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  1. #1
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    "SPIKES" ...on their combat boots...

    Foreword: "Dan Conway" and the baseball are fictional; the rest of the account is true to the best of my knowledge & memory -some names have been changed to protect privacy.

    DAN CONWAY
    *************
    It had all begun for Dan in the month of March 1938;
    he had just returned from a Spring Training game of the Chicago
    Cubs’ affiliate, the Hudson Springers, backstopping for, among others,
    that kid called Sheppard, the one with a howitzer arm.

    Conway felt that he had caught a good game, as well as hitting a rare, for him, home run,
    but reflected, sadly, that this A- farm team of the Cubs, was as high as he was likely to go,
    what with catchers of the calibre of Kass and Mo Smith ahead of him...
    still, the salary he drew down for being the starting catcher
    of the Club, plus his bonuses for being a stringer for the Chicago Tribune
    were enough to keep him independent of his Mom back up in the Windy
    City...a twenty-five year old living with his mother, yet? Ridiculous!

    Man, if he could make just a bit more, he and Mary could get married,
    that 'd ease her worried mind, and make her less likely to go off with her
    compatriot, Jimmy Finnerty, that swaggering Irishman, who, being a slugger
    on the team, was far more likely than he, to go on up the A -league ladder,
    and on to the bigger bucks.

    After a quick shower, Dan hurried out to the ancient Ford which he shared
    with Charlie Whittaker, a spot starter getting long in the tooth, who was
    even less likely to make it to the Bigs than Conway. To save bucks, they
    had co-rented this mobile home in Hudson Springs Park, just down the road
    from the New Port Richey Stadium.

    When they pulled into the Park, Cleve Jenney, who managed the site for
    the residents, they paying, also, the ground rent for his own mobile, along with
    a monthly stipend, waved them down, with a telegram for Dan.

    “This came early this afternoon” explained Cleve as he handed the cable
    through the passenger window to Conway

    “Mebbe they’re calling you up to AA-ball?” suggested Charlie, as Dan turned the envelope
    over, wondering who on earth it could be from. Whittaker was
    already working out his finances, if he should lose his partner in ownership of the car.
    and rental of their mobile home, alike.

    “Nah, Coach woulda called me into his office for something like that ..”
    the catcher grunted “...‘Sides, all I got is m’ glove...I can’t hit worth a
    dam’ “ At last giving up the guesswork, he tore open the telegram which read.

    “REPORT ORLANDO AIRPORT SOONEST- STOP- AIRFARE PREPAID-STOP
    -STOP - SEE ME AT TRIBUNE -STOP.
    MCCORMICK”

    “Who’s it from, Buddy?” Charlie asked, observing the baffled look on Dan’s
    face

    “Only from the Man himself...” gasped the sometime reporter for the Chicago
    Tribune “ Bertie McCormick who runs my paper up in Chi”

    “What’s he want with a stringer like you...?” frowned Charlie as he let in the clutch
    “Gonna rake you over for bein’ so down on old folk?”

    Dan had recently run a series of unflattering articles on the population of
    seniors which he argued, under the influence of seeing so many elderly retirees
    down here in Florida’s sunny clime, was growing out of proportion to
    the wage-earners who paid for their pensions.

    “He’d pay my freight to tell me that...?” scoffed Conway “ No way...the
    Colonel ain’t known for throwin’ money around” Conway, who majored
    in English Language at Florida University (where he also played ball for the
    ‘Gators), thanks to his parents’ munificence, always “talked down”
    around his baseball peers.

    Having already showered at the Stadium, Conway only took time enough
    to change into his best duds, pack an overnight bag, phone Mary Cronin
    to , regretfully, cancel their date for the evening, and persuade Charlie
    to drive him to Orlando airport, where he picked up the ticket for the
    red-eye flight to Chicago To be continued
    ******************************************************************************** **********

    1938 'A -league' Spring Training game
    Code:
    	
    
    Bristol White Sox (7-8) at Hudson Springers (7-7)
    
    March 17th, 1938
      	1 	2 	3 	4 	5 	6 	7 	8 	9 	R 	H 	E
    White Sox 0 	0 	3 	3 	0 	2 	0 	0 	0 	8 	14 	3
    Springers 3 	0 	0 	5 	0 	3 	1 	1 	x 	13 	18 	3
    	
