"The Busher Comes Back"
Ring Lardner

the short story collection
You Know Me Al

You Know Me Al

is available at
San Francisco, California, May 13.

FRIEND AL: I suppose you and the rest of the boys in Bedford
will be surprised to learn that I am out here, because I remember
telling you when I was sold to San Francisco by the White Sox that
not under no circumstances would I report here. I was pretty mad when
Comiskey give me my release, because I didn't think I had been given
a fair show by Callahan. I don't think so yet Al and I never will but
Bill Sullivan the old White Sox catcher talked to me and told me not
to pull no boner by refuseing to go where they sent me. He says
You're only hurting yourself. He says You must remember that this was
your first time up in the big show and very few men no matter how
much stuff they got can expect to make good right off the reel. He
says All you need is experience and pitching out in the Coast League
will be just the thing for you.

So I went in and asked Comiskey for my transportation and he
says That's right Boy go out there and work hard and maybe I will
want you back. I told him I hoped so but I don't hope nothing of the
kind Al. I am going to see if I can't get Detroit to buy me, because
I would rather live in Detroit than anywheres else. The little girl
who got stuck on me this spring lives there. I guess I told you about
her Al. Her name is Violet and she is some queen. And then if I got
with the Tigers I wouldn't never have to pitch against Cobb and
Crawford, though I believe I could show both of them up if I was
right. They ain't got much of a ball club here and hardly any good
pitchers outside of me. But I don't care.

I will win some games if they give me any support and I will get
back in the big league and show them birds something. You know me,

Your pal, JACK.

Los Angeles, California, May 20.

AL: Well old pal I don't suppose you can find much news of this
league in the papers at home so you may not know that I have been
standing this league on their heads. I pitched against Oakland up
home and shut them out with two hits. I made them look like suckers
Al. They hadn't never saw no speed like mine and they was scared to
death the minute I cut loose. I could of pitched the last six innings
with my foot and trimmed them they was so scared.

Well we come down here for a serious and I worked the second
game. They got four hits and one run, and I just give them the one
run. Their shortstop Johnson was on the training trip with the White
Sox and of course I knowed him pretty well. So I eased up in the last
inning and let him hit one. If I had of wanted to let myself out he
couldn't of hit me with a board. So I am going along good and Howard
our manager says he is going to use me regular. He's a pretty nice
manager and not a bit sarkastic like some of them big leaguers. I am
fielding my position good and watching the baserunners to. Thank
goodness Al they ain't no Cobbs in this league and a man ain't scared
of haveing his uniform stole off his back.

But listen Al I don't want to be bought by Detroit no more. It
is all off between Violet and I. She wasn't the sort of girl I
suspected. She is just like them all Al. No heart. I wrote her a
letter from Chicago telling her I was sold to San Francisco and she
wrote back a postcard saying something about not haveing no time to
waste on bushers. What do you know about that Al? Calling me a
busher. I will show them. She wasn't no good Al and I figure I am
well rid of her. Good riddance is rubbish as they say.

I will let you know how I get along and if I hear anything about
being sold or drafted.

Yours truly, JACK.

San Francisco, California, July 20.

FRIEND AL: You will forgive me for not writeing to you oftener
when you hear the news I got for you. Old pal I am engaged to be
married. Her name is Hazel Carney and she is some queen, Al--a great
big stropping girl that must weigh one hundred and sixty lbs. She is
out to every game and she got stuck on me from watching me work.

Then she writes a note to me and makes a date and I meet her
down on Market Street one night. We go to a nickel show together and
have some time. Since then we been together pretty near every evening
except when I was away on the road.

Night before last she asked me if I was married and I tells her
No and she says a big handsome man like I ought not to have no
trouble finding a wife. I tells her I ain't never looked for one and
she says Well you wouldn't have to look very far. I asked her if she
was married and she said No but she wouldn't mind it. She likes her
beer pretty well and her and I had several and I guess I was feeling
pretty good. Anyway I guess I asked her if she wouldn't marry me and
she says it was O.K. I ain't a bit sorry Al because she is some doll
and will make them all sit up back home. She wanted to get married
right away but I said No wait till the season is over and maybe I
will have more dough. She asked me what I was getting and I told her
two hundred dollars a month. She says she didn't think I was getting
enough and I don't neither but I will get the money when I get up in
the big show again.

Anyway we are going to get married this fall and then I will
bring her home and show her to you. She wants to live in Chi or New
York but I guess she will like Bedford O.K. when she gets

I have made good here all right Al. Up to a week ago Sunday I
had won eleven straight. I have lost a couple since then, but one day
I wasn't feeling good and the other time they kicked it away behind

I had a run in with Howard after Portland had beat me. He says
Keep on running round with that skirt and you won't never win another

He says Go to bed nights and keep in shape or I will take your
money. I told him to mind his own business and then he walked away
from me. I guess he was scared I was going to smash him. No manager
ain't going to bluff me Al.

