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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

    "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.

    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.


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

    “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
    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
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    1838 Chicago Cubs Spring Training game
    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
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    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 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 “ 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 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

    “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, 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

    “And all I ask is that you go to England for six lousy months to report
    back to the American’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’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
    Last edited by Rongar; 02-13-2015 at 02:13 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
    Victoria B.C. Canada

    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 “ 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? 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

    “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 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? 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 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’ 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
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    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
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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


    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

    “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

    “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, 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

    “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,

    “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

    “Then let ‘em...!” with a shrug “ 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 “ 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 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

    “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 idea was
    beginning to form

    “Yeah, why? 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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    Ross Tarreg
    March 31st 1938

    Ross Tarreg felt that this Saturday was to be his day; the Mayfair Toffs
    were short of pitching, and though only a seventeen-year old, he had been
    throwing well in the pen, and would surely rate an inning or two of
    relief, and, who knew, given the vagaries of the Toffs, many of them
    being business men with either work or more exotic weekend pleasures
    to beguile them other than playing plebeian baseball - “I say, rather a
    vulgar little game, don’t you think, Veevers-Carter?” - he might
    even get to start, if some key pitchers didn’t turn up. .

    Moreover, he could kill three birds with one stone by taking George to the ball
    park with him (a) because the kid was seven years old, today, and it would be a
    birthday treat for him; (b) Ross’ mother wouldn’t think so much that he, Ross,
    was just a “selfish lout” after all, and best of all (c) The Toff’s unable
    to boast a catcher worthy of the name, he could bring his own personal
    one to warm up with, by throwing a few to George who had the makings
    of a good little backstop; whenever they played catch with a tennis ball
    at home, young Georgie boy seemed bound and determined not to let one
    past him.

    Of course it may be different with a hard baseball coming at him
    something like seventy-five miles an hour - Ross liked to think that he attained
    around that speed with his fastball - but Lofty Marks, who acted
    as the team’s equipment manager, no doubt, could dig out a mitt; a mask;
    and a chest protector, to make the kid believe that he’d died and gone to
    Heaven to be able to dress up like a real catcher...of course, no cup was
    necessary, seven years old, today, or not, Georgie boy still hadn’t got a
    pair of balls worth protecting, yet.

    Mum had been the first up today, as usual, opened the shop at six,
    marked all the newspapers and magazines that should be put by for the
    regular customers, and now she called to him to take over behind the
    counter, while she made breakfast for the six of them, providing that
    Dad didn’t sleep in after last-night’s booze-up.

    Ross liked serving in the shop, the next best thing to being a professional
    baseball player, which was a fantasy, living in England as he did; why,
    even here, in the heart of London, where English baseball was most
    popular, the Metropolis could muster a league of only nine teams, which
    meant that they could get in about eighty games a season, playing
    weekends, Bank holidays. and summer evenings, all in London’s Hyde
    Park, which, during the summer months, especially reserved an area for
    a baseball diamond.

    As soon as Ross got behind the counter, he searched anxiously for his
    own ordered copy of “The Baseball Digest”from the warehouse,
    which distributed newspapers and periodicals to the various
    news/confectionery/tobacco shops in the area. Ah, there it was,
    he was just thumbing eagerly through its pages to see what
    news of his adopted team, the glamourous Brooklyn Dodgers, when the
    shop’s bell rang as the door leading to the street opened, and a male
    American-accented voice, inquired “Say, I guess you don’t stock Lucky Strike
    cigarettes, do you?”

    Ross looked up to see a young man, quite prosperous-looking as so many of
    the shop’s customers were, in this ritzy area of London.

    From the time that the Tarregs had taken over the shop, early in the Depression,
    their watchword had been that if an item appropriate to a
    news/con/tob shop e.g. a periodical; a particular line of candy (or ‘sweets
    and chocolate’, as is the British term); a brand of cigarette; is not in stock,
    promise the customer that you will order it for him, then order it for him on the spot.

    This precept had paid off...the shop. already in a favourable location,
    due to such a positive attitude by its staff, fared well, in these difficult
    times of the Depression.

    So now Ross piped up with “‘Fraid not, Sir...” (another of Mum’s
    maxims “Manners maketh man - and money”) “...but, I could order a
    supply for you, if you care to come in f’r them, regular-like”

    “Could you really...?” The American brightened “You know, you’re the
    first shop over here, that’s made me that soon get you get me
    some? I’m nearly out of the ones I bought Stateside”

    Ross always liked the way real -live Yanks reminded him so
    much of those glamorous Hollywood movies at the Canterbury and Gatti’s
    cinemas down Lambeth way “I’ll find out right now, Sir...” Ross lifted
    the phone, after looking at the Smith Fob Watch which had been last
    April's birthday gift from his folks. Yes, Solly at the local Cash and Carry,
    the wholesalers who distributed most of the other stock, apart from
    newspapers and periodicals pertinent to the news/con/tob trade, would
    be open at this time, being businesslike as were the Tarregs, themselves.

    “Mornin’ Sol, Tarregs’ here...” he greeted the old Jew “ Mornin’ young
    man, what can I do you for?” this was ever Solly’s jocular greeting
    making light of the average Goy’s view that Jews would see you
    coming, every time.

    “Lucky Strike cigarettes, Sol... “ Ross tried to make it casual, it never
    would do to appear too eager, Solly, though fair, would, as everyone
    else in business, take a yard if offered an inch.“Any o’ them ever come
    your way?”.

    “They could if the price is right” answered the wholesaler cautiously.

    “I was thinkin’ oh, a coupla bob for a pack o’ twenty...” the youth raised
    interrogatory eyebrows at his customer..." They only come in twenties,
    do they, Sir?,,,you can’t get a mere ten at a time, like some of ours?”

