Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baseball Making of a Big Leaguer

Baseball Making of a Big LeaguerThe 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, I pitched the first game and won easily. Illustrations by G. P. Hoskins

BASEBALL writers and "fans" speak of me as a veteran. While the aches and pains of spring training are on me I read that I'm reaching the has-been stage and that some youngster probably will get my job.

By June they forget my age. I'm old enough in baseball to grin at these things and work all the harder to get my arms, back, and legs into condition to stand another one hundred and fifty four games of baseball.

Some of the writers watching me in the spring accuse me of loafing and of having lost my "pepper." The majority of fellows who write these things are older than I am,
yet they regard me as an old man. One, whose writings I studied when I was fourteen, says I'm getting too old, and his spring reports read like an obituary notice of me.

I am an old man — thirty-four. But sixteen of the thirty-four years have been spent in baseball. My throwing arm is worn out. The shoulder is muscle- bound at the back and damaged in front, through overuse. My legs are bad and one muscle knots into "Charley Horse" at the least provocation. My back muscles are strained. The doctor tells me my heart will be all right if I quit overtaxing it. \ am badly scarred from toe to knee by spike wounds, and limp a little because of a broken bone in my instep. One finger is permanently crippled and two are out of plumb. I am slightly deaf from being hit on the ear by a pitched ball, and I suffer from headaches and frequent attacks of rheumatism.

In other respects I'm strong and healthy, and my appetite is fine. If the manager knew all that is the matter with me he would either try to trade me or send me to the minors. However, I am not going to the minors. When they say I'm done in the big show, which probably will be this season or next spring at the latest, I'll pack my bats and a trunkful of practice balls and trot back to the farm. Honestly, I'm longing for that time to come.

V^OU have asked me to tell the story ^ of a ball player's life, and I'll stick as closely to facts as possible without revealing my identity. I have few complaints to make against it, although I suppose I have complained about sleeping cars, bad hotels, and such things as much as anyone. My ambition was to be a big league player. I have been one. I have seen a lot of the world and had a good time.

I have polished up from a raw, green country boy to one of fairly good tastes and manners, and I've learned more than if I had gone to college. I have met and have made friends of men and women with whom I never could have talked but for the fact I was a ball player, and they have broadened and educated me. Financially I am worth about seventeen thousand dollars in land and property, yet I do not count that as my chief material advantage — that is the business training I have acquired and the confidence of men of means, who are willing to back me in any business and to a considerable extent. The American Magazine

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