History of Oregon Newspapers/Sports Then and Now

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THE development of sports and sport-reporting was about what one would expect in a pioneer country. Professional sport and even amateur sport were yet to be organized when the Spectator began publication in 1846. A mathematical check probably would demonstrate that it took ten years for all the newspapers of pioneer Oregon—Spectator, Free Press, Oregonian, Argus, Umpqua Gazette, Columbian, Pioneer and Democrat, and the rest—to publish as much volume of sports news as is now contained in a single issue of a Portland Sunday newspaper.

Hunting and fishing were so much a matter of the day's work so little recognized as sport, that they were taken as a matter of course and received no attention in the newspapers. Chronologically, horseracing came first; and it was a racing meet at Vancouver, 25 miles or so from the seat of publication of the old Spectator, that was the first actual bit of sports news ever covered in the Oregon country. The lack of enthusiasm of early-day editors for this sort of thing is indicated in the way it was handled.

A brief reference to these races has been made in the chapter dealing with the old Spectator. Here is the exact account of the occasion (July 25, 1846) as described in the issue of August 20 with no reference to the delay of 26 days in getting the story into print; the secret is probably revealed in the words "by request" at the top and "Communicated" at the end; it was not the habit of the papers in hose days to go after news.

Here is the story, which, in the modest style of those days, carried no headline:

Saturday, the 25th ult., was a great day for Vancouver, being that on which the first public exhibition on the "turf" took place in this locality. A race course, one mile in extent, was lately laid out upon the plains adjoining the Fort, and riders could be seen for days previous, coursing and training, with keen and anxious countenances. The weather proved very favorable, cool and dry, and as the hour of 1 o'clock approached, vast multitudes moved to the scene of action. An elegant stand had been erected at the winning post, upon which stood the worthy judge (P. S. Ogden, Ésq.) surrounded by numerous friends and a brilliant circle of the fair sex; honored also by the presence of Capt. Howison and officers of the U. S. Sch'r. Shark, and Capt. Baillie and of cers of the H. B. M. S. (Her Britannic Majesty's Ship) Modeste. A noble array of horses were on the ground, taste fully decorated, and arranged by the committee to contest the different handsome prizes, a list of which is herewith given. The gaudy and "jocky" dresses of the riders were much admired, and the happy temperament, pleasantry, and firmness of decision of the respected Judge were proverbial. The heats, particularly that for the "Ladies' Plate," were eagerly contested and great prowess displayed by the riders. It was gratifying also, that these sports passed off with regularity and eclat, and without any serious accident. A hand some pavilion was pitched in the center of the race course, where the officers of the Modeste entertained at dinner a numerous circle, among whom were the officers of the Shark, and much happiness and good feeling prevailed.—Communicated.

This, of course, reads like a bit of a triumph for the society re porter. The keen sports followers of 1846, however, were let down at this point with the following note from the editor (1): "We acknowledge the receipt of the accompanying list of horses, owners, riders, heats, prizes, etc., etc., which we find too lengthy for insertion."

By October 1, after George L. Curry had become editor of the Spectator, the attitude toward this sort of thing apparently was more receptive; and under the side-heading Vancouver Races appears the following, the first reference to anything resembling a horse race since the article of August 20:

We have received the result of the recent races at Fort Vancouver, and sincerely regret that the crowded state of our columns precludes the possibility of publication in this paper. In our next, however, we shall be happy to give place to the same. We are pleased to hear that the amusement was numerously attended by both sexes and passed off with great eclat. These races, it is understood, are open to the whole territory, as any and every one may be present to witness and enjoy the sport; and while they are thus a great source of gratification, they are likewise instrumental in encouraging improvement in the breed of horses—an object most desirable and praiseworthy.

Well, let us not get too impatient for the results of those races. The list of owners, horses, riders, winners, etc., was published one month after the ponderous announcement just quoted.

There were four more races; but probably now, nearly a century afterward, the reader will be content with the foregoing as a sample.

First reports of prizefighting—not yet "refined" into "boxing"—were even skimpier and much less sympathetic. Here's the way the first reference to the ring sport in the Oregon country was put before the readers:

Disgraceful.—We are sorry to say, that we have been informed of some most disgraceful proceedings which recently occurred in Champoeg (2) and Yamhill counties. We are shocked to state further, that not satisfied with their late acts of brutality, the same parties are to meet again, in a few days, to commit a greater outrage upon good order, decency, and law by engaging in a kind of prizefight. Is there no law in those counties? If there be, where are the regularly constituted authorities to enforce it?

The date of this devastating blast was October 29, 1846, and the editor, who, almost surely, wrote the paragraph, was Mr. Curry.

Whether by the influence of Mr. Curry's withering editorial or for some other reason, it was possible for the Spectator in its next issue to report:

We have the pleasure of stating that the recurrence of certain disagreeable circumstances in Champoeg county, alluded to in a recent number, was prevented by the timely and kindly interference of Rev. Mr. Demars, through whose instrumentality an amicable adjustment of matters was brought about.

So the early attitude of Oregon newspapers, reflected in many of them long after 1846, was that prizefighting and some of the other sports of combat were matters of brutal assault and battery for the police to suppress, rather than for sports writers to promote.

The influence of the old country on sports in the Spectator's Oregon is indicated by the notice given a curling match on the Columbia river January 26, 1847, when George Law Curry was editor. The account appeared February 4. The river, incidentally, must have been pretty solidly frozen over to permit of indulgence in this ice-sport. No such reluctance appeared in covering this as was indicated in the case of the horse-races, even though such dignitaries as Peter Skene Ogden and other Hudson's Bay personages were ac tive in the racing meet. Devotees of sports and sports writing may observe the technique of the sports handling of the day, but only those who already know something about curling would know what this item was all about when they had finished it— although the writer, more considerate of his readers than some later sports writ ers, did take the trouble to name the winner.

An optimistic prophecy that the sport would take hold in Oregon was not borne out.

Here's the way the daily Morning News, Portland's first daily newspaper, stirred the fight fans with an account of a ring contest. Note the newsless headline, the entirely chronological treatment, the lack of a sharp first paragraph which would let the hurried reader at a glance how the battle came out, and compare the sport vocabulary with Damon Runyon's, John Kiernan's, or Grantland Rice's, for instance, or L. H. Gregory's, George Bertz's, Harry Leeding's, or Billy Stepp's. Here it is:

Prize Fight—$10.00 a Side.

At nine o'clock yesterday morning, a prize fight came off about one mile from this place, between Jim Burnes and Dick Doyle. Both were stript to the belt, and displayed much muscular power. Burnes' weight being 205 pounds, and Doyle's 190. The first round was entered into by both with courage and confidence, and lasted one and three-fourths of a minute, both striking awkwardly, displaying anything but pugilistic science; Burnes, however, succeeded in getting home a heavy blow just above Doyle's left looker, which brought him to the ground.

Second round. Time was called and at it they again went with increased courage, both parties succeeded in getting a stunner upon his adversary's smeller, both clinched and fell to the ground. Doyle being under.

Third round. Time was called and both were up to the scratch, apparently trying to see which could make the most false and deceptive motions; Doyle made an attempt to get a blow in but was unsuccessful, when a general exchange of blows were passed, both occasionally sending one home, when they finally clinched, and Doyle was thrown.

Fourth round. This round lasted but thirty-two seconds, when Doyle was compelled again to kiss the ground.

Fifth round. This round was the most terrific conflict of the fight; both succeeded in getting in upon each other's "eaters, see-ers, and smellers," neither fell until they clinched, when Doyle fell again to the ground.

Sixth round. Both men exhausted.—Great sensation now prevailed throughout the entire crowd, each and every one speaking to his favorite. Burnes by the almost superhuman strength of his antagonist was hurled to the ground. Time was called, but Burnes failed to come up to the scratch; consequently Doyle claimed the victory, the purse, and the belt.

Perhaps not much of a fight. But the purse was $10, somewhat less than Joe Louis and Max Schmeling split for their minute and a half in 1938.

Horse-racing continued to receive more attention than any other sport through the 60's. Out of two full columns on page 1 devoted to "The Second Day of the Fair" the Oregon Statesman, then a daily in its fourth volume, gave half a column to the races. Both heading and account are in the "label" form, with everything chrono logical, the reader waiting to the end of each race for the result. Here are the first 100 words or so of the article:


Trotting Match.

Mile heats, 2 in 3, for a purse of $100. Put Smith named Pathfinder, bk st; Jerry Welsh named Richmond Mare., b.m.; Jimmy Welsh named Oregon Nell, r.m.; Oregon Nell was withdrawn. Richmond won the inside; Pathfinder next. The horses got off well together at the first trial. Rich mond soon drew ahead and passed the quarter pole in 46 seconds, the horse a length behind; passed the half mile in the same order in 1:33. Pathfinder now began to work . . . Pathfinder reached the stand in 3:o6, Richmond two lengths behind. . . . Pathfinder . . . winning the (second) heat and race in 2:45 amid the cheers of the crowd. . . .

Throughout the week of the fair the paper continued to tell the race stories in the same artless chronological fashion.

Other sports noticed by the same paper in the same year were yacht races at Portland, and a footrace at Salem. Let the devotees of these sports see what excitement they think they could have worked up by reading these accounts in the Daily Unionist, August 29, 1869:

Regatta at Portland.—The yacht racing at Portland, first inaugurated on the 5th of July last, has grown to be one of the live institutions of that thriving city. The last regatta of the season came off on the 26th, an account of which we find in the Herald. Six boats entered as contestants for the prize, which was won by yacht No. 6, a new boat, launched only a few days since. The second prize was won by the Elsie.

The squib about the footrace was run a few days later, on September 2:

A footrace through the long Bridge was the cause of a great excitement yesterday. The contestants were respectively from Scio and this city, and the Scio man got beat.

All of which is a little more anonymous than sports items seem to have become. Not much detail!