    Dan Conway nodded, and mimed, “Twenties” at the same time that Solly was
    exploding into Ross’ ear “Coupla bob? leave orf!...three an’ a kick
    is more like do realize that these 've got to fall off a lorry, don’t
    you?’ what’s more I got to sell ’em by the carton if I’m to make my
    little bit out of ’’ if you want your shop to make money out of ’em,
    young fella, you gotta get that Yank there with you to come in regular
    for them“

    Marveling at the old man’s sharp deduction that an American was
    actually in the shop, the youth asked “The usual two hundred ciggies per
    carton, Sol...?” making sure that the sale was strictly defined,
    the wily old Cash and Carry merchant usually won any after-sale
    arguments and disagreements.

    “That’s right, Mate, an’ seein’ as it’s you, I’ll drop it dahn to thirty-three
    an’ six per your end, seein; as ‘e’s one o’ them Yanks,bound to 'ave
    a few bob, an’ you want your shop to do alright out of it, ‘old yer breath
    an’ quote ‘im four shillin’s a pack”

    “Four shillings a pack, all right with you, Sir? ...” blithely asked the youth
    of the visiting American, as if the price were not outrageous.

    Conway had not yet come to grips with the rate of exchange; he knew,
    officially, that the rate was supposed to be five dollars to the pound
    sterling, but by the time the English money-changers had wangled their
    fees, and margins, who knew how much he had been swindled out of?
    ... and as for this pleasant polite youth, he was probably committing
    highway robbery with the customary insouciance of the Brits sticking
    it to the obliging what else was new?

    “Sure...” he replied affecting the easy way that Americans have, even
    when they know they’re being shafted by the natives“...and I can buy
    them here regularly?”

    “I’ll lay in a regular supply for you....” promised the youth; with the usual
    Cockney skepticism, he allowed for the eventuality that should the
    American not keep his side of the bargain, to have little brother
    Georgie sell the American cigarettes, one or two at a time
    at his primary school...many of the pupils there would appreciate the
    stronger flavour of the American ffagg, over the more pallid Woodbine or
    Star that they’d been used to smoking. “...gimme a couple of days and
    I’ll have - what’s up, Sir?” He broke off, as he saw the look of
    incredulity upon the American’s face.
    continued next post
    Last edited by Rongar; 06-15-2013 at 10:09 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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    George hadn’t forgotten that big brother Ross had promised to take him
    to the baseball game that afternoon, followed by a trip to the Canterbury cinema
    that evening, as birthday treats, but as the morning wore on, the boy looked
    forward to the ball game less and less, as he and Billy were having fun,
    working their way to the tramcar stop, each on one side of the street
    accosting wayfaring strangers - mainly men, few women smoked on the
    streets, at that time - for cigarette cards.

    It was certainly George’s lucky day, for he came up with no fewer than
    three; it was always a tossup, asking people for cigarette cards, for the
    odds were against one: first, you approached only men, which ruled out
    half the population for starters.

    Then, some of them didn’t smoke,although there were few health concerns
    at that time, even though cigarettes were jocularly called “Cancer sticks”.

    Moreover, some of the many who did smoke, were card collectors,
    themselves, George’s own father, Alf, smoked the brand which came with a king
    or queen of England, issuing the cards, one to a pack of ten, two cards with twenty
    cigarettes, to make it possible, for a smoker, eventually, to collect
    all fifty cards of the set, which then could be stuck in a special album,
    also issued by that tobacco company.

    His Dad was lovingly collecting the kings and queens of England (ranging from
    from William the Conquerer to George the Fifth - embarrassingly, the
    number of English monarchs had exceeded the convenient sets of fifty
    cards, which all the tobacco companies adhered to, hence, there was no
    representation of the present monarch, George the Sixth) for his wife, Ellen,
    a non-smoker, but who was vaguely interested in history.

    The boy, George, himself, was very much into that subject, especially as
    his own country seemed to be good at wars. He was very disappointed
    when, once, he asked his mother “Mum, did we ever lose a war?” His
    mother seemed quite indifferent when she said “Oh, yes, the Americans
    threw us out of their country, long ago” George was outraged; how could
    a country that made such exciting films, even fight with England, let
    alone, beat her?

    Yes, George had a taste for history, himself; in fact the film that Ross
    was taking him to see, tonight, was “Fire Over England”
    all about a war with Spain that George was pretty sure was won by
    the good guys, his country.

    That was a pleasure to be looked forward to, meanwhile present joys
    consisted of begging for ciggy cards, as he and Billy worked toward
    where they could catch a tramcar to the New Cut, one of the many
    open-air street retailers and costermongers’ places of commerce, where
    the roads were lined with both walk-in shops, and various stalls and
    barrows’ wheels planted firmly in the gutter.

    There, no doubt, they would come across one of George’s many uncles
    - his father having eight brothers! - most of whom toiled in the other
    family business of “Tarreg Brothers - Window Cleaners” a trade which
    Alf Tarreg, himself, had followed, ere his father had lent him the capital
    to invest in the news/con/tob shop.

    With so many shops in “The Cut”, there was always a shop window to be
    washed clean, and in that part of London, a Tarreg stood ever ready to do
    it, for a reasonable fee, a small percentage of which, could be donated to
    one’s small nephew, who came upon one, plying one’s trade whilst the
    little lad loudly proclaimed that he was now a seven-year-old.

    Upon collecting sixpence each from the two uncles, Charlie and Nobby,
    who happened to be working “The Cut” that day, the boys would hie to
    the pie- and -mash cafe’ - the best friend naturally
    sharing in the Birthday Boy’s sudden wealth - for a lovely nosh of
    eel-soup, followed by a tasty meat pie with lashings of creamed potatoes,
    and dollops of “likker”, the special gravy, without which, no pie and
    mash meal is complete.

    The boys lingered so long over their meal, that George, ultimately,
    would have to settle, contentedly, enough, for an afternoon of trying the
    swings, roundabouts and sandpits of nearby Bishop’s Park, and later,
    the promised trip to the Canterbury, elder brother, Ross, having,
    reluctantly given up the wait for his younger brother, and together, with
    his American guest, made his way via the Underground (subway) to
    Hyde Park, for a game of baseball.
    "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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    George Tarreg

    March 31st 1938

    George woke up that birthday morning to a sunshine -filled bedroom
    that he shared he shared with his little brother, Billy, currently sleeping
    in his wickerwork cot across the room.

