Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/473

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441
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

as I ran and leaped those benches I said one of the swiftest prayers that was ever offered. It was: "Lord, if you ever helped a mortal man, help me get that ball."

"'I went over the benches as though wings were carrying me up. I threw out my hand while in the air and the ball struck and stuck. The game was ours. Though the deduction is hardly orthodox, I am sure the Lord helped me catch that ball, and it was my first great lesson in prayer.

"'Al Johnson, brother of the present Mayor of Cleveland, ran up to me and handed me a ten-dollar bill. "Buy a new hat, Bill," said he. "That catch won me $1,500."'"

The following news item, from the San Diego, Cal., Sun, 1911, seems to prove that Rev. "Billy" finds his evangelistic work garners financial returns as well as converts:

"Billy Sunday is Sure Getting It.

"Erie, Pa., July 20.—William A. Sunday, quondam professional Base Ball player, now professional revivalist, closed the evangelistic season of 1910-11 here the other day $70,507.77 to the good as a result of his year's work 'winning souls to Christ.'

"This return for about ten months' work, more than the President of the United States has drawn for the same time, is evidence that from a monetary standpoint, evangelistic work is more profitable than playing professional Base Ball. The Rev. Mr. Sunday recently refused an offer to go back to the 'majors' once more. The inducement was but $500 a month.

"Seven thousand a month looks better to Billy. Besides he thinks he can do more good in the world preaching than playing ball!

"During the past season Billy Sunday broke all evangelistic records for money earned. It brings the cost of Sunday's services to about $2 a 'convert.'"

In point of dogma it is a far cry from the tenets of Evangelist Billy Sunday to those of Cardinal Gibbons, but since both are identified with Base Ball in their personal records, Billy as a player, and the Cardinal as a "fan," the placing of their names in juxtaposition here may not appear as an ecclesiastical inconsistency.

Some years ago the Baltimore team visited St. Charles College at Ellicott City, Md., where, in the presence of