So I went to bed early last night and didn't keep my date with
the kid. She was pretty sore about it but business before plesure Al.
Don't tell the boys nothing about me being engaged. I want to
surprise them.

Your pal, JACK.

Sacramento, California, August 16.

FRIEND AL: Well Al I got the supprise of my life last night.
Howard called me up after I got to my room and tells me I am going
back to the White Sox. Come to find out, when they sold me out here
they kept a option on me and yesterday they exercised it. He told me
I would have to report at once. So I packed up as quick as I could
and then went down to say good-by to the kid. She was all broke up
and wanted to go along with me but I told her I didn't have enough
dough to get married. She said she would come anyway and we could get
married in Chi but I told her she better wait. She cried all over my
sleeve. She sure is gone on me Al and I couldn't help feeling sorry
for her but I promised to send for her in October and then everything
will be all O.K. She asked me how much I was going to get in the big
league and I told her I would get a lot more money than out here
because I wouldn't play if I didn't. You know me Al.

I come over here to Sacramento with the club this morning and I
am leaving to-night for Chi. I will get there next Tuesday and I
guess Callahan will work me right away because he must of seen his
mistake in letting me go by now. I will show them Al.

I looked up the skedule and I seen where we play in Detroit the
fifth and sixth of September. I hope they will let me pitch there Al.
Violet goes to the games and I will make her sorry she give me that
kind of treatment. And I will make them Tigers sorry they kidded me
last spring. I ain't afraid of Cobb or none of them now, Al.

Your pal, JACK.

Chicago, Illinois, August 27.

AL: Well old pal I guess I busted in right. Did you notice what
I done to them Athaletics, the best ball club in the country? I bet
Violet wishes she hadn't called me no busher.

I got here last Tuesday and set up in the stand and watched the
game that afternoon. Washington was playing here and Johnson pitched.
I was anxious to watch him because I had heard so much about him.
Honest Al he ain't as fast as me. He shut them out, but they never
was much of a hitting club. I went to the clubhouse after the game
and shook hands with the bunch. Kid Gleason the assistant manager
seemed pretty glad to see me and he says Well have you learned
something? I says Yes I guess I have. He says Did you see the game
this afternoon? I says I had and he asked me what I thought of
Johnson. I says I don't think so much of him. He says Well I guess
you ain't learned nothing then. He says What was the matter with
Johnson's work? I says He ain't got nothing but a fast ball. Then he
says Yes and Rockefeller ain't got nothing but a hundred million

Well I asked Callahan if he was going to give me a chance to
work and he says he was. But I sat on the bench a couple of days and
he didn't ask me to do nothing. Finally I asked him why not and he
says I am saving you to work against a good club, the Athaletics.
Well the Athaletics come and I guess you know by this time what I
done to them. And I had to work against Bender at that but I ain't
afraid of none of them now Al.

Baker didn't hit one hard all afternoon and I didn't have no
trouble with Collins neither. I let them down with five blows all
though the papers give them seven. Them reporters here don't no more
about scoring than some old woman. They give Barry a hit on a fly
ball that Bodie ought to of eat up, only he stumbled or something and
they handed Oldring a two base hit on a ball that Weaver had to duck
to get out of the way from. But I don't care nothing about reporters.
I beat them Athaletics and beat them good, five to one. Gleason
slapped me on the back after the game and says Well you learned
something after all. Rub some arnicky on your head to keep the
swelling down and you may be a real pitcher yet. I says I ain't got
no swell head. He says No. If I hated myself like you do I would be a
moveing picture actor.

Well I asked Callahan would he let me pitch up to Detroit and he
says Sure. He says Do you want to get revenge on them? I says, Yes I
did. He says Well you have certainly got some comeing. He says I
never seen no man get worse treatment than them Tigers give you last
spring. I says Well they won't do it this time because I will know
how to pitch to them. He says How are you going to pitch to Cobb? I
says I am going to feed him on my slow one. He says Well Cobb had
ought to make a good meal off of that. Then we quit jokeing and he
says You have improved a hole lot and I am going to work you right
along regular and if you can stand the gaff I may be able to use you
in the city serious. You know Al the White Sox plays a city serious
every fall with the Cubs and the players makes quite a lot of money.
The winners gets about eight hundred dollars a peace and the losers
about five hundred. We will be the winners if I have anything to say
about it.

I am tickled to death at the chance of working in Detroit and I
can't hardly wait till we get there. Watch my smoke Al.

Your pal, JACK.

