness in the figures would, somehow, affect the final 
result. Scraps of paper, on which observers had marked 
the score and had set down their prognostications of the 
innings yet to come, were circulated through the crowd. The 
Catalpas now had the lead, and it would be difficult for their 
adversaries to come up with them. 

Lew Morris, leaning on the door of the carriage, chatted 
with Alice, drawing on his vivid imagination for pictures of 
the nine as they were probably looking now, away up there 
in Galena. He could see, he thought, Hiram Porter de¬ 
vouring the ground as he made his bases with a giant’s 
stride, his handsome face glowing with mingled heat and 
determination. He could even hear Larry’s voice, in a stage 
whisper, crying, “Go it, Hiram!” And he could see Larry, 
at third base, when the Catalpas were in the field, making 
one of those superb running catches of his, Ben Burton 
looking on, “as if he would eat him up,” added Lewis, 
jocularly. 

“Why should Ben want to eat Larry up?” asked Dr. 
Selby, innocently. “Does he love him so?” 

“ On the contrary, quite the reverse,” laughed Lewis. 
“Larry is showing himself to be the best player in the nine, 
and as Ben thought that he was the best, and is finding out 
that he is not, he loves Larry accordingly. Besides that, he 
is jealous of Larry for other reasons,” and the young man 
fixed a bold look on the blushing face of Miss Alice. She 


no 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


turned away to see if another bulletin were not ready, and 
the doctor shook his head deprecatingly at Lewis. 

There was much time for talk, however, before another 
despatch from the seat of war appeared. The impatient 
crowd, panting in the heat that was more and more op¬ 
pressive as the sun approached the west, flung all sorts of 
appeals upwards to the windows of the office of The Leaf. 
There was no response, although Mr. Downey, as if to 
contradict Hank Jackson’s loud jeer that the editor had gone 
to sleep, showed his shaggy head at the window and made 
a negative motion with the same. There was no news. 

Finally, just as some of the less patient were beginning 
to make their way homewards, like a banner of victory, the 
sheet of paper again appeared. This time, it was blazoned 
with these returns:— 

1th inning — Catalpas , 1; Galenas, 0; 8th inning — Catalpas, 0; 
Galenas, 1. 

“An even thing for the two innings!” cried Lew Morris 
triumphantly. “The Galenas cannot possibly pull up in the 
last inning ! The game is ours ! The game is ours ! ” 

Lew’s jubilant shout was taken up by the crowd, which 
now grew denser again, and the excitement mounted to fever 
heat as the sun sank behind the cotton-woods below the 
town. Satisfied that the game and the championship were 
virtually won, some of the elder citizens, after exchanging 
congratulations with everybody that had a word of joy on 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Ill 


their lips, walked homewards. But some of them stopped 
on the road and turned a listening ear towards the main 
street to hear the rousing cheer that soon went up, telling 
the town and all the Stone River Valley that the game was 
won and that our nine had captured the pennant of Northern 
Illinois. 

A gr im y and inky young imp, on the roof of The Leaf 
building, hoisted a particularly inky and grimy flag as the 
editor hung out from his window this bulletin:— 

The victory is complete! Old Catalpa to the front! Glory 
enough for one day ! Following is the score by innings : 


128456789. total. 

Catalpas . 100401101. .8. 

Galenas. 010000011. .3. 


The Galenas will banquet the Catalpas at the Quapaw House, 
this evening , when a right royal time is expected. 

ALBERT HEATON. 

“And now for the championship of the State, dad?” shouted 
Tom Selby, exultingly, as his father descended from the carriage 
of the Judge. Alice, who was beaming with delight, could 
hardly speak her joy. The great contest was over, and the 
home nine would come back covered with glory. But she 
shook her head at Tom’s vain-glorious remark. The league 
games were all made up for the season, she knew, and it 
would be difficult, if not impossible, to secure a challenge 




112 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


from any club in the league. Oh, no, she couldn’t think of 
it. Tom must not think of it, at least, not until another 
summer. 

The good doctor smiled at the lad’s enthusiasm and said 
that glory enough for one day meant glory enough for one 
season. There were other contests before the home nine, 
and they could be content, or they should be, to wear the 
laurels already won, whatever happened to them hereafter. 
They could not lose any prestige by any manner of means. 

When Judge Howell arrived by the early evening train 
from Pawpaw, he was surprised to see the dingy flag of 
The Cataljpa Leaf drooping lazily from its staff. He had 
not forgotten that the second game in the Northern District 
Championship was to have been played that afternoon; and 
he remembered his daughter’s prediction of success. But it 
seemed incredible that this should have actually come to 
pass. As he alighted from the train, his judicial dignity a 
little soiled by travel and perspiration, he was met by Rough 
and Ready, who, with a slight touch of his ’coonskin cap, 
the only recognition of high station of which he was ever 
capable, said, “Any baggage, Jedge? carry it as cheap as 
anybody. Our nine has flaxed out the Galenas—eight to 
three! Big thing, Jedge! Lemme take that grip-sack. 
Great day for old Catalpa, Jedge. Your darter, she said as 
how she allowed that you mought like to get the news 
straight, so I told her I’d come up and tell you quick. 
Thank you, Jedge.” And, dropping a silver quarter into his 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


113 


pocket, Rough and Ready turned and collared a stranger 
from, whom he wrested his valise and marched triumphantly 
down into the town. 

When the Judge, clothed once more in the dignity of 
cleanliness and his home headship, heard that night from the 
animated lips of his daughter the story of the winning of the 
championship, he said, with an air of graceful condescension, 
“It was a famous victory, Alice. We have reason to be 

proud of our nine; and I will venture to say that when we 

get the full particulars of the game, we shall find that that 
fine-looking young fellow, Lawrence Boyne, contributed the 
largest share to the triumph.” 

When the details of the game were brought to Catalpa, 
next day, in a letter to The Leaf , it was found that the 
Judge knew just what he was talking about. 

But greater news than this came with Larry Boyne and 
Hiram Porter, a week or two later. The nine had been 
playing a few games along the river towns and had rested for 

a day or two in Rock Island, after playing the Dacotahs of 

that city. Several of the nine took advantage of a lull in their 
engagements to visit Catalpa. Mr. Heaton and Albert had 
returned home, and Larry and Hiram had gone to Chicago 
on some mysterious errand, nobody knew just what. Neddie 
Ellis was one of those who had come back to Catalpa while 
the time was passing before they should play the new series 
of games beginning with the Moline club. Neddie looked 
very wise when asked where Larry and Hiram had gone, and 


114 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Albert Heaton assumed a most important air whenever he 
said anything about the doings of the two absent members 
of the nine. 

But it all came out in due time. Captain Porter and his 
trusty lieutenant arrived by the noon train, and before the 
sun had set everybody in Catalpa knew that a match had 
been arranged between the Catalpa nine and the Calumet 
club for the State Championship. It was indeed wonderful 
news, and nothing since the war had happened to stir the 
population of that region as the intelligence. There were 
divers opinions regarding this unexpected development. Many 
thought that it was indiscreet for so young and green a 
club as the Catalpas to challenge the Calumets—the famous 
and renowned Calumets. Then there were others who thought 
that it was presumptuous for the Catalpa boys even so much 
as to ask any leading club to play them merely because a 
triumph had been unexpectedly achieved in Galena. But 
all agreed that it was a great feather in the cap of “our 
nine ” that the Chicago club should have accepted the 
challenge, or should have agreed to meet them on any 
, terms whatever. 

“I am not certain whether I am glad or sorry that our 
nine will play the Calumets, papa,” said Alice Howell. “I 
mean that I cannot tell yet whether I shall be disappointed 
if they lose. I depend a great deal on my impressions, you 
know, and I haven’t any as yet.” 

The Judge smiled at his daughter’s odd notion of waiting 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


115 


for impressions, and replied, “I do not wait for any inspi¬ 
ration on the subject, my child. I am sure that the Catalpa 
nine will be badly beaten. I don't know much about base 
ball, but I do know enough to know that the Calumet club 
has been in the newspapers for a long time as the great 
base ball club of the northwest.” 

“ That’s so, papa,” sighed Alice, “and I have dreadful 
forebodings when I think of the risk that they have under¬ 
taken.” 

“Nothing venture, nothing have, Alice, and it will be 
no disgrace if our nine are defeated by the Calumets. Unless 
they are very badly beaten indeed, and that is not improbable, 
to be sure, they will bring some new honors off the field.” 

The Judge’s conservative and moderate view of the case 
was that of the average of Catalpa. To play the Calumets 
was in itself an honor. 

Henry Jackson represented the most discouraging element 
in Catalpa public opinion. And when Ben Burton returned 
to town for a day’s holiday, and became at once unusually 
familiar with Hank, Larry’s face clouded and Alice Howell 
confidentially informed her friend Ida Boardman that she 
never could abide Ben Burton, and that now she knew 
he was a man who would consort with mean companions. 
Nothing could be lower, she thought, than the course that 
Henry Jackson had taken during the late contest between 
the Catalpas and the Galenas. 

It was only by a lucky accident that the Calumets had 


116 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB . 


been able to find a place in tbeir later engagements for a 
championship series of three games with the Catalpas. The 
sudden sickness of several members of the Osceola club, 
engaged to play the Calumets, had made it necessary to 
cancel all the engagements of the former club for the season. 
The Osceolas had been overtaken by a contagious disease that 
had made sad havoc that summer, as many will remember, 
among strangers who visited the lower portion of the State, 
which had been under water from late in February until the 
beginning of May. But the ill-luck of the Osceola club was 
the means of opening a way for the Catalpas to play the 
Calumets; and that was felt to be something almost providential 
—at least, in the town of Catalpa. 


CHAPTER XI. 


IN A NEW FIELD. 

“ WISH so many of the Catalpa folks had not come in 
J- to see the game, to-day,” said Larry Boyne, discon¬ 
tentedly, on the morning of the first of the championship series 
of games in Chicago, late in the following October. “It is 
bad enough to feel like a cat in a strange garret as I do 
here, without the feeling added of being watched by our 
friends from home, who will be so awfully cut up if we 
do not win.” 

“But you are not afraid of our losing, are you, Larry? 
And I am sure there is one young lady, at least, whose smiles 
will encourage you,” said Hiram Porter, with a grin that was 
meant to be sly and also cheery. “It is pretty generally 
understood among the boys (and as long as we are alone 
together, there is no need of our being shamefaced about it) 
that you and Miss Alice have come to an understanding, as 
the saying is. You needn’t say whether that is so or not, 
Larry, my boy. But, if I were in your place, I would be 
glad to have those beautiful and sympathetic eyes watching 


118 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


my play. It would make me put in my very best licks, 
you may be sure of that.” 

Larry murmured something about there being a difference 
in people, and turned the subject to the preparations to be 
made for the day’s event. The Catalpas had had only a 
little opportunity to make themselves familiar with the Chicago 
base ball grounds. At the end of a game played on the 
previous day, they had a little practice at pitching, and had 
taken in the situation of the arena sufficiently to enable them 
to be not entirely strangers to the place. 

They found themselves inside of a complete enclosure, 
skirted by a grand stand at one end and uncovered and 
open seats at the other. A high board fence bounded the 
grassy lawn on which the Diamond Field was laid, and the 
seats for spectators rose above this fence, so that the players 
were securely left to their own devices while the game should 
be in progress, A breeze from the lake, tempered by the Octo¬ 
ber sun, swept over the grounds, and was broken, when the 
wind arose, by the screen formed by the board enclosure. 

When the nine, with beating hearts and quickened pulses, 
entered the grounds on the day so fraught with importance 
to them, they were a little dumbfounded to see that an 
immense crowd of people, perhaps ten thousand, all told, 
occupied the vast array of seats that lined the amphitheater. 
A brass band blared and brayed in a tall stand set apart for 
them, and the entrance of the Catalpa nine was the signal 
for a burst of kindly applause that helped to reassure the 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


119 


lads composing that now well-known club. Since the matches 
played in the river towns, the nine had met some of the best- 
known clubs in the State, and in Iowa. With varying success, 
but generally doing credit to their own native place, the Catal- 
pas had attracted attention by their uniformly excellent play, 
their manly bearing, and by their steady habits. They had 
made no enemies. So, when the young fellows, clad in their 
blue and white uniform, came into the range of vision of the 
throngs in the grand stand and boxes, a round of applause 
greeted them, and one enthusiastic citizen from Catalpa, no 
less a person than the deputy sheriff of Dean County, 
ventured to propose three cheers for the Catalpa nine. The 
proposition fell very flat, and, covered with confusion, the 
deputy sheriff sat down and mopped his manly brow. 

As Hiram Porter threw up the penny for the toss, Larry’s 
eye involuntarily sought a curtained box to which his 
attention had been directed, the day before, as he had 
inspected the grounds in company with Miss Ida Boardman, 
Miss Alice Howell and two other ladies from Catalpa. 
The party was under the guidance of Mr. Heaton. Albert 
was never long in one place. He was too highly excited to. 
be depended upon as an escort for the young ladies, and 
he divided his time between his old companions of the 
Catalpa nine and the pitcher of the Calumets, Samuel Morse, 
an old school chum, who had helped signally in arranging 
the present contest. 

So, as Larry’s glance lighted on the first box to the right 


120 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


of the grand stand, it caught an answering smile from Miss 
Alice, and Albert Heaton, who was momentarily fluttering 
about the box, waved his hand to the favorite third base man 
of the Catalpas and said, under his breath, “Sail in, old boy!” 

“You don’t imagine that Mr. Boyne heard that, do you, in 
all this noise?” asked Alice, with rosy face and sparkling eyes. 

“No, I don’t suppose that Larry heard or saw anything 
but what he saw and guessed at in that telegraphic look of 
yours, Miss Ally,” replied Albert, mockingly. “Larry, the 
dear boy, knows well enough what I would be saying to him; 
and I hope he knows what you would be telegraphing him 
by way of encouragement. Hurrah! Hiram has won the 
toss! He’ll send the Calumets to the bat, see if he don’t.” 

Albert was right. The home club were sent to the bat, 
and Thomas Walsh, of the Black Hawks, took his place as 
umpire. This was the order in which the two clubs were 
named and stationed on that eventful day:— 


Catalpas. 

Larry Boyne, 3d B. 

Samuel Morrison, L. F. 
Neddie Ellis, C. F. 

Charlie King, P. 

Hart Stirling, 2d B. 

John Brubaker, R. F. 
Hiram Porter, 1st B. (Capt.) 
Ben Burton, S. S. 

Wm. Yan Orman, C. 


Calumets. 

Darius Ayres, 1st B. (Capt.) 
Samuel Morse, P. 

John Handy, 3d B. 

Rob Peabody, R. F. 

Thomas Shoff, C. F. 

Glenn Otto, S. S. 

James Kennedy, 2d B. 
Charlie Webb, C. 

