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McGRAW OF THE GIANTS 



By Frank Graham 

LOU GEHRIG: A QUIET HERO 
THE NEW YORK YANKEES 
MCGRAW OF THE GIANTS 




YOUNG JOHN AT OLEAN 



OF THE GIANTS 



AN INFORMAL BIOGRAPHY 



BY FRANK GRAHAM 



G- P- PUTNAM'S SONS 

NEW YORK 



? BY FRANK GRAHAM 



All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, must 
"* Jtbljbe reproduced in any form without permission. 



This complete copyright edition is produced in full compliance 

with the Government's regulations for conserving paper and 

other essential materials. 



MA2TCJFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OP AMEBICA 

Van Rees Press, New York 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. The Boy from Truxton 3 

II. Baltimore and the Orioles 10 

III. Arrival in New York 2 1 

IV. The Greatest Team 28 
V. The Pace Is Slower 35 

VI. The Merkle Play 41 

VII. Bresnahan for Bugs Raymond 49 

VIII. In Rags and Tatters 55 

IX. In Defense of Snodgrass 64 

X. Around the World 70 

XI. The Federal League 72 

XII. A Most Remarkable Year 79 

XIII. A Kid Named Youngs 92 

XIV. The "Great Repudiation" 99 
XV. A Halt Is Called 108 

XVI. Part Owner of the Giants 113 

XVII. The Name of "Muggsy" 120 

XVIII. The Race Track in Havana 129 

XIX. Year of Trouble I 3 I 

XX. The Brightest Era Opens 139 

"" J" Lfl ',"/ 

XXI. A Crowded Year J " ' " " ; 150 

XXII. Three Pennants in a Row 165 



PAGE 

Jl)plan-a J Connell Case 175 



* *XXlV: : t)ft 'Ariives^nd Matty Dies 191, 

XX?} : ^Follow Me in Real Estate" 198 

XXVI. New Captain of the Giants 2 14 

XXVII. A Guy Named Hubbell 224 
XXVIII. Hogan at the Table 235 

XXIX. A Visit to the Doctor 240 

XXX. Justice McCook Hears a Case 244 

XXXI. Bright Days in California 247 

XXXII. A Revolt Is Checked 255 

XXXIII. A Reporter Gets a Beat 257 

XXXIV. End of the Long Road 262 



VI 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Young John at Olean Frontispiece 

Facing Page 

McGraw as the New Manager of the Giants 24 

Christy Mathewson 25 

Fred Merkle 44 

George Burns 45 

McGraw in 1912 58 

Rube Marquard 59 

Ferdie Schupp 88 

Benny Kauff 89 

Ross Young 94 

Frank Frisch 95 

McGraw with Charles A. Stoneham 128 

McGraw and Wilbert Robinson 129 

An Opening Day at the Polo Grounds 160 

McGraw with Dave Bancroft and Hugh Jennings 161 

Bill Terry 170 

Jimmy O'Connell 171 

Mel Ott 196 

Art Nehf and Roger Bresnahan 197 

Carl Hubbell - fc 228 

Rogers Hornsby 229 

McGraw in Havana 250 

John and Mrs. McGraw at Home in Pelham 251 



THE BOY FROM TRUXTON 



JOSEPH MCGRAW, who was born in Truxton, New York, on 
April 7, 1873, and died in New Rochelle on February 25, 1934, 
was a small-town boy who parlayed a love of baseball and a dy- 
namic personality into world-wide fame and hundreds of thousands 
of dollars. A professional player at the age of seventeen, he became, 
successively, third baseman of the immortal Baltimore Orioles, man- 
ager and later part owner of the New York Giants, the dominant 
figure in the sport, and, by reason of the far-flung expeditions he 
headed in 1913 and again in 1924, its ambassador to the world at 
large. 

From the wooden sidewalks of Truxton, his feet led him along 
the broad highways of the world. New York knew him best, of 
course but they knew him, too, in London, Paris, Dublin, Havana, 
Berlin, Cairo, Melbourne, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hongkong. No man 
had a wider acquaintance, from kings to the riffraff of all the con- 
tinents. Few have had more glamorous, more exciting lives. 

He was, distinctly, a robust temperament. He was generous and 
loyal to his friends, implacable toward his foes. He was vain about 
some things, extremely modest about others. He irritated persons 
in the mass and charmed them as individuals. His charities were 
numerous, and he genuinely resented any attempt to publicize them. 
He forgave many injuries done him but forgot none of them. He 
enjoyed many fine friendships and had many quarrels. 

It has been said of him that he would have been as successful in 
any other field as he was in baseball because he possessed the quali- 
ties that would have made him a leader wherever his choice had 
rested. Perhaps. Yet there is nothing in the record to bear this out. 
The record is that whenever he ventured beyond baseball he failed 
dismally, and that he lost tremendous sums playing the races, dab- 
bling in oil and speculating in Florida real estate. 

But in fairness to him, since he devoted his life to baseball, he 
should be judged only in that field and in that field he was touched 
with genius. He was accused by some of his rivals of "buying" pen- 
nants because he paid huge sums for players he thought could win 
for him. Yet he developed more players than all his carping 
rivals put together. Many of these players, becoming managers in 



the minor or major leagues, taught their players the kind of base- 
ball he had taught them and so, by their own achievements, deep- 
ened his impress on the game. 

And so, whatever else he might have been, had destiny pointed 
the way along another path he had a full life and an exciting one 
in baseball ; and, in his fashion, he was a great man. 

His father, called John, was born in Ireland. Arriving in this 
country in his youth, he had wandered about considerably and was 
a widower with one daughter, Anna, when he settled down in Truxton. 
There he met and married Ellen Comerfort, of a family long resi- 
dent in that region of upper New York State. There were eight chil- 
dren born to this union : Margaret, Ellen, John, James Michael, and 
four whose names have been forgotten even by members of the 
family, and of whom it is remembered only that they died of diph- 
theria in infancy. 

His mother died when John was twelve years old. Her death, and 
that of the four younger children within a short time, broke up the 
family. The father, who worked as a farm hand or with a section 
gang on the Elmira, Cortland and Northern Railroad, sent the surviv- 
ing children to live with relatives, and paid scant attention to them 
thereafter. The only one in whom he appears to have had any inter- 
est at all was John. This interest manifested itself mainly in at- 
tempting, sometimes forcibly, to discourage him from playing base- 
ball once giving him a thrashing and locking him in a woodshed 
all night for having played when he had forbidden him to do so. 

John's schooling was brief and sketchy, but he quickly learned 
any subject that interested him. He earned money driving cows for 
neighboring dairy farmers, but had no desire ever to own a farm 
or, for that matter, even a cow. His" father, almost constantly 
nagging him about his ball playing, endeavored to interest him in 
railroading, and, as a beginning, got a job for him as a candy butcher 
on the E. C. and N. He didn't care particularly for that. But it was 
better than driving cows or digging in the fields. And it gave him a 
chance to see something of the world at least that part of it which 
lay between Elmira and Cortland. 

Between runs on the E. C. and N., McGraw played with the 
Truxton Grays in Truxton and the other small towns near by. He 
was a pitcher, mostly, although when he wasn't pitching he would 



jump in and play second base, third base or short stop. But lie liked 
to think of himself as a pitcher, and it was as such that he first 
attracted attention. The manager of the team in East Homer, five 
miles away, offered him two dollars a game to pitch for his team. 

He leaped at the offer. He won his first two games trudging the 
five miles to pitch and five miles back when the game was over 
and then, having established himself, said to the manager: 

"Do you want me to pitch again on Saturday?" 

"Sure I do," the manager said* 

"That's fine. But the price has gone up. From now on, I want five 
dollars a game and hack fare both ways." 

The manager was horrified. He protested, threatened, cajoled, but 
to no effect. McGraw remained unmoved. Five dollars and hack fare 
or no McGraw. The manager was compelled to give in. After all, 
the boy was a winning pitcher, and already had established himself 
as favorite with the East Homer fans. 

For a few more weeks he pitched for East Homer, riding back and 
forth in state. Then Al Kenney, who owned a hotel in Truxton, but 
managed the Olean team in the New York and Pennsylvania League, 
offered him a job at forty dollars a month and board. He lost no 
time in accepting it, overcoming the protests of his father by the 
simple expedient of walking out on them. 

There was, however, a jolt in store for him in Olean. Kenney, 
who had watched him pitch and play the infield, decided he was a 
better infielder than he was a pitcher, and assigned him to third 
base. Swallowing his pride at this summary dismissal of his talents 
as a pitcher, he manfully plunged into the task of playing third base 
and did so badly that at tie end of a week he was on the bench. 

He could field ground balls all right, and he could hit. But he 
had what is known in baseball as a scatter arm, which meant that 
his throwing to first base was erratic. Diligent practice in the morn- 
ings during the short period he was out of the line-up enabled him 
to get the range on the bag. Thereafter there was no complaint to 
be found with his throwing. 

But Olean, attractive as it had seemed in the beginning, couldn't 
hold him for long. Before the season was over he made a couple of 
skip-stops in Hornellsville and Canisteo, and wound up in Wells- 
ville, where a friend of his named Al Lawson was the manager. 

5 



Years later he was inclined to date his start as a professional ball 
player from his engagement in Wellsville. 

"How about Olean and those other towns?" they would ask him. 

And he would shrug and say : 

"I really got started in Wellsville." 

Maybe this was because he got sixty dollars a month there, lived 
at a hotel where he could have steak for breakfast every day if he 
wanted it and had his first taste of hero worship as the town sports 
around the cigar store and pool hall pointed him out to strangers 
as Johnny McGraw, the ball player. 

Near the end of the season Lawson said to him : 

"I am taking a team to Florida for the winter and we may go to 
Cuba. I'd like to have you go with me. Are you interested ?" 

Interested? Sure, he was interested. Florida . . . Cuba . . . they were 
names in the geography he'd had in school, and the very prospect 
of seeing them was exciting. 

"Tm not sure well get to Cuba/' Lawson admitted, "but it looks 
good. Anyway, we ought to do all right in Florida.' Well be the 
Ocala team and well play in Jacksonville and Gainesville and 
Tampa and a lot of those towns. It will be a good place to spend the 
winter you know you can play ball all the year round down there 
and you might make a little money. I'll pay your way down and 
give you sixty dollars a month, and if we go to Cuba and make some 
money there, there'll be a split for the players." 

McGraw was in no mood to haggle over terms. He had been won- 
dering what he was going to do all winter, what sort of job he could 
get. Now he was to spend it where the sun shone every day and he 
could play ball and he would be as well paid as he had been in 
Wellsville. Well, that was all settled. In a couple of weeks the 
season would be over and they would be on their way. He knew 
his father would object, of course. But that wouldn't hold him for 
an instant. Nor did it, when, on going back to Truxton to pack some 
clothes for the journey, he saw his father. 

At last it was the day of departure. Lawson had collected most 
of Ms players from the New York and Pennsylvania League, and 
would pick up one or two more in New York. The players, laughing 
and clowning, climbed aboard the train at the Wellsville depot, 
waved good-by to the friends who had come to see them off and 
were on their way to New York as the bell clanged and the train 
6 



jerked and rumbled forward. The great adventure had begun. 

It was McGraw's first real break with home, the beginning of his 
first journey across the horizon that stretched beyond Wellsville and 
Olean and the other near-by towns. He was going a long way and 
he wasn't coming back. He hadn't said anything about that to any- 
body. It is doubtful whether the thought had taken on a clear out- 
line in his mind. But it must have been there, for never once during 
the winter that followed did he speak of returning. 

His brief experience in Wellsville and Olean had convinced him 
that he was on the right track. He had wanted to be a professional 
ball player, thinking it was a good life, and he had found that it 
was. And professional ball players the good ones didn't stay in 
the New York and Pennsylvania League. They went from league to 
league and, if they were good enough, they got to the National 
League some day. That was where he was going. Not now. Not for 
a few years, perhaps. But some day. And this was a start. He would 
play ball all winter, and when another spring rolled around he would 
be in just as good condition as he was now. And you never could 
tell where he might land. 

First, there was New York, which he never had seen before. He 
wasn't there long. Just a couple of days. But what he saw of the 
town he liked very much, and vowed that there would be a time 
when he would know it better. And then the long, tiring trip to 
Jacksonville, and from Jacksonville to Ocala, a pleasant town then, 
even as it is today a town just about halfway between the coasts 
of the peninsula, where the ancient oaks were hung with what the 
natives called Spanish moss. 

Parts of the Florida of that day were almost primitive. The roads 
were few and poor, and traveling wasn't easy. But he was young, 
and eager to see as much of the world as possible. He didn't mind 
the jolting rides in the carriages or carryalls, or on the trains that 
puffed uncertainly along the undulating right of way that stretched 
across the sandy terrain. He saw all the towns Lawson had promised, 
and many more that Lawson never had heard of. And in the years 
to come, when he was traveling up and down or across the state, and 
the train would stop at some inland town, he would peer out the 
window and recognize the name on the station sign board, and he 
would say: 



"I played here once ... a long time ago. The ball park was right 
over there, about where those stores are now and. . . ." 

One morning Lawson told the players they were going to Cuba. 
A schedule of games had been arranged for them in Havana, and 
guaranties had been posted by Cuban sportsmen, so that they were 
assured not only of getting over but of getting back. They went to 
Tampa and there boarded a ship for Havana. 

The Havana that McGraw saw for the first time was very different 
from the Havana he was to know in later years. The Spanish-Ameri- 
can War still was eight years away, and the city was filled with 
Spanish soldiers, there to hold in check the restless subjects of their 
king. It was crowded and dirty and noisome. The hotel at which 
the players were quartered was old and moldy. The food was not 
to their liking. But they managed to enjoy themselves. They were 
delighted with the interest that the Cubans took in baseball, to 
which they had been introduced but a year or so before by Frank 
Bancroft, an old burlesque showman and baseball manager, who 
had made the first invasion with two teams of strolling minor 
leaguers. 

Lawson's team played seventeen games with other American teams 
that were spending the winter there the Cubans had not yet had 
time in which to develop any skill of their own and won fourteen 
of them. McGraw, who played short stop, was immediately popular 
with the natives. He was young and slight and quick. They never 
had seen anyone who could scurry around and pick up ground balls 
as he could, or anyone who took such obvious delight in playing. 
(A year later, when Lawson returned with another team, the first 
player the Cubans asked for was McGraw. They were disappointed 
that he was not there, and the stories of the team's arrival were 
sprinkled with the regrets of the writers over his absence.) 

When, in the early spring of 1891, the party got back to the States 
and Lawson was interviewed by a Tampa newspaperman, he 
heatedly denied that his players had been drunk much of the time 
and had tossed the games they had lost. 

"No, sir!" he said, indignantly. "I want to say for my boys that 
they behaved themselves at all times and any talk you may have 
heard about them betting on the games and losing three of them 
on purpose is rot." 

And then he said: 
8 



"The best player on my team is Johnny McGraw. He is a hard, 
left-handed batsman, a fine short stop, a good base runner and, last 
but not least, a gentleman. He is one of the coming stars of the 
profession." 

There still remained some weeks before the thaws started in 
upper New York State. Lawson and his players were in no hurry 
to leave the warm sunshine of Florida. They resumed their barn- 
storming, moved up as far as southern Georgia and then went back 
to Gainesville, It was there that McGraw got the break that sent 
Mm whirling up to the National League within two years. 

Reminiscing years afterward, he said : 

"I was in Gainesville with an All-America team and Cleveland 
came down there for spring practice. There were Pat Tebeau, Ralph 
Johnson, Big Ed McKean and Chippy McGarr on that team. 

"They were a bit raw, having had only a few days' practice, while 
I was as spry as a kid at my age could be. We played the Clevelands 
one afternoon with Viau in the box, and Viau was a good pitcher 
in those days. But, of course, he did not have a seasoned arm, so he 
just lobbed the ball up to the plate. And maybe I didn't soak the 
horsehide ! I got three doubles and a single, and it proved to be the 
start of my career. 

"The funniest thing was no one ever got on to the fact that the 
pitcher was just lobbing them over the plate. A few days afterward 
I was receiving telegrams from all over the country. Some offered 
me $60 a month, and that still was good money to me. I kept putting 
them off, however, until the Cedar Rapids club wired me an offer 
of $125. 1 didn't even stop to take off my uniform, but ran all the 
way to the telegraph office to accept the offer," 

It was a good story as he told it but there was more to it than 
that. Apparently, he accepted terms with some of the other clubs, 
too. Baseball was loosely organized outside the major leagues, and 
an agreement between a player and a club didn't mean much unless 
both parties to it were of a mind to go through with it, 

"John McGraw, of Gainesville, Fla.," was well known by tele- 
graph to a number of club owners. Rockford claimed him. So did 
Fort Wayne. Davenport not only claimed him, but the owner of the 
club had sheriffs and process servers looking for him and was deter- 
mined to have him hauled into court and compelled to abide by his 
acceptance of terms. 



"Did he take any money from you?" the irate owner was asked. 

"No/' he said. "He wired back that he would play with my club 
and wanted me to send him money for his railroad fare, and I did, 
but he never collected it. It's still there waiting for him, and I've 
got his wire to prove he belongs to me." 

That, in substance, was the tale the others told. Hearing of his 
slugging against Viau, they had wired offers to him, and he had 
accepted them and asked for his transportation. They had sent it 
and then had heard nothing. 

It would seem that, with all those offers rolling in, John was 
bound he would capitalize on one of them, and, while waiting for 
the best, had lined up the others. In these days, of course, he would 
be ordered to join the club that had received his first acceptance. 
But then it didn't matter. He knew it, and he was safe in Cedar 
Rapids, playing short stop and thumbing his nose at Davenport, 
Rockf ord and Fort Wayne. 



II BALTIMORE AND THE ORIOLES 

WAS MOVING PAST NOW. Olean . . . Hornellsville . . . Canisteo 
. . . Wellsville . . . Ocala . . . Havana . . . Gainesville. Now Cedar 
Rapids. Moving fast, developing as an infielder, hitting the ball. 
Making a reputation in the Illinois-Iowa League, stirring up rows, 
making friends friends such as Henry Fabian and Dick Kinsella. 
Henry was to become more famous as ground keeper at the Polo 
Grounds than he ever was as a ball player. Known as Tex Fabian, 
he was the right fielder on the Cedar Rapids team. Kinsella, in 
years to come, not only was to remain McGraw's stanch friend, but 
was to prowl the minor leagues for him and come up with players 
who won pennants for the Giants. Moving fast . . . and keeping his 
eyes on the National League. 

It was an old-time short stop named Bill Gleason, who had been 
with the St. Louis Browns in the American Association and had 
slipped back into the Illinois-Iowa League, who recommended him 
for promotion. 

"I got a letter from Billie Barnie today," he said to McGraw one 
afternoon. 

10 



Barnie managed the Baltimore Orioles, then in the Association. 

"Yes?" McGraw said. "What did he have to say?" 

He didn't know Barnie and was curious as to why Gleason should 
have told him of the letter, 

"He wants to know how good you are," Gleason said. 

McGraw laughed. 

"Tell him I'm as good as they come/' he said. 

Gleason laughed, too. But he liked the way the boy played hall 
... the zing and spirit he put into it, the way he handled himself 
when games were tight and the chips were down. 

"Take him," he wrote to Barnie. "You'll like him." 

McGraw had played only thirty-one games for Cedar Rapids when 
Barnie wired him, offering him a berth with the Orioles and, by way 
of persuading him to accept in a hurry, informing him a ticket for 
Baltimore awaited him at the depot. McGraw figuratively grabbed 
the offer and the ticket with one hand and waved good-by to Cedar 
Rapids with the other. Not all the pleadings of the Cedar Rapids 
club owner could detain him. He was moving too fast for that. 

This was a step nearer the National League. Of course, the Ameri- 
can Association (not to be confused with the present-day circuit of 
the same name) was a big league, too, but even so it lacked the 
solid prestige of the National. So far as McGraw was concerned, 
there was only one league. But the Association would do for the 
time being. 

He started badly in Baltimore, picked up a little later, but still 
finished the season with a batting average of only .245. And then, 
during the winter of 1891-1892, he suddenly found himself in the 
National League without, you might say, moving a muscle. The 
National League, expanding to twelve clubs, simply had reached out 
and absorbed Baltimore as the Association tottered and fell. 

The new manager of the team was Ned Hanlon, one of the great 
leaders of all time. It was from him that McGraw was to learn much 
that he knew of the strategy of baseball and acquire much of the 
skill he afterward employed in building or rebuilding a team. Han- 
lon made a number of trades that winter that strengthened the team. 
One of them also brought into McGraw's life a man for whom he 
formed a friendship that ended only with death. This was Hugfaie 
Jennings, who had been with the Louisville dub. 

Through 1892 and 1893, as Boston maintained a supremacy it 

ii 



had established in 1891, Hanlon continued to build and McGraw 
continued to develop as a ball player. Finally, in 1894, Ned had his 
team. These were the Orioles whose fame has grown so great during 
the years that it has become one of baseball's brightest legends. This 
was the team: 

Brouthers on first base, Reitz on second, Jennings at short stop 
and McGraw on third. Willie Keeler in right field, Walter (Steve) 
Brodie in center and Joe Kelly in left. Robinson and Clark were the 
catchers and Sadie McMahon, Esper, Hoffer, Gleason, Pond and 
Clarkson the pitchers. 

It may be that no other team ever had a spirit to match that of 
the Orioles. They were, truly, all for one and one for all. The ball 
game didn't end for them with the last out in the ninth inning. If 
they lost it, they played it over again across the dinner table for 
they were inseparable off the field, too taking it apart, analyzing 
it, highlighting the mistakes they had made, vowing not to make 
them again. If they had won well, maybe they had uncovered some 
hitherto unsuspected weakness in the foe, a weakness they were 
bound not to forget, but to play upon in future. 

They trained in New Orleans in that spring of 1894. With the en- 
thusiastic encouragement of Hanlon, McGraw began to devise plays 
calculated to upset the enemy. He and Keeler originated the hit- 
and-run play. They all polished their bunting game. They invented 
so many tricks that, in order to curb them, the owners of the other 
clubs had to draft new rules or change some of the old ones. One 
change they forced, in due time, was the assignment of two umpires 
to a game instead of one. The idea of driving the single umpire crazy 
wasn't original with them. But they were in favor of it, and refined 
all the tortures to which he had been put before they were organized. 

McGraw helped to hasten the advent of the two-umpire system 
by a simple trick that he worked successfully for a long time. With 
an opposing runner on third base, poised to dart for the plate when 
a fly to the outfield had been caught, McGraw would hook his fingers 
in the runner's belt unseen, of course, by the umpire, who would 
be watching the flight of the ball. In the instant the ball had been 
caught and the umpire whirled to see if the runner had left third 
ahead of the catch, McGraw would let go but, nine times out of ten, 
the runner would be thrown out at the plate. Protests went unavail- 
ing. The umpire could base a decision only on what he had seen ; 
12 



obviously, lie couldn't watch the ball and McGraw at the same time. 

Pete Browning, then with Louisville, checked this practice of 
McGraw's for a while. Ready to dash off third base one day, he 
surreptitiously unbuckled his belt and when he headed for the 
plate there stood McGraw with his belt in his hand. Other runners 
took to doing the same thing. McGraw, too wary to be caught again, 
simply bided his time. When their vigilance was relaxed he went 
back to his belt-grabbing, and the screaming started all over again. 

That year the Orioles captured the pennant in a final drive through 
the West on which they won twenty-four out of twenty-five games, 
eighteen of them in a row. 

"We would have won all of them," McGraw once recalled, "if 
Robbie hadn't slipped in the mud in Pittsburgh chasing a foul fly. 
The big lummox!" 

At the time he spoke his friendship with Robbie still was firm 
it was to crash a few years later but so strong was his desire to win 
that, nearly twenty years afterward, he couldn't quite bring himself 
to forgive Robbie for having lost that game. Nor, quite possibly, 
could any of the other Orioles. 

That 1894 was the first year of competition for the Temple 
Cup, which was donated by William C. Temple, president of the 
Pittsburgh club. It was to be given to the winner, in four games 
out of a possible seven, of a series between the clubs finishing first 
and second in the National League. Here the Orioles suffered a sharp 
reverse. The Giants, behind superb pitching by Amos Rusie and 
Jouett Meekin, beat them in four games. 

They quickly recovered from that defeat, however, and their fame 
expanded as they won the pennant in 1895 ^^ again in 1896. Ill 
fortune dogged them once more in the series of 1895. They lost to 
Cleveland, four games to one, as they fell before the pitching of 
Cy Young. But in 1896 they had their revenge, winning the cup 
from Cleveland. 

Hanlon, of course, still was the boss on the bench, but McGraw 
was the leader on the field. He wasn't the captain of the team. 
Robbie had that title. But it was to McGraw that the other players 
looked. He was the one on whom they depended most in the pindhes. 

Around the circuit the fans hated him, taunted him, called him 
"Muggsy" to arouse his ire. They never failed in this, for he loathed 
the name. But it never was to their advantage to stir him to anger 

13 



for then he was cold and hard and tough, and there was no holding 
him and no stopping him, at bat or in the field. 

DeWolf Hopper once recalled a game at the Polo Grounds, with 
the Giants and the Orioles striving for the Temple Cup. 

"I had just come from seeing some pictures of an Antarctic expe- 
dition," he said, "and among the views that fascinated me were those 
of some penguins on the ice. And now McGraw was up in a pinch, 
and the crowd was storming and yelling insults at him in an attempt 
to shake his confidence. But he stood there, firm and intense, paying 
no heed to all the clamor about him. And I thought to myself : 'Cold. 
He's cold. He's as cold as those penguins on the ice ! ' " 

Baltimore was his home now. He was making friends all about 
him. Jennings and Keeler and Robbie and Kelly, and Frank Finley, 
a young medical student at Johns Hopkins, who was to be his friend 
through all his life. Truxton . . . Olean . . . Wellsville were a long way 
behind him. 

His father, his brother Jimmy and his sisters they were still in 
Truxton, or near by. He kept in touch with them, gave them finan- 
cial help when they needed it, was always quick with a check for 
any of his relatives. But long ago lie had cut the ties that bound him 
there and then and ever after spoke but seldom of his boyhood. 

In the fall of 1894 he and Jennings had gone to St. Bonaventure 
College, not far from Truxton, where Jennings began the study of 
law which he was to pursue and where McGraw read up on all 
the subjects that interested him, while they paid for their learning 
and lodging by advising the college baseball team. 

But of all the places he'd been, he liked Baltimore best. There, 
but for the changing fortunes of baseball, he might have remained. 
Certainly, for a long time and for several reasons he had no desire 
to leave. 

The span of the Orioles' grip on the league ended with the win- 
ning of the pennant and the Temple Cup in 1896, although there was 
one last flash left in their pan. Finishing second to Boston in the 
1897 flag chase, they smashed the winners, four games to one, in the 
cup series. 

As their power dwindled through the next two seasons, so did the 

attendance and the gate receipts. H. B. Von der Horst, the owner 

of the club, was not one to stand continual losses in revenue when 

there was a way to circumvent them. He found the way in the winter 

14 



of 1898-1899. He purchased an interest in the Brooklyn club, with 
the intention of moving Hanlon and most of the good players to 
that city, while retaining ownership of the Orioles and operating 
that franchise with his lesser players and any he co.uld scrape up in 
the minor leagues. 

The cry of "Syndicate baseball! 5 ' promptly was raised against 
him. But he paid no heed to it, nor did any of Ms colleagues, who 
obviously didn't care how many clubs he owned or controlled. 
Hanlon went to Brooklyn as manager. With him went Keeler, Jen- 
nings, Kelly and some of the other players. McGraw and Robinson 
were ordered to go, too, but they refused. They were not linked to 
Baltimore entirely by sentiment. They were the proprietors of a 
prospering saloon called The Blue Diamond, and they were of no 
mind to damage their business by moving away from it. Not right 
then, at any rate. 

Von der Horst raged at the rebels. Hanlon argued quietly with 
them. They remained obdurate. Von der Horst finally relented, and, 
since McGraw had shown qualities of leadership, was persuaded by 
Hanlon to permit the young man he was then only twenty-five 
to remain and act as manager of the team and to keep Robinson 
with him. 

To help McGraw out, Hanlon sent him two promising young play- 
ers, Jimmy Sheckard, an outfielder, who one day was to achieve fame 
with the Chicago Cubs, and Joe McGinnity, destined to become a 
great pitcher the Iron Man, whose specialty was pitching double 
headers and who, in the years that followed, was to help win pen- 
nants for McGraw at the Polo Grounds. The rest of the team was 
pretty bad, but McGraw succeeded in negotiating another deal with 
Hanlon. First obtaining a short stop named Gene Delmont from 
Chicago, he talked Hanlon into taking Delmont for Jennings. This 
strengthened his infield and reunited him with his friend. It was his 
first big trade, and he was inclined to believe always that it was one 
of the best he ever made. 

Inexperienced though he was as a manager, he learned rapidly. 
He drove his players hard, though no harder than he drove himself. 
They couldn't come even close to winning the pennant, but they 
created some excitement. Their player-manager attracted even 
greater attention than he had before. Other club owners began to 
make offers for him. But Von der Horst refused to sell. 



"I wouldn't take $10,000 for Ms contract!" he said 

Ten thousand dollars was a lot of money in those days. No one 
offered that much. 

The struggles of McGraw's men, however valiant, produced disap- 
pointing results at the gate in Baltimore. Meanwhile, the club own- 
ers in all the cities were worried by the expansion of the Western 
League under the vigorous direction of Byron Bancroft Johnson, 
who, they knew, planned to develop it into a second major league 
and so challenge the monopoly they had enjoyed since the absorption 
of the American Association. The twelve-club league, they realized, 
had become unwieldy. Too many clubs were losing money. It was 
certain their line of defense must be shortened for the fight that lay 
just ahead. In the winter of 1899 Louisville, Washington, Cleveland 
and Baltimore were dropped and McGraw and Robinson were sold 
to St. Louis. 

Once more they refused to leave Baltimore. It may have been that 
only The Blue Diamond swayed Robbie in his refusal this time. 
But McGraw's horizons were widening again. He had been a mana- 
ger for a season. He had no wish to revert to the ranks. He was 
beginning to slow down as a ball player, and he was troubled by an 
old knee injury. He didn't want to move to another town and be 
kicked around if he slipped still further. True enough, he had hit 
.390 in 118 games in 1899. But he had learned that when a player 
started to go, sometimes he went very fast indeed. He would have to 
have a better prospect than that if he was to leave Baltimore. 

This time Von der Horst insisted. Frank de Haas Robison, the 
owner of the St. Louis club, suspected that McGraw might not like 
the idea of taking orders, now that he had learned to give them. He 
offered him the management of the team. By that time McGraw had 
made up his mind that he didn't want to go to St. Louis even as 
manager. 

"No, 3 ' he said. 

The team went south to train . . ; the season opened ... the month 
of April faded. There was another call from St. Louis. 

"All right," McGraw said. "I'll go on certain conditions." 

"What are they?" 

"Well, in the first place, I don't want to be the manager. So we 
won't talk about that. Now: I want $100 a game from now to the 
16 



end of the season and I want the reserve clause stricken from my 
contract." 

The reserve clause is the hold that club owners have on their 
ball players, since it is an option on a player's services for the year 
following the expiration of the contract. In other words, McGraw 
was willing to go to St. Louis for the balance of that season, but 
when October came he wanted to be free. 

This was a plain indication, whether Frank Robison realized it or 
not, that he wasn't going to tie himself up with the National League 
any longer when there might be a chance to do business with the 
new league that, it was rumored, was about to declare open war on 
the older circuit. Whatever the St. Louis owner thought, he gave in. 

"How about your pal, Robbie ?" he asked. 

"Hell go where I go," McGraw said. "But youVe got to take the 
reserve clause out of his contract, too." 

That was the way it was, and on May 5 McGraw and Robbie went 
to St. Louis. It was not a happy summer for them. They didn't like 
St. Louis, played indifferently at times, and, more than once, deliber- 
ately provoked an umpire into expelling them from the game when 
the team was playing at home. There was a race track across the 
street, and McGraw already had developed a fondness for the horses. 
Robbie wasn't particularly interested in them, but, as McGraw had 
said, he would go anywhere just to be with his pal. 

The season over, they caught the first train out of St. Louis for 
Baltimore. By way of celebrating their escape, they threw their 
uniforms into the Mississippi as the train crawled over the long 
bridge. 

Through the summer of 1900, while McGraw was in St. Louis, 
Ban Johnson, having decided to call his circuit the American 
League, had been completing his plans for a frontal attack on the 
National League, which would be launched before the coming of 
another season. One of these plans called for the establishment of 
a club in Baltimore, and it was Ban's notion that he couldn't find 
a better man to lead it than McGraw. 

He called McGraw to Chicago that winter for a conference with 
Mm and Charles A. Comiskey, who had been famous as a first base- 
man in his playing days and now held the American League fran- 
chise in Chicago. At that meeting McGraw free to go where he 
would, since he was not under contract to an^ National League club 

17 



agreed to accept the management of the Baltimore Americans, one 
of the inducements offered being a block of stock in the club. It also 
was arranged that he would take Robbie with him, and that Robbie, 
too, should get some of the stock. 

The news created consternation among the National Leaguers. 
They had sensed that McGraw was on the threshold of his career 
as a skillful, aggressive and colorful manager, and in the impending 
fight against the upstart Johnson they wanted him on their side. 
But it was too late to do anything now. McGraw had outwitted 
them, and no one knew better than they how much he had strength- 
ened the cause of their opponents. 

In Baltimore there was jubilation. Although they had not sup- 
ported the Orioles under either Hanlon or McGraw, the fans re- 
sented the action of the National League in withdrawing from the 
city. Granted another chance to prove that Baltimore was big-league 
territory, its fans gave enthusiastic reception to the entrance of the 
invaders, and rallied quickly about McGraw, 

McGraw, believing implicitly in the future of the new league, was 
confident and happy as the season of 1901 got under way. Unfor- 
tunately, his frame of mind underwent a rapid change as friction 
developed between him and Johnson. Both being very positive per- 
sonalities, it was certain that this would happen, although neither 
seemed to realize it in the beginning. There could have been any 
number of reasons for trouble between them. It happened that they 
clashed over McGraw's conduct and that of his players on the 
field. 

Johnson had felt for a long time that the National League had 
suffered in public esteem because the umpires were unable to enforce 
discipline and were subject to almost constant harassment by the 
players. This led to long quarrels and disorderly scenes that not 
only delayed the games but drove many of the more respectable 
fans away from the parks. He was determined that nothing of the 
sort should happen in the American League, and to that end assured 
his umpires that they had complete authority and, in the event of 
trouble he would support them to the limit. 

McGraw, an umpire baiter from away back, soon was embroiled 

with the arbiters, and, incited by him, his players joyfully joined 

in the rows. Johnson cracked down on them sharply, handing out 

fines and suspensions to manager and players, and the breach be- 

18 



tween him and McGraw was opened. McGraw charged Ban with 
being unduly harsh with him, ranted at him for taking the part of 
what he said were incompetent umpires, and accused him of deliber- 
ately undermining the playing strength of the team and sapping the 
enthusiasm of the home crowds. Ban thundered that there was no 
room for rowdyism in the American League, and that he intended 
to curb McGraw and anyone else who failed to respect the umpires' 
decisions. This went on all season. At the end McGraw still was in 
high dudgeon and his club was in the second division. 

Meanwhile, he had been courting Mary Blanche Sindall, daughter 
of James W. Sindall, a well-known Baltimore contractor. Miss Sin- 
dall was one of the belles of the town and had many suitors. But 
McGraw, whom she had known for about four years, put the others 
to rout when he began calling at her home regularly. 

"He never missed a Sunday night," Mrs. McGraw has said. "Of 
course, he was there lots of other nights, too. But Sunday night 
was special. My mother and father loved to have young people in 
the house and mother was rather famous for her Sunday evenings. 
We would have a cold supper and, afterwards, we would gather 
around the piano in the parlor and someone would play and we'd 
all sing." 

They became engaged in the fall and were married in St. Ann's 
Roman Catholic Church on January 8, 1902. Most of the local nota- 
bles were present and the ceremony made the front pages with 
photographic spreads. They were deeply in love and remained so 
through all Ms life. 

McGraw had patched up his differences with Johnson, at least on 
the surface. But as the league moved into the 1902 season friction 
between them soon was evident once more. McGraw learned, among 
other things, that Johnson was going to drop the Baltimore club 
from the league as soon as possible and transfer the franchise to 
New York. At first he believed that, when the move was made, the 
management of the New York club would be given to him. The 
prospect pleased him greatly. But within a short time a rumor 
reached him that Ban was planning nothing of the sort, but intended 
to pull out, leaving him and the other stockholders stranded. John- 
son always denied this, and, in the years of enmity between them 

19 



that followed, repeatedly charged McGraw with having deserted 
the American League. 

But McGraw believed it. Bitterly angry, since he had spent $7,000 
out of his own pocket to pay some of the club's bills, he called a 
meeting of the board of directors and demanded that they either 
reimburse him or give him his outright release. Unable to do the 
one, and unwilling to do the other because they realized the de- 
parture of McGraw would mean the collapse of the club, they stalled. 

In New York word of the Baltimore situation got to Andrew 
Freedman, who owned the Giants. He knew, as everyone in baseball 
did, that Johnson was looking toward New York. He had fought hard 
and, up to that point, successfully to keep Ban out, and believed 
he could continue to do so. But the American League undoubtedly 
was growing stronger, and Johnson was preparing new blows to 
hurl against the National. In the all-out fight that was sure to come 
it was essential that New York have a strong team in the field. 

At the moment it had the weakest, and was the despair of the rest 
of the league. Freedman, arrogant, quarrelsome, had wrecked his 
team almost single-handed, firing his managers one after another, 
abusing his ball players, fighting with the umpires and barring from 
the Polo Grounds all the newspapermen who had dared to criticize 
him. Efforts had been made by his colleagues to get him out of base- 
ball, but he stubbornly remained, defying his attackers and insulting 
them when they came within sound of his voice. 

In response to clamor on the part of the few fans who still were 
faithful to the Giants, he ostensibly had removed Horace Fogel as 
his manager a few weeks before and appointed George Smith, the 
short stop, in his place. But as Fogel not only remained with the 
club but actually directed every move Smith made, there was no im- 
provement in the fortunes of the team, and the attendance at the 
games had fallen away to practically nothing. 

Now, whether as a result of his own reasoning or at the behest of 
the other club owners, Freedman was ready to make another change. 
He sent Fred Knowles, the secretary of the club, to Baltimore to 
invite McGraw to come up to see him. McGraw accepted the invita- 
tion. After a brief talk with Freedman he returned to Baltimore that 
night. 

"He offered me the management of the team," he told Mrs. 
McGraw, "but there was a hitch to it. He wanted me to take over 
20 



the concessions, too. I told Mm that I was a baseball manager and 
knew nothing about concessions, and, moreover, that he had a good 
man in Harry Stevens. You've heard me speak of Stevens. I knew 
him in Columbus when I was in the American Association." 

Freedman made one more attempt to engage him in the dual 
capacity, but McGraw would have none of it. 

"All right/ 5 Freedman said. "Have it your way. Come here as 
manager of the team." 

"I will/ 3 McGraw said. "But first I've got to get clear of Balti- 
more." 

He hurried back to Baltimore, called another meeting of the 
board of directors, and renewed his demand for payment of the 
$7,000 or his release. But this time the demand was for instant pay- 
ment. There would be no more stalling, he said. The directors threw 
up their hands. By this time they realized that, whether or not 
McGraw remained with them, they would be crushed in the conflict 
between the leagues. They gave McGraw his release. 



Ill ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK 

2T WAS IN JULY that McGraw entered New York to stay. The news 
of his signing a four-year contract with the Giants was a sensa- 
tion. The other National League club owners, waiving for the mo- 
ment their dislike of Freedman, warmly congratulated him on his 
master stroke. Ban Johnson, taken by surprise, denounced McGraw 
as an infamous, treacherous character. Giant fans, those who had 
been loyal to the team through all its difficulties and those who had 
been so disgusted by Freedman's actions that they had quit, were 
joyful. They knew McGraw. They hadn't liked him much when he 
played against the Giants, but they always had a tremendous respect 
for him. Now that he was at the head of their team they promptly 
swore allegiance to him. ' 

Having completed his arrangements with Freedman, he had 
dashed back to Baltimore and signed Roger Bresnahan, Jack Cronin 
and Joe McGinnity of the Baltimore team to Giant contracts, which 
he wrote in longhand on his father-in-law's stationery. In another 
sortie he had corralled Dan McGann and Steve Brodie. Now he 

21 



was ready to go to work. The first thing he did was to release nine of 
the twenty-three players on the Giant roster. 

Freedman screamed at that. 

"You can't let those men go 1 They cost me $14,000 1 " 

"That's little enough but more than they are worth/' McGraw 
said. "And if you keep them, they'll cost you more. You're in last 
place, aren't you? Well, you're not going to get out of it with bums 
like that. I've brought some real ball players with me and I'll get 
some more. I'll get Sam Mertes, Billy Gilbert, Kid Elberfield, Ed 
Delehanty, Fielder Jones, George Davis " 

Freedman screamed again. 

"You won't get Davis ! I don't like him and I won't have him on 
my ball club!" 

"You'll have him and like him," McGraw said. "I'm running this 
ball club and I'll get the players I want." 

Freedman seethed. He wasn't used to having anyone talk to him 
like that. But he knew he would have to stand for it. 

"All right," he said, at last. "Go ahead. I'll let you run the team 
to suit yourself." 

McGraw laughed shortly. 

"You're damned right you will," he said. 

He laughed again when he found Christy Mathewson, a young 
pitcher, had been posted at first base by Fogel, and later, at Fogel's 
direction, at short stop by Smith. 

"You can get rid of Fogel, too," he told Freedman. "Anybody 
that doesn't know any more about ball players than he does has no 
place with a big-league ball club. The idea of trying to make a first 
baseman out of Mathewson ! Why, that young fellow has as fine a 
pitching motion and as much stuff as any kid that has come up in a 
longtime." 

Fogel was dispatched, but Smith was allowed to remain for the 
time being. McGraw moved him to second base and, for the want of 
a better short stop, took over that position himself. The Giants 
played their first game under him on July 19, losing to the Phillies by 
a score of 5 to 3, McGinnity yielding seven hits, while Hamilton 
Iberg held the Giants to six. The following brief account of the 
game appeared in the Evening World: 

"John McGraw, the new manager of the Giants, and his Baltimore 
recruits made their local debut today before nearly 10,000 people, 
22 



who gave them a warm welcome. They also were pleased with the 
showing of the team, though disappointed over the result. The new 
team fielded brilliantly but failed to hit Iberg at the right time. 

"All of the Phillies 7 runs were made in the third inning as the re- 
sult of Iberg's single, four balls to Thomas and singles by Hulswitt, 
Jennings and Douglas. New York got one run at a time, Jones, 
McGraw and Washburn tallying for the locals in the first, seventh 
and eighth innings. Brodie featured with the bat for the locals, 
while Jennings helped the Phillies with a pair of hits." 

McGraw, at short stop, had one put-out and two assists, and made 
one hit in three times at bat. Jimmy Jones played left field; 
McGann, first base; Brodie, center field; Billy Lauder, third base; 
Smith, second; Louis Washburn, right field. Bresnahan was the 
catcher. In the ninth inning Frank Bowerman was sent in as a pinch 
hitter for McGinnity. 

McGraw had the nucleus of a good team, but no more than that 
as he knew, of course. He struggled through the remainder of the 
season, playing in thirty-four games himself, but couldn't avoid fin- 
ishing in last place. However, the attendance had held up well, prov- 
ing that the fans had faith in him ; and he had great plans for the 
future. Not all of them were to be realized. But there was to be a 
sharp upswing in his fortunes. Within a year he was to establish 
himself firmly in New York and to lay the foundation for the great- 
ness of the Giants. 

He and Mrs. McGraw had made New York their home. They 
took a suite at the Victoria Hotel on Broadway at Twenty-sixth 
Street, where they lived quietly, their social life being restricted 
because, while McGraw's acquaintance was wide in the sporting 
world, he had few close friends in New York and Mrs. McGraw 
none at all. When the Giants were on the road Mrs. McGraw would 
go to Baltimore to visit her parents. Sometimes, when they were in 
New York, she would go to Baltimore to buy clothes. That always 
amused her husband. 

"Women come to New York from all over the country to have 
their clothes made," he would say, "because, as everybody knows, 
the best dressmakers are here. But whenever you want a new dress, 
you run back to Baltimore!" 

"They have no dressmaker here as good as mine," Mrs. McGraw 

23 



would say. "She knows just what I want and just how to fit me." 

In the evenings they would go for walks on Fifth Avenue or to 
a vaudeville show, McGraw having little interest in the legitimate 
theater but being an enthusiastic vaudeville fan. Mostly they dined 
at their hotel, although sometimes of a Sunday night they would 
go to Rector's, Martin's or one of the other famous restaurants. 

Mrs. McGraw was not completely happy in New York at first, 
and welcomed the opportunities to visit Baltimore. But as her circle 
of friends in New York widened slowly, she grew to like the town. 
And, of course, she was proud of the way John was getting on, and 
of how sure everyone was that soon he would have a winning team 
at the Polo Grounds. 

In the winter of 1902 McGraw got a terrific break. Freedman sold 
the club to John Tomlinson Brush, who had made his money in the 
clothing business in Indianapolis. Brush had got into baseball in 
1888 as the owner of the Indianapolis club, which then was in the 
National League. When that club had been dropped in 1889 ^ e had 
taken over the Cincinnati franchise. Now, nurturing a long-standing 
personal dislike of Ban Johnson, and stoutly opposing the American 
League, he had sold the Reds and bought the Giants. 

Hard-headed, practical, soundly trained in the baseball business, 
he visioned great profits to be reaped in New York, but he was 
willing to spend money first in order to make more later. A great 
admirer of McGraw, he gave him willingly the free hand that Freed- 
man had given grudgingly. He wanted to make the Giants the great- 
est club in baseball, and he knew the surest way to do that was to let 
McGraw get the players he wanted and not to haggle over the prices 
demanded for them, no matter how high they might be. 

McGraw, contemplating further raids on the American League 
which would net some players who could help the Giants and, at the 
same time, cripple his enemy, Johnson, was encouraged by Brush 
to do his utmost. Brush, with the help of Freedman's powerful 
friends in Tammany Hall, was fighting off a direct assault on New 
York by Johnson, and would have stopped at nothing. But the plans 
formulated by him and his manager were shattered when the Na- 
tional League yielded in the struggle and signed a peace pact that 
acknowledged its rival as a major league. 

The agreement put an end to the raids and, over Brush's angry 
protests, permitted the American League to enter New York. The 
24 




MCGRAW AS THE NEW MANAGER OF THE GIANTS 




' 



) Brown Bros, 



CHRISTY MATHEWSON 



Giant owner continued to snipe at Johnson even after he had signed 
the pact, but finally was compelled to surrender when the owners 
of the new club, Frank Farrel and William S. Devery, marshalled 
political forces strong enough to frighten off those enlisted by Freed- 
man. Johnson at long last had succeeded in transferring the Balti- 
more franchise to New York, The team was managed by Clark 
Griffith, and had taken up its stand in a hurriedly built park at i68th 
Street and Broadway. Its existence was a challenge to Brush and 
McGraw. They accepted the challenge and answered it vigorously. 

Compelled to acquire new players by legitimate means, McGraw 
moved swiftly. He signed Billy Gilbert, a second baseman who had 
been released by Baltimore, and bought George Browne, a fleet- 
footed outfielder from Philadelphia these additions strengthening 
his team in two departments. 

The Giants trained at Savannah that spring. The ball park was 
a long way from the hotel. After walking back and forth for a few 
days, the players asked McGraw if they might hire bicycles and 
ride to and from practice. He thought that was a good idea and 
readily gave his consent. He withdrew it a week later, however. This 
was because, inevitably, they began to race each other, especially 
on the way out when they were full of energy, and some of them had 
narrow escapes from serious injury in frequent spills. 

It was at Savannah that a life-long friendship really began be- 
tween John and Mrs. McGraw and Christy Mathewson and his bride. 
When the team got back to New York, they took a furnished apart- 
ment together for the season. This was a pleasant arrangement, espe- 
cially for Mrs. McGraw, who still was not quite used to New York, 
and Mrs. Mathewson, who was an absolute stranger in the town. 
Mrs. McGraw recalls, with amusement, one incident of the summer. 

"There was a portrait of an Aunt Matilda or some such name ; 
anyway, she was an aunt of the woman from whom we rented the 
apartment hanging on one wall of the dining room, and directly 
beneath it stood a potted cactus plant. One night the picture fell 
with a crash and a point of the cactus was driven through one of 
Aunt Matilda's eyes. We patched up the eye and rehung the picture, 
thinking the woman never would notice it. But when we turned the 
apartment back to her in the fall, she noticed it, all right. She said 
that Aunt Matilda had been hit in the eye with a champagne cork 
and we had to pay for having the painting repaired. A champagne 



cork! In those days the only drink we ever had on the table was 
ginger ale." 

So well had McGraw molded his team that it made a brave run for 
the pennant, finished in second place, and drew greater crowds at 
home and on the road than any Giant team ever had before. It 
opened in Brooklyn to a crowd of 16,000, and had 18,000 at its home 
opening with the Phillies. It drew 31,500 at the Polo Grounds with 
the champion Pirates on May 16, and in June hit the peak, also with 
the Pirates, with a crowd of over 32,000. Brush delightedly increased 
his seating capacity. Around the circuit other club owners were 
rubbing their hands with glee. One day in Chicago the Giants and 
the Cubs pulled more than 29,000 through the gates. No club in the 
history of baseball ever had been seen by so many fans in the course 
of a single season. 

Matty won 30 games and McGinnity 31. Dummy Taylor won 13. 
With a little help from the other pitchers Ames, Cronin and Miller 
the Giants would have won the pennant; but among them the 
three could account for only ten games. 

Brush, counting his profits, said to McGraw: 

"We'll do even better next year." 

And McGraw said: 

"Sure we will. We'll win the pennant." 

Before the close of the 1903 season McGraw had bought Arthur 
Devlin, a rangy young third baseman, from Newark and Harry 
(Moose) McCormick, an outfielder and leading hitter in the Eastern 
League, from Jersey City. 

Now he made a deal of tremendous importance to him the one 
that later was regarded as having virtually clinched the pennant for 
him. He sent Jack Cronin and Charlie Babb to Brooklyn for Bill 
Dahlen, the short stop. Announcing the acquisition of Dahlen, he 
said: 

"Now I have the man I have wanted ever since I have had charge 
of this team. There is no better short stop in baseball than Dahlen. 
To some, he may appear lazy and indifferent, but I notice that when 
the gong sounds to begin the game he pricks up his ears like a war 
horse and never misses a trick. 

"The Giants will play to some very large crowds next season, 
abroad as well as at home. Dahlen is an iceberg before a big assem- 
26 



blage of rooters and does not know what it is to get rattled. He is 
the kind of man every club needs to steady the infield." 

There was one more addition to the pitching corps before the 
opening of the training season. This was a young left-hander named 
George Wiltse, who supplemented his pitching skill with remarkable 
ability as a fielder and, for a pitcher, was a very good hitter. 

The pennant race was exciting from the beginning. The Pirates, 
who had dominated the league for three years, still were powerful, 
while the Cubs and Reds had gained strength. But the Giants, with 
McGann on first base, Gilbert on second, Dahlen at short stop and 
Devlin on third base, had the best infield in the league. They had the 
best catcher and one of the best all-around ball players that ever 
lived in Bresnahan, and a fine pitching staff, with Ames and Wiltse 
swinging in behind Matty, McGinnity and Taylor. They could have 
used an added punch, and McGraw was on the alert for a hard- 
hitting outfielder. His chance to get one came late in the season. 

Mike Donlin, of the Reds, a good outfielder and a rival of Hans 
Wagner for the batting championship of the league, was popular 
with the fans all over the circuit. But he was a lusty soul, who was 
irked by the training rules imposed upon him by the Cincinnati club. 
Consequently, he got into continual rows with Garry Herrmann, the 
president of the club. Herrmann, finally losing patience with him, 
was prepared to sell him to the St. Louis Browns. In order to do so, 
however, he had to obtain waivers from the other National League 
clubs. Six managers, unwilling to be concerned with Mike's off-the- 
field adventures, no matter how freely they acknowledged his ability 
as a ball player, agreed to waive. Not McGraw, however. This was 
precisely the sort of opportunity he had been seeking. And so he 
arranged a deal with Herrmann by which Donlfn landed at the Polo 
Grounds. 

Giant fans were delighted. Turkey Mike, as he was called because 
of his strut, was McGraw's type of player hard, tough on the field, 
a slashing hitter in the pinches, a stout-hearted competitor. They 
believed that Ms presence in the line-up assured the Giants of the 
pennant, and they were right. His slugging and base-running were 
vital factors as tie Giants knocked the Pirates down and outdis- 
tanced the Cubs and the Reds in the rush to the wire as the Pirates 
limped home in fourth place. 

McGraw's prophecy had come true. He had won the pennant in 

27 



his second full season in New York, and lie was the idol of the town. 
His playing days virtually were over he had played in five games 
that year to relieve Devlin at third base but he had become a 
dramatic figure on the coaching lines. His shouts of encouragement 
to his players, the taunts and insults he hurled at his opponents, 
his frequent jams with the umpires, and, over all, his aggressive 
direction of the team added to the liveliness of the Giants' games 
and made him as big a drawing card as any of his players. This 
included even Mathewson, who won thirty-three games that year 
and rapidly was achieving greatness. 

There had been a World Series in 1903 between the Pirates and 
the Boston Red Sox, winners in the American League, but there 
was none in 1904. Brush, who had been dragooned into signing the 
treaty of peace with the American League, still looked with a jaun- 
diced eye on the younger circuit. Now, by way of emphasizing his 
contempt for it, he refused to permit the Giants to take part in a 
series with the Red Sox, who had won again. Nor could he be moved 
by the clamor for such a series, even though his players joined in it 
and McGraw urged him to change his mind. 

It was as a result of Brush's attitude that the National Commis- 
sion which was formed shortly after peace had come to baseball 
and functioned until the installation of Kenesaw Mountain Landis 
as High Commissioner in 1920 drafted its rules for the holding of 
a World Series every year, starting in 1905. These rules, with a few 
changes and additions made by Landis, still are in effect. 



IV THE GREATEST TEAM 

I/THOUGH THE PIRATES had been beaten off and driven back in 
1904, they still were the best team in the league except for 
the Giants. McGraw aim6d his campaign at them in 1905. While he 
drove his team hard against all its rivals, he steamed it up to even 
greater efforts whenever it moved into Pittsburgh or made its stand 
against the Pirates at the Polo Grounds. 

He fought with Fred Clarke, who managed the Pirates, and Barney 
Dreyfuss, the owner of the club. He raged at the umpires over every 
close decision against the Giants. He did that no matter whom the 
28 



Giants were playing, of course. But when the Giants were playing 
the Pirates his rages were more explosive than usual. The result 
was that his players were set on fire at the very sight of Pittsburgh 
uniforms. Even the mild-mannered Mathewson, who seldom had a 
word to say to anyone on the field and almost never protested a 
decision, often found himself tangled with the umpires when the 
Giants and the Pirates were engaged. Nor was there any lack of 
opposition on the part of the Pirates. They were tough, too, and 
willing to fight. The record of the games between the teams that year 
is one of almost unbroken strife that the umpires could only check 
now and then and never could quite put down. 

"The bad blood that has always existed between the New York 
and Pittsburgh teams showed itself early," a reporter for the World 
wrote of a game played at the Polo Grounds the first time the Pirates 
entered New York. "Mike Lynch, the Brown University pitcher, 
began for the Pirates. In the first inning, with McGann on third, 
Bresnahan scored him with a ripping double down the left-field line. 
As Lynch was walking to the bench after the inning, Manager 
McGraw, who was on the coaching line, called out to the collegian : 

" 'Stay in the game today, you big quitter and take your medicine! 
You'll get plenty of it!' 

"Fred Clarke threatened McGraw for roasting Lynch and the 
Giants 3 manager retorted. It looked for a moment as though they 
would come to blows. Finally Umpire Johnstone separated the two 
managers and ordered McGraw off the field. Mac retreated to the 
closet alongside the New York players' bench and closed the door. 
The Pittsburgh players wanted him removed but Johnstone said : 

" 'He is off the grounds and that settles it.' 

"In the next inning, Christy Mathewson ran into the diamond to 
protest a decision and he was sent to the bench." 

The crowd of 18,000 at the game yelled for Johnstone's blood. The 
baseball writers scolded him and his partner, Bob Emslie, in their 
columns. In Pittsburgh, the newspapers railed against the rowdyism 
that was rampant at the Polo Grounds. 

McGraw, of course, was delighted. He had succeeded in intensify- 
ing the rivalry between the teams, and the turnstiles clicked a merry 
tune. Moreover, the Giants were winning. They were out in front, 
holding a good lead on the Pirates the only team he felt they had 

29 



to beat, since the Cubs still were a year away from their peak and 
the Reds, after a fine showing in 1904, had slipped. 

A short time after the row between McGraw and Clarke, the 
National League was stirred by the celebrated "Hey, Barney ! " case. 
At this distance, with all the years between, it may be difficult to 
understand why a taunt hurled by McGraw at Dreyf uss should have 
touched off such a fine brawl. But that was in a time of intense per- 
sonal rivalries such as baseball never will know again. 

So far as the public was concerned, the first intimation that 
trouble was brewing was given in a short piece in the World on 
May 23 : 

"President Pulliam of the National League yesterday received 
from Barney Dreyfuss, president of the Pittsburgh club, a polite but 
vigorous protest against the manner in which, Dreyfuss alleges, the 
Giant helmsman has been conducting himself at the Polo Grounds. 
The protest took the form of the following letter : 

" C I desire to and herewith make formal complaint against the 
conduct of John J. McGraw at the Polo Grounds Friday and Satur- 
day, May 19 and 20. 

" 'While sitting in a box with a lady and gentleman from Pitts- 
burgh I was annoyed by McGraw's frequent personal references to 
me sneering remarks that I personally be the umpire for the re- 
maining games of the series. 

" 'On Saturday, May 20, I was standing in the main entrance of 
the Polo Grounds, talking quietly to some friends, when McGraw, 
who had been put off the grounds for using foul language, appeared 
on the balcony of the club house and shouted: 

"'Hey, Barney!' 

" 'I did not answer that too familiar greeting and did not respond 
to any of his several attempts to attract my attention. Then he 
urged me to make a wager. He was very insistent but I had nothing 
to say to him, He also made remarks about me controlling umpires 
and other false and malicious statements. Steps should be taken to 
protect visitors to the Polo Grounds from insults from the said John 
J. McGraw.' 

"The wager referred to, according to common gossip, was one in 
which McGraw offered to bet $10,000 or some lesser sum that New 
York would win the game being played at the time. 
30 



"President Pulliam used to be secretary of the Louisville cltib for 
Dreyfuss." 

McGraw hammered right back, making the afternoon papers with 
his rebuttal: 

"Why didn't Pulliam keep the charges to himself until I had a 
chance to answer them? Why should the president of the National 
League, who is paid a salary by all the clubs, show partiality for 
any one club of the organization and try to further its interests to 
the detriment of the other clubs of the league? Cannot Pulliam 
forget that he was once the paid secretary of Barney Dreyfuss when 
the latter was the owner of the Louisville club and also of the Pitts- 
burgh club? The fact that Dreyfuss used his influence to have 
Pulliam made the president of the league should not blind the young 
man to his duties to the other seven clubs that pay his salary* 

"What sort of times have we fallen on when players or managers 
can be sandbagged by the officials of the league and held up to scorn 
and ridicule without the chance of telling their own side of the 
story? Why, there is no organization on the face of the earth, except 
the National League, that will convict an accused man without a 
hearing. We might as well be in Russia. 

"If Dreyfuss and his employee, Pulliam, can prove that I have 
been guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Na- 
tional League, well and good, but I must insist on having a fair 
hearing before sentence is pronounced on me. When I have such a 
hearing, the testimony that I will present is apt to put a very differ- 
ent face on the matter. Until I have such a hearing, I will not say 
anything further on the subject." 

The New York baseball writers rushed to McGraw's rescue. 

"Can Barney Dreyfuss kill baseball in New York?" Sam Crane 
demanded in the Evening Journal. "Will 'Whoa Barney, Hey Barney 
or Barney Pulliam' be allowed to do it?" 

Pulliam, deciding that the matter was too hot for him to handle, 
called a meeting of the league's board of directors, to be held in 
Boston on June i, to pass on the charge laid by Dreyfuss. McGraw, 
hearing this, realized he had Pulliam on the defensive ; and, calling 
him on the telephone, sought to force his advantage by berating the 
president soundly. Pulliam countered with a fine of $150 and a 
fifteen-day suspension. Now a storm really broke about his unhappy 
head. 

3* 



Twelve thousand fans signed a petition circulated by the Evening 
Journal calling on the directors to reject the charges. McGraw hurled 
names, imprecations and insinuations at Pulliam and Dreyfuss. 
Brush leaped into the fight, throwing verbal punches in all directions. 

Then came the showdown in Boston. Dreyfuss, having reiterated 
his charge, amplified it. 

"He asked me: c ls that bet you made with Shad on the level?' 
I turned and asked: 'Are you on the level ?' Then McGraw said: 
'How about those markers to the bookmakers? I have nobody chas- 
ing me with back debts on racing bets. How are you on the level?' 
Then he cursed me and said that I controlled umpires." 

McGraw admitted accusing Barney of not picking up fnarkers he 
had given to bookmakers, but denied he had said that Barney was 
crooked or had influenced the umpires. The directors took little time 
reaching a verdict. They exonerated McGraw, blasted Dreyfuss for 
his undignified conduct in engaging in a public altercation with a 
manager, and commended Pulliam for the manner in which he had 
handled the case. 

Now McGraw and Brush wanted to know what Pulliam intended 
to do about McGraw's fine and suspension. Pulliam said they would 
stand, and that McGraw would not be permitted to put on a uniform 
or sit on the bench for fifteen days. As the Giants were playing in 
Boston, Brush and his lawyers promptly applied to Judge Sheldon 
in Superior Court for an injunction restraining the president. This 
was granted. That afternoon McGraw, in uniform and full of fight, 
as usual, was in command of the Giants. 

Eventually the case petered out, but it left a lasting bitterness with 
Dreyfuss, aggravated by the fact that for a number of years there- 
after every time he appeared in a ball park other than his own he 
was greeted by the fans with shouts of "Hey, Barney!" 

