Page:Baseball Joe on the School Nine.djvu/119

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"Not too swift now, if you please, Doctor," stipulated Nat Pierson, who was first up.

Then the venerable president delivered the new, white horsehide sphere. He threw rather awkwardly, but with more accuracy than might have been expected from a man who had a ball in his hands but once a year. Right over the plate it went, and though usually the initial ball was never struck at, Nat could not resist the opportunity.

He "bunted," and the ball popped up in the air and sailed back toward the pitcher's box. To the surprise of all, Dr. Fillmore stepped forward and neatly caught it.


"That's the stuff!"

"Put him on the team!"

"Why didn't you say you were a ball-player, Doctor?"

"Let him play the game!"

These and many other cries greeted the president's performance. He bowed again, gravely, and smiled genially as he tossed the ball to Joe, who was waiting for it. A little round of applause came from some members of the faculty who had accompanied the doctor to the grounds, and then the head of the school walked off the diamond amid a riot of cheers. The baseball season at Ex-