The following paragraph under CITY in the Morning Oregonian of Feb. 16, 1861, with the sidehead Review of the Week, kills several small birds with the same charge of TNT:

The reader will find in the Local Items of any newspaper, much that he might think would be better if omitted. There are many things that are trivial, some foolish, but all of them in some degree reflect the peculiarities of the times in which we live. Hereafter, when historians commence the history of a community, they will immediately hunt up the old musty files of the local newspaper, and then the Local Items will be looked upon as a mirror of the time in which they were written. Although the writer may be unknown to the historian, he will accept his statements, for they were written where they occurred, and passed uncontradicted when all parties interested were present. If any veracious narrator of the progress of this city should get hold of the files of the Oregonian for the past week, he will read that the attempted desecration of the Day of Rest—the shameless blazonry of vice, the open exhibition of rowdyism in this goodly city, was rebuked in proper terms. . . .

And he will feel fairly certain that John F. Damon, later the "marrying parson" in another city, had already reached Portland and begun making his contributions to the Oregonian's news columns in the hope not only of providing a mirror of the time, but of doing something for the improvement of his city. He did give an effective statement of the function of the newspaper, and he ran a rather pretty little editorial in the news columns, while saying what he thought was the last word on something he regarded as disorder rather than sport.

Items about hunting and fishing were beginning to find their way into the papers in the early 60's. In the Morning Oregonian of February 11, 1861, is an account of "The Boss's" (Mr. Pittock's) success in duck-shooting on Willamette slough. The item includes a description of how the ducks were decoyed.

He (the boss) has been putting in his time among the canvas-backs. In one day he finished nine dozen, and he did not consider it much of a day for duck-hunting, at that. He uses a double-barreled shotgun, and averages about three fowls at a double-shot, but sometimes he has the fortune to bring down five at a time. The modus operandi of enticing the innocent water-fowl in range of the hunter's gun, is by placing a number of decoy-ducks (made of wood and painted the color of the game) in a pond of water, which the ducks flying over swoop down to see. At this period the portly form of "the Boss" is seen rising from his ambuscade and giving both barrels, drops them at the rate described above. The Chesapeake Bay duck-hunters use a long single-barreled gun with an exceedingly large bore, which is uncommonly fatal. "The Boss" says the English snipe have not yet made their appearance yet this year.

This item shows a tendency at throwing off the stodginess which has characterized all sports articles thus far and to introduce a little of the gusto that came to characterize later sport-writing.

Rowing received frequent notice in those early days, but each item was disappointingly bare, exhibiting also the anonymity associated with much of the news of those days. The reporters had not yet had it dinned into their ears by city editors and publishers that local names add life to local items, and add to the popularity and prosperity of the paper. In the issue of March 7, the Oregonian promoted the "movement to organize a regatta club," emphasizing in a brief item that "there is certainly no better way to develop the muscles than a jolly good pull at the oars. Let us have one, by all means; then another; and then we will have some competition; which will heighten the interest in the sport."

Three days later the paper was able to announce the organization of "the Regatta club." And this is what the newswriter did with his opportunity to chronicle a pioneer movement in Portland sport:

The Regatta Club.—On Friday evening last, the members of the Regatta Club held their first meeting and organized. Twelve gentlemen have joined the society.

Promotion of sport was combined with encouragement of home industry in another item on boat-racing which was run a few days later (April 3, 1861 ):

Still Another. —The Pioneer Boat Club of Portland has sent to Victoria for a race-boat, and some other young men in town have determined to invest their spare cash in building a boat of Oregon materials to compete with it. The spirit of rivalry produced by boating, causes the development of talent for boat-building. . . . We should have been better pleased if the Pioneer Club had employed Oregon skill in the construction of a boat. . . .

Soon afterward the paper was obliged to sound an unpleasant note in connection with water sport, and (April 13, 1861) appeared a 300-word article commenting on a story published in another newspaper accusing young men of the Regatta Club of stealing a "boathouse." The Oregonian says no official charges have been made. This affair, however, cleared up, and soon the paper was able to confine its boating items to sport rather than the police type of news. Three days later it was possible to run an item recording that the Regatta Club's boat had arrived. The item had the usual 1861 lack of names and detail but was full of editorial enthusiasm.

Finally, after six weeks, the paper got around to mentioning names in connection with the heretofore highly anonymous boat club.

The horse race here mentioned by the Oregonian, March 7, 1861, was hardly more than a sprint and the stake was microscopic, but here it is as an example of the way just about every racing event was handled in those days:

Scrub Race.—A 300-yard horse race came off yesterday on the bottom, below the Distillery. The nags were, Charles Lawrence's "Big Lummux", and George Fuller's "Fancy Grey", and the wager was $15 a side. "Big Lummux" won easily by three lengths.

An odd form of pedestrianism was a popular sport in the 60's and 70's and came in for a good bit of newspaper space as a fore runner of the six-day bicycle race, which was to come later. It was much the same type of endurance contest. It was, in fact, a remote ancestor of the waltzing marathons which had a certain unaccount able following a few years ago, but it was regarded as sport rather than social diversion, although the spectators, at some of the exhibitions, could listen to a piano or so-called orchestra as they watched the agony.

The Morning Oregonian's account of such an exhibition, in the issue of February 6, 1861, gives an idea both of what this type of thing was like and how the papers handled it. Here's the way it went:

Pedestrianism.—A pedestrian named Brady is engaged at the gymnasium building trying to walk eighty hours without ceasing. Our latest reports indicate that after walking thirty hours he showed but little sign of fatigue. The manner of achieving this feat explains the apparent impossibility of it. The walker puts himself in thorough training for a week or two before commencing. He walks very slowly, taking from eight to ten seconds to turn at each end. The feet are not lifted from the floor, but both of them bear some part of his weight all the time. Upon the last day he supports himself upon horizontal bars with his hands. Now, this is no fair test of the endurance of a man. There is no rapidity of action. The amount of muscular force expended is not equal to that ordinarily used in ten hours brisk walking. Besides, some minutes are taken every four hours to bathe. External stimulating applications are made frequently, and everything that diet and the most perfect physical training can do is done to ensure success. The feat only proves that a man can keep upon his feet eighty hours if somebody is always present to encourage him and all the precautions mentioned are taken. The feat, if accomplished, is not comparable to Kennovan's—who has walked upwards of a hundred hours, and then was quite brisk in his motions.

The item closes with 100 words more of comment, with no hint of description of how the particular man Brady was getting along and no description of the Portland event. There is, instead, a citing of an Athenian general Philipoemen-"who concluded that to become an athlete cost more than it came to-and that there was a more legitimate and profitable mode of expending vital force."

In the Oregonian of four days later this same event is handled semi-editorially under the heading Offence Against Decency.

The circumstances attending the attempted pedestrian feat mentioned in our two last issues (the Oregonian says) have given rise to many and indignant comments from the citizens of this place. While religious persons were attending their devotions in a neighboring church, the compound din arising from tenor and bass drums, fifes and other head-stunning and ear-splitting instruments invaded the place of worship—rendering futile all attempts to perform the ceremonies of the day and the occasion. But it was not alone the noise and confusion that deserves condemnation—the unfortunate pedestrian having lost the use of his faculties was still urged on by his friends to the completion of the allotted time. The sufferings of the unfortunate man were terrible. His pulse rapidly fell to a point that rendered a fatal termination of the affair probable. Yet still he was urged forward by those who should have been the first to stop it. To add to the outrage upon morality and decency, a number of shameless women were present-giving the whole affair the appearance of a re-enactment of the Babylonish orgies of Venus, without their attractions. This affair took place on Sunday, in a towin famed for the number of its churches and the general good conduct of its inhabitants. It is to the credit of our worthy mayor that when he became aware that gross cruelty was being inflicted on a human being, and conduct calculated to corrupt the minds of the young was going on, he at once repaired to the same and endeavored to put a stop to its further progress. Finding that there was a disposition to resist, he left the house. . . . Marshal Lappaeus succeeded in getting possession of Brady's person and at once carried him off to the Washington Bath House, where everything was done for his restoration that humanity could suggest. The poor fellow was suffering terribly from over-exertion.—We understand that he is an excellent man in his private relations. If he is, let us hope that he will never lend himself to another such scene or his uncommonly fine physical powers in attempting a feat that brings neither credit or [sic] profit. His walk of 77 hours ought to be a lesson for the future.

After all this solemn sermonizing in tragic tones, the reader has a sense of anti-climax when it is followed, right below, with this matter-of-fact paragraph, written the next day, apparently, but published simultaneously with the foregoing:

{{quote|Recovered. —The pedestrian Brady has entirely recovered. After a night's rest he became as good as new.

The least he could have done for the jittery scribe would have been, one would say, to suffer a nervous breakdown. Within a few weeks he was off on another indoor hike, which the reporter took much more calmly. In the 60's Portland already had become Oregon's largest city, and it was the center of sports activity. H. R. Kincaid's Oregon State Journal in Eugene ran even less sports news than the other papers. Hunting and fishing received more attention than any other sports in this paper's first volume (1864). Here is the first bit of sports news found in the paper (July 23, 1864):

Every few days parties go out from here on hunting and fishing expeditions, to the mountains and streams above here. They invariably have any amount of fun, and usually return with plenty of game, fowl, or fish. A fishing party returned yesterday, but we didn't see any fish—none to speak of.

The State Journal gave considerable attention to mountain-climbing, noting (August 6, 1864) the successful ascents of Editor T. J. Dryer of the Oregonian and party to the summit of Mount Hood in the 50's. Another item taken from The Dalles Mountaineer'published on the same day, crediting a Mr. Ayers with making the ascent and referring to "his airy height" as "a point never reached before," was introduced by a paragraph referring to Mount Hood as "the highest point of land in the United States." This was before the federal scientific party had climbed the mountain and fixed its altitude.