Nothing could stop McGraw now. Aggressive as he had been be- 
fore, he became even more so. He got into rows in Pittsburgh . . . 
Cincinnati ... St. Louis. In Pittsburgh one day he threw a baseball 
at Umpire Emslie. In Cincinnati he offered to fight everybody in 
the ball park, which prompted Mike Donlin to say: 

"He's a wonder. He can start more fights and win fewer than 
anybody I ever saw." 

But he had won the big one. He had beaten and humiliated Pul- 
liam. And now he was blazing from town to town, and crowds that 

32 



hated him and, because of him, the Giants, were jamming the ball 
parks. He was out in front of the Giants and they were out in front 
of the league. In his vigorous leadership even in his rowdy tactics 
he had the support of the New York baseball writers, so that Pul- 
liam, still nursing his bruises after the Boston conflict, hesitated to 
take further action against him. 

The unhappy victims of McGraw's increasing power were, prin- 
cipally, the umpires. He abused them on the field, and if they dared 
to order him from the scene they were abused in the New York 
newspapers. 

"The life of a ball club, 5 ' wrote Arthur James in the Evening Mail, 
"is enthusiasm. Crush this and you have embalmed baseball. Sup- 
press McGraw's enthusiasm, McGann's spirit, Bresnahan's ginger 
and you would see the Champions hit a toboggan that would send 
them speeding to the realm of used-to-be's. 

"The present attitude of the National League umpires, who take 
their cue from President Pulliam, is that baseball is a step-sister 
to parlor tennis and a foster-brother to drop the handkerchief. No 
proper citizen believes in rowdyism on the field but by the same 
token no proper citizen has a wish to see the national game put on 
a pink tea basis. Baseball is a live, strenuous thing, a contest of 
brain, skill and muscle, played by real men with real tempers and 
real enthusiasm. So then, to tie shut the safety valve of a strong 
man's enthusiasm his voice department is to invite trouble." 

Hustling, fighting and playing great ball, the Giants rolled on, 
knocking the Pirates out of the race in late September, subduing 
the other contenders, and clinching the pennant on October i by 
beating the Cardinals, 9 to 2, in St. Louis. 

"The Giants went at St. Louis from the call of time," a special 
dispatch to the World said. "St. Louis fought well for two innings 
but that flag was to be clinched and St. Louis was powerless to with- 
stand the assault." 

The Athletics had won the pennant in the American League, and 
on the eve of the World Series the teams appeared to be so well 
matched that, said the experts, luck would be the main factor in 
reaching a decision. 

But in that series Matty was a greater pitcher than any series has 
known since. It was a series in which the pitchers dominated the 

33 



hitters every game resulting in a shut-out and Matty dominated 
the other pitchers. He won the first, third and fifth games, taking 
decisions over Eddie Plank, Andy Coakley and Chief Bender. 
McGinnity, losing to Bender in the second game, beat Plank in a 
great duel in the fourth. 

It was a remarkable series in many ways. Not the least remark- 
able detail of it considering that McGraw was a party to it was 
that it involved no fighting. Hank O'Day of the National League 
and Jack Sheridan of the American, the umpires assigned for these 
games, had no trouble with McGraw or any of his players. 

At the finish McGraw who could be gracious in victory, although 
he might, and frequently did, howl in defeat was charming to every- 
one, including Connie Mack and his defeated heroes. This, the great- 
est triumph of his life up to that time, was accepted by him with 
becoming modesty. He had praise for all who served him and all 
who opposed him. 

Since the Orioles already were beginning to take on a legendary 
character and it was assumed that he, who had been one of them, 
always would regard them as the wonder team of all time, he sur- 
prised many with his statement: 

"The New York National League club, as it lines up today, is the 
fastest baseball team that was ever organized. I played on the old 
Baltimore team of 1893, 1894 and 1895. I have often heard the 
Orioles spoken of as the fastest team ever organized. In my opinion, 
the Giants of 1905 can do anything the champion Orioles did and 
have a shade on them, besides." 

This was spoken in the first flush of victory, but there is every 
reason to believe that he meant it then and ever after. His pride in 
the Orioles remained unshaken in the years that followed. He never 
ceased to brag of their devotion to each other and to the game of 
baseball, or of their ruggedness. He loved to tell of how he, for in- 
stance, broke his right collar bone in an early inning of a ball game, 
and yet, having had the broken bone taped, played not only through 
the balance of the game but for weeks after or until the br<eak had 
mended by throwing underhand to first base. He would tell, with 
relish, of how a foul tip had ripped off the top of one of Robbie's 
fingers and how Robbie simply had ground the bleeding digit in 
the dirt at the plate and gone right on catching. 

But when somebody would mention the 1905 Giants, he would 

34 



beam proudly, and you knew that, in his heart, he believed that 
was the greatest team he ever had seen. 



V THE PACE IS SLOWER 

THE SPRING OF 1906 his ego had been Inflated; or, as your 
grandmother used to say, he was too big for his britches. Prac- 
tically everything he could have asked for had happened in 1905. 
The Giants had won the pennant. His own popularity in New York, 
already great as the season opened, had become greater. He had put 
Dreyfuss and Pulliam in their places. He had terrorized most of 
the umpires so that they feared to offend him and quailed from the 
task of ordering him from the field on many occasions when he so 
richly had deserved banishment. As the final, crowning touch, he 
had won the World Series and thus not only had established the 
Giants as the top team in baseball but equally sweet to him, if 
not sweeter had made Ban Johnson writhe. 

Where, now, was the American League in New York? The 
Yankees or Highlanders, as they were called then had finished 
in sixth place. Whatever progress they had made had been nullified 
by the spectacular surge of the Giants. They were lost, almost aban- 
doned, as the mob swept and clattered about the Polo Grounds. They 
were quite forsaken in their little wooden ball park on the hilltop. 

McGraw didn't forget to remind his friends and his friends in- 
cluded the leading sports writers of the day, such as Bozeman 
Bulger, Allen Sangree, W. J. Sullivan, Sam Crane, Bill Curley and a 
young fellow named Sid Mercer, who rapidly was attracting a big 
following on the Globe that the American League might have fared 
better in New York if the perfidious Johnson hadn't changed his 
mind about his choice of manager in the big town. Nor did the 
writers forget to remind their readers and, of course, Ban, who 
countered with the charge that McGraw was an ingrate and a con- 
tract jumper, so that the feud between the men was kept alive and 
popping. 

McGraw had become a familiar figure on the Gay White Way, 
as the stretch of Broadway between Thirty-fourth and Forty-fourth 
Streets was known in those days. In the months between the end of 

35 



the World Series and the opening of the training season in 1906, he 
thoroughly enjoyed himself. He sought or was sought by the big 
bookmakers and trainers, the leading jockeys, the famous prize 
fighters and the great theatrical figures. He was seen almost nightly 
in the bars and dining rooms of the hotels .or the more lavish Broad- 
way restaurants. 

The quiet walks on Fifth Avenue, the occasional Sunday night 
dinners "out," the small gatherings of friends in an apartment shared 
with the Mathewsons these were almost as far behind him as 
Truxton and Clean and Wellsville. Mrs. McGraw still was his almost 
constant companion when he went out of an evening ; but, for her, 
there had been a bewildering change of scenes. 

Perhaps it was bewildering to him, too. The evidence points in 
that direction. For the first and only time in his life, he seemed 
to take his success for granted. In the background the saturnine 
Brush grinned and said nothing as McGraw talked even boasted 
openly about the Giants. There was no one in New York to check 
him, and even those, outside New York, who hated him were 
stumped for answers to the statements he gave off, seemingly on the 
slightest provocation. After all, he had taken a last-place club in 
July of 1902 and had rebuilt it so swiftly and so deftly that it had 
finished second in 1903, and won the pennant in 1904 and 1905, and 
then had topped off the last performance by beating the Athletics 
in the series. Granted that he had to have the players in order to 
score these triumphs, it was incontrovertible that they had not ap- 
peared at the Polo Grounds by magic. He had taken them in raids, 
he had bought them or traded for them. Having got them he had 
whipped them into a smoothly working tearfi. Then, by the force of 
his own personality, he had given them the fire they needed to make 
them champions. 

Even in the case of Matty his critics were confounded. Matty 
had been in New York when McGraw had arrived, true enough. But 
McGraw's arrival had rescued Matty from the clutches of Fogel and 
Smith. Under his guidance, Matty had been free to develop into 
greatness as a pitcher. Matty had so much stuff and such an instinct 
for pitching that he might have progressed as rapidly under any 
other manager not blinded to his skill as Fogel had been. But what- 
ever might have happened in any other circumstance, it was unde- 
niable that McGraw had helped Matty tremendously as the pitcher 

36 



so frequently and generously said. Therefore, lie was warranted in 
taking a few bows in that direction, too. This he did, and with gusto. 

It was although he had no means of knowing it McGraw's time 
to strut the time just before a fall. It was, perhaps, well that he 
made the most of it, for before the summer was out he was to know 
deep chagrin and to realize that his pace couldn't always be so fast, 
that somewhere along the way there must be a slowing down. 

The Giants trained in Memphis, then hurried north for the open- 
ing of the season. That his players might be appropriately turned 
out, McGraw's design for their uniforms that year specified that on 
their shirt fronts should be emblazoned "World's Champions." And, 
in a time when the ball clubs were hauled back and forth between 
their hotels and the parks, he arranged that everywhere the Giants 
went they should be driven in open carriages, four players to a car- 
riage ; moreover, that the horses wear yellow blankets with "World's 
Champions" embroidered on them. This, he knew, would enrage the 
hostile fans. It was good showmanship, too, wasn't it? And hadn't he 
seen himself referred to in print as the best showman in baseball? 

As the season opened, the baseball writers asked him if he thought 
he would win the pennant again. 

"I do," he said. 

There was no equivocation. No ifs, ands, or buts. He had spoken 
directly and truthfully. He had the best team in the league ; he ex- 
pected it to win again ; and he said so. 

He never was to make such a flat prediction again. In springs to 
come he would say that he thought he had a good team, that it was 
in shape and would give its rivals a tussle all the way. Sometimes 
he plainly believed he was going to win, and no matter how carefully 
he phrased his before-the-battle statements his absolute confidence 
would show through his cautious words. But now, in the spring of 
1906, he had put himself squarely on the record: The Giants would 
win again. 

For a time for the space of four or five weeks it looked as 
though he was right. Matty had contracted diphtheria almost with 
the opening of the season, but even without him the Giants snatched 
the lead, stretched it and breezed confidently along. Then they ^and 
McGraw with them were taken by surprise. The Cubs, having been 
put together carefully by Frank Selee and then turned over to Frank 

37 



Chance for that season, were at their heels . . . even with them . . . 
in front of them. 

If McGraw thought this was a mere spurt on the part of the Chi- 
cago team he was to be sadly disillusioned. Those fellows Joe 
Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, Three Fingered Brown, 
Jack Pfeister, Johnny Kling and Wildfire Frank Schulte weren't 
going to curl up before any drive or challenge by the Giants. Dis- 
mayed at first, then angrily determined, he set his team in hot pur- 
suit; and one day, for his pains, he saw the Giants beaten by the 
Cubs by a score of 19 to o. No more crushing defeat ever was admin- 
istered to him ; none ever galled him so. 

By this time Matty had returned. But in one series with the Reds 
Mike Donlin broke a leg sliding into a bag, McGann suffered a 
broken arm and Bresnahan was hit on the head by a pitched ball. 
Struggling on under the handicaps imposed by these injuries to three 
of his best players, McGraw soon realized that he had to concern 
himself not only with the Cubs but with his old enemies, the Pirates. 
As his chances of overhauling the Cubs faded, the chances that the 
Pirates would overhaul him became brighter. And so, with the season 
waning, he found himself fighting, not with the pennant at stake, but 
second place. That would be too much to yield not only the cham- 
pionship, but second place, too. Now he really was desperate. And 
this time his desperation paid off. In a final charge the Giants threw 
the Pirates back. 

But the Cubs had won the pennant. McGraw, hurt and surly, won- 
dered how he could have been so supremely confident in the spring. 

In the quiet months that followed he had time to look back on the 
disaster that had overtaken the Giants and examine its causes. He 
realized then that while accidents had lessened the effectiveness of 
some of his players, other members of the team simply had slowed 
down because they were packing too many years. He had built 
swiftly and well in 1903. But for the most part the players he had 
chosen already were veterans. It was necessary now, he knew, to rip 
that team apart and build a new one. 

By the spring of 1907, when the Giants trained in Los Angeles, 
there had been many changes. The accent was on youth and speed. 
Most of the replacements had been brought up from the minor 
leagues. They lacked the sharpness and craftiness of their prede- 
cessors; but they were young, and eager, and tireless. 

38 



That year one of the most popular of all Giants arrived at the 
Polo Grounds. This was a dark-haired, smiling Irish kid out of 
Breeze, Illinois, by the name of Larry Doyle, whom Dick Kinsella 
had found, just a year or two away from the coal mines, playing 
with Springfield in the Three I League. A guileless kid, too. The first 
time he went to bat against the Brooklyn club, wise old Billy 
Bergen, the catcher, said to him : 

"You look like a nice young fellow. What's your name?" 

"Doyle, sir," the kid said. 

"Doyle, eh? Do you like it up here in the big leagues?" 

"Yes, sir. 5 ' 

"And what do you like to hit?" 

"A fast ball," Larry said. 

"On the outside?" 

"No, sir. The inside." 

"High?" 

"No, sir. Not too high." 

Bergen nodded, squatted back of the plate and signed to the 
pitcher. Larry didn't hit a ball out of the infield that day. He spent 
a long afternoon swinging at curve balls, high and on the outside. 

But he learned. He learned to laugh when the opposing players 
tried to talk him out of base hits after that. He was one of the great- 
est natural hitters the Giants ever had. McGraw and all the other 
Giants and all the fans quickly developed a great affection for him. 
He was to stay at the Polo Grounds for a long time. 

There was another and even younger boy who first impressed 
himself on McGraw's consciousness that year. His name was Eddie 
Brannick. He had been John T. Brush's office boy for a couple of 
years. He was a bright kid off the West Side of New York. McGraw 
had seen him around the office many times, but it was not until the 
summer of 1907 that he really began to notice him. McGraw had 
decided that, since too many baseballs were disappearing out of the 
ball bag every day, it would be a good idea to have someone sit on 
the bench and guard the bag. He spoke to Brush about it, and Brush 

said: 3J 

"111 send my boy up. He has nothing to do in the afternoons. 

And so Eddie, who had spent most of his afternoons clipping 

stories of the Giants out of the newspapers and pasting them in 

scrapbooks wishing, all the while, that he could be at the Polo 

39 



Grounds now was the happiest kid in the town, sitting on the 
bench every day with McGraw and the players. Brush was his boss 
and he was devoted to him. But McGraw was his idol, tie soon was 
to learn that McGraw was his boss, too more, that McGraw was 
the boss of the ball club. 

Few had sensed that, in spite of McGraw's success as a manager 
and his constant growth in stature. But it was true. Brush still held 
the purse strings, of course. But McGraw's authority was undis- 
puted. Fred Knowles, the secretary of the club, had been shrewd 
enough to note the trend and follow it. Where once he had been 
always at Brush's side, now he was with McGraw most of the time 
and was McGraw's partner in a billiard room in the Marbridge 
Building on Thirty-fourth Street. Others in the office were listening 
to McGraw, where once they had listened only to Brush. 

Eddie, bustling about for Brush in the mornings, scurrying up to 
the Polo Grounds in the afternoons, his mind on what he was doing 
and not on the changing situation, learned about it rather forcefully 
one day when he was late reporting to McGraw. 

"Where have you been?" McGraw demanded. "Don't you know 
you're supposed to be here at one o'clock?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well, where were you?" 

"Mr. Brush sent me to the bank and " 

"I don't care where he sent you!" McGraw said, sharply. "When 
I say I want you here at one o'clock, I mean one o'clock and not 
fifteen minutes after. And if Brush or anybody else tells you to do 
something else, tell him you can't do it, that you have to be here. 
Do you understand?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well, see that you don't forget it." 

Years later Brannick, now secretary of the Giants, was to say : 

"I never did forget it, either. And I knew then who was running 
the ball club." 

The Giants, young, fast, hard-driven by McGraw, carried the fight 
to the Cubs that spring. The teams battled closely for the lead 
through the first six weeks of the season. But by the first of June 
the Cubs were in front. That first rush was all the Giants had. They 
weren't a threat after that, but fell back steadily. On their last 
40 



western trip they lost nine of thirteen games, the last seven In a 
row, and finished fourth. McGraw didn't feel too badly about that. 
He was willing to put that season down to profit and loss realizing 
that, in spite of the way they had tapered off near the close of the 
campaign, his young men had learned much, and believing they 
would be solid contenders with the coming of another year. 

Possibly because the Giants had been in the thick of the fight so 
briefly, it had been a quiet and orderly season, in which Pulliam 
lad better control of the players than for some seasons past, or since 
McGraw had been a major factor in the league. At the December 
meeting a resolution was drawn up, complimenting the president on 
the fine job he had done ; and he was elected for another year. The 
vote to return him to office was 7 to i. Brush and McGraw still 
didn't like him. 



VI THE MERKLE PLAY 

aN THE SPRING OF 1 908 McGraw sought a new training site for his 
team and found it in Marlin, Texas, a small town In the north- 
central part of the state, locally famous for its hot springs and within 
^easy distance of Waco, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, 
Galveston and Beaumont, where week-end exhibition games with 
the Texas League clubs might be played on a profitable basis. 

The baseball writers, used to the comparative luxuries of Savan- 
nah, Memphis and Los Angeles, were more than slightly apprehen- 
sive about the probable rigors of six weeks in a small-town hotel 
that never had catered to a ball club before. Harry Stevens, sharing 
their apprehension, loaded them down with canned food on the eve 
of their departure. But it wasn't as bad as they had feared. True, 
the food at the hotel wasn't particularly good. But its worst fault 
was its monotony, and this was relieved by the tinned delicacies that 
Stevens had provided and by the excellent meals obtainable in the 
cities when the exhibition games started. 

In other respects, Marlin pleased everyone. The rooms at the 
old Arlington were comfortable enough, even if the appointments 
were somewhat bare. The players dressed in the bath house that 
.adjoined the hotel. Then, wearing slippers or sneakers and with their 

41 



spiked shoes under their arms, they walked down the railroad track 
a half mile or so to the spacious ball park. Sometimes the wind 
blew for days on end. But the sun was warm and bright and the hot 
baths were wonderful for curing the aches and pains incidental to 
the first few days of active training. 

The townspeople were extremely cordial and made McGraw and 
his players, unused to such attention in the larger cities where they 
had trained, feel that they were most welcome. Dances were arranged 
for them, and fish fries on the banks of the near-by Brazos River. 
The last night the team was in town McGraw reciprocated by giving 
a farewell dinner dance at the hotel ; and this became, in the ten 
years that followed, the outstanding event of the spring social season 
in Marlin. 

Since the ball club had the hotel practically to itself the few 
other guests being mostly invalids from the neighboring cities come 
to take the baths McGraw had ample play for his rapidly develop- 
ing fondness for practical jokes. The victims usually were rookie 
ball players or young newspapermen. But the veterans among both 
the ball players and their Boswells were not immune. More than one 
returned to his room late at night to find his bed stripped of its 
coverings and the bureau and other articles of furniture piled upon 
it a sign that it had been visited by McGraw and his fellow prank- 
sters. 

McGraw also used to roam the town at night, accompanied by 
Mercer, Bulger, Crane and a Negro band of four pieces guitar, 
trumpet, bull fiddle and jug that he had engaged for the duration 
of his stay and that he paid off every night with a handful of half 
dollars, quarters, nickels and dimes. They would stop in the few 
saloons and the Greek restaurant on Main Street and, as a rule, wind 
up in a store that had been converted into a box ball alley. 

One night as they were about to depart for the hotel, McGraw 
said to Mercer : 

"As I pay these boys off, you switch the lights out and we'll run 
across the street and watch the fun." 

Mercer posted himself close to the light switch. 

"All right, boys," McGraw said to the musicians, jingling some 
coins in one hand, "that will be all for tonight. Here." 

As he handed the money to the trumpeter, who was nearest him, 
Mercer pulled the switch. McGraw, chuckling, hurried out, followed 
42 



by Mercer, Crane and Bulger, and made for tie other side of the 
street. 

The musicians moved out on the sidewalk to divide their night's 
pay under a street light. The trumpeter held out his hand. He had 
two nickels, a dime and some pennies. 

"Where's the rest of it?" the bull fiddler demanded. 

"That's all there is. That's all he give me." 

"Don't tell me that," the fiddler said. "Mr. McGraw ain't cheap. 
He give you plenty. You know he did." 

The other protested that that was all he had received. The argu- 
ment waxed hotter as the guitar player and the man with the jug 
moved into it. The fiddler suddenly brought his instrument down on 
the trumpeter's head. Fists flew in all directions. The four of them 
rolled on the sidewalk. The bull fiddle was smashed. So was the 
guitar. The trumpet was flattened. Only the jug survived the free- 
for-all. McGraw and his companions departed, convulsed with 
laughter. 

The next morning McGraw sent for the musicians and gave them 
money for new instruments. That night music was heard again in 
the saloons, the Greek restaurant and the box ball alley. 

The Giants, leaving Marlin for the first time, moved into Dallas 
for Saturday and Sunday exhibition games. Right off the bat in the 
Saturday game the Dallas short stop began to ride the Giants. Their 
eyes popped as their ears crackled. That was something new. A 
busher riding the Giants! 

"Shut up, busher," Devlin growled. "We heard enough from you." 

The kid, his long chin thrust out belligerently, walked in to the 
edge of the grass. 

"You talk big for a fellow the Cubs run off third base every time 
they come down that line!" he yelled. 

Devlin, one of the gamest ball players that ever lived, almost 
strangled on his rage. While he was trying to find breath to pay off 
his tormentor, McGraw climbed into the row, cursing the kid up 
and down. 

The kid laughed. 

"You're McGraw, aren't you?" he asked. "The great McGraw! 
The yellow-bellied manager of a yellow ball club ! I told the boss 
not to let you bums in here. Now, run back to the coaching line, 
where you won't get hurt." 

43 



McGraw burned. The players seethed. They'd fix that fresh busher. 
The first time they got on base, any of them, they'd cut him down 
to his proper size. They told him so, too. But they didn't. When 
they hurled their spikes at him, he hurled his right back at them. 
He called them more names and better ones than they called him. 
When some of them challenged him to fight after the game, he told 
them he would be waiting for them under the grandstand. 

McGraw's anger gave way to admiration. Along about the sixth 
inning he said to his players : 

"Lay off. I kind of like that kid." 

The players were willing. They kind of liked the kid, too. Besides, 
the fire was getting a little too hot for them. 

Near the end of the game McGraw said to Joe Gardner, owner of 
the Dallas club, who was sitting in a field box: 

"I want to see you after the game, Joe. Come down to the hotel 
with me." 

Gardner grinned and nodded. He had half a notion what McGraw 
wanted to see him about. 

Back at the Oriental McGraw said : 

"Where did you get that short stop of yours? What's his name? 
Fletcher?" 

"Arthur Fletcher," Gardner said. "From Collinsville, Illinois." 

"Where did he play before?" 

"Semi-pro around St. Louis." 

"He's a pretty fresh guy." 

Joe nodded. 

"A pretty good ball player, John," he said. "A pretty good ball 
player." 

"For a semi-pro, yes," McGraw said, grudgingly. 

Gardner looked at him closely and grinned. 

"He has the guts of a big leaguer, John," he said. 

"He's a fresh guy. That's all. Just a fresh guy." 

"He's more than that, John. It takes real guts for a kid just break- 
ing in with a minor-league club to go after you and your ball club 

the way he did and to play ball against you the way he did I'll 

tell you what you do : You have somebody watch him this year. I 
know you'll get a good report on him, because he's really got it. 
And when you get ready to buy him, I promise you you can have 
him." 

44 




FRED MERKLE 




International Newsreel 



GEORGE BURNS 



Now McGraw grinned. 

"All right, Joe," he said. "You're on. 5 ' 

A three-cornered race among the Giants, Cubs, and Pirates that 
summer kept the fans in New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh in an 
uproar. 

McGraw, after a quiescent season in 1907, was himself again as 
he stormed about the circuit at the head of his team, rowing with 
opposing players and managers, umpires and fans. It was a knock- 
down-and-drag-out fight in which he was engaged and he gloried 
in it. 

One of his sturdiest opponents was the comparatively new umpire, 
Bill Klem. Klem had come into the league as far back as 1905. He 
and McGraw had had many a skirmish, but now they were at each 
other In earnest. Curiously enough, they had a profound respect and 
even a liking for each other, although no one would have suspected 
it to see them arguing violently on the field. 

The history of their relations had an odd beginning. The day that 
Klem first appeared at the Polo Grounds in 1905, a delegation of 
high school students from Lakewood, New Jersey, where Bill had 
made 'his home for a number of years, arrived, bearing an indicator 
as a gift for him, and asked McGraw to make the presentation at 
the plate. This McGraw did, smiling pleasantly at the new umpire, 
shaking his hand and wishing him well. Klem, flattered at this atten- 
tion, replied in kind. In the third inning McGraw flew into a rage 
over a close decision against the Giants and Klem ordered him 
from the field. 

Now, in 1908, they fought bitterly almost every time Bill worked 
in a series involving the Giants. One day he roared at McGraw : 

"111 stop you or you'll stop me!" 

But he never did stop McGraw nor did McGraw stop him. They 
battled through all the years that McGraw remained in baseball 
and off the field were friends through all those years, too. McGraw 
would admit though never in Klem's hearing that Bill was the 
best umpire he ever saw. To Klem, McGraw was a "champion," the 
highest praise he ever could give to any man. And to this day he 
cherishes the indicator McGraw presented to him in 1905, having 
come to regard it as a gift not from the Lakewood High School boys 
but from his friend, the manager of the Giants. 

45 



It was in 1908 that McGraw bought Richard (Rube) Marquard 
from the Indianapolis club of the American Association, paying the 
hitherto unheard-of price of $11,000 for a minor-league player. 

The Rube had a great record in the Association. McGraw con- 
fidently expected him to be a winning pitcher for the Giants from 
the start, and so wasted no time preparing him for his debut but 
hurled him into action almost as soon as he joined the team. The 
Rube had a lot of stuff and all the courage in the world, as he was 
to prove later on. But the publicity that had been given to his pur- 
chase price weighed heavily on his mind. It was as though he felt he 
had to deliver $11,000 worth of pitching the first time he entered the 
box for the Giants, and his start was miserable. Miserable, too, were 
his next few appearances. And when a thoughtless baseball writer, 
noting that someone else called him "the $11,000 Beauty," tagged 
him "the $11,000 Lemon," the poor Rube was so disconsolate that 
he was about to pack up and go home when McGraw went to his 
rescue. 

"Never mind what they are saying about you," he said. "I bought 
you because I believed in you. I still do. You're a good pitcher and 
you'll prove it. Maybe I was wrong in starting you so soon, and I'm 
going to lay you off for the rest of the season. But you're going to 
stay with me and I'm going to stick to you." 

His faith in Marquard and his thoughtful handling of him were 
rewarded. It took the Rube nearly two years to come through, but 
at the end of that time he came through handsomely. 

To the day he died McGraw insisted the Giants rightfully won the 
pennant that year and were robbed of it. There are many who dis- 
agreed with him on that point and still do. But the basis of his 
charge was one of the most interesting plays in the long history of 
the game; and the controversy that grew out of it has not been 
settled yet, nor ever will be. 

On September 23 the Giants and the Cubs, close locked in the 
pennant struggle, played at the Polo Grounds. They were tied at i-i 
when the Giants went to bat in the ninth inning. With two out, 
McCormick on third base and Merkle on first, Bridwell smashed 
the ball into center field. McCormick raced home with what ap- 
peared to be the winning run, and the crowd swarmed on the field 
as the players ran for the club house. But suddenly there was a 

46 



commotion at second base, where Johnny Evers was calling for the 
ball. Merkle, it seemed, had not touched the base but, seeing McCor- 
mick cross the plate and believing the game to be over, had stopped 
a few feet short of it and then joined in the rush for the club house. 

The mix-up that followed never has been cleared up. Evers always 
claimed the ball was thrown back to him and that he stepped on 
second base, making a force play on Merkle which, of course if it 
was made nullified the run McCormick had scored. The Giants 
always maintained that Joe McGinnity had got the ball and thrown 
it into the crowd and that a fan had run off with it. In the press box 
the baseball writers on the evening papers had flashed the final 
score Giants 2, Cubs i to their papers. 

All this time Evers was screaming at Umpire Bob Emslie, work- 
ing on the bases that day, to call Merkle out. But Emslie paid no 
attention to him and hurried toward the umpires' dressing room. 
Evers fought his way through the milling crowd to Hank O'Day, 
the plate umpire, still demanding that Merkle be called out. 

Few of the ball players seemed to know what all the row was 
about. Nor did the baseball writers who tumbled down from the 
press box. One of the details which still hangs in the air concerns 
whether or not O'Day granted Evers's demand on the field. The 
Cubs who were in the thick of the jam around second base said he 
did ; the Giants said he didn't. At any rate, at ten o'clock that night, 
O'Day announced that Evers was right and that Merkle was out. 

McGraw was furious. 

"If Merkle was out," he roared, "then the ball game was a tie 
and O J Day should have ordered the field cleared and the game re- 
sumed. But he wasn't out and we won the game and they can't 
take it away from us ! " 

But they could. Moreover, they did. President Pulliam ruled that 
it was a tie game and, if necessary to decide the pennant race, it 
must be replayed. A protest by the Giants sent the case to the 
league's board of directors, who upheld Pulliam. 

The teams battled on through the week or so that remained and 
ended in a tie. New York had won the toss to decide the site for the 
play-off and the Cubs returned to the Polo Grounds. It was one of 
the greatest baseball days New York ever has known. The crowd 
overflowed the seating capacity of the stands, smashed down a part 
of the fence in right field and threatened to overrun the field until 

47 



driven back by powerful streams from a fire hose. The fans hurled 
cushions, bottles and other missiles at the Chicago players, and fran- 
tically tried to root the Giants home. But a three-base hit by Joe 
Tinker off Matty settled the game, and the Giants were beaten, 
4 to 2. 

Through all the bitterness, the wrangling, the ultimate defeat, 
McGraw never lost sight of one thing : the rehabilitation of Merkle. 
Denounced by some of the hot-headed fans, called "Bonehead" and 
generally ridiculed and derided in the newspapers, the unhappy 
young man lost fifteen pounds through sleepless nights. Knowing 
that he was unjustly blamed for what had happened, and fearful 
that the incident might wreck his career, McGraw was quick to rush 
to his defense. 

"It is criminal to say that Merkle is stupid and to blame the loss 
of the pennant on him," he said. "In the first place, he is one of the 
smartest and best players on this ball club and, in not touching 
second base, he merely did as he had seen veteran players do ever 
since he has been in the league. In the second place, he didn't cost 
us the pennant. We lost a dozen games we should have won this year 
yes, two dozen! and any one of them could have saved the pen- 
nant for us. Besides," his rage returning, "we were robbed of it and 
you can't say Merkle did that 1 " 

In public, in private for he overlooked no opportunity, however 
slight, to praise Merkle before the other players he pieced together 
the shattered spirit of the player. In consequence, Merkle, who 
might have been driven, embittered, from the major leagues, be- 
came one of the best first basemen of his time and helped the Giants 
to win pennants in 1911, 1912 and 1913. 

A short time after the play-off whispers ran through the town 
that an attempt had been made by someone connected with the 
Giants to bribe Klem who, with Jim Johnstone, umpired the game. 
Klem denied this, but the whispers persisted and, finally, appeared 
in the newspapers in the form of unconfirmed rumors. 

McGraw was indignant, even contemptuous. 

"That's absurd!" he said, sharply. "Why is it that someone al- 
ways seems ready to start a story like that?" 

Reporters tried hard to run the rumors down. Who had tried to 
bribe Klem? McGraw? One or more of his players? Gamblers? 
48 



Apparently not. "Someone connected with the Giants," the rumors 
had it. 

Pulliam, although obviously reluctant to air any scandal touching 
upon baseball, finally announced an investigation would be held. 
Whatever steps he took privately immediately foilowing his an- 
nouncement, the matter was not presented formally to the league 
until the annual meeting in December. 

Klem and Johnstone were summoned and, under questioning by 
Pulliam and the club owners, Klem testified that Dr. William 
Creamer, the Giants' physician and a well-known figure in the night 
life of the town, was the culprit. His testimony was corroborated by 
Johnstone, and although Creamer tearfully denied the charge, the 
league believed the umpires. As a result, Creamer was barred from 
all ball parks, major and minor, for the rest of his life and the in- 
vestigation was declared over and the incident closed. 



VII BRESNAHAN FOR BUGS RAYMOND 

WASN'T MERELY TRYING to make Merkle feel good when 
he insisted that Fred's failure to touch second base had not 
cost the Giants the pennant. He was speaking the truth. They had 
finished second because, still a young ball club, they lacked the 
balanced power of the Cubs and, perhaps, some of the Cubs' raw 
courage in the clutch. Throw out all the other games they lost and 
go right down to the last week of the season, when a young pitcher 
by the name of Harry Coveleskie stood them on their heads in Phila- 
delphia as McGraw tried frantically, savagely, to get them back on 
their feet. If they had beaten Coveleskie, there would have been 
no play-off with the Cubs and the pennant would have been theirs. 

So there was more work to be done that winter. Some of the 
veterans who had survived the shakeup in which McGirmity, Dahlen, 
McGann, Bowerman and Brown had departed after the 1906 season 
were tabbed for shipment now. Among them was Roger Bresnahan. 

McGraw and Bresnahan had come a long way together. Bresna- 
han had jumped the Chicago club of the National League in 1901 
to play for McGraw on the Baltimore American League club, and 
then had deserted the American League to follow McGraw to New 

49 

- 



York. He was one of the great all-around ball players, and could- 
and did pitch and play third base and the outfield. He was a good 
hitter and, at his peak, a fast man on the paths. He was one of the 
best friends McGraw ever had. 

But now he was slowing down, and the Giants had to be strength- 
ened. McGraw, who never allowed friendship or sentiment to stand 
in his way, was looking for a spot in which he might use Bresnahan 
in a trade. 

The opportunity came during the league meeting at which Cream- 
er's guilt had been established to the satisfaction of the club owners. 
The Cardinals had finished last for two years, the club was practi- 
cally broke, and M. Stanley Robison, the president, was desperate. 
He had some of the best pitchers in the league, but little else. Re- 
peated changes in the management of the team had not yielded any 
progress nor given promise of any to come. 

"Ill give you a manager for your ball club," McGraw told Robison 
at the bar of the old Waldorf, where most of the trading was done 
during the meetings. "That is, 111 give him to you if you can help 
me swing a deal I have in mind that involves a couple of your ball 
players." 

"Go ahead/' Robison said. "I'm interested. Who's the manager?" 

"Bresnahan," McGraw said. 

Robison was startled. Bresnahan ! Why, with the possible excep- 
tion of Johnny Kling of the Cubs, Bresnahan still was the best 
catcher in baseball. 

"Do you mean that?" he asked. 

"Certainly, You don't think I'm talking for fun, do you? Bresna- 
han will make a great man for you. He hasn't had a chance to 
manage a ball club yet, but he's capable of managing one. And hell 
be a drawing card for you, too. With him out there, you'll get some 
fans in your park next year." 

Robison nodded. 

"I know it," he said. "What do you want for him?" 

"I want Bugs Raymond and Jack Murray from you, and I want 
you to. get George Schlei from Cincinnati for me to take Bresnahan's 
place." 

The terms, Robison thought, were reasonable enough. Murray was 
a good ball player one of the best outfielders in the league but 
the Cardinals hadn't been able to win with him and certainly could 
So 



spare him to get a man like Bresnahan. Raymond, who had as much 
stuff as any pitcher that ever lived and knew how to use it, never 
had realized on his skill, and was a troublesome customer, besides, 
because he would drink anything he could lay his hands on. Robison 
thought he could arrange to get Schlei from the Reds and turn him 
over to the Giants. 

So the deal was begun. In a few days it was completed. The great 
battery of Mathewson and Bresnahan had been broken up, and New 
York fans were regretful at the passing of the doughty catcher. 
McGraw was regretful, too. But he had made a move he figured 
would help his ball club, and at the same time had advanced his old 
friend to a managerial post. 

Raymond, of course, presented a problem for McGraw, as he had 
for every other manager for whom he ever had played. But McGraw 
wasn't at all hesitant about attacking it. He knew that if he could 
keep Bugs in shape he would have another consistent winner on his 
staff to take some of the burden off Matty. 

At Marlin in the spring of 1909 he had a long talk with Bugs. 
He had given the pitcher the best contract he'd ever had, and prom- 
ised him added rewards in the form of bonuses if he would quit 
drinking for the season, or, at least, confine himself to a glass of 
beer now and then. Bugs, always willing to oblige, and probably 
meaning it at the moment, promised to behave himself. McGraw 
closed out the talk with a threat of what would happen If Bugs 
forgot the promise. 

"Ill get rid of you so fast it will make your head swim," he said. 
"And you know that if I get rid of you, nobody else will give you 
a chance. You'll be through." 

Bugs nodded. 

"I know," he said. "You wont have to worry about me, Mac." 

Bugs toiled in the sun to rid himself of the poundage he had 
picked up at numerous bars through the winter, and actually seemed 
to have reformed, although McGraw kept a skeptical eye on him 
and sternly warned the bartenders on Main Street not to sell him a 
drink. All was well until the Giants went to Dallas for the first time. 
Bugs got through Saturday night all right, but his downfall occurred 
on Sunday night. 

In that happy time, when food and liquor were much cheaper than 



they are today, the Oriental Hotel served a six-course dinner on 
Sunday night for a dollar and tossed in a Manhattan or Martini 
cocktail for nothing. Naturally, it was popular with the residents of 
the town, especially the young married couples. When the ball play- 
ers got back to the hotel after the game and headed for the dining 
room, they found all the tables taken. Raymond, among those stand- 
ing outside the dining room waiting a chance to eat, saw a waiter 
come out a side door and, thinking only to sneak through that way 
on the chance that he might find a vacant chair somewhere, sud- 
denly found himself confronted with a long table lined with cock- 
tails. These had been poured for the convenience of the waiters, to 
be picked up as they passed through on their way from the kitchen. 

The sight of all those glasses was too much for whatever good 
resolutions Bugs may have formed. He had already gulped six cock- 
tails, and was reaching for the seventh, when a waiter spied him and 
gave the alarm. Poor Bugs was thrown out, but at least he was well 
oiled; and by the time he reached the train for Marlin late that 
night he had acquired a sizable package and McGraw was fit to 
be tied. 

On another trip, this one to Beaumont, Bugs ambled into a bar 
and looked the situation over carefully before proceeding since he 
had no money and McGraw had refused to advance him any on his 
season's salary. He lingered in the background until two men at the 
bar ordered drinks. Just as the bartender put the drinks on the 
mahogany, Bugs stepped between the men. 

"Pardon me, gentlemen," he said. 

Surprised at the intrusion, they stepped back, which was precisely 
what he wanted them to do. Before they recovered from their sur- 
prise, he quickly downed both drinks, then said with a smile : 

"You wouldn't begrudge an old railroad man a drink, would you?" 

One of them tit him in the eye and the bartender tossed him out 
on the sidewalk. But at that, he reckoned, he had made a good bar- 
gain. He had traded a black eye and a couple of minor bruises, suf- 
fered when he hit the sidewalk, for two drinks . . . and he was off 
again. 

He had one more device, which he worked on McGraw for the first 
time that spring. 

"Mac," he said one day, "my shirts are all worn out. Give me 
some money to buy some." 

52 



"No," McGraw sad. "Go to a store and pick out a half dozen and 
I'll give somebody else the money to buy them for you." 

Bugs was back in a little while. 

"I picked 'em out, Mac," he said. "Six of ? em. Two dollars apiece." 

McGraw called one of the other players. 

"Here's twelve dollars," he said. "Go with Raymond and pay for 
six shirts he has picked out. And be sure you pay the man. Don't 
give the money to Raymond. Do you understand?" 

The player understood. He went to the shop with Bugs and handed 
over the twelve dollars. Bugs stuck the shirts, already wrapped, 
under one arm and accompanied him back to the hotel. Ten minutes 
later he returned to the shop, where the clerk gave him six dollars 
the shirts being only a dollar each. Bugs carefully had rigged the 
deal with the clerk and now had six dollars for drinking money. 
Shrewd as McGraw generally was in checking up on the occasional 
wayward player on his team, Bugs not only got away with the trick 
that time but many more times before McGraw caught on to it. 

But between sprees Bugs could pitch, and he quickly became a 
favorite at the Polo Grounds. He was loose and limber and cool 
under fire, and never seemed to care how many were on the base 
or who was coming up and the crowd liked him for that. McGraw 
liked him for it, too, and bore with him through many a bender. 
At his orders, Raymond's salary checks were sent direct to the 
pitcher's wife, only enough pocket money to keep Bugs going and 
pay his tips being deducted, and even this was doled out sparingly 
by McGraw. 

Now and then Bugs would hoard his money for a week or so and 
then step out for a lively evening. One night McGraw had him 
trailed on his rounds of the saloons between the Polo Grounds and 
the Braddock Hotel at i26th Street and Eighth Avenue, where most 
of the players lived, and had a complete report ready for him when, 
slightly bleary, he showed up the next day. 

"In the first place you stopped," McGraw said, reading from the 
report, "you had two beers and went to the lunch counter, where 
you ate three onions. In the second place, two ryes with beer chasers, 
some cheese and crackers and three onions. In the third place, one 
rye, two beers and an onion. In the fourth, two ryes, two onions 
and" 

S3 



"That's a lie!" Bugs roared. "I didn't have but two onions all 
evening ! " 

McGraw never had any trouble with Murray, a steady-going fel, 
low, a smooth outfielder with a fine throwing arm, a good hitter 
and one of the best base runners in the league. But one day Red 
irritated him slightly. When he went up to hit, with a man on first 
base and nobody out, McGraw told him to hit the first pitch behind 
the runner. Instead, Murray slapped the ball straight at the short 
stop and was engulfed in a double play. As he came back to the 
bench McGraw snapped : 

"Didn't I tell you to hit to right field?" 

"Huh!" Red sneered. "On an outside pitch? I suppose you could 
have done it!" 

McGraw's face flamed. 

"I never saw the pitcher who could keep me from hitting behind 
the runner ! " he said, tartly. 

Murray stared at him for a moment, then shook his head and 
walked down the dugout. 

Strangely, McGraw's anger died. He turned to Matty. 

"I really believe," he said, "that he doesn't know I ever played 
ball." 

The Giants figured but lightly in the pennant race that year. The 
reign of the Cubs had been checked, but the Giants were not yet 
ready to take over. They started uncertainly, never were higher 
than third, and finished in that position as the Pirates won the 
pennant. 

But McGraw still was building. He had bought the "fresh busher," 
Fletcher, from Dallas after the 1908 season and was breaking him 
in at short stop. Merkle, at whom thoughtless fans now and then 
yelled "Bonehead!" was developing fast at first base, where the 
veteran Fred Tenney was holding on until the youngster was battle- 
hardened enough to take his place. 

The season of 1910, even including the didoes of Bugs Raymond, 
was virtually a repetition of 1909. The Giants never were in the 
lead, although they were second for a short stretch early in the sea- 
son. The Cubs, smashing back, drove the Pirates from the top of the 

54 



league and won the pennant for the fourth time In five years. The 
Giants, having dropped to third place, came on late to overtake the 
tired Pirates and finished second. 

McGraw hired' a companion a keeper, the boys called himfor 
Bugs. But the companion quit one night when Bugs lost patience 
with him and threatened to beat Mm up. At one stage a doctor told 
McGraw that Bugs could stand a couple of weeks in a sanitarium. 
Whether or not he could never was demonstrated. He had been 
there only two days when the doctor who was running it called 
McGraw up. 

"Get this man out of here!" he screamed. "My other patients 
were nutty enough when they came here, but he is making them 
nuttier!" 

The Highlanders also having finished second, there was a demand, 
voiced mainly by the American League rooters in New York, for a 
post-season series between the teams. The Giants were willing, and 
the town was excited by the prospect of seeing Matty duelling with 
Russell Ford, the Highlanders' sensational young pitcher. The series 
ended in a great personal triumph for Matty, as the Giants won, 
four games to two, a seventh game resulting in a tie. Matty, com- 
pletely overwhelming Ford, won three games and saved another for 
Louis Drucke. 



VIII IN RAGS AND TATTERS 

rvE SEASONS HAD ELAPSED since the Giants had won a pennant. 
Yet with the passing of the years McGraw's prestige had in- 
creased tremendously. Giant fans idolized him. Elsewhere on the cir- 
cuit the fans hated and feared him. It was in this period that 
Grantland Rice wrote of him : 

"His very walk across the field in a hostile town is a challenge to 
the multitude." 

He had hustling, fighting ball clubs, and he fought, too and not 
always with his mouth. He and his old first baseman, Dan McGann, 
tangled one day in Boston. He traded punches with Ad Brennan, 
a Philadelphia pitcher, on Brennan's home ground. Easily roiled, 
especially when the Giants were losing, he got into a couple of fights 

55 



off the field. But none of his admirers thought any the less of him 
for these by-battles. They rather expected him to fight when he was 
taunted, for that was in keeping with the character he had become. 

His fondness for racing had grown through the years. John E. 
Madden, Davy Johnson, Johnny Walters, Jack Doyle, Tod Sloan 
these and many more colorful figures on the turf were his friends. 
So was Jim Corbett his friend. And George M. Cohan and Charles 
B. Dillingham and Louis Mann and all the Broadway-theatrical- 
sporting crowd. He was at the races on the Giants' off days at Bel- 
mont and Aqueduct and Empire City and Jamaica and Latonia. He 
was in a ringside seat at all the big prize fights. He bet heavily on 
the races and the fights. But his judgment, sound in baseball, was 
somewhat less than that where the horses and the fighters were 
concerned. And while sometimes the tales that were told of his losses 
were exaggerated, basically they were true. He could take a licking 
around the bank roll better than he could on the ball field. And 
though he might burn inwardly when a horse he liked was shut off 
in the stretch, or a fighter he had backed was counted out, outwardly 
he would be calm, even philosophic. 

Going about, having a good time between seasons and often dur- 
ing a season, too living high, spending his money almost as fast 
as he made it, glorying in the power he wielded not only in the dug- 
out but in the office, the boss of the Giants and undeniably the big- 
gest figure in baseball, he still hadn't reached his peak. 

Making new friends wherever he went, he didn't forget the old 
ones. There was, for instance, Henry Fabian. He had brought his old 
friend of the Cedar Rapids days to New York and had installed him 
as ground keeper at the Polo Grounds. Henry now was reaping a 
measure of fame on his own. He was the best ground keeper in the 
country, McGraw said ; and that was enough for Henry. He worked 
tirelessly to uphold that reputation, and the diamond and the out- 
field at the Polo Grounds reflected his skill and that of the crew 
he had recruited in Harlem. And every spring, a few weeks before 
the Giants went to Marlin, Henry would go there and work the field 
into shape, so it would be ready for the players when they arrived. 

Henry enjoyed one other distinction. He was the only one who 
had the temerity to advise McGraw on the management of the 
Giants, and to second-guess him when things went wrong. He had 
a curiously mixed slant on McGraw. On the one hand, McGraw 

56 



was as much of a Iiero to him as he was to any of the fans. On the 
other, he never could forget that this was Johnny McGraw, the kid 
who had come up from Gainesville, Fla., to join the Cedar Rapids 
club when he, Tex Fabian, was a veteran. As he had counseled 
McGraw then, so he counseled him now. And McGraw, who would 
have resented hotly an attempt by anyone else to tell him what to 
do, would listen quietly and nod sagely when Henry "picked" his 
pitchers for him or rebuked him for some bit of strategy that had 
gone awry. 

There was, in New York in 1911, a telegraph operator who had 
a great yearning to become an umpire. Having got to know McGraw 
around the Polo Grounds, he confided his ambition to him one 
day when he called at the Giants' office just before the team was to 
report at Marlin. McGraw didn't take him seriously, but liked Mm 
and thought it wouldn't do any harm and might prove fairly amus- 
ing to take him to the training camp. 

"How would you like to go to Marlin, Charlie?" he asked. 

Charlie was almost incoherent. 

"All right," McGraw said. "Meet me at the train on Tuesday 
morning. I'll take you down there and give you a chance to umpire 
in our exhibition games." 

Poor Charlie hadn't been in camp long before he knew all the 
hardships that most umpires pack into an entire career. Try as he 
would to call the plays right, he failed miserably. The players were 
at him constantly. But he was game. He kept on trying. 

His special tormentor was Chief Meyers, the Indian catcher. The 
climax was reached one day in Dallas as a result of some careful rig- 
ging by McGraw. 

On the way out to the park that day Meyers said to McGraw: 

"All this may be funny to you, Mac, but that clown is ruining 
our ball games. And for some reason he seems to pull Ms worst 
decisions on me. What are you going to do about it, anyway ?" 

"What am I going to do?" McGraw demanded. "What are you 
going to do?" 

"What can I do?" 

"Get rough with Mm," 

"Can I?" 

57 



"Certainly, If you think he is picking on you, don't stand for it 
any longer." 

The Chief's eyes gleamed. 

"Just wait!" he said. "Wait till that bum pulls another on me!" 

Shortly before the game Charlie went to McGraw. 

"Mr. McGraw/ 7 he said, "I don't like to complain about any of 
the players, but the things that Meyers has been saying to me are 
frightful" 

"Why, that's terrible," McGraw said. "But you can stop him.' 7 

"How?" 

"Put him out of the game the next time he opens his mouth." 

Charlie was dubious. 

"But suppose he won't go?" 

McGraw shrugged. 

"You know the rules," he said. "The umpire is empowered to order 
any player from the field and, if he refuses to go, to call on the 

police to remove him Do you see that policeman in front of the 

stand back of third base?" 

"Yes." 

"Well, if you have any trouble with Meyers and he won't leave the 
field when you tell him to, just call that policeman." 

Charlie stuck his chest out. 

"You watch me if that Indian gets fresh with me today ! " he said. 

He walked out to dust off the plate. McGraw beckoned to one of 
the players. 

"Go down and tell that cop," he said, "that if the umpire has any 
trouble with Meyers and calls on him for help, to walk away from 
him." 

It couldn't have worked out better for McGraw if he had written 
the complete script. The first time Meyers went to bat he hammered 
a ball down the left-field line. 

"Foul ball! "Charlie yelled. 

Meyers, head down as he lumbered around first base and started 
for second, pulled up short when Charlie continued to bellow: 

"Foul ball! Foul ball!" 

Meyers rushed at him,- pushed him around, grabbed him by the 
throat and shook him. 

The hapless Charlie, writhing in his grasp, wheezed : 

"You're out of the game ! Get out ! Get off the field !" 

58 




MCGRAW IN 1912 




Keystone View Co, 



RUBE MARQUARD 



"What!" Meyers roared. "Why, you ! Ill kill 

you!" 

Free of him now, Charlie screamed : 

"Officer! Officer! Put this man out!" 

The cop turned his back and sauntered toward left field. Still 
screaming, Charlie ran after him, closely pursued by Meyers. 
McGraw was convulsed with laughter. The players were rolling on 
the bench. The crowd was howling. Finally McGraw got control of 
himself and, joining in the chase, caught up with Charlie, the Chief 
and the cop just before they reached the left-field fence. After some 
difficulty he persuaded Meyers to leave the field and Charlie to go 
on with the game. 

A day or so later Charlie left Marlin for New York. His ambi- 
tion to become an umpire had been throttled by the angry Chief. 

The Giants were ready that year. They had youth and fire and 
zing. They. ran and slid themselves literally ragged on the base 
paths, so that their uniforms were in tatters most of the time. It 
was written of them they were decently garbed only with the aid 
of safety pins and adhesive tape. Merkle, Doyle, Fletcher and 
Herzog were in the infield. Snodgrass, Devore and Murray patrolled 
the outfield. Marquard, come into his own as a major-league pitcher 
at last, went swinging along with Matty in the van of the pitchers. 
Meyers was a tireless catcher and a hard hitter. 

It was one of McGraw's best teams and, no matter what the 
fans thought or the headlines said, there were no stars on it. Not 
where McGraw was concerned, anyway. On one sleeper jump they 
were shy of space and some of the players, it developed, would 
have to go into uppers. 

"What shall I do about that?" Eddie Brannick, by now assistant 
to the secretary, asked McGraw. 

"Put the names of all the players in a hat and let them draw 
for the uppers," McGraw said. 

A little later Eddie went back to McGraw. 

"Matty drew an upper," he said in an awed voice. 

"What of it?" McGraw demanded. "Let him sleep in one, then. 
There are no stars on this ball club and he ? s no better than any- 
body else." 



59 



It was during this season that Bugs Raymond reached the end 
of McGraw's patience and, of course, the end of his stay with 
the Giants. 

"We were playing the Pirates at the Polo Grounds," McGraw 
once said, telling of Bugs's finish, "and Marquard was pitching 
for us. He got into trouble along about the fifth inning and I tossed 
a ball to Bugs and said : 

" Run down to the bull pen and warm up. I may need you in 
a hurry.' 

"That was in the days before the bull pen became, as you might 
say, a part of the ball game, with pitchers *and catchers down there 
all the time and the pitchers ready to go to work at a sign from 
the bench. Bugs and a catcher hustled down there and I turned 
my attention back to the game. Marquard got out of the jam all 
right and didn't have any trouble in the next inning. But- in the 
seventh, I believe it was, he was jammed up again. He had two 
out, but there were men on first and third and Hans Wagner was 
up. So I pulled him out and called Raymond in. 

"Bugs threw a few warm-up pitches and then was ready. His first 
pitch to Wagner went over Hans' head to the grandstand, the 
runner on third scoring and the one on first moving to third. Well, 
of course, that could happen to anybody and, although I was burned 
up, I didn't suspect anything. But when Wagner hit the next pitch 
right back to Bugs, and Bugs, instead of throwing to first base 
for an easy out to end the inning, not only made the play at the 
plate but threw the ball over Meyers's head, I jumped out of the 
dugout and called him in. 

"As he walked toward me I saw he was staggering slightly, and 
when he got right up to me I saw he was stiff. Do you know what 
he had done ? When I sent him down to the bull pen, he kept right 
on going, out of the park and across Eighth Avenue to one of those 
ratty little gin mills that used to be there, and traded in the new 
ball for three quick shots of third-rail whisky. 

"That was the finish. I told him to go to the club house, take 
off his uniform, get out and never come back. He never did, 
either." 

By September i, after a long and furious battle with the Cubs 
and the Pirates, the Giants were in first place. They not only 
60 



held the lead but increased it, beating tie Cubs to the wire by seven 
and a half games. The long wait was over for McGraw. He had won 
the pennant again,, and he glowed as he read the critics' pronounce- 
ment that this was the fastest team of all time. 

Disaster was in store for him in the World Series, however. 
The Athletics, who had won the pennant in 1910 and beaten the 
Cubs in the World Series the Athletics of Mclnnis, Collins, Barry 
and Baker won it again in 1911, and beat the Giants in the series, 
four games to two. It was in that series that Frank Baker earned 
the tag of "Home Run" Baker by hitting a homer off Marquard in 
the second game and another off Matty, in the third. 

Bitterly disappointed though he was, McGraw could be generous 
. in defeat this time. He told Connie Mack then and he believed it 
then and ever after that the 1911 Athletics were one of the great- 
est teams he had ever seen. 

"They must be, Connie," he said, "I have a great" team, too 
but you beat us." 

In November McGraw took the Giants to Cuba. It was his first 
visit since the winter of 1890. The years between had wrought 
many changes in him and, of course, in Havana. He, who had been 
there as an unknown kid ball player out of Wellsville, N. Y., troup- 
ing with a shabby lot of minor leaguers, returned now as the famous 
manager of the Giants, champions of the National League. In place 
of a dirty overrun city in which Spanish troops were garrisoned and 
Cuban patriots rotted in the dungeons of Morro Castle or died 
before firing squads, he found a bright, gay capital of a fledgling 
republic, in which baseball, not bull fighting, was the principal 
sport. 

The two best teams on the island were the Havana Reds and 
the Almendares. Joy-riding American teams who had preceded the 
Giants had been easy picking for the Cubans, especially for the 
Almendares, when Mendez, the Black Matty, was pitching. Now 
the Giants, with tie great Mathewson, lad come to oppose them. 
There was wide excitement among the fans. This increased when 
the Giants lost the first two games to the Reds and a duel between 
Matty and Mendez loomed in the opening game of a series with 
the Almendares. 

The loss of those two games to the Reds didn't mean much to 

61 



some of the Giants. This was their vacation, they reasoned, and 
their ball playing was merely a means of defraying their expenses. 
But it meant something to McGraw. Angry, humiliated, he gave 
the players a stormy going over. 

"You've been beaten because you haven't taken these games 
seriously," he said, "and I'm not going to stand for it any longer ! 
There will be morning practice until you pull yourselves together 
and there will be less knocking around the bars at night." 

Some of the players grumbled. They were in Havana for fun, 
and they resented having to get up early and work in the morning 
heat. 

"You'll be out there," McGraw snapped, "or you won't play at 
all. That means you'll take the next boat home or stay here at 
your own expense. Fun, eh? Well, I came down here for fun, too, 
and I'll get plenty of it and so will you. But when you're on that 
ball field, it's not for fun. You'll beat these clowns or I'll know 
the reason why." 

The prospect of having to go home or pay their own expenses 
had a chastening effect on the players who had dawdled. And if they 
needed any other incentive it was supplied by the Cubans' confi- 
dence in Mendez. Some of the native sportsmen having challenged 
the Giants to bet on themselves, the players and Sid Mercer, who 
had accompanied them, made up a pool of about $800 and placed it 
in answer to the challenge. 

The game was played on Thanksgiving Day. Both Matty and 
Mendez were in superb form. With Matty hurling a shutout, the 
Giants won, 2 to o. That night McGraw gave a party for the players 
and then, at a late hour, set out on a tour of some of the more 
lurid night spots. His guide was Cy Rigler, the National League 
umpire, who was spending the winter in Havana in the dual role 
of ground keeper and umpire. In one place they got into an argu- 
ment with some Cuban fans, and it quickly developed into a fight. 
McGraw and Rigler, although badly outnumbered, were giving an 
excellent account of themselves when the police arrived, rounded 
up all the combatants and lugged them off to the station. There 
they were booked and released, with orders to report in court the 
next morning. At that time they were reprimanded and warned 
against further fist fighting in the cafes. The warning did not make 
much of an impression. 
62 



"We were always winding up in the police station because of 
some misunderstanding or other," Mercer has said. "Eventually, we 
got to know the night lieutenant very well." 

One day McGraw became involved in an argument with Rigler 
over a third strike that had been called on one of the Giants the 
fact that Rigler was his friend would not, of course, deter McGraw 
from jumping on Mm during a ball game. It lasted so long a Cuban 
senator leaped from his seat in a box to take part in it. Since the 
Senator had a violent temper, Pepe Conte, a Havana sports writer 
who had seen enough of McGraw to know something of his temper, 
too, rushed out to intervene. 

McGraw whirled as the Senator arrived at the plate. 

"What the hell do you want?" he demanded. 

"I want you to know," the Senator roared, in Spanish, "that you 
cannot make a farce of our baseball ! " 

McGraw turned to Conte. 

"What did he say?" 

"He says," Pepe tactfully lied, "that he quite understands your 
complaint because he thinks Rigler is a robber, too." 

McGraw, mollified, turned to the Senator with a smile. 

"Don't you laugh at me ! " screamed the Senator. "You pig ! " 

McGraw could understand the tone, if not the words. His smile 
faded. 

"Why, you !" he yelled. "Get back where you 

belong or I'll flatten you!" 

The Senator looked at Pepe. 

"He says that it is a great honor to have such a distinguished 
gentleman take so great an interest in the game," Pepe said. 

The Senator bowed and smiled. 

"So you think it's funny, eh?" McGraw said. "Ill show you how 
funny it is 1 If you don't take your seat, 111 slug you and take my 
team off the field!" 

"He says," Pepe droned, "that he is sorry to have caused all this 
commotion, and if you will forgive him he will get right on with 
the game." 

And so it went, for ten minutes. At the end of that time Pepe's 
deft interpretation had healed the breach. Each considered that 
he had scored a signal victory over the other. The affair ended with 
them shaking hands warmly and McGraw, who had forgotten all 

63 



about Rigler and the third strike, accompanying the Senator back 
to his box. 

The Giants won all their remaining games. McGraw, liking Ha- 
vana very much and in high good humor over the success of his 
team, vowed that he would return often. It was a vow that was 
kept. For the rest of his life, he allowed few winters to pass without 
spending anywhere from a couple of weeks to the entire season in 
the Cuban capital. There, he and Mrs. McGraw had almost as many 
friends as they had in New York and passed some of their most 
pleasant and memorable days. 



IX IN DEFENSE OF SNODGRASS 

jjrfjHE ATHLETICS COULD BEAT the Giants, but no team in the Na- 
if tional League could. Not in 1911 or in 1912, either. Rolling 
up irom Marlin in great shape in the spring of 1912, they broke fast 
at the opening bell, beat off the contenders quickly, and by May 15 
were in front to stay. 

Merkle and Meyers were the only consistent power hitters on the 
team. But the others beat enemy pitchers down with a drum fire 
of singles. And, as in 1911, when they got on the bases they ran 
almost steadily. This wasn't a great team, although McGraw said 
it was. But it was as typical of him as any team he ever had, as it 
went swinging and hustling and fighting and snarling, sometimes 
on its way. 

McGraw was bringing a young outfielder along that year. His 
name was George Burns. He had come up from the Utica Club of the 
New York State League late in 1911 and had played in a few games. 
McGraw had thought, for a while, of farming him out for a year in 
one of the larger minor leagues, but decided against it. 

"You may not play much this year/ 7 he told the boy in the spring, 
"but I want you with me. You sit next to me on the bench and I'll 
tell you all I can about the way they play ball up here. And I'll stick 
you in there now and then to give you some experience. I don't want 
you to get impatient. Understand?" 

64 



Burns nodded. He wasn't the nervous or impatient kind. He'd 
watch . . . and listen . . . and learn. 

"Next year/ 7 McGraw said, "you'll be in there. And when you do 
get in, nobody's going to get you out for a long time." 

That was prophetic. Starting with 1913, Burns reeled off nine, 
years in left field at the Polo Grounds. But through most of 1912 
he sat in the dugout next to McGraw, munching peanuts, learning 
all he could, heeding everything McGraw said, noting everything 
the Giants did. 