    
    White Sox 	   AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    T Tucker CF 	3 	1 	3 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.253
    B Culp C 	6 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.333
    B Bray LF 	6 	3 	0 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.333
    S Goletz 1B 	3 	2 	3 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.346
    C Wilborn RF 	5 	2 	0 	2 	0 	1 	1 	0 	.333
    D Culler 2B 	4 	1 	1 	1 	0 	2 	0 	0 	.227
    L McAtasney SS 	5 	1 	0 	0 	0 	2 	0 	0 	.141
    R Lowe 3B 	4 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	1 	0 	.000
    C Beach P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.111
    B Seybert P 	2 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.200
    Dunstan N P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.250
    P Isenhart P 	2 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.200
    J Sullivan P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.333
    C Maiore P 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.500
    Totals        	41 	14 	7 	8 	0 	7 	3 	0 	 
    
    HBP: Dick Culler, Claude Wilborn
    GDP: Dick Culler
    CS: Thurman Tucker
    
    DP: Stan Goletz, Larry McAtasney, Ben Seybert
    E: Stan Goletz, Dick Culler, Larry McAtasney
    	
    Springers 	   AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    Dan Conway C 	5 	2 	0 	2 	1 	2 	0 	0 	.181
    J Maksimow 1B 	6 	2 	0 	2 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.287
    J Finnerty CF 	6 	4 	0 	3 	1 	2 	0 	0 	.389
    C Witt 3B 	4 	2 	1 	2 	0 	3 	0 	0 	.213
    S White 2B 	3 	1 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.219
    E Sorely SS 	5 	4 	0 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.211
    D Buckun RF 	4 	1 	0 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.184
    Z Arensburg LF 	5 	2 	0 	2 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.111
    M Sheppard P 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    D Clary P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.333
    J Hart P 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	1 	0 	.000
    J Breault P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.286
    N Morgan PH 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.500
    J Blount P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1.000
    B Walker PH 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.159
    R McLerlan P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.167
    Totals        	43 	18 	3 	13 	2 	11 	2 	0 	 
    
    2B: Dan Conway (2), Jimmy Finnerty (2), Zack Arensburg (1)
    3B: Cory Witt (1)
    HR: Dan Conway (1), Jimmy Finnerty (1)
    HBP: Dan Conway
    GDP: Don Buckun
    
    DP: Jason Maksimow, Scott White, Erik Sorely
    E: Scott White, Erik Sorely 2
    
    White Sox 	IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Chris Beach 	0.1 	4 	1 	1 	3 	3 	0 	18 	7.47
    Ben Seybert 	2.2 	4 	0 	0 	3 	2 	0 	31 	6.20
    Dunstan N 	0.2 	0 	1 	0 	2 	0 	0 	17 	6.00
    Paul Isenhart 	1.2 	3 	1 	0 	3 	3 	1 	30 	12.66
    John Sullivan 	1.1 	4 	0 	1 	1 	1 	1 	29 	9.49
    Chris Maiore 	1.1 	3 	0 	0 	1 	1 	0 	19 	11.57
    Totals 	8.0 	18 	3 	2 	13 	10 	2 	144 	 
    	
    Springers 	    IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Matt Sheppard 	2.2 	7 	1 	0 	3 	3 	0 	57 	14.00
    Dane Clary 	0.2 	3 	2 	0 	3 	3 	1 	22 	13.25
    Jeff Hart 	1.2 	2 	2 	0 	2 	1 	0 	35 	9.58
    Josh Breault 	1.0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	17 	10.54
    Jeremy Blount 	2.0 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	2 	33 	11.57
    Rich McLerlan 	1.0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	11 	7.33
    Totals 	        9.0 	14 	7 	0 	8 	7 	3 	175 	 
    
    WP: Josh Breault (1-0)
    LP: Paul Isenhart (0-1)
    	
    Temperature: 83F
    Wind: 4 MPH (out to center)
    Attendance: 3,178
    Time: 3:31
    "Whate'er should be our Zodiac's star
    We all are born to make or mar.
    To each is gi'en a bag of tools
    Some mentors, and a set of rules:
    And each must carve, ere life has flown,
    A stumbling block, or a stepping-stone"

    (Author unknown)

    Generation 35.

