Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/543

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511
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

if a fellow got a fair lick at one, it would certainly go some. On this particular day I was occupying my usual place, far out beyond center field, when one of the boys hit the ball square on the nose and it came soaring in my direction. Talk about special Providence! That ball came for me straight as an arrow. Impulsively I sprang to my feet, reached out for it with my right hand, held it a moment, and then threw it home on an air-line to the catcher.

When the game was over, one of the boys came to me and said:

"Say, that was a great catch you made. Wouldn't you like to play to-morrow?"

Blushing, I managed to stammer that I would; and I did, and from that day, when sides were chosen, I was usually among the first to have a place. And this was my real introduction to the game.

As to the Chicago incident, so graphically recorded in the story referred to, the facts are set forth elsewhere in this narrative. I was clerking at Chicago because I had already made good as a pitcher on the Forest City team and was wanted by the Chicago Excelsiors. But I went to Chicago after the close of one season and returned to Rockford before the opening of another. Hence, it is too bad for an imaginative writer to twist the poor pitcher's leg in a supposititious game played in midwinter, even though I appreciate his good-will in making me the hero of an impossible romance.


My early experiences in a business way were not