At Stockholm that year Jim Thorpe led the American team to 
victory in the Olympic Games. 

"Sir," the King of Sweden said to him at the conclusion of the 
games, "you are the greatest athlete in the world." 

So he was, and the world wildly acclaimed him. On the return 
of the Olympic team to New York there was a parade up Fifth 
Avenue. The crowd, lining the sidewalks, roared its homage to the 
Indian. And then, a short time later, it became known that, while 
still a student at Carlisle, he had played a few games of profes- 
sional baseball. 

For this he was castigated by the indignant brass hats of the 
Amateur Athletic Union, stripped of the medals and trophies he 
had won, tossed out of the simon-pure ranks and was picked up by 
John McGraw. 

McGraw didn't know how well Thorpe could play ball. The 
chances are he didn't care particularly. He had all the good ball 
players he needed, and a few to spare. But Thorpe black-listed by 
the A.A.U., still was a hero to the public ; and McGraw, always a 
showman, knew that if Jim only hit in batting practice he would 
be a drawing card wherever the Giants played. 

The Giants, slashing, running, brawling now and then, went on 
to the pennant. In the American League the Boston Red Sox, with 
their great outfield of Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis, 
and sparked by the great pitching of Joe Wood, wrested the cham- 
pionship from the Athletics. 

Beaten in the series the year before, McGraw had been given 
another chance. He didn't mean to blow this one but he did. It 
was no fault of his ; but when the final count was made there it was : 

65 



The Red Sox won in eight games, the second game having ended 
in a tie. 

The finish, from McGraw's standpoint, was heart-breaking for 
just as victory seemed to be assured the Giants' defense cracked. 
The teams were tied at i j i, with Matty pitching against Wood, at 
the end of the ninth. In the tenth the Giants scored a run ; and that 
looked like the ball game. But when Clyde Engle, who batted for 
Wood, lifted a fly to center field, Snodgrass muffed the ball squarely 
and Engle raced to second. Snodgrass, a fine outfielder, then made a 
fine catch of a long drive by Hooper. But Matty couldn't get the 
ball over the plate for Steve Yerkes, who walked. 

5 Now came the big break. Speaker raised a pop foul between the 
plate and first base, on which he should have been an easy out. But 
Merkle, Matty and Meyers became confused and allowed the ball 
to fall safely among them. Granted another chance to hit, Speaker 
singled, scoring Engle with the tying run, and Yerkes hustled around 
to third. Larry Gardner smashed a long fly to Devore, and Yerkes 
scored, winning- the game and the series. 

"Snodgrass's Muff Cost Giants Victory ! " the headlines screamed. 
Someone in the press box quickly figured the defeat meant a loss 
of $30,000 to the Giant players the difference between the win- 
ners' and the losers' cut of the gate receipts. 

"A $30,000 Muff!" he yelled, as his story went crackling over the 
wires. 

A rumor quickly spread that McGraw had given Snodgrass a 
verbal lashing in the club house and had ended it with a threat to 
release the player. Another, even more vicious, rumor got about that 
one of the other players had taken a punch at Snodgrass and that 
a free-for-all fight had narrowly been averted. 

When McGraw heard these rumors, he was furious. 

"Snodgrass!" he roared. "Snodgrass didn't lose the game. The 
game was lost when Speaker's foul wasn't caught. If he had been 
retired, the Red Sox wouldn't have scored. Quit blaming Snodgrass 
and put the blame where it really belongs on Merkle and Matty. 
Meyers never had a chance to catch the ball. It was Merkle's ball 
and he should have started for it, and when he didn't Matty should 
have yelled at him to do so. We were all yelling at him from the 
bench, but the crowd made so much noise he couldn't hear us. 

"So Snodgrass cost us the game, did he? And I'm going to trade 

66 



Mm, am I? Well, I'll tell you what I think of Snodgrass: I think 
lie is the best outfielder I have and one of the best in baseball. And 
111 tell you what I am going to do : I'm going to give him a better 
contract next year than he's ever had." 

After the series McGraw went on a fifteen-week tour of one of the 
major vaudeville circuits, delivering a monologue written by Boze- 
man Bulger. He proved to be as good a drawing card in the theater 
as he was in a ball park. Although nervous and uncertain at first 
the footlights had to be dimmed for him because he complained that 
they blinded him he soon loosened up and gave a creditable per- 
formance. 

The tour was not precisely a milestone in the history of vaude- 
ville, but it served one notable purpose. After a show in Chicago 
one night McGraw met Comiskey for supper. Over the table a con- 
versation began that literally was to lead the two of them around 
the world. They had been talking about the old days Comiskey, 
unlike Johnson, never had felt any bitterness toward McGraw for 
not remaining with the American League and, out of nowhere, 
Commy said: 

"John, why don't you and I take our baU clubs around the world?" 

"That's an idea," McGraw said. "When?" 

Comiskey shrugged. 

"Any time that's agreeable to you. How about after next season?" 

"You're on," McGraw said. 

As casually as that they decided to girdle the globe, as A. G. 
Spalding had done back in 1888. 

In November, shortly after McGraw returned to New York from 
his vaudeville tour, Brush started for California. Brush had been a 
virtual invalid for the past few years, and it was his custom to seek 
a warm climate each winter. Now he was off again to rest in the sun 
until it was spring again in New York. But when his train reached 
St. Charles, Missouri, he became so ill he was taken from it and 
placed in a hospital. There, on November 26, he died. 

McGraw was deeply saddened by the news of Brush's death. The 
years through which they had been associated had been extremely 
pleasant ones for him. Brush had given him his own way from the 
beginning, had spent money freely for the players he had wanted, 
and, whenever he had been involved in rows as he was with Drey- 
fuss and Pulliam and, on numerous occasions, with the umpires 



had defended Mm staunchly. Brush never had resented McGraVs 
constant gains in power and influence in the club's offices; and if 
he realized that for at least five years he had been dominated by 
McGraw in every move he made, he gave no sign of it. 

Now that Brush was dead McGraw had some grounds for un- 
easiness, whether he realized it or not. Controlling interest in the 
club passed to the owner's widow and daughters. When the transfer 
of the stock had been completed, Harry N. Hempstead, a son-in-law, 
was elected president. 

Hempstead was as fine a man as baseball ever has known, but 
he knew nothing of baseball. He had spent most of his adult life in 
Brush's clothing business in Indianapolis. He and McGraw were 
practically strangers. A shy, sensitive man,, he seemed uncomfort- 
able in the bluff, brisk presence of his manager, and in all matters 
pertaining to the office he held looked for guidance not to McGraw 
but to John B. Foster, who became secretary of the club in 1913. 

Foster, a veteran baseball writer and sports editor, had long been 
recognized as an authority on the game and the rules that governed 
the playing of it. He was editor of Spalding's Guide, and had a wide 
acquaintance among owners, managers and players in the major and 
minor leagues. He had had no experience in the business end of the 
sport. But, a close observer of club and league officials and some- 
times highly critical of them he now found himself in a position Df 
considerable influence in the most important club in the majors. 

It dawned on McGraw, as the 1913 season got under way, that 
Foster and Hempstead were gently nudging him out of the domi- 
nance he had exercised for so long. There was little that was tangible 
about their opposition to him, but it was there and, in many small 
ways, he was made aware of it. Now and then, restive under the 
restraints that had been placed upon him, he let go with a blast at 
the president and the secretary. But these outbursts had no effect 
whatever, Foster and Hempstead had the support of Mrs. Brush and 
her daughters, and they went quietly on with their task of putting 
McGraw in his place and keeping him there. 

With another pennant race under way, McGraw had little time to 
worry about the trend in the front office. His mind was occupied 
with the winning of another flag, and the plans that he and Comiskey 
had made for their world tour. Both projects proceeded smoothly. 
The Giants jockeyed for position through the month of May, then 
68 



started a drive in June that carried them into the lead by the first of 
July. That year their old rivals, the Cubs and the Pirates, couldn't 
quite hold to the pace. The Phillies, who had finished fifth, in 1912, 
came with a rush to wind up in second place. 

And so, once more, McGraw led his team into a World Series 
and once more drew Connie Mack as his opponent. Eager perhaps 
a trifle too eager to shake the jinx that had ridden him in 1911 and 
1912, his hopes were battered again. The fate of the Giants was 
presaged in the opening game, when Baker hit another home run off 
Marquaxd as the A's won, 6 to 4. Matty pitched a shut-out in the 
second gamfe to even the count. But that was the last game the 
Giants won. The A's ripped off three in a row. McGraw was desolate 
in the club house after the final game. 

There was also, at the end of that series, a circumstance disturbing 
to McGraw, but of which only those close to him were aware. His 
long friendship with Wilbert Robinson was ended. For the past few 
years Robbie had served as coach with the Giants, his principal 
almost his only duty having been that of having the pitchers in 
shape and ready when McGraw wanted them. He had done a good 
job, too, and had helped considerably in the development of Mar- 
quard. 

But that year there had been small bickerings between them. 
These had led as they so often will in the case of long-standing 
friendships to open rows. They hadn't spoken to each other through 
the last month or two of the season. When the series was over, 
Robbie resigned. 

Within a few weeks he was to be engaged as manager by the 
Brooklyn club, although this was no doing of McGraw's. Outwardly, 
however, they still were friendly, and there were many who assumed, 
not knowing any better, that McGraw unselfishly had released his 
old friend only that he might better himself. Actually, they had 
grown to hate each other and, when they met in public, it was diffi- 
cult for them to act as though they still were friendly. The break 
between them never was cemented, although their friends tried for 
a long time to bring about a reconciliation. 



X AROUND THE WORLD 

DISAPPOINTMENT over the loss of the series, keen as it 
was on the night of the final game, was blunted by the pros- 
pect of adventure that lay just ahead the tour of the world that 
he and Comiskey had plotted over a late supper in Chicago the year 
before. The details of the trip had been worked out, and a schedule 
arranged, by Dick Bunnell and A. P. Anderson, friends of Comis- 
key's, and all was in readiness for the tourists. 

Curiously enough, not all the Giant and White Sox players not 
even all those whom McGraw and Jimmy Callahan, the Sox manager, 
invited to make the trip were interested in seeing Europe and the 
Orient and all the exciting places in between, preferring the sights 
and sounds of home to roaming the oceans and the far continents. 
Consequently, each manager had to fill in his team with players from 
other clubs. 

McGraw had Merkle on first base, Doyle on second, Mike Doolan 
of the Phillies at short stop and Hans Lobert, also of the Phillies, 
on third base. Thorpe was in right field, Mike Donlin in center and 
Lee Magee of the Cardinals in left. Ivy Wingo of the Cardinals was 
his catcher. His pitchers were Wiltse, Bunny Hearne, a youngster on 
the Giant staff, and Urban (Red) Faber, borrowed from the White 
Sox. 

Callahan marshaled only Joe Benz and Jim Scott, pitchers ; Buck 
Weaver, short stop ; Tommy Daly, a catcher pressed into service as 
a first baseman for the trip, and Andy Slight, also a catcher, from 
his own team. He had Germany Schaefer of the Senators on second 
base, Dick Egan of Brooklyn on third, Steve Evans of the Cardinals 
in left field, Tris Speaker of the Red Sox in center, and Sam Craw- 
ford of the Tigers in right. He added Walter Leverenz of the Browns 
to his pitchers. Jack Bliss of the Cardinals divided the catching with 
Slight. Bill Klem and Jack Sheridan went along as umpires. McGraw 
took his friend, Harry Sparrow, who had made a number of training 
trips with the Giants. Sparrow, who had learned about handling ball 
clubs by keeping his eyes open on those trips, wound up acting as 
secretary of the party. Two newspapermen, Gus Axelson of the 
Chicago Record-Herald and Joseph Farrell of the Chicago Tribune) 
plus three photographers, covered the jaunt. 

Mrs. McGraw, Mrs. Comiskey, Mrs. Callahan, the wives of some 

70 



of the players and a small group of McGraw's and Commy's friends, 
including Dr. Finley, were in the party. To entertain them and 
also to amuse them, although not in a manner he intended was a 
well-known baseball character of the time, whose name was Ted 
Sullivan and who called himself an author and lecturer. At formal 
dinners it was Ted's custom to appear in an ill-fitting full dress 
suit, a bright red necktie and carpet slippers and he didn't do it 
for laughs, either. 

The teams assembled at Cincinnati. They opened a transcontinen- 
tal series there with a game on October i8 7 which the Giants won by 
a score of n to 2. The next stop was Chicago. Now they really 
were on their way through Illinois, into Iowa, then southwest by 
way of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma into Texas, then west across 
Arizona into California ; from there, up through Oregon to Seattle. 

A final game in this country, scheduled for Seattle on Novem- 
ber 19, was cancelled because of rain. That afternoon the party left 
for Vancouver, where the S.S. Empress of Japan awaited. By 11:30 
that night, the log of the journey recites, all were aboard the great 
Canadian Pacific ship, cabins had been assigned and luggage stowed. 
The lines were cast off. Destination, Yokohama. 

It was a rough voyage. The wind howled, the snow swirled, and 
heavy seas pounded the ship. But at last the rugged outline of Japan 
was sighted. On December 5 tie landing was made. 

Two games were played between the teams in Tokyo. Then they 
combined forces to wallop Keio University. From there they went 
to Hongkong, played one game, shoved off for Manila. There they 
played two, and then sailed for Australia. Brisbane saw them . . . 
and Melbourne and Sydney. Then Colombo, in Ceylon; and from 
there the long journey was begun to Cairo, where they played two 
games. From there they went to Rome, where it rained continually, 
so that there was no ball game, but where they were granted an 
audience with the Pope. There was a game at Nice, the first stop 
in France, but none in Paris, because of the weather, during a nine- 
day stay. A game was played in London on February 26. King 
George V was there, and Tommy Daley hit a home run for His 
Majesty. Two days later the party sailed for home on the ill-fated 
Lusitania. 

It had been a great trip, not only for baseball but for McGraw. 
He had crossed the seas and wandered in foreign lands. He had been 

7* 



entertained by generals and admirals, by diplomats and nobles. He 
had seen the Pyramids and the Sphinx and the great sweep of the 
Sahara. In Rome, the Pope had greeted him and, in London, the 
King had shaken his hand. 

All the while his fame had mounted. He had overshadowed all the 
others on the trip. Comiskey and Callahan and all the rest. Wherever 
he had been they would remember him for years to come, although 
they might forget those who had been with him. He had helped to 
spread the game of baseball across the face of the earth, and 
wherever it was played they would talk of him and follow his 
fortunes. 



XI THE FEDERAL LEAGUE 

E RETURNED TO THIS COUNTRY to find the National and Ameri- 



can Leagues seriously involved with the Federal League in 
a struggle for patronage. It had been brewing when he- left and had 
increased in intensity in his absence. There had been peace in base- 
ball since the American League had gained recognition from the 
National in 1903. But now war raged again, and hotly. 

The Federal League, branded as an outlaw by the older circuits, 
had been inspired by the seeming ease with which money was to 
be made in baseball. Its club owners, for the most part, had had no 
experience in baseball. But they had money, and they were tough 
and tenacious fighters. They had raided the two major leagues of 
some "name" players and pounced upon the returning travelers 
in the hope of getting some more. The bulk of their players had been 
induced to jump their contracts or, more specifically, to break the 
reserve clause in their contracts with minor league clubs. And 
they had further weakened the structure of the so-called Organized 
Baseball by invading not only Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and 
Brooklyn, but the minor-league strongholds of Baltimore, Buffalo, 
Indianapolis and Kansas City. 

Now they wanted McGraw. They wanted a club in New York, 
too. If they succeeded in getting McGraw, a New York club headed 
by him was a possibility. But the main thing was to get him. With 
him on their side the invasion of New York could wait. They could 

72 



put Mm in Brooklyn or Chicago or one of the other cities because, 
wherever he was, he could deal powerful blows for them. He was 
the greatest manager and the most outstanding figure in baseball. 
He combined color and substance to a greater degree than all of 
their other heroes put together. And where he went, they were sure, 
the players that he wanted on his team would follow. 

He had revived the National League as it tottered under the 
attack by the American when he signed with the Giants in 1902. 
He could beat it to its knees now and the American League along 
with it by joining the Federals. Some of Ms colleagues looked on 
fearfully as the outlaws descended upon him, even before he had 
stepped from the deck of the Lmitania. They remembered that he 
had jumped from the National League to the American and back to 
the National. They knew that he had little personal use, if any, for 
some of them, and that he had an active and abiding hatred for Ban 
Johnson, the stoutest and most relentless fighter in their cause. They 
were aware that the outlaws would bid high for him Mgher than 
anybody ever had bid for a ball player or manager before. 

They need not have worried. Whatever it was that motivated 
him loyalty to the established order in baseball, a shrewd guess 
that the outlaws were doomed to failure and that even his presence 
among them could only prolong the war he flatly rejected the 
offers that were made to Mm. No one knows precisely why, for he 
never talked much about it, except to boast once in *a while espe- 
cially when his gorge rose at something Johnson had said or done 
that he, not Ban, had saved organized baseball in 1914. It was 
rumored that he could have got $250,000 in salary and bonuses on 
a five-year contract. But he refused to discuss that. And the Feds, 
chagrined at having missed him, likewise were silent. 

The raiders were more successful in another drive on the tourists, 
and carried off Lee Magee, Mike Doolan and Steve Evans. Magee 
was young, and McGraw didn't care very much whether he jumped 
or not. But he was secretly pleased that Doolan and Evans, who 
were growing old as ball players, got generous bonuses for signing 
and better salaries than they had commanded in Philadelphia and 
St. Louis. However, as a service to Ms own side, he publicly de- 
nounced them, along with the rest of the Feds, Meanwhile, he se- 
cured Ms own team against the enemy's advances by having the 
salaries of all the players raised. 

73 



Having dismissed the Federal League emissaries, lie turned angrily 
on Harry Hempstead and John Foster. 

"Who's managing this ball club?" he demanded. 

They looked at each other. Hempstead spoke. 

"Why, you are, John." 

"It doesn't look it, when trades are being made behind my back. 
Herzog and Hartley to Cincinnati for Bescher, eh? What was the 
idea?" 

"Why, before you went away, you told me you'd like to get 
Bescher," Foster said. "You said you thought he was the best base 
stealer " 

"What if I did? I should have been consulted on any deal you 
made for him." 

He pulled a clipping from a newspaper out of his pocket and 
brandished it in Hempstead's face. 

"It says here that Herzog had your consent to talk to the Cin- 
cinnati club, before the deal was made, about the possibility of 
his being made manager of the Reds," he said, his voice and his 
temper rising. "So he had your consent, did he? Well, he didn't 
have my consent, and you didn't, either." 

"But you didn't use Mm regularly last year," Foster said. "And 
here was a chance to put him in a spot where he could advance 
himself and, at the same time, for us to get a player you said you 
wanted in exchange for him and a second-string catcher." 

"He could have advanced himself right here ! " McGraw snapped. 
"How do you know what I was going to do with him this year ? A 

fine thing! A fine thing 1 So you're managing the 

ball club now, are you?" 

He glared at Foster, The secretary angry, too, by now turned 
to Hempstead. 

"Well," Hempstead began, "we thought" 

"You thought! You! The two of you! I don't care what you 
thought ! The next time a deal is made on this ball club, I'm going 
to make it!" 

He strode from the room. Things hadn't been like that when Brush 
was alive. He was the one who conceived the deals, and sometimes 
lie didn't tell Brush about them until after they had been made. 
That was the way Brush had wanted it, being a smart, practical 

74 



baseball man and leaving the management of the team to Mm. Well, 
by God ! that was the way it was going to be from now on, too. 

It was true, as Foster had said, that he had talked of making a 
trade for Bescher, who was one of the great base stealers of aE 
time. It was also true that Bob's acquisition by the Giants had been 
hailed by the New York baseball writers as a master stroke, and 
that he was prepared to take bows on it in public. But he felt he 
could have struck a shrewder bargain ; and, above all, he resented 
the fact that Foster and Hempstead had taken it upon themselves 
to act in his absence. 

He never forgot that, and never forgave Foster for it. He didn't 
blame Hempstead so much, believing that Harry, lacking in baseball 
experience, was dominated by Foster. But he overlooked no oppor- 
tunity especially when Herzog, who had become playing manager 
of the Reds, beat the Giants out of a ball game to remind Foster 
who had sent Herzog to Cincinnati; and always his tone held a 
warning that such a thing never must happen again. 

And now it was time high time, indeed that he was at Marlin, 
getting his team ready for another season. Having won three pen- 
nants in a row, he was taking dead aim on a fourth. He could see 
no very good reason why he shouldn't bring it down. His team had 
been toughened in the fire of those three winning campaigns. The 
players, liking the feel of World Series money in their jeans, wanted 
more of the same. 

The training trip was uneventful. The season began with a great 
rush on the part of the Pirates. It took them to the top of the 
league. But by the middle of May the Giants were in second place, 
only two games behind them. By the first of June McGraw had 
everything under control. The Giants were in first place, and breez- 
ing. The Pirates already had demonstrated that they had been 
playing over their heads through the first five or six weeks. There 
no longer was any reason for McGraw to be worried about them. 
Now the Reds were challenging. But he knew they wouldn't stand 
up, either. The Cubs and the Cardinals were moving up. The race 
still was close. But they wielded no great threat. 

Past performances indicated that the team in first place on the 
Fourth of July usually won the pennant. By the Fourth the Giants 
had increased their lead, the others stringing out behind them, right 
down to the Braves, in last place. The Giants began to feel their 

75 



victory would be a kick-in. McGraw began to feel the same way. 
And then, almost imperceptibly at first, the Braves began to move. 
They were seventh on July 15, fourth on August i ? and, swiftly gain- 
ing momentum, were in second place and breathing hard on the back 
of the Giants' necks on August 15. 

Now, suddenly, the Giants began to stumble. Matty, who had 
started as though he was going to have his greatest year, went into 
a terrific decline and couldn't win. Marquard and Al Demaree were 
in-and-outers overnight. Bescher's base running fell off. Meyers, 
Merkle and Doyle couldn't hit. 

The Braves were burning up the league. Crowds all over the circuit 
turned out to see them. Fans all over the country rooted for them. 
George Stallings, their manager nervous, superstitious, hair-trigger 
tempered was driving them savagely. Johnny Evers and Babbit 
Maranville formed the best second-base combination in the league. 
Hank Gowdy was the best catcher, and was pounding the ball in 
the pinches. No one could check the pitching of Dick Rudolph, Bill 
James and Lefty Tyler. 

McGraw turned on his players, on the umpires, on nearly every- 
one who crossed his path. He abused his players for their overconfi- 
dence, although he had shared in it. He ranted and raved at the 
umpires every time they called a close play against him, and was 
thrown out of ball games. Heckling fans drew from, him language 
that curled their ears. 

The fate of the Braves and of the Giants was decided in the 
morning game on Labor Day in Boston. Face to face now with the 
team that so violently threatened them, the Giants had a chance to 
bowl their foes back. For eight innings it looked as though victory 
for them was certain. But in the ninth they cracked, and the Braves 
won. After that, the Giants were not the same. They fought dog- 
gedly, but something had gone out of them. The lead changed hands 
a couple of times during the next few days. But on September 8 the 
Braves got a firm grasp on it, and couldn't be shaken loose from it 
again. And so the Giants, snarling, crashed to defeat, blaming every- 
one but themselves for the disaster that had overtaken them. 

A post-season series between the Giants and the Yankees had been 
arranged when the Giants crashed. But, now that it was about to be 
played, no one seemed to have any heart for it. However, there it 
76 



was, and there didn't seem to be anytMng to do but go through 
with it. 

It wasn't much of a series. McGraw left after the first game, to 
go to Philadelphia to watch the Braves and the Athletics. The Giants 
were gloomy and depressed. As they walked to and from their posi- 
tions they kept their eyes on the ground so much that one young 
man back of their dugout was prompted to pipe: 

"What are you bums looking for? The pennant?" 

But, listless as they were, the Giants won, four games to one. It 
was not a glittering triumph. The Yankees bad finished in a tie for 
sixth place Frank Chance had left them after a row with Devery 
and Roger Peckinpaugh had been saddled with them for the balance 
of the season and they didn't seem to care, one way or another, 
what happened to them. 

Having fought the American League in New York strenuously 
for a decade, McGraw, in the winter of 1914-1915, rendered it an 
invaluable service. Out of that service came, directly, the greatness 
of the Yankees. Ironically enough, he was to know a time when he 
was the chief sufferer as a result of the Yankees' rise. 

By 1914 FarreU and Devery had reached a point where they were 
quarreling violently, their friendship having been destroyed by 
the years of tribulations and disappointments they had known in 
baseball. They were eager to be rid of each other and to quit the 
game ; and Farrell's eagerness was enhanced by a temporary short- 
age of money. 

Two of McGraw's closest friends at that time were Colonel Jacob 
Ruppert, multi-millionaire brewer, financier and socialite, and Captain 
Tillinghast L'Hornmedieu Huston, retired army engineer, who had 
made a fortune in public works in Cuba, where McGraw had met 
him in 1911. They were enthusiastic baseball fans, frequently at- 
tended the Giants' games, and, following Brush's death, had sounded 
McGraw out on their chances of buying the club. He told them that 
Mrs. Brush and her daughters had no wish to sell, but that, if they 
really wanted a ball club, they could get the Yankees. They were 
not keen about the Yankees at first. But McGraw persuaded them 
that it offered a great opportunity for them. They told him to go 
ahead and see Farrell 3 whom he had known for many years and 
with whom he was friendly again after a few unpleasant years that 
had followed the invasion of New York by the American League. 

77 



Johnson, still hating McGraw, nevertheless was delighted to hear 
from Farrell that the Giant manager had interested himself in the 
affairs of the Yankees to the extent that he had unearthed two solid 
citizens desirous of buying the club. Johnson had feared that, in 
his financial extremity, Farrell might sell his stock to anyone, 
regardless of the purchaser's fitness as Ban might gauge it for a 
place in baseball. It was with his blessing that the sale was con- 
summated, and Ruppert and Huston became the owners of the 
Yankees. 

McGraw contributed in one more way to the excellent beginning 
of the club under its new masters. It was at his suggestion that 
Ruppert and Huston engaged Harry Sparrow as business manager. 
Sparrow's only actual experience as a baseball official had been 
gained on the trip around the world. But he had managed that so 
expertly that McGraw knew he would be of great help to the 
Yankees. His judgment of Sparrow was sound. Harry not only was a 
capable man in the office or on the road with the team, but his great 
personal popularity with those he encountered in the performance 
of his duties with special emphasis on the newspapermen who 
covered the Yankees was a tremendous asset to his new employers. 

McGraw was much less successful in handling the Giants in 1915 
than he had been in creating a new set-up for the Yankees. That 
was, indeed, the worst year the Giants ever knew under his manage- 
ment. Curiously, he had learned nothing from the collapse of his 
team under the assaults by the Braves in 1914 and began in 1915 
with virtually the same group of players that had folded in the 
previous September. 

He did obtain Hans Lobert, one of the best third basemen in the 
league, from the Phillies; but Lobert was hurt early in the year. 
Burns and Doyle also lost some time because of injuries. There was 
no sparkle, no life, and no punch in the Giants. They never got out 
of the second division. When it became necessary for McGraw to 
switch Merkle to the outfield and post Fred Brainard, a youngster, 
on first base in an attempt to bolster the attack, McGraw made a 
daring move to strengthen his team and, at the same time, deal a 
blow to the Federal League, by practically kidnaping Benny 
Kauff, outfielder on the outlaws' Brooklyn club and hailed by its 
press agents as the "Ty Cobb of the Federal League." 

78 



McGraw produced Kauff unexpectedly at the Polo Grounds one 
day when the Giants were to play the Phillies, announcing he had 
signed the player to a contract. William F. Baker, president of the 
Phillies, who was in the park, refused to put his team on the field 
if the Giants used Kauff. A terrific row followed, holding up the 
game for nearly an hour until a decision in the matter could be 
obtained from John K. Tener, the president of the National League. 
Tener ruled Kauff ineligible a stand in which he had the support 
of all the club owners, since they had been screaming to high heaven 
that the Feds had been stealing their ball players. So that night 
Benny went back to Brooklyn. 

That was the last flash out of McGraw for the year. Early in Sep- 
tember the Giants dropped into last place ; and that's where they 
were as the season ended. 



XII A MOST REMARKABLE YEAR 

FEDERAL LEAGUE WAR was settled in the winter of 1915-1916 
_ much to the relief of both sides, since the outlaws had grown 
weary of the struggle and organized baseball, although confident of 
ultimate victory, was groaning under the costs of the struggle. 
Under the terms of the peace pact, all Federal League players were 
declared eligible to play in organized baseball and were pooled for 
sale to the highest bidders. 

McGraw entered the first bid for Kauff, and got him for $30,000. 
He also bid in Bill Rariden, a catcher, and Fred Anderson, a pitcher, 
who had played with Newark. Those, he said, were the only players 
he wanted. His friend, Germany Schaefer, nudged him, 

"Get Eddie Roush," he said. 

"What for?" McGraw demanded. 

"He was the best outfielder in the league." 

"How about Kauff?" 

"He's a better ball player than Kauff," Germany insisted. "He's 
not as colorful as Kauff, but he can play rings around him." 

McGraw shook his head. 

"Ill string with Kauff," he said. "I'll play him in center field, with 

79 



Burns in left and Robertson in right. What would I do with Roush 
if I had him?" 

Schaefer shrugged. 

"I don't know," he said. "All I know is that he's a better ball 
player than Kauff." 

"But he won't draw the dough at the gate that Kauff will." 

"No." 

"All right, then. Let somebody else take him." 

But nobody else wanted him. He was one of a small group left 
over after the sale. Another was Bill McKechnie, now the manager 
of the Cincinnati Reds 7 a third baseman who had been playing 
manager of the Newark club. 

Schaefer was persistent. 

"See what you can get Roush for," he urged. "I tell you he's the 
best buy in the lot and nobody knows it not even Sinclair." 

Harry Sinclair, multi-millionaire oil man and owner of a great 
racing stable, had been one of the latter-day angels of the league. 
He knew nothing of baseball, cared less and had thrown his money 
into the league solely because he had been deluded into thinking 
it would be a profitable investment. Now he was interested in the 
sale of the players, since it represented an opportunity for him to 
get back some of his money. Roush was among the players whose 
sale had been earmarked for his reimbursement. 

McGraw, who knew him well, finally agreed to do as Schaefer 
urged. 

"How much will you take for Roush?" he asked Sinclair. 

"Ten thousand dollars." 

"I'll give you $7,500." 

"He's yours," Sinclair said. 

And so, at a bargain-counter price, the Giants obtained the best 
ball player in the Federal League although they never were to 
realize fully on the bargain. 

When the squad left for Marlin late in February, Kauff was 
missing. 

"I'm a holdout/' he told reporters in New York. 

"What did McGraw try to do give you less money than you got 
in the Federal League?" 

"No. He offered me a swell contract. He's treated me fine." 

"Then what's the squawk?" 

80 



"I want 10,000 from Sinclair. He never done anything for me 
and he got $30,000 for me. If I don't get a part of that dough, I 
won't sign with the Giants and Sinclair will have to give hack the 
$30,000 because he can't deliver me." 

Sinclair said he wasn't interested. As far as he was concerned, the 
incident was closed. He had sold Kaufi to the Giants under the terms 
of the peace treaty, and had no intention of giving Kauff $10,000 or 
any part of it. Whether or not Kauff played with the Giants was 
immaterial to him. He could see no way in which he could be com- 
pelled to return the money. 

In Marlin, McGraw also professed to be disinterested. That is, he 
did for a while. But he was very deeply interested, because he 
counted on Kauff's drawing power not only at the Polo Grounds 
but all over the National League circuit. He intended to build up 
the "Ty Cobb of the Federal League" into one of the top stars of 
the National. He also had a genuine regard for Benny's skill as a 
ball player, and thought that with him posted between Burns and 
Robertson he would have the league's best outfield. 

"We don't need Kauff," he told the baseball writers at the camp, 
employing his customary technique on holdouts the idea being that 
if he was quoted on that theme often enough Benny's ego would be 
affected to a degree where he would surrender. 

When that failed, he took a new line. 

"Kauff is treating us very unfairly/' he said. "He admits that the 
terms we have offered him are completely satisfactory. Not," he was 
quick to add, "that we can't get along without him. But at least I 
promised him a chance to make a regular spot for himself, and I 
have been holding center field open for him. However, I warn Mm 
that I won't hold it open much longer. He may have forgotten it, 
but we have Roush." 

Now Roush suddenly assumed a place of importance in McGraw's 
conversation that he had not held before and was used as a club 
to beat Kauff into line. But that didn't work, either. And when 
McGraw saw it didn't, he gave up. He called Sinclair on the tele- 
phone. 

"Let's get this thing settled," he said. "I want Kauff here, and 
If I don't get him I'm going to get that money back from you or 
make a hell of a good try for it and, win or lose, you'll have a suit 
on your hands that will cost you money. I'll tell you what 111 do. 

81 



I'll give Kauff $5,000 and you give him $5,000. It will be worth it tf> 
both of us in the long run." 

"All right," Sinclair said. "Ill do it." 

John Foster, having remained in New York in an ineffectual at- 
tempt to convince Benny of the hopelessness of his cause, was noti- 
fied of the decision. He collected $5,000 from Sinclair, gave Benny 
the New York club's check for $10,000 and left with him for Marlin 
immediately. 

Benny's arrival in the camp excited even the ball players. He wore 
a loudly striped silk shirt, an expensive suit, patent leather shoes, a 
fur-collared overcoat and a derby hat. He had a huge diamond stick- 
pin, an equally huge diamond ring and a watch encrusted with dia- 
monds. His luggage consisted of three bags and four trunks and he 
had $7,500 in cash in his pockets. 

"Do you always carry that kind of money?" a reporter asked him. 

"No," he said. "Not always. But I got the $10,000 just before I 
left town. I had some debts to square and this is what's left." 

"Why didn't you put it in a bank and draw checks against it as 
you need it?" 

"I didn't have time. John Foster was in a hurry to get started. 
Besides, why bother with banks? I'd rather have the dough where 
I can put my hands on it." 

He was contemptuous of National League pitching. 

"I can hit .300 blindfolded in this league," he said. 

McGraw laughed. 

"Sure you can, Benny," he said. "Alexander and the rest of those 
fellows will be pushovers for you." 

"Damned right," Benny said. "And don't you worry because I 
have missed a couple of weeks of training, Mac. I don't need any 
training to hit those bums." 

McGraw was delighted with him. He didn't believe all the things 
Kauff said, of course. But he liked a player with that sort of spirit. 

In the excitement, Roush was completely forgotten. 

The stay at Marlin was uneventful. There were trips to Waco, to 
Waxahachie where Hughie Jennings trained the Tigers to Hous- 
ton and Galveston, to Dallas and Fort Worth. At Galveston, Mc- 
Graw's temper flared and he very nearly provoked a free-for-all. 

The playing manager of the Galveston club was Paul Sentelle, 
whom McGraw remembered unpleasantly. Some years before, Paul 

82 



had been an Infielder with the Phillies. He and McGraw had had 
a bitter row one day, probably brought on by McGraw as was his 
custom riding the young man from the sticks* Sentelle had threat- 
ened to slug him had, indeed, been prevented from doing so only 
by the prompt intervention of other players. McGraw never had 
forgiven him. This day at Galveston there was no attempt on either 
side to bring about a rapprochement. 

All went well, however, until the fourth inning, when Davy 
Robertson hit a ball over the right-field wall, close to the foul line. 
There was but one umpire, a young fellow who according to press- 
box gossip had been plucked from a near-by tavern when the 
regular umpire failed to show up (this being in the time before 
umpires were assigned by either the major or minor leagues to 
officiate in spring games) . Lacking mask and body protector, he was 
calling balls and strikes from a point back of the pitcher. He signed 
that Robertson's hit was a fair ball. 

Sentelle rushed at him, 

"A fair ball?" he screamed. "A fair ball?" 

"Yes," the young fellow said. 

Sentelle whirled him about, yelling in his face. The boy was 
shaken, but dead game. 

"Yes," he kept saying. "Yes Yes ... A fair ball." 

"Get off the field!" Sentelle roared. "Get out I Do you hear me? 
You're through!" 

Hired by Sentelle and fired by him and with authority to sus- 
tain him the boy started from the field. That was where McGraw 
rushed into action. 

"You can't get away with that!" he said to Sentelle. 

"I can't, hey? Well, I will I He's through and I'm going to put 
another umpire in here and you'll take it and like it." 

"You try it!" McGraw yelled, his face thrust into Sentelle's. "If 
that boy leaves this field, I'll take my team off ! " 

He meant it, and Sentelle knew he did. Sentelle raged and bel- 
lowed for a few minutes. But now he was only putting on a show. 
It ended with his ordering the umpire back to his post. McGraw, 
striding toward the Giants' dugout, couldn't resist one final shot. 
Almost as he reached the bench, he turned and yelled at Sentelle : 

"111 show you you can't run baseball to suit yourself, you ! " 

Sentelle, moving back to Ms position at short stop, didn't hear 

83 



Mm. But the fans in the front rows did, and they came up out of 
their seats howling. 

"Did you hear what he called you, Paul ?" one of them yelled. "He 
called you a 1" 

Sentelle spun around and charged at McGraw. McGraw, with the 
mob howling behind him, stood his ground. The Giants quickly 
formed a protective screen in front of him as Galveston players 
and policemen surrounded the fuming Sentelle. Order soon was re- 
stored on the field, but not in % the stand. 

"We'll get you!" the fans yelled. "We'll get you after the game!" 

"We ought to lynch you, you ! " one of them shouted. 

McGraw thumbed his nose at them, then ducked into the dugout. 
When the game was over he walked calmly through them on the 
way to the car that was to take him to the hotel. They rumbled 
and muttered about him, but no one made a move to attack him. 

On the way north, at Chattanooga, he had another brush with a 
crowd, and again came off triumphantly. It was a cold day, and a 
drizzling rain was falling. The Giants were being beaten by the 
Chattanooga club. McGraw was in a vile frame of mind. To make 
matters worse, the crowd was ridiculing him and his ball players. 
He made up his mind to stop that by directing his fire at the most 
conspicious member of it. This was a police captain in uniform, 
seated in a box just back of the Giants' dugout. 

Coming back from the coaching lines at the end of an inning, 
McGraw leaned his elbows on the roof of the dugout and said to the 
officer : 

"You're a fine spectacle." 

The officer's face flushed. 

"Who? Me?" he demanded. 

"Yes," McGraw said. "You. A fine spectacle." 

His rage was mounting. 

"You're a credit to the community, you are. A police captain in 
uniform sitting up there abusing ball players." 

All about the captain the crowd stood up and pushed forward, 
the better to hear what McGraw said. He didn't disappoint them. 
He said everything he could think of, and all of it was profane. 
And now, suddenly, the crowd was on his side, because it isn't often 
a cop and a captain of cops, at that is bawled out in public. The 
crowd loved it. The scene, which by now had become hilarious as 



McGraw hit the high spots, ended with the captain, his face as red 
as a four-alarm fire, beating a retreat. After that no one made fun 
of the Giants, and McGraw felt better felt, indeed, about as well 
as he could with the Giants losing. 

Now the Giants were in New York and the season was about to 
open. With the exception of Kauff, Roush, Anderson and Rariden, 
they were about the same team that had finished last in 1915. Merkle 
still was on first base, Doyle on second, Fletcher at short stop and 
Lobert on third base. Burns, Kauff and Robertson patrolled the out- 
field. Rariden was the first-string catcher, with a young fellow named 
Bradley Kocher, up from Louisville, to help out. Charlie (Red) 
Dooin, who had come to the Giants after some years as manager 
of the Phillies, spent most of his time in the bull pen. Matty, Jeff 
Tesreau, Rube Ben ton, Poll Perritt and Ralph Stroud would do most 
of the pitching, with Bill Ritter, Anderson and the Hall Room Boys, 
Ferdie Schupp and Rube Schauer, to fill in. 

Kauff had added to the team's punch, being a line-drive power 
hitter. The return of Lobert, in good shape after the winter's rest, 
had perked up the infield. Rariden, although no ball of fire ? was a 
steady man back of the plate and the best catcher the Giants had 
had since Meyers was new to the big leagues. The failure of the 
year before seemed to weigh on no one's mind, least of all on 
McGraw's. He believed that this year he would have his team up 
there again, perhaps at the top. His judgment in, the spring of 1915 
that the Braves were a one-year sensation, and wouldn't repeat, had 
been borne out. He had no fear of them. Nor was he convinced the 
Phillies were other than an ordinary team, blessed in 1915 with 
extraordinary luck. The Dodgers or Robins, as the newspapers were 
beginning to call them now, in Robbie's second year as manager 
did not impress him. And so he looked ahead hopefully. 

There was, of course, no way in which he could know it, but he 
was moving toward one of the most remarkable seasons he ever had 
Ixad & season in which his hopes of winning the pennant were to 
be shattered, but in which his team would set two records as yet 
unbroken. And he was to give a demonstration of skill in managing 
a ball club that he seldom equaled and never surpassed. For in the 
face of disaster he was to make over his team as it alternately rolled 
and stumbled along. 

85 



The first break came the day before the season opened. As was 
their custom at the time, the Giants went to New Haven to play an 
exhibition game with Yale on Yale Field. In the third inning Lobert 
hit a long drive to right center and, to beat the relay as he tried for 
a triple, slid into third base. He reached the bag in safety but the 
cartilage in his left knee popped again, as it had early in 1915, and 
he was carried from the field. It was obvious that he wouldn't play 
for a long time actually, he never played again. And there the 
Giants were, without their regular third baseman on the eve of the 
season's opening. 

Fred Brainard finished the game. But McGraw had no confidence 
in him as a regular, and sent out a hurry call for a replacement as 
the Giants went to Philadelphia to open the season. There was but 
one available. Bill McKechnie, still unclaimed by a major-league 
team in the wake of the Federal League's dissolution, had trained 
with the Browns, owned by Sinclair's friend, Phil Ball, and was in 
St. Louis. McGraw closed a deal for him with Sinclair on the tele- 
phone and ordered him to report at Philadelphia. Bill arrived on the 
second day of the season and took over at third base. 

The team that McGraw had hoped to send off to a brisk start 
stalled and stumbled through the first three weeks of the season as 
it played the Phillies, the Robins, and the Braves. It won two 
games and lost thirteen. The night it won its second game, a newsboy 
outside a Broadway restaurant peddled his sporting finals in silence. 

"Why don't you yell: 'Giants Win!'?" Jimmy Sinnott of the 
Evening Mail asked him. "It might help you to sell your papers." 

The kid shrugged. 

"Who'd believe me?" he asked. 

H. C. Witwer later to become famous as a writer of light fiction, 
but then a copy reader on the Evening Sun cracked one day : 

"Boy, get me a copy of last night's 'Giants Lose' edition." 

McGraw was in an angry, puzzled mood as the team left New 
York on the night of May 8 for its first western trip, opening in 
Pittsburgh the following day. His hitters weren't hitting, the infield 
was uncertain, and the pitchers were showing little. Matty had 
shown nothing. 

He picked up when the Giants won their first game with the 
Pirates. His spirits mounted when they swept the series of four 
games. They moved on to Chicago and won three games there, a 

86 



fourth being postponed on account of rain. Rain stopped them far 
a day in St. Louis, but that was the only thing that did stop them. 
They won three games from the Cardinals, and, to make McGraw 
particularly happy, Matty stalked in from the bull pen to save one 
of them, giving as fine an exhibition of pinch pitching as he ever 
had given in his life. They moved on to Cincinnati, won three games, 
and were rained out of another. 

They had won thirteen games in a row and were smashing up 
toward the top of the league. They were rolling and so was 
McGraw. This was well, not precisely what he had hoped for. No 
one, however optimistic, could have hoped for thirteen victories in 
a row. But he had believed he had a winning team and now he 
was sure of it. 

The schedule called for an unusual jump from Cincinnati to 
Boston. The team made the long haul, with an open date allowed 
for traveling, crashed into Boston, and flattened the Braves four 
times. In New York, Giant fans were jubilant. In Boston, the Giants 
were swaggering. 

"Tm even getting swell-headed myself, just writing about these 
fellows," Bill McBeth of the Tribune said. "If this team keeps on 
winning, I'm going to be awful hard to live with. 3 ' 

Philadelphia was the next stop. There the series opened on 
Memorial Day, with one game in the morning and another in the 
afternoon. It was in the morning game that the crash came and 
in a particularly heart-breaking manner. It was a ding-dong game, first 
one team leading, then the other. In the eighth inning, with the 
Giants trailing by one run, two on and two out, Merkle hammered 
a line drive to deepest left field. It was, apparently, a home run. 
McGraw, on the third-base coaching line, already had hurled his 
cap in the air as the ball whistled toward the bleachers. But Claude 
Cooper, the Phillies' left fielder, stretched across the low wall of 
the bleachers and caught the ball in his gloved hand. That was the 
ball game, for the Giants couldn't score in the ninth. The winning 
streak was ended. 

The Giants, feeling very badly about it because they had hoped 
to return unbeaten to New York, worked off some of their disap- 
pointment that afternoon by knocking the great Alexander out of 
the box and winning by a big score. That night they took time out 
to look back on their trip with considerable satisfaction. 

87 



"Seventeen in a row on the road!" Arthur Fletcher said. "Well, 
that isn't bad. It will be a long time before anybody does that again." 

He was right. Up to now, no one has done it. 

Two days later the Giants were back in New York. There they 
suffered an almost immediate reaction. They lost games they should 
have won, stumbled when they should have rumbled smoothly on 
their way. Their showing on that home stand made the fans wonder 
how they had won on the road. 

McGraw wondered, too but not for long. He suddenly realized he 
had overestimated the strength of his team. He knew that, as it 
was composed, it couldn't go on knew the winning streak that had 
begun in Pittsburgh and ended in Boston was the last flash it would 
give off unless some changes were made. As the team staggered out 
of the Polo Grounds and into the West for the second time, he was 
at work on the first of a series of deals designed to correct the weak- 
nesses that, almost overnight, had become so obvious. 

The first stop was Pittsburgh ; the second, Cincinnati. The morn- 
ing the Giants reached Cincinnati, McGraw called Sid Mercer aside. 

"I want you to see your friend Herzog before the game today," 
he said. 

Sid, aware that McGraw, while admiring Herzog as a player, dis- 
liked him personally, raised his eyebrows. 

"It's all right," McGraw said. "Tell him I've already got Garry 
Herrmann's permission to talk to him. You know what that means. 
So will he. Tell him I just want to find out how he feels about it 
before I do anything." 

He started away, then turned back. 

"Could we meet in your room?" he asked, "Just Herzog and I, 
I mean ? I don't want to be seen talking to him and that will be as 
good a place as any to see him." 

"Sure," Mercer said. "Just give me time to write my stuff after 
dinner and I'll leave the key in the box for you. Say at nine o'clock." 

"Fine," McGraw said. 

That night, in Mercer's room at the Hotel Havlin, McGraw and 
Herzog met. 

"There is no use kidding ourselves," McGraw said. "I don't like 
you and you don't like me. But I want you for my ball club because 
I think you can help me. I have proposed a deal to Herrmann that 
is satisfactory to him. I'll give him Matty, McKechnie and Roush 

88 




A*w ForA Giants 



FERDIE SCHUPP 




JVew Korft Giants 



BENNY KAUFF 



for you, with tlie understanding that Matty will succeed you as 
manager. All I want from you is your assurance that you are satis- 
fied to come back to the Giants." 

Herzog nodded. 

"Ill be glad to," he said. "There isn't any need for us to be friends. 
But you like me as a ball player and as far as I'm concerned, 
you're the greatest manager in baseball. I don't think I need to tell 
you that I'll give the best I've got to your ball club." 

"No," McGraw said. "I know you will." 

The meeting had lasted but a few minutes. The deal was an- 
nounced the following day. 

"It wasn't easy for me to part with Matty," McGraw told the 
newspapermen. "He not only was the greatest pitcher I ever saw 
but he is my friend. However, I'm convinced that his pitching days 
are over and he agrees with me. He could stay with the Giants 
as long as he wanted to ? of course. But he is ambitious to become a 
manager and I have helped him to gratify that ambition." 

If ever a perfect deal in the sense that it helped both clubs 
was made, this was it. Herzog, posted at third base, immediately 
fired the Giants with a new zeal. Matty was a successful manager, 
McKechnie played the best ball of Ms career that summer, and 
Roush who had had few opportunities, and those mainly as a pinch 
hitter, to demonstrate his worth as a Giant became one of the 
greatest players ever to wear a Cincinnati uniform. 

The Giants moved on to St. Louis but not before McGraw had 
made another trade, this one by telephone. He sent Doyle and a 
young infielder named Herbert Hunter to the Cubs for Heinie 
Zimmerman. 

Zimmerman handsome, broad-shouldered, graceful was a native 
New Yorker, and had learned to play ball on the sandlots of the 
Bronx. Charlie Dryden, dean of the Chicago baseball writing corps, 
had dubbed him "The Great Zim," and Heinie took pride in the 
appellation. The night he joined the Giants in St. Louis he swaggered 
up to the desk. 

"Any maH for The Great Zim?" he asked 

McGraw switched Herzog to second base and put Zimmerman on 
third. Fletcher, whose work had suffered because of Doyle's slowing 
down at second, was himself again. He and Herzog made a great 
pair around the bag. The Giants began to make double plays again* 

89 



There was no better third baseman in the league than Zimmerman. 
Still, there remained a weakness in the infield : Merkle had begun 
to bog down. 

McGraw had one more trade to make, and made it as soon as the 
Giants returned to the East. He traded Merkle to Brooklyn for Lew 
McCarty, young hard-hitting catcher, then pulled Walter Holke, a 
first baseman, in from Rochester, where he had been sent for school- 
ing. To bolster his pitching staff he bought the veteran left-hander, 
Slim Sallee, from St. Louis, and to make room for him on the squad 
released Schauer to the minors. 

The Giants swept toward the top of the league. It looked as though 
they might win the pennant. 

"If they do," somebody said, "anybody who bet against them has 
a right to complain that this isn't the team he passed judgment on 
in the spring." 

Nor was it. Only Fletcher survived of the infield that had come 
north from Marlin, while Sallee was a big help in the box and 
McCarty, though not the smooth workman back of the plate that 
Rariden was, added to the team's punch when he was in the starting 
line-up or was used as a pinch hitter. 

The pennant was not to be won by the Giants that year, how- 
ever. They had lost too much ground by their frequent slumps 
through June, July and August. As they swung into September they 
were in fourth place, ten games back of the third-place Phillies, as 
the Robins and the Braves fought for the lead. And then, on Sep- 
tember 7, in a game with the Robins at the Polo Grounds, they 
launched the greatest winning stream a team ever has known. 

As the excitement increased day by day, and the crowds swarmed 
to the park, they won twenty-six games in a row. Schupp, whose 
pitching never had been of any account up to that time and had 
remained with the team only because of McGraw's limitless patience 
with him, became a winning pitcher overnight, turning in that first 
victory over the Robins and then reeling off five more as the Giants 
rolled along. Perritt pitched the first game of a double header with 
the Phillies on September 9 and won it by a score of 3 to i. Then 
he answered the taunts of the Philadelphia players by asking 
McGraw to let him pitch the second game. When McGraw consented 
he shut out the Phils with four hits. Tesreau, Sallee, and Benton 
moved in behind Schupp and Perritt. Columbia George Smith, a 
90 



rookie lost In the shuffle on the bench all season, emerged to beat 
the Reds. Bill Ritter, another youngster who hadn't been able to 
beat anybody, beat the Cardinals. There was a brief pause after 
the Giants had won twelve games. In the second game of a double 
header with the Pirates on September 18 rain halted a pitching duel 
between Perritt and Burleigh Grimes at the end of the eighth inning 
with the score tied at i-i. But the next day the streak was resumed* 

The pitching, superb as it was, was matched by the timely hitting 
and dazzling fielding on the part of the other players. Hdke, Herzog, 
Fletcher and Zimmerman were hailed as the greatest infield In base- 
ball; the Giants, although the pennant was beyond them, as the 
greatest team even hailed by some of their more enthusiastic ad- 
mirers as one of the greatest teams of all time. 

"They remind me," Tad Dorgan wrote in the Evening Journal, 
"of a fighter who has just been knocked out going down the aisle 
licking everybody in the house." 

The end came in the final game of the year on the Polo Grounds. 
The Giants were beaten by the Braves. McGraw disappointed by 
his failure to win the pennant, but consoled by an achievement that 
in some ways was greater than that of finishing on top was to 
know one last crowning bitterness. In Brooklyn on October 2 he 
left the bench before the game was over, intimating that the Giants 
had not tried to beat the Robins, who were then but two points 
ahead of the resurgent Phillies. 

"I couldn't sit there and see what was going on without making 
a protest," he said. "I can't stand for stuff like that." 

Excited reporters, pressing about him near the visiting players' 
club house under the stands, wanted to know what he had seen and 
demanded the names of the players who weren't trying. 

He shook them off. 

"That's all I have to say. I saw some things out there I didn't like 
and that I couldn't stand for," he said. 

His action drew the hot resentment of his players, who denied 
that there had been anything wrong. They insisted that if they 
hadn't looked very good it was only to be expected that, with their 
winning streak over, they had gone into a tailspin, as they had fol- 
lowing the snapping of their earlier streak in Philadelphia. 

"McGraw Charges Players With Throwing Game to Robins!" the 
headlines screamed. 

91 



Pat Moran charged over from Philadelphia to demand an investi- 
gation. Baseball writers thundered at McGraw in their columns- 
berating him for casting aspersions on the honesty of baseball, sup. 
porting the players in their angry defense. McGraw, having made 
his charge, refused to amplify it. 

Nothing ever came of it. The season ended three days later with 
the Robins as champions. The Giants disbanded for the year- 
growling, cursing, bewildered. McGraw went to Cuba, presumably 
to forget as best he could the dark climax of a feverish season. 



XIII A KID NAMED YOUNGS 

ow IT WAS SPRING AGAIN the spring of 1917 and they were 
all at Marlin. If any bitterness lingered from the episode in 
Brooklyn there was no sign of it. McGraw, with a winter in Havana 
behind him, was relaxed, cheerful and confident. The players shared 
his good spirits and his confidence. They felt, as he did, that this 
was to be their year. This time they were right. 

It was to be one of the most exciting years of McGraw's life. It 
would follow an uneven course, as all his years seemed destined 
to do. It would end in defeat and chagrin . . . but there would be 
high spots along the way, and days of glory he never would forget. 

He was forty-four years old. And although he had not yet reached 
his peak as a manager, he was the dominant figure in baseball. In 
the American League his old rival, Connie Mack, was in temporary 
eclipse. In the National, George Stallings, hailed as a miracle man 
in 1914, still was rightfully regarded as a competent manager, but 
he no longer was the lustrous figure he had been. McGraw, the 
Little Napoleon, was the manager all the ball players were eager to 
serve. He was the master strategist the daring gambler on the field, 
who stirred the imagination of players and fans alike by the boldness 
of his thrusts. When his team was trailing he always played to win, 
never to tie. The hit-and-run was his forte, not the sacrifice. 

He could be harsh with his players, upbraid them ruthlessly and 
fine them. But he gave them the same fierce loyalty he demanded 
from them ; and they knew it. He could curdle their blood and make 
their hair stand on end after a losing game. But he would reward 

92 



them when they won, frequently with checks drawn against his per- 
sonal account. 

They liked him because he had been the first to raise their stand- 
ard of pay, and their living accommodations when the team was on 
the road. When he bought or got in trade a player from another 
club, the first thing he did was to tear up the player's contract and 
give him a new one, calling for an increase of ?ipoo. 

"It will cost him that much more to live in New York/' he 
explained. * 

Always wanting the best for himself, he saw that they had the 
best, too. The Giants rode the limited trains now, taking three cars 
so every player might have a lower berth. They stopped at the best 
hotels, had the best rooms and the best food. The old gag about the 
waiter calling to the chef: "A steak for a ball player!" meaning an 
inferior steak was a dead letter where the Giants were concerned. 
Their steaks were thick, juicy, and cooked to their order. 

And now he was ready to roll again whipping Ms players into 
shape at Marlin, pitching a few innings or playing first base in the 
practice games, rollicking sometimes at night with the newspaper- 
men after the ball players had gone to bed, sensing clearly that he 
had the best team in the league and that this time there would be 
no fumbling and that he would win the pennant. 

That spring there were few additions to the squad. George Gibson, 
who had been one of the great catchers in the league over a span 
of seven years in Pittsburgh, was released by the Pirates. McGraw 
signed him to help Rariden and McCarty behind the plate, and to 
coach the young pitchers. Jim Middleton, a veteran pitcher who 
had pounded the minor-league trails all Ms life, was purchased from 
Louisville. There was a rookie infielder named Pete Kilduff who 
survived the spring pruning. None of these, however, had a pro- 
nounced effect on the Giants.that year. Gibson performed his duties 
capably, but was in the background most of the time. Middleton 
didn't possess major-league skill. Kilduff, although a player of con- 
siderable promise, was traded to the Cubs in mid-season for Al 
Demaree, McGraw wanting another experienced pitcher at that time 
and being willing to give up Kilduff for him. 

There was, however, a boy in the camp that spring who was to 
become one of the greatest players ever to make a Polo Grounds 
crowd roar. He was a boy for whom McGraw was to have a tre- 

93 



mendous admiration and for whom he was to show a degree of 
affection matched only by that he had shown for Matty. 

The boy's name was Ross Youngs or Young, as he was to he 
better known. A minor-league baseball writer had dropped the "s" 
from his name somewhere along the way, and the boy was content 
to have it that way, although he continued to sign his name 
"Youngs" on his contract or when he was giving his autograph to an 
admirer. 

He was nineteen years old when he joined the Giants. He weighed 
only about 150 pounds, but he was powerfully built. Fast, aggressive, 
dead game, he was very much as McGraw had been at that age. 
Born in Shiner, Texas, he had attended the West Texas Military 
Academy, where he had attracted more attention as a track athlete 
and a halfback than he had as a ball player. In the backfield with 
him on the academy team was Joe Strauss, who later reaped fame 
on the gridiron at the University of Pennsylvania. Strauss once said 
of him: 

"He was so much better than I was that if he had gone to Perm 
with me, you'd never have heard of me." 

Football scouts from the colleges who had sought out Young got 
no encouragement from him. He wasn't interested in exchanging 
his football skill for a college education. His heart was, set on a 
major-league baseball career. At sixteen he had gone direct from 
school to the Austin club of the Texas League. He wasn't ready for 
that kind of company, however, and from there he had drifted, in 
the next three years, through smaller minor leagues, finally catching 
on at Sherman in the Western Association. There, in 1916, he hit 
.362 and was purchased by the Giants. 

He told McGraw that he had played second base and the outfield. 
McGraw tried him first in the infield. It soon became obvious that 
he didn't belong there. He fought the ball, fumbled it, threw wild to 
first base in his haste to get it away. No matter how desperately he 
tried, he lacked the smoothness that an infielder must have. But he 
could hit and run and throw, and he had a keen baseball sense. 

At that time the Giants had a working agreement with the Roches- 
ter club of the International League, which was managed by Mickey 
Doolan. When Doolan dropped into the Giants' camp near the end 
of the stay in Marlin, McGraw said to him : 

"I'm going to give you a kid who is going to be a great ball player 

94 




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some day. Take good care of him, because if anything happens to 
him I'll hold you responsible. One thing more : Play him in the out- 
field." 

So Young went to Rochester, where he hit .356. In the fall he was 
recalled by the Giants, with whom he was to know the greatness that 
McGraw had predicted for him. 

That spring the Giants journeyed northward, up through Texas, 
Oklahoma and Kansas, with the Tigers. It was one of the first spring 
tours ever made by two major-league clubs; and it undoubtedly 
was the most exciting, so that men who were on it still speak of 
it often. 

It began in Dallas on a Saturday afternoon. The Giants always 
were a good drawing card in Dallas. There were perhaps 10,000 fans 
in the stands when the game got under way. Had anyone known 
what was about to happen, the park would not have been large 
enough to have held the crowd. 

Ty Cobb then was at the very top of his amazing career, and 
had hit .371 the year before. With the exception of McGraw, he 
was the most colorful and turbulent figure in baseball. Popular with 
the crowds, he never had known popularity among the ball players. 
He had, of course, their admiration and respect but not their liking. 
The Giants, hard-boiled, sharp-tongued, were waiting for him when 
he appeared on the field late almost as the game was about to start. 

"Who do you think you are, you bum?" Fletcher yelled at him. 
"Why didn't you stay back at the hotel? We could have got along 
without you." 

"Why, Mr. Fletcher!" Herzog said. "Don't you know better than 
that? Don't you know all these people are out here today just to 
see the great Ty Cobb ? And that, like the star of any show, he has 
to come on late to take his bows?" 

Cobb flushed angrily, but said nothing. From the Giants' dugout 
McGraw was needling him. But he gave McGraw no more than a 
baleful glance. The first time he went to bat, Jeff Tesreau, pitching 
for the Giants, sought to drive him back from the plate with a high 
fast ball on the inside. Cobb moved quickly to avoid the pitch, but 
the ball struck him a glancing blow on the right shoulder. He threw 
his bat down and started for first base. 

95 



"If that's the way you want to play," he said to Tesreau, "111 
play with you. Ill take care of you the next time I go up there." 

Tesreau knew what he meant to drag a bunt down the first-base 
line, drawing Tesreau over to field the ball or cover the bag, and 
then step on him. The big fellow laughed. 

"Not in this league/' he said. "I didn't mean to tit you that time, 
but you try any funny business with me and I'll knock your brains 
out. 7 ' 

Now the Giants were on Cobb in earnest. Up and down the line 
of the dugout they were yelling insults at him. From second base 
Herzog dared him to try to steal. 

Riding Cobb, whether the Giants knew it or not, was bad medi- 
cine. He was thoroughly game, and it put him immediately on the 
offensive. On the second pitch he darted for second. But McCarty 
and Tesreau had anticipated him. It was a pitch-out. McCarty's 
throw to Herzog was perfect. The ball beat Cobb to the bag by five 
feet. Then it happened. Cobb, seething with anger, leaped high at 
Herzog, his spikes ripping the inside of the Giant second baseman's 
right leg in two places and the impact of the blow knocking him 
down. 

The pair rolled on the ground, punching and clawing at each 
other, as Fletcher, rushing to Herzog's aid, tried to kick Cobb in 
the head. Ball players, umpires and policemen swirled about them 
and pulled them apart. Helped to their feet, they tried to attack 
each other again. One cop who had a grip on Herzog almost tore his 
right arm off. In the stands the fans, their sympathies divided, 
shrieked wildly at the combatants and at each other. Some of them 
tried to get into the fight, but were herded back by the police. 