    "Spikes" The cleats on baseball boots
    "Spikes" On which newspaper editors impale copy for future reference, or ultimate destruction.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Victoria B.C. Canada
    Posts
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    Re: "SPIKES" ...on their combat boots...

    1838 Chicago Cubs Spring Training game
    Code:
    	
    
    Cincinnati Reds (8-13) at Chicago Cubs (15-6)
    
    March 24, 1938
      	1 	2 	3 	4 	5 	6 	7 	8 	9 	10 	11 	12 	13 	14 	R 	H 	E
    Reds 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	2 	8 	1
    Cubs 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	3 	13 	1
    	
    
    Reds   	       AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    Lonny Frey SS 	5 	1 	2 	0 	0 	0 	1 	1 	.275
    Kiddo Davis CF 	6 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.268
    I Goodman RF 	4 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	2 	0 	.213
    Spud Davis C 	6 	2 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.261
    Buck Jordan 1B 	4 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.250
    Lew Riggs 3B 	2 	1 	3 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.211
    A Kampouris 2B 	6 	2 	0 	0 	0 	2 	1 	0 	.167
    Lee Gamble LF 	5 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	3 	0 	.197
    P Derringer P 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.143
    E Lombardi PH 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.367
    Walker Cress P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    Dusty Cooke PH 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.250
    A Hllngswrth P 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.000
    Totals        	44 	8 	7 	2 	0 	2 	9 	1 	 
    
    2B: Spud Davis (4), Lew Riggs (4), Ival Goodman (3)
    CS: Lonny Frey, Ival Goodman
    
    E: Lonny Frey
    	
    Cubs            AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    Stan Hack 3B 	5 	2 	1 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.375
    Augie Galan LF 	5 	1 	1 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.303
    P Cvrretta CF 	7 	2 	0 	0 	0 	1 	1 	0 	.301
    G Hartnett C 	7 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.329
    R Collins 1B 	5 	2 	2 	1 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.329
    B Herman 2B 	4 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.329
    F Demaree RF 	6 	2 	1 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.311
    B Jurges SS 	6 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.250
    Bill Lee P 	3 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.176
    J Moore PH 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1.000
    Joe Berry P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    T Lazzeri PH 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.250
    C Root P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    C Reynolds PH 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    W Lnfrncni P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    Totals 	       51 	13 	6 	3 	0 	3 	6 	0 	 
    
    2B: Stan Hack (8), Phil Cavarretta (3)
    
    E: Gabby Hartnett
    
    Reds          	IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Paul Derringer 	7.0 	8 	2 	0 	2 	2 	5 	115 	3.15
    Walker Cress 	2.0 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	36 	3.52
    Al Hllngswrth 	4.2 	4 	3 	0 	1 	1 	0 	77 	1.89
    Totals 	       13.2 	13 	6 	0 	3 	3 	6 	228 	 
    	
    Cubs 	        IP     H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Bill Lee        9.0 	6 	2 	0 	2 	2 	6 	120 	3.06
    Joe Berry     1.0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	13 	3.24
    Charley Root 	3.0 	2 	3 	0 	0 	0 	1 	48 	0.00
    W Lanfranconi 	1.0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	2 	14 	0.00
    Totals 	        14.0 	8 	7 	0 	2 	2 	9 	195 	 
    
    WP: Walt Lanfranconi (1-0)
    LP: Al Hollingsworth (1-1)
    	
    Temperature: 85F
    Wind: 5 MPH (in from center)
    Attendance: 30,677
    Time: 4:20
    "Whate'er should be our Zodiac's star
    We all are born to make or mar.
    To each is gi'en a bag of tools
    Some mentors, and a set of rules:
    And each must carve, ere life has flown,
    A stumbling block, or a stepping-stone"

    (Author unknown)

    Generation 35.