    George knew that it was his birthday, because his mother came bringing a
    cup of tea for him, and wishing him many happy returns...he knew somehow,
    that he was seven years old today, but his memory, when he cast it back
    in later years, was very indistinct, dimly aware that he’d made another
    brother, Reggie cry when on returning from hospital, he found that young
    George had destroyed all of his toy soldiers, not out of any malice
    towards his sibling, but because little George had fought Reggie’s
    leaden army to total annihilation.

    He had a vague sense of attending Reggie’s funeral with his mother, but
    did not attribute it to his destruction of his sibling’s toys...Reggie did not
    die of a broken heart, but a rheumatic one, as their mother explained later.

    But all that was in the, for some reason he looked forward to
    a bright future, perhaps it was the sunshine in the room, perhaps that it
    was the love that his mother displayed by bringing him a cuppa in bed,
    perhaps it was the instinct, that from this day forward, he would be
    conscious of what was going on in his life, no more clouded

    Once up, his mother soft-boiled him an egg with buppy - fingers, slices
    of buttered bread cut into strips, or “fingers”, which he could then dunk
    into the soft yolk of the egg, then consume bread and yolk, together. He
    knew, somehow, that this was one of his favourite breakfasts, equaled
    only by porridge sweetened with Tate and Lyle syrup.

    After breakfast, George nipped upstairs with the “Daily Herald” from
    the shop to Mr Harry Darby - the only delivery ever made to a customer,
    and only because he rented the rooms above the shop, whilst the Tarreg
    family occupied the lower level, behind, and below the shop itself.

    Mr Darby was a guitar-playing busker, he played the local pubs and other venues in
    blackface, and George, it seemed, was quite used to seeing the man
    made up with just a white band around his mouth, and boot-blacking
    all over his fingers..

    Billy Darby was his son, and apparently George’s best friend, for on this
    day, the Birthday Boy went to the window while he was waiting for Billy
    to finish his breakfast, and whilst Mr Darby was scanning his paper,
    the seven-year-old surveying the early-morning sunlit street below...
    a favourite pastime of his, it seemed.

    The milkman, who had begun his rounds before dawn, was now driving
    his pony and van a few yards forward at a time, then dismounting to
    distribute bottles of milk to the individual shops, and entire crates of it
    to the many maisonettes that lined Mount St, Mayfair.

    Horses, in fact, were a big part of London life at that time, certainly the brewers and
    the coal merchants made use of the great strength of the teams of huge
    drays to pull their heavy loads around town, small boys loving to swing
    from the backs of moving horse and carts, as the drays plodded stolidly
    along the roads

    Later on, even smaller old ladies, could be seen scooping up
    with shovels, the horse droppings that lined the streets, which droppings
    were reputed to be excellent manure for the garden, without their being a
    disgusting effluent to litter the streets of a modern metropolis, anyway,
    horse excrement being almost devoid of odour; quite interesting to look
    at in its dry solid knobs of a light colour, with bits of straw sticking out
    of each clump, here and there, and last

    Not least, the animal was important at that time, since horse meat was
    supposed to be good for cats, which might explain why there was a long
    line-up of women to the cart (pulled by a horse, ironically), waiting to
    buy some; of course, another explanation might be that their men were
    out of work, their own kids hungry, and horse meat a cheap, if tough,
    substitute for beef.

    Billy was now ready to go abroad with him, so George had to leave his
    perch, and would miss the daily parade of commerce and arts that
    passed through the side and back streets of London, before the war;
    next would probably come the rag-and-bone man, the first of the
    recyclers, the local householders bringing out anything from an antique
    set of furniture to a zip fastener, and would be offered a few bob for the
    former, but no more than a tiny goldfish in a water filled jam jar
    for the latter, then the buyer would go on his way to resell the booty thus
    acquired, to some home, or shop, or manufacturer.

    Once the rag-and-bone man disappeared around the corner, the cutler
    would pedal up on his tricycle, with the built-in knife and scissors
    grinder, yelling something like “Sharpen your knives; sharpen your
    scissors”, until hopefully a crowd of housewives would surround him,
    offering various instruments to be honed for a small fee.

    Close upon his rear wheel then, would come the ice -cream tricycle,
    with its magic box, into which the vendor would plunge and come up
    with a brimming cone of strawberry and vanilla, or lime and lemon
    ice-cream, or a slab of a combination of flavours sandwiched between
    two sweetened wafers of wheat or produce a “Wallsy” (the name “Walls”
    being big in foodstuffs at that time), better known as a popsicle to Americans.

    All these delights to be had for a penny or two, from the women and
    children milling around the ice-cream vendor...more foodstuff was on
    the way, for around noon the pieman would walk, trundling his barrow
    which carried some sort of device which kept his meat pies hot...
    he would advertise his wares with a cry of “Pies all 'ot!” , and it being
    lunchtime, he would welcome those lured by the appetizing smell
    emanating from his box of tricks.

    It was remarkable to note that most of the customers of these vendors
    who flocked to them on the street, were mostly women and children,
    the few men who could be seen about, mainly,cared not to
    be observed, for they were engaged in laying stealthy bets with the
    street bookmaker, who had a man constantly patrolling on the lookout
    for policemen who, apparently had nothing better to do than to nab some
    enterprising working -man trying to emulate his betters who were
    allowed to coax wagers from the mugs via the tote at racecourses, and
    the football pools run by gambling conglomerates like Littlewoods.

    Too, perhaps the more fortunate men were at work on this Saturday
    morning - this being the era of the 48 -hour week, after all - or,
    unhappily, stuck at home, part of the large number of British men
    unemployed at this time.

