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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-20-2015

Toledo News-Bee, May 20, 1915:

Canadian soldiers in France who want to spend the intermissions between battles in playing baseball will be supplied by American leaders of the game with the paraphernalia which they cannot obtain readily abroad.

The soldiers complained first to their friends and relatives in Canada that baseballs, bats and gloves were scarce in France. Official attention was called, with the result that President Ban Johnson of the American league and others were appealed to.

President Johnson has promised to contribute several boxes of new baseballs.

Classy move. There was very little to smile about in Europe in 1915, so if a few boxes of baseballs could bring a few people some joy, that would have been an easy choice to make.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: May 20, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-26-2015

March 26, 1915, American pilot Phil Rader, fighting for the French in World War I, writes for United Press:

What Christy Mathewson could do to the Germans near our trenches!

The Germans are masters of new tricks, or of adapring old tricks to new purposes, but their hand-grenade stunt would put them at the mercy of the great American ball players.
...
I used to watch the Germans toss these bombs like schoolgirls or like boys pitching nickels at a crack…Eugene Jacobs, the man who left his butcher shop in Pawtucket to come and fight the Germans because they had destroyed his birthplace in Belgium, saved his life and perhaps several other lives one day by catching one of these bombs, as if it were a baseball. He threw it back, and it exploded in one of the German trenches.

Maybe baseball was good training for soldiers using grenades, but I’d strongly counsel the old-timey people to keep Christy Mathewson as far from the war as possible. I mean it, guys, don’t let him join the military. Trust me on this.


 

 

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