    "Spikes" The cleats on baseball boots
    "Spikes" On which newspaper editors impale copy for future reference, or ultimate destruction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: "SPIKES" ...on their combat boots...

    continued
    So it was that next day, that Dan found himself facing Colonel Bertie McCormick,
    across a clean desk in the press baron's Sparton-like office, listening to the propisition
    that he, Conway, fly to England to write for the "Chicago Tribune" there, covering the
    present doleful English scene

    Dan Conway couldn’t have been more flabbergasted if the old man had suggested
    that he, Dan, should go to jail...he decided to let the Colonel down gently

    “You surely don’t think they’d listen to me, Sir...” he pointed out “ a mere little
    occasional correspondent for a known Isolationist newspaper like the Tribune”

    McCormick shook his head “Oh, it won’t be the English, you’ll be
    preaching to, Dan’l...” he countered “ It’s our own folk I’m concerned
    about..I want someone over there, sending back the real skinny
    on the situation, to counter all the bullshiit that Murrow will be throwing
    at us, 'scuse my Army language”

    “S’okay, Sir...I hear worse than that on the diamond” said Conway,
    seeing his opening “...that’s the problem you see, Colonel... I’ve already
    got a job...I’m under contract to the Chicago Cubs” Trying to make it
    sound like a compact, forged with steel, and carved in stone.

    The Colonel was not impressed; he snorted, derisively “I know all
    about that Mickey Mouse contract, son, I’ve done my homework on
    you...good defensive catcher, but light hitter...you write much better
    than you play baseball, 'cos you’re a newsman, Dan’l, not a has-been
    ball-player at twenty-five years old ..” McCormick now showed the
    steel beneath the velvet glove “...how long do you think it’s gonna
    take me to get your minor-league contract null and voided?”

    Dan’s heart sank...he realized that this man, and William Wrigley, the
    Cubs ' owner, belonged to the same Chicago Old Boys Network...
    whatever happened now, his professional baseball career was over...but
    he was still not going to be exiled to England! Taken away from a
    comfortable life with doting parents and loving girl-friend, in the
    country of the Twentieth Century, to a backward land of ancient plumbing;
    few cars; medieval phone service; why, he was even doubtful if they’d
    heard of refrigerators, a country that was likely to talk itself into a
    one-sided war, like a little old lady picking a fight with a Suomi
    wrestler, a country that didn’t play baseball !.

    The ex-ballplayer now nailed his colours to the mast “Sorry, Sir...with
    respect, I just can’t go...my life is here, in America”

    To his surprise, the editor of one of the most powerful newspapers in the
    world, a man reputed to give short shrift to those employees who denied
    his wishes, began to reason with his - Dan expected - soon to be former
    stringer.

    “Look at it this way, son...” McCormick leaned forward earnestly “ ...if
    we get caught up in England’s war, sooner or later, you’ll be sent to fight
    in Europe, anyway”

    Conway gently shook his head and smiled “‘S’cuse me, Colonel, but I’m
    in my mid-twenties now...hardly likely that Uncle Sam will call an old guy
    like me to the colours”

    The man opposite him shook his head, also, as he regarded Conway “As a
    smart well-informed newsman, don’t you get it? In a heavyweight contest
    between us and the Germans, a war’s likely to go on forever...man, I tell ya, kids
    on both sides, ’ll be fighting in the streets, till everyone comes to their
    senses, declares another phoney armistice, then waits another twenty years
    for the next generation to develop before the old men can send them to be
    gun-fodder, again, history repeating itself, as it does...and what about your
    own father...?” the Colonel continued relentlessly driving his offensive
    “...he’s still a serving soldier...he might yet, be sent over there ...
    don’t you think he’s done his bit, already, along with me at Chardigny?”

    The young man shrugged “Sorry, Sir, but my mind’s made up”

    The old soldier surveyed him grimly “Then let me see if I can unmake it;
    on the one hand, I’m offering you full employment as a valued
    correspondent of the world’s finest newspaper with all its benefits; a job
    for life; good pay; medical insurance; working for us you can become rich
    and famous like Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald, in time writing your
    own books, and, yourself, becoming a powerful voice in the land like me,
    Hearst; Winchell; Hedda Hopper...that’s how we all got started -with the
    pen.

    “And all I ask is that you go to England for six lousy months to report
    back to the American public...you’ll be back with your sweetheart for
    Christmas, I’ll see to it that you play triple-A baseball next season for the Cubs,
    and I’m confident that, by then, neither you, your Dad, me, nor any
    American will have to fight England’s war.