P.S. I am going over to Allen's flat to play cards a while
to-night. Allen is the left-hander that was on the training trip with
us. He ain't got a thing, Al, and I don't see how he gets by. He is
married and his wife's sister is visiting them. She wants to meet me
but it won't do her much good. I seen her out to the game to-day and
she ain't much for looks.

Detroit, Mich., September 6.

FRIEND AL: I got a hole lot to write but I ain't got much time
because we are going over to Cleveland on the boat at ten P.M. I made
them Tigers like it Al just like I said I would. And what do you
think, Al, Violet called me up after the game and wanted to see me
but I will tell you about the game first.

They got one hit off me and Cobb made it a scratch single that
he beat out. If he hadn't of been so dam fast I would of had a no hit
game. At that Weaver could of threw him out if he had started after
the ball in time. Crawford didn't get nothing like a hit and I
whiffed him once. I give two walks both of them to Bush but he is
such a little guy that you can't pitch to him.

When I was warming up before the game Callahan was standing
beside me and pretty soon Jennings come over. Jennings says You ain't
going to pitch that bird are you? And Callahan said Yes he was. Then
Jennings says I wish you wouldn't because my boys is all tired out
and can't run the bases. Callahan says They won't get no chance
to-day. No, says Jennings I suppose not. I suppose he will walk them
all and they won't have to run. Callahan says He won't give no bases
on balls, he says. But you better tell your gang that he is liable to
bean them and they better stay away from the plate. Jennings says He
won't never hurt my boys by beaning them, Then I cut in. Nor you
neither, I says. Callahan laughs at that so I guess I must of pulled
a pretty good one. Jennings didn't have no comeback so he walks

Then Cobb come over and asked if I was going to work. Callahan
told him Yes. Cobb says How many innings? Callahan says All the way.
Then Cobb says Be a good fellow Cal and take him out early. I am lame
and can't run. I butts in then and said Don't worry, Cobb. You won't
have to run because we have got a catcher who can hold them third
strikes. Callahan laughed again and says to me You sure did learn
something out on that Coast.

Well I walked Bush right off the real and they all begun to
holler on the Detroit bench There he goes again. Vitt come up and
Jennings yells Leave your bat in the bag Osker. He can't get them
over. But I got them over for that bird all O.K. and he pops out
trying to bunt. And then I whiffed Crawford. He starts off with a
foul that had me scared for a minute because it was pretty close to
the foul line and it went clear out of the park. But he missed a
spitter a foot and then I supprised them Al. I give him a slow ball
and I honestly had to laugh to see him lunge for it. bet he must of
strained himself. He throwed his bat way like he was mad and I guess
he was. Cobb came pranceing up like he always does and yells Give me
that slow one Boy. So I says All right. But I fooled him Instead of
giveing him a slow one like I said I was going I handed him spitter.
He hit it all right but it was a line drive right in Chase's hands.
He says Pretty lucky Boy but I will get you next time. I come right
back at him. I says Yes you will.

Well Al I had them going like that all through. About the sixth
inning Callahan yells from the bench to Jennings What do you think of
him now? And Jennings didn't say nothing. What could he of said?

Cobb makes their one hit in the eighth. He never would of made
it if Schalk had of let me throw him spitters instead of fast ones.
At that Weaver ought to of threw him out. Anyway they didn't score
and we made a monkey out of Dubuque, or whatever his name is.

Well Al I got back to the hotel and snuck down the street a ways
and had a couple of beers before supper. So I come to the supper
table late and Walsh tells me they had been several phone calls for
me. I go down to the desk and they tell me to call up a certain
number. So I called up and they charged me a nickel for it. A girl's
voice answers the phone and I says Was they some one there that
wanted to talk to Jack Keefe? She says You bet they is. She says
Don't you know me, Jack? This is Violet. Well, you could of knocked
me down with a peace of bread. I says What do you want? She says Why
I want to see you. I says Well you can't see me. She says Why what's
the matter, Jack? What have I did that you should be sore at me? I
says I guess you know all right. You called me a busher. She says Why
I didn't do nothing of the kind. I says Yes you did on that postcard.
She says I didn't write you no postcard.

Then we argued along for a while and she swore up and down that
she didn't write me no postcard or call me no busher. I says Well
then why didn't you write me a letter when I was in Frisco? She says
she had lost my address. Well Al I don't know if she was telling me
the truth or not but may be she didn't write that postcard after all.
She was crying over the telephone so I says Well it is too late for I
and you to get together because I am engaged to be married. Then she
screamed and I hangup the receiver. She must of called back two or
three times because they was calling my name round the hotel but I
wouldn't go near the phone. You know me Al.