Throughout the 60's hunting led all sports in the amount of attention given it in the State Journal—probably because of the lack of organization of such other sports as baseball and the non-recognition of boxing as legitimate sport. The Journal did its part in getting baseball started. Note this little suggestion (June 22, 1867): "Why not Rave a baseball club in Eugene? There is not a town on the river below here but what has an organized club." Note, incidentally, that the river was the geographic center and point of departure of those times.

Three weeks later the State Journal was able to record the success of its effort to get baseball under way in Eugene. The start was told in the following item, which, brief as it is, was one of the longest bits of sport news published in that paper its first ten years of life:

The "Dysodia Baseball Club" is the name of our society for the development of muscles. If our citizens have been slow in organizing a club, we cannot be accused of not going into the game heartily when it is started. Last Thursday was the first day of practice that the Club had, and for beginners, their scoring was indeed creditable. Nothing can be more invigorating than for our shopkeepers and mechanics to take hold and play heartily for a few moments. A meeting will be held at the Court House this (Saturday) evening at 7 o'clock for the purpose of perfecting the organization. All those desiring to take part in this interesting amusement are requested to be present at the appointed hour.

The next week the paper, still keeping secret the origin of the right snappy old name Dysodia, continued its brief chronicling the progress of baseball in Eugene, with the following:

Baseball.—We have been credibly informed that a baseball club has been formed in town. That a meeting was held, signatures received, money paid, and officers elected: E. L. Applegate, president; P. W. Johnson, clerk and treasurer; George B. Davis, umpire; and R. B. Foley and A. A. Smith, captains. Success to the manly sport.

Three weeks after this bit of baseball reporting, the State Journal was able to record some actual games. Teams of married and single men apparently had been organized as a beginning, and here is the way the paper described their doings on the diamond in what may have been the first baseball game ever regularly played in the town:

Baseball Match.—Married vs. Single Men.—An exciting match game of Base Ball between the married and single men of this city occurred last Wednesday afternoon. Our sympathies were strongly in favor of the single men, and we desired "muchly" to see them victorious in the contest; but for some unaccountable reason they played badly, and the double men won the game, by more than two to one. The first even innings was creditable to both sides. After that the "marrieders" had everything their own way. Quite a number of young ladies witnessed the game from the Court House, and may have had some effect on the younger members of the crowd, but certainly did not affect the Benedicts, for they never played better. A number of bouquets were in readiness to be given the "boys" in case they came off victorious; owing to the termination of the game, however, the flowers were not presented. We shall expect to hear of the County Clerk being besieged shortly with applications for marriage licenses. Two more games are to be played before the championship is awarded to either party. The scoring stood: married, 54; single, 23.

A week later, in the issue of August 17, 1867, there was published the same nameless, almost factless, type of story of the second game of the series, which the married men again won, in five innings, 53 to 48. The score may raise some doubt of the accuracy of the phrase "masterly playing," to which the State Journal attributed the married men's victory. The final game of the series is described in an account which is herewith reproduced; it will be noted that the only name mentioned in connection with the three games is that of the man who entertained the winning team at dinner; whether he had any part in the game is not reported. Here's the story, full of the word-play so often attempted in those times:

Base Ball.—The third game between the married and single men occurred in this city last Thursday afternoon. A large concourse witnessed the playing, and all seemed intense ly interested. The game was well contested; both sides doing their very best. The scoring stood: Married men, 41; single men, 30. The victorious party were invited to the residence of Dr. Hanchett, where they partook of a "game" dinner. This part of the programme varied considerably from the play in the field. All had "bases," and everyone "pitched" to the "center"; all the "fouls" were "caught on the fly"; and all made "home runs," whether on a "ball" or a "foul"; and no matter how they played they kept their "innings" until brought up on the "short stop" when they all retired in the best manner possible.

One of the noticeable characteristics of baseball in the 60's was the tremendous scores rolled up—probably indicative of the weakness of the defense. The Oregon City Enterprise in an early issue carried a story of a game between the Portland Pioneers and the Clackamas team, which was won by Portland, 77 to 46. The Portland team started off with the astonishing total of 20 runs in the first inning; in the second inning they added 22 more, by way of making the game safe. Here the opposing boxmen tightened up, apparently, and the Portland swatters were able to make only 35 more runs in all the rest of the game. Meanwhile the Clackamas clouters rallied and actually put across 11 tallies in the final inning, leaving them only 31 runs behind. Seven home runs were made—sixty years before Babe Ruth was making that sort of thing regular. The game appears to have been a gala event, all around, followed by a banquet at the Barlow House. The Oregon City band played at the game and ate at the feast, and the Pioneer team after the game sent elaborate resolutions to the Enterprise office, thanking (1) the Clackamas Baseball Club for hospitalities; (2) the Oregon City brass band for the music; (3) "Mine Host" of the Barlow House for "many kindnesses" and (4) the People's Transportation Company for especial favors by Captain Baughmann of the Senator. Resolutions passed by the Clackamas club were mislaid in the newspaper office.

Here's the way they were scoring baseball games in 1867 as indicated in the report in the Salem Daily Record Thursday morning, July 18, of the game between the Willamettes and the Pacifics at Salem.

The result was as follows:

Willamette Nine

Players 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Dodge (captain) catcher 1 2 3 0 1 0 2 0 1
Wythe, pitcher 2 1 2 0 0 0 2 1 0

And so on all the way down through the lineup of both teams, the figures referring to the number of runs scored by each player. Base hits, runs batted in, and other real indices to playing ability had no part in the report.

Willamette (the University team) won 84 to 23. Each team had its own scorer.

The State Journal of Eugene refused to become excited over such diversions as horse-races. This, from the issue of August 29, 1868, is all the attention given the opening of a racing meet in Eugene:

The Races.—The races advertised several weeks ago commenced yesterday afternoon. The first race was between Bybee's mare and Muse's horse, four-year-olds. A single dash of 500 yards for a purse of $100. The race was won by the mare.

There seemed to be only about so much space to devote to this type of thing in the State Journal, for two years previously (2) they had given exactly the same wordage to the sale of a race-horse in California.

None of the papers, east or west, was devoting much space to sport news in the 60's. Here is what some of the big eastern papers were doing in 1862:

New York Herald—8-page, 6-col. paper, with 20-inch columns, had 960 inches of space for all purposes. Of this, about half, or, say, 500 inches, was devoted to non-advertising reading matter. Most issues contained no sport news whatever. Four issues, August 8, September 22, and September 26, contained a total of 16 inches of sport news, or less than a column. The average for these four issues was 4 inches each. Of the 16 inches, 9 were devoted to horse-racing, 4 to baseball, and 3 to cricket. Sport space was 3 per cent of the total for all reading-matter.

New York Tribune.—Sport news was confined to horse-racing. Sport space to total reading-matter, a fraction of 1 per cent.

New York Times—Two issues, those of September 19 and September 22, carried a total of 9 inches of sports. The average for the two issues was 4½ inches, or about two-thirds of 1 per cent of the total space for reading-matter. Sport was restricted to baseball and horse-racing.

Nor was the style of sport writing conspicuously better east than west.

When Heenan fought Sayers for the championship in England the Tribune gave the event about 4500 words, taken from the London Times and other English papers. It took these papers, and the Tribune, nearly 1,000 words of the 4500 to get the train out to the fighting grounds and the men into the ring. The whole thing was chronological. The writers simply started at the beginning and let the chips of action and drama fall where they might. The writing simply wasn't modern. (3).

Now let us look at the New York Times of December 6, 1860, for the way a prizefight story of half a column was started. Even the headline took as long as possible to get down to the news. Here

THE PRIZE RING (black caps)

Desperate Fight Between Woods and King for a Purse of $300—Woods Declared the Victor.

And the lead, less chronological than in the Sayers-Heenan story, but not a very snappy model for the younger and smaller western papers to copy:

The long-anticipated and much-talked-of fight between John Woods, of Boston, and George King, from this city, came off yesterday morning at Bull's Ferry, N. J. (the same ground that Clarke and Harrigan fought on) for a purse of $300, and after fifty-five rounds were fought, Woods was declared the victor, King having "dropped" foul to avoid a blow. . . .

The status of eastern baseball writing in the 60's is indicated by the following sample story from the New York Herald of a championship baseball game attended by 15,000 persons at Brooklyn:


The Atlantics Defeated—The Eckfords Champions

The Atlantic Base Ball Club have lost the enviable name of champions. Yesterday afternoon at least 15,000 persons assembled on and around the Union ground, at Brooklyn, to witness the final game for the silver ball and the champion ship. Since the establishment of the Atlantic Club they have never lost a match. The Eckfords beat their opponents at the commencement of the present season; but the Atlantics won the second game easily. This, being the deciding game, has been anxiously looked forward to by the ball community generally.

The game was commenced about three o'clock by the Atlantics taking the first innings; but they succeeded in making one run only. The Eckfords followed, and made a "skunk"; but in their second inning they made a big inning for 5, after which round 0's were the order of the day. To comment on the game thoroughly would occupy too much space. Suffice it to say that both parties played exceedingly good, the Atlantics being hardly up to their usual play. The best contested game of the season was thus concluded in the space of two hours and a quarter.

Thus far the writer has not given the score by which the game was won and lost. He takes it in stride, thus:

The following score will tell its own tale of the defeat of the Atlantic Base Ball Club.

This is followed by a modified box score, in which the number of put-outs and the number of runs made by each player are listed. This is followed by the score by innings and the names of the umpire and the scorer for each side. Times at bat, hits, assists, and errors are not listed, although this was a championship game attended by 15,000.

The Times in its account managed to mention in the first para graph the fact that the final score was 8 to 3. The Times makes it plain that "The contest proved deeply exciting to the vast multitude that were present, and everything passed off well, admirable order being preserved by the police force and their assistants that were present."