Herzog and Cobb were banished from the field. Herzog went 
quietly. Cobb protested violently. 

"If I have to leave this field," he said to Hughie Jennings, "I'll 
leave the series." 

Jennings, believing that Cobb would carry out his threat, and 
having no real authority where his star player was concerned, pleaded 
with the umpire to allow Ty to remain. 

"Get him out of here," the umpire said. "He started it. Get him 
off the field." 

That evening, in the lobby of the Oriental Hotel, where both teams 
were quartered, McGraw encountered Cobb. At the sight of him, 



McGraw's eyes flamed and Ms neck swelled. Thrusting his face 
close to Ty's, he called him every name he could think of and 
there were few, if any, that he omitted. For once, as they were 
ringed quickly by the crowd in the lobby, Ty kept a check on Ms 
temper. 

"That will be enough/ 7 he said, coldly. "If you were a younger 
man, I'd kill you." 

"I'm young enough!" McGraw shouted. "Start killing, you yel- 
low 1 YOU white-livered !" 

Cobb, now shaking with rage, walked away from him. 

"You tramp !" McGraw yelled after him. "You yellow ! 

I wouldn't have you on my ball club if you were the last ball player 
in the world!" 

At the edge of the crowd, one of the Giants smiled. 

"No," he said. "No. I guess not!" 

In the dining room a short time later, Herzog went to Cobb's table. 

"What's the number of your room?" he asked, 

Cobb told him. 

"I'll be up there at ten o'clock," Herzog said. "I'll bring one 
player with me and you can have one of your players there. You can 
have Harry Tattle" the Tigers' trainer "there, too, to act as 
referee." 

At ten o'clock Herzog and Heinle Zimmerman entered Cobb's 
room. Tuttle was there and, in addition to Cobb, eight other Detroit 
players. 

"Take your coat and shirt off," Herzog said to Cobb. 

They stripped to the 'waist and started punching. It wasn't much 
of a fight. Herzog knocked Cobb to Ms knees with the first punch. 
But Cobb got up and beat him unmercifully until Tuttle stepped in. 

"They fought like a couple of washerwomen," Tuttle said later. 

Both, however, were satisfied. Herzog considered that he had 
avenged Mmself for the spiking by knocking Cobb down. Cobb 
figured he had squared accounts by blacking Herzog's eyes, bloody- 
ing Ms nose and pounding Mm into a state of helplessness. 

The following day the park was swamped by a crowd that, excited 
by the brawl of the day before and newspaper stories of the fight 
in the hotel room, hoped to sit in on the second round. It was griev- 
ously disappointed. Herzog was in no shape to play, and Cobb re- 
fused, as he had threatened. 

97 



On Monday, at Wichita Falls, Cobb not only was deaf to the pleas 
of Jennings and the townsfolk that he resume play, but left that 
night to join the Cincinnati club, having made arrangements with 
Matty to finish his training with the Reds. And so the teams moved 
on without him. But the spirit of hostility that he had helped to 
plant throve in his absence. At Wichita, Kansas, Fletcher and Bobby 
Jones, Tiger third baseman, had a fight on the field. At Manhattan, 
Willie Mitchell, Tiger pitcher, threw a bean ball at Zimmerman and 
Heinie threw his bat at him. 

The teams went from Manhattan to Kansas City for two more 
games, then split up. After the last game the Giants sent a post card, 
bearing the signature of all the players, to Cobb. The message was: 

"It's safe to rejoin your club, We've left." 

Cobb and McGraw didn't speak to each other for years after. It 
was not until the spring of 1928, when the Giants trained in Augusta, 
Ga., that they became friendly again. One night that spring McGraw 
gave a party at the Bon Air Vanderbilt. That was the night the ice 
was broken and dropped into high balls that, at long last, drowned 
the angry memories of 1917. 

The day the Giants and the Tigers were at Manhattan, there was 
posted on the window of the local newspaper office a bulletin that 
they read in awed silence, wondering not only what it meant in its 
relation to them but to all the world. For the date was April 6, and 
the bulletin read : 

"President Wilson has asked the Congress to declare war on 
Germany." 

McGraw, intensely patriotic, was deeply stirred. 

"What do you think this means for baseball?" one of the re- 
porters asked him. 

"I haven't even begun to think about that," he said. 

He was silent for a moment. 

"There'll be a lot of players going," he said. "It may mean we 
won't have any baseball. But I think you'll find that, whatever they 
want us to do, we'll do it. I love baseball. I should. But it would be 
all right with me if all my ball players went overnight and I'd 
like to go, myself, if there was any place for me." 

The season opened five days later. No one could foresee whether 
it would be permitted to run its course. Some of the club owners 
08 



and league officials frankly were bewildered. But the public reaction 
was good. The crowds were large. The attitude of the government 
was favorable, although there was no definite statement on the 
game's status from Washington and no one in baseball had the 
courage to ask for one. 

The Giants got off in front, fell back, came on again. The cham- 
pion Robins, their spirits apparently impaired by their defeat by the 
Red Sox in the World Series in 1916, played small part in the strug- 
gle (they failed so badly that they finished the season in the second 
division). But the Giants drew the fire of the Phillies, the Cubs, and 
the Cardinals, as McGraw launched them on their way. Through 
the month of May they either were in first place or never very far 
from it. 

McGraw was bristling. Exulting ... or cursing ... he had his team 
on the beam. 



XIV THE "GREAT REPUDIATION" 

N JUNE 8, at Cincinnati, the Giants and the Reds played a 
tumultuous game, during which players on both sides almost 
constantly were embroiled with the plate umpire, Bill Byron. Byron, 
known as the Singing Umpire because, usually of a cheerful disposi- 
tion, he hummed snatches of songs while waiting for the pitcher to 
deliver a ball to the hitter, was in neither a singing nor a cheerful 
mood that day ; and by the time the game was over Ms nerves were 
ragged. 

As the teams were leaving the field after the game, Tom Clark, 
the Reds' catcher, still was snarling at Byron. At the edge of the 
stands they reached the entrance to a runway leading to the club 
houses. McGraw, bustling through the swarm of players and fans on 
the field, came up behind them. 

"I don't know what you just said, Tom, but whatever it was, it 
goes double for me," he said. 

Byron turned on him. 

"I wouldn't say that if I were you," he said. 

"Ill say anything I please!" McGraw said. 

99 



"You talk big/' Byron said. "I guess you didn't use to be so 
tough. They say you were run out of Baltimore." 

McGraw blazed at him. 

"What did you say?" 

"I said they say you were run out of Baltimore." 

"'They say!'" McGraw roared. "They say' I was run out of 
Baltimore! Would you say it?" 

Byron hesitated for only a moment. And then: 

"Yes. I'd say it." 

McGraw smashed him in the face with a short right-hand punch, 
splitting his upper lip. As Byron reeled down the runway, McGraw 
was after him, trying to punch him again. Matty Schwab, the Red's 
ground keeper, flung both arms about the Giant manager. Bill Rari- 
den cracked Schwab across the side of the head. Players of both 
teams piled in between the combatants as the crowd surged about 
them. Policemen dove through the crowd and, seizing McGraw and 
Byron, led them away McGraw to the Giants' dressing room in a 
frame building back of the stands, Byron to the umpires' quarters 
in the rear of the grandstand. 

Reporters, their attention caught by the running fans and the 
swift charge of the police, rushed down from the press box. Bulletins 
were flashed into the newspaper offices. The news rolled across the 
country. McGraw had struck an umpire. 

McGraw, interviewed in his rooms at the Hotel Havlin later, told 
his side of the story freely. Byron deliberately had insulted him, 
had told an infamous lie. He never had been run out of Baltimore, 
and Byron knew it. He would have hit anyone who said a thing like 
that The fact that Byron was an umpire made no difference to him. 
This, he made plain, was no ordinary row between a manager and 
an umpire. This had had nothing to do with a ball game. It wasn't 
as if he had been angered by a decision rendered by Byron in the 
course of a game, and had rushed out on the field and struck him. 
This was a purely personal row that had occurred at the edge of 
the stands after a game. He felt sure President John K. Tener would 
understand that, and would take no action against him. 

Byron was "out" to all inquirers at his hotel. Later in the evening 
two reporters with the Giants met him in the Western Union office, 
and asked him for his version of the brawl. 
100 



"I'm sorry, boys," he said. "I'm not talking. I just wired my re- 
port to Gov. Tener. Any statement will have to come from him. 3 ' 

The Giants left that night for Chicago. There they were joined by 
Harry Hempstead. 

"Fights!" Hempstead said. "Trouble! That's all I've had since I 
have been president of this club." 

Deeply concerned over the possibility that McGraw would draw 
a severe penalty that might have a serious effect on the team's pen- 
nant chances, he had caught the first train out of New York on 
receipt of the news. He wanted to talk to McGraw and, if he could, 
make out an adequate defense for him. McGraw laughed at his fears. 

"There's nothing to it, Harry," he said. "As I told the newspaper- 
men In Cincinnati, this was strictly a personal quarrel Tener won't 
do anything about it. How can he?" 

Hempstead shook his head. 

"I don't know," he said. "I wish you could take the same view of it 
that I do. I want to go over this matter carefully with you so that, 
if we are called upon for a statement, we can make out a strong case 
for you." 

McGraw became impatient. 

"Stop worrying!" he said. "Or keep out of it. This is my business, 
not yours." 

There was an ominous silence in Tener's office during the Giants' 
four-day stay in Chicago. It was broken on June 13, as they opened 
a series in Pittsburgh, Tener, having given due thought to the case, 
had found McGraw guilty of assault on Byron and imposed a six- 
teen-day suspension and a fine of $500 on the Giant manager. 

First word of Tener's judgment was received in the Giant camp 
in the form of a telegram to one of the reporters shortly after dinner. 
The reporter to whom it was addressed was at a downtown telegraph 
office, writing his story. In keeping with an agreement between them 
governing such circumstances, it was opened by his roommate, Sid 
Mercer. Sid went with it at once to McGraw. McGraw, having read 
it, flew into a rage. 

"Have you anything to say, Mac?" Sid asked. 

"Yes!" McGraw roared. c Tve got plenty to say!" 

He berated Tener and the National League umpires in the same 
breath. He said that Tener was unfair to him and to the New York 
dub. Warming to his subject, he said that Tener had been put in 

101 



power in the National League by the Philadelphia club and had run 
the club from Philadelphia. 

"Do you want to be quoted on this?" Sid asked. 

A veteran baseball writer, and noted for the calmness and sound- 
ness with which he wrote, he knew that McGraw's outburst, set in 
print, would be dynamite. 

"On every word of it ! " McGraw shouted. "Tell all the other news- 
papermen I I want this printed in every paper in New York ! " 

Mercer returned to his room, wrote the story, and then, thinking 
perhaps McGraw had calmed down and might regret publication 
of his blast, sought him out and offered to let him read what he had 
written. McGraw, still seething, glanced at it, handed it back. 

"That's all right," he said. "Did you tell the other boys?" 

"No. I wanted you to see this first. I'll get in touch with them 
now." 

He called his roommate at the postal office and read the state- 
ment to him. Then he called Jimmy Sinnott of the Evening Mail 
at the Western Union office and repeated the performance. He found 
Sam Crane in the hotel, and read it to him. 

Wired back to Pittsburgh by correspondents or news associations 
who had picked it up from the New York papers, it sent the Pitts- 
burgh writers dashing to the Giants' dugout before the game the 
next day. 

"I have nothing more to say," McGraw told them. "It's all in that 
story." 

The Pittsburgh series was concluded on June 16, and the Giants, 
with an open date before the opening of an engagement in Boston, 
went to Wellsville for an exhibition game. This, remember, was 
where McGraw had played twenty-seven years before. He had not 
been back since, and the town turned out to greet the world-famous 
manager who once had dug his spikes into the turf of the local ball 
field. 

Back in New York there was the devil to pay over his attack on 
Tener. But if he sensed it, he was outwardly calm and as proud 
and happy as he ever had been, which was natural. Few had marked 
his passing that day back in 1890 when he had left Wellsville to go 
to Havana. Now he had returned at the head of the Giants, one of 
the mightiest teams in baseball. His fame, already great, steadily 
102 



was mounting as he drove toward another pennant and nowhere 
were the fruits of victory sweeter than among those who had known 
Mm in the long ago. 

He rode in the first car as a motorcade, bearing the team 3 rolled 
slowly through the principal streets of the town. At one point a 
man in overalls rushed out of a machine shop. 

"Hey, Johnny McGrawI" he called. 

McGraw asked the driver to stop. 

"Remember when you stayed at the Wellsville House?" the man 
asked, wringing his hand. 

"Indeed I do/ 5 McGraw said, smiling. "I paid a dollar a day." 

"And had the best room in the house, too. And all the attention 
in the dining room. Remember that pretty red-haired girl that 
waited on you?" 

"Yes." 

"You should ! She never had eyes for any of us other young fellows 
when Johnny McGraw was around ! But I beat you in the long run, 
Johnny McGraw ! I married that girl ! " 

"That's great!" McGraw said. "How is she?" 

"She's fine. And we've raised a fine family. They'll all be at the 
ball game today. But I won't let her get too near you, Johnny! She 
might want to run off with you ! Haw ! Haw ! " 

The car rolled on. McGraw visited the town hall ... the firehouse 
... the church that he had attended as a boy ... the school house. A 
half-holiday had been declared, and it seemed as if the whole town 
including the red-haired girl and her brood were at the ball game 
in the afternoon. 

As the Giants boarded their train that night for the journey to 
Boston, John Foster said to the reporters: 

"Mac isn't going with us. He has been called to New York. It 
seems there's a row going on over his statement about Tener." 

The news out of New York the following day was startling, espe- 
cially to the newspapermen with the Giants: McGraw had repu- 
diated the interview. None of them could believe it at first But there 
it was. Called before the board of directors of the National League, 
McGraw had signed a statement denying he had said tie things 
attributed to Mm. The newspapermen, queried by their offices, stuck 
to their stories. Privately, three of them admitted to their editors 
that they hadn't actually heard McGraw utter the words quoted by 

103 



Mercer. But they added they had no doubt of Mercer's veracity and, 
furthermore, McGraw virtually had repeated the sentiments, if not 
the precise words, in conversation with them later that night or on 
the way to Wellsville. Angry, bewildered, they awaited McGraw's 
return to the team. 

Two of them found him in the club house at Braves Field shortly 
before the game on the second day. 

"What happened in New York?" one of them asked. 

He laughed shortly. 

"Oh/ 3 he said, "I had to sign that statement to quiet Hempstead 
and Sullivan." 

Cornelius J. Sullivan was the Giants' counsel. 

"Sullivan had the statement all prepared for me," he went on. 
"He. and Hempstead were frightened to death. They kept at me to 
sign it and I finally did it. I thought that was the best way out for 
everybody. I made them make one change in it, though. It said that 
you fellows had written scurrilous stories. I made them strike out 
'scurrilous/ " 

He seemed to think that had made everything all right for the 
reporters. 

"But you still called us a bunch of liars," one said. 

"Don't take it so seriously," he said. "It will all be forgotten in a 
day or so." 

"Not by me it won't." 

"Well," he said, cunningly, "if it comes* right down to it, I didn't 
tell you the things you wrote, did I?" 

"You told them to Sid." 

"But I didn't tell them to you. If you were put on the stand, you'd 
have to admit you didn't see me that night." 

"I saw you later and you were talking the same way." 

He shrugged. 

"Well, the hell with it." 

The interview had gone about as far as he wanted it to. He got 
down from the rubbing table on which he had been sitting and went 
out. 

The Giants went from Boston to Philadelphia. The four reporters 
went with them. The New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers' 
Association was demanding an investigation by the league for the 
purpose of vindicating their colleagues whose integrity had been 

104 



assailed. Their colleagues, feeling they had passed the lie back to 
McGraw by reiterating their stories in the face of the repudiation, 
gave them neither encouragement nor assistance. This almost caused 
a breach in the chapter. Tad Dorgan drew a picture of four kids in 
bed watching a burglar steal their bank. The kids were the baseball 
writers, the burglar was McGraw and the bank was labeled: 
"Honor." The kids were saying: 

"We see what you're doing but we won't tell anybody. 3 * 

Mercer could see no humor in the cartoon, or reason in the demand 
for an investigation. 

"Investigate what?" he snorted. "McGraw called me a liar and 
I called him one right back. I don't think anybody has any doubt 
about who is telling the truth." 

He had refused to talk to McGraw, to listen to any explanation 
from him. But he felt that he tad defended himself competently, 
and would put an end to the situation by leaving the Giants on 
their return to New York and joining the Yankees on the road. 

The association, however, refused to take Ms view that the inci- 
dent was closed. Its chapters, in all the major-league cities, clamored 
for a hearing in which the four correspondents would be arrayed 
against McGraw, Tener agreed to this, appointing John Conway 
Toole, counsel for the league, to take the testimony and advise Mm 
as to his findings. 

The hearing took place in the league headquarters, then at Eight 
West Fortieth Street. Mercer, of course, was the star witness al- 
though, still sturdily independent, he grumbled as he made Ms way to 
the stand. Under direct examination by Martin W. Littleton, who had 
volunteered his services as counsel for the writers, he gave a concise 
account of the interview and of McGraw's subsequent approval of 
the story when it was shown to Mm. Nor could lie be shaken in any 
detail by John Montgomery Ward, McGraw ? s lawyer. The others had 
little to add, save the manner in which they had got the story from 
Mercer and their corroborative conversations with McGraw later. 
McGraw did not make a very good witness in. Ms own behalf, ad- 
mitting some of the things Mercer had said, stubbornly continuing 
to deny others. 

A day or so later Tener, having accepted Toole's findings com- 
pletely, announced he was convinced McGraw had not been mis- 
quoted and fined Mm f ipoo. 

105 



"It cost Mac $500 for fighting and $1,000 for talking about it," 
a baseball writer said. 

Mercer immediately wired Tener, asking him to revoke the fine. 
He said he had needed no investigation to vindicate him and was not 
in favor of McGraw's having to pay $1,000 for airing his opinion of 
the league president. However, he did not weaken in his attitude 
toward McGraw, and refused to speak to him or cover the 'Giants. 
Tener didn't weaken, either. The fine was paid, and he and McGraw 
remained hostile. 

By the time the controversy was settled the Giants were in first 
place again. Three full months still stretched between them and the 
pennant, but any small doubts McGraw might have had about them 
through their early struggles had been dissipated. They had but 
one more challenge to fight off. This was hurled by the Phillies, who 
came lashing back after a three weeks' slump. 

Out of the minor-league discard the Phils had picked up Chief 
Bender, who, as a member of the Athletics' pitching staff, had 
plagued the Giants as far back as 1905. The ancient redskin won 
six games in a row for them, and pitched the opening game of a 
double header that opened the last decisive series of the season at 
the Polo Grounds. When the Giants .beat him the resistance of the 
Phils was shattered, and the Giants went on to the pennant. 

The White Sox, under Clarence Rowland, had won the pennant 
in the American League and in winning had shown so much stuff 
that they were favored to beat the Giants in the World Series. This 
was the team that, two years later, was to throw the World Series 
with the Cincinnati Reds, but this time it was trying : Chick Gandil 
. . . Eddie Collins, Swede Risberg, Joe Jackson . . . Happy Felsch . . . 
Buck Weaver ... . Shano Collins . . . Nemo Leibold . . . Ray Schalk 
. . . and with Eddie Cicotte, Red Faber and Lefty Williams to do 
most of the pitching. 

It may have been that McGraw underestimated the strength of his 
opponents. Certainly the still somewhat obscure Pants Rowland, 
in his third year in the big leagues, didn't impress him as a worthy 
rival ; and he made no bones about saying so. He, who had been 
tilting with Connie Mack, Bill Carrigan, Pat Moran, and the other 
famous managers over a fifteen-year span, was inclined to laugh 
at this comparative newcomer. Somewhere he had heard that Row- 

106 



land once had been a bartender in Peoria, and he harped on that 
constantly in his verbal fire from the dugout. 

But Rowland was a good manager, and in that series the Sox estab- 
lished themselves as one of the great teams of all time there are 
many who still think they were the greatest. The Giants were beaten, 
four games to two. It was a rough series. The Giants, sure of them- 
selves in the beginning, and stunned by the Sox victories over Sallee 
and Schupp in the first two games, started the rough stuff only to 
find that they had made a mistake, since the Sox liked to play that 
way, too. Insults were hurled back and forth, there were brushes on 
the base lines, and the constant threat of fist fights, with Fletcher 
once trying to slug Rowland. 

The final game, played at the Polo Grounds, was the setting for 
a play that has come to be regarded as one of the top boners in base- 
ball history: the pursuit of Eddie Collins by Heinie Zimmerman. 

This occurred in the fourth inning. Collins led off with a grounder 
to Zimmerman, and raced all the way to second when Heinie threw 
wildly past Holke. Jackson raised a short fly to Robertson, but the 
Giant right fielder dropped it, Collins pulling tip at third. Now 
Felsch hit a high bounder to Rube Benton, who was pitching for the 
Giants. The Rube threw to Zimmerman, trapping Collins off third. 
Rariden came up the line to close in on Collins, who, quickly noting 
that neither Benton nor Holke had moved to cover the plate, made 
a sudden dash for it, flashing past the startled Rariden. Thus there 
was nothing for Zim to do but chase Collins, although he had no 
earthly chance of catching him. Gandil followed with a single, scor- 
ing Jackson and Felsch and that, in effect, was the ball game, for 
the Giants never recovered from that inning. 

The story of the game was, of course, the chase on the third-base 
line. Curiously, there were few who would accept McGraw's judg- 
ment of the play, and persisted as they do to this day in ridiculing 
Zimmerman. 

"It wasn't Zimmerman's fault," McGraw said in the club house. 
"The man to blame for it was Holke, who stood at first base watch- 
ing Heinie instead of covering the plate." 

Heinie answered his critics with an unforgettable question: 

"Who the hell was I going to throw the ball to? Klem?" 

At any rate, the series was over, and the Giants were beaten. 
McGraw, furious as always in defeat, had paid his final respects to 

107 



Rowland as the teams rushed from the field. Rowland, running to 
meet him, had put out his hand, saying : 

"Mr. McGraw, I'm glad we won, but I'm sorry you had to be the 
one to lose." 

And McGraw had snarled : 

"Get away from me, you busher ! " 



XV A HALT IS CALLED 

3N JANUARY OF 1918 McGraw made a surprising trade: Charlie 
Herzog for Larry Doyle. There was no reason to believe that 
Doyle was a better ball player than he had been two years before, 
when McGraw had sent him to Chicago for Zimmerman. He had 
hit only .254 for the Cubs in 1917, and they had traded him to the 
Braves. True, Herzog had hit only .235 in 1917; but he still was 
rated as one of the best defensive second basemen, and he and 
Fletcher formed the top keystone combination in the league. 

McGraw, however, had lost faith in him had seen, perhaps, that 
almost imperceptible slowing-up in a player that he so often could 
see, where others would overlook it. There had been a play in the 
World Series, that he called up in defense of this deal, when Herzog 
had been slow to break on a line drive to his right and, missing it, 
had cost the Giants the game or so McGraw said. And Doyle? 

"Well," he said, "I think Doyle has a couple of good years left in 
him, and I know I can use him." 

With Larry he also got Jess Barnes, a right-handed pitcher. It was 
to be some time, because of the war, before Barnes could prove 
his worth to the Giants, for he was in the Army by June and over- 
seas by September, But in the postwar years he was a consistent 
winner for the Giants, and a factor in the capture of three pennants. 

Even the inclusion of Barnes in the deal could not remove the 
impression that, for perhaps the only time in his life, McGraw had 
been guided by sentiment in agreeing to give up Herzog for Doyle. 
Herzog, always a light hitter, was valuable for his fielding and base 
running. Doyle, always a poor fielder, had to hit to stay in the major 
leagues, and now his hitting had fallen off from thirty to fifty points. 
But McGraw, who always had disliked Herzog, had developed a 
108 



positive hatred for Mm, while easy-going, laughing Larry had been 
one of Ms favorites for years. 

There had been no other changes of importance when the Giants 
assembled at Marlin. None of the players had been in a hurry to 
enlist. George Kelly, then a gangling substitute first baseman, had 
been drafted and now was in the ground force at Kelly Field, near 
S?n Antonio. 

This, although no one knew it at the time, was the last spring 
for the Giants at Marlin. It passed pleasantly, as usual. There now 
were two Greek restaurants instead of one on Main Street. One 
advertised in the Marlin Daily Democrat : 

"The New York Giants eat at this restaurant.*' 

The other: 

"The New York newspapermen eat at this restaurant. 7 ' 

Each told the truth. The ball players, tiring of the monotonous 
fare at the hotel, frequently had dinner at the newer establishment 
of the two. The newspapermen and McGraw stuck to the old one, 
gathering there usually after the ball players had gone to bed, eating 
chile con carne (with raw sliced onions), drinking coffee, and playing 
an old phonograph as the town slept all about them. 

There was the usual fish fry given by the townsfolk on the Brazos 
River, the farewell dance given by the ball club at the hotel on the 
eve of departure. Meanwhile, the Giants had played games at all the 
near-by towns for the entertainment of the soldiers. On the way 
north, traveling most of the time with the Cleveland club, they 
played all the camps that lay along their route ; and it was estimated 
that by the time they got back to New York they had appeared be- 
fore a quarter of a million soldiers. 

That had been McGraw's idea. 

"It's the least we can do, 75 he said. "Some of these kids never saw, 
a major-league team before. Some won't see one until the war is 
over and some never will see one again." 

The Giants, as always, were in great shape when the season opened 
no manager ever excelled McGraw in getting a team ready for a 
season. They stepped off in first place. There is no doubt that if they 
had gone intact through the season they would have won the pen- 
nant again. Young, a better ball player and an infinitely more 
aggressive one than Robertson, strengthened the outfield. Doyle, 
although noticeably slower in the field than Herzog, was carried by 

109 



Holke, Fletcher and Zimmerman. Schupp, alone among the pitchers 
worried McGraw. He still had as much stuff as ever, but his control 
was erratic. 

One day McGraw called him in. 

"What's the matter with you?" he asked. 

"I don't know," Schupp said. 

"Did you hurt your arm?" 

"No." 

"Sure? 35 

"No, Mac. On the level/' Ferdie said. 

McGraw made him admit, filially, that his left shoulder pained 
him frequently when he was pitching. He sent the pitcher on the 
usual rounds of doctors, bonesetters and muscle twisters. None of 
them could effect a cure. McGraw always believed that Schupp, who 
had a predilection for horseplay, had injured the shoulder in a 
scuffle or wrestling match, but never could make him admit it. But 
whatever had happened, Schupp no longer was the pitcher he had 
been for two dazzling years. He started seldom, was very wild, and 
had difficulty going the nine-inning route. 

The other pitchers were holding up as the team bowled along 
in front. Then the Army began to take over. First to go was Barnes, 
who had won six games while losing only one. Anderson, an ex- 
tremely useful pitcher, especially for relief work, was next. Then 
Benton heard the bugle call, and, a short time later, Benny Kauff. 

There was, of course, no word of complaint from McGraw. But 
he knew his team was crippled beyond repair. With minor leagues 
folding as Secretary of War Baker declared baseball nonessential 
and the players, regardless of their domestic status, liable to imme- 
diate induction under the work-or-fight order, he reached out for 
overage players who might be of some use to him. One was the 
fabulous Jay Kirke, whom he brought up from Louisville and posted 
at first base when Holke, with a wife and two children to support, 
left the team to take a job in a war plant. But even Kirke, who 
never had failed to hit .300 in any league he'd been in and he'd 
been in most of them couldn't help him. 

The Cubs had rushed into first place on June 3 and stayed there. 
It was strictly a two-club race, with the Giants furnishing all the 
opposition. But strive as he would, McGraw could not get his team 
no 



to the front again. And so, when the season ended prematurely under 
pressure from Washington on September 2, It still trailed. 

Meanwhile, another project had captured McGraw's imagination. 
Johnny Evers, whom he had fought bitterly on the field for so many 
years, but who now was his friend, was in France as an athletic 
director for the Knights of Columbus, and had conceived the idea 
of having two teams of draft-exempt major-league players go over- 
seas to entertain the soldiers in the rest areas back of the lines. It 
was Evers' plan to have McGraw recruit the teams and take them 
over. Once they were there he would manage one team and McGraw 
the other. 

McGraw was heartily in favor of the plan. Although it had not yet 
been approved by the War Department, he plunged with characteris- 
tic enthusiasm into the recruitment of the players. He did this very 
quietly, fearing that publicity would be harmful. He had two teams 
lined up when, to his great disappointment, he was informed that 
the War Department would not permit them to go. 

The collapse of this enterprise threw his mind back to his troubles 
in the Giant office, which had been piling up slowly but surely since 
the death of John T. Brush, He liked Hempstead personally, but 
would have preferred a stronger, more aggressive figure in the presi- 
dent's chair. He had learned long ago that John Foster's influence 
on Hempstead and the Brash heirs had increased, and that his own 
had greatly diminished. There were times when he felt himself to 
be almost an outsider in the councils of the club, since he had no 
official voice in them and his advice on matters of policy so infre- 
quently was sought. 

Now, with the forced closing of the season, and the possibility 
that there would be no baseball for the duration of the war, the heirs 
were becoming panicky. He tried to reassure them, but in the 
attempt he got no help from. Hempstead and very little from Foster. 
He was sure that the war would end soon and that baseball would 
rebound from it to an even greater popularity than it had known 
before. They shook their heads. It was plain they wanted to get 
out from under to sell their holdings and invest their money in a 
sounder, if less exciting, quarter. 

In the years that he "had. been in New York he had had oppor- 
tunities to leave the Giants and, so, greatly enrich himself. The 

in 



Federal League had told him to write his own ticket. His old friend 
Charlie Comiskey had urged him to take command of the White Sox. 
He knew that Ruppert and Huston would have been delighted if he 
had gone over to the Yankees in 1915. But his faith in the Giants, 
always strong, never was stronger than now. Strong, too, was his 
faith in the early recovery of baseball from the depression into 
which it had been hurled by the war. 

In the circumstances the obvious thing for him to do was to get 
someone to back him in the purchase of the Giants. He sounded out 
some of his wealthy friends, but failed to convince them that here 
was an opportunity for them to buy their way into a great proposi- 
tion. They felt, as the Brush family did, that there were safer invest- 
ments than a ball club. 

He turned to Joe Vila, sports editor of the Evening Sun, for ad- 
vice. Vila suggested George Loft, the candy manufacturer, racehorse 
owner, and member of the New York State Racing Commission. 

"He likes all sports," Vila said, "and he has the money to buy the 
Giants, or, for that matter, any other ball club." 

They went to see Loft and discovered that he was interested. 
However, if he was to buy the ball club, he wanted it in its entirety. 
Not only the Brush family, which held the controlling stock, would 
have to sell. The smaller stockholders must be brought into line, too. 
This, McGraw and Vila knew, wouldn't be easy. There were many 
stockholders whose faith in the Giants was as strong as McGraw's. 
But they went to work, hoping to put it over. 

Word that the Giants were for sale got about the town, and there 
were other bidders for the stock. But none of them satisfied either 
McGraw or the Brush family. Loft, impatient over the delay, was 
blowing hot and cold. McGraw was fearful the owners would change 
their minds and refuse to sell when the war ended on November n. 
His fears were groundless. They still looked with a jaundiced eye 
on the future of baseball. They were ready to sell to Loft or any 
other responsible person who wished to buy. 

Early in January, McGraw and Vila were confident they had all 
but closed the sale. Vila, about to depart for Havana on his vacation, 
was so sure of it that he wrote the story, leaving it with his assistant, 
.who was to release it as soon as he got the word from McGraw. 



112 



XVI PART OWNER OF THE GIANTS 

^N THE MORNING of January 14, 1919, the newspapers and press 
associations in New York were notified that the Giants would 
make an important announcement at noon. Half an hour or more 
before the time set the offices, then in the Fifth Avenue Building at 
Twenty-third Street, were crowded with reporters and photographers, 
who milled about John Foster, badgering him for the news, what- 
ever it was. John smilingly refused, until one of the reporters, called 
on the telephone by his office, was informed that the United Press 
had sent out a story that the Giants had been bought by one Charles 
A. Stoneman. The name of the purchaser had been garbled, of 
course ; but the story, in its essence, had been cracked. 

Foster dashed into an inner office and emerged in a few minutes 
accompanied by McGraw; Francis X. McQuade, a city magistrate, 
a friend of McGraw's, and an enthusiastic Giant rooter ; and Charles 
A. Stoneham. Stoneham stood silently by as McGraw and McQuade 
greeted the newspapermen. Foster, once more at his desk, read a 
prepared statement: 

"The New York club has been purchased from the Brush estate 
by Charles A. Stoneham, John J. McGraw and Francis X. McQuade. 
Mr. Stoneham will serve as president ; Mr. McGraw as vice presi- 
dent and manager ; and Mr. McQuade as treasurer." 

"And you as secretary, John?" a reporter asked. 

Foster smiled thinly. 

"For the present," he said. 

He knew that, whatever else might happen, his number was tip. 
The sale of the club by the Brush family had stripped him of that 
measure of power McGraw so long had resented. Stoneham virtually 
was a stranger to him, but he knew that McQuade had no liking for 
him and that McGraw and McQuade would combine to oust him as 
quickly as possible. 

Stoneham also was a stranger, even by reputation, to most, if not 
all, the baseball writers. They were to discover, on returning to 
their offices and consulting their morgues, or files of clippings on 
prominent persons, that he had been a broker on the curb market 
for many years, that he owned a small stable of good racehorses, 
and that, although he had lived most of Ms life in Jersey City, he 

113 



was politically powerful in New York because of his close personal 
relations with Al Smith, Tom Foley and other leading figures in 
Tammany Hall. 

Asked why he had purchased the Giants, he said: 

"I have been a Giant fan all my life and an admirer of Mr. 
McGraw. When I heard the club was for sale, I was interested in 
buying it." 

He smiled. 

"That's all/ 7 he said. "That's all there is to it. Except that I am 
very happy and feel sure that, with Mr. McGraw and Mr. McQuade 
on my side, I shall continue to give Giant fans the kind of baseball 
to which they have been accustomed. 33 

"It's a great day for me/ 7 McGraw said, "but this is no place to. 
celebrate it. Meet us at the Waldorf as soon as youVe cleaned up 
your work and well put on a real party." 

One of the reporters, rushing to his office to write the story, was 
summoned by his managing editor, who plainly was not partial to 
the new owner of the club. 

"Who got Stoneham into baseball?" the managing editor asked. 

"I don't know. McGraw, probably. He said he had admired Mc- 
Graw for a long time." 

"Find out definitely. Don't come back to the office until you do 
if it takes you a week." 

The reporter finished his story and hurried to the Waldorf the 
old Waldorf, at Fifth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street, where the 
Empire State Building now stands. The real party promised by 
McGraw was in full swing. Tables were laden with a buffet lunch. 
Cocktails and highballs were being passed around by a corps of 
waiters. Wine stewards were lugging in baskets of champagne. 

McQuade, a highball glass in one hand, was standing near the 
door. The reporter, who had known him for a number of years, said 
to him: 

"Judge, who got Mr. Stoneham into baseball ?" 

"I did," he said. 

He said it very emphatically. And then : 

"You may hear other stories about it, but I'm telling you the 
truth. I got Charles A. Stoneham into baseball. Your Uncle Dudley 
and nobody else." 

He laughed scornfully. 

114 



"McGraw was fooling around with dead ones. It took me to dig 
up a live guy." 

'Thanks/' the reporter said. 

He went to a telephone and told his managing editor what Mc- 
Quade had said. The matter seemed to be settled, but it wasn't. 
McQuade was right. There would be other stories, and out of one 
of them would grow a lawsuit. In another lawsuit, twelve years later, 
it was the subject of contradictory testimony. 

At any rate, there they were Stoneham, McGraw, and McQuade. 
No public mention was made of the manner in which the stock was 
apportioned, but it was said privately that the shares held by 
McGraw and McQuade were small; and this, later developments 
proved, was true. But McGraw had gratified a long-standing ambi- 
tion, in part if not completely. Small as his holdings were, he was 
in a stronger position in the club than he ever had been before. He 
was an executive and must have felt that, in the light of Ms ex- 
perience and his proven judgment as a manager, he could control his 
partners and have an absolutely free hand once more in the purchase 
and sale of players. He would install a secretary who would be sub- 
servient to him, and would have no restraining influence on him, 
as Foster had had since the passing of Brush. Stoneham might have 
control of the stock ; but, in spite of that, he would be in every sense 
the master of the Giants. 

It was a pleasant prospect. 

His first move drew the sharp criticism of the press and of many 
of his colleagues in baseball: He traded Bill Rariden and Walter 
Holke to Cincinnati for Hal Chase. 

Chase had been charged by Christy Mathewson with a euphemis- 
tic phrase if there ever was one not having given his best efforts to 
the Cincinnati dub in 1918. What Matty really meant was that 
Hal had been tossing ball games in which he had bet on the opposing 
team. The charge having been made to the league, the player was 
tried in New York in the winter of 1918-19. It wasn't much of a 
trial, since Matty, as an officer in the Army, still was in France and 
had ignored cabled requests for a deposition, apparently feeling that, 
having thrown the case into the league's lap, he had done his part. 
The testimony offered by some of Chase's team mates was incon- 
clusive and the accused was exonerated. 

Nevertheless, it seemed that Hal was through as a major-league 



ball player or, for that matter, as a player in any league. He had 
been quietly blacklisted by the American League four years earlier 
when he had jumped his contract with the White Sox to join the 
Federal League and ugly stories had followed him from that league 
into the National when Garry Herrmann had signed him in Cincin- 
nati. Now, obviously, he couldn't return to the Reds, and it appeared 
no one wanted him. The club owners in both leagues were congratu- 
lating themselves on having got rid of so troublesome a figure when 
McGraw announced that he had obtained him. 

In response to denunciations of the deal, McGraw shrugged. 

"What's wrong with it?" he asked. "Chase was tried and ac- 
quitted. His standing in baseball is as good as anyone's. Why 
shouldn't I take him ? I had made up my mind when Holke left the 
club last summer that I didn't want him back and IVe got to have 
a first baseman. I think the fans are on my side, anyway. Chase will 
be very popular at the Polo Grounds.' 7 

So he was right up to the end of his days with the Giants. But 
it was McGraw who put an end to those days before the season was 
over. 

McGraw's next move was baffling. Matty returned from France 
and resigned as manager of the Reds and McGraw immediately en- 
gaged him as a coach. In ordinary circumstances this would have 
been the most natural thing for him to do, since Matty had been one 
of his greatest players and they were close friends. But it was a 
strange thing for him to do with Chase on his team and strange, 
too, that Matty should have consented to it when he would have 
to be in everyday contact with a man he had tried to drive out of 
baseball. Chase grinned inscrutably when he heard of it. Maybe, al- 
though he hated Matty, he looked upon it as a vindication for him. 

It was shortly after that that McGraw disposed of another player. 
He thought very little of it at the time. So did the newspapermen. 
Consequently, it got but a line or two in the papers the next day. 
It would have been a big story if any of them could have looked 
ahead even a year or so, for the player's name was Waite Hoyt. 

Hoyt was a baseball prodigy. He was sixteen years old and a 
pupil in Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn when Charlie Dooin, 
then a Giant coach, had seen him working out with the Robins at 
Ebbets Field on a day the Giants were playing there in 1916. He 

116 



was a big, strong kid, and lie was wheeling a fast ball into a catcher's 
mitt. DooiQj having watched him for a little while, moved up along- 
side him. 

"Are you tinder contract to the Brooklyn club?" he asked, cau- 
tiously. 

"No, sir," Hoyt said. 

"Do you want to pitch in the big leagues some day?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well," Dooin said, "if you'll come to see me when we get back 
to the Polo Grounds, I'll see what I can do for you." 

"Ill be there," Hoyt said. "Nobody has paid any attention to me 
around here." 

He showed up almost as soon as the Giants returned to their home 
grounds. At Dooin's suggestion, McGraw looked at him, liked what 
he saw, and bound him with a contract that the boy's father. Ad 
Hoyt, one of the last of the minstrels, signed for him. Waite was 
farmed out to Mt. Carmel in the Pennsylvania League, and moved 
to Hartford in the Eastern League when the Pennsylvania circuit 
disbanded. In 1917 he was farmed out again first to Memphis, then 
to Montreal. He believed that, by this time, he was ready for a shot 
at the majors, and was inclined to rebel when, that winter, McGraw 
told him he was going to Nashville for the season of 1918. 

"Take it easy," McGraw said. "You're still only a boy and have 
a lot to learn before I could use you. Go down there and have a good 
season, and I promise you I won't send you out again. Just show 
me you can win in that league and youll be with the Giants next 
year." 

Hoyt was unhappy in Nashville and, although he looked very good 
in spots, couldn't win. McGraw brought Mm back, kept Mm around 
the Polo Grounds for a few days, and then sent him to Newark. 
Hoyt objected again. 

"I can pitch as well as some of the fellows you have on this ball 
club! "he said. 

"Next year," McGraw said. "Next year." 

Hoyt pitched a few games in Newark and then quit baseball to 
enroll in an officers' training course. He was sent to Middlebury 
College. Discharged when the war ended, he waited until early Feb- 
ruary before going to see McGraw in the Giants' office. 

McGraw greeted him pleasantly, and then said: 

117 



"Well, Waite, I'm going to send you out again. I owe some players 
to Rochester for this young catcher, Earl Smith, and I thought an- 
other year in the minors " 

Hoyt got up. 

"No," he said. 

McGraw's face reddened with anger. 

"No, what?" he demanded. 

"Pm not going to Rochester." 

"You'll go where I send you ! " 

"No, I won't. You promised me last year that if I made a good 
showing in the minor leagues last year you'd keep me this year." 

"A good record 1 Look at your record ! " McGraw scoffed. 

"You look at it," Hoyt said. "You know it doesn't mean any- 
thing. I couldn't pitch for those managers or for those lousy ball 
clubs, and you know it. You know I'm a better pitcher than the 
record shows and I know it as well as you do. And I tell you I'm 
not going to Rochester or anywhere else." 

1 "Is that so ?" McGraw said. "So you're going to tell me what you'll 
do, are you? Well, let me tell you this, young man : I'm running this 
ball club, and I'm not going to let any swell-headed young punk 
like you tell me what I'm going to do. I'm sending you to Rochester, 
and you'll go there, or if you don't like that you can go back to the 
Parade Grounds in Prospect Park, where you belong." 

He was on his feet now, too, pacing back and forth in short, angry 
strides. 

"Who the hell do you think you are, coming in here and talking to 
me like that? You're going to Rochester, do you hear?" 

Hoyt walked slowly to the door. 

"No," he said again. "I'm not. I'm going home and if you don't 
sell me to another major-league club, I'll stay there." 

He went out. McGraw, still fuming, sat down at his desk. 

" fresh kidi" he said. "He'll tell me what to do, 

will he?" 

When he had cooled out he laughed to himself. It had been silly, 
he thought, to get excited about a kid like that. When the kid got 
home he would realize how headstrong he had been, and the next 
day would come back to see him, or call him on the telephone, and 
say he had thought the matter over and would go to Rochester, 
after all. 

118 



But lie didn't know Hoyt as well as lie thought. He was to know, 
one day, that he had chased a first-rate pitcher off his ball club. The 
next time he saw Hoyt the boy was pitching for the Yankees against 
the Giants in a World Series. He had not only refused to report to 
Rochester ; when McGraw having decided to get rid of him once 
and for all had sold him to New Orleans, he had refused to report 
to New Orleans, too. He pitched, that summer of 1919, for an indus- 
trial plant team in Baltimore, beat all the major-league teams he 
opposed in exhibition games, and signed with the Boston Red Sox 
when they purchased him from New Orleans. He was on his way 
then to a dazzling career with the Yankees and all McGraw had 
to remember him by was a stormy scene in his office. 

McGraw rounded a cycle that spring: He took the Giants to 
Gainesville, Ha., to train to Gainesville, where, twenty-nine years 
before, he had played with Al Lawson's Ail-Americans and had made 
the hits off Viau of the Cleveland club that had given him his first 
break on the way to a major-league job. 

The leagues, unaccountably timorous over the renaissance of base- 
ball following the war, had adopted a i4o-game schedule and decreed 
an abbreviated training season. With only four weeks allotted for 
training, McGraw abandoned Marlin. On the advice of an old friend 
whom he had first known in Gainesville, and with whom he had kept 
in touch through the years, he settled on that town. 

It was a happy choice. The weather was perfect. The squad had 
the use of the field and dressing rooms at the University of Florida. 
The townspeople were hospitable. The White House, where the play- 
ers were quartered, undoubtedly was one of the best small-town 
hotels in the country. Curiously enough, if McGraw's return evoked 
any old memories in Mm, he kept them to himself. 

He not only hoped to win a pennant in the first year of the 
triumvirate's ownership, but was confident he would. He had Chase, 
still the best fielding first baseman ; Doyle at second, Fletcher at 
short stop, and Zimmerman at third. Kauff, back from the Army, 
was in center field, flanked by Burns and Young. Gonzales and 
McCarty were the catchers. The pitching staff was headed by 
Toney, Jess Barnes and Benton. Still believing he would have won 
in 1918 but for the war, he felt that this was the year in which he 
would regain the top of the league. g Disillusionment . . . bitterness . . . 

119 



lay ahead of Mm. But, of course, he couldn't know it then. 

He had his first taste of both when, opening their exhibition sched- 
ule with the Reds in Tampa, the Giants were beaten in two games. 
L,ater, because his disappointments were so many, he was to recall 
that ragged beginning. He was to recall, in particular, that in the 
first of those two games Babe Ruth hit the longest home run that 
ever flew from his bat. 

The game was played in the infield of the race track on the Tampa 
Fair Grounds. Columbia George Smith was pitching for the Giants. 
With one man out and one on in the first inning, the Babe, playing 
his first game in his new post in right field, hit a ball far over 
Young's head in right center. It was a towering smash that would 
have gone out of any major-league ball park of the time. After the 
game, Young pointed out, as nearly as he could, where the ball had 
struck. As measured by Melvin E. Webb of the Boston Globe, the 
spot was 579 feet from the plate. 

That was the only home run Ruth made off the Giant pitchers 
as the teams traveled northward together. At McGraw's orders his 
young men pitched low and outside to the Babe ; and, for the most 
part, he struck out, popped out, or hit weakly to the infield. 



XVII THE NAME OF "MUGGSY" 

ax WAS A CURIOUS schedule that John Foster had mapped out for 
the Giants that spring. It took them as far north as Baltimore, 
then back to Norfolk where they were to pick up the Senators 
and from there to Washington and on into New York. 

When they reached Baltimore they were met by Stoneham, ac- 
companied by Leo Bondy, his lawyer, who had been installed as 
counsel for the club and later was to be its treasurer ; and by Bran- 
don Tynan, an actor, and one or two other Broadway characters. 
The squad arrived in the evening and moved into the Belvedere 
Hotel. That night Stoneham had a party in a private dining room 
for McGraw and the newspapermen covering the trip. 

The new owner, plainly thrilled by his first actual contact with 
the team, was a beaming host as he and his guests sat at a great 

round table. The food was the best that Baltimore's famous markets 

& 

120 



could supply, and the liquor was plentiful. Everyone was having a 
good time until some idiot proclaimed himself toastmaster and began 
to call on the guests for after-dinner speeches. These were boring 
until John Sainpolis got up. 

John Sainpolis, a first-rate actor who had appeared in support of 
many of the leading actresses of the time, was an old friend of 
McGraw's, and had made the trip as John's guest. He had spent 
most of the time at Gainesville with the newspapermen^ with whom 
he lived in a wing of the home of Colonel Taylor, the proprietor of 
the White House the hotel not being large enough to accommodate 
any but the ball players. He was distinguished among actors not only 
because of his skill, but because he hadn't even a trace of ham in 
Ms makeup. He had been an interested but unobtrusive observer of 
the training of the team. Nearly everyone else around the table was 
in a mellow mood when he was called upon. Almost alone, he had 
drunk little, if any, of the liquor that had been placed before him. 

"This/' he said, "has been my first opportunity to see a major- 
league ball club in training a privilege granted to me by my friend, 
John. I found it not only exciting but interesting. I saw young play- 
ers, recruited from the minor leagues, come into the camp as raw 
rookies. I saw them develop and take on that spirit which always 
has characterized the Giants. I saw the veterans start slowly, then 
quicken their pace and play with the aggressiveness for which they 
are famous. I saw their manager whip them all into shape the re- 
cruits and the regulars. I saw Mm stepping up the tempo of their 
work. I saw them, as we started north, molded into a hustling, fight- 
ing unit. The Giants the greatest baseball team of our time!" 

He paused. And then : 

"And having seen all this, at last I can understand why they call 
John McGraw Muggsy ! " 

There was a moment of horrified silence then, a quick, angry 
muttering around the table. Brandon Tynan, seated across from 
Sainpolis, leaped to his feet, 

"You 1" he shouted. "How dare you call my friend 

Huggsy?" 

Wide as the table was, he tried to throw a punch across it. The 
guests on either side of him grabbed Mm. McGraw was on his feet. 
Stoneham was straggling out of Ms chair, Ms face distorted with 
rage, 

121 



Muggsy! It was a name McGraw hated a name that, however 
innocently applied to him by those who didn't know it was repulsive 
to Mm, would cause him to snarl and want to fight. The table was 
in an unroar that boiled about the hapless Sainpolis, who, bewil- 
dered by the commotion, stood staring at Tynan, struggling in the 
grip of his neighbors. Now he turned to McGraw. 

a john^ "he said, "forgive me. I had no thought of offending you. 
I assumed the name was one given to you in tribute to your qualities 
as a fighting leader of men. ... I shall not further embarrass you by 
my presence. I shall go to New York in the morning." 

He started from the table. But McGraw put a hand on Ms 
shoulder. 

"Sit down, John," McGraw said. "It isn't necessary for me to for- 
give you. I know that you are my friend and that the last thing 
you'd want to do would be to offend me. And you're not going to 
New York tomorrow. You are going to Norfolk with us and you'll 
always be welcome to travel with this ball club as long as I am 
connected with it." 

He looked across the table. 

"Thanks for defending me, Brandon," he said. "But please sit 
down." 

Tynan sat down. So did Sainpolis. The other guests became quiet. 

"Now," McGraw said, "I will tell you why I dislike the name of 
Muggsy. . . . When I first went to Baltimore, back in 1891, there 
was a roughneck ward politician in the town named McGraw, who 
was called Muggsy. In some way, it was rumored that I was his 
son, and one of the newspapermen called me Young Muggsy Mc- 
Graw. And the name caught on. Soon the Young was dropped, and 
I was just Muggsy in the papers. At first, being too busy trying to 
make good in the big leagues, I paid no attention to this, not know- 
ing who Muggsy McGraw was. As soon as I found out, I asked the 
newspapermen not to call me that any more ; and they stopped doing 
so. But some of the fans in the other towns who didn't like me had 
picked up the name and, knowing I didn't like it, took delight in 
yelling it at me every time I appeared on the field. Since then, every 
who doesn't like me has called me that" 

His voice had grown angry. 

"If the fellow who first called ine Muggsy called me that now,. 
I would have no objection to it I" he roared. "I can take anything 

122 



from an original guy I But I can't stand imitators I And I can't take 
Muggsy from those who hate me and know that by calling me that 
name they are insulting me! 53 

"Muggsy 1" Sam Crane said. "I've called you that many a time, 
and I will do it again ! I will call you Muggsy in the Journal to- 
morrow I " 

McGraw howled across the table at him. 

"You! You'll call me Muggsy I You're the one who was going to 
drive me out of New York ten years agol Why, you F J 

"111 drive you- out!" Sam yelled. "I'll drive you out tomorrow! 
Muggsy I " 

The table rocked with laughter. McGraw and Sam Crane, devoted 
as brothers, were quarreling again, as they often did around a table. 
The tension was broken, and the situation was normal again. 

The Giants started the season slowly, then began a rapid climb 
that took them into first place by the first of May. On May 4 they 
played their first Sunday game at home under the law that James J, 
Walker, then a state senator, had sponsored in the legislature, and 
which, in the long run, was to accelerate that popularity that ulti- 
mately resulted in his election as Mayor of New York. 

The Phillies were the opposing team. The park was packed. It was 
a tight game. Along about the fifth inning, when the Phillies had 
been retired, Rube Benton, who was pitching, got into a dispute with 
Fletcher as the Giants left the field. Benton had forgotten that the 
sign for a pitch-out had been changed. With a man on first base, he 
had thought that the sign he got from the catcher still was for a 
curve ball. Fletcher had started to cover as the runner on first base 
darted for second on the pitch. The batter had hit a ground ball 
through the spot Fletcher had left. The argument continued as the 
players reached the dugout, and the crowd was startled to see 
Fletcher and Benton, punching and clawing at each other, roll on 
the bats that were laid out in an orderly row in front of the dugout. 
McGraw and the other players quickly separated them. The umpires 
ignored the struggle, and the game went on. 

Later, Casey Stengel, then with the Phillies, said: 

"What a ball club! Before the game, Fletcher comes over to our 
dugout and says: 

says he don't want any trouble today. He has a tip that 

123 



agents from the Sabbath Society are in the stands, looking for some- 
thing they can squawk about. So let's just have a nice, peaceful ball 
game.' 

"So we say, all right, we will play that way if they will and the 
first thing I see is Fletcher and Benton rolling on the bats ! " 

But nothing came of it. If the agents of the Sabbath Society 
which had fought the bill stubbornly at a hearing in Albany ac- 
tually were present and reported the fight to their masters, there 
were no repercussions. Sunday baseball, long needed in the town, 
obviously was there to stay and to enrich the Giants, the Yankees 
and the Dodgers. 

Two weeks later McGraw was saddened by news of the death of 
Germany Schaefer in Chicago. Germany, following the world tour, 
had been with the Giants briefly as a coach and companion for 
McGraw, who was very fond of him. 

"I had a letter from his sister," McGraw said, "in winch she said 
she knew Germany was going to die. She was working in her kitchen 
and she heard a crash in the bedroom. When she went in to see what 
it was, she saw his picture had fallen to the floor." 

He said it as though he believed it, too. Quite possibly he did ; for 
in common with most baseball men he was not without some super- 
stition. When the Giants visited Chicago on their first western trip 
that year, he made a pilgrimage to the cemetery where Schaefer was 
buried, and, kneeling at the grave, silently prayed for his friend. 

It was in May of that year, too, that he first heard of one of the 
greatest players ever to wear a Giant uniform. He was in his office 
one rainy day when Arthur Devlin, at that time baseball coach at 
Fordham, came in. 

"John," he said, "I have a ball player for you. You know I don't 
often talk about a kid this way . . . but this kid is a major-league 
ball player. Right now, I mean." 

It was true that Devlin didn't talk that way often. McGraw was 
interested. 

"What's Ms name?" he asked. 

"Frisch," Devlin said. "Frank Frisch. He knows he's a ball player, 
too. I don't mean he's swell-headed. He isn't. But he knows he's a 
ball player and nobody is going to talk him out of it. I can bring 
124 



Mm down to the Polo Grounds and show him to you, but I'd rather 
you'd have somebody look at him in a regular game." 

"When do you play again?" 

"We don't play until next Wednesday, but he is playing with the 

New York A.C. at Travers Island on Sunday.' 7 

"I'll have Gibson look at him/ 3 McGraw said. 

On Monday Gibson reported to McGraw: 

"I saw that kid. Devlin's right. He's a big-league ball player. You 
won't have to send him out, Mac. He's ready right now." 

Two days later Frisch signed a contract with the Giants. It was 
agreed that he should report at the end of the college season in June. 
He joined the team in Pittsburgh when it went west for the first 
time, and made his first appearance as a runner in a game in Chicago. 

"What did you say his name was?" Charlie Dryden, famous base- 
ball writer on the Herald-Examiner, asked Ms neighbor in the press 
box. 

"Frisch." 

"How do you spell it ? 

"F-r-i-s-c-h." 

"H'm," Dryden said, writing the name in Ms score book. "Sounds 
like something frying." 

The Giants were leading the league . . . but McGraw was making 
changes as they rolled along. He asked for waivers on Jim Thorpe, 
and the Indian was claimed by Boston. 

"He has heard so often that he can't Mt a right-hander's curve ball 
that he believes it," McGraw said. 

Later, a story was told that a friend of his had said to him, 
excitedly: 

"Mac, I got a great ball player for you! He's an Indian and " 

And McGraw said : 

"That's enough I 

Yet he had got a lot of mileage out of Ms Indians, Meyers and 
Thorpe. They hadn't been easy to handle, especially Thorpe. But, 
within their limitations, they had given him, everything. 

Late in July he traded Davy Robertson to the Cubs for Phil 
Douglas. Robertson, although brilliant in spots, never had been the 
ball player McGraw had hoped he would be. He had been of small 
service to the Giants for some time. Douglas, undoubtedly one of the 
greatest pitchers that ever lived, had been shunted about from the 

125 



Reds to the Dodgers to tlie Gibs because of Ms predilection for mixing 
too much rye or gin or bourbon with Ms baseball. He frequently 
would absent himself from his team for several days, or even a week 
or two. But when he was right he could pitch. He was six feet four 

inches tall and stoop-shouldered, and he walked with a gait that had 
caused someone probably Dryden to call him Shuffling Phil. A 
virtual illiterate from the hill country, he was a genius when he 
stepped in the box. He almost never made a mistake pitching to a 
Mtter. He had a fast ball, a curve ball, a slow ball, a change-of-pace 
ball, and a spit ball 

"There should be a law against a fellow as big and smart as that 
having all that stuff," Rabbit Maranville said. 

Other managers shook their heads when they heard McGraw had 
acquired him. 

"He should be the greatest pitcher in the world," they said, "but 
he'll fall down on McGraw just as he has fallen down on every other 
manager that's had Mm." 

McGraw laughed. 

"I've had hard-to-handle pitchers before," he said. 

He may have felt the day would come when he would have real 
trouble with Douglas, as he had had with the others. But he was 
willing to gamble that he could forestall the day and meanwhile 
get more work out of the shuffling one than any other manager ever 
had. 

At the time Douglas joined the Giants they were faltering before 
the charge of the Reds. The pennant-winning Cubs of the year be- 
fore were stringing along in third place, offering no real challenge. 
But the Reds, with a pitcMng staff headed by Dutch Ruether, Hod 
Eller, Ray Fisher, and Jimmy Ring, and strengthened by Sallee, 
whom they had claimed from the Giants on waivers in the early 
spring, were smashing on. Pat Moran, in Ms first year as manager 
in Cincinnati, was promising to give the town its first pennant. It 
began to look as though he might make good on the promise. 

So desperate had the plight of the Giants become that, when they 
entered Cincinnati on the morning of Friday, August i, for a three- 
game series, they were but a half game in front. The town was 
aroused as few towns ever have been over a baseball series. McGraw 
and his players were hated there, anyway, and the minds of the 
126 



fans liad been inflamed by stories from tlie brilliant if erratic pen of 
Bill Phelon, then Cincinnati's leading baseball writer. 

As the players, coming out of the railroad station, headed for a 
line of cabs waiting to take them to the Hotel Havlin, the driver of 
a cab parked across the street yelled : 

"You can take those dirty yellow dogs if you want them! I 
wouldn't touch 'em 1 " 

All morning the lobby of the Havlin was crowded with fans who 
had come, some of them half fearfully, to look at the rowdies from 
New York. Not all of them were fearful, however. One, passing 
Doyle, hurled an insult at him. The usually placid Larry smacked 
him across the face with the back of his hand. Other players quickly 
got Larry to his room, thus preventing a free-for-all in which some 
of the Giants might have been arrested. At the ball park policemen 
were posted at each end of the Giants' dugout. Even the reporters 
accompanying the Giants were not unmolested. Fans seated behind 
them in the upper tier of the grandstand bombarded them with 
bottle caps, rolled-up newspapers and cushions as the game pro- 
ceeded. 

The Giants, reveling in the public damor they had stirred, were 
thoroughly confident that right there on the Reds' home field they 
would assert themselves, take at least two of the three games and 
drive on to win the pennant. But the Reds won the first game. That 
night newsboys in Fountain Square shrilled : 

"Reds in first place 1 Read all about it ! Reds beat Giants and take 
first place!" 

Back at the hotel Arthur Fletcher shrugged. 

"Well," he said, "we've held the lead for a long time. Let them 
tussle with it for a while and see what they can do with it." 

The other players nodded. The lead had been a burden through the 
last few weeks. Let the Reds have it for a while, as Fletcher said. 
When they got ready, the/d take it back. 

McGraw knew they wouldn't not the way they had been going. 
Barnes was holding up well among the pitchers. But the others were 
staggering. He needed help badly. That night Be called George Wash- 
ington Grant, president of the Braves, on the telephone and made a 
deal for Arthur Nehf, the best left-handed pitcher in the league. 
Nehf cost $55,000, but McGraw felt he was worth It 

The Giants lost the second game. In the third game they pulled 

127 



themselves together sharply and walloped the Reds before one of 
the greatest crowds that ever had seen a game in Cincinnati. They 
were in good spirits when they left the town that night. They still 
were in second place, but they had just flattened and humiliated the 
Reds. They believed they were on their way again. Moreover, Nehf 
had reported that afternoon, and they felt very good about that, too. 

But in the few days that followed there were bitter mumblings 
among them. They weren't gaining on the Reds. They didn't like 
the look of some of Chase's plays around first base. They were puz- 
zled by a sudden slump by Zimmerman at third. McGraw was in an 
angry mood. The pennant was slipping from him, and he knew it. 
He felt, as some of his players did, that something was going on, 
and he couldn't quite put his finger on it. 

The team, having finished its swing through the west, returned 
to the Polo Grounds. The Reds came in for a series of six games to 
be played in three double headers. The Reds won the first double 
header, the Giants the second, and the Reds the third. That was the 
clincher. Everyone knew now, including McGraw and his players, 
that the Reds had won the pennant. 

There had been only one bright spot for McGraw in the series. 
Doyle, aging as a ball player and wearied by the grind, had been 
benched for a rest in the second double header, and Frisch had been 
posted at second base. Morris Rath, leading off for the Reds in the 
first game, had smashed a ball at Frisch. It had taken a bad hop 
and struck Frank in the chest. But Frank had pounced on the ball 
and thrown Rath out. 

"That was al I had to see," McGraw said. "The average young- 
ster, nervous anyway, starting his first game in a spot like that, 
would have lost the ball. Frisch proved to me right there that he is 
going to be a great ball player." 