Well when I hang up and went back to finish my supper the dining
room was locked. So I had to go out and buy myself a sandwich. They
soaked me fifteen cents for a sandwich and a cup of coffee so with
the nickel for the phone I am out twenty cents altogether for
nothing. But then I would of had to tip the waiter in the hotel a

Well Al I must close and catch the boat. I expect a letter from
Hazel in Cleveland and maybe Violet will write to me too. She is
stuck on me all right Al. I can see that. And I don't believe she
could of wrote that postcard after all.

Yours truly, JACK.

Boston, Massachusetts, September 12.

OLD PAL: Well Al I got a letter from Hazel in Cleveland and she
is comeing to Chi in October for the city serious. She asked me to
send her a hundred dollars for her fare and to buy some cloths with.
I sent her thirty dollars for the fare and told her she could wait
till she got to Chi to buy her cloths. She said she would give me the
money back as soon as she seen me but she is a little short now
because one of her girl friends borrowed fifty off of her. I guess
she must be pretty soft-hearted Al. I hope you and Bertha can come up
for the wedding because I would like to have you stand up with me.

I all so got a letter from Violet and they was blots all over it
like she had been crying. She swore she did not write that postcard
and said she would die if I didn't believe her. She wants to know who
the lucky girl is who I am engaged to be married to. I believe her Al
when she says she did not write that postcard but it is too late now.
I will let you know the date of my wedding as soon as I find out.

I guess you seen what I done in Cleveland and here. Allen was
going awful bad in Cleveland and I relieved him in the eighth when we
had a lead of two runs. I put them out in one-two-three order in the
eighth but had hard work in the ninth due to rotten support. I walked
Johnston and Chapman and Turner sacrificed them ahead. Jackson come
up then and I had two strikes on him. I could of whiffed him but
Schalk makes me give him a fast one when I wanted to give him a slow
one. He hit it to Berger and Johnston ought to of been threw out at
the plate but Berger fumbles and then has to make the play at first
base. He got Jackson all O.K. but they was only one run behind then
and Chapman was on third base. Lajoie was up next and Callahan sends
out word for me to walk him. I thought that was rotten manageing
because Lajoie or no one else can hit me when I want to cut loose. So
after I give him two bad balls I tried to slip over a strike on him
but the lucky stiff hit it on a line to Weaver. Anyway the game was
over and I felt pretty good. But Callahan don't appresiate good work
Al. He give me a call in the clubhouse an said if I ever disobeyed
his orders again he would suspend me without no pay and lick me too.
Honest Al it was all I could do to keep from wrapping his jaw but
Gleason winks at me not to do nothing.

I worked the second game here and give them three hits two of
which was bunts that Lord ought to of eat up. I got better support in
Frisco than I been getting here Al. But I don't care. The Boston
bunch couldn't of hit me with a shovel and we beat them two to
nothing. I worked against Wood at that. They call him Smoky Joe and
they say he has got lot of speed.

Boston is some town, Al, and I wish you and Bertha could come
here sometime. I went down to the wharf this morning and seen then
unload the fish. They must of been a million of them but I didn't
have time to count them. Every one of them was five or six times as
big as blue gill.

Violet asked me what would be my address in New York City so I
am dropping her a postcard to let her know all though I don't know
what good it will do her. I certainly won't start no correspondents
with her now that I am engaged to be married.

Yours truly, JACK.

New York, New York, September 16.

FRIEND AL: I opened the serious here and beat them easy but I
know you must of saw about it in the Chi papers. At that they don't
give me no fair show in the Chi papers. One of the boys bought one
here and I seen in it where I was lucky to win that game in
Cleveland. If I knowed which one of them reporters wrote that I would
punch his jaw.

Al I told you Boston was some town but this is the real one. I
never seen nothing like it and I been going some since we got here. I
walked down Broadway the Main Street last night and I run into a
couple of the ball players and they took me to what they call the
Garden but it ain't like the gardens at home because this one is
indoors. We sat down to a table and had several drinks. Pretty soon
one of the boys asked me if I was broke and I says No, why? He says
You better get some lubricating oil and loosen up. I don't know what
he meant but pretty soon when we had had a lot of drinks the waiter
brings a check and hands it to me. It was for one dollar. I says Oh I
ain't paying for all of them. The waiter says This is just for that
last drink.

I thought the other boys would make a holler but they didn't say
nothing. So I give him a dollar bill and even then he didn't act
satisfied so I asked him what he was waiting for and he said Oh
nothing, kind of sassy. I was going to bust him but the boys give me
the sign to shut up and not to say nothing. I excused myself pretty
soon because I wanted to get some air. I give my check for my hat to
a boy and he brought my hat and I started going and he says Haven't
you forgot something? I guess he must of thought I was wearing a

Then I went down the Main Street again and some man stopped me
and asked me did I want to go to the show. He said he had a ticket. I
asked him what show and he said the Follies. I never heard of it but
I told him I would go if he had a ticket to spare. He says I will
spare you this one for three dollars. I says You must take me for
some boob. He says No I wouldn't insult no boob. So I walks on but if
he had of insulted me I would of busted him.