James McWilliams, L. F. 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


121 


The Catalpa boys thought there should have been 
breathless silence in the enclosure as Hiram Porter, having 
carefully placed his men, called to the umpire “play!” 
Play was accordingly called, but there was silence, by no 
means, in the grounds. The clatter of late comers reach¬ 
ing their seats, the buzz of conversation that yet arose 
from the crowds in the amphitheater, and the cry of boys 
selling score-cards disturbed the serenity of the ardent 
champions of the Catalpa Nine. They wondered why people 
should talk when so momentous a game was about opening. 
And Alice, with a feverish sigh of impatience, said to Miss 
Ida that she should think that the Chicago people had 
very little manners. Whereupon Miss Anstress, with great 
severity, said that the spectators were not so much in love 
with the players that they cared a pin whether either side 
won. This unkind remark was turned aside by Mr. Heaton 
who said that there were not a few among the on-lookers 
who had bet money in the gambling rooms outside and who 
did care very much which side won the game. 

All this talk was brought to an end when Darius Ayres, 
the captain of the Calumets, stood up at the bat and made 
ready for the first play. Darius was a tall and shapely 
young fellow, renowned for his long-field hits, and a swift 
runner. He had an evil look in his eyes, as some of the 
Catalpa visitors thought, and when he struck a straight 
ball, like a cannon shot, to right field, there was a little 
shudder in one of the private boxes. But John Brubaker, 


122 


OUB BASE BALL CLUB. 


always alert, captured it on a hard run. This put the 
Catalpas in good spirits at once. The game had opened 
well for them. “Two good signs, Alice,” said Ida Boardman. 
“Won the toss and caught out the first man!” 

John’s clever catch did not pass unnoticed, for the 
numerous supporters of the Catalpas raised a little cheer 
which was taken up and continued around the enclosure 
as Sam Morse went to the bat for the home club. But 
Samuel fared no better than his captain, and retired on a 
short and easy fly to Ben Burton. The first half of the 
inning was ended by John Handy, who hit a hot grounder 
to Larry Boyne at third base. Larry mastered it in fine 
style and made a lightning throw to Hiram Porter on first 
base. The eyes of the visitors and their friends fairly 
sparkled as the Catalpas came in from the field. They had 
made a good beginning. 

But no sooner had the nine reached the players’ bench 
than Ben Burton began to criticise the manner in which 
honest John Brubaker had been rewarded for capturing 
what Ben was pleased to call “a two-old-cat fly.” Larry, 
politely requesting Burton to be civil, picked up his bat 
and faced the pitching of the renowned Sam Morse. He 
made two ineffectual plunges at the ball, and, while the 
catcher of the Calumets was adjusting his mask so as to 
enable him to come up closer to the player, Larry stole a 
glance at his comrades and was mortified and annoyed to 
see a derisive smile on the blonde face of Ben Burton, while 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


123 


the other seven occupants of the bench wore an uneasy 
expression. Ben Burton was evidently making them un¬ 
comfortable. Larry moistened his hands, and, carefully 
guaging one of Morse’s favorite inshoots, hit the ball with 
all his might. The flying sphere went swiftly into the left 
field and yielded the stalwart third base man of the Catalpas 
two bases. Alice involuntarily clapped her hands, happily 
unmindful of the sour looks of her observant aunt. 

Sam Morrison next stood up before the redoubtable Morse, 
and hit an easy grounder to Glenn Otto, at short stop, and 
Samuel was retired at first base. His shot, however, 
advanced Larry to third base, and Neddie Ellis took up the 
bat. But Neddie could not yet understand the puzzling curves 
of the Calumet’s pitcher, and, having wildly struck the air 
three times, went out. This made two out for the Catalpas, 
with Larry Boyne anxiously waiting on the third base. Not 
long did he wait, however, for Charlie King, long of limb and 
keen of eye, came to the bat with great expectations on the 
part of the sons of Catalpa. Charlie thought favorably of 
the first ball pitched at him by Morse and he sent it flying 
to the center field for one base, and allowed Larry to come 
home amidst a little round of applause from the Catalpa section 
of the spectators. During the cheer that greeted the success¬ 
ful play, Charlie attempted to steal to second base but was 
thrown out by Billy Webb, and the ardor of the spirits of 
Catalpa was consequently soon dampened. 

The Calumets now went to work with a will at the begin- 


124 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


ning of their second inning, and, after receiving some hints 
from Jamie Kennedy, who assumed to know a little about the 
mysteries of King’s curves, Robert Peabody, the Calumet’s 
right fielder, a Michigan University man and a famous athlete, 
handled the bat and called for a low ball from the pitcher of 
the Catalpas. This was delivered, but not where Rob had 
asked for it, and he politely refused to strike at it, muttering 
to Captain Darius, “ I won’t strike until I get one just knee- 
high.” Charlie King overheard this little byplay and continued 
to put the ball in the vicinity of Peabody’s shoulder until the 
umpire called “six balls.” It was now about time for King to 
give the Chicago player a good ball, but Peabody could not be 
tempted to strike at it, after being ordered by his captain to 
try and take his base on called balls. The result was that 
tricky Charlie King delivered three balls in rapid succession 
just where the dissatisfied right fielder of the Calumets had 
requested them, and the umpire called, “ One strike ! ” “Two 
strikes!” “Three strikes!” “Striker out!” 

The ashen stick was then taken up by Tom Shoff, who 
sent the ball in the direction of Ren Burton at short stop, 
and who fumbled it, dropping it several times as if it were a 
hot potato, allowing Tom to reach first base in safety. Next, 
Glenn Otto hit a ball to Hiram Porter who fielded it handsomely, 
putting out the striker but allowing Shoff to go to second 
base. While Jamie Kennedy was at the bat, a passed ball 
allowed Shoff to complete three quarters of his homeward 
journey. With two out and a man on third base, Captain 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


125 


Porter naturally felt alarmed. He cautioned his men to be 
cool and careful, “ especially cool,” he added. After two strikes 
were called on Kennedy, he solved one of Charlie King’s in¬ 
shoots and, to the delight of the Chicago onlookers, sent the 
hall rolling in center field while Shoff sped swiftly home¬ 
wards; and the score stood 1 and 1. The Calumet’s half of the 
inning was ended by the retiring of Webb on a foul fly to 
“The Lily,” as Bill Yan Orman was now universally called. 
The Catalpa boys were not disheartened; they had confidence 
in each other, and they went to work again with a deter¬ 
mination to try and recover what they had lost. In the 
second inning, however, they found themselves unsuccessful. 
Hart Stirling was fielded out at first base by Jamie Kennedy; 
John Brubaker, following him, met with the same fate, being 
thrown out at first by Glenn Otto; and Hiram Porter ended 
the inning by hitting a sky-scraper to James McWilliams at 
left field. 

There was intense depression in the Catalpa section and 
among the nine of that famous town; only the face of Larry 
Boyne still bore any semblance of contentment. Larry smiled 
with his attempt to infuse a little more hopefulness into the 
Catalpa bosom. And looking to the box where Mr. Heaton’s 
tall white hat towered conspicuously, he caught an answering 
smile from the young lady who carried a blue parasol. 

The score now stood even at even innings, and the faces 
of the Chicago players wore a broad smile of complacency 
in place of the gloomy look that had previously been their 


126 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


characteristic expression. Full of confidence, James McWilliams 
picked out his favorite bat and faced “Tricky Charlie,” as they 
had already dubbed the pitcher of the visitors. King was 
determined to retire this particular player, as “Mac” had 
often expressed a desire to “take the conceit out of that chap 
from Catalpa.” Charlie did some of his fine work for the 
occasion and his friend McWilliams threw down his bat in dis¬ 
gust, after hearing the third strike called by the umpire; and 
Captain Darius Ayres, with a look of vengeful determination, 
took the place vacated by his club mate. He hit a sharp 
grounder between first and second bases and reached the 
first bag. At this point of the game, the boys from Catalpa 
had lost some of the hope that they had cherished at the 
beginning of the contest; and they were not cheered in the 
least by a sarcastic smile that adorned the face of their short 

stop, Ben Burton, who appeared to be almost glad that 

the chances of his own club were diminishing, instead of 
increasing. 

Even from her distant point of vantage, Alice Howell, 
scanning Ben’s sour face through her field glass, saw with 
uneasiness that forbidding look and said, in a tragic whisper 
to her companion, “Ida, if that scamp could throw the game, 
I believe he is mean enough to do it.” 

Sam Morse made a base hit to the right field, and Ayres 
went safely home to third base, while Morse stole to second 
base. With second and third bases occupied and but one 
man out, the Catalpas did not feel in jovial mood, and 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


127 


the deputy sheriff of Dean County looked around upon 
the bright faces of the local spectators with the air of one 
who is indignant at an outrage which he is powerless to 
abate. 

The next man to the bat was John Handy, who had the 
reputation of being “a slugger,” and as he called out in a 
stern voice, “ Give me a low ball, and I’ll knock it’s cover 
off,” some of the excitable players quaked in their shoes; but 
Hiram Porter quieted his men by saying, in a low tone of voice, 
“ Keep cool, fellows! keep cool and we will double them up 
yet! ” Handy hit the ball, the first that was delivered him, 
and it went like a rocket to Larry Boyne at third base. 
That young gentleman was ready to receive it, and by 
making a difficult one-hand catch, he succeeded in making a 
double play as Ayres had vacated third base without once 
dreaming that Larry would be able to capture the ball. 

Ben Burton came now to the bat for the Catalpas, in 
this inning; but Ben had not established a very good 
reputation as a batsman, and his speedy retiring on a foul 
ball excited no remark. “The Lily” took his place at the 
bat and at once gave evidence of his prowess by hitting the 
ball for two bases which he made with neatness and despatch. 
Larry Boyne followed him and gently tipped the sphere for 
a single base-hit, without ado, whereat “The Lily” slipped to 
third base. The spectators eyed Sam Morrison as he swung 
his bat over his shoulder and strode to the home plate. Sam 
was a stocky, well-built young fellow, with a well-shaped 


128 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


head and shoulders, and a fine pair of very long arms. He 
was anxious to do something to send up the score of the 
Catalpas, but he sent up nothing hut a small fly to Morse, 
and he was at once succeeded by Neddie Ellis, the rather 
diminutive center fielder of the Catalpa Nine. Neddie owed 
the club three base hits, as he thought, and was falling behind 
in his batting record as the season had advanced. He moistened 
his hands and, with the avowed intention of losing the ball, 
he made a plunge, and, as A1 Heaton from his perch remarked, 
41 hit the ball on the nose ” and sent it flying over the center 
fielder’s head. After Larry and “The Lily” had cleared the 
home plate, Neddie tried his best to make a home run. 
Tommy Shoff, however, handled the ball in clever fashion, 
and by fielding it quickly, caught Neddie at the home plate, 
ending the inning and making the score three to one in 
favor of the Catalpas. 

A murmur of applause, mingled with the little buzz which 
always follows the close of an inning, like a sigh of relief, 
went around as the Catalpas went to the field with light 
hearts. Two or three of the baser sort of the gambling on¬ 
lookers jeered the visitors with derisive remarks, but this indis¬ 
cretion was speedily suppressed. “ Fair play for the visitors ” 
was the watchword of the day. The Catalpa boys disposed 
of their opponents at the opening of the fourth inning without 
allowing them to send a man around the circuit. In fact, 
not a player of the Calumet club reached first base in safety 
during this inning. Rob Peabody secured first base on called 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


129 


balls, and was followed at the bat by Shoff who hit a grounder 
to Hart Stirling, at second base, and who delivered the ball 
in fine style to his captain on first base, after making a neat 
pick-up. Grlenn Otto managed, by great craftiness, to send 
the ball outside of the diamond with tremendous force, but 
he lifted it too high and he fell a victim to Sam Morrison’s 
alertness in the left field. 

Jamie Kennedy, who succeeded at the bat, also gave the 
ball a tremendous whack, but he, too, lifted it too high, and 
Neddie Ellis, in center field, captured it without serious 
difficulty. The Catalpa club, in this inning, was obliged to be 
contented with a zero, and Ben Burton’s face was a puzzling 
study to Alice Howell and her friend Ida, who scanned the 
unconscious Benjamin through their glass, as if his tell-tale 
countenance were an indicator of the progress of the game. 
This time, they could not make out whether the Catalpa 
short stop was pleased by the ill fortune of his own club, 
or dismayed by the advancing prospects of the Chicago boys. 
They gave up the riddle with disgust. 

There was yet no real occasion for dismay, although there 
was when Charlie King began the work of going out by 
hitting a slow ball to Darius Ayres at first base, and Hart 
Stirling followed his example by a foul tip to Charlie Webb. 
John Brubaker, “ Honest John,” as he was called, _ hit the 
ball with all his might and had covered half the circuit before 
he realized that the sphere had gone outside of the foul flags. 
He made a second attempt, however, and was retired without 


130 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


hitting the hall, Sam Morse’s out-curves being more intricate 
than anything that he had yet encountered. Honest John’s 
inglorious withdrawal closed the inning. 

The Calumets sent Webb first to the bat at the opening 
of the next inning, but Charlie was not fortunate. He 
hit the ball several times, and it went high in air, and 
escaped the vigilance of the Catalpas. But Webb sent up 
one foul too many and the watchful and agile Larry Boyne 
captured it, after a hard run. James McWilliams for the 
second time faced Charlie King’s pitching, and as he left his 
seat, said, “Boy’s, I’ll eat clover for a week if J don’t hit him 
safely this time.” Mac had fire in his eye, and his look and 
his remark did not escape the attention of Charlie King, who, 
turning to his captain, slyly promised to give the Chicago 
man an opportunity to make good his promise. King kept 
his word, and, by cunning pitching, retired McWilliams on 
strikes after six balls were charged against him. 

Captain Darius Ayres hit safely to the left field, but it 
was too late, as Sam Morse ruined all chances of the scoring 
of the Calumets by sending a fly which was neatly caught by 
Hart Stirling at second base. The Catalpas also failed to 
add any runs to their score in the fifth inning. At this 
point, Sam Morse was pitching in admirable style and it was 
with difficulty that the visitors could hit the ball at all. 
Morse had a very effectual out-curve, and he had made 
good use of it during the last two innings. 

Captain Hiram Porter went to the bat with some of the 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


131 


confidence that he had tried to inspire in the breasts of his 
comrades, but he failed to accomplish his dearest desire, and 
went out on the strikes successively called by the umpire. He 
was followed by Ben Burton, who walked up to the batsman’s 
position with a lazy and indifferent manner, hit the ball in an 
off-hand fashion, and had the pleasure of seeing it fielded by 
Glenn Otto, and was retired at first base. Here “The Lily” 
made a desperate attempt to achieve a home run, and he 
probably would have been successful if he had hit the ball 
far enough into the out-field, judging from the manner in 
which he “sprinted” to first base on a slow ball which w r as 
readily fielded by Jamie Kennedy. 

“This is our lucky inning,” said Captain Ayres to John 
Handy, as the latter started to face the pitching of Charlie 
King in the sixth inning. “Here, take my bat for luck,” he 
added, “ and see if you can’t use it to advantage.” Handy 
accepted the offer of the captain’s club and used it with good 
effect. He called for a high ball, caught King off his guard 
as he struck, and so secured a good hit on the very first 
ball, and made first base. Rob Peabody followed and hit a 
liner to Neddie Ellis who misjudged the distance, and the ball 
went over his head and allowed Rob to make two bases, 
while Handy got safely home. This put the figures three 
to two in favor of the Catalpas and seemed to inspire the 
Calumets with new confidence, their captain remarking with 
glee, “I told you this was our lucky inning.” 