    After a morning of commerce, and lunch-break at noon, the parade of
    artists would begin; first, the organ grinder would roll his enlarged music
    box, with attendant monkey perched atop, into the street, cranking out
    by means of a handle, similar to one that fired up the automobiles of that day,
    about half a-dozen melodies, while the monkey darted about the street collecting
    pennies thrown from upstairs windows, by music lovers either in an appreciation of his
    art, or in a bid to shut him up.

    Next would come the wandering minstrel, sometimes wielding a
    small concertino or banjo, more often warbling a cappello, a dismal
    ballad like “Amazing Grace” or “Danny Boy”; he having no animal to
    pick up the easing shower of coins (for often, the householders were even
    more destitute than he), had perforce to scurry around himself, picking
    them up.

    Later on, the pavement- artist would ply his trade; with a few bits of coloured
    chalk, wondrous sketches would be wrought of portraits; landscapes;
    fantasies, all on the dusty sidewalk...such was the talent of these ragged
    artists, that any aesthete would enjoy a stroll past his grounded gallery of
    drawings, and happily drop a coin or two into the headgear that capped
    the collection.

    Then perhaps the arty one's companion on the stroll, the fitness freak, would gasp
    at the strongman performing around the corner, tearing telephone directories
    in half, or bending iron bars into pretzels, truly. poverty, driving some
    men to extremes of artistry and athleticism from the pavement artist to
    the pugilist boxing for twenty three-minute rounds.

    Before they left the Darby suite (two shabby rooms, actually, man and
    boy sharing a bedroom, there being no Mrs Darby for reasons unknown
    to George, and a room that served as kitchen; dining -room; and sitting
    room; it being the place that contained -besides the gramophone- the
    home entertainment of the era, a crystal-set radio), they passed the main
    room, where Harry Darby was already blacking up for his first gig of
    the day.

    This would probably be a busking spot on the Embankment, that great area for
    walkers who wanted to see the heart of London Town, through which
    the Thames flowed, Big Ben; The Parliament Buildings; London Bridge
    where the big ships started their voyages to the sea; the traffic on the
    river itself, that being the barges with their cargoes af coal; timber; and
    oil, or the pleasure steamers which plied up and down the river, the
    guides on board, pointing out to tourists (and Londoners, themselves,
    fascinated by their own great river), the many historic spots along its

    As the boys passed Mr Darby’s open door, he called them in to wish
    George a Happy Birthday, and to present him with sixpence; as George
    had already collected the same amount from his mother, and older
    brother, plus one from his father who had put in a belated appearance at
    the breakfast table, George felt richer than Croseus.
    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    Mayfair Toffs (4-2) at Clapham Costermongers (4-2)
    April 7, 1938
      	1 	2 	3 	4 	5 	6 	7 	8 	9 	R 	H 	E
    Toffs 	3 	0 	2 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	6 	15 	0
    Mongers 0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	3 	0 	4 	10 	1
    Toffs               AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    M Warner SS 	5 	3 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.667
    F Allen RF 	4 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.269
    K Lucas LF 	5 	2 	0 	1 	0 	1 	1 	0 	.200
    A V-Carter CF 	3 	1 	2 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.318
    D Rudd 3B 	4 	1 	1 	2 	1 	2 	0 	0 	.292
    B Thornton 1B 	5 	2 	0 	0 	0 	2 	0 	0 	.455
    Dan Conway C 	5 	2 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.500
    P Wortley 2B 	5 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.300
    Ross Tarreg P 	4 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	2 	0 	.000
    G Day P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    Totals 	40 	15 	3 	6 	1 	6 	3 	0 	 
    2B: Dan Conway (3), Bill Thornton (3)
    HR: Dudley Rudd (1)
    GDP: Freddy Allen
    CS: Peter Wortley
    DP: Bill Thornton, Martin Warner, Ross Tarreg
    Costermongers AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    M Miller SS 	5 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.160
    D Bryant CF 	4 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.292
    S Mosher LF 	4 	3 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.435
    L Thornton 1B 	4 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.458
    J Conrad RF 	4 	2 	0 	1 	1 	3 	1 	0 	.320
    C Underwood 2B 	2 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.375
    C Williams C 	3 	1 	1 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.368
    M Cutshall 3B 	4 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.217
    P MacDuffie P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.750
    M Baum P 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    J Freeman PH 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    J Hanson P 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    B Winsor P 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.000
    S Desmond PH 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.667
    Totals 	       34 	10 	2 	4 	1 	4 	1 	0 	 
    HR: James Conrad (1)
    GDP: Mark Cutshall
    DP: Lee Thornton, Martin Miller, John Hanson
    E: Martin Miller
    Toffs            IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Ross Tarreg 	8.0 	9 	2 	1 	4 	4 	1 	101 	2.12
    George Day 	1.0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	12 	3.00
    Totals 	        9.0 	10 	2 	1 	4 	4 	1 	113 	 
    Costermongers 	IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Pat MacDuffie 	2.1 	6 	2 	1 	5 	5 	2 	46 	4.76
    Mike Baum 	2.2 	3 	1 	0 	1 	1 	0 	42 	3.86
    John Hanson 	3.0 	6 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	47 	0.00
    Brian Winsor 	1.0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	12 	0.00
    Totals 	        9.0 	15 	3 	1 	6 	6 	3 	147 	 
    WP: Ross Tarreg (2-0)
    LP: Pat MacDuffie (1-1)
    SV: George Day (1)
    Temperature: 86F
    Wind: 7 MPH (in from left)
    Attendance: 29,522
    Time: 2:31
    "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.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    A letter from Dan Conway to Bill Heatherington, the Coach of the Hudson Springers.

    The National Liberal Club
    Whitehall Place
    March 31st 1938

    Hi Bill,

    Sorry to leave you so abruptly, not my doing, believe
    me, the Colonel put me ‘twixt a rock and a hard
    place, go to England for six months, or tell Wrigley
    to kick me out of the org.