I went back to the hotel then and run into Kid Gleason. He asked
me to take a walk with him so out I go again. We went to the corner
and he bought me a beer. He don't drink nothing but pop himself. The
two drinks was only ten cents so I says This is the place for me. He
says Where have you been? and I told him about paying one dollar for
three drinks. He says I see I will have to take charge of you. Don't
go round with them ball players no more. When you want to go out and
see the sights come to me and I will stear you. So to-night he is
going to stear me. I will write to you from Philadelphia.

Your pal, JACK.

Philadelphia, Pa., September 19.

FRIEND AL: They won't be no game here to-day because it is
raining. We all been loafing round the hotel all day and I am glad of
it because I got all tired out over in New York City. I and Kid
Gleason went round together the last couple of nights over there and
he wouldn't let me spend no money. I seen a lot of girls that I would
of liked to of got acquainted with but he wouldn't even let me answer
them when they spoke to me. We run in to a couple of peaches last
night and they had us spotted too. One of them says I'll bet you're a
couple of ball players. But Kid says You lose your bet. I am a
bellhop and the big rube with me is nothing but a pitcher.

One of them says What are you trying to do kid somebody? He says
Go home and get some soap and remove your disguise from your face. I
didn't think he ought to talk like that to them and I called him
about it and said maybe they was lonesome and it wouldn't hurt none
if we treated them to a soda or something. But he says Lonesome. If I
don't get you away from here they will steal everything you got. They
won't even leave you your fast ball. So we left them and he took me
to a picture show. It was some California pictures and they made me
think of Hazel so when I got back to the hotel I sent her three

Gleason made me go to my room at ten o'clock both nights but I
was pretty tired anyway because he had walked me all over town. I
guess we must of saw twenty shows. He says I would take you to the
grand opera only it would be throwing money away because we can hear
Ed Walsh for nothing. Walsh has got some voice Al a loud high

To-morrow is Sunday and we have a double header Monday on
account of the rain to-day. I thought sure I would get another chance
to beat the Athaletics and I asked Callahan if he was going to pitch
me here but he said he thought he would save me to work against
Johnson in Washington. So you see Al he must figure I am about the
best he has got. I'll beat him Al if they get a couple of runs behind

Yours truly, JACK.

P.S. They was a letter here from Violet and it pretty near made
me feel like crying. I wish they was two of me so both them girls
could be happy.

Washington, D. C., September 22.

DEAR OLD AL: Well Al here I am in the capital of the old United
States. We got in last night and I been walking round town all
morning. But I didn't tire myself out because I am going to pitch
against Johnson this afternoon.

This is the prettiest town I ever seen but I believe they is
more colored people here than they is in Evansville or Chi. I seen
the White House and the Monumunt. They say that Bill Sullivan and
Gabby St. once catched a baseball that was threw off of the top of
the Monumunt but I bet they couldn't catch it if I throwed it.

I was in to breakfast this morning with Gleason and Bodie and
Weaver and Fournier. Gleason says I'm surprised that you ain't sick
in bed to-day. I says Why?

He says Most of our pitchers get sick when Cal tells them they
are going to work against Johnson. He says Here's these other fellows
all feeling pretty sick this morning and they ain't even pitchers.
All they have to do is hit against him but it looks like as if Cal
would have to send substitutes in for them. Bodie is complaining of a
sore arm which he must of strained drawing to two card flushes.
Fournier and Weaver have strained their legs doing the tango dance.
Nothing could cure them except to hear that big Walter had got
throwed out of his machine and wouldn't be able to pitch against us
in this serious.

I says I feel O.K. and I ain't afraid to pitch against Johnson
and I ain't afraid to hit against him neither. Then Weaver says Have
you ever saw him work? Yes, I says, I seen him in Chi. Then Weaver
says Well if you have saw him work and ain't afraid to hit against
him I'll bet you would go down to Wall Street and holler Hurrah for
Roosevelt. I says No I wouldn't do that but I ain't afraid of no
pitcher and what is more if you get me a couple of runs I'll beat
him. Then Fournier says Oh we will get you a couple of runs all
right. He says That's just as easy as catching whales with a

Well Al I must close and go in and get some lunch. My arm feels
great and they will have to go some to beat me Johnson or no

Your pal, JACK.

Washington, D. C., September 22.

FRIEND AL: Well I guess you know by this time that they didn't
get no two runs for me, only one, but I beat him just the same. I
beat him one to nothing and Callahan was so pleased that he give me a
ticket to the theater. I just got back from there and it is pretty
late and I already have wrote you one letter to-day but I am going to
sit up and tell you about it.