    “ Hitlers propaganda inspired a nation to war...ours can persuade
    a country to stay out of it...” McCormick paused to light a cigar “..On the
    other hand, you refuse to go for this mere six months...you’ll find
    yourself with no baseball; no job; probably no sweetheart any more - who
    wants a guy who has to depend on his parents to subsist in this
    Depression, who’ll probably have to join up, anyway, just to make a buck,
    and get sent over there anyway ?- all because he failed to go over there,
    in the first place”

    McCormick leaned back and surveyed his victim; little did he know that
    in all his oratory, Daniel Conway had heard only three magic little words
    “Triple- A-Baseball”

    “Six months only, you say, Sir...?” in concession “...then I can carry on in
    pro ball with the Cubs’ main farm team, the Iowa Cubs?”

    “My hand on it...” said Colonel Robert McCormick, extending that hand towards
    the young man.

    And that’s how Dan Conway came to be the Chicago Tribune’s man
    in England; of course, after he had taken time out before the
    Pan-American flight over the “Pond” to catch a Cubs’ Spring Training
    game.
    Last edited by Rongar; 02-13-2015 at 03:13 PM.
    "Whate'er should be our Zodiac's star
    We all are born to make or mar.
    To each is gi'en a bag of tools
    Some mentors, and a set of rules:
    And each must carve, ere life has flown,
    A stumbling block, or a stepping-stone"

    (Author unknown)

    Generation 35.

    "Spikes" The cleats on baseball boots
    "Spikes" On which newspaper editors impale copy for future reference, or ultimate destruction.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Victoria B.C. Canada
    Posts
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    Re: "SPIKES" ...on their combat boots...

    Dan Conway= continued

    After a quick shower and shave at the home jointly owned by his divorced
    parents - Conway, Sr, in fact,was away serving in the Army - Dan’s mother
    dropped him off at the Tribune building, on her way to her own Chartered
    Accountant’s office, downtown.

    “If the big cheese, himself, calls you in, Danny boy...” Mrs Conway,
    herself, a highly competent executive, encouraged her son “...it can only
    be good news”

    After the last of the Tribune Tower’s three receptionists had waved Dan
    through on the top floor with a “The Colonel is expecting you” the
    humble stringer found himself in the spacious office which was the nerve
    centre of the mighty Chicago Tribune that ever-strident “America First”
    trumpeter, over the years.

    That office, though roomy, was Spartan, as befitted the ex-soldier who sat
    at the heart of a newspaper empire. “Heard from your old man lately,
    Dan’l?...” the publisher, and editor greeted him as if they’d known each other
    for years “...I hear that he made it to Master Sergeant in charge of
    Gunnery Training up at West Point”

    “Really, Sir...” Conway was surprised “... I did not know that”

    It was McCormick’s turn to be surprised “Your own father didn’t tell
    you?....you know it was he who got you your present job with the Tribune
    ...he and his gun-crew were a big help to me down at Chardigny, back in
    '17“

    “Haven’t heard too much from him since the divorce...” admitted Dan
    “...but he sends me money from time to time”

    “Yeah, dam’ shame about that split-up...:” observed McCormick “...still
    the Army was ever tough on married life...my Amy, for example..."
    he pulled himself up “...still you probably want to know why
    you’re here, today?”

    The Colonel got down to brass tacks “Liked how you went after those
    seniors, Son...don’t necessarily agree with what you wrote,
    but you had the moxie to go after sacred cows. Reckon you could
    write how the flag; Mom’s apple-pie; and the Second Amendment were
    bad news for this country, too”

    “If I had to, Sir...” Dan realized that he could be frank with this man
    “...much like a good lawyer, really, isn’t it? ...no matter what he really
    thinks, he has to be able to present an alternate case against the
    prevailing wind”

    “You talk like a writer, anyway...” grunted McCormick “...and I do like
    your pieces...oh, yes,” he went on with a chuckle, noting Dan’s startled
    reaction “Even way up here a thousand miles from Florida, I’m like God,
    knowin’ when the merest sparrow falls...” he paused for a moment.

    “ Well, I want this sparrow to fly...to England” he stopped, again, to note
    the expressions that chased over Dan’s face “Sir...I’m honoured...”
    the younger man stuttered “...but why me?...what for?”

    The colonel leaned back in his chair “Tell me, Son, what do you think of
    the English?”

    Dan’s immediate impulse was to blurt “Not much!”; after all, his Irish
    forbears had suffered under the iron hand of Cromwell, and he, himself,
    regarded Shakespeare’s “Sceptered Isle” as rather a comic-opera little
    country, with its useless monarchy; class-distinctions; warm beer; narrow-
    -minded inhabitants always picking fights with countries bigger than
    themselves, infuriatingly, often lucking into winning them. They claim to be our
    cousins, reflected the young man, more like mother-in-laws, maybe, with
    their suspicious nature, spiteful tongues; and illusions of superiority
    over all outsiders, especially us easy-going Americans. Worst of all they
    didn’t play baseball!