Right here, however, Tommy Shoff went out on a fly to 


132 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Larry Boyne, and “The Lily 77 caught a sharp foul tip from 
the hat of Grlenn Otto, which left Peabody on second base 
and two men out. The prospects of the home nine were not 
brightening. 

Next to the bat came Jamie Kennedy, who tried his best 
to make a short right field hit that should send his colleague 
safely home, as Peabody was a good base runner and needed 
only “half a chance 77 to make a home run. Jamie hit the 
ball in the right direction, but his blow was a trifle too hard 
and the ball was cleverly caught by John Brubaker at right 
field, and this left the game still three to two in favor of the 
Catalpas. The latter did not, however, feel safe with so small 
a lead, and they thought it prudent to send several more 
men around the circuit of the bases, if possible. Larry 
Boyne was the first man to the bat for the Catalpas in the 
sixth inning, and he secured his base on called balls, but fell 
before Charlie Webb’s throwing, while trying to steal to the 
second bag. Sam Morrison struck out, and Neddie Ellis 
ended the inning by sending up a sky-scraper which was 
nicely nipped, just in the nick of time, apparently, by Rob 
Peabody. 

In the seventh inning, both clubs failed to score. Webb 
hit a ball in the direction of Ben Burton who made an over¬ 
throw to first base. McWilliams followed and hit a short 
one to Hart Stirling at second base, who, with the aid of 
Hiram Porter, made a very pretty double play. Darius 
Ayres secured his base on called balls, stole to second base, 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


133 


but was left there, as Sam Morse retired on strikes. Not one 
of the Catalpa players reached first base. Charlie King and 
Hart Stirling both went out on flies, the former to Tom 
Shoff and the latter to Glenn Otto. John Brubaker failed to 
hit the ball and was consequently called out on strikes. 

"The Calumets have everything to gain and nothing to 
lose,” remarked Mr. Heaton, sagely, as he regarded the field 
from the box from which the little party of interested 
Catalpans overlooked the beautiful scene below. The 
yellow sun, now declining westward, tinted the woodwork 
of the stands and enclosures with a golden hue. and a breeze 
from the lake flaunted the many-colored flags that adorned 
the structure. The yellow light only intensified the brilliant 
greenness of the lawn, on which the Diamond Field was laid, 
and the brilliant costumes of the players were tricked out with 
a new and strange luster as the sunshine rained down through 
veiling mists. But the absorbed spectators, as well as the 
intensely engrossed players in the field below, had no eyes 
for the picture. Every eye was fixed on John Handy, 
as he went to the bat for the Calumets. It was felt that 
they would take desperate chances. On the next few plays 
might turn the issue of the game. Silence as complete as if 
there was not a soul in the vast enclosure reigned as Handy 
took his place at the bat. 

He placed the ball safely in the center field and was 
followed by Peabody who also gained a single hit, sending the 
ball into the left field. The next ball was hit to Ben Burton 


134 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


by Shoff. Ben was unable to handle the ball properly, and 
Hart Stirling came to his rescue and as Ben dropped it out 
of his hands, Stirling picked it up and sent it to first base 
in time to head off Shoff. At this point in the game, only 
one man was out and the second and third bases were 
occupied. A trifling error would tie the game. A single 
base hit would give the Calumets the lead. The attention 
with which the play was now regarded from the seats was 
something almost painful in its tenseness. 

Glenn Otto stood before Charlie King’s pitching with 
a look of resolution and defiance. He had been ordered not 
to strike at a ball until it was put where he asked for it, 
and to take the chances of the catcher of the Catalpas hav¬ 
ing a passed ball charged to him. In this little scheme there 
was one error. King very well knew the purpose of his 
opponent, and he managed his own points so well that, 
before Otto could realize what was about to happen, King 
had him out on strikes. 

Jamie Kennedy was the next man to fall before the 
destructive tactics now followed by the Catalpas. Jamie 
hit a sharp ball to Larry Boyne, who, with characteristic 
skill, retired him at first base. This clever bit of play took 
a load from the hearts of the Catalpas, and, in the excitement 
of the moment, Deputy Sheriff Wheeler ejaculated “ Gosh all 
hemlock! ” whereupon everybody in that region laughed, as 
if glad of a pretext to slacken their attention from the play 
for an instant. 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


135 


But the riveted intentness of the spectators was at once 
resumed as the boys of Catalpa went to the bat in the 
eighth inning, and succeeded in placing another run to their 
credit. Hiram Porter hit to Kennedy at second base, and 
was retired at first base. Ben Burton followed his example 
and “The Lily” finally secured the home run which he had 
been looking for ever since he had left Catalpa. “The Lily” 
had many strong points, but base-running was not one 
of them. He had two strikes called on the first two balls 
pitched, and then made ready for the third, and, as the ball 
curved in, he stepped backwards a few inches and hit it with 
all his might, which was a great deal, for “The Lily” was a 
man of brawn and muscle. The ball flew over the center 
fielder’s head like a rifle-shot and Bill covered the entire 
circuit with ease, winning an irrepressible and resounding 
burst of applause from the multitudes that crowded the 
amphitheater. 

“Splendid, Bill! perfectly splendid!” cried Alice Howell, 
wholly oblivious of the fact that there were other people than 
herself in the circle about her. Mr. Heaton looked around 
with admiration at the impulsive girl, while the dignified 
maiden aunt glanced into the next box to see if anybody had 
caught the words of her erratic ward and niece. While this 
little byplay went on, Alice’s eyes were fixed on Larry 
Boyne who ended the eighth inning by sending a fly ball to 
McWilliams and so going out. 

The score now stood four to two in favor of the Catalpas. 


136 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


To his infinite chagrin, Captain Ayres saw defeat staring him 
in the face. Hastily calling his men about him, he held a 
hurried consultation, as they came in from the field. He 
said, 

“ Boys, we must take all the chances this time. They 
lead us two runs, and, in order at least to tie them, you 
must trust to errors, and, above all things, do not hug the 
bases.” 

Captain Darius was right in this particular, and the men 
obeyed his instructions to the letter in regard to hugging 
the bases; but it was impossible for them to show any sign 
of insubordination, as not a man went beyond the first base. 
Every member of the Calumet club was retired as fast as he 
went to the bat. Charlie Webb gayly faced “tricky Charlie,” 
and hit the first ball pitched. It went sailing out of the 
Diamond and into the hands of Sam Morrison. The second 
victim was McWilliams who failed to take down the pride 
of King, as he had promised himself that he would; and 
Charlie felt prouder than ever as he sent his formidable 
antagonist to the players’ bench, put out on strikes. 

Darius Ayres made several ineffectual attempts to hit the 
sphere, and at last struck the ball fairly, but Larry Boyne 
was prepared for its coming his way. Running backwards, 
with his eye fixed on the little black speck that dropped 
out of the clouds with lightning-like swiftness, Larry moved 
over the turf without seeming to move. Ida Boardman so 
far forgot herself as to cry out, at this critical juncture, “ Catch 


IDA BOARDMAN SO FAR FORGOT HERSELF AS TO CRY OUT AT THIS CRITICAL JUNCTUR 
‘CATCH IT! CATCH IT ! ’’’—Page 136. 






































OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


137 


it! catch it! ” The sphere fell into Larry’s hardened hand 
with a resounding thud, and with a fervent ‘ ‘ Heaven bless 
you! ” the young lady sunk back into her seat, while a pro¬ 
digious cheer, frightening to flight the sparrows that twittered 
on the edges of the structure, and faintly heard far out by 
sailors on the lake, proclaimed the contest ended with 
a famous victory for the Catalpa Nine. 

The band broke forth into a paean of triumph, and while 
the majority of the spectators began to shuffle out with eager 
haste, a few, other than the delighted visitors from Catalpa, 
remained to gaze with undisguised admiration on the stalwart 
and handsome young fellows who had so unexpectedly won 
the day. 

The two captains, as the game was concluded, advanced 
towards each other with outstretched hands. 

“ Your men are capital players,” said Hiram Porter, a 
glow suffusing his cheek, “and I consider it a great honor 
to have defeated them.” 

“Aye, aye,” said Captain Ayres, not without a wince. “It 
is a little hard for our boys to be defeated after playing a 
game without errors; but your victory was due to lucky batting, 
and it does not signify that 3 mm* men are the better players. 
We will try and turn the tables to-morrow.” 

The visitors gave three cheers and a tiger for their 
opponents, and then retired from the field. It would be 
useless to attempt to describe the thrill and the suppressed 
exultation with which they read on the bulletin boards of 


138 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


the city newspaper offices, as they went to their lodgings, 
the following score:— 

123456789 

Calumets. 01000100 0=2. 

Catalpas. 10200001 0=4. 

Runs earned — Calumets, 0; Catalpas, 4. 

Base hits — “ 5, “ 6. 

Errors — “ 0, “ 3. 

Umpire , Mr. Thomas Walsh. 

Time of game , two and a half hours. 




CHAPTER XII. 


AFTEE THE VICTOEY. 

T HE boss says he would be obliged to you if you would 
make less noise.” 

It was a tall and red-faced young man who brought this 
message to the Catalpa Nine, as they were gathered in the 
room of Captain Hiram Porter, in their lodging-house, after 
the great match game. A1 Heaton had hurried to join the 
boys, as soon as he had sent to Catalpa his despatch announcing 
the result of the contest in the most glowing terms consistent 
with the rate of telegraph tolls and the needed conciseness of a 
despatch. All hands were in that flow of animal spirits that 
might have been expected from nearly a dozen young fellows 
who are elated over a great victory and who have laboriously 
repressed their jubilation until they are alone. 

“There! I told you, boys, that your skylarking would 
bring up the landlord. Oh, I say, Neddie, quit your fooling. 
You can’t throw ‘The Lily,’ if you try all night; and we are 
making such a racket that the whole house is disturbed.” This 
was Captain Porter’s admonition. 


140 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


“ Besides,” said Larry Boyne, who was panting with the 
unwonted exertion of boosting Charlie King over the headboard 
of the bedstead, where Charlie was determined he would not 
go, “ besides all that, it’s time for you and me, Hi, to get ready 
to go out to dinner.” 

“Where are you two fellows going to dinner?” demanded 
half a dozen voices at once. “Are you going to throw off 
on us in that way ? ” 

Captain Hiram explained that he and Larry had accepted 
an invitation to take dinner with Judge Morris, with whose 
family Mr. Heaton and Albert were staying during the 
progress of the games in Chicago. The Morrises, he added, 
lived on the north side of the river, and he and Larry 
should be ready to start, instead of “cutting up” to show 
how tickled they were with their recent victory. 

“But ’twas a famous victory,” quoted Larry, “for all 
that, and I would just as soon stay with the boys and 
celebrate it as go out to dine with Judge Morris, who, 
they say, is a heavy swell.” 

“I happen to know that Miss Alice Howell and her friend 
Miss Ida are stopping with the Morrises, Larry,” said Ben 
Burton, with an unpleasant leer, “and you and Hiram will 
be in clover; so you can afford to shake us until the next 
game.” 

Larry grew very red in the face at this, and there was 
a dangerous gleam in Hiram Porter’s eye as he noted the 
ill-natured scowl on Burton’s countenance. He restrained 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


141 


himself, however, and said, “Why do you continually harp 
on the Judge’s daughter, Ben? The young lady is from our 
own town, and she is more interested in the success of the 
Catalpas than some of its members, I reckon; at least, I 
think so, judging from appearances.” 

“What do you mean by that,. Hi Porter?” demanded 
Ben, hotly. “You have insinuated that sort of thing too 
many times in my hearing. And I want you to understand 
that you can’t put on any captain’s airs over me, now that 
we are off the field. I am my own master for to-night 
anyway.” 

“Come, come, boys,” interposed Larry, soothingly. “Don’t 
let us mar the enjoyment of this evening by lugging in any 
old quarrels or little differences. We shall all have to pull 
together to-morrow, if we are to beat the Calumets. They 
are going to give us a stiff brush, and you may depend on 
that. Come, Hiram, let’s be off.” 

Burton said something, sullenly and indistinctly, about the 
certainty of the defeat of the Catalpas, to-morrow, which 
caught the ear of “The Lily,” who, still puffing with the 
effects of his tussle with Neddie Ellis, was regarding the 
malcontent Ben with an expression of wonder on his 
good-natured face. He slowly dropped out a few words of 
comment, in his usual fashion, upon Burton’s unfriendly atti¬ 
tude and then added: 

“I say, I wonder why you don’t give up playing base 
ball, since you find so little fun in it. ’Pears to me you are 


142 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


all the time out ’o sorts—like. You don’t enjoy good health, 
Ben, and that’s what is the matter along of you. Now, why 
do you think that the Calumets are going to get away with 
us, to-morrow ? ” 

But before Ben could form a reply and cover the confusion 
that crept over his face, Neddie Ellis, who was the universal 
favorite of the club, broke in with, “Oh, I say, boys, do you 
know what these Chicago people call us? why they call us 
‘The Cats.’ That’s short for Catalpas, I suppose. We ought 
to call the Calumets ‘The Cads,’ and I guess that would be 
getting even.” 

Under cover of the laugh which this sally raised, Hiram, 
Larry, and young Heaton departed to fulfil their engagement 
on the north side, Ben Burton looking after them with a 
darkened countenance. 

“Ben is angry because he is not invited to Judge 
Morris’s,” said Larry, as the three young fellows stepped 
lightly off in search of a street car. “He has a jeal¬ 
ous temper, and the least thing that looks like a slight 
sets him off.” 

“Well,” said Albert, “Alice said that the Judge would 
have liked to have invited the whole nine, if he had had 
room to entertain them properly; but he hadn’t, and so 
he invited only those with whom the governor was most 
acquainted.’’ 

“To say nothing of Miss Alice?” added Hiram, slyly. 

Albert admitted that Miss Alice’s wishes were consulted 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


143 


in the matter, and that it was only natural that she, being 
a visitor, should indicate her preferences in the matter. 

“What does it signify, anyhow?” said Larry, a little 
impatiently. “It seems to me that Ben Burton is ready to 
fly out at the least provocation. I almost wish we had never 
thought of going over to Judge Morris’s. I am sure I have 
tried my level best to keep the peace with Ben, but he seems 
to grow more and more cantankerous every day. To think 
of raising a breeze over such a trifle as this of our going 
out to dinner without him! It makes me ashamed of my 
companionship with him.” 

The conversation was stopped by their entering a street 
car where they were entertained by the audible comments 
of the passengers on the wonderful game that had been 
played that afternoon. Base ball in Chicago is one of the 
favorite pastimes of the people. But there was so much 
of the element of unexpectedness in the result of that day’s 
game that it set the tongues of everybody to wagging. 
Unknown and in silence, the champions of the Catalpa Nine 
heard themselves and their playing discussed with great 
freedom and animation. The general verdict was that 
“The Cats” would, next day, receive their reward in the 
shape of a “basket of goose eggs” with which they would 
depart for home, sadder and wiser for their visit. 