It was cloudy before the game started and when I was warming up
I made the remark to Callahan that the dark day ought to make my
speed good. He says Yes and of course it will handicap Johnson.

While Washington was takeing their practice their two coachers
Schaefer and Altrock got out on the infield and cut up and I pretty
near busted laughing at them. They certainly is funny Al. Callahan
asked me what was I laughing at and I told him and he says That's the
first time I ever seen a pitcher laugh when he was going to work
against Johnson. He says Griffith is a pretty good fellow to give us
something to laugh at before he shoots that guy at us.

I warmed up good and told Schalk not to ask me for my spitter
much because my fast one looked faster than I ever seen it. He says
it won't make much difference what you pitch to-day. I says Oh, yes,
it will because Callahan thinks enough of me to work me against
Johnson and I want to show him he didn't make no mistake. Then
Gleason says No he didn't make no mistake. Wasteing Cicotte or Scotty
would of been a mistake in this game.

Well, Johnson whiffs Weaver and Chase and makes Lord pop out the
first inning. I walked their first guy but I didn't give Milan
nothing to bunt and finally he flied out. And then I whiffed the next
two. On th bench Callahan says That's the way, boy. Keep that up and
we got a chance.

Johnson had fanned four of us when I come up with two out in the
third inning and he whiffed me to. I fouled one though that if I had
ever got a good hold of I would of knocked out of the park. In the
first seven innings we didn't have a hit off of him. They had got
five or six lucky ones off of me and I had walked two or three, but I
cut loose with all I had when they was men on and they couldn't do
nothing with me. The only reason I walked so many was because my fast
one was jumping so. Honest Al it was so fast that Evans the umpire
couldn't see it half the time and he called a lot of balls that was
right over the heart.

Well I come up in the eighth with two out and the score still
nothing and nothing. I had whiffed the second time as well as the
first but it was account of Evans missing one on me. The eighth
started with Shanks muffing a fly ball off of Bodie. It was way out
by the fence so he got two bases on it and he went to third while
they was throwing Berger out. Then Schalk whiffed.

Callahan says Go up and try to meet one Jack. It might as well
be you as anybody else. But your old pal didn't whiff this time Al.
He gets two strikes on me with fast ones and then I passed up two bad
ones. I took my healthy at the next one and slapped it over first
base. I guess I could of made two bases on it but I didn't want to
tire myself out. Anyway Bodie scored and I had them beat. And my hit
was the only one we got off of him so I guess he is a pretty good
pitcher after all Al.

They filled up the bases on me with one out in the ninth but it
was pretty dark then and I made McBride and their catcher look like
suckers with my speed.

I felt so good after the game that I drunk one of them pink
cocktails. I don't know what their name is. And then I sent a
postcard to poor little Violet. I don't care nothing about her but it
don't hurt me none to try and cheer her up once in a while. We leave
here Thursday night for home and they had ought to be two or three
letters there for me from Hazel because I haven't heard from her
lately. She must of lost my road addresses.

Your pal, JACK.

P.S. I forgot to tell you what Callahan said after the game. He
said I was a real pitcher now and he is going to use me in the city
serious. If he does Al we will beat them Cubs sure.

Chicago, Illinois, September 27.

FRIEND AL: They wasn't no letter here at all from Hazel and I
guess she must of been sick. Or maybe she didn't think it was worth
while writeing as long as she is comeing next week.

I want to ask you to do me a favor Al and that is to see if you
can find me a house down there. I will want to move in with Mrs.
Keefe, don't that sound funny Al? sometime in the week of October
twelfth. Old man Cutting's house or that yellow house across from you
would be O.K. I would rather have the yellow one so as to be near
you. Find out how much rent they want Al and if it is not no more
than twelve dollars a month get it for me. We will buy our furniture
here in Chi when Hazel comes.

We have a couple of days off now Al and then we play St. Louis
two games here. Then Detroit comes to finish the season the third and
fourth of October.

Your pal, JACK.

Chicago, Illinois, October, 3.

DEAR OLD AL: Thanks Al for getting the house. The one-year lease
is O.K. You and Bertha and me and Hazel can have all sorts of good
times together. I guess the walk needs repairs but I can fix that up
when I come. We can stay at the hotel when we first get there.

I wish you could of came up for the city serious Al but anyway I
want you and Bertha to be sure and come up for our wedding. I will
let you know the date as soon as Hazel gets here.

The serious starts Tuesday and this town is wild over it. The
Cubs finished second in their league and we was fifth in ours but
that don't scare me none. We would of finished right on top if I had
of been here all season.