The Giants trailed, the mutterings of the players continued. One 
day Chase failed to appear at the Polo Grounds. 

"He's sick," McGraw said. "He hasn't been feeling well for a 
long time. I doubt if he will play again this year." 

A few days later Zimmerman was gone. 

"He's tired/ 7 McGraw said. "His eyes have been bothering him. 
He's been complaining that he can't judge the hops on a ground 
128 




^ i |r 



International Xewsreel 

MCGRAW WITH CHARLES A. STONEHAM 




International Newsreel 
MCGRAW AND WILBERT ROBINSON 



ball as It comes down to Mm. I told him to knock off for the rest of 
the season." 

Neither Chase nor Zimmerman ever wore a Giant uniform again, 
A year later McGraw was to say, during the investigation following 
the exposure of the White Sox perfidy in the 1919 World Series, that 
he had dropped the players because they had thrown ball games and 
attempted to bribe Toney and Kauff to do likewise. This brought 
an angry denial from Zimmerman in New York. Chase, playing in 
an outlaw league along the Mexican border, remained silent. 

Something else had happened that year. It was but a one-day story 
in the newspapers, but It meant a lot to McGraw: John Foster, with 
a wry smile, had told the newspapermen one afternoon that lie had 
resigned . . . McGraw had got even with him at last. 



XVIII THE RACE TRACK IN HAVANA 

E~pHE 1919 SEASON with all its disappointments behind him, 
H McGraw left for Havana. The era of Cuban prosperity that had 
begun when the price of sugar rocketed in the first years of the 
World War had been continued as Americans, stock market profits 
swelling their pockets, sought relaxation in a land where Prohibition 
was unknown. New hotels had been reared in Havana to accommo- 
date them. New clubs for sport or gambling had been opened. Sloppy 
Joe's was becoming a national institution and gaining an Interna- 
tional reputation. 

At Oriental Park the horses ran round and round as the old-fash- 
ioned mutuel machine stamped out tickets and bookmakers called 
their prices. The silks of some of the best known stables in the 
United States flashed in the sun as the horses whirled about the 
track. Wealthy Americans occupied dub house boxes, strolled on 
the lawns, danced to the strains of famous orchestras between races, 
played the wheel . * . or the bird cage or faro ... in the Casino when 
the races were over. 

The proprietor of this track and the founder of the Cuban-Ameri- 
can Jockey dub was hard-headed, hard-fisted Curly Brown, who 
had built tracks In many parts of the United States and had sensed 
a bonanza In Havana. He hadn't succeeded there without opposition. 

129 



But he was tough and fearless, and he knew how to deal with the 
politicos who opposed him. Intimidating some, bribing others, he had 
built Ms track and set up in business. As owner of So per cent of the 
stock or all he could hold under the Cuban law, which stipulated 
that at least 20 per cent of any business enterprise must be in the 
hands of natives he had reaped a rich haul. But he was restless, and 
other fields beckoned. One night that winter he said to Ms friend 
McGraw : 

"John, you've been coming down here for years. You know about 
everybody in Havana, and they all like you. Why don't you and 
Stoneham buy this race track? It's a big thing now. It can be made 
into a much bigger one. Fd stay here and go on with it, but, hell, 
I've been here long enough. I'd like a change." 

It is doubtful if McGraw, much as he loved racing, ever before 
had thought of being in on the ownersMp of a track. But he was 
interested immediately in what Brown had said. After all, he spent 
most of his days in Havana at the race track. It would be fun . . . and 
profitable, too ... to have a piece of it. 

Brown waited quietly as McGraw thought it over for a minute or 
two. 

"Well?" Curly asked. 

"Ill call Stonetam tonight/' McGraw said. "I'd like to have Mm 
come down here and look it over. I have an idea he might go for it." 

Stoneham, whose horses campaigned on most of the major tracks 
in the United States, listened with interest when McGraw called 
him. 

"Ill be down there as soon as I can," he said. "I'm pretty well 
jammed up right now, but I'll be down in a couple of weeks." 

Within a week or two he arrived, accompanied by his brother 
Horace and Leo Bondy. They surveyed the situation, went over the 
books with Brown, and were entertained by President MenocaL 
Stoneham was duly impressed and quickly came to terms with 
Brown, taking over all his stock and declaring McGraw in as his 
partner. 

And so McGraw entered upon another field Vice president of the 
Giants, he now was vice president of the Cuban-American Jockey 
Club. It was an experience that was to enliven Ms winters, to add 
to his prestige in Havana, to see him take part quietly in Cuban 
politicshe had a hand in the defeat of Menocal and the election of 

130 



Dr. Alfredo Zayas to the presidency a year later and to cost him 
a fortune. Trainers and owners, eager to see him win, tipped him to 
long shots they felt sure would come rolling down In front. But all 
Ms life he was what is known on the race track as a chalk eater. That 
is, lie leaned to favorites, and couldn't be induced to bet on a horse 
when the odds were greater than 8 to 5. Consequently, when many 
of the long shots won he was on the favorites that finished up the 
stretch. No man in a position to get inside information, much of it 
sound, ever made less use of that position. 

And yet, no matter how much they cost him, the years in which 
he was a part owner of the track were among the happiest of his life. 



XIX > YEAR OF TROUBLE 

HE YEAR 1920 was to be an unhappy one for McGraw, but there 
was no hint of this in the spring. 

The leagues having decided to return to a i54-game schedule and 
the customary long training season, he announced that the Giants 
would not train in Florida again, but would go back to Texas not, 
however, to Marlin, but to San Antonio. 

He always had liked Marlin, and liked it still. But times had 
changed, and it no longer was practical to shut a ball club off in a 
small town. Training trips were becoming increasingly expensive. 
There was a chance for a ball club to get some of its money back 
if it trained in a town where its exhibition games would draw crowds. 
So long as the Giants trained in Marlin they had to go to one of 
the cities to take in any money at the gate to Dallas . . . Fort Worth 
. . . Houston . . . Galveston . . . Waco . . . San Antonio. The sensible 
thing now was for them to pitch their camp in one of those cities. 
San Antonio was the one that had the greatest appeal. 

He was so pleased with his choice that after a week or so te could 
say in all truth that this was the best town in which the Giants ever 
had trained. They were quartered in the old Menger Hotel on the 
Alamo Plaza, 

"This is a nice, homelike place/' one of the reporters said over Ms 
breakfast in the sunlit dining room. 



"Homelike?" Bugs Baer said. "Yes ... except that it's brighter 
and cleaner and the food is better and there's no fighting." 

Everyone in the party was happy. For the ball players, there was 
a good minor-league ball park, with ample club-house room, just a 
brisk walk or a short ride from the hotel There was as Bugs had 
said good food on the table. There were movie shows just down 
the street. And there was plenty of warm sunshine, and no wind 
such as that which blew, sometimes, in Marlin. For the newspaper- 
men there were many attractions. The old Casa del Rio ... the 
Teatro Nacional in the Mexican quarter . . . the little parties ar- 
ranged by Jack O'Brien of the News and Harold Sherwitz of the 
Light . . . trips around the Mission Loop or to Lake Medina . , . visits 
to Fort Sam Houston for cocktails with the officers . . . golf at the 
country club. 

For McGraw there were old friends, remembered from the years 
he trouped through there in his youth . . . and parties in his great, 
higt-ceEinged suite. There were laughs and small practical jokes. 
There were crowds at the workouts every day through the first 
couple of weekSj and bigger crowds at the exhibition games later on. 
There was most important of all a feeling that he was going to 
head north with a team good enough to win the pennant. 

One of his friends returned from a hunting trip to Mexico, on 
which he had shot a female wildcat and captured its three cubs. One 
of the cubs was presented to McGraw at the plate before a game 
one day. 

"He'll bring you luck, I'm sure, John," the hunter said. 

The cat, promptly christened. BE1 Pennant, was a handsome thing. 
It was no bigger than a house cat, but it was spotted like a leopard 
and had big feet. When it walked you knew that it knew it was a 
wildcat. It developed a great fondness for McGraw and a predilec- 
tion for scaring the wits out of his friends when they came upon it 
unexpectedly. It also scared the wits out of Ed Mackall, the Negro 
trainer whom McGraw had brought from Baltimore years before, 
and Larry Doyle, who wanted nothing to do with it whatever and 
would run at the sight of it. 

There were trips to Austin to play the University of Texas ... to 

Dallas ... to Fort Worth . . . and then the trip north. Here, for the 

first time, McGraw ? s pleasure was dimmed. He had arranged a tour 

with the Red Sox, seeking to capitalize on the drawing power of 

132 



Babe Ruth, whose home-run hitting in 1919 had made him the most 
widely publicized player in baseball But that winter the Babe had 
been sold to the Yankees. And now, ironically enough, the Giants 
and the Red Sox were trailing the Yankees and the Dodgers, or 
Robins, as they were called in that period, up through the South. 
The Yanks and the Robins were mopping up ? so that there was very 
little left for the Giants and the Red Sox when they came along a 
day or so later. 

But there were laughs, too, along the way. When other sources of 
merriment failed, there was always Bill Pennant. It hadn't taken 
Bill long to discover that he could frighten trainmen, bellhops, wait- 
ers, hotel clerks almost all who crossed his path. And he took a 
perverse delight in doing just that. McGraw had a collar and chain 
for him, and carried him in a ventilated Gladstone bag such as 
generally is used for small dogs. But, of course, Bill couldn't be kept 
forever in the bag. One night, as McGraw let him out in the deserted 
lobby of a small-town hotel, he stalked menacingly toward a group 
of Negro boys mopping the floor. One look at him, and they were 
sure he had just come down from the hills. They ran up the stairs, 
under the stairs, into the broom closet One rushed into the elevator 
and slammed the door behind him. 

In Ashville, McGraw was in the writing room, just off the lobby, 
talking to a reporter. The cat, having hopped on a table, was brows- 
ing among the inkwells and pens when a soldier came in. The soldier 
didn't see him until he was about to sit down at the table. When he 
did, he darted back, Ms eyes popping, as Bill fixed him with a baleful 
glare. Hugging the wall, the soldier started for the door, where Mc- 
Graw stood smiling. 

"Does that belong to you?" the soldier asked. 

"Yes," McGraw said. 

"Wh what is it?" 

"It's a wildcat." 

"I thought so ! ... Is that a pet?" 

"Yes." 

The soldier looked at tie cat, then back to McGraw. 

"Are you an animal trainer, brother?" he asked. 

"Yes," McGraw said. "My name is Hagenback. Did you ever hear 
of me?" 

133 



"Yes, Mr. Hagenback. Sure, I heard of you. I guess everybody has 
heard of you." 

Now he was at the door. 

"Jesus!" he said. "A wildcat for a pet!" 

Suddenly he fled. He had forgotten all about writing his letter. 

Now the Giants were in New York. The disappointments of the 
tour with the Red Sox were behind McGraw. With the opening of 
the season just ahead, he was in a pleasantly expectant frame of 
mind. His team was in good shape and it was good enough, he 
thought, to win the pennant. His mood would have been far different 
had he known the trials that were to beset him. Not only was he to 
fail again as lie clutched at the pennant, but he was to become in- 
volved in personal difficulties of a grave nature. 

Sharing the unhappiness that enveloped him almost as soon as 
the season began was George Kelly, who had taken Chase's place at 
first base. Although George had been with the Giants most of the 
time for nearly five years, he still hadn't learned to make proper use 
of Ms height and reach, which in time were to be great assets to him. 
His awkwardness was in sharp contrast to the grace of his prede- 
cessor. As he struggled uncertainly about the bag, he was hooted by 
the fans and mocked by some of the baseball writers. Taciturn and 
apparently indifferent to the things that were said to him or written 
about him, he actually was extremely sensitive. The harsh reception 
tie received at first depressed him and then embittered him. 

McGraw, knowing better than anyone else how keenly Kelly felt 
the goading of the f ans, called the boy into his office after one par- 
ticularly unhappy afternoon. 

"I think you know this," he said. "I just wanted to remind you 
of it: I'm the only one you have to care about around here. I'm run- 
ning this ball club, not the fans back of first base nor the gamblers 
back of third nor the reporters in the press box." 

He had said the same thing to Rube Marquard and Fred Snodgrass 
and Fred Merkle. He would say it again to other young players as 
the years rolled along. But he always meant it ; and the players to 
whom he was talking knew he meant it. It gave them the courage 
to go on, even on days when they hated to go to the ball park, dread- 
ing the scorn of the fans. 

And so Kelly went on, improving gradually. But the Giants, who 



had got off to a bad start, continued to falter. Then Frisch fell ill 
suddenly one night and was rushed off to a hospital for an emergency 
appendectomy. His place at third base was taken by Fred Lear, a 
good ball player but not an adequate replacement for him. 

With Frisch out of action there was no speed left in the Giant 
infield. Doyle, at second base, and Fletcher, at short stop, had grown 
old as the ages of ball players are reckoned. Kelly hadn't hit his 
stride. Lear had been around long enough to have pounded some 
of the spring out of his legs. Something had to be done, McGraw 
knew. On June 7 he concluded a deal with the Philadelphia club 
whereby he got Dave Bancroft for Fletcher and an undisclosed 
amount of money, popularly believed at the time to be ?i 00,000. 

Parting with Fletcher was no pleasure for McGraw. The boy he 
had admired at Dallas back in 1908 had been not only one of the 
best short stops in the majors for a long time, but to a greater 
degree than any other player had typified the spirit for which the 
Giants were famous. He had played the game hard and conscien- 
tiously. He had put the team before everything else, had spared him- 
self not at all, had been part and parcel of McGraw's constant 
growth as a manager. And in times of trouble, when McGraw by 
his own actions or by circumstances forced upon him had been in 
danger of bodily harm from an angry opponent or a hostile crowd, 
Fletcher always had been the first at his side thrusting himself in 
front of McGraw, willing to take the punches aimed at him, more 
than willing to throw some punches in his behalf. 

But he had been in New York for eleven years, and those years 
had taken their toU of him. Now McGraw needed someone younger 
and faster as the key man of his infield. So Fletcher went to Phila- 
delphia, and Bancroft checked in at the Polo Grounds. Looking back 
on that vexing year, McGraw was to regard the acquisition of Ban- 
croft as almost its only bright spot. 

Bancroft was twenty-eight years old and its. his sixth season as a 
big-league ball player. But he was one whom the years rode lightly. 
In his first year, which was 1915, he had been the spark plug of the 
team that Pat Moran also in his first year in Philadelphia had 
driven to the pennant the only pennant the Phillies ever had won. 
He was fast, smart, a dead-game competitor. He was, indeed, one 
of the greatest short stops baseball ever has known. Almost as soon 
as lie joined tlie Giants they began to pick up. 

135 



There was a period right after that when the Giants were winning 
so regularly that Lee King, utility outfielder from the hills of West 
Virginia, was moved to say : 

"If we keep going like this for a few weeks, we'll be so far in front 
the rest of the league won't be able to see us with a megascope." 

But they couldn't keep going like that. There continued to be days 
when they couldn't put more than a couple of runs together al- 
though they needed five or six, because their pitching was rocky 
or days when tight pitching and timely hitting were nullified by a 
boot in the field or lack of speed on the bases. 

In July Benny Rauff who never had been the ball player he had 
promised to be when he came over from the Federal League, and 
who, moreover, was having troubles of his own that weighed on his 
mind and affected Ms playing was released on option to Toronto, 
McGraw taking a young outfielder by the name of Vernon Spencer 
to fill Ms place. 

Matty, whose health had been poor since he had come back from 
France the year before, left the club and went to Saranac for a rest. 
This further depressed McGraw, who was deeply concerned about 
Ms friend. 

There were shocking headlines in the newspapers on the morning 
of August 9, which fell on a Monday. Said the Sun: 

McGRAW BEATEN UP; HIS 

FRIEND IS NEAR DEATH 

And then the story: 

C A telephone call from St. Luke's Hospital received at the West 
100th Street police station soon after noon yesterday informed the 
officer on the desk that a man had been brought into the place suffering 
from a probable fracture of the skull and concussion of the brain and 
that the persons who had conveyed him to the hospital were apparently 
unable to account for his injuries. 

"Hurrying to the place. Detectives Love and Fitzgerald found that 
the injured man was John C. Slavin, a veteran of the musical comedy 
stage, and that he had been taken to the hospital by Winfield Liggett, 
a resident of the Lambs Club, aided by a taxicab chauffeur. They were 
told he had received his injuries in some unaccountable manner in front 
of the apartment home of John J. McGraw, manager and part owner 

136 



of the New York National League Baseball Club, who had been Ms 

companion at a rather boisterous session at the Lambs Club. 

"Detective Love Immediately went to McGraw's home, which Is on 
the fifth floor of a large apartment house on the northwest comer of 
Broadway and 109th Street, and he was obliged to ring the bell vigor- 
ously before the baseball man could be awakened from his slumbers. 
When he was admitted to the apartment the detective perceived that 
the Giants' manager had a battered and swollen nose and a blackened 
eye." 

It was a hazy story that McGraw, Liggett and the chauffeur, one 
William Meagan, told the police. McGraw and Liggett, who described 
himself as a retired naval officer, said they had spent a convivial 
evening with Slavln and, early In the morning, had gone to the 
Lambs Club, where McGraw became Involved in a fight with a 
stranger. McGraw then left the club in the company of Liggett and 
Slavln, and hailed a cab for the ride uptown. When they arrived in 
front of McGraw's house, the driver said, Ms fares alighted, and 
after a friendly argument as to who should pay the fare, McGraw 
bade the others good-by and went into the house. 

Liggett, who corroborated the driver, said that he turned to speak 
to Slavin at this point and found the actor lying on the sidewalk. He 
said he had not seen or heard Slavin fail. Neither, Meagan insisted, 
had he. They lifted Slavin into the cab, intending to take him home ; 
but, concluding that he was badly injured, took him to the hospital 
instead. McGraw could say only that the last time he saw Slavin, 
the actor was standing with Liggett and the chauffeur. 

Not until the next day was it learned that McGraw's opponent in 
the Lambs Club bout was William Boyd, an actor well known to the 
Broadway stage as leading man for Ethel Barrymore and Maude 
Adams. Questioned by the police, he said McGraw had attacked him 
when hie objected to the use of strong language on McGraw's part 
in the presence of some women cleaners who were at work in the 
club, and tiat he had had to punish John badly in order to subdue 
Mm. 

District Attorney Swann ordered an investigation by Ms office. 
So this being during ProMbition did James S. Shevlin, supervising 
enforcement agent in New York, when McGraw admitted having 
been drinking in the grill room of the dub. 

Gradually the story took on somewhat clearer outlines. The chauf- 

137 



feur remembered McGraw's having pushed Liggett to the ground in 
front of the house, although he clung to Ms earlier statement that 
he had not seen Slavin fall and had no notion as to how he had been 
injured. McGraw said that in the fight at the club Boyd had de- 
spaired of knocking him out with Ms fists and had hit him over the 
head with a water carafe. He could recollect nothing that happened 
after that, he said, including his departure from the club and tie ride 
home. 

Swann talked of indictments and arrests. He talked so much that 
William J. FaUon, famed criminal lawyer and a friend of McGraw's, 
called on the District Attorney to go before the Grand Jury and seek 
an indictment in order that McGraw might be vindicated as quickly 
as possible. Or, Fallon said, if the District Attorney was unable to 
do this, <f an investigation might be had before any city magistrate, 
openly and publicly, so that the whole truth of this occurrence may 
be known." 

The District Attorney delayed taking action, possibly because, 
for a time, Slavin was in no condition to give evidence. But the 
prohibition agents and the Lambs moved swiftly. The agents, first 
having arrested an employee of the club whom they discovered 
trying to dispose of some liquor on the premises, got an indictment 
from a Federal Grand Jury against McGraw, charging Mm with 
"unlawfully, wilfully and knowingly possessing a bottle of whisky" 
in violation of the Volstead Law. The Lambs, in high dudgeon, 
expelled McGraw. He pleaded not guilty to the indictment and re- 
taliated against the club by having some of the members' passes 
taken up at the Polo Grounds press gate the next time they were 
presented. 

Meanwhile, some of the newspapers gleefully had printed Mc- 
Graw's "ring record," The readers still were chuckling over that 
when McGraw added to it. On the night of September 18 Wilton 
Lackaye, actor and member of the Lambs, went to McGraw's home 
to "give htm some friendly advice" and emerged with a broken ankle, 
suffered, he said, when McGraw hit him and knocked him down. 
That was one accusation McGraw didn't deny. 

Slavin, recovering from his injuries, was prepared, according to 
Ms lawyer, Nathan Burkan, to tell his story to the District Attorney. 
But by that time Swann had lost interest in the case. Slavin then 
filed suit against McGraw for $25,000 damages* This subsequently 

138 



was settled out of court. And so the exact story of what happened 
that Sunday morning never has been told. 

The final chapters were happy ones for McGraw. He went to trial 
the following May before Justice Learned Hand in the United States 
District Court on the liquor charge and was acquitted by a jury that 
required only three minutes in which to reach its verdict. Three years 
later he was reinstated by the Lambs as a result of a petition signed 
by more than three hundred members. 

Having resumed his place in the dugout as soon as Ms wounds 
had healed he never again appeared on the coaching lines McGraw 
sent the Giants into a late-season drive that so seriously threatened 
the league-leading Robins that it looked for a time as though the 
other clubs might yet have some use for Lee King's "megascope." 
But they couldn't quite get up there, and when they lost a double 
header on September 27 the Robins, who were idle that day, eased 
themselves into the pennant 

Shortly after the end of the season McGraw and Jennings, whose 
friendship had flourished through the years, were reunited in base- 
ball. On October 15 Hughie resigned as manager of the Tigers. Five 
days later McGraw announced that his old side kick had agreed to 
join the Giants as a coach. While everybody was wondering how 
McGraw was going to make room for him, with Evers and Cozy 
Dolan on the roster, the answer was given by the Cubs, who revealed 
that they had engaged Evers as their manager. 



XX THE BRIGHTEST ERA OPENS 

ciaHE GIANTS HAD FINISHED second three years in a row . . . and at 
JJL San Antonio in the spring of 1921 McGraw was driving his 
players hard, determined that this year they would win. Had he a 
feeling then that he was entering upon the brightest years of his 
career? That all the triumphs he had known before would be 
dwarfed by those that ky ahead of Mm? Possibly. Certainly, 1920 
had been a bad year for him in many respects; and it is likely that, 
with characteristic optimism, he was looking forward to a brighter 



time, feeling that a span of ill fortune had been passed over, how- 
ever painfully. 

There was a new man at third base that spring Goldie Rapp, 
a veteran of the minor-league trails, up from St. Paul for his first 
fling in the major leagues. Goldie had left most of his speed in the 
minor-league towns. But he was a fair hitter and a sound workman- 
like ball player. McGraw was confident that he could work smoothly 
with Kelly, Frisch and Bancroft, The rest of the team was un- 
changed. 

At Jackson, Tennessee, on the way north that spring, there was 
an incident that proved once more that McGraw never forgot an old 
grievance or forgave an old enemy even if he had to drag him 
into a situation by the heels. 

The Giants were playing the Senators on a diamond laid out within 
the infield of a county-fair race track, so that ground rules covering 
overthrows were agreed upon before the game. In the third inning 
Frisch scored from second base on a wild pitch. George McBride, 
managing the Senators, protested that he should be sent back to 
third- Bill Brennan, who, so far as anyone knew, still was chief of 
staff of the Southern League umpires, was working the Giants 7 spring 
games that year, as he tad worked them the year before. He ruled 
that Frisch was entitled to score. 

Clark Griffith, seated on the Senators' bench, rushed up to add his 
voice to that of his manager. McGraw bustled out to join in the 
argument. 

"Pm not going to let any bush-league umpire working for Mc- 
Graw put anything like that over on me," Griffith said, just as 
McGraw came up. "Ill take my team off the field first." 

"Bush league!' 1 McGraw yelled, thrusting his face almost into 
Griffith's. "Why the hell don't you find out what's going on before 
you start popping off? He was appointed a National League umpire 
last week.'* 

"I don't care if he was," Griff said. "He's working for you now 
and I'm not going to stand for a raw decision like that. If he sticks 
to it, we'll leave the field and I'll call the series off." 

"Leave the field ! Why, you ! You're lucky to be on the same 

field with the Giants! We're the drawing card in this series and 
you know it!" 

Griff laughed mirthlessly. 
140 



"That's a hot one/' lie said. "Why, well outdraw you, and you 
know it." 

"Where? In Washington?" 

"Anywhere!" 

Brennan . . . Frisch . . . McBride . . . the ball game... had been 
forgotten as they bellowed at each other. 

"I always thought you were crazy, 5 ' McGraw snapped. "Now I 
know it. You and Ban Johnson." 

Griff reddened. 

"You leave Ban Johnson out of this ! " he said. 

"I won't leave him out of it!" McGraw yelled. "He's a fat-headed 
! And you can tell him I said so ! " 

Griff turned to Brennan. 

"Are you going to send Frisch back to third base?" he demanded 

"No. 37 

"All right," Griff said. "Then the game is over." 

He strode from the field, his players at his heels, as the crowd 
hooted and McGraw and the Giants hurled taunts at them. 

"Ill fix him," McGraw said. 

He did. He wired to Judge Landis as soon as he reached the 
hotel, informing him of Griff's action and the forfeiture of the game 
to the Giants, adding that Griff had said he would abandon the 
remainder of the series, scheduled to take the teams into Washing- 
ton. Landis promptly wired to Griff, fining him $1,000 for forfeiting 
the game and ordering him to continue the series. Griff obeyed the 
order, of course. 

Two weeks later, in New York, Joe Vila, an old friend of John- 
son's, said to a reporter who had been with the Giants : 

"Did you ever hear McGraw call Ban a ?" 

"Yes," the reporter said. "At Jackson, Tennessee, during an argu- 
ment with Griffith the day Griff forfeited the game. To be precise, 
he called Ban a fat-headed and told Griff he could tell Ban." 

"Well," Joe said, "Griff told Mm." 

The Giants stepped off in front, dropped back to fourth, then 
moved up to second to challenge the Pirates, who had taken the 
lead. It soon became obvious that if McGraw was going to win the 
pennant he ^sought so eagerly, the Pirates were the ones he would 
have to beat. The champion Robins weren s t good enough to repeat, 

141 



and none of the five other clubs had enough stuff to get them to the 
top. And so, as early as May, the Giants and the Pirates were 
straightened out for the long run to October 2. 

McGraw was disappointed in Rapp. Goldie knew how to play 
third base, all right ? since he had been doing It for years. The 
trouble was he had been doing it for too many years. And so McGraw 
began to look around. 

In Cincinnati, Heinie Groh was holding out. McGraw had Heinie 
back in 1913 and had traded him to the Reds when he needed an 
experienced pitcher. In the years since then Groh had developed 
into the best third baseman in the league. Now McGraw wanted him 
back. This seemed to be a chance to get him, with Groh and Garry 
Herrmann at odds over the player's contract. McGraw made an 
-offer for him or, at least, sounded Herrmann out as to possibilities 
for a deal. 

Herrmann, good friend of McGraw's though he was, was deter- 
mined that Groh should play for the Reds, and wasn't going to let 
friendship stand in Ms way. He refused to talk business. Groh, learn* 
ing of McGraw's designs on him, grew even more stubborn and then, 
by way of crabbing the deal completely, announced that he didn't 
want to play in Cincinnati any longer and would be much obliged 
to Herrmann if he would trade or sell him to some other club. This 
touched off a lively row as the Cincinnati fans and newspapers 
Joined in putting Heinie on the pan, and Herrmann screamed to 
high heaven that McGraw was tampering with his ball player. 

McGraw promptly backed off. Groh, seeing that the jig was up, 
decided to play with the Reds after all, and applied for release from 
the suspension imposed upon him automatically when he had con- 
tinued to hold out after the opening of the season. Landis reinstated 
him; but, taking official cognizance of the situation created by 
McGraw ? s overtures to Herrmann, ruled that Heinie must play out 
the season with the Reds. 

Balked in that direction, McGraw turned to Philadelphia, where 
he encountered no difficulty unloading Rapp, Lee King and 
Lance Richbourg, a young first baseman he had found at the 
University of Florida two years before, for Johnny Rawlings and 
Casey Stengel. Rawlings was a second baseman, so McGraw posted 
him at that bag and switched Frisch to third. That api one other 
transaction, also with the Philadelphia dub made the Giants. To 
142 



strengthen Ms outfield, McGraw sent Curtis Walker, who had been 
struggling in center field; Butch Henline, his third-string catcher, 
and a bundle of dough to the Phillies for Emil (Irish) Meusel. He 
put Meusel in left field, shunted Burns to center, and, with Young 
in right, had the best outfield on the circuit. For relief duty on the 
picket line he had Stengel and Bill Cunningham, whom he bought 
from Seattle. 

Naturally, it took a little time to work the newcomers into the 
line-up. In consequence, the Giants were losing ground as they 
fought their way into August. The Pirates were taking a com- 
manding lead in the race. McGraw, straining by day and fretting 
by night, saw the team that he believed was the best in the league 
falter and stumble. On the fifteenth of the month the Cardinals 
arrived for a four-game series and took three of the four games. 

That seemed to settle it. The Pirates, now seven and a half games 
in front, were moving into the Polo Grounds for a five-game series, 
opening in a double header on the nineteenth. Everyone took it 
for granted that they would virtually clinch the pennant in this 
series everyone, that is, save McGraw. 

After the last game with the Cardinals, McGraw kept the players 
in the club house long after they had dressed. He lashed them 
viciously. He pleaded with them. In one breath he called them a 
gutless crew. In the next he begged them to believe Mm when he 
said that the Pirates were overconfident and ready to be taken, and 
that the Giants had but to pull themselves together to win the pen- 
nant. He scored them for their mistakes and their doubts. He re- 
minded them that the Yankees were going to win the American 
League pennant and that an all-New York series would be the richest 
prize ever offered in baseball. The moon was rising over the Harlem 
when, at last, he found that he had no more to say, and let the 
players go. 

The Pirates were in a jubilant, carefree mood when they rolled 
into the Polo Grounds the next day. In their dugout before the game 
Charlie Grimm strummed a ukulele and Maranville and Cotton 
Tierney joined their voices with Ms in song or taunted the Giants 
who, on their side of the field, listened grimly. Since that would be 
the last visit of the Pirates that year, the newspaper photographers 
were out in force, making pictures of them for use just before the 

143 



World Series. No players ever were more obliging. They posed indi- 
vidually and in groups. They did everything but stand on their 
heads and they undoubtedly would have done that if the photog- 
raphers had asked them to. 

"Look at them!" McGraw snarled to his players. "Look at the 
downs! Nobody ever had a softer touch than you fellows have 
today." 

Whether or not the players had believed him in the club house the 
night before, they believed him now. Suddenly they knew they could 
win that, although they trailed by seven and a half games, six 
weeks of the season remained. If they could knock the Pirates off 
in this series, that World Series gold McGraw had been taking about 
would be theirs. 

Nehf pitched the first game and won it. Douglas, at the top of 
Ms form, won the second. The nest day there was no singing in the 
Pirates' dugout. The players were shaken, bewildered. George Gib- 
son, their worried manager, tried to jolt them out of the fog into 
which they had been blasted. But it was no use. The Giants won 
again. Now they were hot. Nothing could stop them, and they knew 
it and so did the Pirates. Douglas, quite overwhelmed by his suc- 
cess on the opening day, had disappeared, but his teammates 
scarcely missed him. They won the fourth game as the crowd, which 
had drifted off in recent weeks, believing they were lost, came rush- 
ing back. Nehf, pitching the fifth game before packed stands, won 
again. The Giants had swept the series. The Pirates, their confidence 
shattered, staggered over to Brooklyn. They lost a series to the 
Dodgers as the Giants swept on to capture the lead. 

The Giants still had to go west to clinch the pennant on hostile 
ground. But that didn't bother them in the least. By this time it was 
as certain as anything could be that they were going to win the 
pennant. When they reached Pittsburgh the newspaper photogra- 
phers wanted them, to pose for pictures to be used just before the 
World Series, of course. 

"Get away!" the Giants said. 

The photographers pleaded with them. 

"Get away," the Giants said, "before we start throwing bats at 
you." 

The photographers went to McGraw. 

"Will you tell your players to pose for us?" they asked. 

144 



He shook his head, smiling. 

"No/ 7 he said. "I appreciate what you're up against, and I could 
tell them to pose and they would. But look at it from my standpoint. 
They've got in into their heads that one of the reasons the Pirates 
blew up in New York is that they posed for the World Series pic- 
tures and they are taking no chances. I know it's foolish, and so do 
you. But do you want me to upset them? For what? For a handful 
of pictures ?" 

"Well" 

"No," McGraw said. "Of course you don't." 

The photographers left the field. 

The Giants swung on their way, clinched the pennant and looked 
ahead to the World Series with the Yankees. Never before had New 
York been so stirred over a series. Never before had one meant so 
much to McGraw. 

Mind, he had won only one, and that sixteen years before. This 
in itself was a challenge to him. And it was pointed up when one 
New York baseball writer, favoring the Yankees' chances in the 
series, wrote : 

"So far as the Giants' strategy in the series is concerned, the 
Yankees should have no worries. John McGraw has won only one 
autumn classic in five tries and his first lieutenant, Hughie Jennings, 
was knocked off three times in a row (in 1907, 1908 and 1909) when 
he managed the Tigers. The only thing the Yankees apparently have 
to fear is that the law of averages will operate in the Giants' favor. 
Certainly the record of the Giants up to now isn't calculated to 
cause any alarm on the part of Miller Huggins." 

That was but half of it. This was the other half: 

For years for as many years as there had been major-league 
baseball in New York the Giants had dominated the town. This 
never had been more so than since the coming of McGraw. The 
Yankees had struggled along, neglected, at times almost forgotten, 
as the crowds had poured into the Polo Grounds, yelling for McGraw 
and for Matty and all the other heroes McGraw had put into Giant 
uniforms. And then, as Babe Ruth came on the scene, there had 
been a change. In two seasons New York had become an American 
League stronghold. 

Fans who never had seen the Yankees play before flocked to see the 
Babe. New fans new Yankee fans were made every time the Babe 

US 



Ht a ball into the stands. Even as the Giants rushed up from the 
rear to smash the Pirates, wrest the lead from them, and win the 
pennant, the Yankees continued to get the big play at the turnstile 
and in the newspapers. The older fans were faithful to the Giants. 
But they were outnumbered by those whose imagination had been 
fired by the Babe and who swore allegiance to the Yankees. This 
was reflected in the newspapers, most of the first-string baseball 
writers being assigned to the Yankees. 

It is understandable that this should have set badly with Mc- 
Graw. For the first time since Ms rise to greatness as a baseball 
figure he was overshadowed and in New York, at that. It galled 
him to hear the crowds yell for Ruth, where once they had yelled 
so loudly for him. It was plain that, in his mind, the impending 
series would be a struggle not between him and Huggins but be- 
tween Mm and Ruth. It was so plain that the baseball writers seized 
upon it and played it up. What, they wondered, under appropriate 
headlines, would happen when the master mind of the Giants had to 
deal with the Babe in a pinch? 

One of them Arthur Robinson of the American who regularly" 
covered the Yankees, but had made the last western trip with the 
Giants to discover, in his own words, how the other half lived, put 
the question to McGraw directly on the eve of the series. 

"How will you pitch to the Babe, Mac?" he asked. 

McGraw bristled. 

"Why don't you ask Ruth?" he countered. "He can tell you as 
well as I can. The way we did in exMbition games when he was 
with the Red Sox. But don't ask him how he Mt against us. He 
might not like it." 

Robinson was persistent. 

"But he does worry you, doesn't he?" he asked. 

<c Why should he worry me?" McGraw demanded. "Why all the 
excitement about Ruth? We've been pitching all along to a better 
Mtter than Ruth ever will be." 

"You mean ?' 7 

"Homsby," McGraw snapped. "He's a 3-to-i better Mtter than 
Ruth." 

McGraw didn't mean that, of course for, as great a Mtter as 
Homsby was, no one ever was three times as good as Ruth. But it 
was McGraw's way of seeming to brush Ruth off at a time when 
146 



everyone knew that the Babe was very much on his mind. And yet 
it was so that, of all the managers with .whom he had to contend, 
the Babe had most to fear from McGraw, who had learned in the 
spring of 1919 that he could be held in check by soft stuff built 
around a low curve ball on the inside. 

The series got under way with Douglas pitching against Carl 
Mays. Shuffling Phil was good that day, but Mays was superb, shut- 
ting the Giants out with five hits as the Yankees won, 3 to o. In 
the second game Nehf was hooked up with Waite Hoyt. They put 
on a thrilling duel, Nehf yielding three hits and Hoyt two. But 
three Giant errors decided the game, and again the Yankees won 
by a score of 3 to o. 

Now, in the Giants' club house, after the reporters had left and 
McGraw had the players to himself, there was a repetition of the 
scene that had taken place the night he had browbeaten the Giants 
into believing they could whip the Pirates. He told them that, al- 
though no team that lost the first two games of a World Series ever 
had come on to win, they could do it. He berated them for having 
lost a well-pitched game by Nehf that afternoon. He stressed the 
fact that the new rule, inaugurated the year before the series to be 
decided by five victories in nine games, instead of four in seven 
was to their advantage, since it gave them added time in which to 
recover from the slump into which they had fallen. That's what he 
called it, a slump. Giving no credit to Mays and Hoyt for their 
splendid pitching, he hammered at the Giants for their weakness at 
the plate. 

It was a grimly determined Giant team that the Yankees faced in 
the third game. Toney started against Bob Shawkey. In the third 
inning the Yankees tore into Toney, battered Mm out of the box, 
and scored four runs. It looked for a moment like the finish as the 
Giants reeled under the blows of Murderers 7 Row. But, seemingly 
hopelessly beaten, they lashed back at Shawkey in their half of 
the inning, drove him to cover, and counted four times to tie the 
score. Jack Quinn, who had relieved Shawkey, got along famously 
until the seventh inning. Then the Giants piled into him, kept right 
on against Rip Collins, Ms successor, and rang up eight runs. Jess 
Barnes, who had taken over the Giants' pitching when Toney was 
toppled, was scored upon only in the eighth inning and then only 

147 



once. The Giants also scored a run in tliat inning. The final count 
was 13 to 5. 

The Giants, rallying late behind Douglas in the fourth game, beat 
Mays to even the series. Then they carried on to win in eight games. 
Nehf outpointed Hoyt, i to o, in the final game. An error by Roger 
Peckinpaugh, the Yankee short stop, permitted the Giants to score 
the only run of the game in the first inning. A dazzling double play, 
Rawlings to Kelly to Frisch, put the crusher on a Yankee attack in 
the ninth. 

That night, in the Giants' suite in the Waldorf, McGraw and 
Stoneham were hosts at a celebration that never will be forgotten by 
those who attended it including one Giant player who never had 
been known to take a drink before, but was carried out, stiff as a 
board, along about five o'clock of the morning after. It was one of the 
great nights of McGraw's life. He hadn't completely conquered 
Ruth. The Babe, forced out by an arm injury in the fifth game and 
appealing thereafter only as a pinch hitter in the eighth, had led the 
Yankees in batting with an average of .313. But McGraw had seen 
the big guy go down on strikes eight times as the Giant pitchers 
held him to a single home run, made off Douglas in the fourth game. 
And he had conquered the Yankees after spotting them the first two 
games and once more the Giants ruled the town. 

And so there were hams and chickens and turkeys for the guests 
that night or steaks for those who wanted them. And rye and 
Scotch and gin and champagne. Little Jimmy Flynn, a tenor much 
fancied by the baseball and prize-fight mob, and a great favorite 
with McGraw, sang. So did Frank Belcher, once a basso with the 
famed San Francisco Minstrels and a regular companion of Me- 
Graw's, who was partial to "Asleep In the Deep" and "I'm Off to 
Philadelphia In The Morning." So, too, did Lieutenant Gitz-Rice, 
whose "Dear Old Pal Of Mine," composed by him in the trenches 
during the World War and first sung there to other soldiers, was 
sung now by him to his own accompaniment on the piano. 

Someone had clipped the headlines telling of the Giants' victories 
from the evening newspapers and pasted them across the mirrors in 
all the rooms of the suite. Endless toasts were drunk to McGraw. The 
sun was high over Fifth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street as the last 
of the guests emerged and tottered homeward. 

New laurels were being tossed at McGraw in the wake of that 
148 



stirring victory. His personal sense of satisfaction was great. But 
he was moving too briskly then to allow either added glory or per- 
sonal pride to slow him down. He was looking ahead to another 
year and the years beyond that. And so, at the league meetings in 

New York in December, he grabbed most of the headlines with two 
deals. 

Although Frisch had played brilliantly at third base and Rawlings 
was steady at second base and had been a hero in the World Series, 

McGraw knew his infield would be stronger with Frisch at second 
and Groh at third. Compelled to cancel Ms negotiations for Groh in 

June, he had been biding his time. Now, with the heat oS Heinie, lie 
got him in exchange for Bums and Mike Gonzales. 

Parting with Bums wasn't easy for him. George was one of the 
few players for whom he ever had indicated a warm personal regard. 
He had taken him as a raw busher and guided him in his develop- 
ment into what Bill McGeehan had called the almost perfect out- 
fielder. But George was slipping now, however slightly, and since 
McGraw needed Groh and Cincinnati wanted Burns, the veteran 
had to go. 

Gonzales had caught few games that yeai ? having done most of 
his chores in batting practice or in the bull pen. McGraw felt that 
he could afford to give him up easily. Yet there was a curious twist 
to that deal. When the Reds asked for waivers on Mike and, having 
got them, sent him to St. Paul, McGraw said : 

"I was surprised that Gonzales got out of the league, since there 
isn't a better receiver on any club, and I was willing to let him go 
only because I had Snyder and Smith. When I saw the request for 
waivers, I was going to put in a claim for Mm, but I was afraid 
everybody would say there was something phoney about the whole 
business." 

The other transaction that created wide interest was the purchase 
of Jimmy O'Connell from the San Francisco club for $75,000, at that 
time the highest price ever paid for a minor-league ball player. 
O'Connell, born in Sacramento and a graduate of Santa Clara Col- 
lege, was twenty-one years old and the most popular player in the 
Coast League. Playing first base and the outfield for the Seals that 
year, he had hit .337. Since it was only his second year in the league, 
McGraw was of the opinion he needed more schooling, and arranged 

149 



to leave him in San Francisco through 1922, giving instructions to 
have him played in the outfield exclusively. 

Those details having been attended to, McGraw was ready to take 
a rest. He and Mrs. McGraw sailed for Cuba a few days later. 



XXI Q A CROWDED YEAR 

A.W WAS A COMPLETELY happy man at San Antonio in the 
spring of 1922. Behind him lay a pleasant winter in Havana: 
watching the horses run . . and having a good bet on many a win- 
ner ; hearing the pleasant whir of the wheels spinning and the dice 
clicking in the Casino ; strolling in the sun on the beach at La Playa ; 
giving ... or attending . . . parties at the Biltmore or the Nacional 
or the Country Club. Ahead of him lay another season . . . and in that 
camp at San Antonio he had the champions of the world. 

Years later he was to say that the greatest team he ever managed 
was that which had won in 1905. Perhaps it was. But there were 
many who would disagree with him, and say that he only thought so 
because he was young in 1905 and never before had known the thrill 
of managing a world championship team. They would say that this 
team of 1922 was the greatest he ever had. He would shake his head 
at that and say no, that the team of 1905, with Matty and McGin- 
nity and Bresnahan and the others, topped any team he had known. 
But that spring of 1922 at San Antonio he knew he had something. 

It was, in his judgment, an even stronger team than it had been 
the year before, when it had overhauled the Pirates and gone on to 
beat the Yankees in the series. The acquisition of Groh made it 
possible for him to move Frisch back to second. That with no dis- 
respect to Rawlings -gave the Giants a tighter inner defense. Burns, 
long the wheel horse of the outfield, might be missed, but he didn't 
think so. He had young Ralph Shinners, up from Milwaukee, to take 
over that spot, and, to support Shinners if necessary, he had Stengel 
and Cunningham. There wasn't a catcher in baseball better than 
Snyder -and Snyder wasn't much better than Smith. And there 
wasn't anything wrong with a pitching staff that included Nehf, 
Douglas, Ryan, Jess and Virgil Barnes, Toney, and Claude Jonnard. 

The players felt that way about it, too. They had the feel of 
150 



champions. They got in shape early, hammered their way tip through 
the South in a series of exhibition games, mostly with the Red Sox, 
and moved into Memphis for the usual week-end stand. 

Kid Elberfeld, who managed the Little Rock club of the Southern 
League, called on McGraw. 

"I got a young fellow on my ball club you might be interested in, 
Mac/ 5 the Kid said. 

McGraw was interested. He knew the Tobasco Kid didn't tout 
stiffs. 

"Who is he?" he asked. 

"A boy named Jackson. Comes from right over here in Arkansas 
town called Waldo, across the river. I had him last year. He didn't 
hit much, but he'll hit better as he goes along. He has a lot of power 
for a skinny kid. And he can hound the ball around short stop and 
you never saw a better arm, Mac." 

"He sounds all right." 

"He's better than that/' the Kid said. "Have somebody watch him 
this year. If he goes good and you want him, you got first call on 
him." 

They had a couple of drinks, and then the Kid, restless as always, 
started out. 

"Don't forget the name," he said, at the door. "Jackson." 

"I won't, Kid," McGraw said. "Much obliged." 

A little later Tom Watkins, owner of the Memphis club, Mc- 
Graw's friend for many years, and Ms host at the Tennessee Qub 
whenever the Giants were in town, came in. He poured himself a 
drink. 

"There's a fellow in this town you ought to get, Mac," he said. 

McGraw's personal scouting system was at work again. 

"Yes?" McGraw asked. "Who's that?" 

"Fellow by the name of Terry. A big left-handed pitcher, a good 
hitter and a good all-round ball player. He used to pitch for Shreve- 
port. He was one of the best pitchers in this league till he quit." 

"What did he quit for?" 

"Oh," Watkins said, 'lie was married and had a Md or a couple of 
kids, I forget which. Anyway, he wanted to stay home. So he got a 
year-round job with the Standard Ofl Company and he pitches for 
their baH dub, the Pokrines. When he isn't pitching he plays first 



base. He's the best hitter on the ball club. Big, swell-looking fellow. 
You might be able to use him." 
"Where?" 

Watkins shrugged. 

"You can't tell," he said. "You might be able to do a lot with a 
fellow like that if you can get him. 33 

"Is he hard to get?" 

"He might be," Watkins said. "He's a hard-headed young man. 
Anyway, if you'd like to talk to him, 111 have him come up to see 
you." 

"Fine. Have him come up tomorrow." 

McGraw was in his room the next morning when there was a knock 
at Ms door. 

"Come in," he said. 

A young fellow walked in big, broad-shouldered, round-faced, 
dark-haired, serious-looking. 

"I'm Bill Terry, 37 he said. 

"Oh, yes/' McGraw said. 

He noted the easy grace with which Terry moved, the size of 
Ms hands, the strength of his grip. 

"They tell me you're quite a ball player," he said. 

"They tell me the same thing," Terry said. "I don't know whether 
to believe them or not." 

McGraw smiled. 

"How'd you like to come to New York with me?" he asked. 

"What for?" 

"Well, to play with the Giants, maybe." 

"For how much?" 

McGraw's smile faded. He looked at Terry sharply. 

"Do you understand what I'm offering you?" he asked. "Fm offer- 
ing you a chance to play with the Giants if you're good enough." 

Terry took a cigar out of the breast pocket of his coat and lighted 
it. 

"Excuse me if I don't fall all over myself," he said. "But the 
Giants don't mean anything to me unless you can make it worth my 
while. I've got to have a contract with the Giants and for more 
dough much more dough than I'm making around here." 

McGraw burned a little. No busher ever had talked that way to 
him before. 

152 



"Weil/ 3 he said, "if that's the way you feel about it" 

"I'll tell you just how I feel about it, Mr. McGraw/' Terry said, 
"because I don't want you to misunderstand me and think I'm just a 
swell-headed clown. I'm not. But I'm doing all right here. I quit the 
Southern League because I got tired of tramping around the country 
with a minor-league ball club, and I was married and had a baby and 
wanted to settle down some place. I came here and I got a job. I 
have a nice home and I'm in no hurry to leave either my job or my 
home. If I can make much more money going to New York, I'll go. 
But you can't get me excited just by talking to me about the' Giants. 
As I told you before, the Giants don't mean anything to me " 

"Well " 

"And remember this: I didn't come up here looking for a job. 
I came only because Tom Watkins said you wanted to talk to me." 

McGraw, strictly on the defensive, fell into a figurative clinch. 

"Well/' he said, "there's no hurry about it I'll think it over and 
let you know later." 

Terry got up and, smiling, extended his hand. 

"It was nice to have met you, Mr. McGraw/' he said. "If you 
want to make me an offer, you can reach me in care of the Standard 
Oil Company." 

"AH right/ 5 McGraw said. "Good-by." 

In spite of himself, he was bound to admire Terry for his forth- 
rightness. For a split second he was tempted to call Mm back, but 
he decided against it. He would wait until he reached New York. 

The Giants hit the road for New York, opened the season, lost a 
few games, then picked up speed and smashed into the lead on April 
23. Now the team was clicking. Shinners, quickly achieving a major- 
league stride, was hitting over ,300. The infield already was tagged 
as the best in baseball. 

Then a blow fell upon the team. In a game in Philadelphia, Shin- 
ners was hit in the head by a ball pitched by Columbia George 
Smith. Rushed to a hospital, he was found to be suffering from a 
severe injury so severe the doctors feared his sight would be per- 
manently impaired. McGraw, raging, accused Smith of having de- 
liberately beaned the youngster, whereupon Smith laughed in Ms 
face. 

153 



Stengel and Cunningham, alternating in center field, closed the 
gap caused by the felling of Shinners. The Giants moved on. 

One day in New York, McGraw wired to Terry, offering him a 
contract for $5,000 and stipulating that, if he were sent to a minor- 
league club, the Giants would hold an option on him. Terry accepted, 
and a few days later reported at the Polo Grounds. 

"Work out for a few days," McGraw said, "and then I'll look at 
you." 

After a few days of pitching to the hitters in batting practice, 
Terry was ready for a trial. McGraw watched him as he wheeled 
fast balls and curves at Snyder. Now it was his turn his chance to 
square things for that interview in Memphis. 

"Is that aH you've got?" he asked. 

"Yes," BiH admitted. 

McGraw nodded. 

"Well," he said, "you can hit, anyway. I was watching you from 

the club house window this morning 111 tell you what you do : 

You buy yourself a first baseman's mitt and work out there for a 
few days. If you don't spike yourself too badly, I'll send you out to 
George Whitted in Toledo and we'U see if he can make a first base- 
man out of you.". 

He walked away. Terry stood there, discomfited, for a moment, 
then walked slowly to the club house. He never was to forget that 
moment never, even when he was rated as the top first baseman 
in the National League and one of the great hitters of the game, to 
feel other than that McGraw hadn't given him a fair trial as a 
pitcher. ... A few days later he was on his way to Toledo. 

Shinners, apparently having recovered from his head injury, re- 
turned to the Giants. But he hadn't recovered completely nor would 
he, ever. He couldn't hit, and he was uncertain in the outfield. He 
complained of pains in his head now and then, or would brush his 
hands across his eyes. McGraw had to take Mm out of the line-up. 

The Phillies came to the Polo Grounds. Smith was pitching, and 
Shinners watched Mm from the bull pen. Smith was knocked out of 
the box. As he trudged toward the club house, Shinners got up from 
the bull pen bench and walked slowly to meet him. McGraw, sensing 
what was coming, rushed out of the dugout, through the exit leading 

154 



under the stand, and emerged, breathless but belligerent, through the 
gate in right field that a startled cop had opened for him at Ms 
command. He arrived just as the players met. 

"Some of the fellows on your ball club tell me you bragged about 
hitting me in the head/' Shinners said. 

Smith, never lacking for courage, sneered at him. 

"What about it?" he asked. 

"Did you hit me on purpose?" 

Whether he did or not, George wasn't going to evade a challenge 
like that. 

"Yes," he said "I did." 

"Why, you dirty I" McGraw yelled, rushing at him. 

But Shinners beat him to it. He spun Smith with a smash on the 
jaw. Smith struck back at him, but he closed in and landed again. 
Smith went down. Shinners hurled himself on top of him, and they 
hammered at each other on the ground. Players, umpires, policemen, 
and fans streamed across the field to break up the fight. McGraw, 
trying to kick Smith but not making a very good job of it because 
of the danger of kicking Shinners instead, was dragged away from 
the struggling pain The combatants finally separated, were hauled 
off to the club house. McGraw, still seething, returned to the dugout. 

Shinners never regained major-league form, and some weeks later 
McGray regretfully released him to Toledo. 

The pitching lagged as July came on. It picked up again in a week 
or so. But McGraw had seen enough to know that it wasn't as 
sound as he had thought. The Cardinals, managed by Branch Rickey, 
were pressing the Giants for the lead, and might win unless some- 
thing was done to strengthen the Giants' pitching. 

There was a fellow in Boston that McGraw wanted. His name was 
Hughie McQuillan. McGraw knew he was a better pitcher than the 
averages indicated. The Braves had been dropping steadily through 
the league in the last six or seven years. Now they were bumping 
along on the bottom, or close to it and that wasn't the sort of ball 
dub for which McQuillan could pitch. He wasn't gaited that way, 
being easy-going. He could pitch with the best in the league when 
the chips were down, but he also could lose interest when his club 
wasn't going anywhere. Good-looking 5 extremely likable, and a native 
of New York, he would be a popular figure at the Polo Grounds. 

"I*hear he's no early-to-bed, early-to-rise fellow," McGraw told 

155 



Stoneham. "But I'll be able to handle him. He can win for us, 
Charlie. He could be the difference between the pennant and second 
place." 

"Get him/' Stoneham said. 

It was reported the Giants paid $100,000 for him. The deal was 
severely criticized. In St. Louis, McGraw was charged with buying 
the pennant. In Boston, both he and his friend, George Washington 
Grant, who owned the Braves, were roundly panned for further 
wrecking the Boston club to strengthen New York. Even in New 
York one writer commented : 

"The Giants have taken an unfair advantage of the Cardinals, 
who are in no position financially to compete with them. Up to now, 
the pennant race was a sporting affair but McGraw has attempted to 
swing it his way with a check for $100,000. If, with the help of Mc- 
Quillan's pitching, the Giants win the pennant, there will be a blot 
on it." 

McGraw was as impervious to criticism as he generally was. Let 
them holler. He had McQuillan. Now he had no doubt he would win 
the pennant. He knew, too, that by that time the excitement over 
the purchase of McQuillan would have died down, and there would 
be no talk about an unfair advantage or a blot on the pennant. 

Meanwhile, Douglas had become a problem. McGraw hired de- 
tectives to trail him, but gave that up because Doug always was 
shrewd enough to know when he was being followed. One morning 
in Philadelphia he purposely led his shadow on a long walk that 
started and ended at the hotel. Having entered the hotel on his 
return, he peered out the door and saw the detective wearily seat 
himself on the steps of a house across the street. He walked over to 
him, seized him roughly by the lapels of his coat, and dragged him 
to his feet. 

"I was just having fun with you this morning," he said, sternly, 
"but if I ever catch you dogging me around again, I'll stomp you 
right through the sidewalk and you can tell McGraw what I said. 
Now git the hell out of here!" 

He aimed a kick at the frightened detective, cursed when he 
missed, and then stalked back into the hotel. 

McGraw decided, after that, there was only one thing to do to 
fiire a keeper for Doug as, some years ago, he had hired one for 
156 



Bugs Raymond. Doug was inclined to rebel at first. But when he 
met his keeper, he was mollified. The keeper's name was O'Brien, 
and Doug liked him immediately. When the Giants were in New 
York, and Doug's wife and two small daughters were in town, 
O'Brien would pick him up at his apartment in the morning, take 
him to the Polo Grounds, and deliver him to his wife after the game. 
If Doug's family wasn't in town, O'Brien lived with him at a hotel. 
On the road they were inseparable, rooming together, eating to- 
gether, going together for walks at night or, perhaps, to a movie. 
Doug developed such a fondness for O'Brien that he remained on 
his good behavior simply because he didn't want to do anything to 
embarrass him. His struggle to keep from imbibing overmuch was 
lightened by the thoughtfulness of his keeper. O'Brien, who had been 
around considerably, knew the better speakeasies in every town and, 
of an evening, he would take Doug in for a couple of beers on the 
way back from a walk or a picture show. 

One night in Pittsburgh they somehow became separated in the 
crowd coming out of a theater. O'Brien was greatly upset, fearing 
that Doug, finding himself alone, would go on a bender. But he 
needn't have been. Doug met Will Wedge of the Sun a block from 
the hotel. 

"Have you seen that feller that goes around with me?" he asked, 
anxiously. 

"No," Will said. 

"Well, I don't want to go back without him because Mac might 
see me and then he'd get in trouble. You go and look in the lobby, 
and if he's there, tell him I'll wait here for him." 

Wedge found O'Brien nervously scanning the lobby. 

"Looking for Doug?" he asked. 

"Yes, have you seen him?" 

"He's waiting for you on the other side of Forbes Street a block 
below here," Will said. 

O'Brien thanked him and hurried out. A few minutes later he and 
Doug sauntered into the hotel together, got their key, and went up 
to their room. 

It was a good arrangement. Doug, in better shape than he'd 
known in a long time, was winning consistently and shoving the 
Giants steadily 'closer to the pennant. It was, indeed, too good to 
last. McGraw, always suspicious of Doug, noting the friendliness 

157 



between him and Q'Brien, and interpreting it as evidence that 
O'Brien was being too lenient with Doug and therefore wasn't to be 
trusted either, dismissed O'Brien and engaged Jess Burkett as the 
pitcher's keeper. 

Burkett, once a great hitter and, for many years after that, a 
manager in the Eastern League, had done considerable scouting for 
the Giants, and had McGraw's Implicit confidence. Moreover, he 
had known Doug for a long time. Doug liked him and McGraw be- 
lieved he had made a sound move. But he hadn't. Doug, resenting the 
discharge of his pal O'Brien, brooded over it until he reached the 
breaking point. When that happened, he slipped out of Burketfs 
sight in New York one night. 

Four days later he appeared, shaken and disheveled, in the club 
house at the Polo Grounds. McGraw pounced on him, shoved him 
into his office, slammed the door behind him, and gave him a twenty- 
minute tongue lashing that, in spite of the closed door, could be 
heard by the players dressing for the game. At last the door opened. 
Douglas shuffled through it toward the locker room. 

"Don't bother to dress!" McGraw stormed. "Go home and sleep 
it off, you big bum! But you be here tomorrow or I'll fix you so 
you'll never pitch again!" 

Weary, beaten, in the grip of a dreadful hangover, Doug slumped 
on a bench in the locker room. McGraw and the players left him 
there when they went out to the field. Shortly afterward, when Ed 
Mackall, the Negro trainer, returned to the club house, Doug was 
gone. 

He was there on time the next morning, however, looking re- 
freshed after a night's sleep. He pitched a few days later, was in 
good spirits again, and submitted cheerfully to the guardianship of 
Burkett who, having been subjected to a terrific verbal licking by 
McGraw for having allowed Doug to get away from him, was de- 
termined that nothing of the sort should happen again. There seemed 
to be indeed, there was no danger that it would. 

When the Giants left for Pittsburgh a few nights after Doug's 
return it was, to be exact, on August 15 Doug walked through 
the Pennsylvania Station with one of the baseball writers, Burkett 
trailing at his heels. 

"I been a sucker," Doug said, "but not any more. That vacation 
I took last week was the last one. You wait and see. I been doing 
158 



pretty good this year, taking care of myself most of the time and 
saving my money. I got a house now down in Birmingham. I bought 
a lot of things for my wife and kids. And look what I bought for 
Doug." 

He held out his left hand, A diamond ring sparkled on the middle 
finger. 

"I had diamonds before/' he said, "but I always was buying ? em 
on time and had to give 'em back because something would happen 
and I couldn't keep up the payments. This is the first one I ever 
owned. No 3 sir, you don't have to worry about Doug no more." 

Shortly before noon the next day, in the Schenley Hotel, Jim Tier- 
ney, the secretary, called all the newspapermen to McGraw's suite. 
There they found McGraw staring glumly out a window. At the desk 
in the living room was the grim figure of Judge Landis. 

"Gentlemen/ 7 the Judge said solemnly, "I have just placed the 
name of Phil Douglas on the permanent ineligible list." 

The newspapermen stared at Mm, unbelieving, for a moment, then 
broke into a torrent of questions. 

"Why? What happened? What did he do?" 

They turned, bewildered, to McGraw. 

"Ask the Judge/' he said. 

The Judge picked up a letter from the desk and held it out to 
them. 

"I called Douglas in and asked him if he had written this/* he 

said. "He confessed that he had There was nothing else for me 

to do." 

The letter was on a single sheet of the New York dub's stationery. 
It was in Doug's unmistakable ragged handwriting, It had been 
written that day in the club house when McGraw and the players 
had left him alone in the locker room. It was addressed to Leslie 
Mann, an outfielder with the Cardinals, who then were pressing the 
Giants for the lead. It informed Mann that if the Cardinal play- 
ers would make it worth Ms while, he would go fishing for the rest 
of the year, thus clearing their way to the pennant. 

The loss of Douglas came as a shock, of course. No team, how- 
ever strong, could lose a pitcher of his caliber and not feel it. But 
McGraw, wasting no time in regrets, plunged ahead. His pkyers, 
taking the cue from Mm, did the same. And then, almost as if to 

159 



make up to tliem for the passing of Douglas, Jack Scott showed tip 
at the Polo Grounds. 

Scott was a tobacco farmer from Ridgeway, North Carolina. A big 
right-handed pitcher, he had been with the Braves for four years and 
had a fair record with a poor ball club. In the fall of 1921 he had 
been traded to the Reds. Then he was assailed by misfortune. The 
barns in which he had stored Ms crops burned and his crops had 
not been insured. His pitching arm was injured in some fashion, and 
the Reds released him in May. He went home to try to recoup his 
fortunes in the fields. But there was a tobacco price war on, and by 
this time most of his neighbors were as badly off as himself. 

Big, slow-moving, slow-thinking, he refused to give up hope. Two 
months out of baseball two months in which, at least, he hadn't 
put any strain on his injured arm by trying desperately to pitch 
had helped him, he believed. He was sure that if he could get a trial 
with another big-league club he could make a job for himself. 