    I was pretty homesick, this first week until today,
    when everything came up roses.

    First I lucked into this Pop & Mom shop where I
    expect to get a steady supply of “Baseball Digests”
    would you believe, so I can keep tabs on how the
    old Springers are doing.

    And would you believe I actually got a game in,
    today! The Brits team that I was supposed to watch,
    turned up a catcher short, so yours truly was in like Flynn

    It was all pretty much sandlot...I didn’t exactly stink
    the park out, Coach, but I want you to study the
    numbers turned in by the pitcher for the Toffs, one,
    Ross Tarreg.

    The kid’s a natural, though he’s only about 160 lbs,
    soaking wet, not yet 18, and he’s on the wild side,
    but I’ll swear some of the pops coming out of my
    mitt, when he threw his high, hard one sounded
    like heat in the mid-eighties.

    You know me, Bill, I don’t rhapsodize easily, but
    I’ve caught a few guys in my time, and this kid
    makes ‘em look patty-cake.

    I’m that impressed, that if I can clinch it with his
    parents (Ross is no problem- he’ll drop everything
    to go big-time, I’m sure), I’m going to wangle a free
    trip for him -being a slave of McCormick’s has its perks,
    he gave me a letter of introduction, and doors are
    opening for me, all over- to fly to Port Richey, for
    you to look him over; if you don’t agree that he’s
    going places, at least he’ll have the fare back, if you
    try him out for a month or so, at the usual rates of
    pay and expenses that the org doles out for tryouts,
    so, even if he does’n’t click with you, and he’s just
    another of the many prospects, that didn’t quite pan
    out, after all.; worst case scenario, Ross can fly back
    here with his tail between his legs, but a few dollars
    in his pocket, and the knowledge, that we gave him
    a shot.

    What I think will happen though. is that he turns
    out to be a real comer for the org, which will do
    you no harm at all,as his coachl. He’s not a bad lad for a Brit,
    either, bit of a con artist, of course , but fair and
    friendly, and he strikes me as loyal, if the way he
    looks out for his kid brother is anything to go by.

    Don’t let the above address fool you, Bill...I’m still
    the rock-ribbed Republican, as you’ll see when I
    start writing regularly for the “Tribune” over here.

    More strings pulled by the Colonel...this Club is
    more of a hotel, except that you can’t join if you
    make less than twenty thousand pounds a year;
    McCormick isn’t paying me anything like that,
    of course, but he knows someone who knows
    someone who can get me in, gratis.

    It’s all very fancy, and nice, but I’m here to get
    down and dirty with the common folk, and besides,
    I’ve already had enough of hotel rooms during my
    brilliant baseball career, ha-ha, to last me a lifetime,
    so I’m presently on the lookout for lodgings with
    plain folk.

    Turning in now, Bill, have to get my zees in, I’ve
    been invited to play for the Toffs, again, tomorrow,
    Sunday. I could get used to this.

    Give my regards to the boys, and I wish you all success.
    for yourself. I’ll let you know when to expect Tarreg

    Go Springers!

    "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.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    Dan Conway composed his first article for the Tribune
    with care; he planned to do the right things for the
    wrong reasons, achieving laudable ends by means,
    unworthy of a serious journalist

    Above all, he wanted to weigh in his two-bitsworth on the scales
    against the United States being involved in another
    European war; secondarily he had the altruistic aim
    of getting a talented ballplayer to a country which
    appreciated such talent...what a mix of the sublime
    and the trivial, thought the American, wryly.

    To achieve the first objective, he had to appeal to the
    isolationist heart of his editor, Robert R. McCormick,
    back in the States, to get him to publish a rant that
    the Colonel, himself, might have conceived.

    Once such an inflammatory piece hit the news-stands,
    helping, hopefully, to strengthen the cause of appeasement
    in America, a side-effect would be the approval of
    the current American ambassador to the Court of St
    James - which United States Embassy, doubtless, received
    an influx of prominent American newspapers
    - including the Tribune - each day),

    Joseph P. Kennedy who oddly,
    although a Democrat, appointed by another
    Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt -
    an enthusiastic sponsor of the “special relationship”
    between the two countries - was a friend neither to
    the President who sent him, nor of the country to
    which he was sent.

    Although he professed to be
    charmed by the quaint “tight little Isle, in which he
    now resided, Mr Kennedy was an ardent opponent
    of that country’s present antagonism towards
    Germany, and its fellow totalitarian states-
    Spain; Italy; Russia;- sharing McCormick’s view
    that Fascism was the business of no one outside
    of Continental Europe.

    American politics was a crazy business, Dan told
    himself, as he ruminated on his article...there was
    Roosevelt, who although in a minority of Americans
    who wanted to aid Great Britain and France in
    their folly, of baiting Nazi Germany, yet wielded
    the whip-hand by virtue of his occupancy of the
    bully-pulpit of the Presidency.

    But even from that position of power, he dared not
    be too overt in his support, lest one of his also powerful opponents
    - such as Joseph P. Kennedy, a fellow Democrat, rumoured to have
    Presidential aspirations, hinself - oppose him in the 1940 election,
    and sweep F.D.R. from office in the flood of Isolationism, an Ambassador to
    this country, whose approval Conway hoped to gain to further his aim of
    shipping out Ross Tarreg to Florida.

    So, to ingratiate himself with both egotistical men
    McCormick and Kennedy - as well as the vast
    majority of the American public - Conway sat down
    at his Remington Portable typewriter to pound out
    the following .
    ******************************************************************************** *******

    The Chicago Tribune

    3rd April 1938

    A letter from England

    by Dan Conway

    It is appropriate that I write this on All Fools Day,
    for it seems obvious to me, that various Governments are trying to
    fool their respective peoples with illusions of grandeur.

    It is a time of tyranny, and of those who would
    oppose it with idealistic theories of “democracy”.

    We have General Franco imposing his view of
    Fascism, it being the equally dictatorial answer to
    Communism in his country;

    Signor Mussolini asserting his rights to the far-off
    independent Arabic country of Ethiopia.