Callahan pitched one of the bushers against Detroit this
afternoon and they beat him bad. Callahan is saveing up Scott and
Allen and Russell and Cicotte and I for the big show. Walsh isn't in
no shape and neither is Benz. It looks like I would have a good deal
to do because most of them others can't work no more than once in
four days and Allen ain't no good at all.

We have a day to rest after to-morrow's game with the Tigers and
then we go at them Cubs.

Your pal, JACK.

P.S. I have got it figured that Hazel is fixing to surprise me
by dropping in on me because I haven't heard nothing yet.

Chicago, Illinois, October 7.

FRIEND AL: Well Al you know by this time that they beat me
to-day and tied up the serious. But I have still got plenty of time
Al and I will get them before it is over. My arm wasn't feeling good
Al and my fast ball didn't hop like it had ought to. But it was the
rotten support I got that beat me. That lucky stiff Zimmerman was the
only guy that got a real hit off of me and he must of shut his eyes
and throwed his bat because the ball he hit was a foot over his head.
And if they hadn't been makeing all them errors behind me they
wouldn't of been nobody on bases when Zimmerman got that lucky
scratch. The serious now stands one and one Al and it is a cinch we
will beat them even if they are a bunch of lucky stiffs. They has
been great big crowds at both games and it looks like as if we should
ought to get over eight hundred dollars a peace if we win and we will
win sure because I will beat them three straight if necessary.

But Al I have got bigger news than that for you and I am the
happyest man in the world. I told you I had not heard from Hazel for
a longtime. To-night when I got back to my room they was a letter
waiting for me from her.

Al she is married. Maybe you don't know why that makes me happy
but I will tell you. She is married to Kid Levy the middle weight. I
guess my thirty dollars is gone because in her letter she called me a
cheap skate and she inclosed one one-cent stamp and two twos and said
she was paying me for the glass of beer I once bought her, I bought
her more than that Al but I won't make no holler. She all so said not
for me to never come near her or her husband would bust my jaw. I
ain't afraid of him or no one else Al but they ain't no danger of me
ever bothering them. She was no good and I was sorry the minute I
agreed to marry her.

But I was going to tell you why I am happy or maybe you can
guess. Now I can make Violet my wife and she's got Hazel beat forty
ways. She ain't nowheres near as big as Hazel but she's classier Al
and she will make me a good wife. She ain't never asked me for no

I wrote her a letter the minute I got the good news and told her
to come on over here at once at my expence. We will be married right
after the serious is over and I want you and Bertha to be sure and
stand up with us. I will wire you at my own expence the exact

It all seems like a dream now about Violet and I haveing our
misunderstanding Al and I don't see how I ever could of accused her
of sending me that postcard. You and Bertha will be just as crazy
about her as I am when you see her Al. Just think Al I will be
married inside of a week and to the only girl I ever could of been
happy with instead of the woman I never really cared for except as a
passing fancy. My happyness would be complete Al if I had not of let
that woman steal thirty dollars off of me.

Your happy pal, JACK.

P.S. Hazel probibly would of insisted on us takeing a trip to
Niagara falls or somewheres but I know Violet will be perfectly
satisfied if I take her right down to Bedford. Oh you little yellow

Chicago, Illinois, October 9.

FRIEND AL: Well Al we have got them beat three games to one now
and will wind up the serious to-morrow sure. Callahan sent me in to
save poor Allen yesterday and I stopped them dead. But I don't care
now Al. I have lost all interest in the game and I don't care if
Callahan pitches me to-morrow or not. My heart is just about broke Al
and I wouldn't be able to do myself justice feeling the way I do.

I have lost Violet Al and just when I was figureing on being the
happyest man in the world. We will get the big money but it won't do
me no good. They can keep my share because I won't have no little
girl to spend it on.

Her answer to my letter was waiting for me at home tonight. She
is engaged to be married to Joe Hill the big lefthander Jennings got
from Providence. Honest Al I don't see how he gets by. He ain't got
no more curve ball than a rabbit and his fast one floats up there
like a big balloon. He beat us the last game of the regular season
here but it was because Callahan had a lot of bushers in the game.

I wish I had knew then that he was stealing my girl and I would
of made Callahan pitch me against him. And when he come up to bat I
would of beaned him. But I don't suppose you could hurt him by
hitting him in the head. The big stiff. Their wedding ain't going to
come off till next summer and by that time he will be pitching in the
Southwestern Texas League for about fifty dollars a month.

Violet wrote that she wished me all the luck and happyness in
the world but it is too late for me to be happy Al and I don't care
what kind of luck I have now.

Al you will have to get rid of that lease for me. Fix it up the
best way you can. Tell the old man I have changed my plans. I don't
know just yet what I will do but maybe I will go to Australia with
Mike Donlin's team. If I do I won't care if the boat goes down or
not. I don't believe I will even come back to Bedford this winter. It
would drive me wild to go past that little house every day and think
how happy I might of been.