    He decided to tone it down for McCormick, a known Anglophobe,
    himself, lest the old soldier thought that he was brown-nosing.

    “I - um- hadn’t really thought much about them, Sir...” he stalled “My
    big concern, right now, is that they’ll get themselves into a war with
    Germany, and drag us into it, again”

    The older man chuckled “I see that you’ve been reading your Tribune,
    Dan’l ...I’ve been on about that ever since Roosevelt began making noises
    over the problems in Europe...an’ he’s not the only only one...I hear that
    dam’ CBS radio network is sending Ed Murrow over
    there to broadcast about plucky little England standing up to the big
    German bully...goddamned liberals...they’ll drag us into Europe’s
    everlasting bloodbaths, yet”

    “I don’t think so, Sir...” Dan was trying to reassure himself, as well as
    his boss “It’s all smoke and mirrors...Hitler holds all the cards, and all
    that Chamberlain can do, with only the Royal Navy in his hand, is bluff”

    “My take, entirely, young man...” agreed McCormick “...but my
    experience has been that wars are started by people believing their own
    rhetoric...once Adolf reaches a certain point, Neville will honestly feel
    it his duty to go to war, with no army, nor air force, nothing to speak of,
    against the strongest military machine in the world, right now”

    Dan was so caught up in the older man’s rant, that he betrayed his own
    attitude towards the English “Trouble is, Sir...” he averred “ ...they’re so dam’
    chauvinistic - they believe their own history to the extent that they now
    regard themselves as policeman of the world, despite the fact that they don’t
    even have a night-stick, let alone a gun on their hip!”

    “Couldn’t have put it better, m’self, young man...” chortled his boss “That’s
    why I’m sending you to England!”
    continued next post
    "Whate'er should be our Zodiac's star
    We all are born to make or mar.
    To each is gi'en a bag of tools
    Some mentors, and a set of rules:
    And each must carve, ere life has flown,
    A stumbling block, or a stepping-stone"

    (Author unknown)

    Generation 35.

    "Spikes" The cleats on baseball boots
    "Spikes" On which newspaper editors impale copy for future reference, or ultimate destruction.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Victoria B.C. Canada
    Posts
    16,821

    Re: "SPIKES" ...on their combat boots...

    Code:
    	
    
    Putney Iron (1-1) at Mayfair Toffs (1-1)
    
    March 31st, 1938
      	1 	2 	3 	4 	5 	6 	7 	8 	9 	R 	H 	E
    Iron 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0
    Toffs 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	x 	2 	6 	1
    	
    
    Iron 	       AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    B Reed RF 	4 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.444
    J Agius C 	4 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.111
    I Fttlewrth LF 	4 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.222
    A Binyon CF 	3 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.143
    R Baur 1B 	3 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    J Gardner 3B 	2 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.143
    T Gardner 2B 	3 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.571
    T McLewis SS 	3 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.125
    P Cornock P 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	2 	0 	.000
    T Speed P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    J Jordan PH 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    Totals 	      29 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	4 	0 	 
    
    2B: Bill Reed (3)
    
    	
    Toffs  	       AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    F Allen SS 	3 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.375
    H Truell RF 	4 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.250
    L Marks LF 	4 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	2 	0 	.111
    N Rodway  CF 	3 	2 	1 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.429
    N V-Carter 3B 	3 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.250
    B Wortley 1B 	3 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.714
    Dan Conway C 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.400
    P Alvis 2B 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    Ross Tarreg P 	3 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.000
    Totals 	      26 	6 	3 	2 	0 	2 	4 	0 	 
    
    2B: Dick Rodway (2), Laurie Marks (1)
    CS: Nigel Veevers-Carter
    
    E: Freddy Allen
    
    Iron   	         IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Pat Cornock 	7.0 	6 	3 	0 	2 	2 	2 	97 	2.57
    Ted Speed 	1.0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	2 	13 	0.00
    Totals 	        8.0 	6 	3 	0 	2 	2 	4 	110 	 
    	
    Toffs         	IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Ross Tarreg 	9.0 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	4 	110 	0.00
    Totals 	        9.0 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	4 	110 	 
    
    WP: Ross Tarreg (1-0)
    LP: Pat Cornock (0-1)
    	
    Temperature: 51F
    Wind: 2 MPH (out to center)
    Attendance: N/A
    Time: 2:04
    "Whate'er should be our Zodiac's star
    We all are born to make or mar.
    To each is gi'en a bag of tools
    Some mentors, and a set of rules:
    And each must carve, ere life has flown,
    A stumbling block, or a stepping-stone"

    (Author unknown)

    Generation 35.