    Marshal Stalin oppressing his vast nation with an
    iron regime of five-year plans and year-round purges.

    And chiefest of these, we have Herr Hitler assuring
    his countrymen that they are some sort of super race
    worthy of inheriting the earth.

    It was ever thus in Europe, indeed, in the wide world
    since time began.

    Tyranny rises and falls under its own weight...where
    is the Ming Dynasty, now? The Roman Empire declined
    and fell; the Spanish Inquisition finally petered out whilst
    the Napoleonic regime was short -lived; as was the
    Cromwellian era.

    American intervention had absolutely nothing to do with the crumbling
    of these harsh regimes...the only tyranny that the United States ever challenged
    - and overcame- was that of England, itself!

    The present British Empire acquired over the centuries
    in blood and corruption, is on its last legs, the first brick
    in the edifice being torn out of its cornerstone
    by our own American War of Independence to
    induce the first totter of the sham that is now,
    euphemistically, described as the “Commonwealth of
    Nations”, a polite term for once-independent nations
    of Arabs; Negroes; Indians (of two continents);
    Aborigines; Celts; and even Latinos in the Falkland Islands,
    brought, eventually, under the English imperialistic
    yoke, by sword and gun.

    So, today, we have the nation with the history of the
    most ill-gotten gains, ever, since the world began,
    itself illegitimately claiming an “Empire on which the
    sun never sets”, complaining, now, about what it
    perceives as the intrusions of another would-be power.

    So what if Adolf Hitler moves borders, and annexes
    areas? The Chancellor asserts, that he is merely taking back
    that which was always Germany’s, but which was wrenched from her
    by the unjust Treaty of Versailles, imposed after the 1914-18 war.

    Perhaps he has history on his side - in any case,what
    business is that of Great Britain, whose own hands
    are far from clean, when it comes to land-grabbing?
    ...just ask the Irish; the Scots; the Welsh.

    Why should Mr Chamberlain take it upon himself
    to warn of “grave consequences” should Germany
    go this far, and no further, giving a little, each time
    Herr Hitler goes back upon a previous assurance?
    It is all a merry game of politics, and our own President
    seems to be playing a part.

    My suspicion is that Mr Chamberlain made giddy by
    Mr Roosevelt’s own thunderings about European
    tyranny, believes that the President would come to
    his aid were the British Prime Minister foolishly go
    to war against the overwhelming might of Germany.

    Nothing could be further from the case; surely, even
    our posturing President would not ignore history, and
    thus repeat it, namely, our ill-advised entry into the
    1914-18 war, and the unfortunate repercussions
    therefrom, in our great land; the Crazy ‘Twenties;
    Prohibition; Organized Crime; our present Depression?

    If Mr Chamberlain were to ask me, I would give him
    this advice “Don’t count on Mr Roosevelt to save you
    from such folly, Sir - come the 1940 Presidential
    election, he may be unable to save himself!”
    Last edited by Rongar; 01-01-2013 at 09:32 AM.
    "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.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    Putney Iron (1-2) at Mayfair Toffs (2-1)
    Sunday April 1st, 1938
      	1 	2 	3 	4 	5 	6 	7 	8 	9 	R 	H 	E
    Iron 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	2 	10 	0
    Toffs 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	3 	0 	x 	3 	7 	0
    Iron 	        AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    B Reed RF 	4 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.462
    J Agius C 	4 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.154
    I Fttlworth LF 	4 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.231
    A Binyon CF 	4 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.273
    R Baur 1B 	4 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.091
    J Gardner 3B 	3 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.100
    T Gardner 2B 	4 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	2 	0 	.455
    T McLewis SS 	4 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.083
    C Stephens P 	3 	2 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.667
    Totals       	34 	10 	1 	2 	0 	1 	5 	0 	 
    2B: Tyler Gardner (3), Ian Fittleworth (1)
    3B: Josh Agius (1)
    GDP: Josh Agius, Tracy McLewis
    DP: Josh Agius, Randy Baur, Tracy McLewis, Tyler Gardner
    Toffs         	AB 	H 	BB 	R 	HR 	RBI 	K 	SB 	AVG
    B Haines SS 	3 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.364
    F Allen RF 	4 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.250
    K Lucas LF 	3 	1 	1 	1 	0 	0 	1 	0 	.167
    A V-Carter CF 	3 	0 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.300
    D Rudd 3B 	4 	1 	0 	1 	0 	1 	1 	0 	.250
    B Thornton 1B 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.556
    Dan Conway C 	3 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.250
    P Wortley 2B 	2 	2 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	0 	.286
    E Holt P 	2 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	0 	0 	.500
    Totals 	            26 	7 	3 	3 	0 	3 	3 	0 	 
    GDP: Alan Veevers-Carter
    CS: Brian Haines
    DP: Bill Thornton 2, Peter Wortley, Dudley Rudd, Brian Haines, Edward Holt
    Iron           	IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    C Stephens 	8.0 	7 	3 	0 	3 	3 	3 	121 	3.38
    Totals 	        8.0 	7 	3 	0 	3 	3 	3 	121 	 
    Toffs 	          IP 	H 	BB 	HR 	R 	ER 	K 	PIT 	ERA
    Edward Holt 	9.0 	10 	1 	0 	2 	2 	5 	114 	2.00
    Totals 	        9.0 	10 	1 	0 	2 	2 	5 	114 	 
    WP: Edward Holt (1-0)
    LP: Clinton Stephens (0-1)
    Temperature: 84F
    Wind: 2 MPH (left to right)
    Attendance: 29,242
    Time: 2:13
    "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.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    Sunday April 1st 1938

    Dan turned up at Hyde Park, as invited, ready to
    catch again for the Toffs; to his surprise, Ross was
    already there, throwing easy tosses to his brother,
    George, who hampered by being clad in an oversized
    mask; helmet; and chest protector; and despite wielding
    an enormous mitt, was dropping more gentle lobs
    of the baseball than he caught, but determinedly,
    put himself behind every delivery, so that none got
    past him.