Maybe I will pitch to-morrow Al and if I do the serious will be
over to-morrow night. I can beat them Cubs if I get any kind of
decent support. But I don't care now Al.

Yours truly, JACK.

Chicago, Illinois, October 12.

AL: Your letter received. If the old man won't call it off I
guess I will have to try and rent the house to some one else. Do you
know of any couple that wants one Al? It looks like I would have to
come down there myself and fix things up someway. He is just mean
enough to stick me with the house on my hands when I won't have no
use for it.

They beat us the day before yesterday as you probibly know and
it rained yesterday and to-day. The papers says it will be all O.K.
to-morrow and Callahan tells me I am going to work. The Cub pitchers
was all shot to peaces and the bad weather is just nuts for them
because it will give Cheney a good rest. But I will beat him Al if
they don't kick it away behind me.

I must close because I promised Allen the little lefthander that
I would come over to his flat and play cards a while to-night and I
must wash up and change my collar. Allen's wife's sister is visiting
them again and I would give anything not to have to go over there. I
am through with girls and don't want nothing to do with them.

I guess it is maybe a good thing it rained to-day because I
dreamt about Violet last night and went out and got a couple of high
balls before breakfast this morning. I hadn't never drank nothing
before breakfast before and it made me kind of sick. But I am all
O.K. now.

Your pal, JACK.

Chicago, Illinois, October 13.

DEAR OLD AL: The serious is all over Al. We are the champions
and I done it. I may be home the day after to-morrow or I may not
come for a couple of days. I want to see Comiskey before I leave and
fix up about my contract for next year. I won't sign for no less than
five thousand and if he hands me a contract for less than that I will
leave the White Sox flat on their back. I have got over fourteen
hundred dollars now Al with the city serious money which was $814.30
and I don't have to worry.

Them reporters will have to give me a square deal this time Al.
I had everything and the Cubs done well to score a run. I whiffed
Zimmerman three times. Some of the boys say he ain't no hitter but he
is a hitter and a good one Al only he could not touch the stuff I
got. The umps give them their run because in the fourth inning I had
Leach flatfooted off of second base and Weaver tagged him O.K. but
the umps wouldn't call it. Then Schulte the lucky stiff happened to
get a hold of one and pulled it past first base. I guess Chase must
of been asleep. Anyway they scored but I don't care because we piled
up six runs on Cheney and I drove in one of them myself with one of
the prettiest singles you ever see. It was a spitter and I hit it
like a shot. If I had hit it square it would of went out of the

Comiskey ought to feel pretty good about me winning and I guess
he will give me a contract for anything I want. He will have to or I
will go to the Federal League.

We are all invited to a show to-night and I am going with Allen
and his wife and her sister Florence. She is O.K. Al and I guess she
thinks the same about me. She must because she was out to the game
to-day and seen me hand it to them. She maybe ain't as pretty as
Violet and Hazel but as they say beauty isn't only so deep.

Well Al tell the boys I will be with them soon. I have gave up
the idea of going to Australia because I would have to buy a evening
full-dress suit and they tell me they cost pretty near fifty

Yours truly, JACK.

Chicago, Illinois, October 14.

DEAR FRIEND AL: Never mind about that lease. I want the house
after all Al and I have got the surprise of your life for you.

When I come home to Bedford I will bring my wife with me. I and
Florence fixed things all up after the show last night and we are
going to be married to-morrow morning. I am a busy man to-day Al
because I have got to get the license and look round for furniture.
And I have also got to buy some new cloths but they are haveing a
sale on Cottage Grove Avenue at Clark's store and I know one of the
clerks there.

I am the happyest man in the world Al. You and Bertha and I and
Florence will have all kinds of good times together this winter
because I know Bertha and Florence will like each other. Florence
looks something like Bertha at that. I am glad I didn't get tied up
with Violet or Hazel even if they was a little bit prettier than

Florence knows a lot about baseball for a girl and you would be
supprised to hear her talk. She says I am the best pitcher in the
league and she has saw them all. She all so says I am the best
looking ball player she ever seen but you know how girls will kid a
guy Al. You will like her O.K. I fell for her the first time I seen

Your old pal, JACK.

P.S. I signed up for next year. Comiskey slapped me on the back
when I went in to see him and told me I would be a star next year if
I took good care of myself I guess I am a star without waiting for
next year Al. My contract calls for twenty-eight hundred a year which
is a thousand more than I was getting. And it is pretty near a cinch
that I will be in on the World Serious money next season.

P.S. I certainly am relieved about that lease. It would of been
fierce to of had that place on my hands all winter and not getting
any use out of it. Everything is all O.K. now. Oh you little yellow