“What do you think of that for an opinion, Larry?” 
asked Hiram, laughingly, as they alighted from the car, one 
block from their destination. “What do you think of 


144 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


the woman in the corner who said that the Calumets were 
only encouraging us on to our defeat ? ” 

Larry replied that that was precisely what Ben Burton 
thought, and Hiram ejaculated, “ Oh, he does, does he ? 
Then it seems that our short stop and our adversaries, or 
the friends of our adversaries, agree as to what is going to 
happen to-morrow.” 

“Perhaps they are right,” said Albert, cheerily. “But 
here we are,” and stopping before a handsome house, he 
darted up the steps and rang the door bell. 

While the lads waited for admission, Larry turned and 
looked westward, with wistful eyes, and said, 

“I wonder how they are taking the news in Catalpa, 
about now?” 

Albert’s reply that they were probably having a jollifica¬ 
tion really described what was at that moment taking place. 
Tom Selby was the happy recipient of early telegrams from 
Larry, and the editor of The Leaf sustained his reputation by 
putting out bulletins from A1 Heaton and his father, at 
frequent intervals during the progress of the game. The 
excitement waxed high as the contest proceeded, and 
when the final result was reached, the town was fairly mad 
with joy. The event had eclipsed everything of the kind 
that had happened during the season. Every man who had 
a flag hung it out to the breeze. Jedediah Yan Orman, 
“The Lily’s” father, took up a collection from the willing 
shopkeepers and bought a supply of powder, with which he 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


145 


proceeded to fire a salute from four anvils, the only 
artillery then accessible in the town. Victory brooded over 
Catalpa, and in every house as the red sun went down, 
that night, there was but one theme of conversation—base 
ball. 


CHAPTER XIII. 


PRIDE HAS A FALL. 

F OG and dampness covered the city of Chicago, next day, 
when the Catalpa nine, shivering in the chilly air, 
loitered the time away before the hour came for their little 
preliminary practice in the base ball grounds. Somebody 
said, while Captain Hiram was marshalling his men, that 
the day was a bad one for Catalpa. At this Larry laughed 
heartily. “As if,” he said, “the gloom of a foggy day was not 
just as ominous for the Chicago boys as for the Catalpas.” 

“Oh they are used to it,” said Ben Burton, gruffly. 
Soon after, when the hour for play had arrived, Ben was 
nowhere to be found. Yainly they looked for him in va¬ 
rious nooks and corners of the structure, and they were 
beginning to ask if he had not been spirited away when 
he hurried in, looking very flushed and red. When asked 
somewhat tartly by his captain where he had been, Ben 
made no answer but took up his bat and marched in with 
the rest. 

“ He has been visiting some of those confounded pool 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


147 


rooms, I’ll be bound,” whispered Sam Morrison, who 
cordially disliked and actively suspected the Catalpa short 
stop. But there was no time for discussion. The nine 
now emerged into the arena. 

The sky was brightening as the two nines met, and the 
crowds in the vast amphitheater, largely reinforced since 
yesterday, in consequence of the fame of the visiting nine 
being spread abroad, gave “The Cats” a cheery round of 
applause as they made their appearance at the entrance 
to the field. “Keep a stiff upper lip, Larry, old boy,” 
was Albert’s heartening injunction as the two friends 
parted at the doorways. Larry smiled brightly and his eye 
involuntarily sought the upper box from which he had 
seemed to draw so much inspiration, the day before. It was 
empty, and he felt a little pang of disappointment. The 
momentary feeling of depression was soon dissipated, however, 
for the serious work of the day was now to begin, and 
sentimentalities were out of place. 

The Catalpas failed to win the toss, whereat Neddie Ellis 
gave a comical little groan of pain and whispered, facetiously, 
to Ben Burton, “Another evil sign, Bennie ! ” 

“Yes,” replied Ben, gloomily, “the worst yet.” 

He paid no attention to Neddie’s mocking laugh, but took 
his place on the player’s bench, as Larry Boyne took up his 
bat and advanced to the position in obedience to orders. For 
the scorer had shouted, “ Larry Boyne to the bat, and Sam 
Morrison on deck ! ” 


148 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


As Larry, with an elastic movement of his manly figure, 
placed himself squarely before Sam Morse, the Calumet’s 
pitcher, he said, “Give me one of your favorite high balls, 
and I’ll try to put it over that netting.” Morse, in his turn, 
squared himself and at once began to deliver a series of hot 
balls, but all of them too low for the Catalpa player to strike 
at. But he gave one ball at the desired height, however, 
and, to use the expression of “The Lily,” Larry “hit it 
squarely on the nose,” and placed a base hit to his credit. 
Sam Morrison profited by his example and put the ball 
safely in the left field. Neddie Ellis then came up, with a 
beaming smile on his face, and justified the expectations of 
the Catalpa delegation in the seats, now largely increased by 
new arrivals. He hit the ball a resounding thwack which 
was good for three bases, and sent in two runs, Larry and 
Morrison reaching the home plate with ease. 

Charlie King was the first man to be put out; he hit the 
ball, which was a sharp one, to John Handy at third base, 
and that active young man mastered it in fine style and 
retired Charlie at first base. The hit, however, proved to be 
of value as it sent Neddie Ellis safely across the goal and 
was the means of tallying the third run for the visiting nine. 
Hart Stirling went out on a foul ball to Charlie Webb, and 
John Brubaker sent up a sky-scraper which was captured by 
McWilliams in the left field. This ended the first half of 
the first inning, and, with light hearts and radiant faces, 
the Catalpas went to the field. 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


149 


As Larry took his position at third base, he glanced fur¬ 
tively toward the draped box on the right of the grand 
stand. At that moment, a bine parasol was unfurled, for the 
sun now broke forth from the clouds and mist. One glance 
was all that he could spare, but it was enough. “ She has 
come,” he said to his secret heart. 

The Calumets, on the other hand, were coming in from 
the field with looks of consternation which did not escape the 
attention of the coldly critical young ladies in the upper box. 
Scanning them through her glass, Alice declared that they 
looked as if they were going to a funeral, and Deputy Sheriff 
Wheeler, far around on the other side of the enclosure, in 
the more democratic open seats, said very much the same 
thing. 

“Never mind, boys,” said Captain Ayres, trying to instil 
a bit of courage into his men. “Perhaps that is a lively ball 
and we may bat it all over the field.” 

The gallant captain took his place at the bat, and hit a 
line ball which was neatly captured by John Brubaker, who 
received a round of applause, and Ida Boardman waved at 
him her parasol, with the involuntary cry of “Good, John!” 
More fortunate than his captain was Sam Morse, the next 
at the bat. He solved the mysteries of Charlie King’s 
in-shoot and hit the ball over Hart Stirling’s head for one 
base. John Handy then handled the ashen stick and sent 
a slow ball to Ben Burton who fumbled it and allowed the 
striker to reach first base, even so far forgetting himself as to 


150 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


neglect to throw the ball to Stirling who stood ready and 
impatient at second base to head off Sam Morse. Stirling 
grew red in the face, clearly losing his temper, and, judging 
from the look he wore, the low murmur in which he gave 
a word to the short stop was no pleasant one to hear. 

The fourth man at the bat for the Calumets was Bob 
Peabody, who sent up a short fly which fell into the willing 
hands of the second base man, making two out for the 
Calumets with two of the bases occupied, when Tom Shoff 
went to the batsman’s square. 

“Ah, this is my Jonah!” said Charlie King, beckoning 
to the fielders to move backward, knowing Shoff’s ability as 
a batter. In this judgment Charlie was correct, for Shoff hit 
the first ball pitched, and sent it sailing into the right field, 
out of the reach of the anxious fielder there, and bringing in 
two runs and allowing Thomas himself to gain the third base 
in safety, greatly to the comfort of the Calumets who grinned 
among themselves as they saw all this from the bench. 

Glenn Otto now took his turn at the bat, and it was 
evident that King was out of humor, as he sent the sphere 
with such vehemence that he nearly paralyzed big Bill Yan 
Orman’s hands. In spite of the heavy gloves he wore, the 
unfortunate catcher’s hands began to swell until, as the Dean 
County deputy sheriff, from his distant post remarked, “They 
looked like canvassed hams.” But Otto calmly waited for a 
good ball and when he got it, he gently tapped it, sending 
it to left field for a single sending in, and Shoff made the 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB . 


151 


score even at three and three. Jamie Kennedy finished the 
first inning by hitting a short fly to King. “Hurrah for the 
Calumets! ” shouted some of the more excitable spectators. 
“Three cheers for Tom Shoff and Glenn Otto!” cried another, 
and the enthusiasm did not abate until these two com¬ 
plimented gentlemen turned themselves about and doffed 
their caps. 

“I don’t think that that was very smart,” said Ida 
Boardman, with as much asperity as she was capable of 
showing. “ Our boys have done much better playing than 
that without making any fuss about it.” 

“Pretty good playing, though,” said Albert Heaton, as 
he darted out to send off a despatch to the anxious 
people in Catalpa. 

“We could be worse off,” was Hiram Porter’s remark, 
who was preparing to face Morse’s curves. “Boys,” he 
continued, “ we are on even terms and stand the same 
chance of winning that they do.” 

“ Provided we are as good players as they are,” put in 
Ben Burton, with a little laugh. 

Porter hit a swift grounder to Handy who failed to master^ 
it in time to head off the swift base runner, who reached the 
first bag in safety. Ben Burton behaved as if he were afraid 
of injuring the ball and the result was that he was sent back 
to the players’ bench by hitting an easy ball to Glenn Otto. 
“The Lily” next essayed his skill and hit the sphere with all 
his great might, but Jamie Kennedy handled it finely and 


152 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


retired the striker at first base. Larry Boyne, whose turn 
came next, was hailed by the champions and friends of the 
Catalpas as the man who would put in a safe hit; but he 
was caught out by Peabody in the right field. In putting 
him out, Peabody made a brilliant running catch, the ball, 
apparently being certain to go over his head. The profound 
stillness of the arena was immediately broken by a ringing 
cheer saluting the successful catch. 

The first striker in this inning for the Calumets was 
Charlie Webb, who was known as “the chance hitter,” but 
who invariably gave the ball, when he did hit it, such 
a tremendous blow that it whistled through the air as if it 
had been belched forth from a cannon. Charlie moistened his 
hands and swung his bat over his shoulder, as he strode up in 
front of Charlie King, calling in a big voice, “Now give me a 
high ball!” He hit the ball, hit it just where he aimed to hit 
it, and for a moment it was lost in the misty blue above. 
But Neddie Ellis, flying for the center field fence, gave the 
watchful spectators an inkling of the whereabouts of the 
vanished sphere. Charlie Webb, meanwhile, was clearing the 
bases at a tremendous gait, and, before the ball could be 
returned to the Diamond Field, he had crossed the home 
plate and had put his club in the lead. There was another 
rumble of applause from the sympathetic Chicago onlookers, 
and Alice Howell’s peachy cheek fairly paled. But she said 
not a word. 

Now McWilliams hit a grounder to Larry Boyne who 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


153 


managed, by dint of a hard struggle, to get it to first base 
in good season, and Mac went out. Ayres, the gallant 
captain, met with the same fate in his turn, sending a fly to 
Larry; and Sam Morse ended the second inning by being 
fielded out at first base by Stirling. At this, there was a sigh 
of relief from the Catalpa section, and no audible cheer 
among the friends of the home club. 

In the third inning, the Catalpas managed to gain some 
of their lost ground by making the single run necessary to 
put them even with their antagonists. Sam Morrison hit a 
sharp ball to Handy, who attempted to field it, but the sphere 
went through his hands and bounded over the foul line. 
Morrison was about to return to the home plate, thinking 
that the ball was “foul.” But Larry Boyne impetuously 
cried, “Hold your base!” 

Instantly, the crowds were all excitement. Men and boys 
rose to their feet shouting “Foul!” “Foul!” All was confusion, 
and Mr. Heaton, Albert, and the young ladies in the upper 
box looked on speechlessly as the pandemonium raged below. 

The umpire seemed dazed, and the hooters, who are ever 
present, yelled “Foul ball! 7 ’ “Foul ball!” as if their noise 
would determine the question. Ben Burton, with an expres¬ 
sion of mixed amazement and chagrin, watched Larry, who 
approached the puzzled umpire with Spalding’s official guide¬ 
book of base ball. The umpire glanced over the open page 
and his countenance cleared at once. 

Bowing with cold politeness, he said, “You are right, 


154 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


Mr. Boyne. I am glad to see that you prairie players are 
well informed- as to all the points in the national game.” 

Larry acknowledged the compliment with a manly salutation 
and returned to the players' bench. But the spectators would 
have no such result, and howled on vociferously. The umpire 
called the game and playing was stopped until silence was 
restored. When he could be heard, the umpire read the rule 
in a stentorian tone of voice, whereupon there was some 
grumbling, but the generous majority, seeing the justice of 
the position taken for the visitors, cheered “The Curly-headed 
Cat.” Larry acknowledged the dubious compliment. Alice 
Howell hid her blushing face behind her parasol, and the 
game went on. 

But it was evident that this episode had shaken the 
Calumets a little, as the next two strikers secured their bases 
by errors. Ellis won his by a misplay by Glenn Otto, and 
King took his by an error on the part of Handy. This left 
the three bases occupied and nobody put out—a capital chance 
for the Catalpas to get in some telling work. Stirling was 
retired at first base by Handy, but his being out allowed 
Sam Morrison to cross the marble plate in safety, by skillful 
base-running. John Brubaker hit a fly to Peabody in the 
right field; the latter captured the ball and also made a fine 
double play as Neddie Ellis tried to come home on it, 
forgetting the reputation which Peabody had won as a long 
thrower. And then the Catalpas again took the field. 

“ I tell you what, boys, it’s mighty tough work to beat 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


155 


these prairie roosters,” said the good-natured captain of the 
Calumets, as his associates took their seats once more on the 
players’ bench. 

“If we could only once get a good lead on them,” 
remarked Jamie Kennedy, “I am sure they would be so badly 
demoralised that we should get away with them. But they 
don’t seem to scare worth a cent. They hold on like grim 
death.” 

This conversation was brought to a close by the umpire 
shouting, “John Handy to the bat!” and John convinced the 
spectators, as the Dean County Sheriff remarked, that he was 
“not handy at batting,” for he was struck out; and Peabody, 
who followed, went out on a foul to Captain Porter. Tom 
Shoff then proved that he was not wholly “The Jonah” 
that Charlie King had feared him to be by merely going out 
on a long fly to left field. This ended the third inning, with the 
contestants neck and neck, each being credited with four runs. 

As he took his position before the pitcher, Captain Hiram 
Porter expressed to his comrades his conviction that the 
Catalpas were to do some good work in that inning. He felt 
it “in his bones,” he said, whereat Ben Burton laughed 
contemptuously, and said to “The Lily,” who sat next 
him, that if the bones of Captain Hiram were to be the 
barometer of the game, the Catalpas would be in hard luck. 
He had no faith in the Porter family bones, he said. 