    “Surprised to see you here, Ross...” Dan remarked, after they had shaken hands
    “...surely you’re not pitching again, today?”

    “No fear...” the youth grinned “’s just to make
    the number up - half our blokes shy, again - meet
    the umpirin’ crew - me!

    Besides...” he went on, indicating his brother “ also that I’ve brought
    Georgie boy to a game, like I promised...he dipped
    out, yesterday,,, “ smiling towards the boy “...having such
    a good time on his birthday, weren’t ya? ...bummin’
    tanners off our uncles...still we got the Canterbury
    in, didn’t we?”

    George was enthusiastic ”Yeah, good film, Ross”

    The elder Tarreg laughed “Garn, you missed half of it!”
    he turned to the American “...that’s my brother for you
    - loves gangster and war movies, but every time he
    thinks a gun’s goin’ to go off in the film, he cowers
    down on the floor, fingers in his ears!”

    “I don’ like ‘splosions” muttered the seven -year old, defensively.

    “Oh, no...?” laughed Ross, sadistic as only elder siblings
    can be “ wait till war comes, laddie, yer ears’ll
    be poppin’, then...bombs all over the gaff!”

    “I thought that you thought there’d be no war?”
    reminded the American journalist, ever trying to
    provoke a quote he could use.

    “Christ, I hope not!...” said Ross, with the fervour
    that comes of evil presentments during joyful times.
    “No more Sundays in the park, like this, no more
    baseball, with a hand grenade in one hand,
    an’ crossed fingers in the other!”

    Dan regarded him thoughtfully, as with the
    peripheral vision of a catcher who could study his
    pitcher’s motion, whilst observing the body
    language of the runners at first and second, out of
    the corners of each eye, he noticed young George
    edge away out of earshot, to where the few Toff
    players who had shown up, were engaging in
    pre-game arm loosening tosses to each other - once
    more, the Mayfair Toffs could barely muster a
    mandatory roster, the reason that both he
    and Ross, no doubt, had been penciled in.

    “It may not come to that, Ross, if we can get you out
    of harm’s way” Dan said, quietly. The young man
    stared at him.

    Giving a quick look round at all the distant oblivious
    players and bystanders, Conway went on, in the
    same muttered fashion.

    ” Keep it under your hat, but how would you like to
    go to America to try out for the pros?”

    Ross’s eyes widened “Cor, you kiddin’? ...not arf!”
    visibly excited, but equally conspiratorial, he kept
    his voice down.

    “No promises, mind...” Dan went on “...but I’ve
    already written to my old coach back in Florida...if
    he gives me the green ‘un, I can pull a few strings
    at this end to get you a free plane ride to the States”

    “You’d do all that fer me, Dan?...” the youth regarded
    him suspiciously “ I know you Yanks - sorry, Americans
    ...” remembering his manners, what we, today, call
    ‘political correctitude’, as his mother would have
    insisted “...are supposed to be fast workers, but we
    only met, yesterday, Mate”

    Dan grinned “Call it good old American can-do...I
    see a possibility...a guy who can really bring 'em...
    and I also happen to know of a land which appreciates
    highly that which is brung - baseball-crazy Ameriky!
    ..and I just want to bring the two. together”

    “Crikey, you do go on, don’t you?” breathed the other
    indulging in the British working -man's penchant for
    puncturing high-flown oratory.

    Conway smiled again, this time ruefully “Perhaps my
    boss, the Colonel was a catcher, I’d make
    a good correspondent!”

    “Well, I catch your drift, anyway, Dan” Ross played
    at being a fabled Cockney wit, in his turn “I’ll have
    to square it with Mum and Dad, though...they’re
    not going to be over the moon at having to run the
    shop, themselves”

    “I’ll help you talk them into it, when the time comes
    ” Conway promised “ I’ll point out that it’s a
    win -win situation... if you don’t catch on in pro ball
    over there, you come back to England with dollars
    in your pocket, anyway, even tryouts are remunerative,
    in pro ball, and take up minding the store, again..or more likely,
    lefty fireballers not growing on trees, you’ll make
    enough money to send home, so your folks won’t
    even need the store”

    Conway looked around furtively, again “Remember,
    not a word to anyone, Ross, and for God’s sake don’t
    let them pitch your arm off, meantime!”

    The pitcher looked startled as Dan went on hurriedly
    “Yes, that complete game yesterday was a thing of
    beauty, but at your age, you should only be going
    four, maybe five innings, every few days...better yet,
    plead a sore arm, and go relief for a spell, while I get
    my ducks in a row, savvy?”

    The youth nodded “Gotcha, want me
    over there in good nick, I see that...” he paused,
    embarrassed “I dunno how to thank you, Mate...”

    The American laughed , and clapped him on the
    shoulder “No need...just whistle up your kid brother,
    so’s I can wrestle that catcher’s gear off of him, then
    I can go, play ball...” He wagged a playful finger at
    the departing Ross ”...and if you’re home plate ump,
    when we’re pitching, I’m lookin’ for a goddam
    acreage of strike zone, 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.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Victoria B.C. Canada

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

    April 5th 1938
    Dan was in the library of the National Liberal Club,
    studying the array of English newspapers on the
    subject of Hitler, his latest acquisition of Austria,
    and his reputed interest in Czechoslovakia, when
    he was paged to the phone, which call he took
    in a special booth outside of the library.

    “Chet Ruskin here...” drawled an American voice
    “Secretary to the United States Ambassador...
    how are you, Mr Conway?...”

    Aha! thought Dan...Joe Kennedy’s seen my article,

    “I’m fine thanks, Mr’d you know
    where to find me?”

    The man at the other end chuckled “As soon as the
    Ambassador read your article, he contacted
    Colonel McCormick in Chicago to offer
    congratulations to him for having so astute an
    observer over here . the Colonel, an old friend
    of the Ambassador's, then described your present assignment”

    “Mr Kennedy liked my piece that much, huh?”