"McGraw was the one I thought of, right from the beginning," 
he said. "I didn't know him to speak to, but I knew that, of all the 
managers, he was the one who would be most likely to give me a 
chance. I had heard how much he had done for other ball players, 
and I knew he would gamble on a fellow like me, where the other 
managers wouldn't." 

With almost the last money he had in the world, he paid his fare 
from Ridgeway to New York and walked in on McGraw in the 
club house one day. 

"I believe I can pitch again, Mr. McGraw," he said. "I ain't asking 
much. I'd just like to stay around here and work out for a while." 

But we're going on the road tomorrow/' McGraw said. 

"I know you are. But you just let me stay here and I'll get some- 
body to work with me. By the time you come back, I'll show you 
something. And, if you're satisfied, I'll sign with you for whatever 
you want to give me." 

McGraw looked at the big fellow seated across the desk from 
him. He was impressed by his earnestness. 

"All right," he said. "You're on. Tell Mackall to give you a uni- 
form. Just don't get in the Yankees 3 way when they move in to- 
morrow. And" smiling "if your arm comes back, don't sign with 
the Yanks. I may want you to pitch against them when we get into 
the series, because it looks as though they're going to win, too." 
1 60 



"I won't sign with anybody but you/' Scott said. "I'm much 

obliged to you, Mr. McGraw." 
He got up and started for the door. 

"Wait a minute," McGraw said. "Do you need any money?" 
"Well " The big fellow hesitated. 

"Here," McGraw said. "Here's enough to keep you going until 
we get back." 

"I won't forget this/' Scott said, putting the money in Ms pocket. 
"Ill pay you back and I'll pay you back in that pitching box, too. 

You wait and see." 

Running around the park every morning to get his legs in shape, 
pitching to anyone he could get to catch him including the club 
house boys or Stevens' hustlers^-he worked tirelessly. The Yankees, 
sharing the Polo Grounds with the Giants, used to see him toiling 
along the fringes of tie field, but paid little or no attention to him. 
So far as they were concerned, he was just another sore-arm, pitcher 
engaged in the hopeless task of trying to rehabilitate himself. Had 
they known the part he was to play in their immediate future they 
wouldn't have felt so sorry for him. They would have felt sorry, 
indeed, for themselves. 

By the time the Giants returned, Scott was ready. McGraw 
looked at him, believed in him . . . and signed Mm. He used Mm as 
a relief pitcher a few times, and was privately delighted with what 
he saw. Cagily, he said notMng about this to anyone not even to 
Scott. Perhaps even then he had a plan. 

He might have felt -he had good reason to that Ms troubles 
were over. The team was winning, knocking off the Cardinals, the 
Pirates, and the Reds, who were their leading challengers. Douglas 
had failed Mm, but he had McQuillan, who, as he had predicted, was 
a winning pitcher and a new hero with Polo Grounds fans. Nehf was 
the best left-hander in the league and a sure money pitcher, starting 
practically every important series and sometimes finishing it, too. 
His Infield was the best. In right field, Young was terrific. Meusd 
continued to follow a brisk pace in left. Cunningham and Stengel 
were alternating in center. Moreover, he was storing up strength for 
the future. In Toledo, Terry was hitting well over .300, and George 
WMtted reported that he was making steady progress as a first base- 
man. In Little Rock the boy Jackson was the talk of the Southern 
League at short stop and was Mtting .280. 

161 



He bad few problems, none of them serious. McQuillan and Jess 
Barnes bad teamed up and were going places by candlelight, and 
be knew it and would ride them in the dub house once in a while. 
Gallagher and Shean, he called them, after the famous vaudeville 
team of the time. 

"Look at them!" he would snarl, if the Giants had lost, "Look at 
them! Gallagher and Shean!" 

It may have been that they hadn't been in the ball game that 
day, but the sight of them, hurrying through their showers, hurrying 
to dress, would infuriate him, and he would vent his anger on them. 
Or on Earl Smith. 

"He's an anarchist!" McGraw would say. "A an- 
archist, with no respect for law and order ! " 

He would add that Smith was the dumbest catcher he ever saw 
and go on from there. This would amuse the hard-boiled Smith, who 
would grin at him or, like as not, needle him into a greater rage. 
One day when McGraw was in the middle of his Gallagher and Shean 
routine, holding McQuillan and Barnes up to the scorn of the other 
players, Smith, who had dressed and was waiting for Virgil Barnes, 
chirped: 

"Come on, Little Shean, hurry up." 

McGraw forgot all about McQuillan and the elder Barnes. He 
turned Ms fire on Smith. 

"Why, you lousy !" he yelled. "You I" 

Smith wagged his head. 

"Tst, tst, tst," he said, mildly. 

The other players put their heads in their lockers so McGraw 
wouldn't see them laughing. Purple with anger, he reviled Smith for 
twenty minutes, during which none of the players dared to leave. 
Finally running out of ideas, he yelled: 

"I never saw a from Arkansas that was any good yet ! " 

And he stamped off to his office. 

But those the peccadillos of McQuillan and Barnes, the impu- 
dence of Smith were minor irritations, forgotten by him almost as 
soon as he left the club house. The Giants were winning, another 
pennant was in sight almost within his grasp. And he probably 
was as near to contentment as be ever would be in his life. When 
the Giants were in New York he spent most of his evenings at his 
162 



new home in Pelham with Mrs. McGraw and a few guests, or at the 
New York Athletic Club's place at Travers Island, nearby. On 
the road there were friends in every town and pleasant places to 
visit when the ball game was over. 

One of his favorite spots was Cincinnati. There was the Peruvian 
Club or Curly's place, out on the Delhi Turnpike, or, best of all, the 
Laughrey Club. He would get the newspapermen traveling with the 
team together when they had finished their stories and take them out 
there, where Garry Herrmann would be waiting for Mm. There 
would be dinner in the club house and, later, beer at an outdoor 
bar in a grove at the edge of the Ohio River. And along about mid- 
night there would be a charcoal fire burning in a grill, and waiters 
would serve broiled sausages and Limburger cheese and rye bread, 
and everybody would be singing or telling stories. And, although 
he was not much of a singer, there were nights when he would join 
in, raising his voice loudly, but slurring over the words because he 
didn't know them. 

Always a soft touch for anyone in the need of money with spe- 
cial emphasis on broken-down ball players, actdrs, prize fighters, 
jockeys and newspapermen he never was a softer touch thgn he 
was that summer. They lay in wait for him wherever he went, and 
none of them was disappointed. 

Hans Lobert, who had come back to the Giants that year, pre- 
sumably as a coach but actually as a companion for McGraw, said 
one night : 

"No one would believe me if I told them how much money he 
gives away. But, on the level, it's nothing for Mm to hand out ?2oo 
and $300 a day. I try to keep a lot of these fellows away from him 3 
but it looks to me as if he goes out of his way to meet them." 

The Giants clinched the pennant on September 25. The Yankees 
had won again, and, having been defeated by the Giants in the World 
Series the year before, were primed for vengeance as the crowds 
stormed the Polo Grounds for the second series on the subway. 
But they met a cocky, confident Giant crew, who believed because 
McGraw had told them so that this time the Yankees would be 
easier than before. 

Nehf started the first game against Joe Bush, and was trailing, 
2 to o, when he was removed for a pinch Mtter in the eighth inning. 

163 



But in that inning tie Giants made three runs and won the game. 
The second game was called on account of darkness by Umpire 
George Hildebrand with the score tied at 3-3 at the end of the tenth 
inning, with Jess Barnes pitching for the Giants and Bob Shawkey 
for the Yankees. With the third game coming up, McGraw was ready 
to gamble. 

"Scott is my pitcher/' he told reporters in the club house after 
the second game. 

They scarcely could believe him. Scott? The cast-off? The fellow 
who couldn't pitch up an alley when the Reds let him go? They 
didn't say anything like that to McGraw, but he knew what was in 
their minds. 

"Scott," he said again, as a tardy reporter came in, asking who 
would pitch the next day. 

It is possible that no triumph he ever achieved gave him greater 
satisfaction than the victory that Scott hung up the following day. 
Throwing nothing but fast balls and keeping them high even to 
Ruth, who could murder fast balls and to whom the other Giant 
pitchers had been 9 feeding curve balls low and on the inside Jack 
shut the Yankees out with four hits. The Giants, pegging away at 
Waite Hoyt and Sam Jones, won by a score of 3 to o. 

If there was an extra high note of revelry at McGraw's party in 
the old Waldorf that night and there was it was understandable. 
He could sing and chortle and slap his friends on the back and 
tell tie waiters to lug in another case of bootleg champagne that 
night. He had picked a pitcher off the scrap heap and given him 
another chance had staked him . . . and watched over him and been 
patient with him . . . and had started Mm in a World Series game 
and seen him hang up a shut-out against the Yankees. 

The Yankees weren't through yet. They hammered back at Mc- 
Quillan in the first inning the next day and made two runs and 
would have made more if Cunningham hadn't gone to the club house 
steps to pull down a towering smash by Ruth. But McQuillan hung 
in there gamely and got better as he went "along. The Giants won, 
and now the Yankees were reeling. And then Nehf beat Bush in 
the fifth game and the Giants were champions of the world again. 

This time McGraw's triumph had been complete, as the Gian\ 
pitchers not only subdued the Babe but humiliated him. In seventeen 
164 



times at bat, Ruth made only two hits for an average of .118, and 
dldn 5 t come even close to making a tome run. 



XXII THREE PENNANTS IN A ROW 



O'CONNELL REPORTED at San Antonio in the spring of 1923 
after another rousing season in the Coast League, when he had 

hit .335 and been schooled for an outfield berth with the Giants, 
He was a smiling, affable kid who quickly became a great favorite 
with the other ball players and the newspapermen. McGraw had 
little to say to him on his arrival. That little consisted of sound 
advice and reassurances concerning his status. 

"I want you to keep this in mind/ 7 he said. "I paid 575,000 for 
you, but I don't expect you to give it back to me in base hits in 
your first week, your first month, or even your first year. I believe 
you will be with us for a long while, and that we will get our 
money's worth out of you. So just relax, go up there and take your 
normal cut at the ball, and if you get off to a slow start, don't worry," 

O'Connell, lashing the ball about the field, looked like a great 
ball player in the making. The shadows that were to engulf Mm were 
a long way off then. He was very happy, and those who watched 
him were happy for him. 

Meanwhile, McGraw rather impatiently awaited the appearance 
of colorful Jack Bentley, hard-hitting pitcher, first baseman and 
outfielder, home-run king, and best all-around ball player In the 
International League for the past two years, whom he had purchased 
from Baltimore for $65,000. As Kauff had done seven years before, 
Bentley was holding out for a part of Ms purchase price, demanding 
that Jack Dunn, owner of the Baltimore club, pay him $5,000. Dunn 
indignantly refused, and Bentley remained at Ms home in Maryland, 
deaf to McGraw^s pleas that he report and work himself into shape 
pending the settlement of his dispute with Dunn. 

"The sooner you get here/* he wired Bentley, "the better it will be 
for you. A place on our pitching staff is waiting for you, but you 
must be in condition by the opening of the season." 

"Tell that to Dunn," Bentley wired back. 

McGraw fumed. He felt a real need for another left-handed 

165 



pitcher, since Nehf was carrying the southpaw burden alone. Skilled 
as Arthur was, there were times when he could have used a little 
more rest than he had been getting, for he not only was the only left- 
hander on the staff but was the prop on whom all the other pitchers 
and all the rest of the players leaned when they came up to a 
critical series. McGraw didn't intimate that in his wires to Bentley, 
of course, but it was true or he would not have paid so large a sum 
for the pitcher. 

The newspapermen also were eager to have Bentley report for 
reasons of their own. He would be a story for them, this big, good- 
looking minor-league Paul Bunyan moving into the Giant camp. 
And 7 because of his controversy with Dunn, he was hot news, and 
they wanted to know the instant he came into town. So every morn- 
ing and every evening they asked McGraw or Jim Tierney, or both: 

"Bentley here yet?" 

The answer would be "No," and a shake of the head ; and after a 
few days it gave McGraw an idea for a mild practical joke. Having 
tipped off the newspapermen and enlisted the aid of the manager 
of the St. Anthony Hotel, he had Bently "registered" and "assigned" 
to a room after practice one day and then went up to his own 
room to await developments. He didn't have to wait long. Tierney, 
on his return from the park, scanned the register, as had become his 
habit and seeing thereon "John N. Bentley, Sandy Springs, Md.," 
rushed to a house telephone and called McGraw. 

"Bentl/s here! "he yelled. 

"How do you know?" McGraw asked. "Have you seen him?" 

"No," Jim said. "But he's registered. He's in Room 802." 

"Well," McGraw said, "get hold of him and tell him I want to 
see him right away." 

Tierney called Room 802 but, of course, there was no answer. 
He searched the lobby, peered into the dining room, and had Bentley 
paged. He made another call to McGraw's room. 

"He's not in the hotel/' he said. 

"All right. But I want you to watch out for him, and as soon as 
he comes in, no matter what time it is, I want to see him." 

Jim took up his post in front of the desk, and sat there for two 
hours waiting for Bentley. Then he went in to dinner, leaving word 
that he was to be informed immediately if Bentley came in. Hurry- 
ing through his dinner, he resumed Ms vigil. Word got about among 
1 66 



the players that Bentley was in town. They, too, were curious to see 
him. Then the newspapermen tipped them off It was a gag, and they 
joined in the game. Some of them invited Jim to go to the movies 
with them, but he refused, saying he had to wait for Bentley. Others 
sat around with him, awaiting the denouement. 

Newspapermen came by, asking if Bentley had returned, sympa- 
thizing with Jim in Ms tedious wait. At eleven o'clock the ball 
players had to withdraw. At twelve, Jim still was sitting there . . . 
at one ... at two. Now he was steaming. And then., at two-thirty, 
there was a call from the desk: 

"You're wanted on the telephone, Mr. Tiemey." 

He rushed to the telephone. 

"Hello!" he yelled. 

The voice on the other end was McGraw's, but so cleverly dis- 
guised that Jim didn't recognize it. It sounded rather far off. 

"Hello, Mr. Tierney?" 

"Yes!" 

"This is Jack Bentley." 

"Well, this is a fine time for you to be calling me. Where are 
you?" 

"I'm over in New Braunfels." 

"In New Braunfels? What are you doing there?" 

"I'm in Jan." 

"What? In jail?" 

"Yes. I came over here to see some friends of mine and we were 
speeding and a cop pulled us up. Then he found a couple of quarts 
of liquor on the floor of the car, and when he went to take it I 
slugged him and " 

By that time poor Jim was almost hysterical. 

"Wait tfll I tell Mr, McGraw!" he was shrieking. "Wait till I 
tell 

"Bentley" interrupted Mm. 

"Hey! Hey! Don't hang up! I want you to come over here and 
get me, The bail is $500 and I haven't got that much with me, and I 

don't want to stay in a eel all night. So come right 

over." 

"Youll stay there!" Jim bellowed. "Youll stay there until you 
rot, for all of me! You wait till I tdl Mr. McGraw!" 

He hung up and raced for McGraw's room. There he found Mc- 

167 



Graw, Bozeman Bulger and one or two other newspapermen. They 
had intended to go along with the gag for awhile, but at the sight 
of Jim they howled. 

A few days later, when Jim told the newspapermen Bentley had 
arrived, they thought it was another gag and walked away from him. 
But this time it was true. Here he was in the flesh and plenty of it. 
Weighing 200 pounds when in condition, he was at least twenty 
pounds overweight, and McGraw was furious. He ordered Bentley to 
run miles around the park every day, swathed in heavy flannels, a 
rubber shirt and a sweat shirt under his uniform. HufBng and puffing, 
Bentley plunged into his training, and by the time the team reached 
New York he was in shape. 

By that time, too, McGraw had his team set for the opening of 
the season. He decided that Bill Terry needed another year in the 
minors, and farmed him out again to Toledo. But Jackson, he knew, 
was ready. And so the youngster from Waldo, Arkansas, via Little 
Rock 7 was kept as understudy for Dave Bancroft and was to prove 
his worth in nearly a hundred games that year when Banny fell 
gravely ill of pneumonia and was a long time regaining his strength. 

With the start of this season the rivalry between the Giants and 
the Yankees was at a greater height than it had ever known or has 
known since. This was reflected not only in lusty arguments on the 
part of the fans but in the relations between the officials of the two 
clubs. McGraw and his quondam friends, Jake Ruppert and Cap 
Huston, had drifted far apart, and McGraw, of course, had the stanch 
support of Stoneham, while McQuade, who dearly loved a fight, kept 
egging McGraw and Stoneham on and was enjoying himself thor- 
oughly. He accused the Yankees of trying to recoup the loss of 
prestige they had suffered in the two World Series by working too 
diligently for a favorable press, and once accosted a newspaperman 
who had reported there had been only 3,500 at a Giant game in 
Philadelphia with a snarling: 

fr What was that more American League propaganda ?" 

McGraw, Stoneham and McQuade had driven the Yankees from 
the Polo Grounds and compelled them to build a park of their own, 
which was completed in the late fall of 1922. And although they were 
to realize one day that this had been a sorry mistake, they were 
smugly content now with having the Polo Grounds to themselves 



again. Across the Harlem River the Yankee Stadium was opened in 
that spring of 1923, and in the roaring crowd that welcomed Babe 
Ruth to his new home the Giant owners might have seen the shape 
of things to come. But now they were blinded to everything save their 
own seeming advantage in the struggle, and lightly brushed off the 
revenue they had lost when the Yankees stopped paying rent on 
Eighth Avenue. 

In spite of the mounting popularity of Ruth and the rest of the 
Yankees, it was a pleasant summer for McGraw. Although chal- 
lenged seriously now and then by the Reds and the Pirates, the 
Giants were out in front most of the way, and he could take out 
time for laughs here and there as he swung around the circuit. At 
the top of their stride as the season waned, the Giants crashed 
through to another flag. 

Once more McGraw had won three pennants in a row. Now an 
even greater prize lay just before him three World Series victories 
in a row. No one ever had achieved that. No one ever had had a shot 
at it, not Chance or Mack or Jennings or anyone else. But now he 
had. 

There was although he didn't need it an added incentive. This 
was the chance not only to succeed where all other managers had 
failed, but to do so at the expense of the Yankees, and partly in 
their own ball park, at that in the new stadium of which Ruppert 
and Huston were so proud and at which he privately had scoffed. 
The Yankee Stadium! It was built to fit Ruth and Ruth alone, he 
said, with its short right-field stand that gaped almost in the Babe's 
face every time he went to bat. 

He never wanted to beat anyone quite as much as he wanted to 
beat the Yankees in that series. It seared Mm to know that while 
conquering the world he had lost New York that while the Giants 
were the champions, the Yankees had taken over the town Ms dub 
had ruled so long. The Giants still were drawing crowds, of course. 
But the Yankees were drawing bigger crowds. He believed that if 
the Giants could win again they would recapture the town. 

Characteristically, he made no attempt to conceal Ms feelings. His 
old friendsMp for Ruppert and Huston was dead. He hated the 
Yankees and he made no bones about it He wouldn't even permit 

169 



the Giants to dress at the stadium. They used the visiting players' 
club house as a sort of field headquarters for meetings before the 
games played there and as a place in which to change their shirts. 
But they dressed at the Polo Grounds and made the trip back and 
forth over Central Bridge in a fleet of taxis. It would have been more 
convenient for them to have dressed in the stadium, naturally. But 
this way gave him a chance to show how he felt about the Yankees, 
and he gloried in it. 

It was a rough and acrimonious series, as the others had been. The 
Giants moved off in front as Watson, with Ryan's help, hurled 
the Yankees back in the first game, a home run by Stengel being the 
blow that decided it in favor of the Giants. Herb Pennock, new to 
the Yankees that year, beat Bentley in the second game. But in the 
third game Nehf pitched a shut-out and Stengel again hit a home 
run, so that the Giants won, i to o. The Yankees avenged their 1922 
defeat by Scott when they knocked the big right-hander out and 
won the fourth game and followed that by beating Bentley in the 
fifth, 

Trailing, three games to two, McGraw threw Nehf in against the 
Yanks in the sixth game, which was played at the Polo Grounds. 
The Yanks tagged him for a run in the first inning. But the Giants 
evened the count in their half and Nehf settled down to pitch mag- 
nificently against Pennock. The Giants picked up a run in the fourth, 
another in the fifth, still another in the sixth. And so the Giants were 
leading, 4 to i, as they reached the eighth inning. The way Nehf 
was going it looked as though they couldn't lose. They would tie up 
the series right there, and in the seventh game, McGraw felt, they 
would 

But, even as he was making his plans for the seventh game, Nehf 
cracked. The strain under which he had worked all season caught 
up with him and clutched at- his arm, and all of a sudden he lost his 
stuff. With a swiftness that stunned McGraw, the Yankees scored 
three runs and had the bases filled. 

In the dugout, McGraw was storming. He hauled Nehf out and 
sent Ryan, who had warmed up hurriedly, into the box. Ruth was 
the next hitter. Ryan got two strikes on him. McGraw held up the 
game and sent Cdzy Dolan racing out to Snyder with a message. 
Snyder listened to him, then walked slowly out to Ryan. 

"The Old Man says to throw the next one into the dirt," he said. 
170 




BILL TERRY 



f\,. '%' 'I 




New York Giants 



JIMMY O'CONNELL 



Ryan stared at him. 

"Into the dirt?" 

"Yes," Snyder said. "Throw it at his feet. The Old Man says he 
will swing at it no matter where you throw it. Put everything you 
have on it, but throw it right at Ms spikes." 

The roar of the crowd, which had been stilled by the interruption, 
rose again as Snyder trudged back to his position, put on his mask, 
and crouched for the pitch. The Babe, tense as he never had been 
before, scarcely could wait for Ryan to pitch. Bill fired a fast ball at 
his feet and the Babe swung and missed! 

The Old Man had been right. Now the Babe was out of the way, 
there were two out, and the Giants still were in front. Meusel was 
dangerous, of course. But Ryan was a good pitcher and dead game, 
and some of the pressure was off him now. With two out he could 
take his time pitching to Meusel. He pitched perfectly to him. 
Meusel hit the ball back at him. In the Giants* dugout the players 
came up off the bench, because they thought the inning was over. 
But the ball went through Ryan and over second base, and two more 
runners scored. That was the ball game. 

McGraw knew and so did everybody else in the ball park that 
Meusel had won the game with that poke through the box. And that 
was the way it worked out, as Sam Jones, who had relieved Pennock, 
turned the Giants back in the eighth and ninth Innings, 

The series was over, and as the crowd boiled about the new cham- 
pions the Giants trooped glumly into the club house. Nehf, still in 
his uniform, was seated in front of his locker. He was crying. Mc- 
Graw walked straight to him and put an arm about his shoulder. 

"Never mind, Art," he said. "Don't take it so hard. It wasn't 
your fault. You couldn't go on winning forever, and you did your 
share getting us into the series and then pitching that shut-out. . . . 
I wish I had left you in there." 

Nehf looked up at him, wonderingly. 

"I was gone, Mac," he said. "I couldn't pitch any more." 

"You could have struck Ruth out/* McGraw said "He was so 
crazy to hit I could have struck him out myself. And you would 
have stuck that ball Meusel hit Mo your hip pocket." 

He glared at the unhappy Ryan. 

"That's what cost IB the ball game," he said. "A lousy cheap Ht 
through the box." 

171 



It was true. Nehf was the best fielding pitcher in the league and 
Ryan perhaps the worst. 

"But the hell with it 1 " McGraw said. "I would have given any- 
thing to have won this series, but I guess it wasn't in the cards. 3 ' 

His brightest hope had been smashed at a moment when he 
thought victory was certain. The Yankees were champions of the 
world, and no defeat he ever had suffered had hurt Mm worse than 
that. Inwardly he would fume and rage and curse the fates that had 
thwarted him. But now, for perhaps the first time in Ms life, he 
could make a show of accepting defeat philosophically. This was 
because of Nehf , whom he liked and admired so very much. 

That night one of the newspapermen said to another : 

"Well have to look in on McGraw tonight. We had a great time 
at his parties when he was celebrating his victories. The least we 
can do is to drop in at the Waldorf and sit up with the body." 

There must have been a lot of his friends who felt that way, for 
the suite never was so crowded. Yet there was no air of mourning. 
He was proving that, publicly at least, he could take it when his 
hopes had been shattered and defeat had overwhelmed Mm. The 
party topped any that he had had in 1921 or 1922 starting earlier, 
rising to greater heights, and lasting longer, so that it was reported 
stragglers from it were discovered sleeping it off in nooks and cran- 
nies of the old hotel for days afterwards. 

Among the early arrivals were two Yankees, Joe Dugan and Wally 
Pipp, who stopped in to tell McGraw that while they naturally were 
glad they had won the series, they regretted that he had to be the 
one to lose it. That made a great hit with McGraw and sealed their 
fate for the night. Although they explained they were due elsewhere, 
and could remain long enough to take only one drink, they saw the 
dawn coming up over the town when they left. 

John and Mrs. McGraw and HugMe and Mrs. Jennings had 
booked passage for Europe. But there was one item of business that 
required McGraw's attention before he could depart for scenes last 
visited ten years before. His friend, Emil Fuchs, new owner of the 
Boston Braves, wanted Dave Bancroft as his manager. It is unlikely 
that McGraw tad even thought of replacing Banny. But Fuchs's 
eagerness to get Mm caused him to think of it very seriously. 
172 



Bancroft had been indeed, still was one of the greatest players 
McGraw ever had known. The infield that had been a tremendous 
factor in the winning of three pennants had been built and rebuilt 
around him. His amazing fielding and quick thinking had won or 
saved many a game. He was thirty-one years old, but had shown no 
marked signs of slipping and had hit .304 that year. 

But McGraw, sounding Mm out on Fuchs's wish to install him as 
manager in Boston, found that he would like to make the move. That 
settled it, so far as McGraw was concerned. He never willingly im- 
peded the advancement of any of his players. And now he could 
allow Banny to move up, because he had Jackson ready to take over 
at short stop. And so a trade was agreed upon: Bancroft, Stengel, 
and Cunningham for Billy Southworth and Joe Oeschger. 

That done, the McGraws and the Jennings' sailed for Cherbourg 
and Paris. Mrs. McGraw had hoped that they could lose themselves 
in Paris and wander freely about the city, as they had been unable 
to do nearly ten years before, when she and John were there with the 

world-touring Giant and White Sox teams. But she was disappointed. 
The American colony was waiting for them. And so, it seemed, was 
every newspaperman in Paris. After they had been there a few days 
they were recognized by almost as many people on the streets as they 

would have been had they remained in New York. Their suite at 
the Continental was filled every night and dinners and parties were 
arranged for them elsewhere, so that they had very little rest and 
practically no quiet. 

After a week or so the Jennings' departed for a few days in Rome, 
and Mrs. McGraw firmly decided there must be a lull in the excite- 
ment. She managed to get John away from the Continental for a few 
hours a day to wander about the gardens of the Luxembourg or the 
Tuileries, to run down to Versailles, or to go through the Louvre. 
But that wasn't much of a success, for McGraw was a poor sight- 
seeer and said the only way he could enjoy doing the Louvre was 
on roller skates. And always, on their return to their hotel, there 
would be someone waiting for them Americans, English, French. 

McGraw knew only one word of French. The word was "toujours/* 
meaning "always," and it was remarkable how well he did with it, 
considering he didn't know what it meant. 

173 



Did one of his French friends drop in on him at the Continental? 
His greeting was a hearty : 

"Toujours! Toujours!" 

Did the friend tell a funny story? His reward was : 

"Ha! Ha! Hal Toujours!" 

Or was it sad? There would be a shake of the head and solemn: 

"Toujours. Toujours." 

And when he was departing, McGraw would speed him on his way 
with: 

"Well, toujours, old boy! Toujours!" 

His expression, his inflection, always were such that none had the 
slightest trouble catching his meaning until one night in the Palais 
de Glace, on the Champs Elysees. He and Mrs. McGraw and a base- 
ball writer from New York and his wife had dined at Josef's, near 
the Etoile. It was a mild night, and someone suggested they walk 
down the Champs. As they approached the Palais, Mrs, McGraw 
said: 

"IVe always wanted to go in there, but John never would. I'm 
sure you'd like to see it, wouldn't you? Of course! You see, John? 
They'd like to drop in for a little while." 

So there was nothing for John to do but to go in. There was a 
small rink, encircled by tiers of tables. The head waiter, recognizing 
McGraw, led the party to a table on the first tier, just a few feet 
above the ice. It was then about eleven o'clock and there were few 
skaters. One of them was a young man with a small mustache, who 
obviously was eager to impress the new arrivals with his skill. But, 
unfortunately, just as he skimmed past their table his feet flew from 
under him and he sat down very violently. He looked up pathetically, 
McGraw, in an attempt to put him at his ease, said, Ms voice laden 
with sympathy: 

"Toujours, my friend." 

The young man's face flushed. Still seated on the ice, he held up 
two fingers and screamed: 

"Non, non, Monsieur! Deux!" 

The Jennings' returned from Rome and the party went toXondon, 
There, at the Carlton, the scenes at the Continental were repeated. 
Americans actors, newspapermen, businessmen resident in London 
or there in connection with their business or on pleasure, two New 

174 



York detectives who had been sent over to relieve the Metropolitan 
Police of a jewel thief they had obligingly picked up, sundry sport- 
ing characters known on both sides of the Atlantic gathered about 
McGraw. One of his guests one night was the young Marquis of 
Clydesdale, BOW the Duke of Hamilton, on whose estate Rudolf 
Hess landed on his flight from Germany. The Marquis/ a shy young- 
ster, then a student at Oxford and the middleweight boxing cham- 
pion of the University, was brought to meet McGraw by his friend, 
Eddie Egan, Rhodes scholar at Oxford and amateur heavyweight 
champion of the world. 

One night at the Carlton a London sports writer asked him when 
he was going to visit Europe with a baseball team again. 

"You know/' lie said, "I've been thinking about that. ... I may 
do it next year." 

It is possible he hadn't been thinking' of it at all, and merely made 
that answer out of politeness. At any rate, he had to think about 
it after that. The sports writer carried a story the next day that 
McGraw probably would be back with his team in 1924 . . . and then 
McGraw began to talk about it, and the upshot of it was that he 
made the story stand up by persuading his old friend Comiskey to 
join him in leading the Giants and the White Sox into London a 
year later. 

There was a last and memorable party at the Carlton . . . and 
then a ship for home that docked in time for Christmas in New 
York. It had been a good winter. A winter that he and Mrs. McGraw 
were to talk about many times in the years that followed. 



XXIH THE DOLAN-O'CONNELL CASE 

<TJT WAS JOHN SINGLING who persuaded McGraw to go to Sarasota, 
ii Florida, to train in the spring of 1924. The circus king had not 
precisely taken over the town, but he had a firm grip on it. One of 
its more magnificent winter homes was Ms. One of his gifts was an 
art gallery, housing part of his staggering collection of paintings. 
His yacht frequently was tied up at the municipal pier or lay at 
anchor in the bay. He had helped materially to launch the local 
version of the state-wide real estate boom, in which prices for even 



celery patches were booming and property on the main street was 
worth at least on paper more than it was on Broadway. 

He didn't know anything about baseball and wasn't particularly 
interested in it. (Later although he still knew nothing about base- 
ball he was to be frequently reported as about to buy the Giants, 
so that Stoneham's son, Horace, once gagged to a reporter who asked 
him what was new: "Haven't you heard? Pop's going to buy the 
circus.") But, as a showman, he knew that the presence of the ball 
club in the town would mean publicity. He hoped, naturally, it would 
be the sort of publicity that would spur the sale of land in which he 
had sunk some of his money. He was wrong . . . but that was only 
partly his fault. 

As a rule, McGraw either was familiar with a town he selected 
as a training site or made his selection only after careful investiga- 
tion. This time he depended on Ringling's judgment and left all the 
arrangements to him with the result that when he arrived he dis- 
covered the hotel Ringling had chosen as the Giants' headquarters 
wasn't nearly large enough to accommodate the party of sixty ball 
players and newspapermen, plus a score of wives and children, who 
accompanied him. Ringling, who was genuinely dismayed at the 
size of the force that descended upon the town, quickly felt the 
wrath of Ms friend. 

"What did you expect me to bring?" McGraw blazed. "Nine 
men?" 

There was a hurried scouting about the town, which revealed that 
no one hotel could take in the entire party. McGraw, still wrathful, 
partially solved the problem, however unsatisfactorily, by billeting 
the regulars and the newspapermen and their families in the Mira 
liar, the high-hat hostelry facing the bay, and herding the rookies in 
the Watrous, a modest frame establishment down the street. 

The stories wired to New York that night, telling of the confusion 
on the arrival of the squad, were uncomplimentary to Ringling and 
the townsfolk in general, who, for some reason, did not seem espe- 
cially pleased at having the Giants in their midst. When the New 
York papers reached Sarasota a day or so later, the reaction was as 
might be expected. The local newspaper invited the Giants and the 
correspondents to leave the town if they didn't like it. There were 
angry mutterfngs on the part of the citizenry, particularly the real 
estate agents. On top of that came gray skies and a chilling wind 
that hampered the players in their training. The weather conditions 
176 



having been duly reported, clippings of the offending stories were 
posted on a bulletin board in front of a Main Street store under the 
legend: 

"If you don't like our weather, keep your damned mouths shut ! " 

W. O. McGeehan, Bugs Baer, Bozeman Bulger, George (Moni- 
tor) Daley, Fred Lieb and the other correspondents had a wonderful 
time needling Ringling and the lesser brass hats in their dispatches. 
Ringling and some of the real estate vendors went to McGraw and 
asked him to call the reporters off. He shook his head. 

"How can I stop them?" he demanded, "I can't tell them what to 
write." 

That was true. Besides, he undoubtedly was getting a secret joy 
out of the stories, sympathetic as he pretended to be. Then, he had 
troubles of his own. The numerous entrances to the Mira Mar and 
the presence of the rookies at the Watrous made it difficult for him 
to keep a check on his players after dark. The result was that he 
spent most of his nights darting from one door to another in the 
Mira Mar, and running down the street to see what was going on at 
the Watrous. 

Something drastic had to be done, some of the townspeople de- 
cided, to quiet the newspapermen. Remember, this was the spring 
of 1924 and the Ku Klux Elan wielded a dreaded threat throughout 
the South. And so, one night, the lights on the main street were 
extinguished, there was a thin, eerie bugle call in the distance, and 
hooded Klansmen marched through the town. They marched in 
silence, and in silence were watched by the crowd that lined the 
sidewalks. It was, for a split second, faintly frightening to most of 
the watchers. Then the silence was broken. 

"Give me a fungo stick," Cozy Dolan said, very loudly, "and I 
will lick all these bums by myself." 

The ball players and the newspapermen howled. The rest of the 
crowd, taking courage, giggled. The spell was broken. So was the 
spirit of the marching Klansmen. There was nothing even faintly 
frightening about them now. They were just a lot of fellows in ridicu- 
lous garb tramping along a darkened street. The newspapermen and 
the ball players jeered at them. At last they were gone, and the 
lights were turned on, and the normal life of the town was resumed. 

After that no one said anything to the writers, who, having re- 
ported the parade with suitable comment, were willing to let the 

177 



matter drop. So, it seemed, was everyone else. Even the weather 
changed for the better, as the skies cleared and the sun came out 
bright and warm. Soon it became a routine training trip. Only 
McGraw remained disturbed. He still was prowling the doorways of 
the Mira Mar late at night, or popping in at the Watrous to discover 
what mischief was brewing among the rookies. 

Now and then he snared a culprit. Principally, there was Pat 
Malone, young right-handed pitcher up from Altoona. There was no 
real harm in Pat. But, unfortunately for him, if there was anything 
going on at the Watrous he was certain to be in the middle of it 
when McGraw barged in. Or if he chanced to stay out late, he was 
sure to find McGraw in the lobby on his return. McGraw, concluding 
that while Pat undoubtedly had a lot of stuff he wasn't gaited for 
the serious business of pitching in the major leagues, released him 
outright to Toledo when the Giants got back to New York. That, it 
developed, was a mistake. Pat came up with the Cubs a year later, 
and for four or five years thereafter was one of the best pitchers in 
the National League. McGraw could have used him very well in 
those years, especially in 1929, when Malone pitched the Cubs to 
the pennant. 

There was a lot of work to be done that spring. Jackson, having 
worked his way in gradually at short stop, didn't need much atten- 
tion from McGraw. But Terry was back from Toledo, and John 
worked him around first base considerably to see how close he was to 
major-league form. There was a wide-shouldered, stumpy kid named 
Lewis Wilson, in from the Portsmouth club of the Virginia League, 
who had hit .388 the year before and had spent a couple of weeks 
near the end of the season unnoticed at the Polo Grounds. McGraw 
wanted to take a good look at him. The players had a good look at 
him first, and the sight of him called up in their minds a picture of 
Hack Miller, an outfielder with the Cubs a few years before. Miller, 
son of Sebastian, a strong man in vaudeville, was taller than Wilson, 
but no wider through the shoulders. 

"This kid looked like a sawed off Hack Miller," one of the players 
said. 

And so the kid was known from then on as Hack. A good baU 
player, too, in those days. He wasn't too quick on the trigger when 
there was some sharp thinking to be done, but he could slug the 



ball and lie loved to play. McGraw liked Mm and, after he had 
watched Mm closely for a week^ decided to keep Mm. 

There was another kid in the camp that spring who appealed to 
McGraw. His name was Freddy Lindstrom, and he was from the 
South Side of Chicago. He was only eighteen years old, but he had 
been with Roger Bresnahan in Toledo for two years. He was a rangy 
kid and very fast, and he had a great arm. He had played second 
base and third in Toledo. Now McGraw worked him out at third. 
There was no telling how long Groh would stand up. Heinie tad 
shown no signs of slipping the year before. But he had a trick knee ? 
and McGraw knew how that could take a man out. He wanted to 
have someone handy to stick in there if Heinie suddenly couldn't 
go on and he had found someone, he knew, in this smiling kid. 

And, of course ? there was Southworth a good hitter, a smart, 
seasoned ball player. McGraw worked Mm in center field between 
Young and MeuseJ, pulled him out and tried Wilson, pulled Wilson 
out and put Southworth back. 

With Kelly still doing well at first base, Terry was restless. He 
knew there was no chance for Mm to take over at first base. But 
he believed he was ready, and he didn't like the prospect of spending 
the season on the bench. 

"Try me^in the outfield," he said to McGraw one day. 

McGraw snorted. 

"Think I want you to get Mt on the head and kiled?" he asked. 

Terry flushed. 

"I played the outfield in Shreveport," he said. 

"This isn't Shreveport/' McGraw said. And then, seeing Bill's 
feelings had been bruised, he added : 

"Take it easy. Stick to first base. Learn all you can about it. And 
keep swinging in batting practice. You'll be a big-league first base- 
man some day. Forget about the outfield." 

The pitchers Nehf, Ryan, Bentley, McQuillan, Oeschger and the 
rest rounded into shape quickly. As the stay in Sarasota ended, 
McGraw was in excellent spirits. No one ever had won four pennants 
in a row. But as camp was broken and the team headed for the 
North, it began to look as though the Giants might. At his final 
interview he passed out drinks and answered questions cheerfully. 

a Who J s going to pitch the opening game of the World Series, 
Mac?" one of them asked. 



"Nehf , I suppose/ 7 he said, laughing. "He generally does." 

It was the nearest he ever had come since 1906 to predicting a flag 
for his team. 

There was a comedy touch to a ball game the Giants played with 
the White Sox at Nashville on the way up although McGraw 
couldn't see anything funny in it. Neither McGraw nor Johnny 
Evers y who managed the Sox, was at the park that day, both being 
confined to their rooms by spring colds. It is entirely possible that 
had both been there the game would have ended as it did, of course, 
but neither ever would admit that. 

At any rate, here's what happened : The Sox made eight runs in an 
early inning. But the boy tending the Scoreboard, then on the fence 
in center field, hung up nine. No one noticed it except the newspaper- 
men in the press box on the roof of the grandstand. As there was no 
means of communication between the press box and the score board, 
they were unable to have it corrected. Thus, when the Giants, pick- 
ing up a run here and there, and rallying for a cluster of runs in the 
ninth, tied the score, everyone assumed the Sox still were one run 
ahead when the last Giant had been retired. There was a rush for 
the gates, in which the players joined. The frantic shouts of the 
reporters in their rooftop coop went unheeded. It was not until 
the New York and Chicago correspondents reached the hotel that the 
players knew they had run out on a tie game. 

When McGraw and Evers heard it they were furious. McGraw 
especially. 

"A fine thing!" he stormed. "Two coaches and twenty-five ball 
players out there, and they don't know what the score is I" 

There were, of course, two Sox coaches and twenty-five Sox ball 
players out there, too. And they didn't know what the score was, 
either, But McGraw wasn't concerned with them. 

"Well," one of the newspapermen said, "after all, it was only an 
exhibition game. What difference does it make?" 

He was a very young newspaperman, or he would have known 
better. McGraw turned a deep purple, and it looked for a moment 
as though he was going to devour the young man. 

r What difference does it make?" he roared. "I don't care whether 

it was an exhibition game or not ! That makes it even worse ! These 

people down here look up to the major-league ball clubs. What do 

you think they are going to say when they read the papers tomorrow 

180 



morning and see what a lot of stupid 1 have traveling around 

with me?" 

The young newspaperman was abashed. Jennings and Dolan glared 
at al the newspapermen, blaming them for the mix-up. But within 
a day or so the matter was forgotten. New York was just ahead- 
New York and the opening of another season. 

For three years McGraw had been at his peak. He had won three 

pennants in a row and two World Series and had failed to win the 
third series only after a heart-breaking struggle from which he had 
emerged with Ms prestige enhanced rather than impaired. Now bad 
luck was crowding him . . . bad luck and scandal and disappointment. 
He was to win his fourth consecutive pennant. But the triumph 
would be dulled for him by the events of the days leading up to it, 
and victory in the World Series would be torn from his grasp. From 
there on the curve would be downward, and he would not win a pen- 
nant again. 

There was, of course, no hint of this as, the season under way, the 
Giants rushed to the top of the league. Nearly everyone had picked 
them to win the pennant, and for a time it appeared as though they 
would win It easily. Then, perhaps because they grew overconfident, 
perhaps because they were wearing out in spots, the going became 
rougher. Groh's trick knee was bothering him, and the boy Lind- 
strom was at third base frequently. A general weakness against some 
right-handed pitchers caused him to jam Terry into the line-up, 
switching Kelly to center field to make room for him. The Robins 
were rushing up, challenging the Giants for the lead. 

The Robins had won in 1916 and again in 1920. Someone hit on 
the theme that they were deadly in presidential years. Curious as 
that was, it caught on rapidly. Even the Brooklyn players began to 
believe it. As the season waned they were closing in fast. Excitement 
was great in Flatbush. McGraw, jolted out of the high good humor 
that, dosely akin to complacence, had marked him through most of 
the season, was troubled, and Ms rages were frequent. There was 
one series in Philadelphia that drove Mm almost frantic. The Giant 
pitchers were staggering, and the Phillies' pitchers couldn't get any- 
body out, anyway, without great difficulty. That series was a night- 
mare to him as both teams hammered the ball against the short 
fences of Baker Bowl. The Giants' lead on the Robins had shrank 

181 



to slightly more than one full game. When the Giants won the 
Robins seemed to win all the time there was always that cushion 
of one game and two points. But when they lost there were those 
bare two points between them and disaster. The series lasted four 
days and included two double headers. When it was over the Giants 
still were in front by one game and two points but they were 
limp. The players kept as far from McGraw as possible. Even in the 
dugout he had one end of the bench almost to himself. 

They were back in New York ; and now, as they spurted briefly 
and the Robins faltered, the tension was eased. Then came the 
crackup that, for a day or so, threatened to tear baseball wide open 
as it had been torn by the revelation of the White Sox perfidy in 
1920: Heinie Sand } short stop of the Philadelphia club, told his 
manager, Arthur Fletcher, that Jimmy O'Connell had offered him 
$500 not to bear down against the Giants in a series at the Polo 
Grounds. O'Connell, readily admitting his guilt when charged by 
Judge Landis, accused Cozy Dolan, Frank Frisch, George Kelly and 
Ross Young of having induced him to make the offer. 

Once more, public faith in baseball was shaken. Shaken, too, were 
the Giants. O'Connell told his story so plausibly they knew that 
suspicion pointed not only at the players named by him but at all 
of them and their manager as well, since Dolan was McGraw's 
trusted lieutenant. If O'ConnelPs story was accepted by the public, 
there were many as the players knew who would find it difficult 
to believe the job could have been rigged without McGraw's knowl- 
edge and at least his tacit consent, 

The attempt to bribe Sand took place on a Saturday. Late that 
night Fletcher was awakened by the telephone ringing in his room 
at the Ansonia. 

"This is Sand," the voice on the other end of the wire said. "Can 
I come up to see you?" 

"Can't you wait until morning?" Fletcher asked. 

"No,* the player said. "This is importantso important I can't 
sleep until I talk to you." 

"Thai come on up." 

Sand's story startled his manager. 

"Jimmy Q'Connell came to me before the game today," he said. 
"He asked me: 

182 



" *How do you fellows feel about us? ? 

" 'What do you mean?' I asked him. And he said: 'About us win- 
ning the pennant. Who would you rather see win us or the Robins?' 

"I told him we didn't care who won, it was all the same to us. 
And then he said: 

" 'Well, if you don't bear down too hard against us this after- 
noon; it will be worth $500 to us. 5 " 

"What did you say? 3 ' Fletcher asked. 

"I said: *You ought to be ashamed of yourself to say anything 
like that to me. What's the matter with you? Are you crazy? Get 
away from me and don't ever say anything like that to me or to any- 
one else.' " 

"What did he say?" 

"He didn't say anything. He just walked away. ... I didn't mean 
to tell you about this. I like Jimmy and I don't want to see him get 
into trouble. But I didn't know whether or not he had spoken to 
anybody else. I didn't know how many of the Giants knew about it. 
I've been thinking all night about Buck Weaver and how he swore 
he didn't have anything to do with throwing those games in the 
World Series in 1919, but they put Mm out of baseball because he 
admitted he knew what was going on mid didn't want to squeal. . * . 
I'm no squealer, either, Fletch. But I felt I had to tell you about it 
and ask you what to do." 

"You're right/' Fletcher said. "I don't know what's behind this, 
but now that I know something is up, I can protect you. And I'll 
find out what's behind it." 

He called John Heydler. 

"I want to see you the first thing in the morning," he said to the 
league president. "I've got something to tell you that I can't talk 
about over the phone. Where can I see you ?" 

Roused by the anxiety in Ms voice, Heydler said: 

"111 come to your hotel 111 join you there for breakfast at nine 
o'clock." 

"All right. Thanks, Mr. Heydler/ 5 Fletcher said. 

He turned to Sand. 

"Go to bed," he said, "and stop worrying. Get a good night's sleep, 
and well have breakfast with Mr. Heydler in the morning and tell 
Mm about this. YouVe got nothing to worry about." 

The tale that John Heydler heard at breakfast that Sunday mom- 

183, 



ing sent him flying to a telephone to call Landis in Philadelphia. 
Returning to the table, he said: 

"The Commissioner is leaving immediately. Don't say anything to 
anybody." 

Landis arrived on Monday and questioned Sand sharply. Precisely 
what had O'Connell said? Had any of the other Giant players 
spoken to Mm? Had any of the other Philadelphia players been ap- 
proached, so far as he knew? 

"No," Heinie said. He had nothing to add to his report of the 
conversation between him and O'Connell. 

"Have you any idea why O'Connell should have picked you as 
he apparently did as the only Philadelphia player he might safely 
approach with a proposition such as this?" the Judge asked. 

"No." 

"Is he a friend of yours?" 

"Not particularly. I've known him quite a while and I've always 
liked Mm." 

The Judge nodded. 

"All right," he said. "That will be all for now." 

He turned to his secretary, Leslie O'ConnelL 

"Get Stoneham and McGraw down here immediately," he said* 

Neither Stoneham nor McGraw had known Landis was in town. 
Surprised at the summons, bewildered by what they heard on their 
arrival, their bewilderment quickly turned to anger which they 
directed at Heydler. 

"Why weren't we notified of this before now?" McGraw demanded 
of the league president 

"I considered it to be a matter for the Commissioner," Heydler 
said. 

"But whose ball player is it that's being accused? It's our ball 
player and we have a right to know about these things before they 
go this far. This is the first IVe heard about this about any of it." 

He swung around to Landis, still fuming. 

"How do you know Sand isn't lying?" 

"I don't know/' the Judge said. "But I propose to find out. Get 

hold of O'Connell and tell him I want to see him I want to see 

him alone, by the way, gentlemen." 

On his arrival, O'Connell made no attempt to deny the charge 
Sand had laid against him. Yes, he had offered him $500. Dolan had 
184 



told Mm to do so. Did he have the $500? No. Who was going to 
put it up. He didn't know. But Kelly had spoken to him at the bat- 
ting cage, asking him what Sand had said, and he had told Kelly. 
Frisch and Young also spoke to him. None of them had said any- 
thing to him before that but it was plain to him that they were 
aware of the plot. 

Landis, questioning him slowly, making note of his answers, said 
to him : 

"Do you understand that, as a result of what you are saying, you 
will be expelled from baseball?" 

"Yes, sir." 

Landis dismissed him, summoned Frisch, Kelly, Young, and 
Dolan, and questioned them separately. The players made complete 
denials of O 3 ConnelPs testimony, Dolan was a poor witness in his 
own behalf. 

"I don't remember," he kept repeating. "I don't recall." 

Confronted by O'Connell and questioned by Landis in their ac- 
cuser's presence, Frisch, Kelly, and Young stuck to their stories. 
So, unfortunately for him, did Dolan. Landis was patient with him, 
tried to make him realize that no one would believe Mm if he con- 
tinued to say he couldn't remember whether or not a conversation 
of such importance to him had taken place two days before. But 
all he could get out of Cozy was: 

"I don't remember. 55 

The season had ended. The World Series was to open in a day or 
so. Landis made his decision swiftly: O'Connell, having confessed 
his guilt, was banished from baseball forever placed on the ineligi- 
ble list, technically. So was Dolan, whose clumsy fencing had failed 
to convince the Judge of his innocence. Frisch, Kelly, and Young 
were cleared. Sand was commended for Ms action in reporting the 
incident. 

The story, released to the newspapers so carefully had the in- 
vestigation been guarded that even the more alert reporters were 
unaware Landis was in town stunned readers all over the country. 
In CMcago 5 Ban Johnson, hating the Giants because of McGraw, 
demanded that, in the fair name of baseball, the World Series be 
called off and then denounced Landis, whom he also hated^ for 
failing to heed Ms demand. 

The reporters, having questioned the principals in the case, turned 

185 



to McGraw. What did lie know about it? What did he have to say? 

"I don't know anything about it," he said. "I have nothing to 
say. See Landis. He has all the evidence." 

He made no secret of the fact that he resented not having been 
apprised of the matter until Landis reached New York and sent for 
him. 

The fans buzzed, the newspapers bubbled. Four years after the 
exposure of the White Sox, scandal was rife in baseball again, some 
of them declared, and either joined Johnson in his clamor for can- 
cellation of the World Series or called for a fuller investigation than, 
as they saw it, Landis had made. Dolan was denounced while sym- 
pathy for O'Connell was general. 

Landis, having advised Johnson to keep his shirt on, was pressed 
for a definite statement on his stand in regard to the series. 

"The series will be played," he said. 

That settled it. The Giants went to Washington to oppose the 
Senators, who, under Stanley Harris, the boy manager, had won the 
American League pennant for the first time in their history. 

That afternoon, shortly before the departure of the team, Dolan 
went to the offices of the Giants to see McGraw, whom he had not 
seen since the case was broken. At McGraw's orders, Jim Tierney 
turned him away. Visibly aged by the fate that had overtaken him, 
he was crying as he left. 

The scandal was forgotten or at least put out of mind once 
the series got under way. The presence of Walter Johnson in the big 
tussle, after so many years of striving with a second-division team, 
exerted a terrific pull on the fans all over the country. From a senti- 
mental standpoint the Senators were top-heavy favorites, although 
hard-headed bettors gave the edge to the Giants. The odds against 
the Senators mounted when Nehf beat Johnson in a twelve-inning 
thriller to open the series. But the Senators fought back, and the 
teams battled up and down between New York and Washington, 
reaching the seventh game at Griffith Stadium on October 10. 

There had been some shrewd juggling of pitchers in the series, 
some deft switches in the line-ups, some swift clashes of wits be- 
tween McGraw and his youthful adversary, the twenty-eight-year-old 
Harris. Now, with everything hinging on this one ball game, with a 
fortune riding on every pitch and every hit, there was a real test 
186 



of skill between them. And, much to his chagrin, McGraw was out- 
maneuvered. Harris started Jack Qgden, a right-hander, then switched 
to the veteran George Mogridge, a southpaw. McGraw fell into the 
snare set for him, pulling his left-handed hitters out and throwing 
right-handers into their places whereupon Harris yanked Mogridge, 
called in Firpo Marberry, his big right-handed relief pitcher, and 
followed him with Walter Johnson. 

McGraw had been playing put-and-take with Ms pitchers, too, 
starting with Virgil Barnes and following with Nehf, and Bentley. 
In the ninth inning, with the score tied at 3-3, the Senators had 
men on first and third with one out and Ralph Miller at bat, 
McGraw, gambling as he always did in a clutch, played his infield 
back for a double play, where a more cautious manager would have 
pulled his defenses in to concentrate on the man on third base, who 
represented the winning run. As a reward for his courage he got 
the double play Miller hitting sharply to Jackson, who flipped the 
ball to Frisch, who rifled it to Kelly. 

The teams struggled on to the twelfth, with Bentley pitching mag- 
nificently against Johnson and the tension mounting on the field, in 
the dugouts and the stands. Miller, leading off in the Senators' half, 
was thrown out by Frisch. The next hitter was Muddy Ruel ? who 
had made only one hit in the series. He raised a high foul between 
the plate and third base. Gowdy, tearing off his mask, started for 
the ball and what happened immediately thereafter probably never 
happened before or since to a major-league catcher. 

Instead of tossing his mask behind him. Hank tossed it directly 
in Ms path. With his eyes on the ball, he stepped in the mask, 
stumbled, kicked it off and then stepped in it again. Now 
his spikes were caught in the wire. He stumbled once more as he 
tried frantically to get under way. The ball fell a few feet in front 
of him as he lunged at it. Ruel, who should have been an easy out, 
had another chance to hit and doubled to left. Johnson was safe 
on a fumble by Jackson. Now Earl McNedy Mt an easy grounder 
to Lindstrom but the ball struck a stone and bounded over Lind- 
strom's head, Ruel racing home with the winning run. 

Dazed, growling, cursing their luck, the Giants pushed their way 
through the hysterically happy fans who tumbled out of the stands. 
They still seemed dazed as, leaving the howling, celebrating city 

187 



behind them, they climbed on a train for New York. They sat there 
in sullen silence until Bentley, with a long sigh, said: 

"Cheer up, boys. It just looks as though the Good Lord couldn't 
stand seeing Walter Johnson get beat again," 

In his drawing room McGraw sat quiet and disconsolate for per- 
haps an hour. It had been one of the most disappointing defeats ever 
thrust upon him. He believed that he had the better team in the 
series (Harris, even in his moment of triumph, agreed with him) 
and it galled him to see it beaten by the workings of a crazy fortune. 
Moreover, he had wanted desperately to win because of the shadow 
thrown across Ms team by the Dolan-Q'Connell affair. 

Well, in any event, it was over and done with. He got to his feet 
and went out into the cars where the players, the spell cast over 
them by the defeat broken by Bentley's observation, were reading 
magazines or books none of them wanted to read a newspaper that 
evening or talking. 

"All you fellows whose wives are in New York " he said. 

The players looked up. 

"Send wires to them asking them to meet you at the Commodore. 
We're having a party/* 

There was a hurried call for telegraph blanks. The gloom had be^n 
completely dispelled, regrets temporarily forgotten. The Old Man 
was giving a party. 

That night at the Commodore was in the pattern of World Series 
parties given by McGraw. Jimmy Flynn was there, singing in his 
thin but melodious tenor voice. Gitz-Rice played and sang by re- 
quest "Dear Old Pal of Mine." Art Nehf played "On the Banks of 
the Wabash/' as his wife and father led the company in singing it. 
The song caught on. The candlelight still shone through the syca- 
mores at five o'clock in the morning, Eastern Standard Time. 

The European tour on which the Giants and the White Sox em- 
barked two days later was a fiasco. Casually conceived, it was care- 
lessly planned, and all it amounted to was this : everyone had a good 
time and saw the King of England. McGraw and Comiskey, who 
underwrote it out of their own pockets, took a terrific beating, since 
the gleanings were dreadfully slim. But they shared in the pleasures 
of the trip were, indeed, responsible for most of them and had no 
complaints to make on their return. 

188 



Bad weather followed the teams about. By way of further com- 
plicating the journey and keeping down the gate receipts, they 
arrived in Dublin a month sooner than they were expected. They 
stayed there in comparative secrecy for a few days, put on one game 
largely for their own amusement, and for the sake of saying that 
they had played in Ireland, and then went back to London. They 
also played in Manchester and Paris. 

The big game was at Stamford Bridge, which drew King George V, 
having his second look at baseball after a lapse of eleven years ; the 
present King, then the Duke of York; Frank Kellogg, the American 
Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, and George Bernard Shaw, 
whose account of the game in one of the London papers convinced 
the ball players, unfamiliar with his other works, that he was over- 
rated. The players were presented to the King and the Duke by 
Kellogg. The Duke sat behind the press benches, talked with Harry 
Cross and the late Robert Boyd, the two New York baseball writers 
who accompanied the teams, and made a valiant attempt to score the 
game according to their instructions. 

The 20,000 lesser souls at the game appreciated the fielding more 
than they did the hitting, and derived their greatest thrill when 
Johnny Mostil, White Sox outfielder, made a .running one-hand 
catch in deep center. 

In Dublin, McGraw, for whom the tour was largely a personal 
social triumph, had a long chat with William Edward Cosgrove, then 
President of the Republic. Cosgrove was more curious about Ameri- 
can industries than he was about baseball, and some of the others 
present including the ball players were amazed at the ease with 
which McGraw answered his questions. 

For all the attention the teams received in the newspapers in this 
country, they might just as well have sailed from here into a fog 
bank and remained there for six weeks. 

There was one last appearance of Cozy Dolan on the New York 
scene. Some months after the series he was reported to be in town, 
although newspapermen who went in quest of Mm were unable to 
find him or to confirm reports that he had conferred with McGraw. 
About that time William J. Fallon announced that he was interested 
in Dolan's case and intended to see that justice was done by bring- 
ing suit in Dolan's behalf against Judge Landis, if necessary. 

189 



Since Dolan was believed to be virtually penniless and Fallen 
was the highest priced criminal lawyer in New York, this prompted 
Joe Vila to ask, in his column in the Sun: 

"Who sent Cozy Dolan to William J. Fallon?" 

No answer having been received, he asked the question again. 
Silence still being the only reward for his inquisitiveness, he sent a 
reporter to see Fallon. The lawyer, who was pleading a case in the 
Criminal Courts building, invited the reporter to lunch at a little 
Italian restaurant on Mulberry Bend, and, Ms eyes twinkling, said: 

"If you will promise me that Joe Vila will quit asking who sent 
Cozy Dolan to see William J. Fallon, I will promise to answer any 
question you put to me." 

"All right," the reporter said. "I can give you that promise. Now: 
Who sent Cozy Dolan to see William J. Fallon?" 

"You win/' Fallon said, laughing. "John McGraw sent Cozy 
Dolan to see William J. Fallon." 

"Why?" 

"Why not?" he countered. "If you had a man working for you 
for a long time and you believed he was faithful to you and he got 
into trouble, wouldn't you do what you could to help him?" 

"Yes." 

cr Well, that answers your question. You know Dolan. You know 
that he is a clown, an ignorant slob. He thinks he got a bad deal 
from Landis. So do I. He went crying to McGraw and McGraw sent 
him to me and he told me his story. I told him that if he wanted me 
to, I would bring suit against Landis and beat him in the courts. 
Which, of course, I would be glad to do. I don't care anything about 
the laws of baseball, or the laws that Landis makes up as he goes 
along. I do know that in a court of law, Landis couldn't make the 
evidence on which he convicted Dolan stand up for a minute." 

"And you are going to bring suit?" 

He shrugged. 

"I'm afraid not," he said. "I have drawn up the papers and am 
ready to go ahead, but Dolan is stalling. Somehow, he has the im- 
pression that Landis is going to reinstate him. He says Landis told 
Mm so. You and I know Landis never said anything of the sort, but 
Dolan has it in his mind that the old man is going to relent and, 
after pleading with me to help Mm, he has become afraid that if he 
190 



brings suit., Landis will turn against him and lie never will get back 
into baseball I'm very sorry," 

"Why?" 

His eyes twinkled again. 

"I'd like to get Landis on the witness stand and have some fun 
with him," he said. "I was in Ms court room one day and heard him 
sentence a bootlegger to two years in the penitentiary . . and I've 
never forgiven him for it." 



XXIV OTT ARRIVES AND MATTY DIES 



FROM EUROPE^ McGraw soon was off again, this time to 
Havana. He hadn't seen much sunshine in London, Paris, or 
Dublin^ nor had he seen the horses run ; and he was eager for a sight 
of both. There were days, too, when he complained of feeling tired, 
although he had done nothing, and his sinuses were bothering him. 
He thought a few weeks in the sun at the race track or at La Playa 
he was no great hand for surf bathing, but he liked to sit on the 
beach once in a while would make Mm feel better. 

They apparently did, for he looked rested when he arrived at 
Sarasota to get the Giants ready for another season another long 
wMrl with, perhaps, a fifth pennant at the end of it. He thought he 
might have some trouble with Brooklyn again that year, as he had 
in 1924. He would have liked to have seen the Robins up there every 
year, realizing the value as expressed in gate receipts of a tight 
rivalry between the Giants and their interborough foes. He had 
done Ms best to keep that rivalry alive, sometimes by openly need- 
ling Charles H. Ebbets, the president of the Brcwklyn club. But 
it hadn't always been easy. The Robins, although winning the pen- 
nant in 1916 and 1920, had been in the second division most of the 
time for the past eight or nine years. And it had become a trifle 
difficult for the Brooklyn fans to hate him as they had in days gone 
by, when Brooklyn had been as tough a battle ground for him as 
any of the western towns. 

The late spurt by the Robins in 1924 had come as a shot in the 
arm. Maybe they would be that good again. He hoped so. He gloried 
in the abuse that was hurled at him at Ebbets Fidd when the fans 



really were aroused and gloried in knocking off Robbie, for whom 
his dislike increased constantly. 

