Years ago, Baltimore and Boston - and they were some ball clubs - tried to play a polite, courteous game, to see how it would work.
The first half inning was lovely. Even when Tim Hurst called a strike on Tom McCarthy that was a foot high, there was no outbreak. “Wasn’t that ball a trifle high, Mr. Umpire?” Tom asked, all courtesy. “I fear I may have erred in judgment, Mr. McCarthy, kindly overlook it if you will,” replied Tim with a grin.
But the blow off came in the second…Reitz made a dash for the plate on what he thought was a passed ball. The Boston catcher recovered the ball, but as he dove for the plate Jennings wandered into him and spilled him ten feet away.
“Out for interference!” yelped Hurst - and then everybody arrived at the plate in a bunch.
“You Irish loafer!” shrieked Reitz, “what am I out for?”
“You red-headed stiff!” roared the Boston catcher at Jennings, “I ought to knock your block off and for two cents I’d do it.”
“You’re a piece of cheese,” snarled Jennings, “and this bum umpire is a porch-climbing burglar.”
“For Moses’ sake, remember”, I butted in, “that this is supposed to be a polite and courteous game to prove we know how to behave.” And somebody hit me across the map with a catcher’s glove.
So many questions. “You’re a piece of cheese”? “Hit me across the map”?