Now for a brief look at sports in the early 70's as described in the Oregonian. Running through the file from February through July of 1871, we find represented news and, occasionally, gossip of horse-racing, billiards, turn verein athletics, yachting on the Willamette, rowing, baseball, marathon walking (known as pedestrianism). The longest single item was the story of Jack Sheppard's feat of walking 106 consecutive hours without rest or sleep, which the paper referred to as "astonishing." In the ten years since the Brady walking marathon the Oregonian sports department had shown considerable advance, and there is more information, more description, more of the actual spirit of the event, and less my-goodness-isn't-this disgraceful moralizing than the earlier reporter had indulged in. The lead is infinitely better, in fact, almost modern:

The astonishing feat of walking one hundred and six consecutive hours without rest or sleep, was accomplished by Jack Sheppard, at the Tammany clubroom (Joe Reilly's place) at 10 o'clock last evening.

The story continues chronologically in heavy style but much better than earlier stories:

The reporter followed up this story by interviewing the pedestrian the next day (Oregonian of July I1, 1871), a bit of unusual journalistic enterprise. The story is factually fair but lacking in the arts of the interviewer—too indirect and lacking in life, color, and individuality, isn't it:

Jack Sheppard the Pedestrian.—We called around about 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon to see what was left of Jack Sheppard after his walk of 106 hours. We found that he was all right. He had just been roused up from a sleep of about eight hours, and he had got up and dressed to stir around a little. He was drowsy still and disposed to fall asleep again, if he but sat still a moment. His right ankle was considerably swollen. . . . It will require about ten days, he thinks, to get down to natural hours of sleep again and to feel all right. He lost during his walk between three and four pounds of flesh but aside from a somewhat haggard look, he appears but little the worse for his walk.

Horse-racing, boating, and billiards absorbed most of the sport space in the Oregonian of 1871. Most of the items are short and rather formless, with the usual strictly chronological order dominating. Here, for instance, is the account of a billiard tournament: (issue of March 8, 1871):

The contest for the diamond ring offered by Messrs. Greene & Knott, of the Cosmopolitan Saloon, was conducted last evening by a game between Joshua Davies and M. W. Henderson, the two highest winners in the series of games played. Davies won by 83 points in 150, three-ball carom, and was therefore declared winner of the prize and champion of the tournament.

Here's what the Oregonian of 1871 did when it was really trying to play up something like a billiard tournament. The issue of April 29 contained the following:


Two Games by Rudolphe and Dion—Dion Winner of Both Games—Surprising Skill of Mr. A. P. Rudolphe.

It does not take a newspaper worker to realize that the foregoing headline leaves much to be desired in snappiness and action. Now for the story:

There was a pretty fair attendance at the new Skating Rink last evening to witness the first exhibition games between Messrs. A. P. Rudolphe and Joseph Dion, the champion billiardists of America and probably of the world. The evening was unfavorable for a large turn out, as it was very cold and there was very unusual attraction in another quarter. Quite a number of ladies were present. The players entered the area [sic] at a few minutes past eight o'clock.

Here follows 200 words of a speech made by someone introducing the players. Then came the details of the game, and the story closes with a bit of information as to how reserved seats may be obtained for succeeding performances.

Another billiard story, published May 2, 1871, received 250 words, with very little of the news in the first 100. It started thus:

There was a better house last night to witness the third game of billiards between Messrs. Rudolphe and Dion, showing the good judgment of the proprietors in securing the Theatre for the exhibition.

All the points of principal interest came later on.

Well, let's have a look at some of the horse-race reporting of 1871. Take this example:

Races.—The trotting race of Thursday at the Riverside track was rather an interesting affair. The horses made good time and went pretty near together. The race was for mile heats, best two in three, between Acker's "Shoo Fly" and Quimby's "American Boy." The former won in two straight heats—time, 3:03 and 2:52—being pushed hard by American Boy on the home-stretch. It seems to have been the best and fairest race trotted in this neighborhood for a long time.

Note the substitution of opinion for factual description of the event.

Baseball, the great national game, was getting little attention in the Oregon papers in 187 1. Here are two accounts of games played in May, taken from the Oregonian issues of May 15 and May 22 respectively:

Base Ball.—A match game of base ball was played on Saturday between the Athletics and the Live Oak clubs of this city. At the close, the score stood, Athletics 38; Live Oaks 27 runs.

Base Ball.—The Athletics and Live Oak clubs played, on Saturday, the second game in their match with the following result: The Athletics scored 92 runs; the Live Oaks, 28. The Athletics won the first game also, and the match is decided in their favor.

Here we note an entire absence of detail. No player gets a mention; there is no lineup; umpire gets no notice; no story of how the game was won; no score by innings. The baseball vernacular is not there; reporting of the diamond sport is, putting it mildly, in its infancy. But so—judged by the score—was sport the itself. fancy.

Pioneer enthusiasm for gymnasium exercise had faded, apparently, by 1871, when the Oregonian, under date of March 1, published a notice of the death of the old Turn Verein.

The scant space given sports and the inept handling of that type of thing in the early Oregon papers suggest a periodical comparison with what was being done in the older parts of the country. Inspection of the files of Henry Raymond's New York Times, James Gordon Bennett's New York Herald, and Horace Greeley's New York Tribune gives the impression that there was more difference between East and West in quantity than in quality of sports writing. Here is a yacht race story from the Tribune:

The Columbia Wins, Giving Allowance to the Fleet,
Start for Martha's Vineyard Today

Newport, R. I., Aug. 16, 1872.

The cruise so far has proved a decided success, and would be hard to bring together a more beautiful fleet or more perfect samples of the higher branch of naval architecture than are now lying in Newport harbor. This morning the different crews on board the yachts were kept pretty busy making preparations for the race for the Commodore's Cup, and, judging from the number that had their mainsails and foresails set, a large entry appeared likely. The little cat boats were in great requisition, and had large parties of ladies and their escorts on board, whom they were taking out to witness the start. The little schooner Eva was


and she was followed shortly afterward by the Tidal Wave, Foam, Alice, Madeleine, Resolute, Viking, Madgie, and Columbia. After getting outside of Goat Island the fleet kept tacking about to leeward of the imaginary line between Fort Adams and the Dumpling, awaiting the "starting" signal.

The remainder of the story is told in the following order: ratings for the handicap, rules of the race, start of the race, description of the race, time at the stakeboat, time of arrival home. The article was 27 inches long, over all.

A story of a rowing race which appeared in the Herald a few days later (August 29) follows the same general pattern.

A day of Saratoga racing gave the New York Times of August 21, 1872, an opportunity to display the 1872 technique of handling turf events. Notice the emphasis on the weather, the crowd, and the ladies' "elegant toilets" before anything is said about the races. Well, here's the story, head and all:


Third Day of the August Meeting at Saratoga
Defeat of the Favorites—A Great Day for the Outsiders—A Great Crowd and Splendid Racing.
Special Dispatch to the New York Times.

Saratoga, Aug. 20.—The third day of the meeting has passed off in a very satisfactory and enjoyable manner, the change in the weather contributing in a great measure to the success of the day. True, the sun shone hot, but the atmosphere was purer, and the sun's rays had not the enervating effect of the last few days of sultriness. The heat, however, did not deter a very large crowd from wending its way to the race-course and filling to repletion the grandstand with an aristocratic assemblage, while the field stand was well patronized. As usual during the meeting here, the ladies dis played elegant toilets in profusion, and became as enthusiastic as their cavaliers while the races were in progress. It was a sad day for the knowing ones, and especially were they bitten in the second race, which Experience Oaks won and sold the lowest in the pools. In the Paris Mutual pools a $5 ticket on Experience Oaks brought $243.75 and most of the outsiders caught their little "chicken pie," as the pool-sellers call it. The racing was admirable, and was begun by Count D'Orsay, representing the Belmont stable, winning the sweep stakes for two-year-olds, beating the favorite Strachino two lengths; this was the first step into the mire for the "wise uns," and their second step completely submerged them. Gray Planet could not lose this race, said they, although he had always proved himself a "duffer."

Here's the start of several hundred words on a 32-mile horse-race in Kansas, taken from the Leavenworth Dispatch:

We mentioned some weeks ago that a race had been agreed upon by Messrs. William Tholen and Jep. Rice, of this city, between horses owned by each, to be run from here to Lawrence, a distance of thirty-two miles. The stakes between these gentlemen were the horses, but outsiders backed their opinions with a bet of $200. . . .

and so on until it is brought out, finally, far down in the item, that the Rice horse was the winner.

Pugilism was not in high favor with sports writers of the 70's. A good bit of the time the news of the prize ring appears to have been handled by the police reporter, since the ring sport was outlawed in most states and the fighters dodged about from place to place in search of some remote spot where they might evade the law. Naturally, the purses were small, and the ring was not yet attracting the "gentleman" boxers of a few years later. Note the assault-and-battery tone of the New York Times on the Mace-O' Baldwin fiasco of 1872, in the issue of August 15:


Mace Arrested for Conspiring to Engage in a Prizefight—The Contest Still to Take Place.

Baltimore, August 14.— As stated yesterday both Mace and O'Baldwin were arrested, and gave bail not to violate the laws of the State of Maryland as principals or seconds in a prizefight within the limits of the State for twelve months. Late yesterday afternoon Mace was again arrested on a bench-warrant from the Criminal Court, as was also Joe Coburn, at the instigation of Mr. Pinkney, Deputy State's Attorney, charging Mace and Coburn with entering into a fight and thus violating the peace and the laws of the adjoining State of Virginia. Upon this charge, which seemed to take the pugilists by surprise, the accused were held in $2,000 bail each, to await the action of the Grand Jury. A similar warrant was also issued for O'Baldwin and his trainer, who were arrested this morning and gave the required bail.

A large number of roughs, from New York, Philadelphia, and other cities, are here, and a number are now going down the street to the wharves of the steamers which leave for the fighting ground this afternoon. The tug Ella, with several press reporters and amateurs of the prize ring, leaves at 3 o'clock this afternoon. The indications are that the fight will come off tomorrow morning.

The remainder of the story, which occupied about 12 inches of space, gave

Details of the gathering at the ring,
Details of the disagreement over a referee.