The Indianapolis club was training at Plant City that spring. 
When the Giants went over there for an exhibition game Donie 
Bush, the Indianapolis manager, started a broad-shouldered, power- 
fully built right-hander who, as one of the Giants remarked, "looked 
Mke a guy swinging Indian clubs" as he went into his wind-up. He 
twisted his body so that, for a split second, he almost turned his 
back on the hitter, then whirled about and fired suddenly. The de- 
ceptive motion, the speed with which he threw the ball, and the way 
it sometimes fluttered as it reached the plate baffled the Giants, 
who had been at work for only a couple of weeks and hadn't seen 
any pitching as good as that. 

For five innings the Giants failed to make a hit. McGraw, who 
hadn't gone to the dugout, but sat in a box almost directly back of 
the plate, never took his eyes off the Indianapolis pitcher. For once 
he was undisturbed as he watched his players strike out, roll out, or 
pop up. The deep tan on the pitcher's face, the freedom with which 
he worked, and the stuff he put on the ball all indicated that he had 
been working somewhere all winter ; and it was natural he should 
have a decided edge on any hitters he faced. When, at the end of 
five innings, the pitcher was removed, McGraw called Bush over to 
Ms box. 

"Where was that fellow pitching this winter?" he asked. 

Bush laughed. 

"You should know, Mac," he said. "He was in Havana." 

"He was, eh? Well, I missed him. I didn't see many games last 

winter in the short time I was there What's his name? Fitz- 

simmons ?" 

"Yes. Fred Fitzsimmons. He's a pretty good pitcher, Mac. We've 
had him for three years. He's your kind of pitcher, too. He's got 
plenty of guts." 

"What are you trying to do, sell him to me?" McGraw asked, 
laughing. 

"That's just what I may do some day," Bush said seriously. "This 
was no fair test today, because he's in shape and away ahead of your 
hitters. But he can pitch, Mac. You watch him this year and see 
if he can't." 

Bush was right on all three counts. Fitzsimmons could pitch, he 
192 



was McGraw's kind of pitcher and the day would come when he 
would be sold to the Giants. The Giant players had been as deeply 
impressed with him as McGraw was. Some of them had hit against 
him in the American Association and they knew that, regardless 
of the edge in condition he held over them that day, his effective- 
ness was no flash in the pan, 

A motion picture company, eager to capitalize on the real estate 
boom and the number of major- and minor-league ball clubs training 
in Florida, whipped up a scenario to cover both phases of the lively 
state-wide panorama. They shot some scenes about Sarasota and 
then, with McGraw's permission, arranged to shoot one during a 
game between the Giants and the St. Louis Browns. 

No one, except the director, seemed to know precisely what the 
plot was or where the big baseball scene figured in it. Perhaps the 
hero, by hitting a home run, won the game and saved a valuable 
piece of property or an option on some property, options being 
bought and sold at fantastic prices that spring. At any rate, with the 
Browns in the field in the last half of the eighth inning, the game 
was held up. One camera was planted back of the pitcher's box to 
catch the hitter as he swung. Others were back of first and third 
bases to catch him on his way around. The hero, wearing a Giant 
uniform, took up his position at the plate. 

At a word from the directory the pitcher wound up and went 
through the motion of delivering a ball to the hitter although, for 
safety's sake, no ball was used. The hero, who didn't look as though 
he'd ever worn a baseball uniform or held a bat in Ms hand before, 
swung awkwardly. Had there been a ball and had he, by some 
miracle, hit it, it would have struck the dirt in front of the plate, 
the way he swung. He started on his round of the bases. Huffing and 
puffing, he crossed the plate as the crowd cheered. 

The director hadn't been satisfied with his performance. 

"Do It again!" he shouted. 

The weary actor picked up his bat and, still puffing, took Ms 
stance at the plate again. 

The press bos merely was a continuation of the Giants' bench, a 
beaver board partition separating the newspapermen from the ath- 
letes. McGraw, who sat next the partition, leaned around it and said 
to the nearest reporter: 

193 



"If he has to run around the bases again, he will either fall down 
or get sick." 

The pitcher went through his motion, the hero chopped at the 
phantom ball and was off. He began to stagger as he rounded first 
base. His legs buckled as he neared second, and he fell across the 
bag as the crowd howled. Gamely getting to his feet, he went his 
reeling, lunging way. He fell again as he got to the plate, dragged 
himself up, and, a look of panic on his face, lurched past the end 
of the bench. Mercifully hidden from the view of the laughing spec- 
tators, he was sick. 

The reporter to whom McGraw had spoken leaned around the 
partition. 

"How did you know that would happen?" he asked. 

"That was a cinch," McGraw said. "I never saw a well trained ball 
player who could run around the bases at top speed twice without 
a rest in between. So what chance did that poor ham have to do it?" 

It seemed unlikely, when the season opened, that the Giants could 
win five pennants in a row. But, the way they set out, the experts 
who had picked the Robins or the Pirates to succeed them were more 
than a little dubious. Even an amazing string of injuries on their 
first western trip failed to check them, although the more super- 
stitious players began to look around to see if they had picked up 
a jinx. 

Sam Crane was sure they had when he became ill in Cincinnati, 
the last stop in the Middle West. 

"It looks as though you've worn him out and he's picking on the 
newspapermen now," he joked. 

Sam was so weak on the train to New York that McGraw, who 
spent much of his time with his old friend, was concerned. 

"We should wire ahead and have an ambulance meet him at the 
Pennsylvania Station," McGraw said. 

Everyone agreed it was a good idea, yet shrank from even sug- 
gesting it to Sam. McGraw was nominated for that task. He went 
to Sam's berth. 

"Sam," he said, "it's a hot day and I wouldn't be surprised if 
you wouldn't be better off if we had an ambulance to meet you " 

The roar that emanated from the berth belied the veteran re- 
porter's condition. 

194 



"I never rode in an ambulance in my life, and I'm not going to 
start now ! " he bellowed. "Ada Frisch is going to be at the station to 
meet Frank, and shell drive me home." 

The Cranes and the Frisches were neighbors in the Bedford Park 
section of the Bronx, and, as he so emphatically preferred, Sam was 
driven home by Mrs. Frisch. He never left Ms house again, for he 
had pneumonia and four days later he died. 

His death shocked and saddened McGraw. They had been friends 
for many years, going back to the days when McGraw was a young 
fellow in Baltimore and Sam, who had been a ball player, too ? had 
turned to baseball writing in New York. They had traveled thou- 
sands of miles together, taken many a drink together, laughed and 
frolicked together. Sometimes they had quarreled. But their quar- 
rels never were serious and always were patched up in a few days 
or even a few hours. 

Shortly after that McGraw also became ill. For the first time 
since he had been the manager of the Giants,, he was away from the 
dugout for a couple of weeks. One of the New York newspapers 

printed a story that he was in such poor health he was about to 
resign, and, in any event, would not be seen in the dugout again. 
It chanced that the very day on which the story was printed was 
the day he returned. Meeting one of the reporters in the Stevens 
commissary under the grandstand, he asked : 

"Did you see that story about me going to resign?" 

"Yes," the reporter said, "but I didn't believe it. 3 * 

cc Why, it's ridiculous!" he said. < f Resign? What would I do if I 
resigned? Play the horses every day? Why, it's a joke!" 

"I always figured/ 1 the reporter said, "that the day you didn't 
manage the Giants would be the day you couldn't get out of bed." 

McGraw nodded. 

"That's right/' he said. "That's just the way I feel about it. If 
you're interested enough to write a story about it, you can quote me 
as having said that." 

Rain fell in the third inning that day as the Giants were leading 
by a score of 4 to o. Bill EJem ? umpiring back of the plate, called a 
halt After a half hour's wait lie inspected the ield, and, deciding it 
was too muddy for further play, declared the game off. A little later 
the same reporter who had seen McGraw before the game met him 

195 



again under the stands. Accompanied by Kelly and Young, lie was 
coming from the direction of the umpires' dressing room and lie 
was in a boiling rage. 

"That dummy ! " lie shouted. 

"Who? 77 the reporter asked. 

"Who? Klein, of course! Calling a game off because of a little 

rain like that ! I told him, the ! I'll see Heydler about 

this! Ill find out if his umpires are going to be allowed to ruin 
baseball I How about all these fans that paid to see this game and 
are being sent home after three innings ? You heard them yell, didn't 

you? They wanted the game to go on. But no ! That has to 

call it off 1" 

He stormed on toward the club house. 

"McGraw," the reporter wrote that night, "is himself again. Those 
who doubt the statement are referred to Bill Klem." 

But he wasn't himself nor were the Giants. After their fine begin- 
ning they faltered badly. Although they had nothing to fear from 
the Robins, who had flattened out badly and were tussling with the 
Phillies for sixth place, the Pirates had come with a rush. There was 
a series in September that sealed the Giants' fate. Even Fitzsimmons, 
purchased from Indianapolis in midseason, hadn't been able to keep 
the Giants in front, although he had pitched well. 

The season was drawing to a close. The Giants were hopelessly 
beaten. One day a boy showed up at the Polo Grounds, asking for 
McGraw, He was sixteen years old and didn't look any older. He 
carried a straw suitcase in one hand, and it was obvious to Willis, 
guardian of the pass gate, that he was quite frightened. 

"What do you want of Mr. McGraw?" Willis asked. 

"I'm a ball player," the boy said. "I was sent to him." 

Willis smiled. 

"Who sent you?" 

"A friend of Mr. McGraw's down in Louisiana. He wrote to Mr. 
McGraw about me, and Mr. McGraw said for me to come up here." 

"All right," Willis said, opening the little gate beside the turn- 
stile. "You'll find him in the club house. Go through that way to the 
field, and you'll see the steps from there." 

McGraw was in his office, going over his mail, when the boy, still 
clutching his straw suitcase, walked in. He looked up from his desk. 
196 




Brotr sz Bros. 



MEL OTT 




en 
H 
rt 

PQ 



O 

o 



B 
w 
S 

H 



"Yes?" lie said. 

The boy gulped. 

"I'm Melvin Ott," he said. 

McGraw's personal scouting system had paid off again. Melvin 

Thomas Ott had been the catcher on the high school team in Gretna, 
Louisiana, near New Orleans. He and the pitcher had tried out that 
summer with the New Orleans club. The New Orleans manager had 
signed the pitcher to a contract and farmed him out to the Cotton 
States League. To Ott he had said: 

"Go home. Come back in a few years and 111 give you another 
trial." 

But Ott had got a job catching for a team that Harry Williams, 
lumber baron and baseball enthusiast, maintained for his own enter- 
tainment and that of his friends on his plantation just above New 
Orleans. After Williams had seen Mel hit a few times, he believed 
he was a major-league star in the making. So what more natural 
than that he should write to his friend, John McGraw, about the 
boy? McGraw had wired to him to send the boy along for inspection 
and now the boy stood there, Ms straw suitcase in one hand and 
his heart in Ms mouth. 

It was a fateful moment for Ott and for the Giants. It is too bad 
a photographer wasn't there to record the scene. But, of course, if 
one had been there, it never would have occurred to Mm to take a 
picture of McGraw talking to a sixteen-year-old boy who, fantasti- 
cally enough, was about to get a trial with the Giants. 

McGraw asked Mel some questions about himself, talked to Mm 
for a few minutes about their mutual friend, Williams then called 
in the trainer and told him to give the boy a uniform. The chances 
are that, having seemingly more important matters on Ms mind, he 
forgot about Ott immediately. But the first time he saw him hit, 
wMch was in batting practice early the next day, he knew that 
Williams hadn't exaggerated. He knew that, whatever else this boy 
could do, he could crash the ball. And he made up Ms mind then that 
no minor-league manager was going to tamper with the boy's style 
at the plate and, however well meaning, hinder Ms development. He 
would keep Mel with hhrt as he had kept Bums and Frisch and 
Sehupp, for here was a natural Mtter if he ever saw one. 

He didn't know about the boy's skill as a catcher. Time enough 
to judge that the next spring at Sarasota. After all, suppose the boy 

197 



couldn't catch? He was heavy-legged and probably not too fast, 
but something could be done with him, some place found for him 
in the Giant line-up at some future date. A boy who could hit like 
that 

McGraw was in Pittsburgh on October 7, attending the opening 
game of the World Series between the Pirates and the Senators, when 
he received word that Christy Mathewson had died at his home at 
Saranac Lake, New York. He left at once for New York, where he 
was met by Mrs. McGraw, who went with him to Saranac. 

Having been compelled by the state of his health to leave the 
Giants in 1921, Matty had spent two years at Saranac and then, 
feeling sufficiently strong to return to baseball, had accepted the 
presidency of the Braves. He held this position until the spring of 
1925, when his health failed so badly that he had to retire. 

McGraw had known, all through that summer, that Matty could 
not live out the year. Yet Matty's death had come as a stunning 
blow to him. No player ever had been as close to him, not even Jen- 
nings. Matty's rise to greatness at the Polo Grounds had paralleled 
his own. Although he never had yielded any favors to Matty that he 
had withheld from the other players, the bond of friendship between 
them had been cemented by the passing years. Mrs. McGraw shared 
his grief, for she not only looked upon Matty as he did as though 
he were a younger brother, but she and Mrs. Mathewson were like 
sisters. 

Matty was buried three days later at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. 
McGraw, standing at the side of his grave, knew a greater sadness 
than he had known since that day, back in Truxton when he was 
twelve years old, his mother had died. 



XXV "FOLLOW ME IN REAL ESTATE" 

2N JANUARY OF 1926 a rather startling full-page advertisement ap- 
peared in each of the New York morning newspapers one Sun- 
day. It was a clarion call to the public to invest in a real estate 
development in Sarasota, and in the center of it was a picture of 
McGraw with the slogan : 

198 



"YouVe followed me In baseball, now follow me In real estate !" 

Designed to catch the eye and capture the imagination of baseball 
fans, the development was called Pennant Park. The streets, avenues 
and boulevards at the time they existed only on blueprints, al- 
though some of them actually were laid out later were named for 
famous ball players, principally Giants. It was suggested that any 
fan should be thrilled by purchasing a lot on the corner of well, 
say, Mathewson Boulevard and Bresnahan Street. Or, if his enthu- 
siasm ran to the latter-day ball players, a site on Frisch Street, just 
a stone's throw from Nehf Square. 

McGraw was fronting for someone, of course. An old friend, deft 
at promoting anything from a square meal to the sale of the Brook- 
lyn Bridge, had sought Ms aid in promoting what he described as a 
sure-fire deal. Wasn't Florida real estate bringing astonishing prices? 
Wasn't Sarasota, with the prestige of the Ringlings behind it, one of 
the liveliest boom towns on the West Coast? How about Sapphire 
Shores and the other incredibly named tracts down there? Hadn't 
those who had dealt in them profited handsomely? Well, there was 
more gold to be taken from the sands that were washed by pic- 
turesque Sarasota Bay. All he McGraw had to do was to stick 
his name up there and the suckers pardon, the fans would rush 
to buy. And when it came to cutting up the profits, there would be a 
generous slice for him. 

It is difficult to understand as difficult BOW as it was then 
why he agreed to pin the whole business on his back, as he very 
definitely did the day the advertisement appeared in the newspapers. 
To help out his friend, believing that his friend had turned square 
and wouldn't put Trim in on anything that would hurt Mm? That's 
what Ms other friends the real ones still insist. Because he looked 
with avarice on the easy money that was rolling out of the pockets 
of the gullible and into those of the crafty and wanted to divert 
some of it Ms way? That's what Ms enemies said when the inevitable 
crasli came. 

Whatever actuated Mm, it is certain that lie liked Sarasota and 
intended to spend part of each winter there. To that end, he had 
bought property not in, or even near, Pennant Park, however and 
built a home, although he had not lived in it a day or, for that 
matteij even furnished it. 

Now, whether Ms faith in Sarasota extended as far north as Pen- 

199 



nant .Park or wtiet&er he realized It or not, lie was seriously involved 
in a scheme to sell land, mostly by blueprint and promise of great 
things to come. Blueprints and architects 3 drawings that glowingly 
depicted tte delights of Pennant Park littered his desk in the Giants' 
office. He talked glibly of sewers, sidewalks, and street lights that 
soon were to be dug, laid, or put up. His mail was clogged with let- 
ters from prospective customers that he promptly forwarded to his 
friend the promoter. 

Offices had been opened in Sarasota and a former circus press 
agent appropriately enough had been engaged to hammer out 
copy calculated to lure those who might like to live on Mathewson 
Boulevard. One of his stories, widely reprinted about the country, 
covered the cycle of John McGraw from Truxton to Sarasota the 
story of the small-town boy who, having wandered through the great 
cities of the world, had come at last to a small town again. 

There was no lack of customers. McGraw's name, the lively col- 
ored booklets setting forth the beauties and advantages of Pennant 
Park that were so promptly mailed to all seekers of information 
these brought checks and money orders as down payments on lots. 
Few of the purchasers bothered to go to Sarasota to inspect the 
property before investing, so great was their confidence in McGraw. 
Those who did were so beguiled and bewildered by the salesmen 
who met them that they would have been better off if they had 
remained at home. That way, at any rate, they would have saved 
their carfare and hotel bills. 

But by now the Giants were reporting, and McGraw had no time 
for real estate. Beaten off by the Pirates in 1925, he may have con- 
soled himself with the thought that he couldn't go on winning the 
pennant forever and that, with four flags in a row, he had achieved 
more than any other manager in the game's history. But such 
thoughts could not linger long with him; and this, with another 
season coming up, was no time to be looking back. Now he was 
looking ahead again, fitting out Ms team for another drive through 
the field. 

His early appraisal of Ott as a hitter was borne out at Sarasota 
as the boy pounded the ball to the edges of the palmetto-fringed 
field. But, watching him in the mornings, as he caught in batting 
practice, McGraw knew he never would be a major-league catcher. 
One day he said to him : 

200 



"Did you ever play in the outfield?" 

"Yes," Mel said seriously. "When I was a kid." 

Repressing a smile, McGraw said: 

"Well, I'll tell you what you do. Just throw that mitt away and 
get yourself a glove, and get out there and start shagging flies. 
Because from now on you are an outfielder." 

There was something else that had to be done for the boy to fit 
him for the big leagues. He had to be taught to run. His legs were 
thick, but, as he had not yet matured, the muscles and tendons hadn't 
toughened. As he pounded flat-footed or on his heels around the out- 
field or along the base paths, he soon developed a Charley-horse, or 
knotting of the muscles, in each leg. 

"Take the next few days off/' McGraw said. "If you don't and 
If you keep on running that way youll be ruined even before 
youVe had a real chance." 

That night he called Beraie Wefers, famous track coach and aa 
old friend of his. 

"I want you to come down here and help me/' he said. "I've got 
a kid down here who looks great, but he's tearing Ms legs to pieces 
because he doesn't know how to run. If you take charge of him now, 
you can correct Ms faults in a few days. If somebody doesn't do it 
for him, he'll run Mmself right out of the league." 

"O. EL, John," Wefers said. 'Tm on my way." 

When, after a rest of three or four days, Ott was ready to resume 
training, Wefers was there. The coach put Mm through a series of 
exercises designed to get Mm up on Ms toes, then had him practice 
quick starts from a standing position ; finally had him running back 
and forth across the outfield, down to first base, or around the bases. 
It wasn't easy for Mel to run as Wefers wanted Mm to. It meant a 
complete changte in his style, and there were nights when Ms legs 
were as sore as they had been from the way lie used to hammer and 
plow Ms way about. But Wefers was exacting and Mel was 
serious, ambitious, and willing to work hard to get the form Wefers 
demanded. Consequently, before the Giants left Sarasota, Mel was 
running smootHy and Ms legs no longer were bothering him. He 
was on Ms way not only to a regular berth with the Giants, but to 
one of the greatest careers that any ball player ever has had. 



201 



There were two other problems that offered no such prompt and 
reasonably easy solutions. 

One morning, after the regulars had been at work for a week or 
so, Arthur Nehf said to McGraw in the club house : 

"Mac, I'm afraid I have some bad news bad for you and worse 
for me." 

Startled, McGraw asked : 

"Why, what's the matter, Art?" 

"I have neuritis. I can't pitch.' 7 

Suddenly his eyes filled with tears. 

"Like all of us," he said, "there have been times when I have been 
sick of baseball and thought how nice it would be to quit, so that I 
could spend the summer with my family. But now . . . now I know 
I can't go on and I feel . . ." 

"Nonsense !" McGraw said brusquely, "Neuritis ! What's neuritis? 
IVe had it myself. So have lots of other ball players." 

Nehf shook his head. 

"I've got it in my feet and in the thumb and first two fingers of 
my left hand. My arm is strong enough, but it's hard for me to stay 
on the rubber when I'm pitching, and I can't grip the ball tight 
enough to control it." 

"Take it easy," McGraw said. "You haven't been training long 
enough to know what you can do and you're overanxious, that's 
all. Go see a doctor here and start treatment. Work only when he 
tells you to or when you feel like it. A couple of weeks in the sun 
will do wonders for you." 

Nehf, still shaking his head, walked away. McGraw looked after 
him thoughtfully. Nehf had been a great pitcher for him one of the 
greatest. He had won many a critical game for the Giants, and his 
pitching in World Series games had been magnificent until that day 
in 1923 when his arm suddenly had gone dead in the final game with 
the Yankees. Had that, unknown to both of them, been the begin- 
ning of Ms trouble? And was this the end? He hoped not. He had a 
great admiration for Nehf, for one thing. For another, the loss of 
his services would be a severe blow to the Giants. 

Maybe Art, a sensitive fellow who was inclined to worry, might 
be imagining things. McGraw remembered one time, two or three 
years before, when Art had told him he couldn't pitch in his turn 
because he had severe pains in his stomach and hadn't been able to 

202 



sleep the night before. He had told Art then that the best thing he 
could do would be to pitch that he'd feel much better than if he 
just lay around the hotel all afternoon. And Art had pitched and 
won, and that night he had laughed and said his stomach was all 

right. It might be something like that now. And yet, as he looked 
after the retreating figure of the pitcher, he was uneasy. 

He glanced across to where Ross Young was dressing. Ross hadn't 
looked well lately. He had been quite ill on his return from Europe 
in the winter of 1924. Although he hadn't said anything about it, 
perhaps that loss of nearly a hundred points in his batting average 
in 1925 had been due to the effects of that illness. 

"How do you feel, Ross?" he asked. 

Ross, who had been lacing on his shoes, looked up. 

"Pretty good," he said. "My stomach bothers me a little, and I 
haven't had much pep so far. I guess," he said, laughing, "I'm get- 
ting old. It takes me more time to get started in the spring than it 
did when I was a young fellow." 

"You'd better go to a doctor and have a check-up/' McGraw said. 

"If I don't feel better in a few days, I will," he said 

The doctor whom Nehf had consulted soon had another patient. 
One night he sought out McGraw. 

"I think I should tell you this," he said. "Young's not a well man. 55 

"Is it anything serious?" McGraw asked anxiously. 

"It could be, unless he is very careful. I have put him on strict 
diet. When he gets to New York I want Mm to put himself in care of 
of a physician. If he plays this year " 

"If he plays this year I Is it as serious as all that?" 

"It could be," the doctor said again. 

"What's the matter with Mm?" 

"That 3 s something I'm not at liberty to tell you, 1 * the doctor said, 
"That would have to come from him. But I wanted you to know 
that if he doesn't take the very best care of himself and do precisely 
as he is told, he may not be able to finish this season." 

On the field the next day McGraw said to Young, casually: 

"What does the doctor say about you?" 

"Oh," Ross said, he says IVe got to watch my diet. Well, that 
will help. I won ? t put on weight that way," 

"What did he say was wrong with you?" 

"He didn't say." 

203 



McGraw looked at him closely. 

"Don't give me that," lie said. 

Young laughed. 

"You know how these doctors are/' he said. "You just don't feel 
well, and you go to one of them and he finds out a lot of things 
wrong with you." 

And then, shrewdly: 

"Has he been talking to you?" 

"To me? No. Why should he talk to me? I'm not sick." 

"I just thought he might have said something to you about me. 
If he does, don't let him scare you. He hasn't scared me." 

He picked up a bat and walked toward the plate. McGraw was 
genuinely disturbed. First Nehf . . . now Young. Two of his favorite 
ball players. And Young's case appeared, if anything, to be the more 
serious of the two. 

Otherwise, things seemed to be all right, McGraw, who never be- 
lieved that the team any team that had beaten him the year 
before could beat him again, had some reason to believe the Giants 
would do well this year. Fitzsimmons, backed by part of a season in 
the majors, looked like a sure winner. His infield, with Lindstrom 
constantly improving at third base, was up to standard. The illness 
of Nehf and Young might hurt him badly . . . but he wasn't prepared 
to say so as yet. Maybe somebody would move up to replace them. 
And, as always, his team was in fine shape as it started north. 

There were laughs along the way. At Memphis, for instance 
although, since the joke was on him in this case, he couldn't laugh 
very heartily. In common with most men who like to play jokes on 
others, he wasn't quick to respond when the laugh was aimed in his 
direction. Anyway: 

He and four or five of the newspapermen were seated in front of 
the desk in the Hotel Peabody in Memphis when a very distin- 
guished looking old gentleman square-cut derby, frock coat, striped 
pants, stick approached them and, looking directly at McGraw, 
asked: 

"Are you with the Giants?" 

McGraw stiffened slightly in his chair. 

"Yes," he said. "Yes. I'm with the Giants.' 5 

"Have you seen Hughie Jennings about?" 

204 



"Why, no. Not lately. I saw him about an hour or so ago. Have 
you tried Ms room?" 

"Yes. But he doesn't answer." 

McGraw craned his neck, looking about the spacious lobby. 

"Oh/ 3 the old gentleman said, "don't bother. He doesn't know me. 
But I used to live in Baltimore years ago and I saw him play with 
the Orioles. This morning I read in the newspaper that he was in 
town, and I just thought I'd drop around and see what he looked 
like. 7 ' 

At mention of Baltimore and the Orioles McGraw beamed. 

"Is that so ?" he said. "I used to play with the Orioles myself." 

"You did, eh? What's your name?" 

The blood crept slowly up the back of McGraw's neck and iooded 
his face. 

"McGraw/ 7 he said testily. 

The old gentleman sh'ook his head. 

"McGraw? That's funny/ 7 he said, "I don't remember you. 7 ' 

"Well/ 7 McGraw snapped, the words coming fast now, "I was in 
Baltimore before Jennings came there, and I was there after he 
left!" 

The old gentleman shook his head. 

"That may be," he said, "but I don't remember you." 

He walked away. The newspapermen, almost strangling with sup- 
pressed laughter, looked at McGraw. He was purple with rage. 

" old fool!" he snarled. 

Then it dawned on him that he had been tricked. He leaped to Ms 
feet. 

"Where is that Jennings ! " he yelled. 

And, laughing . . . but his laugh was hollow . . . started on a search 
for the culprit, 

That night Tom Watklns gave one of his best parties for McGraw. 
It was McGraw's birthday. Tom persuaded the newspapermen, who 
were going to give their customary party in a private dining room 
at the hotel, to allow Mm to take over. So the party was given at the 
Tennessee Club instead. It was a party that none of the guests ever 
forgot. Especially unforgettable was the Negro boy who sang: 
"Look down, look down that lonesome road." Up to that time there 

205 



had been sporadic singing on the part of the guests. But when the 
Negro boy got through, nobody dared sing any more. 

The Giants were off to a jolting start. The quick break from the 
barrier that McGraw had visioned had failed to materialize. Worse, 
the players or some of them seemed to be in the grip of lethargy. 
He heckled and needled and stormed and ranted. But no matter 
what he said or did, he couldn't shake them out of the rut into which 
they had fallen. 

At the end of a month or so of play he decided that something 
had to be done to wake them up. Something that would show them 
there was no one on the team, however great his reputation or re- 
gardless of any handicap under which he might be suffering, who 
could remain with the club unless he was delivering. 

On the night of May n, in St. Louis, McGraw announced the re- 
lease of Nehf and Groh. Waivers had been asked on both, and the 
Reds had claimed Nehf. No one had put in a claim for Groh, and 
the third baseman had received his outright release. (He was to sign, 
a few days later, with Toledo.) Once more McGraw had had to stifle 
sentiment In the interests of his team. He had a great personal fond- 
ness for Art and Heinie, yet realized they no longer could help the 
Giants. 

Nehf had been one of his great pitchers his mainstay in the box 
when he was winning four pennants in a row. Groh, sent away in 
his youth, had developed into one of the top third basemen of his 
time, and on his return to the Giants had been a factor in the 
winning of three of those four pennants. Each was McGraw's type 
of ball player. They lived cleanly, played hard, never complained, 
never gave Mm the slightest cause for worry. He was plainly moved 
that night when he called the newspapermen together to give them 
the story. 

Regrettably, considerable unpleasantness followed in Nehf 's case. 
When Arthur reported to Jack Hendricks, then managing the Reds, 
Hendricks said to him: 

"I'm glad to have you with us, Art. Take it easy for a few days. 
I'm going to give you a chance to get settled, and I won't call on 
you to pitch until the end of the week." 

Nehf stared at him in amazement. 

"The end of the week!" he said. "Why, Jack, I can't pitch then." 

206 



"You can't? Well, when can you pitch? 5 ' 

Art shook his head. 

"I wish I knew," he said, 

Hendricks was startled. 

"What!" he exclaimed. "What are you talking about?" 

Now Nehf was startled. 

"Don't you know?" he asked. 

"Don't I know what? 5 ' 

"What's the matter with me. Why did you think the Giants asked 
for waivers on me? 53 

"I don't know. To tell you the truth, I was surprised. Why? 
What's wrong?" 

Art's surprise turned to anger. 

"Do you mean to tell me nobody told you that I have neuritis 
so bad I can't control the ball ? That I can't pitch up an alley and 
don't know whether 111 ever be able to pitch again?" 

"Certainly not ! " Hendricks said. "If I had known that, I certainly 
wouldn't have claimed you." 

Hendricks and the Cincinnati club went into action, demanding 
the Giants take Nehf back and return the waiver price Cincinnati 
had paid for him. The Giants promptly refused on the ground that 
Hendricks should have known what he was doing and, since he 
hadn't, must pay for Ms ignorance. The matter was referred to 
Heydler. 

Nehf, thoroughly aroused, felt that McGraw not only had treated 
the Cincinnati club unfairly, but had been unfair to him, too s by 
using him as the instrument in the deception. When the Giants 
moved into Cincinnati a few days later, he met McGraw in front of 
the Sinton Hotel. 

"Hello, Art/* McGraw said, extending his hand. 

"Don't you talk to me!" Nehf blazed. 

McGraw, who had no notion that Nehf felt that way toward 
Mm, was nonplused. 

"What's the matter with you?" he demanded. 

"You know very well what's the matter with me. That was a fine 
thing you did to me, after the years I pitched for you. A fine thing!" 

McGraw still didn't understand. When at last he realized what 
Nehf was talking about, he said: 

, it's ridiculous for you to feel that wayl If you think I 

207 



put something over on Hendricks, you had nothing to do with it and 
it certainly is no reflection on you. I don't want you to feel that way 
toward me. Come on. Shake hands." 

There was no appeasing Nehf. 

"Not with you/' he said. "And don't you ever try to talk to me 
again." 

He stalked away. McGraw, hurt, angry, strode into the hotel. 

Heydler lost no time deciding the case in the Giants' favor, giving 
it as his opinion that a ball club before putting in a claim for a 
player, should know all the facts concerning that player's condi- 
tion, and that, therefore, the Cincinnati club had no redress. 

Two weeks later, when the Reds were at the Polo Grounds, Irish 
Meusel waited for Nehf to come out of the club house before the 
opening game of the series, and said: 

"The Old Man wants to see you after the game." 

"Tell him to go to hell," Nehf said. 

"Aw," Irish said, "be reasonable. He thinks a lot of you, and he 
feels bad because you're sore at him. He wants to make up with 
you." 

"Tell him to go jump in the river. What I said to him in Cincin- 
nati still goes. I never want him to speak to me again." 

Irish reported to McGraw that Nehf had rejected his overtures. 

McGraw shrugged. 

"Well," he said, "I still think he's a damned fool for feeling that 
way, but there isn't anything I can do about it." 

Meanwhile, Young's condition not only failed to improve, but 
obviously was not being held in check, in spite of the close surveil- 
lance to which he had grudgingly surrendered himself. When he was 
in New York his physician saw him almost every day. When he 
went on the road with the team a male nurse accompanied him. They 
roomed together and ate together. Young would be sitting around 
with some of the other players of an evening and about 10 o'clock 
his nurse would nod to him and get up. Young would get up and 
follow him to their room. Once he said: 

"I used to laugh at Phil Douglas with his keeper. Now Fve got 
one." l 

He played most of the time, but now and then there were days 
when the nurse would say: 

208 



"Mr. McGraw, I don't think Mr. Young should play today. 53 

And McGraw would say : 

"All right. Take good care of him/' 

Nothing that had happened to McGraw in a long time affected him 

as deeply. He had liked Young from the day he saw him, at Mar- 
lin, nine years before, trying to stop ground balls at third base, 
trying desperately, gamely, fighting as hard as he could to get a 
foothold in the majors. Only two pictures hung over his desk in his 
office at the club house. One was of Mathewson, the other of Young. 
Matty was gone and now, Young? 

It was a sweltering night in St. Louis, and in the Hotel Chase 
McGraw paced the floor of his suite, wondering how he was going 
to pull his team out of its slump . . . what pitcher he could start on 
the morrow . . . and what the devil had got in Frank Frisch, who had 
been so silent and sullen under an upbraiding in the club house after 
the game that day. 

Alone in his own room, Frisch cursed McGraw, the Giants, and 
the day he had taken up baseball as a profession. He knew, of course, 
that as a matter of tradition the Giant captain was the manager's 
whipping boy. That when things were going wrong, McGraw would 
single out his captain and say things to him in the club house that 
were meant not for him, but for the other members of the team. He 
remembered Larry Doyle's telling him how McGraw would point to 
Mm and yell : 

"Look at him! Just look at him, the miserable, yellow ! 

The captain of my ball club! The idiot!" 

Larry had laughed, telling those stories, and Frisch had laughed 
with him. And Frisch had taken a lot of punishment as the Giants 
had been beaten off by the Pirates in 1925 and faltered through 1926, 
and never talked back and sometimes he could laugh later on, as he 
told his friends how McGraw had ridden him in an effort to spur the 
other players on. 

But there had been too much of it. He was past laughing at it 
now ? or any part of it. He had done nothing wrong that day. But 
McGraw had torn into him in the club house and humiliated Mm 
again before the other players. He had taken it as he had taken 
it so many times before. But he was through taking it. 

He sat by a window looking out over Forest Park. Sat there until 

209 



the night faded and the city lay hot and quiet in the first light of the 
new day. And then, his mind no longer in a tumult, he went to bed, 
He fell asleep quickly, because he had reached a decision. 

He was up at eight o'clock. He dressed and packed his bag, and 
went downstairs and had his breakfast. And then he took his bag 
and walked out of the hotel to where a taxicab stood at the curb. 
On the side veranda, facing the fountain, where, later, the players 
would be sitting about, talking and killing time until they must 
start for the ball park, an early-rising reporter sat smoking a cig- 
arette and reading the morning paper. He looked up in surprise as 
Frisch passed him on the way to the lab, wondered vaguely where 
the player was going with his bag at that hour of the morning. Then 
he returned to the sporting page of his paper. He found there no 
story to compare with the one he had just missed : Frisch was quit- 
ting the Giants. 

Frank's absence wasn't discovered by McGraw or the other play- 
ers until he failed to appear in the club house at Sportsman's Park. 

"Call the hotel," McGraw said. "Maybe he's sick." 

One of the players called. 

"Mr. Frisch has checked out," the operator said. 

The player turned to McGraw. 

"They say he's checked out." 

McGraw took the receiver from him. 

"When did he check out?" 

"I don't know," the operator said. "I'll connect you with the desk." 

The clerk was surprised. 

"Why, Mr. McGraw," he said, "I thought you knew. When Mr. 
Frisch came down to breakfast this morning, he asked me when he 
could get a train to New York. I told him at 9 130, and he asked me 
to have the porter call the station and order a ticket for him. He 
left here about 9 o'clock and . . ." 

McGraw hung up the receiver and began to walk up and down 
the room, the players watching him in silence. He paused and looked 
at George Kelly. 

"You're playing second base today," he said. "Terry, you play 
first base." 

He didn't take much interest in the ball game that day. Something 
had happened to him that never had happened before. One of his ball 
players had walked out on him. Players had turned on him before . . , 
210 



poor Bugs Raymond and Chase and Zimmerman and a few others 
. . . and he had got rid of them. But this was the first time one had 
walked out. Not an ordinary player, either, but one for whom he 
had a great admiration and on whom, everyone believed, he had 
built high hopes. 

He never had said to Frisch, or to anyone else, that when the day 
came that he no longer wanted to manage the Giants, Frank would 
be his choice as his successor. But those who were close to him be- 
lieved and still believed that was in his mind. For Frisch, even as 
a young man, was very like McGraw. He had the same burning 
competitive spirit and the same intense love of baseball. He was 
ambitious, and he had the gift of leadership. It was easy to predict, 
even then, that some day he would be a manager. Where else, then, 
but in New York? And of all the prospective heirs to McGraw's 
authority, where was one better fitted, by temperament and training? 

When the newspapermen, startled by word of Frisch's desertion, 
interviewed McGraw after the game, he shrugged off their questions 
or answered them briefly. 

"What can I say? ... I don't know any more about it than you 

do He went to New York, that's all I know No, he didn't say 

anything to me ... I didn't see him last night or this morning . . . 
The last time I saw him was in the club house after the game . . . 
Dispute? . . . No. ... I don't have dispute with my ball players," 

And then, with a hard laugh: 

"Maybe the heat got him." 

But he was saddened and embittered, for he knew there was only 
one way for him to meet the challenge Frisch had hurled at him. 
This was to sell or trade him at the first opportunity. Only by doing 
that could he maintain his grip on the other players. 

In New York, Frisch had little to say: McGraw had ridden Mm 
too much ; had hounded him in the dugout, on the field, and in the 
club house. That was all. Would he play with the Giants again? He 
didn't know. It was obvious to those who interviewed Mm that lie 
regretted having left the team, and that only Ms fierce pride pre- 
vented him from saying so. 

On the Giants' return to the Polo Grounds, McGraw sent for 
Frisch. Manager and player were together for only a short time in 
McGraw's office in the club house. Neither would discuss, later, what 

211 



had passed between them. But it was plain that McGraw had been 
unforgiving and that Frisch's days with the Giants were numbered 
and he would not start another season at the Polo Grounds. 

The Giants finished fifth that year. It was the first time in ten 
years that they had fallen below second place. 

Late in December it was imported the Giants were going to get 
Rogers Homsby from the Cardinals. It seemed unlikely that Sam 
Breadon, the Cardinal owner, would part with the man who, that 
year, had led his club to its first National League pennant and a 
triumph over the Yankees in the World Series, and whose popularity 
in St. Louis was unbounded. But the report persisted. On the after- 
noon of December 21 a reporter saw McGraw in the Giants' office 
on Forty-second Street and asked him about it. He shook his head. 

"It isn't true/ 7 he said. 

"Have you made an offer for him?" 

"Not for publication yes/' he said. "We have made a couple of 
offers for him. We offered a lot of money for him once." 

"Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, wasn't it?" 

He shrugged. 

"Name your own figure," he said. "I will say that we offered more 
for him than anybody ever offered for a ball player before or since. 
But Breadon refused to sell him. 3 ' 

That night the reporter was in Newark, covering a fight between 
Jack Delaney, then one of the front-rank heavyweights, and Bud 
Gorman. Just before the principals in the main bout entered the 
ring, a telegraph operator at his elbow copied a message from Ms 
office and handed it to him. 

"The Giants have traded Frank Frisch and Jimmy Ring to the 
Cardinals for Rogers Hornsby/' it read. 

Unable to reach McGraw on the telephone that night, the reporter 
confronted Mm in the office the next day. 

"That was a fine steer you gave me yesterday afternoon," he said 
bitterly. 

McGraw was genuinely disturbed. 

I called you at your office last night/' he said, "but they told me 

you were on your way to Newark. I wanted to explain to 

you what happened. As sure as I am sitting here, when you asked 

me yesterday If we were going to get Hornsby and I told you no, I 

212 



was telling you the truth, as I knew it then. About eight o'clock 
Stoneham and I went to dinner, but got word to come back to the 
office, as Breadon was trying to get us on the phone. We rushed back 
and called him, and he said: 

" c Do you still want Hornsby ? 3 

" 'Yes/ we said. 

"He asked us what we would give for him, and before we could 
tell him he wanted to know if we would let Mm have Frisch. We 
said yes, and he said: 

" Well, you've got Hornsby.' 

"So help me, that's just the way it happened. If you doubt me, ask 
Breadon." 

That, in all truth, was the way it had happened. Breadon had of- 
fered Hornsby a one-year contract calling for $50,000. But Rog, 
who had just completed a three-year term at $30,000 he had signed 
the contract as a player and had received no increase on assuming 
the management of the team in midseason of 1925 wanted another 
three-year agreement. Breadon refused, and they argued hotly. Old 
grievances between them were dug up and hurled back and forth. 
And when they parted on the evening of the twenty-first, Breadon 
knew they could not be reconciled. He also knew that Frisch was 
through in New York. 

. Thus, the deal was pointed for him. There would be a terrific howl 
from the fans, of course, when they learned their idol had teen sent 
away. The thing to do, then, was to acquire, in exchange for him, a 
man who could play second base in a fashion to still the uproar. 
Obviously, Frisch was that man. And so Sam had grabbed a tele-, 
phone and called Stoneham and McGraw and arranged the trade 
the inclusion of Ring being an afterthought. 

Breadon's worst fears about the reaction in St. Louis were real- 
ized, if not exceeded. By mail, by telephone and telegram, he was 
assailed by the seething fans, who derided Ms choice of Bob G'Far- 
rell as manager, were openly contemptuous of Frisch, and suggested 
that Sam leave town before they rode Mm out on a rail. He was 
denounced in protest meetings hurriedly called all over town, in the 
newspapers, and in resolutions adopted by the Chamber of Com- 
merce. A number of organizations threatened to boycott tie ball 
dub. 

New York fans regretted the passing of Frisch but, aware that 

213 



it was inevitable, agreed they couldn't liave asked for a better re- 
placement than Hornsby, whose hitting they had admired and- 
feared for nearly ten years. 

In the excitement no one paid much attention to the fact that 
Hornsby was a stockholder in the Cardinals. Since he couldn't own 
stock in one club and play with another, it was assumed that he 
would sell Ms shares within a very short time, and so cut the last 
of the ties that bound him to St. Louis. 



XXVI NEW CAPTAIN OF THE GIANTS 

ClOpE SPRING OF 1927, with the Giants at Sarasota again, was a 
ill troublous one for McGraw. The Florida land boom had col- 
lapsed, Pennant Park was being reclaimed by the jungle, and some 
of those he had so blithely advised to follow him in real estate were 
beginning to catch up with him. The organizers of the project, for 
whom he so obligingly had fronted, but of whose workings he knew 
little or nothing, had overplayed their hands and, according to some 
of the complainants, oversold their lots. Now some of the investors 
wanted their money back and they were looking squarely at Mc- 
Graw. 

There were open threats of lawsuits against him, veiled threats 
of prosecution. Thus, at a time when his mind should have been on 
his ball players, he was dashing about Florida, squaring an investor 
here, placating another there. Probably no one knows to this day 
how much money it cost him to clear the claims that were lodged 
against him. Among his assets that went into the pool was Ms home 
in Sarasota, which he had planned to occupy that year. 

Nor was all serene at the training camp. Eddie Roush, who had 
returned to the Giants, was holding out. Although McGraw scorn- 
fully declared he didn't need Roush, but could get along very well 
with De Witt (Bevo) LeBourveau in center field, it was obvious 
that he did. His pitching staff was shaky, too. He made a trip to 
Orlando on an attempt to persuade the Cincinnati dub to sell Adolfo 
Luque to him, but returned empty-handed. When, a few days later, 
the club went to Tampa for a week-end of exhibition games, Rube 
Marquard was there, looking for a job. He had been around since 
214 



McGraw had sent him to Brooklyn, thirteen years or so before. 

Brooklyn Cincinnati . . . Boston. Now he was a free agent. 

"I wish you'd give me a chance, Mac," he said. "I haven't got 
much stuff left, as you know. But I know more about pitching than 
I ever did. I might be able to save a few games for you or even 
win one once in a while." 

McGraw, partly for old times' sake, partly because he had a faint 
hope that the Rube might be able to help him, gave him a trial. 
That was meat on the plate for the baseball writers. Rube Marquard, 
hero of Giant campaigns in the long ago, comes back to McGraw. 
Boze Bulger and the other veterans hopped to it, and gave the Rube 
a great build-up. To everybody's regret, the Rube just couldn't make 
it. The trial, begun in Tampa and continued in Sarasota, petered 
out. The Rube picked up his stuff and went his way and McGraw 
went on worrying about his pitchers and, although he wouldn't 
admit it, about Roush and the loose state of the outfield with Eddie 
on his farm in Indiana. 

There was another complication, of which McGraw was not at 
first aware because it was brought about by Ms frequent excur- 
sions out of the camp. This was occasioned by the presence of 
Homsby. 

In the first place, Rog was in a position that, in some respects, was 
unenviable. Just a few months before, he had been the manager of 
the world champion Cardinals, the absolute boss in the club house, 
the dugout, and on the field. Now he was a player in the ranks 
again, subject to McGraw's orders and bound by the restrictions 
that are placed on a player and from which a manager is free. There 
was, in the beginning, no inclination on anyone's part to impress 
him with the change in his status. McGraw, who greatly admired 
him as a ball player and as a ragged, positive personalty, had gone 
so far as to intimate that one day he might be the manager of the 
Giants. He didn't say that precisely. What he did say was: 

"You just go your own way around here,, watch yourself care- 
fully, and keep your mouth shut. You never can tell what might 
happen. I'm not going to go on managing this ball dub forever, you 
know." 

All might have been well if McGraw had remained in camp all the 
time. The complications set in when, forced to leave every so often, 
he appointed Homsby captain of the team and announced that, in 

215 



Ms absence, Rog would be in command. That would have been all 
right, too, if Homsby had pursued the line of least resistance, as his 
predecessors as captain Frisch . . . Bancroft . . . Fletcher . . . Doyle 
had done when McGraw was not present. But Rog, being a very 
literal person, took the captaincy very literally. Being, also, a very 
positive person, he wanted things done his way when he was in 
command. And being a .very outspoken person, he didn't hesitate to 
give voice to criticisms when he felt it was necessary. 

One day, when McGraw was away, he spoke brusquely to Lind- 
Strom about the manner in which Freddy had made a play at third 
base during a practice game. 

"That's the way the Old Man wants us to make it," Lindstrom 
said. 

"Then when he's here, make it that way," Hornsby said coldly. 
"When I'm here, make it the way I tell you to." 

"So you know more than the Old Man, eh?" Lindstrom flared. 

"I didn't say anything about that," Hornsby said. "It just hap- 
pens that he wants it one way and I want it another, and as long as 
I'm in charge I'm going to have it my way." 

Lindstrom was scornful. 

"Who the hell do you think you are?" he said. "When you put 
that bat down, you're no bargain." 

The other players were silent. 

"I'm not going to argue with you," Hornsby said. "You do as I 
tell you to and keep your mouth shut." 

He looked about him, his gaze taking in all the others. 

"That goes for the rest of you/ 7 he said, and walked back to his 
position at second base. 

None of the players had known Homsby well. Even as a player 
in St. Louis, before succeeding Branch Rickey as manager, he had 
been known as a loner. Someone had asked Ferdie Sdmpp, soon 
after he had joined the Cardinals, what sort of fellow Hornsby was, 
and he had said : 

"I don't know. You never see him except on the ball field, and he 
never talks to anybody. After a game he comes in the club house, 
takes Ms shower, dresses, and walks out without a word, and nobody 
knows where he goes." 

Among the few who ever had penetrated Hornsby's reserve were 
the baseball writers Bulger, Ken Smith, George Phair and a few 
216 



others who traveled regularly with the Giants, They had liked him 
from their first contact with him as a manager because he answered 
their questions readily and truthfully, and talked freely with them 

about his own team or, for that matter, any other about which they 
asked him. 

Now, at Sarasota, they became his only companions, apart from 
Ms wife and little boy, who spent a couple of week with him at the 
camp. When Mrs. Hornsby and the boy left, Hornsby ate alone, 
while all about him the other players ate in groups at tables for 
four or six. The players respected him, but he had drawn a line 
between them and himself which few had a desire to cross. 

McGraw, noting this, said nothing about it. If he felt that he un- 
wittingly had placed Hornsby in a difficult position, he did nothing 
to ease it, undoubtedly believing that Rog was capable of taking 
care of himself which he was. Certainly, Hornsby gave no sign 
that he cared whether the players liked him or not. When McGraw 
was in camp he kept Ms mouth shut, even when he saw or heaxd 
something he didn't like. When McGraw was absent he ran things 
to suit himself. 

One night, when the team was in Tampa, Hornsby was walking 
In the gardens of the Tampa Bay Hotel with a reporter, and the 
reporter said: 

"Not for publication, Rog, but what do you think of the outfield 
situation with Roush missing?" 

"Before I tell you/' Rog said, "I want to say this: I don ? t talk 
'not for publication.' Anything I say you can put in the paper, and 
If anybody don't like it, he can lump it. Now Fll tell you what I 
think of the outfield- I think It stinks. They got to get Roush in 
there to keep those clowns from knocking their heads together under 
fly balls, and if they don't go and get Mm, no matter how much they 
have to pay him, they're crazy. McGraw hasn't asked me for ad- 
vice, but If he does 111 tell Mm what I fust told you." 

The reporter, who had been writing the same thing to McGraw's 
obvious displeasure for several days, forebore quoting Hornsby 
in the interests of the good relations existing between McGraw and 
his captain. 

The team left Sarasota at the end of a month and moved as far as 
St. Augustine, where It was scheduled to remain for twelve days, 
working out and playing exhibition games. Near the end of the stay 

217 



Jim Tierney called the newspapermen about him after dinner one 
night and said: 

"McGraw has gone to New York." 

Everyone knew McGraw hadn't been at the ball park that after- 
noon, of course, but since he had been away so much that spring no 
one had given any heed to his absence. The news that he was on his 
way to New York, however, was startling. 

"When did he leave ?" one of the reporters asked. 

"Last night." 

"Why weren't we told before this?" 

Tierney shrugged. 

"Those were his orders," he said. 

The newspapermen, having filed their reports of McGraw's pres- 
ence in New York, were sitting about on the veranda of their hotel, 
and some of them were denouncing Tierney. 

"You can leave Jim out of it," one of them said. "He's not re- 
sponsible. He did only what he was told to do. I'm saving my squawk 
for McGraw.' 5 

At that point Hornsby joined the group. 

"What's everybody mad about?" he asked, settling himself in an 
armchair. 

"McGraw's gone to New York," one of them said. "He left last 
night, but Tierney didn't tell us about it until just now." 

Hornsby laughed. 

"Well?" he asked "What difference does it make? Who the hell 
cares where he is?" 

"I do, for one," a reporter said. "I'm responsible for the news 
out of this camp and I like to know where the manager is. And as 
for you, my friend, you'd better quit popping off like that. Some- 
body who hears you may run to McGraw and tell him about it." 

"Nuts!" Hornsby said. "I never said anything behind his back I 
wouldn't say to his face, so they can run and tell him all they want. 
What did he go to New York for to get Stoneham to sign Roush?" 

"That's what we've been thinking." 

"You can go bet on it." 

He got up. 

"But the hell with it," he said. "Who wants to go for a walk?" 



218 



When the squad reached Chattanooga a few days later McGraw 
was there to meet them. He asked the newspapermen to come to his 
room. They found him in an excellent frame of mind. After he had 
greeted them, he said: 

"Well, Roush has signed. That's what I went to New York for. 
I wanted to discuss the matter with Mr. Stoneham. We called Roush 
on the telephone and came to terms with Mm, and he will join us 
in a day or so." 

No one said anything for a moment. Then the reporter who had 
been saving his squawk for McGraw asked: 

"Why 'didn't you tell us you were going to New York ?" 

"Oh/ 7 he said, "I didn't think it made any difference." 

"You must have. You told Jim Tiemey not to let us know until 
twenty-four hours later." 

He flushed at that. 

"Well, all right, then. I didn't want it known. What of it?" 

"This much : You put every man covering this ball club in a bad 
spot and might have cost somebody his job." 

"How?" 

"By walking out without letting us know. We're supposed to know 
what's going on around here, and we're responsible for the news. 
Suppose somebody, seeing you in New York, had tipped off tie pa- 
pers. We'd be a fine-looking lot of stiffs, wouldn't we? Every one of 
our editors would have been justified in believing we were negligent ; 
and, as I said before, some of us might have been fired. 3 * 

"Oh, come, come!" he said, forcing a laugh. "It wasn't as serious 
as all that. I just wanted to get out without any publicity, and if 
anything had happened I would have squared you with your editors." 

"Don't you think," the reporter asked, "that if you had told us 
you were going, but asked us not to print anything about it, we 
would have done as you asked? Don't you think you could have 
trusted us?" 

A reporter in the rear of the room got up and, without a word, 
went out. 

McGraw, who had looked after his retreating figure, turned to 
his inquisitor. 

"I don't know whether I could have or not/ 1 he said sharply. 

"You should know/ 7 the reporter snapped. "I don't know of a man 
covering this ball club who has ever betrayed your confidence." 

219 



"Well," McGraw said, "this time I had to be sure. . . . Anyway, 
let's forget it. I didn't look at it the way you do. If I had, I would 
have told you." 

The reporters got up to leave and write their stories. The one who 
had taken McGraw to task, still angry, was near the door when 
McGraw took him by the arm. 

"Come here a minute ; I want to tell you something," he said. 

As the others left the room he said: 

"I just wanted to give you a tip: You were giving me hell a 
moment ago for not trusting the newspapermen. It might be a good 
idea for them to find out if they can trust each other. You know 
what that bird who went out a little while ago is doing, don't you? 
He's in his room calling his office on the telephone so he can beat the 
rest of you on the Roush story." 

The reporter's temperature rose even higher. 

"If I thought you were right " 

McGraw shrugged. 

"Go up to his room and find out," he said. "If he isn't on the tele- 
phone talking to Ms office, I'll buy you the best suit of clothes in 
New York." 

The reporter darted out of the room then, a little way down the 
hall, checked his steps. He wouldn't go to his colleague's room. He 
was afraid he'd discover McGraw was right. 

Now, as the Giants moved steadily toward New York and the 
opening of the season loomed, a matter that nearly everyone seemed 
to have forgotten suddenly bobbed up : Hornsby 's ownership of stock 
in the Cardinals. 

"How about that, Mac?" a reporter asked McGraw. 

"Oh," he said, "that will be taken care of. He won't have any 
trouble disposing of his stock." 

Hornsby had said nothing, nor made a move to sell. He was wait- 
ing for an offer from Breadon. When it came when Breadon asked 
him how much he wanted for it he replied: 

"One hundred and sixteen dollars per share." 

The screams that came out of St. Louis were blood-curdling. 

"A hundred and sixteen dollars a share!" Sam shrieked, when he 
could find words to express his horror and indignation, "Why, you 
paid only forty-five dollars a share." 

220 



"That was before I won the pennant and the world championship 
for you/' Hornsby countered. "I have had the stock appraised, and 
I am told it is worth $116 a share now. So that's what I'll take." 

Breadon was obdurate. Hornsby seemed unconcerned. So did 
McGraw. But he wasn't. He knew Breadon and Hornsby, knew how 
firm each could stand and knew the ill feeling that had grown up 
between them. If neither was willing to compromise, Hornsby would 
not be permitted to play with the Giants, of course. 

The tension increased. Pressed for a statement on the situation 
which, so far as anyone knew, was without parallel in baseball his- 
tory, John Heydler said : 

"Unless Hornsby disposes of his stock, he cannot play with the 
Giants." 

McGraw rushed in at that point to protect himself and his ball 
club. The New York fans were waiting for Hornsby, and McGraw 
knew that if, for any reason, he couldn't deliver Mm, there would be 
the devil to pay. The object of his attack was not Hornsby or 
Breadon, but Heydler. 

"There is no rule in the league's constitution or by-laws to keep 
Hornsby from playing with the Giants," he declared. "Heydler 
can't invent new rules. It takes a unanimous vote to change the 
by-laws, and you can bet the Giants won't vote for any such change. 

"The deal with St. Louis was made in good faith. We delivered 
two players in return. We got Hornsby and we are going to play 
Hornsby. We're obliged to go through with our contract with Mm. 
This isn't a question of baseball, but of property rights. The trouble 
is that Heydler spoke too soon. 

"I tHnk and hope the matter will be adjusted smoothly by 
Hornsby selling his stock at a satisfactory price, but the New York 
dub is not going to take any steps to hurry this along. We intend 
to play Hornsby on April 12 at Philadelphia. 

"If necessary, we will go over Heydler's head to the league's board 
of directors. If that is done and we fail to get satisfaction there, we 
are prepared to go into the courts." 

Heydler retorted that his decision had not been based on any rule 
in the book, but on the unwritten law of baseball, and predicted 
that the board of directors, composed of Gany Henmann of Cin- 
cinnati, William F. Baker of PMladdpMa, WUbert Robinson of 

221 



Brooklyn, and Breadon, would support Mm adding that, of course 
if the case reached the board, Breadon would disqualify himself. 

The baseball writers with the Giants had a song of endless verses 
that, sung to the tune of "Abdullah Bulbul Ameer/ 7 was a saga of the 
outstanding events in baseball during the past six or seven years. 
Now they added a verse: 

"My friend/' said John J. y "Rogers Hornsby will play 
Second base for the Giants as sich. 
By no rule in the book 
Can you give him the hook " 

The last line was unprintable. 

McGraw, having put a bold front on his case, quietly went to 
work on Hornsby in an endeavor to appease him but failed dis- 
mally, and turned this phase of his campaign over to Leo Bondy, 
Hornsby stared coldly at Bondy and virtually told him to mind his 
own business. 

The board of directors, minus Breadon, met in an attempt to find 
a solution. Their first suggestion was that the New York club make 
up the difference between the price offered by Breadon and that 
demanded by Hornsby. This was rejected promptly by Stoneham 
and McGraw, and, thinking the directors might uphold Heydler and 
bar Hornsby from the Polo Grounds, they ordered Bondy to draw up 
an application for an injunction restraining the league president and 
hold it in readiness for quick action, as the teams were almost on 
the eve of the opening of the season. 

To the Giants' relief to the relief of everyone, for that matter 
the directors passed the case on to the league as a whole with a 
recommendation that, since any decision that would keep Hornsby 
from playing with the Giants would affect every other club, each 
club contribute equally to a fund to meet the player's price. Some of 
the owners balked at this. But their objections soon were overcome 
by the others, who took a realistic view of the situation. 

It was this way, the realists said: They couldn't compel Hornsby 
to sell Ms stock at Breadon's figure. They could only refuse to permit 
him to play. This might involve them in court action, as McGraw 
had threatened, and, at best, would cost them money at the gate, 
for Hornsby was a drawing card in all the towns. It was outrageous 
that they should have to give in to him, they added. But it would be 



222 



cheaper and less troublesome in the long run. So they all chipped 
in, and Hornsby got his money and was in the Giants' line-up at 
Philadelphia on opening day. 
Hornsby was in the line-up, but Young was missing. Ross had 

declined so rapidly since the end of the last season that he had had 
to take to his bed. No longer did Ms doctors give McGraw any hope 

that he would be able to play again. They were fighting now to save 
his life. 

It was a season in which, despite the presence of Homsby, the 
Giants were not destined to win. They started well, but before the 

month of April was out they had dropped to fourth place. There 
they hung through May and June. As they were about to go west for 
the second time, McGraw did a strange thing. He delegated com- 
mand of the team to Hornsby and remained in New York. He wasn't 
feeling too well, he said. Maybe, he added, he needed a change 
and maybe the ball players did, too. 

Hornsby could not improve the position of the team on that trip. 
But when, in September, they headed west for the last time, and 
he again was in command while McGraw went on a scouting trip, 
he shook them up, fired them with his own tenacity, and got them 
up to second place. He couldn't keep them there, however. They 
slipped back to third as the season rolled to a close. 

It had been a sorry year for McGraw. His troubles in the spring 

had been followed by spells of ill health and a lowering of his spirits 
such as he never had known before. This condition was brought on, 
perhaps, by a straining of relations between Mm and Stoneham and 
an added aggravation caused by friction between himself and Jim 
Tierney. 

He had known Tiemey for many years away back around 1912 
when Jim, then a teacher of mathematics, had slaared an apartment 
with some of the Giant players. Subsequently, Jim had given up 
teaching to enter the Secret Service and had risen to a captaincy. It 
was while he occupied this post that McGraw persuaded Mm to re- 
sign and become secretary of the Giants. For some time or until 
quarrels between McGraw and Stoneham had become frequent and, 
sometimes, intense Jim and McGraw had continued to be friends. 

But lately it had seemed to McGraw that Tiemey, although never 
openly taking part in the arguments that raged in the office, quietly 

223 



had taken Stoneham's side. McGraw, accusing him of disloyalty 
formed an intense dislike for him, which he never was at any pains 
to conceal. Tierney, for his part, always was scrupulously polite to 
McGraw, and never, even to his closest friends, had a word to say 
against Mm. But he was almost constantly in Stoneham's company, 
and when some of Stoneham's other companions, who didn't like 
Jim, were moved to disparage Mm, C. A. would say, angrily : 

"Jim is my Mend the best friend I have on tMs ball club. I don't 
care whether you like it or McGraw likes it or anybody else." 

He said that to McGraw more than once, too, and McGraw 
brooded over it. 

The sorriest blow of the year for McGraw, however, was reserved 
for October. On the twenty-second of that month, Ross Young died 
in San Antonio. 



XXVII A GUY NAMED HUBBELL 

HE ARRIVAL OF Rogers Hornsby in New York had been startling. 
Equally startling was his departure. Out of a clear sky, the 
Giants announced on January 10, 1928, that he had been traded to 
Boston for Frank Hogan, a catcher, and Jimmy Welsh, an out- 
fielder. The announcement concluded with the information that 
Andy Cohen would play second base. 

