Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/423

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"I am told that the quality of Base Ball which is played in Australia at present is quite up to the standard of amateur Base Ball in the United States.

"The pitchers of the ships of the United States fleet were too much for our batters, but I fancy that it would not have been very long before we would have been able to hit them all over the diamond. The speed with which they threw the ball was something new to us, and we are ready to admit that we know very little of the art of throwing. We are going to learn to attain pace, and I hope to be able to tell your American readers that in a few years we possess a 'Mathewson' among us.

"When the fleet landed its sailors for games with our clubs we were all delighted. It seemed like putting an American League of Base Ball clubs among us to instruct us in the game which we had played with so much enjoyment.

"The teams of the fleet played four contests in Sydney. Two were against New South Wales and two against All-Australia. In three of these contests the Americans won. They lost the second game to the All-Australia nine, but it was a well-played contest and the enthusiasm and applause which resulted while it was going on well repaid us for our efforts in behalf of Base Ball and certainly gave pleasure to the American visitors who took part in the games against our boys.

"The field work of the American players was slightly better than ours. They seemed to know better how to handle themselves to look after certain plays, and of course that was to be expected in view of the long training which they had as compared with the teaching that had been given our boys in the effort to bring up the game to a proper standard in Australia.

"We could not help but observe the work of their pitchers with admiration, because it gave us an inkling of what pitching was like in the United States and was totally different from our conception of delivering the ball to the batter. McCreary, Scott and other pitchers of the American fleet, who were put in the box against us, were batted very little because of the pace with which they delivered the ball. On the other hand, the batters from the fleet did not prove to be so wonderfully effective against our pitchers.

"I desire to inform the ball players of the United States of the excellent sportsmen whom we met in the fleet players. All the games were most enjoyable, and right through the series we found our opponents grand fellows, and just as splendid sportsmen as were Lieut. Weaver, U. S. S. ' Connecticut,' and Midshipman Cohen, U. S. S. ' Kansas,' who had charge of the teams representing the fleet. To both of these gentlemen we are greatly indebted for much information and for the assistance given to further the game of Base Ball in New South Wales."