But Hiram justified his faith in his own impressions by 
hitting with all his might the first ball pitched and thereby 


156 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


securing one base. Ben Burton, who followed him, also 
took one base, but this was through the error of Captain 
Ayres, who muffed a ball thrown to him by Jamie Kennedy. 
“ The Lily” came next to the bat. He had previously made a 
small wager with Ben Burton that he would make a safe hit, 
and, in order to defeat Burton and at the same time benefit 
the club, he kept perfectly cool, waiting for his opportunity, 
refusing to strike at any of “Morse’s coaxers,” as the boys 
styled the Calumets’ pitcher’s work. When he got a ball 
waist-high over the plate, he hit it with sufficient power to 
fell an ox. The sphere traveled on a right line as though 
it were shot out of a cannon’s mouth, and gave “The Lily” 
two bases, at the same time sending Porter and Burton over 
the home plate and giving the Catalpas a lead of two runs. 

A broad smile adorned the countenance of “ The Lily,” and, 
with cap in hand, he stood ready to fly to third base as soon 
as the ball was hit. But his ardent desires were not to be 
gratified; the next three men went out in “one-two-three” 
order, Larry Boyne on a fly to Glenn Otto, Sam Morrison 
on a grounder to Handy, and Neddie Ellis on strikes. Third 
base was the nearest Yan Orman came to the home plate, 
much to his grief; and, as he adjusted his gloves for the next 
turn behind the bat, he muttered, “Well, I made that ball 
whistle, anyhow! ” Buttoning his hand protectors, with a 
series of wrenches, he jerked out, “The next one—that Bill 
hits—will never be found.” 

Glenn Otto was the first man at the base for the 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


157 


Calumets in the fourth inning; and he secured his base 
by Neddie Ellis’s muff of an easy ball, and Jamie Kennedy 
reached first base on called balls. Both of these men, 
however, were left waiting, as the three players who 
succeeded them at the bat failed to place the ball out 
of the reach of the Catalpas. Charlie Webb went out on 
a fly to Larry Boyne, and McWilliams hit an easy fly to 
Charlie King; then Darius Ayres was thrown out at first 
base by Larry Boyne. The inning ended without adding 
a fun to the score of the home nine, but they kept at their 
work with the steadiness and coolness of men who had a 
high reputation as players and the consciousness of great 
strength to support them under adversity. 

Elation reigned among the friends of the Catalpa nine. In 
the high box from which the fair delegation from Catalpa sur¬ 
veyed the field, Miss Alice expressed her complete satisfaction 
with the condition of affairs, although Miss Ida pretended to 
entertain feelings of distrust. “Why,” she said, “at the end 
of the fourth inning, yesterday, the Catalpas were three to 
the Calumets’ one—-just leading them two, as they are to-day. 
Do you suppose that the Catalpas will keep this up afl 
through the game ? ” 

“You are as much of a doubting Thomas as Ben Burton 
is, Ida,” answered Alice. “According to Mr. Boyne, Ben 
is croaking all the while. If the wish were father to the 
thought, he could not be more skeptical, it seems to me. 
Isn’t he perfectly horrid?” 


158 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


But words could not be wasted now. The Catalpas went 
to the bat again, and every eye was riveted on the tall 
form of Charlie King, who, with his club on his shoulder, 
sauntered in leisurely and confident fashion to the square. 
He lifted the ball too high, however, and it was captured by 
Tom Shoff in the center field. Hart Stirling was deceived 
by a few sharp inward curves from the pitcher of the 
Calumets and retired to his seat without hitting a ball. 
John Brubaker hit the ball, but was thrown out from Otto 
to Ayres. 

The Calumets now came in with a look of determination 
on their faces. “Steady, lads, steady!” said Captain Darius. 
“Wait for good balls; and, above all things, keep steady.” 

Sam Morse, who was first at the bat, strictly obeyed 
orders and waited for what he considered a good ball. He 
struck an easy one to Ben Burton, but Ben muffed it, and 
Morse reached first base before the ball did. A dark cloud 
passed over the face of Captain Hiram as he anxiously stood 
at first base, and something like a cloud darkened Alice 
Howell’s fair cheek, far up above the brightly-lighted field, 
now illuminated by the afternoon sun. 

A deep sigh went around among the Catalpa contingent 
in the open seats, as Stirling, having received a hot ball 
from Rob Peabody, failed to pick it up with his accustomed 
skill, and had the mortification of seeing the agile base 
runner get to the first bag in safety. It was clearly evident 
now that the Catalpas were a little nervous. “We have 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


159 


them rattled,” whispered the Calumets among themselves, as 
they sat expectantly on the players’ bench. Even Charlie 
King, who never lost his equipoise, appeared to have left 
some of his skill behind him, for he did not twirl the ball 
with that bewildering dexterity that had been, all along, the 
envy and the terror of the Calumets. 

There was a woe-begone expression on the faces of the 
Catalpa players—save one, and that was Ben Burton, who 
wore a settled smile of derision. He seemed to be congratu¬ 
lating himself on the possible coming true of his prophecies. 
Any misplay on the part of the Catalpas was the signal for 
what Hart Stirling termed “one of Ben Burton’s contemptible 
laughs.” 

Shoff again faced the pitching of Charlie King and the 
two players exchanged a grin, a half-defiant recognition of 
their friendly antagonism. Thomas repeated his hit of the 
first inning, sending the ball to the left field fence for three 
bases and sending in Morse, Handy and Peabody, and putting 
his club in the coveted position of a good lead. Next, Glenn 
Otto hit a lively grounder to Boyne who caught it safely 
and retired the base runner; but Tom Shoff went triumphantly 
home. 

After this, “ The Cats” seemed to regain something of their 
old vigor and spirit. A few words of warning, impressing 
on them the need of keeping cool, and reminding them that 
they now had everything to gain, and nothing to lose, were 
dropped by their captain, as they braced themselves for a 


160 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


good strong play. King neatly fooled Jamie Kennedy with 
his deceptive in-shoots and the batsman of the Calumets was 
called out on strikes. Charlie Webb was the last man at 
the bat in this inning, and he went out on a fly to Hart 
Stirling. 

“That ends the fifth inning!” shouted the scorer. “Score, 
eight to six in favor of the Calumet club,” an announcement 
which was not very comforting to the gentlemen from Catalpa, 
whether they were in the Diamond Field or in the boxes. 
A1 Heaton dashed his hat down over his eyes and went 
solemnly down to send a despatch which, a few minutes 
afterwards, was read in the streets of Catalpa with great 
consternation. 

In the sixth inning, the Calumets played with the good 
luck that usually seems to follow a club which has the 
lead in the score. Perhaps it was their self-confidence, natural 
and fitting, that inspired them now. At any rate, they retired 
the Catalpa representatives of the national game without 
allowing one of them to reach the first base. Captain 
Porter was thrown out at the first base by Jamie Kennedy, 
Ben Burton went out on a fly to McWilliams, and “ The 
Lily” hit an easy ground ball to John Handy, who made 
a lightning throw to first base in time to head off the 
deeply disappointed William. 

But the Catalpa players showed that they were not out 
of heart, for their playing was remarkably strong in this 
part of the inning. Burton threw McWilliams out at first 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB 


161 


base; then Darius Ayres hit a “liner” to the left field which 
was very cleverly caught by Sam Morrison; and the inning 
was then brought to an end by Sam Morse who struck out; 
and the sentiment of the spectators was reflected by an irrepres¬ 
sible small boy who cried, “Now ‘The Cats’ will get a run!” 

Larry Boyne, who went to the bat for the visiting club, 
was the fortunate man who was to make good the small 
boy’s prediction. He opened the inning in magnificent style 
by hitting the ball fairly and the flying sphere almost struck 
the left field foul line. It was “a tight squeeze,” as one 
of the Catalpa on-lookers observed, and the umpire’s decision 
was invoked by the captain of the Calumets. The umpire 
justly gave the ball as fair, whereupon some of the baser 
sort in the amphitheater began to hoot and cry “Foul!” as 
if they would thus reverse the decision of the umpire. That 
gentleman coolly ordered the game to stop until the noise 
had ceased; there were counter cries of “ Shame ! ” from some 
of the more orderly of the spectators, and then, quiet having 
been restored, the contest was resumed, Sam Morrison being 
at the bat. 

Samuel went out on a fly to Ayres. While Neddie Ellis 
was at the bat, a passed ball allowed Larry to get around 
to third base. Neddie retired on a foul tip to Charlie Webb, 
and it looked as if the chances for the Catalpas to make 
a run were very slender indeed. But Charlie King came to 
the rescue. He hit a ball to Glenn Otto at short stop, which, 
luckily for the Catalpas, went through his legs and allowed 


162 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


King to take his base and brought Larry Boyne to the 
home plate amidst the cheers of his many admirers. But 
Hart Stirling dashed the hopes of his comrades for this inn¬ 
ing by sending up a fly to Jamie Kennedy at second base. 

Alice Howell’s little hand was drumming nervously on 
the rail of her box, as she regarded in dejected silence 
the scene, when the Calumets came to the bat with a feel¬ 
ing of confidence readily manifest in their faces. But their 
opponents played a fine fielding game, and the home nine 
were presented with the figurative “goose egg” which had 
been so often referred to during the contest. Handy struck 
three times the unsubstantial air, and Peabody went out 
disastrously also on a fly to Hiram Porter. Shoff reached 
the first base on called balls, but only to be left there, 
as Jamie Kennedy failed to strike the ball after making 
three terrific lunges at it. 

The Catalpas were still hopeful, but not sanguine. They 
had only one run to make in order to tie their competitors, 
and they went to work now with a will. They were not 
nearly so badly off as they might have been, was the cheery 
comment of Larry Boyne, as they went to the bat once 
more. But fate was against them, and they were retired 
in “one-two-three order,” as the Calumets played a winning 
game. John Brubaker hit a ball to Kennedy who sent it 
to first base in a manner that won the plaudits of the crowds 
intently watching the contest from the seats around the huge 
amphitheater. Captain Porter hit a fly to left field which 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


163 


was captured by McWilliams in wonderfully fine style, and 
Ben Burton struck out. The Calumets were very fortunate 
at the bat. In this inning they made another run and again 
placed themselves two runs in the lead. Kennedy made a 
base hit, and went to second base on a passed ball, and then 
reached third base on Burton’s error of Webb’s in-field hit. 
Jamie finally scored on McWilliams’s out at first base. Next 
Darius Ayres hit a fly to Sam Morrison and was retired, and 
Morse ended the inning by striking out, leaving the score 
nine to seven in favor of the Calumets. 

“ Small chances for our taking the championship this 
season,” was Ben Burton’s gleeful remark, as the Catalpas 
took their places on the bench. 

“And you seem to be mightily tickled about it,” replied 
“The Lily,” with an angry glare in his eyes. “ If I were as 
pleased as you seem to be at the drubbing we are likely to 
get from these chaps, I should expect to be fired out of the 
club for treachery.” 

Yan Orman did not stop to hear the reply which Burton, 
white with wrath, made to this taunt. Seizing his bat, he 
hurried to the square and faced the pitching of the redoubtable 
and confident Morse. He waited patiently for a good ball 
and finally received one. With all his might—which was a 
great deal—“The Lily” hit the sphere and sent it flying to 
the left field, where the lithe and agile McWilliams captured 
it, after a hard run which called forth an involuntary burst 
of applause from the rapt spectators. 


164 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


“Hang it all! Just my luck!” muttered Yan Orman, 
as, throwing down his bat, he returned to his seat. 

But Larry Boyne, as cool and calm as a spring morning, 
came next, reassuring his friends and comrades by the mere 
poise of his handsome figure as he took his place in the 
batter’s square. Hot a word had he said for the past 
half-hour, and it was plain to see that he keenly felt the 
defeat that now stared the Catalpas in the face. But he 
showed no white feather, bearing himself as if it were an 
every-day occurrence to find himself in so difficult a 
predicament. Two strikes were called on him in rapid 
succession; the third ball he struck at and missed and he 
was consequently retired for the first time during the day 
for having failed to hit the ball. The tide seemed to be 
irretrievably running against the visitors, and many of the 
less interested spectators began to make their way to the 
exits, saying as they went, that the game was over. 

But a little diversion in favor of the Catalpas now took 
place. Sam Morrison made a long line hit to center field 
for three bases, and a slight glimmer of hope dawned in the 
breasts of the sons of Catalpa. The friendly champions of 
the club, bunched together in the seats, yelled themselves 
hoarse over this little turn in the game, encouraging their 
fellow-townsmen in the Diamond Field with all sorts of 
cheering cries and remarks. Alice Howell, red and white 
by turns, and sometimes not seeing the field for the un¬ 
wonted moisture that gathered in her eyes, waved her 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


165 


handkerchief at the boys below, never trusting herself to 
say a word. 

With breathless interest, Neddie Ellis was watched as he 
ran to the bat and squared himself for a decisive stroke of 
business. Even the umpire, carried away by the unwonted 
crisis, forgot everything but the trembling balance of the 
result of the game. He was brought to his senses by a 
shouting from the grand stand when he considered a ball 
was too low to be called a strike, although there were only 
a few persons who thought to the contrary. Neddie was 
made a little nervous, naturally enough, by the commotion 
and the stress of the exigency. He knew that there were 
some chances of winning now depending on his making a 
good hit. It was a critical point in the closely contested 
struggle. He made a desperate lunge at the ball, but 
Jamie Kennedy was at his post and before the hapless Neddie 
could realize what had happened, Kennedy had retired him 
at first base and the game was won for the Calumets. 

Then a mighty shout went up from the throats of the 
assembled multitudes, for, although many had slipped out in 
time to avoid the press of the departing throngs, those who 
remained were sufficiently numerous and enthusiastic to create 
a vociferous uproar. In the midst of this, the two captains 
met in mid-field and shook hands cordially with a few 
complimentary words from each, as their respective clubs 
gathered around. Then, the promiscuous cheering in the 
seats having subsided, the victors gave a rousing cheer, more 


166 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


or less inspired by their own exultant spirits, for their 
antagonists; and the Catalpas, nothing abashed by their 
defeat, returned the cheer with great heartiness. 

“Meet us at Catalpa,” said Captain Hiram Porter to the 
captain of the Calumet club. “Meet us at Catalpa, and we 
will try hard to retrieve the ill fortune of this day.” 

It had been agreed that the third and concluding game 
of the championship series should be played at Catalpa, in 
case the Calumets should win the second game. So, with 
a few hurried words relating to a friendly meeting of the 
captains of the two nines, on the morrow, the players 
dispersed from the field. This was what might have been read 
on the bulletin boards as .they went along their homeward 
way:— 

BASE BALL TO-DAY. 


123456789 

Catalpas .301200100. .7. 

Calumets .310040010. .9. 


Runs earned , Catalpas, 4; Calumets, 2. 
Base hits, Catalpas, 7; Calumets, 7. 
Errors , Catalpas, 5; Calumets, 7. 
Umpire, Mr. Mark B. Bedmond. 

Time of game, two hours and ten minutes. 




CHAPTER XIY. 


A STRANGE MESSAGE FROM HOME. 

“ % 1TELL,” cried Neddie Ellis, cheerily, as the nine 
* * filed into Captain Hiram Porter’s room, which had 
been used as a rallying-place, as it was the largest assigned 
to any member of the club, “well, we have one more 
chance at the Calumets, and there is hope while there’s life. 
Hey, Larry?” 