    “Oh, indeed he fact that’s the object of this
    call convey to you the Ambassador’s
    appreciation of your article; to ask you to keep up
    the good work in helping America stay out of any
    war which might be started, and if there’s anything
    his Embassy can do to assist you in any way...”

    Conway saw his opening, and seized it.

    “Matter of fact, Mr Ruskin, there is something that
    the Embassy can do to help me help America...”
    despite the extreme need to be diplomatic in
    broaching this subject, he could not wholly resist
    his journalist’s sense of irony “...It can ease my
    troubled mind over a problem that’s distracting me
    from my best work”

    “Oh...?” the irony seemed lost on the secretary
    “ can we help?”

    “’re probably aware of my baseball
    connections...” began the ex-pro

    “We certainly are... a former Cubbie...” the man sounded quite enthusiastic-
    probably a baseball fan, himself “ soon as he read
    your article, the Ambassador directed his staff to research
    your history, and your present location”

    “Well, naturally, while over here for the summer, I
    couldn’t help but do a little scouting, and I believe
    I’ve come up with a great pitching prospect...”

    “Uh-huh...” the secretary sounded interested

    “The thing is, I’ve no official standing yet, as a scout,
    and I’ve already set the wheels turning with my Cubs'
    organization to authorize my funding his plane fare
    over there, but, naturally the bean -counters over
    there are preoccupied with the season that’s just
    begun in the States, and I’m worried that some
    better-heeled scout will come along and grab
    my prospect, before I get a chance to send him over
    to the Cubs, myself...”

    “Yes, I see your problem...” said the secretary in a
    dry tone that informed Dan that his bullshiit was
    seen for what it was, only the best and brightest
    worked for an Embassy, reflected Dan “and, again...
    what can we do to help?”

    “Well, I was wonderin’ ...” said Dan, trying to appear
    all humble and shy in asking this great big favour
    ”... Every month or so, you ship out some of your
    Embassy personnel, Marines, staff, so forth, back
    to the States, on furlough; vacation; or specific
    attachments, etcetera...”

    “Oh dear...” said the secretary, definitely a drawing-
    room type, judged the more earthy Dan “...That’s
    supposed to be somewhat of a military secret”

    “Well, I am a newsman, after all...” pointed out
    Conway “...We’re supposed to know where the
    bodies are buried, even if we don’t disclose their
    location to anybody else, in the National Interest,
    which is how I operate as a responsible journalist ..”

    Having pitched his trustworthiness, Dan
    hurried on “The thing is...if there happens to be a
    spare seat on one of those planes going Stateside...”

    “You’d like your prospect on it...?” Like the man
    said, no flies on Embassy staff, thought the journalist,
    as he swore undying gratitude, if accommodation could
    be made for the young man...he made no mention of
    the fact that Ross was not an American citizen,
    nor did the secretary, in his discretion, ask.

    “I’m sure that we can come to some sort of arrangement,
    Mr Conway...” the secretary was purring silkily
    now, and the ex-stringer recognized, instantly, the
    phenomenon of the bureaucrat who was going to
    make his own ex-officio deal.

    “The thing is...” the voice at the other end was even
    smoother, now “We, at the Embassy run a baseball
    team of our own...” he paused, and Dan began to
    guess what was coming.

    “It’s comprised of marines, mostly, although I,
    myself, turn out at short-stop... the men, naturally,
    being very fit and strong, we have a lot of potential,
    but we feel in need of the guidance that a former pro
    could give...”

    Dan was taken aback but highly interested “You
    mean a guy like me, Mr Ruskin?...well. I’m sure
    intrigued, but you should know that I was only a
    light - hittin’ catcher in A- ball”

    Another chuckle from the other end

    “Oh, yes, we know all about I say, we’ve
    researched you thoroughly - even to the scouting
    reports that describe you as excellent behind the
    plate; good with pitchers, and a natural nominal manager of our team, I’ve been
    doing some unofficial scouting of my own, on the
    lookout for a catcher like yourself, who would
    know something of hitting; fielding; and pitching...
    and don’t sell yourself, short, Mr Conway...we’ve
    watched you in action with the Toffs, and your
    hitting’s up there with our own best”

    Wow, these guys really have done their homework
    ran Dan’s thoughts “ You want me to play, as well as
    coach...? Won’t that put the regular catcher’s nose
    outa joint?...I mean, Marine morale, and all that?”

    Ruskin laughed “You know how we presently select
    our catcher for each game?...our staff-sergeant barks
    'I’ve had my eye on you,’ve been goldbrickin’,
    lately, so I’m volunteerin’ you to backstop for this
    game’ A regular catcher like yourself would earn
    brownie points with the team, right off the bat -
    no pun intended- nobody else wants the job”

    “Hey, yes, I’d be delighted to coach and play if that’s
    what you want...” breathed Dan. He was very excited-
    his article had succeeded beyond his wildest dreams
    - he was going to play regular ball again...for a good
    American team, rather than for a bunch
    of elderly English pansies!

    Never mind Ross...if push came to shove he
    would forget all about getting him aboard that plane
    if this secretary couldn’t or wouldn’t swing it; but
    even there, Ruskin put the icing on the cake.

    “Let me see...” Conway heard the riffling of paper
    “Our next flight to La Guardia is on the 23rd of this month
    ...and whaddya know, that’s the Monday right after
    we meet the Toffs over that weekend...can we count
    on you for both dates, Mr Conway...? After all,
    if you were on our team, by then, it would be easy
    for me to tip you off as to E.T.D, etcetera- just
    between you and me, military security, understand that a go, Mr Conway?”

    “It’s a go...” grunted the new player-coach for the Embassy
    Marines baseball team ”...and call me Dan, okay?”

    It was as easy as that.
    Last edited by Rongar; 03-04-2015 at 12:17 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.

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