By 1872 the eastern papers were carrying a box score in base ball stories somewhat similar to the one used at present, except that errors do not seem to have been listed and the summary was limited to earned runs, umpire's name, and time of game. Sportsmanship was not highly developed. The New York Times ran a baseball story in its issue of August 16, 1872, in which the writer makes it obvious that his whole day, including his grammar, was ruined by the victory of the opposing team. The umpire appears to have had some sort of deep-seated grudge against the losers.

By 1872 the papers were beginning to devote a higher percentage of space to a wider range of sport news. There were still, however, many days on which little or no space was given up to this type of material. A few comparisons:

New York Tribune—8-page, 6-col. paper with 21½-inch columns, had 1030 column-inches of space over all; usually about 730 inches for non-advertising reading matter. Average space for the twelve days in August on which sport news appeared was 10½ inches, or less than per cent of the non-advertising space. Sports represented were horse-racing, prizefighting, cricket, baseball, and rowing. Horse-racing occupied 100 of the 126 inches of space, and prizefighting, 1 inch.

New York Times—Issues of eleven days examined—August 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31—contained a total of 374 inches of sports, an average of 34 inches a day. Of the total sports space, horse-racing occupied 225, or about 60 per cent. Cricket received 24 inches of space to 28 for baseball. Rowing received 25 inches. Yachting, Scottish games, and prizefighting shared the remainder.

Harrison R. Kincaid's Oregon State Journal in Eugene paid little attention to sports in the 70's; for that matter, never in his long career did Mr. Kincaid devote much space or attention to that phase of the news. In this he was not far from typical of the editors of his time. Once in a while, however, his paper would run an item dealing with such sports and pastimes as shooting (at targets), rollerskating, billiards, and croquet—which, as a matter of fact, aside from the routine hunting and fishing, was about all the sporting activity there was in the locality at that time.

Here's the way they were handled—with the lack of enthusiastic tone which characterized all reference to matters of sport, making it seem as if the editors were a little apologetic about anything apparently so little connected with the development and upbuilding of the country. It was frequently thought necessary to emphasize the healthful nature of a particular sport, with the enjoyment phase distinctly secondary. A few items from the Oregon State Journal in 1871:

April 1. Why can we not have a skating rink in Eugene? It would furnish a healthful exercise and pleasant amusement which could in no way be objectionable.

April 5. Richard Rush, of this county, proposes to beat anybody in Oregon shooting for $500, and let them set the distance.

May 13. Billiard Exhibition.—Mr. Rudolphe, the champion billiard player of the world, arrived in this place last Saturday, and in the evening gave an exhibition of some of his fancy strokes. In the first place, however, he and Mr. Merry played a game of 500 points, which, owing to the courtesy of Mr. Merry to a guest in our city, was won by Mr. Rudolphe. After this Mr. Rudolphe went on to execute strokes that are utterly indescribable, and which seemed to be really contrary to natural philosophy. All we can do is to say that they were executed with a magical skill, and that probably no other living man can perform them.

June 10. A croquet club has been organized in Salem, to play every evening.

June 10. Shooting Matches.—Two shooting matches took place near town last Saturday between Richard Rush and a Mr. Palmer. The first was an off-hand match one hundred and twenty-five yards, for $50, and the second was the same distance, but with a rest. Both matches were won by Mr. Palmer, he having by far the best gun.

Sept. 23. A shooting match took place last Saturday be tween Frank Coleman with a double-barreled shotgun, George Lakin with a revolver, and another gentleman with a rifle. Lakin won the money. Coleman scattered so badly that he missed the mark entirely.

It might be noted, in passing, that this was all the sport news that could be found in the paper in six months. There couldn't have been much sport activity or interest in the community, and the news paper reflected the general apathy.

The 1879 status of baseball and baseball writing may be judged from the following description of a baseball game, which was published in the Oregonian March 31, 1879:

Base Ball Match.—A game of baseball was played on Saturday afternoon at the grounds at Seventh and I streets between the Athletic and Young California clubs. The latter was badly scooped, the score standing 14 to 32 in favor of the Athletics. A club so deficient in patriotism (the writer can't resist concluding) as to fly the banner of a rival state, deserves defeat.

Sport activity was small and coverage meager in the early 80's. Reference to the files of the Morning Oregonian for the first half of the year show not more than three or four items a month, on the average. Sports covered included shooting-matches, cricket, amateur boxing, horse-racing, cricket, trout-fishing, rowing, and baseball. Total space for all sports for the entire period did not exceed three columns. There had been, in short, no increase in sport coverage in the decade, nor was there noticeable improvement in the quality of the writing, so far as it is possible to judge from a collection of such short items.

Baseball was on a professional basis in 1881 (later called "semi-pro"), but the yield to the individual player was small, as indicated by an item in the Oregonian June 25, reciting that "Players of the national game in this city are dissatisfied because the $100 for games on the Fourth is to be divided in three purses. The wish seems to be that the best club should receive the entire sum, which is not large enough for division, and that the games be played on the South Portland grounds instead of the unprepared meadow named by the committee on amusements."

The status of boxing, prizefighting, pugilism—which under all these different titles has amounted more or less to the same thing—has always been a matter of worry to newspapers. Right now we read occasionally some lament by a modern sportswriter, who pines for the days when fighters fought and were real he-men, like old John L. Sullivan for instance. Back in the 80's the writers were doing the same sort of thing from a different angle, looking back to a previous "golden age" of the sport. Here is an example from the Portland Daily News of April 9, 1883, decrying the brutality of the sport and the brutality of its devotees, and mentioning Sullivan, Slade, and Mace by name in no complimentary terms. The concluding paragraph:

They (the fighters) are today debauching the people's morals. The Golden Age of the Republic as to pugilism, which lasted from the Sayers-Heenan fight to the time when Sullivan developed from a Boston North End tough into a human catapult should be closed. Then the people will cease to adore mere brute force and bull-headed physical ability. Brains will again take precedence of force, and the man or men who can handle an oar skillfully, shoot the rifle with accuracy, fish, swim and hunt scientifically, will be the ones recognized as sporting men, and the present generation of ruffians, jailbirds, thieves, murderers, thugs, state-prison graduates, will be relegated to deserved oblivion.

Sunday sports were none too popular in those days of the 80's, and the Oregonian in an editorial published March 19, 1883, deplored the fact that baseball was played only on Sundays and hoped that it might be possible to play more games on week days, thus allowing the game to return to popular favor, which, said the Oregonian, it had largely lost. The idea of arguing for popularity of Sunday games did not occur to editorial writers in those early days.

The same editorial, written in a helpful, friendly spirit of promoting clean sports, had a good word to say for cricket, which was then a fairly popular game in Portland; for rowing, which was active on the Willamette, and for horse-racing, which, however, was not unqualifiedly endorsed. Said the Oregonian, arguing for a weekday holiday:

Sports as now carried on in Oregon, unless we except occasional turf scenes, are of the wholesome and honest sort. Employers ought to allow the young men in their service time for a proper share in them. The youth who plays ball or cricket, or who rows a boat at proper times, is a stronger and better man for the exercise. He can serve his employer better. We hope to see a general Saturday or Wednesday half-holiday movement. Young men ought to have a few hours of daylight for field sports each week.

The old Puritan spirit is inescapable in all this pioneer and semi-pioneer sport comment. The idea of exercise is uppermost (. . .he can serve his employer better . . .), and enjoyment for its own sake does not appear to be very common among these Victorian far-westerners.

Sports and sports writing really began to look up in the 90's. Baseball and boxing in particular took an impetus. Horse-racing held its own, and football of the soccer variety began to compete for notice in the papers. And yet the percentage of total space devoted to all sorts of games remained exceedingly light. February 12, 1891, the Oregonian contained 1¼ columns of sports out of a total news space of 45 columns, or less than 3 per cent. On July 12, in the height of the outdoor sport season, racing received two columns of space, while another two columns was given to baseball and other general sports — a total of four columns out of 112 in the paper, or less than 4 per cent of total space.

Sports writing, however, continued, on the whole, uninspired. The account of a football game which appeared in the Oregonian's issue of January 2, 1891, has the faults of the sports writing of the previous decade and the one before that. Here is how the game was handled, under "Local News in Brief"—for separate sports columns and pages were just beginning to come in:

The Portlands Are Kickers.—A large and enthusiastic crowd assembled at the baseball grounds in East Portland yesterday to witness the return championship match between the Tacoma and Portland Wanderers football clubs. Despite the fact that the ground was in poor condition, a magnificent game was witnessed. The Portland Wanderers entered the field with the knowledge that they had to play against a team of giants in football. The splendid forward play of McMarsh, backed by the Brigham brothers, frequently called for the applause of the spectators, as also the fine play of Messrs. Patton, Bowman, and Hamilton of the Tacomas. The result of the game, each scoring one goal, showed how evenly the teams were matched, and still leaves undecided whether Portland or Tacoma can claim the championship honors.

Sports gossip was beginning to appear, reflecting the development of the sports gossip technique in the eastern papers. In the issue of January 6, 1891, the Oregonian carried a one-column gossipy article on the forthcoming middleweight battle between the original "Non-pareil" Jack Dempsey and Bob Fitzsimmons. Apparently some actual reporting had been done with Portland sports-followers as news sources, but there continued the old indisposition to use names if they could possibly be omitted. And direct quotations were not yet standard equipment. So here's the way this gossip story ran:

Sporting men in Portland are taking more interest in the Dempsey-Fitzsimmons contest as the battle draws nigh, and a number of large bets have already been made.

. . . . .

Those who are inclined to take a doubtful view of Dempsey say that his day has come. He has run his race. . . .

This was followed by about 300 words of football gossip.

The football gossip, apparently, was written without extensive knowledge of the technique and vocabulary of football. The sportswriters of those days were still more prolific of words than ideas. Much of the trouble, no doubt, arose because the busy local reporter was merely adding this field of work to his regular load.