Larry did not immediately reply. He was regarding 
Ben Burton with suspicion. That individual had received 
a telegram from the hands of a messenger, as he came into 
the house, which, having read, he tore into very small pieces 
and threw away with a disturbed expression of countenance. 
Ben’s eyes were now fixed on Hiram, who, on coming into 
the room, had noticed on the mantel-piece a telegram 
addressed to himself. Ben Burton’s face grew white as his 
captain, tearing open the envelope, read the despatch with 
astonishment and wrath depicted on his usually pleasant 
visage. 

“Read her out, Captain,” cried “The Lily.” “Read her 


168 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


out and let us divide the bad news with you. I’m sure it’s 
bad news, isn’t it, Neddie ? ” 

Without stopping to consider whether it were discreet 
or not to divulge the message that was causing him so 
much perturbation, Hiram, casting a sharp glance at Ben 
Burton, said, “It is had news, boys, for it accuses one of 
our number of treachery. It is from Tom Selby, and it 
reads thus:— 

“ 1 Look out for Ben Burton; he has sold the game .’” 

“It’s an infernal lie!” shouted Ben, passionately, and 
very red in the face, and shaky in the limbs. “What does 
Tom Selby know about the game, and how could I sell 
the game in Catalpa? I’ll thrash Tom Selby as quick as 
I get home; see if I don’t!” 

“No you won’t,” said Albert Heaton, who entered the 
room at this moment. “No you won’t. Hear this, Mr. 
Burton. It’s a despatch from Dr. Selby, dated at Catalpa, 
5:20 p. M. You see they had then got the news that the 
game was lost:— 

111 1 am afraid you did not get Tom’s despatch to the captain , 
for we hear that the gam,e is gone . Hunt up despatch to Hiram, 
sent to lodgings’ 

“What’s that despatch you’ve got there Hi? Is it 
Tom’s?” 

“ Yes,” answered the captain. “It is from Tom. Read it/' 



READ HER OUT, CAPTAIN,” CRIED "THE LILY.”—Page 167. 















































































OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


169 


Albert read the despatch deliberately and said: “I see 
it all now. My despatch was sent to Judge Morris’s office, 
where I found it when I stopped in there on my way back 
from seeing the ladies on board of a street-car for the 
north side. Your despatch should have been sent to the 
ball grounds, and the idiots here have kept it until it was 
too late. Oh, this is too bad! ” and Albert fairly groaned. 

“They couldn’t tell what was in the despatch, Al,” said 
Larry, soothingly. “There’s no use crying over spilt milk. 
But what I should like is an explanation from Mr. Burton.’* 

All eyes were now turned on Burton, who defiantly 
faced his accusers. He was evidently determined to brave 
out the charge made against him from Catalpa. His cheek 
grew red and pale by turns, and he failed to keep the 
serenity that he attempted. 

“See him shake,” said “The Lily,” with bitter contempt. 
“Did any man ever shake like that when he was innocent. 
Oh, no, Bennie did not play a muffing game, this afternoon, 
for nothing! ” 

“I tell you that’s a lie?” roared Ben, furious with 
rage. “Any man who says I threw the game is a slanderer 
and I’ll fight him. Any man would show feeling and shake, 
as you call it, Bill Yan Orman, if accused of doing such a 
mean thing as selling out his club, and you know it.” 

More in sorrow than in anger, Captain Hiram ordered 
the boys to drop the matter for the present. It could not be 
determined, in the absence of specific testimony, what amount 


170 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


of truth would be found in the startling charge made against 
a member of the club. They must wait until they reached 
home, he said, before it would be worth while to take any 
steps in the matter. Meantime, he would advise (but not 
order) that the members of the club drop the business and 
say nothing about it, especially not to any outsider. 

It was good advice that the captain gave, and the members 
of the club all followed it so far as speaking of the matter 
to outsiders was concerned. It was asking too much that 
they should not talk it over among themselves. By common 
consent, however, Ben Burton was avoided by all hands. He 
stood about the house until after supper, then, without leaving 
any word as to his intentions, he quietly disappeared and 
was seen no more. 

“What a wretched streak of luck!” murmured Larry 
Boyne to Neddie Ellis. “If that despatch had been sent to 
A1 Heaton, or to Hiram at the ball grounds, all would 
have been well. We could have withdrawn Ben Burton and 
put Will Sprague, or A1 Heaton, in his place, before the 
game began. Oh, why did Tom do such a foolish thing as 
to send the message here ? ” 

“Tom is an idiot!” said Neddie, indignantly. “He’s a 
feather-head; always was, and always will be! Let’s look at 
that despatch again, captain.” 

Critical examination of the message showed that it was 
received in Chicago at half-past one o’clock. It had left 
Catalpa at half-past eleven o’clock in the forenoon. 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


171 


“Two hours to send that little message!” almost shrieked 
Neddie Ellis. “It’s that giddy, flirting girl that works the 
telegraph office in Catalpa! That’s what’s the matter with 
the message. Now you just remember that, boys.” 

“Softly! softly! Neddie,” said Larry. “You mustn’t 
accuse the operator. Perhaps the line was down, or some¬ 
body else blundered. At any rate, the mischief is done. 
We’ll wait until we get home before we try to find out what 
it all means.” 

“Aha!” cried “The Lily,” as if he had seen a sudden 
burst of light. “Now we know why Ben was late in the 
field. Don’t you remember he stole out after we had got 
through practicing, this noon, and was gone half an hour, or 
so ? Where was he ? Why, he looked as if he had been 
stealing sheep when he came back. I’ll tell you where he 
had been. He had been to the telegraph office on the corner 
below the grounds, telegraphing to some confederate in 
Catalpa.” 

“Smart boy, Bill; but why should he go to the next 
block below the grounds when there is an office in the 
building? And how could his telegram to his confederate, if 
he has one, get back here in Tom Selby’s message ? ” 

“That’s more than I know, Cap, but I should say that 
he wouldn’t dare to send any crooked message from the ball 
grounds, where he is known.” 

“ There is good sense in that, Billy boy,” said Charlie 
King, who had joined the party while the discussion was 


172 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


going on. “There is plausibility in it, too, for I remember 
seeing Ben go into that office and make some inquiries, as 
we were going to the grounds, day before yesterday, to 
practice.” 

Meanwhile, Mr. Heaton was trying to comfort the young 
ladies in Judge Morris’s family, but his well-meant efforts 
were discouragingly received by the fair champions of the 
Catalpa club. Miss Alice was perfectly certain, she averred, 
that Ben Burton had purposely “thrown” the game. She 
had watched him narrowly, and had been, at times, half 
inclined to send down word to Mr. Boyne, or to the captain, 
rather (and this was said with a blush), that Burton was 
playing false. The players could not see it, but she could, 
and she knew him so well that she could not keep her eyes 
off him while he was playing, whether it was in the field, at 
the bat, or base-running. 

Later in the evening, Albert came in with two or three 
of the Catalpa men, bearing the doleful news from Tom 
Selby. “Didn’t I tell you so?” demanded Alice, with 
animation. “ Didn’t I tell you, Larry Boyne, to beware 
of that young man ? ” 

“You did indeed, Miss Howell,” replied Larry, with mock 
dejection. “And we would have looked out for him, as you 
suggested, if we had had any tangible suspicion, or any 
proof whatsoever, that he was ‘ crooked.’ But how could 
we make a stand against one of our own number, merely 
on so vague a hint as that which we had ? ” 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


173 


“If I were a member of the Catalpa club,,” said the girl, 
with spirit, “I would not have so evil a young man as Ben 
Burton in it, evidence or no evidence.” 

“ Miss Alice is right,” said Neddie Ellis, “ I always did 
dislike Ben Burton, and I would have voted against him, if 
it had not been that he was such a good man at short stop 
that I couldn’t think of putting my little prejudices against 
what seemed to be the good of the nine.” 

Once more it was agreed that it was useless to discuss 
the matter until the party had reached home, when the 
charges against Burton, and the evidence, if there were any, 
would be brought up in due form. 

By the time the players and their friends had embarked 
on the west-bound train, next day, they had recovered 
somewhat their usual high spirits. The buoyancy of youth 
and the natural hopefulness of healthy young fellows like 
these came to their relief, and the gay, chattering party that 
took possession of one end of a railway car, that morning, 
could hardly have been compared with the depressed and 
angry knot of youngsters that had discussed defeat and 
treachery, the night before. If they had been sold out, they 
argued to themselves, and had still fairly held their own 
against the famed Calumets, what was not possible for the 
team when purged of an unworthy member? 

So they neared home with hearts lightened of a grievous 
burden and were once more cheered with the reflection that 
they had achieved one notable victory, at least, since their 


174 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


departure for Chicago, although a defeat counterbalanced that 
triumph. 

And when the train drew up before the Catalpa depot, 
the returning adventurers were gladdened by the sight of 
innumerable flags flying over the town in the distance. They 
were to be received with congratulations, after all, not as 
humiliated captives. 

“That is because we come home neck and neck, I s’pose,” 
said “The Lily,” as the notes of a brass band startled his 
ample ear. 

“It’s because we are not so badly off as we might be, 
Billy boy,” replied Larry Boyne. 


CHAPTER XV : 


MIKE COSTIGAN’S DISCOVERY. 

M EANTIME, strange things had happened in Catalpa. 

The town was in a ferment on the morning of the 
great day when the Catalpa nine were to play their second 
game with the Calumets. The glory of the first day’s victory 
shone brightly to encourage the friends of the club as they 
loitered towards the telegraph office and clustered under the 
windows of the office of The Leaf, when the time for calling 
the game drew near. 

In the office of that influential sheet there was much 
commotion, as every printer at the case and every member 
of the slender editorial staff, even down to the young lady 
who wrote fashion articles out of the Chicago newspapers, 
was in some way interested in base ball. Those who were 
not members of a nine were in training, or were represented 
by men who were active players. Therefore, while the 
expectant crowd in the street below was hungry for news 
from the Diamond Field, the smaller convocation in the 
printing office above was even hungrier for the opportunity 



176 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


to hang out the banner of victory which all were sure would 
wave from the roof of The Leaf before the day was done. 

A few despatches, vague and dealing only in glittering 
generalities, as the editor said, were sent early by Albert 
Heaton and were duly bulletined by “The Leaflet,” as Mr. 
Downey’s . office boy was generally called. There were 
many inquiries at the telegraph office for news, but “the 
lady operator,” with needless asperity, referred all applicants 
to the editor of The Leaf. 

Mike Costigan, the telegraph messenger, and Hank Jackson, 
the ex-champion of the Dean County Nine, were the greatest 
trials which the long-suffering lady at the telegraph desk 
had to endure. Mike had put his whole soul, which was large 
for his small body, into the base ball championship, and he 
was ready to weep if the Catalpas should not return with 
what he called “the skelps of them Chicago fellers” at their 
belts. As for Hank, he pretended to be in momentary 
expectation of a telegraphic despatch. As early as nine o’ 
clock in the morning, he had begun to haunt the telegraph 
office and demand a message that did not come. Mike was 
sure that Jackson would have early news from the seat of 
war, and, wisely fearing Hank’s heavy hand and rough tongue, 
he followed him at a respectful distance, waiting to hear 
something to encourage his fond hopes of the Catalpa 
club. 

The lad had been hurrying out with a message to Heaton’s 
flouring mills, and he bounced up the stairs of the telegraph 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


177 


office, three at a time, and flew into the room where the 
hard-worked operator was rattling at the instrument. A 
swift look from Mike took in the whole situation. Henry 
Jackson was seated on a bench in a corner of the office, with 
his back to the door, puzzling over a little book and a tele¬ 
graphic despatch. He inspected the pages of the book, then 
scanned the message, and then, licking the end of a lead- 
pencil, wrote something on the paper containing the despatch. 

“Here, hurry with this message, Mike,” said the lady in 
the office, “and be quick about it; you are always loitering 
about the corner when you are wanted.” 

Almost wild at being sent out before he could get an 
opportunity to extract a bit of news from Hank J ackson, 
Mike flew out on his errand, astonished the receiver of 
the message by telling him to hurry up with his signature, and 
then went back to the office on the wings of the wind. Alas! 
when Mike re-entered the room, breathless and hot, Hank 
had departed without leaving any trace of the quality of the 
news that he might have received. Ho, not quite so bad as 
that, thought Mike, as he ruefully surveyed the empty bench, 
for there in a corner, tossed under the bench on which Henry 
had been sitting, was a wad of crumpled paper which the boy’s 
experienced eyes told him was from the telegraph company’s 
stores of stationery. 

Pouncing upon the ragged ball with the hunger of a 
small boy in pursuit of information concerning a base ball 
match, Mike drew forth a “receiving blank,” torn and 


178 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


crumpled, on which was written an incomprehensible message. 
Kneeling on the floor, his stubby hands shaking with 
excitement, Mike smoothed out the torn despatch, joining the 
two larger fragments so as to get the meaning of the words. 
And this, after some botheration, was what was revealed to 
Mike’s distended eyes:— 


mutual union telegraph c c 


Thii Company TRANSlttlTO ml DELIVERS mi 


la transmission or delivery o7 (lore] 


aly by repeating n. 

petted 


' «T. conditions limiting Its liability, which have bei 
r comparison, and the Company v 


1 blending sta 
®**Tiountof to 


ty days alter Bending the mesnage ■ j ^' I 

This Is an UN REPEATED MESSAGE, and lb delivered byWyjneStof the sender, under 


gw 


Itelfa BT 

,'79. T'O. 


7 

dkWs- ^ 


<r„ <^0 j£f ^ 



a/L££yr/..,y*i,.* 


<3 Gsi sjb 

) 

} 

/ 

/ 

\jY zt — 


I.jilAD THE NOTICE A.T THE TOP, 


“ Gosh all hemlock! ” this was Mike’s extreme of profanity, 
“if Ben Burton hasn’t gone and sold the game!” The lad, 
who was shrewd beyond his years, carefully put the pieces 
of paper inside of his jacket, buttoned it up tightly, and, 
after ascertaining that no message was coming over the wires, 
and that he might decamp without fear, bolted out of the 
office, threw himself downstairs, and darted into Dr. Selby’s 
shop like a shot. 




















MIKE SMOOTHED OUT THE TORN DESPATCH.”—Page 178. 








































. 







OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


179 


“ Here! here! Tom,” he gasped, almost beside himself with 
anxiety and alarm. “Ben Burton’s goin’ to sell the game! 
Leastways, here’s somethin’ crooked! Look at it! ” 

Thomas, who was keeping shop while his father was absent 
for a moment, took the paper, with a puzzled look at Mike, 
then spreading it out on the counter, scrutinized it carefully, 
and, as he felt a cold chill running down his back at the 
revelation of an unsuspected rascality, he smote the walnut 
plank of the counter and cried, “By ginger!” This was 
Tom’s extreme of profanity. 

“Where did you get this?” he demanded of the excited 
Mike. 

“In the office, under the bench there by the stove, where 
Hank throwed it. I seen him readin’ it, and then lookin’ 
into a little book—one of them books that has the meanin’ 
of words into ’em.” 

“Dictionary?” suggested Tom. 