    "Spikes" The cleats on baseball boots
    "Spikes" On which newspaper editors impale copy for future reference, or ultimate destruction.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Victoria B.C. Canada
    Posts
    16,821

    Re: "SPIKES" ...on their combat boots...

    continued

    Conway could hardly believe his eyes…who would have
    thought that in this dinky little Mom & Pop store in
    London’s Mayfair district, thousands of miles from
    Wrigley’s Field, he would see the latest edition of
    “The Baseball Digest”, and moreover, that a Brit would
    be avidly reading it, from his position behind the
    counter?

    “Say, how much is that magazine?” asked Conway,
    fumbling excitedly for his billfold.

    Ross was surprised at first, then realized ...the man was
    an American, ergo, a baseball fan “Sorry, Sir...” he said,
    sincerely, “...this is my copy...I can order you one,
    though... special from the importers”(Following Mum’s
    maxim)

    “That right?..." Dan’s face lit up “...I sure would
    appreciate it?...can you order it weekly for me?"

    The American journalist could hardly believe his good
    fortune...coming over here, he expected to be starved
    of his cherished game, other than the odd reference to
    the universally bruited name of Babe Ruth (Whom he
    assumed the Brits took to be another child-star like
    Shirley Temple, anyway.)

    After another phone-call to the newspaper and
    periodical distributing firm in his area, Ross gave the
    thumbs-up “All settled, Sir...you can pick up your copy
    with the ciggies on, what’s today, Saturday, say Tuesday?”

    One thing about being a roving reporter, thought Dan,
    one can sure set one’s own timetable “I’ll drop in about
    lunchtime, then...” He promised

    “Right you are, Sir, I’ll pass the word on to Mum or
    Dad if I happen not to be about”

    “You run this store, then...?” the American asked in
    surprise

    “Case of have to, Sir...” shrugged the youth “...not a lot
    of jobs about for a feller these days leavin’ school at
    fourteen as I did - course... ” he added, the very
    reminder to himself bringing a glow of happiness
    within him “I’ve got the afternoon off t’ play baseball”

    Conway was amazed; this youth was full of surprises.

    “You play baseball, yourself?”

    “ Certainly do, Sir...” Proudly “The Mayfair Toffs...
    Doin’ well so far, this year, we are.”

    “Toffs?...” Conway thought he knew quite a bit about
    English slang “... I thought the gentry were called ‘nobs’
    over here?”

    “So they are...matter o’ fact we were gonna name the
    team that, but our Mr Marks - a school teacher -
    pointed out that ‘nobs’ meant rich people,
    “toffs” denoted class - like a compliment-‘You’re a toff -
    - a gentleman and a scholar’” Ross grinned “We’re a pretentious lot,
    so we opted to be called the Toffs”

    That there was organized baseball in England was a
    revelation to Dan Conway...he would no more have
    thought it likely than he would have suspected this
    spindly youth to be a ballplayer

    “…And what position do you play, Mr –er..?”

    “Ross Tarreg’s the name..and pitchin’s my game”
    quoth the young man, facetiously.

    The American stuck out his hand

    “And I’m Dan Conway...I’m a journalist”

    ”You write about baseball, then?” Ross asked as he
    shook hands.

    “I wish ...” admitted Conway, ruefully “used to be a pro catcher, myself...
    but I’m here to report back to America how
    the average British joe feels about the prospect of war
    with Germany”

    “I c'n tell you straight up how this joe feels about it,
    Mr Conway..…" Ross was earnest “..I don’t want to
    know, do I? The balloon goes up, ‘cos of this
    Czechoslovakian do, we’re in it, are’n’t we? Me, I’m
    seventeen and a bit, old enough to get roped in,
    eventually”

    “What about your friends and family?...any ideas about
    how they feel?”