Development of headlines in the other departments of the paper was accompanied by similar development in sports heads. A standard head of these times carried as a key line "The Field of Sport" with three lower decks. For example:

The Field of Sport

Fitzsimmons in Fine Trim for the Coming Battle.

Opinion of the Two Pugilists.

Dempsey's Reputation in Australia Greater Than One Would Believe—Events on Eastern Racecourses

This was followed by three-fourths of a column of telegraphic sports news, dealing with pugilism and horse-racing. The racing is represented only by summarized results.

On the occasion of the Dempsey-Fitzsimmons fight in New Orleans, the Oregonian, on January 15, 1891, carried a full column by telegraph from the scene of the fight and followed it up with a half-column of comment of Portland fight fans and friends of Dempsey. The policy of naming no names, however, continued, and there was, as usual, a good bit of editorial comment by the writer.

When Dempsey arrived in Portland after his defeat by Fitzsimmons he was interviewed by reporters. The Oregonian carried a half column on his return, as the leading item in a sport-gossip column. The writing was still wooden, and the fighter's 150-word statement was handled as formally as if he had been a congressman, for in stance. He was quoted in flat phrases as saying he had no complaint about his defeat, no fault to find with Fitzsimmons, and the writer noted that the Nonpareil appeared to be in good health. (Feb. 10, 1891).

On the other hand, there is noted in the same issue, an interview with N. J. Morgan dealing with his visit to sport celebrities in San Francisco. This was a little livelier but still rather stilted as com pared with later work. The writers were feeling their way in a relatively new field.

The Oregon public, apparently, was not yet quite geared up to the rougher type of sports, as is indicated by this item from the Ore gonian January 21, 1891:

Athletic Sports.—All arrangements have been made by G Company, O. N. G., for an athletic meeting on the evening of February 18, which will be held at the Regimental armory. A very enjoyable and exciting time is expected. The games will consist of running, jumping, hurdle racing; also, one of the principal events of the evening will be a "tug-of-war" contest between picked teams from the regiment. One notable feature of the evening will be the absence of boxing and all other rough games, and the fairer sex will no doubt take a lively interest in the affair. Handsome gold and silver medals are being specially provided for first and second prizes in each event. ... It is expected that this will have the effect of introducing healthful amateur athletics into the city. Such an excellent movement (the writer concludes with the inevitable bit of obvious editorial comment) cannot but receive the hearty support of all our citizens.

Meanwhile, baseball had won its way to the top position among outdoor sports (Portland was now in a Northwest League), and baseball writing had become interesting. Modern form was beginning to appear in all departments of the newspaper (except, perhaps, the advertising). The modern action type of headline was beginning to appear; this one (February 14, 1891), for instance:


Interest in Baseball Increasing—
National Compact

The Price of Players Reduced

Secretary Van Dubeck Discusses the
Prospects of the Portland Club
for the Ensuing Season.

This heading carried a half-column interview on baseball in the East with Secretary G. A. Van Dubeck of the Portland League Base ball Club. The secretary described the efforts to build up the club. Then the writer commented on Portland's weak team of the year before. . . . "have to get a better team this year than they did last if they don't want to kill the interest in baseball in this city entirely . . ." Direct quotations attributed to some person definitely named were appearing more numerously. Two days before, the Oregonian had carried interviews with Portland sport-followers on the defeat of Joe Choynski by Joe Goddard in Australia, with the name of each person preceding his statement.

The following baseball story, which appeared in the Oregonian May 1, 1891, is working up toward modern technique, though it still fails to tell the story near enough to the top:

SEATTLE, April 30.—Kid Camp won fresh laurels in today's game by shutting out Portland without a hit or run for eight innings. Although a little wild, he had the Port lands completely at his mercy. Their only hit of the game was Metz's liner over Shea's head in the ninth inning. What made Camp's feat more wonderful was the fact that the grounds were very muddy and the ball was hard to handle. Wordsworth was hit very hard during the fore part of the game, but after the fifth inning he settled down and pitched good ball, allowing but one hit in the last four innings. Playing began in a drizzling rain, which continued during the greater part of the game. Notwithstanding the slippery condition of the grounds both teams put up splendid fielding. But one error was scored against each side, and both of these were due to the men, who attempted to field the ball, slipping in the mud. Seattles opened up as if they intended to knock Wordsworth out of the box, making four hits in succession in the first inning. These resulted in two runs. They continued their hard hitting for the first half of the game, but the splendid support behind Wordsworth kept down the score. In the fourth they started another fusillade of hits, and piled up five without stopping, bringing in four runs. For eight innings the Portlands struggled bravely but unsuccessfully to get a man around the bases. Although Camp sent several to first on balls, no one could hit the balls safely. In the ninth, by a desperate rally, the visitors saved themselves from a shutout, scoring two runs on an error, a hit, and a couple of stolen bases. About 200 enthusiasts braved the elements and witnessed the game.

The box score followed.

The day of liberal space allotment for sports news had not yet arrived. In the issue of September 20, 1896, a 20-page paper, with 140 columns of space, sport news received only one column in all, or less than one per cent.

The sports represented were track, baseball, rowing, boxing, racing, and there was no comment. In a 20-page Oregonian issued October 25 of the same year sports received 2½ columns, or about 2 per cent. Football, boxing, racing, bicycling, and foot-racing were described. There was a football cartoon. By-lines on sports had not yet appeared, as, for that matter, by-lines were scarce on any type of matter.

Another Portland paper, John Milliken's little Portland Examiner, was giving only a few inches a day to sports. The issue of May 22, 1891, contained only a few inches—only 1½ inches for all baseball. Fighting was the only sport given prominence. The Corbett-Jackson fight at San Francisco received first-page space. There was no local sport news.

The days of bare-fact sports reporting plus a bit of vague, general comment were showing signs of passing. The Oregonian for January 20, 1891, carried under a three-deck head, nearly a column of horse-racing news, some of it local and beginning to be personal and gossipy. Thus, one of the items:

Mr. Jerome Porter, of Forest Grove, came in yesterday and was at the Perkins. He has quite a number of promising young trotters, but is troubled with failing eyesight.

Several other short paragraphs follow, and there was nearly half a column on "Mr. Quimby's New Colt," including also a description and general writeup of L. P. W. Quimby's racehorses. The reporter was beginning to go out after sports news. We note, Jan. 31, 1891, a local writeup, more than a column in length, describing "Witch Hazel Farm," where fast horses were in training. In the same issue, under a four-deck head keylined "Horses and Horsemen," appeared two-thirds of a column of local racing news and gossip. The detail is full and the form excellent except for the dull heads of the "label," non-action type. Here is one of the items:

Mr. W. H. Babb, the famous thoroughbred owner, came in from his ranch at Echo yesterday and went to the Perkins, where he was seen by a reporter. He brings the news of several important sales he has just made to Mr. M. J. Sullivan, of Great Falls, Mont. The transfer includes the grand race horse Sir Henry, who was the sensation of City View track last fall.

The sports reporter was coming along all right, but the sports writer had not yet arrived.

Oregon papers were still giving sports rather scant coverage at the turn of the century. In the issue of the Oregonian for April 5, 1905, for example, out of 48 columns of news space, sports received only one column, or slightly more than 2 per cent. All the sports news was telegraph, covering boxing (an advance story on the Jeffries-Ruhlin fight), trapshooting, and horse-racing. The next day's paper carried absolutely no news of amateur sports.

Increased attention to sport news, however, was "just around the corner." It had, in fact, arrived in the East, and the next few years were to see all the Portland papers heavily increase their sport cover age. Three factors cooperated for this result—increasing organization and interest in sports, especially amateur athletics; increased space for this phase of the news, since the papers had heavily increased in size, owing to the linotype's cheapening of type composition costs and to the recent development of cheap pulp paper and the almost simultaneous development of the department store, with its heavy newspaper advertising; the rise of the exclusive "sporting editor," as he was then known (4).

Really, all these factors were closely related. It can well be argued that the heavy increase in sports interest, particularly in the amateur field, came from the increased attention given by the papers in their heavily enlarged papers; likewise, the increased attention given amateur and professional sports tended to demand space recognition in the newspapers. The rise of the separate sports editor (his torically in Oregon this species had started in the 80's with Henry E. Reed giving it part of his attention on the News and the Oregonian, but actually the big advance did not come until the enlarged papers which followed the machine and paper inventions) is in part due to the increased size and greater prosperity of the newspapers, which were permitting extensive departmentalizing—a development not outside the ambition of the older reporters and editors but beyond the newspapers' physical and financial possibilities. Men like Harry B. Smith of the Portland Telegram, now of the San Francisco Chronicle; Will G. MacRae of the Oregonian, and John A. Horan of the new Journal were given a fairly free hand and highly in creased space to devote to all the developing sport activities. Use of the halftone, too, invented by Frederic Ives of Philadelphia in the late 70's, and by now so far developed and cheapened as to begin displacing the less exact and more cumbersome and expensive illustrations by staff artists, was soon to simplify the picture problem and give the sport page added life and attractiveness.

The Sunday paper, also developed largely after the larger news paper became economically possible, began giving a full page to sports in the late 90's; and after the turn of the century this single page expanded to two, three, four, and on up, frequently to a full section of eight or more pages in the larger papers, while even the small-town dailies began to have their full page of sports once a week.

On the very day (September 12, 1902) that C. S. Jackson's name appeared for the first time at the head of the Oregon Journal's editorial page, the paper contained the following reference to the beginning of an abuse which later was to inflict more death and injury on the American people than they suffered in the World war:

Those good people who object so strongly against prize fighting might turn a little of their attention to the automobile speeder. He is a much more dangerous personage.

The Sunday Oregonian was giving a page of sports (page 26 in section three, in the issue of April 7, 1901 ) under the stock heading "In the Sporting World." Two single-column line cuts depicted, respectively, a sweet-faced girl in baggy bloomers poised to shoot a basketball at the hoop, and a conventional male athlete swinging upward from a trapeze. A total of 24 inches was given to telegraphed sport news, in the news section, covering fencing, yachting, horseracing, trapshooting, and pool. A seven-inch local story told of an accident at a Portland paper chase.