“Yes, dictionary, that’s what it is. And he’d get a word 
outen that, then put it down. I had to get out on a message 
to ’Squire Dewey, and when I got back he was gone; but I 
got the message. Don’t you think it’s crooked ? ” 

“ Of course I do; and be sure you don’t let on to a living 
soul what you have seen. We’ll circumvent him yet.” 

Mike rushed back to his post, sober with a sense of the 
important secret that he carried under his ragged jacket. 

As soon as Dr. Selby returned, Tom laid the matter before 
him. The old gentleman was astounded and grieved. Ho time 


18C 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


was to be lost. Tom must hasten to the telegraph office and 
send a warning message to Captain Hiram Porter. The lad 
hurried away, stopping on the sidewalk below the office long 
enough to note Hank Jackson offering “ two to one,” as he 
phrased it, against the Catalpas. The despatch was sent and 
Tom sauntered back, half-tempted to take up one of the offers 
of the presumptuous and boastful Hank; but he refrained. He 
knew that the game of the conspirators had been circumvented. 
It would be his day’s delight to stand by and see the dishonest 
scheme recoil upon the heads of its promoters. 

But as the day wore on and despatches from the ball 
ground (at first favorable and conclusive proof to the Selbys 
that they had nipped the conspiracy in the bud) grew more 
and more discouraging, Tom became desperate; he longed for 
wings that he might fly to Chicago and reveal the depth 
of infamy into which one of the club had fallen. Later in 
the day, when defeat seemed certain, yielding to the boy’s 
importunities, Dr. Selby sent a message to Albert Heaton, 
in care of Judge Morris. 

“Where did you send Hiram’s despatch to?” he asked of 
Tom, suddenly, as if a new suspicion crossed his mind. 

“To the Lavalette House, of course. They all stop there!” 

“Oh, you idiot!” groaned his father. “They had gone to 
the ball ground before your despatch could reach Chicago! ” 


CHAPTER XYI. 


THE CONSPIEACY LAID OPEN. 

T HE Selbys kept their own counsel, although Tom burned 
to tell everybody whom he met not to bet with 
Hank Jackson on the base ball match; but, after ponder¬ 
ing the matter in his mind, he came to the conclusion that 
if people would bet on a base ball game, they must run 
their own risks and chances. It would serve them rigtit,' he, 
thought, if they did lose their money in this foolish fashion. 
The League, he knew, had enacted severe rules against 
gaming, and the influence of that example should be 
strengthened even if by the misfortunes of those who laid 
wagers. 

So there would have been no suspicion of Hank’s 
complicity in any plot, if Mike had been able to keep a 
secret, but Mike adored “the lady operator” secretly and 
from afar. He submitted in silence and uncomplainingly to 
her rebuffs and scoldings for the sake of winning her regard. 
In a moment of confidence, he imparted to the object of his 
dumb worship the information that the cipher message which 


182 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


she had received for Jackson was “crooked.” The young 
lady was shocked. She had heard that Hank was going about 
town offering to bet against the Catalpa nine, and now she 
instantly divined what was going on, and was indignant 
accordingly. The fact that she had been the unconscious 
channel of communicating with the culprit did not lessen her 
wrath. Unhappily for Henry, he came to the office in the 
course of the afternoon, and the operator, as soon as she 
saw him, “ gave him a piece of her mind,” to his great 
discomfiture. Hank, unlike his co-conspirator, did not 
attempt to deny anything, but tacitly admitted all that was 
charged against him by the irate young lady. 

After turning over in his mind the circumstances of 
the scrape into which he had been drawn, Master Jackson 
coolly sat down and wrote the following despatch to Ben 
Burton: 

The thing is Mown. Ijook out for yourself. 

HENRY J. JACKSON. 

It was this warning, received by Burton after the game 
was over, that put him on his guard when he was confronted 
with the despatch sent to Hiram Porter. Next day, when 
the town was alive with enthusiasm over the reception to the 
returning base ball club, Henry Jackson did not appear in 
any of the excited groups that accompanied the players from 
the depot to their club-rooms. 

The hilarity of the day was somewhat dampened by the 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


183 


fact that one of the nine was a traitor, and that he must be 
disciplined, if the charge were proven against him. The 
evidence shown to the boys on their arrival was tolerably 
conclusive, but it was needful, as they thought, to secure 
an admission from either Ben or Henry that there had been 
collusion between them. Burton’s father, a worthy and honest 
miller, sought out Captain Hiram, and, with much grief, told 
him that Ben had written to him from Chicago, saying that 
he was going to Indiana on unexpected business, and that he 
would not be in Catalpa for some weeks to come. This, to the 
old gentleman, who had heard the flying reports to his son’s 
discredit, was a suspicious circumstance. He did not like to 
believe that Benjamin had done anything wrong, he said, 
but he was “ afeard,’’ yes, he was “afeard.” 

Judge Howell sent for Hank Jackson, and that young 
man, although at first disposed to be stubborn, finally broke 
down before the majesterial bearing of the Judge and told 
all that was needful to convict himself and Ben of having 
combined to make money by betting on the game between 
the Calumets and the Catalpas. Ben, he said, had suggested 
the trick, agreeing to “ throw the game,” if Hank, and any 
other confederate whom he might select, would get the bets 
secured in Catalpa. Henry also thought that Ben had 
arranged to have a similar scheme at the same time played 
in Sandy Key, where he had a boon companion. 

The story of the despatches was now clearly unravelled. 
Ben had sent a despatch to Henry Jackson directly after 


184 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


leaving the Chicago lodgings of the club, on the morning of 
the second day; subsequently, he had remembered that 
his friend in Sandy Key might be utilized as a fellow con¬ 
spirator, and, just before the game was called, he had hurried 
off a despatch to him, also. Inquiries subsequently developed 
the fact that this was exactly what had been done. 

While Henry was undergoing an examination in Judge 
Howell's private office, the nine were in consultation. 
Presently, the door opened and the Judge and his unwilling 
prisoner appeared. 

“ Henry has decided to make a clean breast of this 
unhappy business, Captain Porter ,’ 7 said the Judge. “ Speak 
up like a man, Henry, and tell the gentlemen what you have 
told me.” 

With downcast eyes and a sullen manner, Hank fumbled 
with his cap, and mumbled his story, but without omitting 
anything relevant to the case. He was heard in silence, 
although “ The Lily,” whose eyes glared vengefully at the 
culprit, with difficulty restrained himself. And when the 
door closed behind the Judge and the criminal, the ungentle 
William gave a roar of rage that astonished first, and then 
set the club off into fits of laughter, in spite of the solemnity 
of the occasion. 

“Well, what is the result of your deliberations, Mr. Boyne?” 
asked a brisk and somewhat seedy young man, as the boys 
came down from their club-room. Pulling out a note book 
and moistening a pencil at his lip, as he spoke, he continued, 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


185 


“ Shocking case of depravity on the part of young Burton. 
Quite a small sensation, on my word. Small, small for a big 
city, but really sensational for Catalpa, you know. Ha! ha!” 
and the young gentleman laughed at his little sally. 

“Great powers!” was Larry’s exclamation. “You are 
not going to print anything about this disgraceful business 
in The Leaf , are you?” 

“Why, certainly, Mr. Boyne. I have a lovely article 
written up. We only want the action of the club to round 
it off, give it completeness as it were, and there you are.” 

“ Oh, that would be very bad!” cried Larry. “ I don’t mind 
your saying in the paper that Mr. Burton has been obliged 
to leave the club, and that we have supplied his place by 
placing Mr. Albert Heaton at short stop, Mr. William Sprague 
being unable to play, on account of having sprained his thumb 
while practicing with the club. But don’t let us disgrace the 
town and the club by making public Ben Burton’s treachery!” 

A new light seemed to dawn on the reporter’s mind, and 
he sucked his pencil reflectively. Finally, he brightened up 
and said, “Well, you must go and see Mr. Downey. He was 
reckoning that we would have a first-class story out of this. 
I have no authority in the premises. I am only an humble 
scribbler, a mere local-items, so to speak. But a word from 
you to the editor-in-chief, Mr. Boyne, will have its effect. 
Yes, it will have its effect. But that is a lovely story spoiled, 
Mr. Boyne.” 

Mr. Downey, when sought in the office of The Leaf , was 


186 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


deeply chagrined to learn that the members of the base ball 
club were unwilling that anything should appear in next 
morning’s paper regarding the unfortunate affair in which Ben 
Burton was involved. News was news, he said, and, what 
was more, news was very scarce at this season of the year. 
Harvesting was not wholly completed. No shooting matches 
had been yet arranged, and there was a frightful dullness 
throughout the county. His hated rival, The Dean County 
Banner, would be almost certain to get hold of the affair, 
and, as The Banner was a semi-weekly, instead of a daily, 
like The Leaf , he would have time to work it up into that 
dime novel sensation to which The Banner was so addicted. 
And the editor of The Leaf curled his lip with fine contempt 
for his rival. 

But the arguments of the 3 r oung men overwhelmed the 
generous mind of the editor, who, on condition that similar 
persuasion should be brought to bear on the editor of The 
Banner , consigned to the waste-basket, but with a pang, the 
highly-seasoned narrative which his reporter had prepared. 

The substitution of Albert Heaton for the derelict Ben 
Burton was not effected without a struggle. His mother, firm 
in her conviction that base ball was not an aristocratic game, 
held out against the arguments of her husband and her son, 
until Judge Howell, accidentally meeting her on the street, 
one day, craftily won her over by informing her that he 
wished that he had a son big enough to play base ball. He 
was sure that the honor and the glory of defeating the crack 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


187 


base ball, club of the State would now fall to the Catalpa nine. 
It would be a great day for Catalpa when this happened. 

The good lady surrendered. What Judge Howell thought 
and said seemed to her like law and gospel, social and moral. 
Albert joyfully received consent to play with the nine—“just 
for this once.’' 


CHAPTER XVII. 


A FAMOUS VICTORY. 

I T was a great day for base ball when the far-famed 
Calumet club came to Catalpa to play the home nine. 
The visitors arrived by the evening train and were met at 
the station by the greater part of the Catalpa club, who 
escorted 'their friends to the hotel in which quarters had been 
engaged. To say that the strangers were objects of curiosity 
to the youths and lassies of the town would only faintly 
describe the enthusiasm with which they were received by 
the people of Catalpa. The morrow was to witness the final 
game of the struggle, already made sufficiently notable by 
the narrowness of the margin left for the two contestants, 
and by the notoriety given to it by the treachery of Ben 
Burton, now town-talk, but (thanks to the discretion of the 
players) not known outside of Catalpa. 

So high ran the excitement that there were many sleepless 
youngsters in Catalpa, that night, although the seasoned 
veterans who were the actors in the drama slept as soundly 
as though the next day would not dawn, big with the fate 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


189 


of rival base ball clubs. Tom Selby, as his father reported, 
arose at frequent intervals through the night, looked out on 
the cloudless sky across which the harvest moon was riding, 
and went back to his bed with a deep-drawn sigh of 
satisfaction at the prospect of another fine day for the 
great match. 

It was a beautiful day that lighted up the valley of 
Stone River; and the mellow October sun flooded the scene 
with splendor, when the crowds began to flow towards the 
Agricultural Fair Grounds, now re-furbished with great care, 
and decorated with every available bit of bunting in the 
place. An enormous throng greeted the sight of the players 
as they entered the enclosure and made their way directly 
to the officers’ old rooms, now set apart for the use of the 
members of the two nines. Special trains had been run on 
the two railroads entering the town, and from the country 
round about came long lines of farm-wagons filled with rus¬ 
tic belles and beaux, stalwart young fellows from the rural 
districts, elder people from outlying villages, and small 
boys who had heard from afar the news of the great event 
that was about to happen, and had trudged into town from 
distant homes, carrying their frugal luncheons with them— 
all bound to see the sport. 

There was Judge Howell’s carriage, you may be sure, 
with the Judge, his pretty daughter, and his prim sister, 
eager for the sight, even Miss Anstress grimly admitting, as if 
under great mental pressure, that she did hope that the Catalpas 


190 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


would beat and so have done with what she thought a long 
and very unnecessary contest for the championship of the 
State. There, too, was old Rough and Ready, alert and spry 
as a lad of nineteen, making himself very busy trimming 
the flags, inspecting the grounds, and running of errands 
for the players, conscious that but for him the game could 
not go on. There was a great and tumultuous cheer when 
the two nines, clad in their uniforms, finally emerged from 
the unpainted little buildings near the judges’ stand in 
which they had made ready for the game. Hank Jackson, 
with what some thought was unparalleled impudence, under 
the circumstances, but which may have been prompted by 
a spasm of repentance, stood up on his seat and proposed 
“three rousing cheers for the Catalpa nine” as that famous 
organization filed into the Diamond Field. Whereupon, Mr. 
Heaton, fixing his fond paternal eye on his son, now 
wearing the uniform of the home club, waved his tall hat 
and asked for three cheers for the visitors, and these were 
given with a will. 

“Ah!” sighed Alice, as the Catalpas lost the toss and 
went to the bat at the direction of their antagonists, “that 
is a bad sign; but I have made up my mind not to notice 
any more signs, good, bad, or indifferent.” 

“ A sensible conclusion, child,” said the aunt. “ I have 
heard that base ball players are as superstitious as sailors, 
and that is one reason why I think that the game must be 
debasing to the morals of the players.” 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


191 


Alice laughed loud and long at this, and even the Judge 
relaxed his face into a smile as he heard the sage observation 
of the elderly lady before him. 

“Pay attention, Alice,” said her friend Ida, “there goes 
that handsome Larry to the bat! ” 

But it was needless to direct attention to the player. 
Every eye was fixed on the favorite as he lifted his bat 
jauntily and took his position with a knowing smile to Sam 
Morse, the Calumets’ pitcher, as if in recognition of their for¬ 
mer contests. But Larry, and Sam Morrison, who succeeded 
him, failed to hit the ball safely. And Neddie Ellis, who 
came next to the bat, secured his base only by an error 
on the part of Captain Ayres, at first base. There was then 
a chance for the Catalpas to score, but this was destroyed 
by Charlie King’s going out on a fly. Equally unsuccessful 
were the Calumets, who now came to the bat with high 
hopes. Darius Ayres hit a fly to John Brubaker, in the 
right field, and that vigorous young man neatly captured 
the ball amid the plaudits of his fellow townsmen, who were 
plainly glad of the least occasion for hilarity. Sam Morse 
was retired at first base, and John Handy hit a sky-scraper 
to Neddie Ellis, ending the first inning without a run. 

Again both clubs, watching each other with rigid 
scrutiny, failed to score a run. Each of the nines played 

a model fielding game and the result was that not a player 

reached first base in safety. For the Catalpas, Hart 

Stirling struck out; John Brubaker hit a slow ball to 


192 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB . 


Jamie Kennedy who fielded him out at first base, and 
Hiram Porter went out on a fly to James McWilliams. 

The Calumets were retired with equal precision and 
celerity, Rob Peabody being thrown out at first base by 
Albert Heaton, Tom Shoff meeting his fate at the same 
point at the hands of Hart Stirling, while Glenn Otto failed 
to hit the ball, although he made three mighty strokes at it. 