    “Not 'arf” Ross was warming to his subject “War’s no
    good to anyone is it? ...we all know that”

    “But supposing the Germans march into
    Czechoslovakia?”

    “Then let ‘em...!” with a shrug “...no skin off our nose,
    is it? ‘Course, if Hitler tried to claim that the Suez canal was his,
    or the Channel Islands or something...oh, Hallo
    Mrs Jeffries..." as the shop’s doorbell rang, and a
    matronly lady entered “...you come for your paper?”

    “Yes, please, an’ a pennorth o’ liquorice allsorts for th’
    nippers...” said she as she looked Conway up and down...
    there was something...foreign...about him, she decided
    “... an’ a couple of them farthing chewies for my old
    man...you know ‘is sweet tooth”

    “I was just telling this gent, how nobody wants war...”
    explained Ross as he weighed out two ounces of allsorts
    at eightpence a pound, roughly a pennyworth.

    “My goodness, no...!” exclaimed the lady “Ev’rybody
    knows that...I wish that Mr Chamberlain wouldn’t go
    round guaranteein’ everybody-like”

    “Don’t you worry, Mrs J...” Ross assured her, handing
    her the allsorts, enclosed hygienically in a paper bag,
    untouched by human hand.“...He’s bluffin’ old Hitler,
    you watch"

    “You think so...?" Conway dropped the question in to
    start a discussion that he could write about.

    “Course he is..." Ross was almost jeering that the
    American didn’t seem to realize that “... Ol’ Chambo
    knows darn well we haven’t got a leg to stand on...all
    we got’s a navy to keep Jerry out of England...that’s
    why Hitler would never start on us”

    “Well, he will, if Mr Chamberlain keeps threatenin’
    him, like he is” quavered Mrs Jeffries.

    “No, it’s just politics, don’t you worry...” declared Ross
    with all the lordly assurance of the young and ignorant
    “They all know what’s really goin’ on, they’re just
    negotiatin’ to look good to us, so’s we’ll vote for them
    again”

    “And what do you think is really going on ?“ asked the
    journalist, Dan Conway, already writing quotations
    from the Great British Public in his mind.

    “Why, it’s a carve-up innit?” the youth asked, rhetorically-
    -something that he’d heard his dad pronounce.

    Mrs Jeffries must have been rendered nervous by all the talk of war, for
    she quickly paid her bill and left

    “And how do the guys on your baseball club feel about going to war?”
    pursued the journalist

    The young man shrugged “We got one rah-rah type who’s been on about
    appeasement, 'n’ that, but otherwise, we don’t talk about it much “ He grinned
    ruefully “‘Specially to me...they’re nobs... I’m not...’sides I’m too young to have
    an opinion...just old enough to go 'n’ fight their old man’s war though”

    “Two strikes against you, lad ...” was the American’s silent thought
    “ ...your Limey class system, and the universal age barrier”

    “Your next game is this afternoon?” mused Conway...an idea was
    beginning to form

    “Yeah, why?...you wanna come down and watch us?” the lad was quick to
    recognize his hint “ Here...wot about catchin’ for us?... our blokes have got to
    be shanghied into doin’ it...when a high hard’un comes their way, they
    tend to bloodywell duck!”

    “You bet...!” Dan quickly made up his mind, his mouth watering at the
    prospect of both a game and some copy “...mebbe sound out a few of
    their opinions ,what are they? - mostly older men?”

    “Well, certainly, I’m the youngest...” Tarreg went over the roster in his
    mind’s eye “Wortley’s no age...though he’s going bald already....Freddy
    Allen...nah he’s gotta be pushin’ forty...he just acts young...Yes, Mr
    Conway...I reckon they’re mostly old men”

    “So, they should have some interesting comments..." mused Conway “...
    I’ll look forward to meeting them - and call me Dan, okay?”
    "Whate'er should be our Zodiac's star
    We all are born to make or mar.
    To each is gi'en a bag of tools
    Some mentors, and a set of rules:
    And each must carve, ere life has flown,
    A stumbling block, or a stepping-stone"

    (Author unknown)

    Generation 35.

    "Spikes" The cleats on baseball boots
    "Spikes" On which newspaper editors impale copy for future reference, or ultimate destruction.

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