Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/213

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183
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

just seemed impossible to miss. The second ball bowled was also hit outside the grounds, and likewise the third, and I felt myself immortalized by making twelve runs on my first "over" without leaving my position. Before I was bowled out, I had started our score with twenty-three runs, and Anson had scored fifteen runs. My experience at bat was repeated in the performances of others. The boys, seeing how easy it was, gained confidence and batted the ball all over the South of England. Harry Wright and McBride, the only members of our crowd who were accounted first-class cricketers, and who played in strictly "good form," were easy picking for the English bowlers; but George Wright put up the real thing, both as to form and achievement, and helped our score amazingly.

Harry Wright was captain of the American team and an experienced cricketer of English birth. He naturally felt considerable chagrin at our lack of "form."

He was inclined to instruct our men to play carefully and guard their wickets by more "blocking" and less wild slugging. I expostulated with him on these instructions, insisting that for an American ball player to attempt to "block" as a trained cricketer would do was an utter impossibility, but that slugging, or rather lunging at every ball bowled, was our only hope of success. "Good form" in cricket requires the batsman to invariably block all balls bowled on the wicket and to strike at balls off the wicket; but in Base Ball the batsman should strike at good balls, over the plate (or wicket), and let the bad balls, or those off the wicket, go by.