Sports covered on the special page were the Portland bench show for Oregon dogs; track; bowling; baseball, amateur and professional; fishing; and handball. The bench show received a column of space, and the story was told in straight-news style—not a sprightly story, but adequate, with plenty of names, including a prize com mittee consisting of Walter B. Beebe, David M. Dunne, and Frank B. Thorne.

The track story told of the proposed trip north of the University of California athletes to meet the University of Oregon tracksters at Eugene and the University of Washington at Seattle. Arrangements had been made by C. N. (Pat) McArthur, the University of Oregon's first graduate manager, later member of congress from Oregon. A clipping from the San Francisco Examiner told of the new Pacific Coast record of 4:32 4/5 in the mile, made by Roy Service of California. That was before the days of the Ralph Hills and the Zamperinis.

Professional baseball had three-quarters of a column with a top Jack Grim of Anaconda had been signed as manager of the Portland team. There was a lot of gossip about Eddie Burke, Homerun Tom Turner, Jack Flannery, Manager David E. Dugdale of Seattle, Ralph Frary, old-time catcher and later Coast League umpire, and others. Amateur baseball got 150 words of notice on the election of Frank E. Watkins as captain of the Multnomah Amateur Athletic Club baseball team, together with gossip on an amateur league to be formed. Frank Watkins, incidentally, is also the hero of the handball story, having won the championship of the Pacific Northwest. Another amateur baseball story that got a top head told of the opening of the Interscholastic Baseball League on the next Saturday. The teams were to represent Portland High school, Portland Academy, and Bishop Scott Academy. The article had plenty of detail. There was another item about Robert Krohn instructing Portland High school girls in basketball, early in his long career as physical trainer and coach in the Portland school system—an active career which was to end only with his death 36 years later.

Fishing was represented by a 200-word story telling of the disappointing luck of fishermen the preceding Monday, when a down pour of rain spoiled the opening of the fishing season.

The opening of the season in the old Northwest League of six baseball clubs—Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Helena, and Butte—received half a column of space in the new Journal of May 14, 1902, including the box score. The lead of the Helena-Portland game, which Portland won 8 to 2, was written in the slow, chronological fashion which was formerly universal:

The professional league baseball season opened on the home grounds yesterday afternoon with a game between Portland and Helena.

It was certainly an off day for the visitors and they played like a lot of school-boys. Jack Flannery is a fine fellow, presumably, and he may be a good team manager, but he was a dismal failure at short yesterday. Wiggs and Partridge were easy for the Portland players, who batted them all over the field, piling up eight runs to the visitors' two . . .

During August and September the Journal averaged less than 3 columns of sports a day, the percentage of total news space devoted to sports running less than 5 per cent. Sports carried, more or less seasonally, through the year, were baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, horse-racing, billiards, football, with apparently no golf and no wrestling.

The by-line of John A. Horan appeared as sports editor in the of March 16, 1903, and remained until May 5, 1907, when notice of his resignation was carried, with the following complimentary send-off:


John A. Horan, who has been sporting editor of the Journal for more than four years past, has resigned the position in order to become business manager of the Portland Spectator.

The Journal was the first paper in Oregon to devote a special department to sports, and Mr. Horan was its first editor. He therefore enjoys the distinction of being the pioneer sporting editor of Oregon. The Journal's sporting page has always had a large number of readers.

The page for that day carried no by-line, and there was no announcement of a successor to Mr. Horan. The paper that day contained 54 seven-column pages. Sports occupied 10 columns, or close to 3 per cent of the whole and 6 per cent of the non-advertising space.

By the end of its fifth year the Journal was running a full page of advertising and general reading matter dealing with automobiles — more than all sports had been receiving a few short years before.

Mr. Horan, first Journal sports editor, as a former football player, emphasized football rather heavily in his columns. Sunday, November 18, 1906, as a part of two full pages of sport news, he had a big story on the Willamette-Multnomah football game played on the club's field in Portland. Some of the names he mentions are those of athletes still well remembered, including Frank J. Lonergan, now a Portland lawyer and state legislator. Horan's lead was decidedly unconventional, of a freak type considerably used at that time. Representing a sharp break away from the old stilted type of writing, it read:

On Multnomah field, yesterday, a small, wiry young man named Hockenberry made a noise like an automobile; a great crowd of football enthusiasts roared as does the "mob out side" when it is in ferocious mood; a smaller body of grid iron partisans assured the aforesaid Hockenberry that he was "all right," a "good boy," the real thing in umpires, and begged that he give no heed to the persuasive McMillan, the emphatic Lonergan or the indignant Jordan.

Mr. Hockenberry continued to make the noise like the speeding automobile; and when it was stilled Multnomah had been penalized 30 yards and Willamette by the cleverest blocking of a kick ever seen here, had made a touchdown, and the clubmen were robbed of the chance of wiping out by a decisive Something to Nothing victory their defeat of last year.

The score, however, was mentioned only as successive scores were made, and right at the end of the two-column account of the game came the "Final score, Multnomah 18, Willamette 5." The head, a three-column boxed affair, had said, simply, "Multnomah, in Hard Fought Game, Retrieves Honors Willamette Snatched Last Year."

In the same issue occurred a 300-word feature signed by Dr. Clarence True Wilson extolling football. "I admire the girls," wrote Doctor Wilson, "but not a ladylike man. I would make all such wear dresses . . . some people never make mistakes because they never make any moves. Football will develop a class of doers. It leads to quick thinking and quick acting. Its drill in obedience to authority is excellent...." Here we have virtually the survival of the old pioneer search for some justification of sport other than the mere enjoyment of it.

It will perhaps have been noticed that up to the turn of the century this chapter has made almost no reference to the subject of golf. The brassie-swingers, as a matter of fact, were slow to get under way in this part of the country, although Oregon cities now rank near the top in their interest in this game and in the proficiency of their players. Golf was no game for the pioneers. The country was, literally, too rough for that sort of thing; the game seemed too leisurely for the strenuous old-timers; and the pioneer attitude was more or less that of Bill Brown, New York state boxing commissioner, who growled that "golf was invented for expectant mothers."

The westerner, too, has been contemptuous of the costumes affected by some of the early golfers and bicyclists. Plus-fours doubt less did much to retard the popularity of the game among old-time he-men. In these later days, however, most of the birdies and eagles are made by men wearing long slacks, which the old-timers would not have resented. Gradually, the old basis for prejudice departed, and golf is recognized as one of the universal sports.

The Oregonian May 3, 1903, came out with a 5-column layout of Mrs. Frederick D. Warner and Roderick L. Macleay, Northwest golf champions, with a full column of interviews.

While Will G. MacRae probably was the first of the modern by-line sports editors, the first reporter to make a specialty of sports in Portland, and therefore, almost certainly, in Oregon, was Henry E. Reed, still active as appraiser, broker, and all-around real-estate authority, who began his reporting career January 9, 1883, in the second week of the life of the Daily News. Mr. Reed was on the News nearly five years, leaving December 3, 1887, to go on the Oregonian. He was hired for the News by Charles Whitehead, first city editor of that paper.

On the Oregonian at about the same time Louis Levinson, brother of N. J. (Joe) Levinson, the city editor, was doing the baseball writing. In 1885 box scores appeared for the first time in their modern form in Portland papers. John Milliken was put on sports by the Oregonian at about that time, and it was he who was succeeded by Henry Reed when Reed went over to the Oregonian two years later.

Reed started the first real department of sports in Portland while on the Oregonian in 1888. He played up baseball, rowing, cricket, which had retained a considerable body of popularity; emphasized boxing, bicycle-racing, and horse-racing. Tennis had not yet become much of a sport feature in Oregon. While on the Oregonian Reed developed amateur baseball in the city, being the first sports writer on the Pacific Coast to play up this important branch of sport.

In the issue of November 11, 1906 (Sunday) MacRae has several by-lined stories included in the two pages of sport news, gossip, and "pictures." The sport gossip was beginning to assume the form and style it was to have for a quarter of a century or more, carrying news heads, however. Both stories and heads were conservatively written. Here's an example of how MacRae did it:

High School Goes Down to Defeat

Columbia University Lads Are Victorious by Score of 5 to 0.

Valiant Gridiron Game

Both Elevens Fought Fiercely From the First Kick-Off to the Final Note of the Referee's Whistle

The conservative but action-filled modern headline finally had arrived and with certain improvements was to remain for many years. The summary beginning already standard in the regular news columns was breaking into the sport news, as the following lead will show:

In the fastest, fiercest, and most bitterly contested football game of the season, Columbia University yesterday defeated Portland High School by the score of 5 to 0.

Long before time for the game the grandstand was filled with rooters, the Cardinal and White of high school mingled with the Purple and White of Columbia. When the Columbia team trotted into the field a hoarse roar arose from the Columbia contingent. Cheer after cheer greeted the padded warriors from Columbia and this was followed by songs and waving of banners. A minute later the boys in the Cardinal sweaters invaded the gridiron and once again a roar from the grandstand, mingled with the screams of the fair Cowbells, ones, echoed and re-echoed over the common. horns, megaphones and tin pans and many other noise-producing instruments blended in one continuous, hideous roar.

After a few minutes of signal practice by the teams, Referee (S. M.) Kerron took a coin from his pocket and sent it spinning into the air. "Heads," said the Columbia captain, and "heads" it was. Columbia chose to defend the north goal.

While the teams arranged themselves upon the field of battle silence prevailed. Grussi carefully placed the ball for the kick-off.

"Are you ready, High School?" asked the referee.

"Ready, Columbia?"

"Ready," shouted both captains, and instantly the pigskin was booted into High School's territory, and the first game of the interscholastic season was on.