The third inning began without a run to the credit of 
either club, and it ended in like manner. The Catalpas 
went to work with a will that promised to achieve something 
for their success, but they were forced to yield to the strong 
fielding game played by the visitors. A1 Heaton made his 
first appearance at the bat, and a little rustle of applause ran 
around the crowded seats as he stepped lightly to his position. 
He had been “ a little shaky,” as he expressed it confidentially 
to his friend Larry, but the welcome he received from the spec¬ 
tators gave him a bracing of the muscles, and he hit a hard ball 
to the right field, where it was captured neatly by Rob Pea¬ 
body. '‘The Lily” next tried his best to hit the ball, but he 
could not send it out of the diamond, and, as Deputy Sheriff 
Wheeler remarked, “he died at first base.” Larry Boyne 
fared no better than his predecessors, as he hit up a very 
easy fly which fell to the lot of Shoff. It was the work of 
a few minutes to dispose of the Calumets. Jamie Kennedy 
struck out; Charlie Webb was retired at first base, after 
hitting a hot ball to Hart Stirling, and McWilliams went 
down before the deceptive curves of the Catalpas’ pitcher 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


193 


“Three innings and not a run yet!” was the exclamation 
of Miss Ida Boardman. “Why, both clubs seem to be 
watching each other as a cat would watch a mouse! I won¬ 
der if either will score a run in this game? If they don’t, 
I shall feel as if my time was wasted, shan’t you, Alice ? ” 

But Miss Alice, with a demure glance at her aunt, whc 
beheld the field with a listless manner, declared that the 
playing was simply splendid, and she pitied anybody who 
could not appreciate the wonderful fielding of the two clubs. 
She wished victory for the home nine; but she could not 
withhold her generous praise for the fine playing of the visitors. 

When Sam Morrison went to the bat for the Catalpas, 
there was on his face a look of determination that indicated 
mischief, as his admirers said among themselves. “The Lily” 
said, “It is high time that something was done, and we must 
be the first to send a man across the plate.” Sam hit a 
difficult grounder to Handy, who allowed the base runner 
to reach the first bag in safety, by making a poor throw 
to Ayres, after accomplishing a first-rate stop, at third base. 
Neddie Ellis made his first base hit of the game, and this 
advanced Morrison to third base. 

The next two strikers, Charlie King and Hart Stirling, 
threw a gloom over the spirits of the Catalpas and their 
allies sitting in rapt silence in the benches around, by going 
out at first base. As John Brubaker, the redoubtable, 
handled his bat in this inning, the attention of the specta¬ 
tors was fixed on him when he took his position. The 


194 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


eyes of Sam Morrison and Neddie Ellis were also riveted 
on John; the former was on third base, and Neddie had 
succeeded in reaching the second hag in safety. Anxiously 
did they wait to be sent around homewards. John hit a 
ball over the head of Tom Shoff which secured him two 
bases and his club the same number of runs, as Morrison 
and Neddie finished the circuit of the bases on this timely 
hit of the right fielder of the home nine. A great roar of 
applause went up from the assemblage, and the moisture 
gathered in the eyes of some of the more impressionable of 
the fair ones among the spectators. It was an auspicious 
moment for the Catalpas. The spirits of the on-lookers 
were slightly dampened, however, by Captain Hiram’s being 
put out, which ended this half of the inning. 

Nor was the scoring of runs to be confined to one club. 
The Calumets, in their half of the inning, also “broke the 
ice,” as Bob Peabody expressed it to Shoff. Captain Darius 
hit the first ball pitched and it yielded him a base hit. Sam 
Morse struck up an easy fly which fell before the skillful 
fielding of Sam Morrison. Next to the bat came John 
Handy, who imitated the example of John Brubaker, sending' 
home his captain on a two-base hit. Bob Peabody took 
his base on called balls, but was put out by a neat double 
play. Tom Shoff hit a ball to A1 Heaton who threw it to 
Stirling, who put out Peabody and then threw it to first 
base in time to head off Thomas; and the fourth inning was 
closed with the Catalpas two to one for their competitors. 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


195 


Whereat there was a thundering round of applause from 
the partial spectators. 

Inspired by this token of their success, the sons of Catalpa 
went cheerily to the bat and began what proved to be a 
fruitless attempt to increase the lead of their club. Albert 
Heaton, their first striker, made a base hit and reached 
second base on a bad throw by Charlie Webb, but he was 
left there, as “ The Lily,” Larry Boyne, and Sam Morrison 
were all retired at first base. Here the Calumets played a 
first-rate game and ran the bases in fine style, taking 
advantage of two errors committed by their opponents, 
which allowed them to score the single run needed to put 
them on even terms. Glenn Otto, the first striker, went 
out on a fly to Larry Boyne. The next man to the bat 
was Jamie Kennedy, who hit a line ball to Sam Morrison, 
who fumbled it and allowed the base runner to reach the 
first bag safely. Kennedy then succeeded in reaching the 
second base by a passed ball, and was sent across the 
home plate by Charlie Webb, who struck the ball for a 
base hit. McWilliams went out on a foul fly to “The Lily,” 
and Darius Ayres ended the inning, being fielded out at 
first base. 

In the sixth inning, the Catalpas once more took the lead. 
Neddie Ellis led off with a base hit and was followed by 
Charlie King, who secured his base by an error on the part 
of Glenn Otto. Hart Stirling went out on a fly to Rob Pea¬ 
body and was followed at the bat by John Brubaker, who hit 


196 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


safely and so sent in Neddie Ellis amidst the cheers of the 
excited spectators, now fairly alive with enthusiasm. Hiram 
Porter was thrown out at first base, and A1 Heaton hit a 
long fly to McWilliams, which the latter deftly captured, and 
the crowd, apparently anxious to seem impartial, loudly 
applauded the catch. 

The Calumets failed to tally one in their half of this inning. 
Sam Morrison made a base hit and Peabody went to first on 
a trifling error by Captain Porter, but Handy, Shoff and Glenn 
Otto were retired in quick succession, the first-named at first 
base and the other two on high flies to the out-fielders. 

Once more the Catalpas added to their score, the glory of 
making a home run falling this time to “The Lily.” Coming 
to the square, he swung his ashen bat over his shoulder, and 
selecting a “ drop ball,” he hit with a will and with all his 
might, and the sphere flew far over the center fielder’s head, 
giving the gratified catcher of the home nine the first and 
only home run of the game. Before the ball could be returned 
to the diamond, Yan Orman had cleared the circuit of the 
bases, and, as he seated himself breathlessly on the players’ 
bench, he was greeted with a hearty round of cheers from the 
excited throng. Cries of “Good for ‘The Lily’ of Catalpa! ” 
burst from the multitude, and Ida Boardman waved her 
scarf at the bashful William, who detected the compliment 
from his post on the opposite side of the amphitheater. 

“Get up, Bill, and show yourself proud!” cried Neddie 
Ellis. “You have won an encore.” At this, Bill heaved up 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


197 


his burly form, doffed his cap and grimly bowed to the 
spectators, who cheered him more wildly than ever. 

But Larry, who now took his bat to the square, was the 
cynosure of all eyes. Somehow, the confidence of the great 
assembly was with him always, even as their affection 
seemed lavished on peachy-cheeked Neddie Ellis. But Larry 
failed to win the plaudits that would have readily followed 
the least pretext for a burst of applause. He made a single 
hit, but did not score a run, as Sam Morrison, Neddie Ellis 
and Charlie King were rapidly retired, one after another. In 
this inning, the Calumets succeeded in keeping themselves within 
one run of their opponents. Jamie Kennedy made a two-base 
hit, and, after Charlie Webb and James McWilliams were re¬ 
tired at first base, they scored a run which was achieved by 
Captain Darius Ayres making a base hit. Sam Morrison ended 
the inning by going out on a “liner” to Larry Boyne. 

The score now stood four to three in favor of the Catalpas, 
and as “The Lily” sagely remarked, “It’s anybody’s game.” 
The home club tried every possible maneuver to increase their 
lead; but all was in vain. The contest was now drawing to a 
close, and the least bit of luck falling into the hands of the 
visiting nine would carry them so far ahead that defeat 
would be inevitable for the Catalpa club. Hart Stirling, John 
Brubaker, and Hiram Porter, the first three strikers for the 
home club, went out very quickly in the order named. 
Then the Calumets came to the bat with high hopes of 
securing at least the one run needed to bring them up to 


198 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB . 


an even score with their adversaries. But they, too, were 
doomed to disappointment. John Handy, Bob Peabody, 
and Tom Shoff were put out in “ one-two-three order,” so 
skillful was the fielding and so accurate the throwing of 
Larry Boyne, Hart Stirling, and A1 Heaton. 

“The last inning! The last inning!” cried Miss Alice, 
gleefully clapping her hands, “ and the Catalpas are first at 
the bat. with a lead of one to their credit! Oh, I do hope 
that Albert will make a run ! I know he will! Look at him 
where he stands ! Isn’t he handsome, Aunt Anstress ? ” 

Miss Anstress Howell turned her cool glance in the direction 
of the Diamond Field, and looking at Albert, said that she was 
not sure whether a young man could be called good-looking 
in those singularly ill-fitting and peculiar clothes that ball¬ 
players wore; but she was interested in the game, as a 
whole, she said, without any special interest in the play¬ 
ers as individuals. She took in the performance without any 
thought for the men who carried it forward. “You are a 
kind of overseeing providence, Anstress?” said the Judge. 

While they were talking, a murmur, only a murmur, of 
conversation swept around the crowded enclosure, and every¬ 
body seemed to be saying to his neighbor that this was the 
conclusive and crucial moment in the struggle. All eyes 
were intent on A1 Heaton, and even grown men held their 
breath, as, with close tension of every nerve, they watched 
the movements of the players in the field. Tom Selby, 
attended by his faithful satellite, Mike Costigan, who had a 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


199 


holiday, gazed with admiring eyes at his demi-god, Albert Hea¬ 
ton, and so still was the air, now soft and warm and dimmed by 
the lustrous October haze, that one might have heard a leaf 
drop, as Bill Yan Orman eloquently expressed it, afterwards, 

Albert patiently waited for a good ball, and when he 
saw one come, at last, he sent the sphere out of the reach 
of Glenn Otto and placed a base hit to his credit. Next 
came “The Lily” who hit the very first ball pitched, for 
two bases, and, with a volley of ah-h-h-s following him, 
sent in A1 Heaton to the home plate. Larry came next in 
order, and pretty Alice Howell felt a quickening of her pulse 
and her color glowing as she saw the resolute and sturdy 
figure of the favorite of the club shouldering his bat and 
striding to position. Larry made a safe hit to the right field, 
sending in “The Lily,” and securing his own base. Sam 
Morrison was put out at first while Larry shot to second base. 
Then Neddie Ellis went out on a fly to Bob Peabody, and 
Charlie King ended the inning for the Catalpas, by striking 
out, leaving Larry on third base, to which he had stolen 
meanwhile. 

The Catalpas now had a lead of three, and the Calumets 
came to the bat with lugubrious faces. “But I have seen 
sicker children than this get well,” was Captain Ayres’s 
philosophical remark, as Glenn Otto went to the bat for the 
visiting club. 

The Catalpas went to the field with an elation which they 
could hardly conceal, and with a tolerably firm belief in 


200 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB . 


their victory. They handled the ball with a dexterity almost 
unexampled, even for them, and speedily put a damper on 
any hopes that the Calumets might have cherished. Glenn 
Otto went out on a fly to John Brubaker. Jamie Kennedy 
was thrown out at first base by Hart Stirling, and Charlie 
Webb ended the game by hitting a hot ball to Larry Boyne 
who made a lightning throw to first base, before any of the 
spectators could see what had become of the ball, so swift 
and agile were his motions.- 

A great cheer burst forth from the multitude. The 
umpire superfluously cried “ Game ” in the midst of a deafening 
uproar, and, as the two captains advanced towards each other 
to clasp hands, the Catalpas, relieving their pent-up enthusiasm 
with a wild yell, swooped down upon Larry Boyne, whose 
brilliant play had terminated the game, and, seizing him 
bodily, carried him above their heads, shouting “ Hurrah for 
the ‘ Curly-headed Cat! ’ ” as they swung around and round the 
Diamond Field. Men and boys whooped and shouted, women 
waved handkerchiefs and parasols, and numberless small boys 
shrilly added to the din. Truly it was a great day for Catalpa. 

For a moment, Alice could not trust herself to speak. And 
when, with unsteady voice, she responded to her father’s 
delighted comments, he looked at her with surprise and said, 

“Why, Alice, my child, I believe you are crying!” 

“For joy, papa,” was all she said. Just then, the lads, 
still carrying Larry, with flushed face and sparkling eyes, his 
curly hair ruffled by his unwonted treatment, surged towards 


HURRAH FOR THE CURLY-HEADED CAT!”—Page 200. 













UPB 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


201 


the Judge’s carriage. Alice extended her hand, and their 
eves met with one swift glance of unspeakable elation. The 
Judge looked on with benignant approbation, an unusual lump 
rising in his throat as he regarded with unaffected admiration 
the young athlete who had carried off the honors of .the day. 

“You are to be congratulated very heartily, Mr. Boyne,” 
he said. “ Our club has won a famous victory, and it is a 
proud thing for you that your associates fix upon you as 
the noblest warrior of them all.” 

With more cheers and congratulations, the assembly slowly 
dispersed, the booming of an anvil salute falling on their ears 
as the men, women and children of Catalpa descended the 
hill to the town. And in the records of that proud community 
was written this score:— 


123456 78 9 ..total. 

Catalpas .00020110 2=6. 

Calumets.00 0 11 010 0=3. 

Runs earned — Catalpas, 3; Calumets, 2. 

Base hits — “ 10; “ 5. 

Errors — “ 3; “ 4. 


Umpire , Mr. John E. O’JSTeill. 


All these things happened years ago. It would be difficult 
for any inquiring stranger to gather the threads of the nar¬ 
rative herein set forth. Even the name of the Calumet base 
ball club disappeared from the roll of the League, after that 





202 


OUR BASE BALL CLUB. 


once-famous organization had been reconstructed, merged, and 
re-reconstructed. The title of the Catalpa Base Ball Club 
has survived time’s changes, but the founders of the club 
are now sedate upholders of the dignity and credit of their 
city, with little time or inclination for athletic sports. Their 
successors cherish with just pride the traditions of the early 
achievements of the club, and the titles of the original nine 
are carried with due respect for those who first wore them. 
The visitor in Catalpa would note many changes in the busy 
western town from which the famous base ball club went 
forth to conquer. Judge Howell has left the bench; and he 
and his daughter Alice have taken to themselves a partner, 
whose name appears on a signboard bearing the inscription— 

Howell & Boyne, Attorneys at Law. 

Of a summer afternoon, when the cares of business may 
be laid down for a while, ’Squire Boyne, as he is called by 
his fellow-townsmen, may sometimes be found seated in the 
outer rim of the well-appointed amphitheater of the Catalpa 
grounds, with other battle-scarred veterans around him, watch¬ 
ing the mimic combat in the field below, and telling once more 
How our Base Ball Club won the Championship. 


ft 


THE END. 


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