Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baseball Making of a Big Leaguer 2

The move confused the catcher, the ball hit the edge of his mitt, the runner reached second, and scored when I cracked out a hitThe American Magazine. Published by Crowell-Collier Pub. co., 1913. Item notes: v.76 1913 Jul-Dec. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Feb 5, 2008

Text by High S. Fullerton. Illustrations by G. P. Hoskins
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The Story of One of the Great Ball Players of the Country as Told by Himself to •
Hugh S. Fullerton With only one week of training, The move confused the catcher, the ball hit the edge of his mitt, the runner reached second, and scored when I cracked out a hit . Illustrations by G. P. Hoskins

But you want to know the story of my life. I was born on a farm in the outskirts of a small town and played ball just like other kids. I was a poor fly catch but always could run and throw.

There was only one boy of my size in school who could throw a stone as far as I could. That was "Wiggle." I remember that fact because one day the teacher got the boys into a throwing match and, after we all had had three throws, he decided that either Wiggle or I had broken the 'window, as none of the others could throw from the woodlot to the schoolhouse.

He was quite a Sherlock. When I was twelve I had to walk nearly three miles to the town school. Wiggle and I used to play around every day after school, then run all the way home to be in time to do the chores. The spring that we started to the town school I was initiated into the mysteries of baseball for the first time.

We didn't play baseball except on Saturdays and holidays, but had a game much resembling it that did not require so many players. We called the game "One Two, Three." In this game the nine players took their positions as in baseball, and two, sometimes three, were batters.

The object was to remain at bat as long as possible without being put out. When a batter was put out he went to right field, the right fielder went to center field and the others moved up. so that nine players must be retired before another chance to bat was given.

Even then the baseball instinct must have been active. At third base and shortstop I felt more confident and I figured out plays. Wiggle was the only other fellow from our neighborhood who went to the town school, and we used team work and figured out plays while going to and from school. Also we commenced to play ball at the farm, I as pitcher and Wiggle as catcher, and when 1 mastered an out curve I branched out
as a real pitcher.

With Wiggle as my catcher we found little trouble in fooling batters. Pretty soon we commenced to scheme to keep in bat as long as possible. Neither of us had read of or seen any real baseball, but we made up plans to get around the bases. The American Magazine

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