High could do nothing with the ball and was forced to punt. The cheering in the grandstand was resumed stronger than before . . .

And so on for a column. The lead (beginning) did what leads of earlier stories had not been doing— told the main point of the story. But it did not summarize points of interest; instead, the second paragraph was taken up with sketching in the atmosphere of the occasion. There is indeed, throughout the account, an emphasis on atmosphere and less specific attention to vital details of the play than prevailed in football stories of a later day. Modern writers condense a good bit of this extended description by saying, casually, that Columbia won the toss, and chose the north goal, and . . kicked off to . . .

The account of the Columbia-Hill Military game on the next Saturday was poured from the same general mold as the one just quoted.

Coaches received much less attention from the sports writers those days. For that matter, they were not regarded as so important in the general scheme of things on the gridiron as they later came to be. Five football stories in this issue of November 17, 1906, made only two bare mentions of football coaches, and the mentors broke into the headlines in only one spot, where "Coach Henderson Will Not Resign" gets one little black-line head.

Sport cartoons of those days on the Oregonian were signed H. M. for Harry Murphy, one of the first men to draw cartoons for the paper.

While Will G. MacRae was sporting editor of the Oregonian and John A. Horan of the newly-started Oregon Journal in 1903 and Harry B. Smith on the Telegram, an item (Jan. 24 of that year) in the Evening Telegram under Harry Smith brings in the name of another sports editor, Robert W. Boyce of the Seattle Times, who developed an ultra-lively style that did much to revolutionize sports writing in the Northwest. While Portus Baxter of the Post-Intelligencer, a very careful New Englander, was still writing conservatively, getting his effects from purely factual writing, Boyce was dolling up his stuff with a lot of imagination and an ornamental, even hilarious, vocabulary. None of the others followed him the full length, but he did have the effect of stirring them up a bit.

As an example of how the Oregon papers were beginning to enliven their sports pages early in the century, the Portland Evening Telegram of Saturday, February 7, 1903, carried a strip cartoon clear across the top of its seven-column page devoted to sports. Murray Wade, later publisher of the Oregon Magazine at Salem, was cartoonist, and the art layouts were by Werschkul.

Professional wrestling was having another flurry, and the Telegram carried, January 10, 1903, the first bit of wrestling news this writer had noticed in an Oregon paper. This was in the days when the massive Tom Jenkins of Cleveland was champion, Martin Burns was of the clean and clever exponent leading (Farmer) "rasslin'," as he called and the great Frank Gotch, soon to be champion, was learning his stuff from that old master. (6).

So the Telegram carried a column on this sport, offsetting what was regarded as "rough stuff" in those days by devoting also some space to chess. The general style of writing had become chatty and informal under young Harry B. Smith, who was soon to move on to San Francisco, where he has been heading the Chronicle's sport page for more than 30 years.

The Oregon Journal sport page, directed by Horan, was giving plenty of space to that sort of thing, with a preponderance of boxing and baseball news and comment. In the issue of March 21, 1903, Horan had 9½ columns of sports matter. The page carried his by-line; he was one of the first sports editors to sign his stuff.

A youngster who filled in as sporting editor in 1906 while Will MacRae was ill was Claude McColloch, now a Klamath Falls lawyer, who was then reporting on the Oregonian. McColloch (7) recalled the sort of thing the sporting editor used to run into in those days. That, incidentally, was the first of Walter McCredie's several championship Coast years at the head of the Portland Seattle, League baseball club. He had a scrappy club, and so did with such stars as Jay Hughes and Oscar Jones in the Indianslineup. One of McColloch's stories involves Jones, ex-big leaguer just down from Brooklyn.

He hit Mike Mitchell (Portland left fielder) with a fast one that Mike thought was purposely thrown too close. Mitchell threw his bat at Jones; if Jones hadn't jumped I'm sure both his legs would have been broken. The bat went to second base.

Jones asked me to say for him in the Oregonian that he had no reason to pitch "close" to Mitchell on purpose, "because Mike couldn't hit him, even if the ball was down the middle." They could "give it" and "take it" too in those battling baseball days.

Another of his stories dealt with big Larry McLean, Portland's great catcher that year. Larry was a bit eccentric—not quite a Rube Waddell, but odd enough. So, McColloch wrote:

. . one week, just before he was to leave the Beavers to report with Pitcher Bill Essick to Cincinnati, he asked me to announce in the Sunday Oregonian that he was going to make a hit every time up in the Sunday double-header. He did, too, except that I had to help him as scorer on one long fly on which a Seattle player loafed, I thought, to help Larry and the crowd.

Roscoe Fawcett goes down in journalistic history as the man who put a lot of the life into modern sports reporting in the Pacific Northwest. The sort of thing that L. H. Gregory, Billy Stepp, George Bertz, and Harry Leeding are doing today, the incidental, off-the-routine gossip, bringing out athletes sometimes in their off-the-field personalities, as well as their workaday conduct, was given a great impetus by Fawcett. It is perhaps too much to say that he "started" that trend, but he did develop it. Here's an example of what Fawcett introduced on the Oregonian:

On Sunday, May 14, 1911, there appeared in the paper a 3-column illustrated story headed "Two Northwestern League 'Umps' Seen at Different Angles by Fans." The two were Steve Kane, who had been a big-league partner of Bill Klem in the National and who died a few years after, and George A. Longanecker. Fawcett interviewed Pug Bennett, ex-big leaguer then second-basing in the Northwest League, about Longanecker, and Pug told him this one good enough for "Believe It or Not."

Pug Bennett, veteran infielder, who is holding down the sack for Vancouver during the present series (said Fawcett), tells an interesting story of winter ball in California. Bennett played second for San Diego this last winter. Longanecker was one of the official umpires.

"Longanecker got away in fine shape down there," says Bennett, "notwithstanding the fact that the umpires have absolutely no jurisdiction over the players and cannot forfeit when we games. . . To show you what kind of a fellow he were playing the final game against the colored Leland Giants in San Diego, Longanecker suddenly stopped proceedings in the fifth inning, turned over his indicator, and calmly walked to the grandstand and sat down.

"'This game is crooked,' he blurted out when the managers crowded around. 'Those Negroes are trying to throw the game and let their backers clean up a bunch of coin. I won't have anything to do with it.' The news spread immediately and caused a small-sized riot in the stands, where folks were speculating at the fierce exhibition being put up by the Giants.

"A new umpire was appointed immediately and we went playing out determined to win the money for our backers worse than the Negroes. Oh, that was an awful exhibition. Neither side wanted to win, and the way we booted the ball was shameful. The farce finally ended up with the colored folks on the big end of the score after using nearly every man on the team in the pitcher's box in an effort to make us hit the ball out of the diamond.

"No, never want to play another game like that."

Fawcett used to start some of his sport stories with apt bits of verse. No evaluation of the quality of his "poetry" will be made here. At the top of snappy interview with "Happy" Hogan, now long since dead, who was manager of the Vernon team in the Pacific Coast League in 1911 (8) was the following bit of rhyme:

When I was young in Dixie, and weighed 12 pounds on the hoof,
I used to love the patter of the rain drops on the roof.
I am a child no longer; I'm in it for the pelf,
So I hate to hear the patter of the rain checks on the shelf.

Fawcett, who became an artillery captain in the World war and later became magazine publisher in the Middle West, undoubtedly injected a snappy note into Portland sport-writing which it has retained, in the main, to this day. He used to run as high as 9 per cent of the paper's non-advertising reading matter on sports in the Sunday paper. Sports he used to feature were baseball, boxing, horse-racing, hiking, motorcycling, tennis, track, motor-boating, shooting, yachting. Golf still received little or no attention from him (half an inch out of 5 columns July 12, 1911, and nothing at all in the Sunday paper immediately following that date). Nearly two the paper of January 5, 1913, had 31 columns years later, Sunday of reading matter and cuts in the sport section, and not a single mention of golf.

In 1913 Fawcett was using a seven-column banner across one of his sport pages: "Watch-Tower Observations," followed each week by a new wisecrack, such as (January 12) "Here is a suggestion for paragraphers: Why not say something about the waterwagon losing its passengers?" There was two or three columns of varied comment, terse and otherwise. In the January 3 issue this "Watch-Tower" department contained 21 items, ranging from 2 lines to half a column, each decorated with an enlarged initial letter. Sports covered were baseball, football, prizefighting, with a brief Bronx cheer for golf. "Naughty squirrels," related Mr. Fawcett, "are causing great excitement in California by stealing the golf balls at some of the high-class links. Golfdom is wildly agitated, and various remedies, taming, feeding, etc., have been suggested. While they are talking it over, someone ought to go out with a shotgun and kill the nutty creatures."

Fawcett had an outspoken, original way of expressing his preferences and peeves. For instance, this "crack" at the Northwestern League baseball club in Portland, conducted by Judge W. W. McCredie as a sort of stepchild as contrasted with his Coast League favorite:

When Horace Fogel turned the Philadelphia Nationals over to his successors, he left only $500 in baled certificates in the treasury; yet the new owners value the club at $1,000,000. W. W. McCredie made $.75 on the Portland Northwestern League club last year, but is willing to sell for $1.

While the Judge has made public no detailed estimates, his stenographer quotes these prices f.o.b.—Manager (Nick) Williams, 33 cents; Frank Eastley, 9 cents; Pat Doty, 12 cents; Bill Speas, 8 centavos; Bob Coltrin, two-bits; Skin Harris, a nickel; and the rest in conglomerate, 8 cents.

Nowadays good ball-players come high.

The status of girls' athletics in Oregon in the early 1900's is indicated by an item in the Portland Evening Telegram of January 24, 1903, relating that intercollegiate athletics for women had been barred at the University of Oregon, greatly to the co-eds' grief.

This stand was later reversed, but still later the University of Oregon, in harmony with other such institutions, eliminated girls' intercollegiate competition—not, however, for the reason assigned in 1903, that "it is a little out of the sphere of the girls to take trips around the country, even for a day."