The newspapers hammered the ball club with questions. Why 
had Hornsby been given in exchange for a catcher with only one 
season of major-league play behind him? Why, when the only re- 
placement for him was a youngster who had yet to prove he was of 
big-league caliber? Why, when he had Mt .361 and been a great 
favorite with the fans at the Polo Grounds? Why? 

In reply they got shrugs and bland phrases that explained nothing. 
Charlie Stoneham and Jim Tierney insisted that the deal was ex- 
actly as it appeared on the surface. That no story was being with- 
held. That . . . 

They were ridiculed by an impatient and suspicious press. 

Stoneham and Tierney where was McGraw? 

224 



Well, McGraw had fled the town. He had gone to Havana without 
seeing the reporters who had flocked to his office. Reached in Ms 
flight by the news associations or special correspondents, he had 
shaken off their questions. He had no comment, he said. See Stone- 
ham. See Tierney. 

From his attitude it was inferred that, whatever had led to the 
decision to get rid of Hornsby, he had had no part in the making of 
it. If he had, he would have remained in New York to defend it and 
attempt to justify it. The newspapers concluded that Stoneham had 
ordered the dismissal of the player. This seemed plausible enough, 
since Stoneham never had appeared to like Hornsby which wasn't 
at all strange, since Homsby, who either didn't like him or simply 
had no interest in him, repeatedly snubbed him. 

"He called Stoneham a ," one reporter said. "I heard him. 

Stoneham had gone out to Pittsburgh for that series last September, 
and he met Hornsby in the lobby of the Schenley after one of the 
games and asked him why he didn't use Cummings as a pinch hitter. 
Hornsby just looked at him and said: 

" 'Are you trying to tell me how to run this ball club?' 

"That kind of took Charlie back, and he said: 

a 'Why, no. I just thought . . / 

"And before he could say any more, Homsby said: 

e e l don't care what you thought, you . If you don't like the 

way I'm running the dub, get somebody else to do it. 5 

"He walked away from Mm, and the chances are that right there 
Charlie made up his mind Homsby never would play another game 
with the Giants." 

Apocryphal? Perhaps. Yet it gained wide circulation as Stoneliam 
and Tierney, in New York^ and McGraw, in Havana, refused to am- 
plify the original announcement and, in St. Louis, Horasby simply 
shook Ms head and said that he was as much surprised as anybody 
and wanted to know what a fellow had to do to stay with the Giants. 
It was taken for granted that he didn't know why he had been 
traded, since it would have been out of character for Mm to have 
kept quiet if lie did. 

At any rate, he was gone. At their annual dinner three weeks late 
the baseball writers sang: 

225 



"All your Welshes, Cohens and Hogans 

"Won't begin to fill the brogans 

"That Hornsby wore so well at second base." 

On February i, while McGraw still was in Havana, Hughie Jen- 
nings died at his home in Scanton, Pennsylvania. Ill health had com- 
pelled his retirement from baseball, and McGraw had been aware for 
some time that his old friend could not live very long. The news of 
Hughie's passing greatly depressed him, for they had been devoted 
friends for thirty-five years. 

On February n McGraw, in a sudden return to New York, put 
through another trade: Grimes for Vic Aldridge of the Pirates. 
Grimes, who had not had a particularly good season in 1927, was 
holding out for a big raise in salary. Aldridge, whose season had 
been no better than Burleigh's, was doing the same. McGraw pro- 
posed to Barney Dreyfuss that they swap their discontented hurlers 
even up, and Barney agreed. 

Now McGraw set out for Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he had 
ordered his pitchers and catchers to report for two weeks of light 
training, roadwork over the hills, and for those who needed reduc- 
ing the mineral baths. On his arrival he called a press conference in 
his rooms. This was the first time he had seen the newspapermen 
since his hurried departure for Cuba. 

"There is only one condition I have to insist upon," he said firmly, 
"and I want to make that plain before we start. I will not discuss 
the Hornsby trade." 

He looked about him, smiling now. 

"What would you like to know?" he asked. 

Pat Robinson of the World-Telegram spoke up. 

"Fd like to know why you traded Hornsby," he said. 

That broke up the conference. 

On March i the entire squad assembled at Augusta, which Mc- 
Graw had picked as the training site that year. He was in better 
spirits than he had been most of the time through 1927. All his 
attention was given now to the training of his players. Larry Benton, 
obtained from Cincinnati, would add considerably to the strength 
of his pitching staff, lie believed ; and Hogan, although big and slow- 
moving, was a good enough catcher for a young fellow and could 
pound the ball. Welsh, although no shining star, was a competent 
226 



outfielder. McGraw's main concern was with Cohen. But he soon 
ceased to worry about the young man, who seemed to feel no concern 
himself. 

Indeed, if Andy ever felt that, following Hornsby, he was in a 
difficult spot, he gave no sign of it. He wasn't fast and he couldn't 
hit with Hornsby or throw with him, either. But he was steady, and 
he had Jackson on one side of him and Terry on the other. McGraw 
thought he would do all right and never, by word or sign, indicated 
regret at the passing of Hornsby. 

There was an incident that spring that was typical of McGraw. 
One day, shortly after the training had begun, a husky kid of about 
twenty showed up at the field and asked McGraw if he might get a 
uniform and work out with the squad. 

"I guess so," McGraw said. "Are you a local boy?" 

"No, sir," the kid said. "I live up in Pennsylvania. I work in the 
coal mines, but I always wanted to be a ball player." 

He hesitated. 

"Well?" 

"I always wanted to play with the Giants," he blurted. "So I 
saved enough money to come down here and stay for a couple of 
weeks. I just want a trial, Mr. McGraw. I know I ain't good enough 
to make the big leagues yet, but I thought maybe if I showed some- 
thing you might help me to get a job in the minor leagues." 

"Let me look at your hands," McGraw said. 

The kid held them out. They were big, thick-fingered, calloused. 
McGraw was satisfied the kid was telling the truth. Those hands had 
wielded a pick in the mines. 

"Where are you living?" he asked. 

"I got a room." 

"Where do you eat?" 

A shrug. 

"Different places."* 

"How is your money holding out?" 

"Pretty good. It don't cost me much to live." 

"What's your name?" 

"Andy Tokas." 

McGraw called Jim Tierney. 

"This is Andy Tokas," he said. "I'm going to give him a two 

227 



weeks' trial. See that he gets a uniform. And put him up at the 
hoteL" 

The kid tried, stammering, to thank him, but he walked away. 

If that had been in the movies, the kid would have made good and 
one day would have heard a Polo Grounds crowd roaring for him. 
But that wasn't in the movies. That was in real life at Augusta, and 
the kid wasn't a ball player of even minor-league quality and never 
would be. But he 'had two weeks in the Giant camp; and when 
McGraw saw that his case was hopeless, he was sent home at Me- 
Graw's not the club's expense. 

As the team moved north, playing exhibition games, it was inevi- 
table that some of the fans should remind Cohen and McGraw 
of the change at second base. Cohen answered the taunts hurled at 
him with amiable smiles. But McGraw returned them in kind. 
Generally he did very well, but there was one fan who stopped him 
cold. 

In Charlotte there was a fan known as Georgia Boy, who sat in a 
box just back of the home club's dugout every day during the 
season and whose voice could be heard all over the ball park. He 
never was ugly and never profane. But he drove the visiting players 
to distraction. There were some pitchers in the league who were in 
such dread of him that they refused to pitch there. Now, as the 
Giants came through with the Senators, Georgia Boy was in his 
accustomed place and, as might be expected, centered most of his 
fire on Cohen. 

The first time Andy went to bat, he stood up as though to get a 
better look at him. 

"Well, well, young man," he asked. "Who are you?" 

Andy grinned at him. 

"That's Andy Cohen!" a fan back of the boxes yelled. 

"Cohen? Cohen? Why, where's Rogers Hornsby?" 

The crowd laughed. In the dugout McGraw shifted restlessly in 
his seat. . .. 

"Oh, yes!" Georgia Boy said. "Now I remember. You're the 
fellow who's taking Hornsby's place. Well, well." 

He sat down, smiling. 

"You'd better be good, Mr. Cohen," he said. "I forgot about you 
and came out here expecting to see Hornsby." 

228 




New York Giants 



CARL HUBBELL 




International Newsreei 



ROGERS HORNSBY 



Andy swung on the first pitch and rifled the ball to left field. It 
struck about a foot from the top of the fence for a triple. That was 
all McGraw needed. He was up out of his seat, his eyes blazing. 

"Well, you loudmouth!" he yelled. "How do you 

like that?" 

Georgia Boy shrugged. 

"That was nothing," he said. "Hornsby would have hit the ball 
over the fence." 

The crowd howled. McGraw sat down. He didn't always know 
when he was licked, but he knew it then. 

On the opening day of the season, Cohen played brilliantly and 
won the game with his timely hitting. Excited fans carried him from 
the field on their shoulders. He got a couple of hits the next day, a 
couple the day after that. Hornsby, off to a slow start with the 
Braves, trailed him badly. The World began printing a box on its 
main sport page every day, showing how Cohen was making Hornsby 
look bad. McGraw, who must have known Andy couldn't keep it 
up, said nothing. Hornsby, coming into the Polo Grounds with the 
Braves, said very seriously and very truly: 

"That's a lousy trick to play on the kid. I ain't hitting now, but 
when I start I'll lose him." 

Which, of course, he did. 

Meanwhile, the Giants, having broken fast, went into a sharp de- 
cline, dropped to fifth place, then came on again but slowly. They 
were in Chicago on May 14, and had just lost a close ball game. 
McGraw, worried, angry, darted across the street outside the park 
to get a taxi and was struck by one coming from the opposite 
direction. 

Apparently having suffered nothing worse than a bruise of the 
left leg, he picked himself up, snarled at the driver who had hit him, 
got into the cab for which he had been headed, and was driven to the 
hotel. That night the Giants left for Pittsburgh. Now his leg had 
stiffened and pained him considerably. He was confined to his bed 
in the Schenley. 

"The Old Orioles ain't what they used to be," one of the players 
cracked. "The way I hear it, they used to play with broken legs. 
Now the Old Man gets a bump and has to lay up." 

The next morning Jim Tierney told the newspapermen McGraw 

229 



had fined Virgil Barnes $100, suspended him, and sent him back to 
New York, 

"What for?" they asked. 

"You'd better see Mr. HcGraw," Jim said. 

They went up to McGraw's room. He was propped up in bed. 

"Well," he said, "the trainer told me this morning that Barnes 
couldn't pitch this afternoon because he had slipped in his bathtub 
and sprained his ankle. I know that some of the ball players' rooms 
in this hotel don't have bathtubs, and I was suspicious of Barnes, 
anyway. So I called the desk and asked them if Barnes had a bath- 
tub, and they said no. I sent for Barnes and he finally admitted to 
me that he was sneaking into the hotel at one o'clock this morning 
and fell on the front steps." 

He moved his injured leg gingerly. 

"Fellows like that insult your intelligence/' he said. "I can lie up 

here and not see them and still outthink them, the 

dummies I " 

When McGraw got back to New York, it was discovered his leg 
was broken. But he was one Oriole who hadn't softened up. Within 
a couple of days he was hobbling about and a couple of days after 
that he was in the dugout again. The rapidity with which he was 
recovering did not temper his resentment against Barnes, however. 
He had lost patience with Virgil, and on June 15 traded him to 
Boston for Joe Genewich, throwing in Al Spohrer, a catcher, and 
Bill Clarkson and Ben Cantwell, young pitchers. He probably threw 
In a sizable check, too, for Genewich was one of the best pitchers 
in the league that year. 

In June of that year the Democratic National Convention was 
being held in Houston. Among the delegates from Illinois was Dick 
Kinsella. One day the business of sorting, counting, and tagging the 
delegates lagged. Kinsella was restless so what more natural than 
that he should go to the ball park to see the Houston team of the 
Texas League play Beaumont? And what once he had settled him- 
self in a grandstand seat more natural than that he should regard 
the athletes with a professional eye? 

It wasn't long before his gaze was fastened on the Beaumont 
pitcher, a slim left-hander who threw a screw ball. Dick consulted 
his score card and saw that the pitcher's name was Hubbell. Hub- 
230 



bell? That would be Carl Hubbell. Although Dick never had seen 
him before, he knew of him, just as he knew of most ball players in 
the minors. Hubbell had been up with the Detroit Tigers a couple 
of times, but they had turned him back, Beaumont being their farm 
club. 

Hubbell won, pitching a splendid game. When it was over, Kin- 
sella strolled into the office of the Houston club. 

"Do the Tigers still own Hubbell?" he asked. 

"No," the secretary of the club said. "They released him outright 
to Beaumont this spring." 

"He looked pretty good today. But I guess I just happened to 
catch him when he was lucky." 

Dick was feinting. He didn't want the word to get around that he 
was interested in Hubbell. 

"No," the secretary said. "He's looked good in almost every game 
he's pitched, even when he was beaten." 

"Then why did Ty Cobb let him go? Cobb knows ball players." 

The secretary shrugged. 

"Cobb said he'd throw his arm out with that screw ball." 

Dick laughed. 

"It sounds to me as though he was letting the young man down 
easy," he said. "What he really meant, I guess, was that he isn't a 
major-league pitcher." 

That night he called McGraw on the telephone. 

"I saw a pitcher today, Mac," he said. 

"Yes? Who?" 

"A fellow named Hubbell with Beaumont." 

"Didn't Detroit have him?" 

"Yes." 

"They let him go, didn't they?" 

"Yes. But he looks good to me. There is only one thing against 
him, maybe." 

"What T s that?" 

"They tell me the reason Cobb got rid of him is that he thinks 
the boy will throw his arm out with his screw ball." 
McGraw snorted. 

u That's a joke," he said. "Screw ball! When Matty was pitching 
it, they called it a fadeaway and it never hurt Ms arm. If there 

231 



isn't anything else wrong with him, I'd like to hear more about him" 
"Well," Eansella said. "Ill follow him around for awhile." 
He had forgotten all about the Democratic convention. He had 

seen a pitcher he liked. McGraw was interested. That was all that 

mattered. He trailed Hubbell through the Texas League towns for a 

week or so, saw him pitch a couple of times, and called McGraw 

again. 

"He's got it, John/' he said. "You better take him." 
"All right," McGraw said. "Buy him. I'll take your word for it. 

I should. I've been taking it for years." 
And so, while Al Smith was nominated without any help from 

Kinsella, because of Kinsella the Giants got one of the greatest 

pitchers that ever lived. 

The Giants were coming back, winning steadily, heading up 
through the league. Aldridge was a complete flop, but Benton and 
Fitzsimmons were winning regularly. The addition of Hubbell, Gene- 
wich, and the veteran Jack Scott, brought back from the minors, 
bolstered the staff. Hubbell was a revelation. He had the poise of 
an old stager. 

"Do you find it much harder pitching in the big leagues than in 
the minors?" a reporter asked him one day. 

"No," he said. "It's easier in one way." 

"Easier? How's that?" 

"Well," he said, "you're pitching to better hitters, of course, but 
on the other hand, you get better support. Many a ball hit off me 
* since I came up would have been a base hit in the Texas League, 
but up here it's been just a put-out." 

The drive carried on through July and into August. On August 19 
the Giants smashed past the Cardinals, and into first place. McGraw 
urged them on with redoubled energy. When the team had been 
trailing, the critics pointed out gleefully that Rogers Hornsby, whom 
he had sent to Boston, was leading the league in hitting, and that 
Burleigh Grimes, whom he had dispatched to Pittsburgh, was having 
one of his greatest years, keeping the Pirates in the first division 
as he swept along from victory to victory. 

"If," the criticis had pointed out, "McGraw had kept Hornsby 
and Grimes, the Giants would be in first place. His errors in judg- 
ment undoubtedly cost his ball club a pennant this year." 
232 



He had raged as he read these taunts, hurling the papers from 
Mm. The Giants would be in first place but for him, eh? Well, 
they'd be in first place soon enough. Moreover, they'd win the pen- 
nant. He'd show those wise guys where they got off. 

Now they were leading the league. Lindstrom, Terry, Ott, O'Doul, 
and Hogan were slamming the ball. Benton was the best pitcher in 
the league. McGraw was jubilant. His jubilation was short-lived. 
Three days later the Giants dropped back to second place. 

The sudden reverse threw them off their stride and they went into 
a terrific spin. McGraw stormed at them, threatened them, carried 
on so in the club house that some of them became panicky and lost 
their usefulness to the team. In his wrath he turned on Aldridge and 
released the pitcher to Newark, which had not yet been taken over 
as a farm club by the Yankees. 

In September his mood suddenly changed. He realized he had 
gone too far in his abuse of some of the players that, for instance, 
he actually had worked so on the nerves of one of his pitchers that 
the young man couldn't pitch if McGraw was in the dugout. So he re- 
mained in the club house when this pitcher was working and, in 
other ways, eased his grip somewhat on the entire team. The result 
was a new spurt. This ended in a hotly disputed play in a game with 
the Cubs at the Polo Grounds that brought McGraw once more into 
violent conflict with Bill Klem. 

On September 27 the Giants, only a half game back of the Car- 
dinals, engaged the Cubs in a double header. As the Giants went to 
bat in the sixth inning of the first game, the score was 3 to 2 in 
favor of the Cubs, with Hubbell against Arthur Nehf, now with 
Chicago. Reese singled to center and Mann doubled down the right- 
field line, Reese pulling up at third. Lindstrom fouled out. Then 
came the play that provoked the row: 

Hogan drove the ball straight back to Nehf on the first hop, and 
Reese was hung up off third base. Nehf threw to Beck, the Cubs' 
third baseman, and Reese darted for the plate. Hartnett had rushed 
up the line to block Reese, and the runner smashed into him. Gabby, 
hurled back by the impact, threw his arms around Reese to keep 
from falling, he explained later. While Reese wrestled frantically 
with him in an effort to break loose, Beck ran down and tagged the 
runner. Klem, umpiring back of the plate, waved Reese out and 
the storm broke. 

233 



McGraw, standing on the steps of the dugout, was almost apoplec- 
tic as his players swarmed about Klem, screaming that Hartnett had 
interfered with Reese and the runner must be allowed to score. 
Klem waved them back, shook them off, bellowed at McGraw and 
ordered that play be resumed. The Cubs got out of the inning with- 
out being scored upon and won the game. McGraw announced he 
would protest it. 

In the second game Genewich shut the Cubs out. But the Cardinals 
won in Boston and thus gained a full game on the Giants. 

Since there was no time to be lost, President Heydler heard the 
protest the next morning. He had been present at the game but, 
unwilling to trust his own view of the play, he called for pictures 
taken of it by news photographers. Having carefully examined these, 
he reached the conclusion that Hartnett had not interfered with 
Reese, and disallowed the protest. This so enraged McGraw that 
it is doubtful if he ever forgave Heydler. He obtained a copy of the 
picture on which Heydler had based his decision, and had it framed 
and hung in the Giants' office as evidence that the Giants had been 
robbed. 

The Giants lost to the Cubs that afternoon, and again on the fol- 
lowing day. This last defeat, coupled with a victory for the Car- 
dinals over the Braves, decided the race. The Cardinals had won 
by two games. In the New York Times on September 30 James R. 
Harrison wrote : 

"You can look back and see where the Giants might have won but 
retrospection is a futile thing. The Giants simply gave all they had 
and it wasn't quite enough. And so it was that John McGraw, eager 
to get back to the war of a World Series, sat on the bench yesterday 
and saw another season pass on with that ambition unfulfilled. It 
was the sort of day on which hopes are destroyed a grim day, gray 
and gloomy." 

The hostile critics returned to the attack. Hornsby's hitting and 
Grimes's pitching Burleigh had won twenty-five games for the 

Pirates would have landed the Giants in the World Series At 

their show that winter, the baseball writers guyed McGraw about 
his trades in a song that ended : 

"Vic Aldridge went to Joisey." 



234 



XXVIII HOGAN AT THE TABLE 

NE SPRING AT AUGUSTA had been enough. McGraw had praised 
the climate the cool nights, the brisk mornings, the bracing 
a j r but the ball players complained they couldn't get up a sweat. 
They complained, too, of the jolting railroad rides they'd had to take 
to St. Augustine to get in week-end games, and of the lack of recrea- 
tional facilities once night had settled over the town. Everyone 
sensed there would be no return to Georgia when another spring 
rolled around. And no one was surprised when, in the late fall of 
1928, McGraw announced the Giants would go back to their old 
stamping grounds in San Antonio. 

This time they trained in the new ball park out at the other side 
of the town. The players who had been to San Antonio before were 
happy to go back. The newcomers liked their surroundings equally 
as well. 

As always, there was an atmosphere of hopefulness in the camp. 
Since the Giants nearly always had been in the thick of the pen- 
nant fight, winning or being beaten off only in the last couple of 
weeks, each spring the flag seemed to wave invitingly just before 
them within clutching distance of their eager hands. In 1928 they 
had missed by only two games. Now they were about to make a 
fresh start, and the mental attitude of the players, shaped by their 
joy at being in San Antonio again, was excellent. 

McGraw had made only one important trade since the close of the 
, last season, sending Frank O'Doul to Philadelphia for Fred Leach. 
It had not been, at the time of its making, an appealing deal. O'Doul, 
a colorful, smiling athlete who had been popular in New York in 
the days when he was with the Yankees, had been equally popular 
on his return as a Giant. He had hit .319 in 1928, his first year back 
in the majors after his wanderings through Boston, Chicago, and the 
Coast League, and he was looked upon as a winning player. Leach, 
on the other hand, was a negligible figure. It was admitted that he 
was a good enough ball player he had hit .300 or better in each of 
his four years with the Phillies, and he was a steady fielder but 
there was nothing about him that caused him to stand out even in 
the drab company with which he had been surrounded. 

"McGraw has pulled a boner," a Philadelphia baseball writer con- 
fided to a friend of his on one of the New York papers. "Leach isn't 

'35 



his type and will be a failure at the Polo Grounds. Keep this to 
yourself, because he is a friend of mine and I wouldn't want to be 
quoted, even indirectly, on anything that might be harmful or em- 
barrassing to him. TIG. telling you this only so you can protect your- 
self and not go overboard on him. He has only one speed. That was 
enough to make him a standout with the Phillies, but it is not enough 
to enable him to keep up with the faster pace he will find at the Polo 
Grounds." 

McGraw, deceived by Leach's Philadelphia form, thought he had 
no worries in the outfield, with Fred in left, Roush in center, and 
Ott in right. His infield seemed strong, with Cohen the better for 
the year of experience he had had as a regular. His pitching staff 
loomed as the best he had had in a long time. He had Hogan and 
Bob O'Farrell, acquired from the Cardinals the year before, to han- 
dle his catching. 

Hogan, a big, laughing, somewhat boisterous Irish lad from Somer- 
ville, Mass,, was one of the best-liked men in the squad, not only 
with the fans but and this always is the real test with the other 
players. McGraw had a great fondness for him and predicted a great 
career for him, with but one reservation. 

"If I seem harsh with him sometimes," he once said, "it is for his 
own good. Left to himself, he would eat himself out of the league 
in a year or less. So I have to keep after him to cut down on his 
eating and to lay off beer." 

This was no easy matter. Hogan had one of the most prodigious 
appetites ever known in baseball, where big eaters are the rule. 
Good-natured, never resentful of the occasional ridings he had to 
take from McGraw, he constantly swore he would stick to a rigid 
diet. But the sight of a menu never failed to rouse great yearnings 
within him, and a bottle or six bottles of beer had a tremendous 
lure for him. 

McGraw, thinking to curb him at the table, took to calling for his 
dinner checks. This worked for a while, since it was a simple matter 
for him to send for Hogan and say, for instance: 

"Well, after all the talking I've done to you, what did you have 
for dinner tonight ? Soup ... a steak . . . potatoes . . . two pieces of pie 
and two helpings of ice cream, and four glasses of milk. How do 
you expect to keep your weight down on a diet like that? Soup, meat 
and potatoes, and milk, sure. They're all right but cut the milk down 

236 



from four glasses to two. And you've got to quit eating pie and ice 
cream. Do you hear ?" 

And Hogan would hang his head and say, "Yes, sir," and promise 
to renege on sweets, and for a time he seemed to have reformed, 
as his dinner checks showed he was eating salads and an assortment 
of vegetables and having no desserts whatever. But he continued, 
much to McGraw's bafflement, to gain weight. It was a long time 
before McGraw discovered that he had gained the collusion of his 
waiters so that the "salads" and "vegetables" on his checks really 
were ice cream, cakes, and pies. 

Once the season got under way, it wasn't long before McGraw 
realized the pennant he had sighted at San Antonio was but a 
mirage. Cohen was hurt and was out of the line-up much of the 
time; and even when he was in it, he lacked the zing of the year 
before. His replacement, Andy Reese, was erratic, and so a sudden 
weakness had developed at second base. Roush suffered an injury 
that later was diagnosed as a tearing of his abdominal muscles, and, 
naturally, his playing fell off. Welsh, used as an occasional replace- 
ment, failed to hit and was sent back to Boston. Leach was a dis- 
appointment. Ott was having one of his best years, and sometimes 
seemed to be carrying the team on his back. But the burden was 
too much for one man as the Giants, after a fast start, fell back. 

Hubbell pitched a no-hit game against the Pirates in May, and he 
and Fitzsimmons were consistent winners. -But the rest of the 
pitchers went into a decline. Benton had lost much of his stuff or 
couldn't get it over in the pinches, which amounted to the same thing 
and Genewich, who had begun the season well, lost His effective- 
ness overnight. 

Joe's case puzzled McGraw. Here was a good pitcher and an ear- 
nest competitor. He had been a winner for him the year before and 
had won for him in the early weeks of this season. Now he had 
reached a point where he not only couldn't win, but couldn't survive 
more than a few innings. Knowing Genewich as he did, it seemed 
unlikely to him that the pitcher's sudden form reversal was due to 
dissipation ; but, taking no chances on that score, he had Joe trailed 
by detectives. Their report confirmed his faith in the pitcher's 
behavior between games, but increased his confusion. Joe was taking 
excellent care of himself, going straight to his hotel from the ball 
park, seldom leaving it except to go to a movie or a show occasion- 

237 



ally, didn't take a drink, and sought no wild companionship. And 
yet, suddenly, he had been converted from a winner into a chronic 
loser. Why? 

McGraw sent for him in his office in the club house one day and 
closed the door behind him. 

"What's the matter with you?" he asked. 

"Nothing," Genewich said. 

"Nothing ! " McGraw's ire rose. "Nothing ! A few weeks ago you 
were winning, and now you can't get anybody out. I know that every 
time I send you out there, the chances are you'll be knocked out 
and I'm never disappointed. You haven't been dissipating. I know 
that, so I'm not going to waste time asking you any questions on 
that score." 

His tone softened. 

"Have you any personal troubles? Is there anything wrong at 
home?" 

"No," the pitcher said. 

"If there is, don't hesitate to tell me. I know when a ball player 
has family troubles on his mind, he can't play ball. So if there is 
anything I can do to help you, I want you to tell me. I've helped 
many a fellow before you, you know." 

"I don't doubt it," Joe said. "But I have no troubles like that." 

"Any financial troubles ?" 



"No." 



Now McGraw became impatient. 

"Well, then, it! What is the matter?" 

Genewich was silent. 

"Don't stand there and look at me I I brought you in here to find 
out what was wrong with you and, by God, I'm going to do it ! " 

Genewich shifted his feet uneasily. 

"All right," he said, finally. "Here's what's the matter with me: Do 
you remember, a couple of weeks ago, when I covered first base on 
a close play and got tangled up with the runner and was knocked 
down?" 

"Yes." 

"Well, that was It. I fell on my right shoulder. It didn't hurt me 
so much then, but the next morning it was stiff and sore, and it 
hasn't been right since. It feels as though there is something jammed 
238 



up in there. It hurts like hell every time I pitch, and I can't get 
any stuff on the ball." 

"Why didn't you tell me about this?" McGraw demanded. 

Genewich shrugged. 

"The team was going bad and I was going worst of all and I 
didn't want you to think I was alibiing. Every day I thought it 
would be all right the next day and I'd start winning again. When 
that happened, I was going to tell you about it. But I felt I couldn't 
squawk when I was losing." 

McGraw walked to the window looking out on the playing field 
and stood there for a moment, then came back. 

"So you're a game guy?" he said quietly. 

Genewich shrugged. 

"A game guy ! " McGraw said. 

His voice rose. 

"A game guy ! You're too game for your own good and for mine ! 

You're so game that you've cost me six ball games 

I might have won ! You didn't want me to think you were a quitter, 
but you didn't have courage enough to come in and tell me what was 
the matter with you, speaking the truth and not giving a damn 
whether I believed you or not." . 

He sat down heavily at his desk. 

"Go see the doctor," he said. "Tell him I said I want you taken 
to a hospital for an x-ray and that I want a report on the pictures 
as soon as possible." 

The pictures showed the shoulder muscles to be badly bruised by 
the accident and inflamed as a result of the strain placed upon them 
by Genewich's subsequent starts. It was several weeks before he 
could pitch again, and he did not regain his effectiveness that year. 

However, that didn't matter greatly. The Giants, after some ups 
and downs, levelled off in third place and stayed there. That's what 
they were a third-place ball club, as the Cubs rushed to the pen- 
nant and the Pirates finished second. 

McGraw's bitterness over the fate of his team was deepened by 
the fact that O'Doul led the league in batting with an average of 
.398, while Leach, an uninspired and uninspiring figure at the 
Polo Grounds, fell below the .300 mark for the first time, hitting 
only .290. His attention as if he hadn't known it only too well! 
was called to that in some of the newspapers. There also was a re- 

239 



minder that Hornsby, who had been traded by the Braves to the 
Cubs in November of the year before, had hit .380 to lead the 
pennant-winning assault of the Cubs and to earn the award as 
the National League's most valuable player. 



XXIX A VISIT TO THE DOCTOR 

EN-THIRTY was a humdrum year for McGraw, with the 
Giants, who trained in San Antonio again, being neither very 
good nor very bad. He got them up as high as third place, but could 
get them no higher and they were too good to fall any lower of 
their own accord. Hubbell and Fitzsimmons were in top form that 
year. Terry, who had reached his peak as a first baseman, led the 
league in hitting with an average of 401. But there wasn't much life 
in the team, and it never seriously threatened the Cardinals, who 
won the pennant, and only for a little while threatened the Cubs, 
who finished second. 

A play that cost the Giants their last game of the year in Chicago, 
when they seemingly had a chance to grab off second place, was 
almost symbolic of their season: Danny Taylor of the Cubs stole 
home with the winning run as Joe Heving, who was pitching for the 
Giants, held the ball. Almost everybody in the ball park sensed that 
Taylor was going to make a dash for the plate, and the rest of the 
Giants screamed at Heving to watch himself. But when the runner 
dashed from the bag he threw poor Joe into such a state of con- 
fusion that he couldn't seem to let the ball go until it was too late. 

The Giants were leaving for New York immediately after the 
game, and when they reached the railroad station they still were 
glaring at the hapless pitcher. Even the newspapermen were upset 
by what they had seen. Dan Daniel of the World-Telegram was 
muttering and shaking his head as he climbed aboard the train. 
When one of the other reporters asked Mm what was the matter, he 
sighed and said : 

"AU I can see is Heving, holding the ball !" 

Near the end of the season McGraw revealed he had purchased 
Johnny Vergez, a third baseman, from the Oakland Club of the 
Pacific Coast League. 
240 



"What are you going to do with him, Mac?" the reporters asked. 

"Play him on third base." 

"What about Lindstrom?" 

"I'll play him in the outfield. That's where he belongs, anyway. 
With his speed and his throwing arm, hell do better out there than 
he ever has on third base." 

Some of the writers challenged his judgment of Lindstrom as a 
third baseman, questioned the wisdom of removing Freddy from the 
bag to make room for a youngster untried in the major leagues, and 
suggested that if it was an outfielder McGraw wanted, it might be 
a good idea for him to buy one. This so nettled him that he was 
openly and caustically critical of Lindstrom as a third baseman. 

Time was to prove he was right about Lindstrom's being a good 
outfielder, but wrong about Vergez as an adequate replacement at 
third base. Meanwhile, his public defense of the deal provoked a 
smoldering resentment in Lindstrom. 

Again in 1931, the Giants were not quite good enough. That was 
their last spring in San Antonio. McGraw and the players still 
favored the town as a training base, but it had seen too much exhibi- 
tion baseball over a span of too many years, and the gate receipts 
had fallen away to a point where they were almost negligible. Mc- 
Graw knew he would have to go somewhere else in 1932 and was 
listening to offers from the Pacific Coast. Before the season ended, 
he would announce that he had decided to go to Los Angeles. 

The Cardinals, stronger in 1931 than they had been when they 
had won the pennant the year before, were just too much for the 
Giants, and shook them off in a driving finish as the teams neared 
the wire. 

McGraw's health was poor that year and, in consequence, his 
nerves were ragged. He jumped all over an umpire in St. Louis, 
when the Giants were there in July, and was ordered from the bench. 
The following day he flew into such a violent rage that those who 
were close to him actually feared he would have an apoplectic stroke. 

Three of the New York reporters with the team reached the ball 
park a half hour before game time that day a Sunday, by the way 
to find him angrily pacing up and down just inside the press gate, 
oblivious to the stares and pointings of the fans who streamed past 
him on their way to their seats. 

241 



"Look at this ! " he shouted as he saw the reporters. 

He thrust a telegram in front of them. It was from John Heydler, 
notifying him that he had been fined $150 for his row with the 
umpire the day before. They looked at him wonderingly. Surely, 
they thought, he had been fined so often it was strange he should be 
so greatly upset. 

"Fine stuff ! " he said. "Do you see where that telegram is from ? 
Right here in St. Louis ! Heydler got in this morning and is at the 
Jefferson, and we. are at the Chase. Wouldn't you think he'd call me 
up and ask me for my side of the case? Don't you think I merit that 
consideration after all the years I have been in this league and all 
I've done for it?" 

They thought he did. 

"You're right I do ! I got this telegram when I got 

out here a little while ago, and I tried to get Heydler on the tele- 
phone to tell him what I think of him but he wasn't in. But I'll tell 
him ! Ill tell him right here 1 He won't get in that gate without me 
seeing him ! " 

He was almost shouting again. Some of the fans stopped and 
looked at him, and then stood there, waiting developments. So, of 
course, did the reporters. They didn't have long to wait. Heydler 
came through the gate a few minutes later and, seeing McGraw, 
started toward him. McGraw saw him at the same instant and met 
him halfway. 

"Hello, John," Heydler said, smiling and extending his hand. 

McGraw, ignoring the hand, yelled at him: 

"Don't you say 'hello' to me I You have a nerve even to speak to 
me, you , you ! " 

Heydler, bewildered by McGraw's manner and embarrassed as the 
crowd edged forward, the better to hear what the row was about, 
stepped back. 

"Why, John . . ." he began. 

"Don't you 'why, John' me 1" McGraw roared. "That's a fine thing 
you did to me ! You didn't even have the common decency to call me 
up when you are in the same town and find out what I have to say 
about what happened yesterday, did you? You're still standing be- 
hind those lousy, rotten umpires of yours, just as you stood behind 
Elem!" 

"Klem?" Heydler asked dazedly. "When?" 
242 



McGraw's face was purple and he was almost gasping for breath. 

"When? When? You know well when! In 1928, 

that's when!" 

A rankling fury over the Harnett-Reese play seemed to stick in 
his throat, almost strangling him. 

For the first time he noticed the crowd that had gathered about 
him. 

"Get out!" he roared, "Get the hell out of here and mind your 
business ! " 

The crowd fell back. 

He whirled on Heydler again, reviling him and the umpires. 
Heydler tried vainly to quiet him, to get away from him ; but there 
was no escaping his wrath. At last he could go on no longer. He 
turned to one of the reporters. 

"Tell Bancroft to take the club," he said. "I'm going back to 
the hotel." 

He went out the gate, climbed into a cab, and was driven away. 

Heydler, shaken by his experience, looked after him. 

"I'm afraid," he said, "that McGraw is a sick man." 

On his return to the hotel that evening, Bancroft, went to Mc- 
Graw's room. It still was broad daylight, but the shades were 
drawn and McGraw was sitting alone in the gloom. His rage had left 
him, but so had much of his strength. The sight of him, sitting there 
listlessly in the half-light, frightened Bancroft. 

Back in New York a short time later, he obviously was ill, but 
said nothing about it to anyone, not even to his wife. But Mrs. 
McGraw knew something was seriously wrong with him. When she 
suggested he see their doctor on the pretext that she thought any- 
one at his age should have his blood pressure checked once in a 
while he laughed. 

"My blood pressure is all right/' he said. "I don't need a doctor 
to tell me that or anything else." 

But she was insistent, and one morning he said, laughing again: 

"All right! Anything to keep peace in the family. We have a 
double header today, but 111 leave early and stop by and see the 
doctor just to satisfy you." 

Mrs. McGraw didn't go to the Polo Grounds that day. About 
six o'clock, when she was waiting for him to come home, he tele- 

243 



phoned that he was sending the car to Pelham for her, as some 
friends had* invited them to dinner in town and he thought they 
ought to go. 

"He never was gayer than he was that night/ 7 Mrs. McGraw has 
said. "He laughed a lot and told jokes and had everyone else laugh- 
ing. He kept saying he was celebrating winning the double header, 
and at first I believed him. But he said it so often I was suspicious. 
He had won too many double headers in his life to be so happy 
about this one. Our doctor was at the party and, when I got a chance 
to talk to him privately, I asked him about John. He looked at me 
gravely for a moment and then he said: 

" 'Mrs. McGraw, your husband is * 

"He stopped. 

" 'Yes?' I said. 'Go on. Tell me. Whatever it is, I want to know.' 

"And he said : 'Mr. McGraw is a very sick man.' 

"John had left the room, but he came back just at that moment. 
Some of the other men were with him and he was telling a story and 
laughing, and they were laughing with him . . . and I knew, now, 
that this was an act that he was putting on to deceive me." 



XXX JUSTICE McCOOK HEARS A CASE 

ax HAD BEEN rather generally known for some time that harmony 
no longer existed among Stoneham, McGraw, and McQuade, but 
it was taken for granted they were securely bound together by their 
common interest in the Giants and a stubborn loyalty that would 
survive their almost constant bickerings. John Heydler, speaking rue- 
fully in the light of his own experience with them, had seemed to 
sum up the relationship one day when he said : 

"They fight among themselves all the time, but if you make a 
move at one of them, they stand shoulder to shoulder against you 
and abuse you terribly/' 

Privately, they would criticize or denounce each other on occa- 
sion, with McQuade being more outspoken than the others in this 
respect, but they usually managed to preserve an outward semblance 
of amity. Thus, when the board of directors had voted McQuade 
out of office as treasurer in 1928 and installed Leo Bondy in Ms 
244 



place, there was some surprise, yet no one took it too seriously, be- 
lieving the breach would be healed in no time and the customary 
quarreling be resumed in the privacy of the club's office. But the 
final break had come, and McQuade, slow to realize it, finally 
brought suit against Stoneham and McGraw in 1930. 

In his complaint, he alleged that his removal had been voted by 
a dummy board of directors at Stoneham's direction and that this 
was a direct violation of the contract entered into in 1919, under 
the terms of which each was bound to exert his utmost efforts to 
retain the two others in office as long as they owned the club. He 
also sought back pay at the rate of $10,000 pet year since his expul- 
sion. Even this failed to get more than a few lines in the news- 
papers, the general impression still being that the men were at each 
other's throats again but would be in each other's arms before the 
ink was dry on the papers. Now, however, in December of 1931, 
the case went to trial before Justice McCook in the Supreme Court 
in New York and, for the first time, the veil was lifted on the 
fighting that had taken place. 

McQuade testified that his troubles with Stoneham had sprung 
from his insistence, as the treasurer whose first duty was to the 
minority stockholders, that Stoneham repay loans he had made 
from the club. Stoneham denied this, and he and McGraw both 
alleged that McQuade was a disorderly and disturbing figure in 
the office and around the ball park and that, for their own protec- 
tion as well as that of the minority stockholders, they were com- 
pelled to get rid of him. There was testimony concerning brawls in 
New York and Havana, of threats made by McQuade against Stone- 
ham and by Stoneham against McGraw. There was a sharp denial 
by Stoneham of McQuade's charge that he had influenced the direc- 
tors in voting against McQuade. Two of the directors, Ross F. 
Robertson and Dr. Harry A. Ferguson, took the stand and sup- 
ported Stoneham, swearing they had voted only according to the 
dictates of their own minds. 

Some of the testimony concerned the manner in which Stoneham 
had become interested in the purchase of the Giants. It may be re- 
called that on the day the transaction was announced, McQuade told 
a reporter that he and he alone had persuaded Stoneham to buy 
the club. Controverting this version at the trial, McGraw testified 
that McQuade had played a very minor part in lining up Stoneham 

24* 



and that the one who really accomplished this was his friend, E. Pho- 
cian Howard, publisher of the New York Press, a sporting publica- 
tion devoted largely to racing, whom he and McQuade, he said, had 
met by chance in the lobby of the old Waldorf one day late in the 
fall of 1918. 

"McQuade and I had been discussing the purchase of the club 
for some time/ 5 he said. "I had pointed out to him that the heirs 
of John T. Brush, alarmed by the state of affairs growing out of the 
war, were more than willing to sell their interest and suggested to 
him that it would be a good idea if we could get a buyer. He agreed 
with me and we had several conferences with George Loft, whom 
McQuade had interested, but Loft ultimately decided that he had 
better continue to give his attention to his other business affairs. 

"On the occasion of which I speak, McQuade and I walked up 
Fifth Avenue and into the Waldorf, where we met Howard, He asked 
me what we were doing and I told him we were looking for a pur- 
chaser for the club and he said he had just the man we wanted and 
would call me up the following morning at 10 o'clock. Right to the 
minute he called me and the man he had was Stoneham. McQuade 
and I went down to the Hotel Astor, where we met Howard and 
Stoneham and negotiations were begun that led to the buying of 
the club." 

On cross-examination by Isaac N. Jacobson, McQuade's counsel, 
McGraw flatly denied that, as Jacobson suggested, it was a former 
police captain named Peabody who had introduced McQuade to 
Stoneham, and that later McQuade had invited McGraw to meet 
Stoneham. McGraw admitted, however, that he and McQuade had 
been sued by Peabody in an attempt to get a bonus for bringing 
about this meeting and that Stoneham had paid the costs of settling 
the case out of court. 

When all the testimony had been taken, there was a violent sum- 
ming up for the defense by Arthur Garfield Hays, who called Mc- 
Quade a liar, a perjurer and a disloyal associate, while Jacobson 
answered with equal violence. 

"The defendants have sought to make facts fit the case, not the 
case fit the facts!" he shouted. "They have gathered up everything 
that has happened in these last nine years and blamed it all on 
McQuade. All of these men are of a type all greedy, all fighting 
men and a rough element was in control of the dub." 
246 



Justice McCook, having reserved decision at the time, final! 
issued one that gave McQuade what is known in sports as a fon 
of Mexican stand-off, in which he lost his job but saved his mone; 
McCook refused to reinstate him as treasurer, taking the view thi 
this would serve only to bring on a resumption of the fighting, whic 
would impair the investments of the minority stockholders, bi 
ordered the club to pay him more than three years' back salary. 

As Marshall Hunt, then a baseball writer on The News, phrase 
it: 

"The Judge gave McQuade a divorce and $30,000 alimony." 

The club protested the payment of this sum to McQuade and sul 
sequently was upheld by the Court of Appeals. Thus the triumvirat 
had been broken and McQuade was out, with no balm for h: 
wounded feelings. 



XXXI BRIGHT DAYS IN CALIFORNIA 

3N JANUARY OF 1932 McGraw and Stoneham were confronted wit 
a problem posed by Bill Terry. The first baseman, having wour* 
up with Chick Hafey and Jim Bottomley of the Cardinals in a tripl 
tie for the batting championship of the league, not only returned hi 
contract, but let go with a terrific blast aimed at Stoneham. 

This obviously was not a routine holdout. Terry, always finan 
cially independent of baseball because of a winter job with th 
Standard Oil Company even as he had been back in the spring o 
1922, when McGraw first had offered him a chance to join the Giant 
never had been easy to deal with. Now, really aroused by wha 
he judged to be shabby treatment on the part of his employers, h 
said that he was "thoroughly disgusted" when, after a promise ha< 
been made to him that he "would be taken care of," the terms offere< 
to him represented a slash of 40 per cent of Ms salary. He made ; 
vigorous demand to be sold or traded. 

Coming from any other ball player, this ^ould not have beei 
taken too seriously in the office on Forty-second Street. Cominj 
from Terry, it brought forth a sharp reply from Stoneham. Usually 
content to remain in the background and allow McGraw to speal 

247 



for the club, Stoneham was so incensed by Terry's attitude that he 
made a vigorous reply. 

"In reference to Terry's statement at Memphis/' he said, "it is 
true that he has returned his contract. It will be necessary for Terry 
to sign with the New York club on fair terms, or what the Giants 
believe to be fair terms. 

"Terry has been treated better by the New York club as to salary 
than any other player who ever wore a Giant uniform. He has made 
trouble about signing every year since he was a rookie. Terry re- 
ceived in 1931 within $1,500 of what Bottomley and Hafey received 
together, notwithstanding that all three finished in a tie for the 
batting championship of the league. He received thousands more 
than other great National League players. 

"Since 1925, his first regular season with the Giants, in which year 
he received a liberal salary, his increase has been more than 200 per 
cent. Further, because of holding out every spring, he has been a 
detriment to the club. 

"We tried to trade him last year and no one wanted him because 
of the high salary he was commanding. Now he will not be traded 
or sold." 

This counter blast failed to move Terry. McGraw, who could 
denounce a holdout roundly when it seemed to be to" his advantage 
to do so, knew that, in this instance, further pounding would serve 
only to stiffen the player's resistance. The minor leagues were about 
to hold a meeting in New Orleans. McGraw, who had planned to 
attend it, as major-league club owners and managers generally do, 
called Terry and asked him to meet him there. Possibly to his sur- 
prise since Terry had indicated he was of no mind to leave Mem- 
phis for any reason unless he got what he wanted from the Giants 
Bill agreed to do so. 

Whatever persuasive means McGraw used when he met his first 
baseman, his purpose was accomplished. Terry came out of the con- 
ference to announce that he not only had signed his contract, but 
had no wish to play with any club other than the Giants. One report, 
never convincingly denied, was that the last $1,000 needed to satisfy 
Terry had been paid out of McGraw's pocket. 

The bitterness that had marked the controversy in its early stages, 
the acerbity with which Stoneham had met Terry's challenge, these 
248 



were to be recalled, by the sports writers with raised eyebrows- 
five months later. 

McGraw had looked forward with some eagerness to the training 
trip to Los Angeles. It was the first time he had been there to train 
since 1907, and he had many friends there, in sports or in the film 
colony. The Giants trained in the Pacific Coast League ball park 
and lived at the Biltmore, and the dugout at the park or his suite at 
the hotel was the scene of many reunions for him. 

Chief Meyers, who lived at Riverside, dropped in frequently. Sc 
did Tilly Shafer, who lived in Hollywood, or Fred Snodgrass, whose 
home was in Oxnard. Mike Donlin, still looking as though he could 
walk up to the plate and hit one in a pinch, was around much of 
the time. One day, in the dugout, he looked at his watch and said : 

"You boys will have to excuse me. I have a date to hit a guy 
over the head and rob his store at i yo." 

The rookies, who hadn't caught his name and probably wouldn't 
have recognized it if they had, looked at him in amazement. McGraw 
and the older players laughed. Mike was very much in demand as a 
character actor in the then popular gangster pictures and was due 
on the set at 1 130. 

There was a knock on McGraw's door in the Biltmore one morn- 
ing, just as he was about to start for the park. 

"Come in," he said. 

The door opened and Arthur Nehf walked in, followed by a big, 
broad-shouldered, good-looking blond kid of about twenty-two. Nehf 
was smiling, and he put out his hand and said: 

"Remember me, Mac? I used to pitch for you." 

McGraw wrung his hand. 

"Arthur," he said, "I'm glad to see you. I've always been sorry 
we parted the way we did." 

"So have I," Art confessed. "Looking back, I guess maybe I was 
wrong. I'd like to be friends with you again." 

McGraw laughed. 

"That's easy," he said. "Even when you were mad at me, I never 
was mad at you. How are Mrs. Nehf and the children?" 

"Fine, thanks. . . . And Mac, I want you to meet Hank Leiber." 

249 



The blond young man stepped forward and shook hands with 
McGraw. 

"Mac/ 5 Art said, "Hank is a ball player. He's a pretty good first 
baseman and he can play the outfield, too. He isn't ready for the 
big leagues yet, but I am sure that some day he will be, because any- 
body who can hit like he can is sure to get up there some day." 

McGraw looked Leiber over appraisingly. 

"He looks as though he might hit," he said. "Where did you find 
him?" 

"He played for me last summer. As you know, I'm in the insurance 
business in Phoenix, and they asked me to manage one of the teams 
in our city league, so I did and got a lot of fun out of it. Hank, who 
had played at the University of Arizona, was my first baseman and 
the league's leading hitter. He's the only ball player I ever have 
recommended to anybody, Mac. I've always refrained from that out 
of well, call it pride, I guess. I wouldn't recommend one until I 
was sure he could make good and I'm sure about this boy." 

"Well, that's fine !" McGraw said. "I'm going out to the park now. 
Will you go along with me?" 

They would. At the park Nehf, sitting back of the Giants' dugout 
watching the practice with some of his old friends among the base- 
ball writers, said: 

"It's curious, the grip that McGraw gets on you. No one could 
have been nicer to me than Jack Hendricks was when I was with 
the Reds, nor than Joe McCarthy was when I was with the Cubs. 
But when I had a ball player that I knew could make the big leagues, 
I had to give him to McGraw although I hadn't spoken to Mac 
for six years." 

McGraw soon discovered that Nehf was right about Leiber. Hank 
wasn't ready for the big leagues. He was at least a year or two away. 
But, as they say in the dugouts, he could powder the ball. McGraw 
would send him out and he would come back, and some day he would 
be wearing a Giant uniform at the Polo Grounds and the crowd 
would roar as he walked up to the plate. 

Nehf stayed a few days, just long enough to see that Leiber was 
comfortably settled. When he went to McGraw to say good-by, 
McGraw wanted to pay him for delivering such a fine prospect. But 
he laughed. 

250 




MCGRAW IN HAVANA 




ft 

fc 



o 
W 

H 



o 

a 



"Pay me ! " he said. "No, thanks, Mac. I don't want any money 
from you." 

"But we always pay for ball players," McGraw said. 

"Forget it," Art said. "If he does as well as I think he will, 111 be 
very happy. And I certainly wouldn't want anybody to have him 
but you." 

"Well," McGraw said, "at least let me take care of your hotel 
bill." 

Nehf laughed again. 

"I've already taken care of it myself," he said. "There isn't any- 
thing you can or should do for me, Mac. Bringing Leiber to you 

was an act of friendship on my part. Please accept it as such 

And now I've got to run for my plane. Good-by, Mac. Take care 
of yourself. And win- the pennant this year." 

"Good-by, Art," McGraw said. "I guess I can't even tell you how 
swell I feel about all this." 

The weather was good and the conditions under which the Giants 
trained were perfect. As they rounded into shape, they beat the 
Los Angeles club ... the Cubs, who were training at Catalina Island 
... the Pirates, whose base was at Paso Robles. No Giant team had 
looked as good in years. Len Koenecke, up from Indianapolis, was 
in the outfield with Lindstrom and Ott Jackson, starting his 
eleventh season with the Giants, never looked better. He and Critz 
were a smoothly working combination around second base. Terry, 
reporting early and swinging into his stride quickly, never before 
had hit as well in the spring. The pitching was effective. 

The newspapermen . . . the New York actors in the movie crowd 
. . . looked on with delight. The stories wired back to New York 
breathed defiance to the rest of the league and boldly predicted the 
Giants would overthrow the Cardinals, pennant winners for two 
years and now champions of the world. 

The schedule kept the Giants busy, but took them into pleasant 
places. They went to Catalina for Saturday and Sunday games with 
the Cubs, and after the Saturday game there was a barbecue at 
William Wrigley's Center Ranch and, later, a dance at the Casino 
in Avalon. They went to San Diego for two games. The first was a 
night game, so that afternoon the whole party crossed the border 
to Agua Caliente, where, before the races, there was a luncheon for 



them in the club house at which pretty Mexican girls danced to the 
music of a string orchestra. 

A few nights before the stay in Los Angeles ended, McGraw gave 
a dinner in a private dining room at the Biltmore which was notable 
because, among other things, the group on the dais might have been 
cut out of an old sports picture book for flanking the Giant mana- 
ger were Donlin, Meyers, Snodgrass, Shafer, Jim Jeffries, Tom 
Sharkey, and Tod Sloan. 

Also on the dais, but unnoticed until he got up to speak, was a 
local brewer who had been a friend of McGraw's for years. When 
he arose, following speakers who had lauded McGraw and all his 
works, he made one of the most popular after-dinner speeches ever 
heard. 

"Mr. Toastmaster and gentlemen," he said. "It is nice to be with 
John McGraw and his friends. It is always nice to be with John 
McGraw and his friends. And now I want you all to come out to my 
house and drink beer." 

The room was cleared of its perhaps one hundred guests in no 
time. Without waiting for the elevators, they rushed down the stairs, 
threw themselves into private cars or taxis, and went whirling off 
to the brewer's house, with the brewer's car in the van to lead the 
way. There, in a rathskeller furnished with chairs and tables cut 
from redwood trees, were great copper pitchers of beer, and sand- 
wiches and cheese and crackers. It was one of the best parties 
of the trip. 

Leaving Los Angeles, the Giants went to San Francisco for a nine- 
day stand against the Seals and the Missions. 

One morning an emissary from Santa Cruz called on McGraw and 
asked him if he wouldn't take the Giants there for a game with the 
Hollywood club. McGraw said he would be glad to, except that there 
was no room for such a game on the schedule, which had been made 
up months before. 

"If you'll just send a second team," the man said, "we'd be de- 
lighted." 

McGraw considered that for a moment. Then he said : 

"All right. On one consideration: That you advertise it plainly 
as the second team. I don't want the people to think that Ott and 
Terry and Jackson and fellows like that will be there and then find 
themselves looking at a lot of youngsters they never heard of." 
252 



"I promise you," the man said, "that we will advertise it as the 
second team." 

McGraw nodded. 

"When do you want us?" he asked. 

"Thursday. That will give us three days to get our publicity out." 

"All right. Well be there." 

The man hesitated for a moment. And then: 

"There's one more thing I'd like to ask, Mr. McGraw." 

"What's that?" 

"Will you come?" 

McGraw was in a good mood that morning. 

"Yes," he said. "Ill come, too." 

The Giant party, reaching Santa Cruz at noon, found the Mayor 
had declared a half-holiday, so that all who cared to might see the 
game. Schools, banks, and stores were shut tight. There was a crowd 
at the hotel to see the players arrive. True to his word, the promoter 
had stressed, in bold type on his posters and handbills, that it was 
the Giants' second team. But top billing, of course, had been given 
to McGraw and McGraw, with or without his regulars, was the 
one the town wanted to see. 

There was a luncheon at the hotel, then a visit to a nearby grove 
of redwoods, at the size and beauty of which the visitors marveled. 
And then the ball park, overflowing with or so it seemed almost 
the entire population of the town. McGraw, halted at the gate by 
some old friends he had encountered, stopped to talk with them so 
long that by the time he started for the dugout the game was under 
way, with Roy Parmelee pitching for the Giants. Notoriously wild, 
Parmelee was passing the Hollywood hitters as fast as they went to 
the plate, a fact which didn't escape McGraw as he hurried through 
the stand to the field and made for the dugout, a few yards away. 
The announcer on the public-address system, who had been intro- 
ducing the players to the crowd, caught sight of him and said 
excitedly: 

"There he is, ladies and gentlemen ! There he is! The man we've 
all been waiting for ! The famous Muggsy McGraw ! " 

McGraw, his face flaming with rage, plumped into a seat in the 
dugout. 

"Get that out of there !" he said to Tom Clarke, the coach. 

253 



"What?" Clark asked, cupping his ear to hear him over the roar 
and stamping of the crowd. 

yoil i McGraw yelled. "Get that Parmelee 

out of there before I kill him ! " 

All the pleasure had gone out of the trip, so far as he was con- 
cerned. He sat there fuming through nine innings and, when he was 
leaving the park, snapped at those who spoke to him or reached for 
him to slap him on the back. 

By the time he got back to San Francisco, his good humor had 
been restored. The fledgling Giants had won and had taken in more 
money at the gate than the regulars had drawn playing the Seals 
that afternoon. 

"The next time we come out here," he said, "I'll make up the 
schedule and there will be more towns like that on it. It's a joke, 
fiddling around the big towns when you can make that kind of 
money in the small ones." 

On Saturday the Giants went to Oakland, crossing the bay on the 
ferry. McGraw, instead of sitting on the bench, sunned himself in 
the center-field bleachers while Dave Bancroft ran the team. Mrs. 
McGraw, seated in a box near the dugout, was uncertain whether 
John was going to stay for the full game, so at the end of one inning 
she called to Lindstrom, wishing to have him ask her husband what 
he intended to do. Lindstrom didn't hear her and one of the re- 
porters, seated near by, yelled to Mm and, as he turned, indicated 
that Mrs. McGraw wanted to speak to him. He came over to the 
box and she said, in mock severity: 

"Freddy! Why don't you pay attention?" 

His eyes widened. 

"Good God!" he exclaimed. "Are you giving signs, too?" 

He spoke in jest . . . and yet, beneath the jest there was a deep, 
slow current of exasperation on the part of all the players at the 
increasing tightness of McGraw's grip upon them. It had got so that 
they couldn't make a move without looking to him for a sign, as 
though their manager was convinced they had no brains of their 

own and must be guided in the simplest situations on the field A 

deep, slow current now ... yet one that was to run swift as the days 
passed. 



2S4 



There was but one more day in California, one last game in San 
Francisco with the Seals, and then the Giants were headed for the 
East by way of Denver and Kansas City. 

McGraw celebrated his birthday in Kansas City and, as had be- 
come the custom down the years, the newspapermen gave a party 
for him. He was in high humor that night. The trip to California 
seemingly had done him a lot of good, for he was happier than he 
had been in a long time and he must have thought, as his hosts did 
that night, that he was on his way to another pennant. 

Prophetic, however, were two sentences in a brief interview he gave 
to a Kansas City newspaperman that day, although they passed 
unnoticed at the time. Having reviewed his career in a handful of 
words, he said: 

"I don't know how much longer I'll stay in baseball. I'm not so 
active physically as I was a few years ago." 



XXXII A REVOLT IS CHECKED 

THE OPENING of the season, the team that had swept 
through its games in California and had been widely picked 
to win the pennant stalled badly. Almost at tie same time, Mc- 
Graw's health turned poor again and his mood changed. 

He was irritable, jumpy, surly. Raging or glum in the club house, 
dourly silent or snarling in the dugout, he terrorized the younger 
players and angered the veterans. For some reason, he picked on 
Lindstrom almost incessantly. Lindstrom, the boldest spirit on the 
club, talked back to him which, of course, made matters worse. 

Still resentful at having been moved from third base to make room 
for Vergez, he now was openly critical of McGraw for having made 
the move. 

"I'm not conceited," he would say, "but I'm not stupid, either. 
I wasn't as good a third baseman as Pie Traynor, but I was better 
than any other third baseman in the league. I've got nothing against 
Johnny Vergez. He's a swell kid and I want to see him make good. 
But he isn't good enough right now to take that job away from me 
on the level and nobody can make me believe he is not even the 
Old Man." 



One day, at the Polo Grounds, McGraw flared at him for some- 
thing or other, 

"That's right I " Lindstrom said. "Yell at me." 

His voice rose. 

"Yell at me! I'm lousy! I don't know anything! You're the only 
one that knows anything!" 

He laughed shrilly. 

"You're the only one that knows anything ! The rest of us are a 
lot of dummies I We know it ! You've told us often enough ! You're 
the king and the king can do no wrong ! " 

McGraw, startled by his outburst, looked at him strangely. So 
did the other players. There was a heavy silence along the bench. 
The players expected McGraw to tear him apart verbally, but noth- 
ing happened Lindstrom walked over to the cooler and got a 

drink of water and sat down. 

The Giants went to Boston, floundered through three games, were 
rained out of a fourth, and started for Philadelphia. They left shortly 
after noon and McGraw, getting off at Stamford, went to his home 
in Pelham for the night. The players went on to the Grand Central, 
scattered for dinner at midtown restaurants, and left from the Penn- 
sylvania Station at nine o'clock. 

Revolt on the ball club was close that night. The old loyalty that 
McGraw once had inspired in his players was gone. His grip on them, 
tightened through the years, had been loosened. Only Lindstrom 
dared to defy him in his presence, but now that he was away from 
them they rumbled and muttered among themselves. He couldn't 
kick them around like that. Who did he think he was or think they 
were? 

The trainer, whom they hated, sank into a seat behind four of 
them. Lindstrom, catching sight of him out of the corner of his eye, 
raised his voice. 

"There's a snitch with the ball club, too," he said. "A copper. A 
lousy stool pigeon. Well, I guess he's getting an earful tonight. Hell 
have a fine story to tell the Old Man in the morning." 

The trainer got up and walked down to the other end of the car. 

The next day, in Philadelphia, Lindstrom slid into third base as 
he raced to stretch a double into a triple. His left foot was twisted 
256 



and a bone in the instep was broken. Fitzsimmons picked him up 
in his arms as though he had been a child and carried him from the 
field (the gamblers in the right-field corner of the stand were laying 
1 8 to 5 Fitz would drop him and, when he heard that, Fitz said he'd 
like to have had a piece of it). 

Lindstrom was taken to a hospital . . . and the spirit of revolt 
seeped out of the other players. He hadn't intended to be their 
leader, but he was. Seeking only to declare himself and fight back 
against what he thought was an injustice on McGraw's part, he 
unwittingly had become the spokesmen for the others, who also felt 
McGraw was treating them badly but lacked the courage to say so. 
With Lindstrom gone, they merely were sullen. It was plain to the 
reporters traveling with the team that a change would have to be 
made that if the Giants were to start moving they would have to 
have a new manager or McGraw would have to get some new ball 
players. 

Yet, with trouble boiling all about him, he showed no evidence of 
wanting to get out. But when the Giants went west in May, the 
state of his health was aggravated by an attack of ptomaine poison- 
ing in Pittsburgh, and on top of that came a recurrence of his sinus 
trouble. Several times on the trip, although he went to the ball park,, 
he was too ill to remain for the entire game. He kept to himself in 
the hotels and even Bancroft, acting in charge when he was absent, 
discussed the team with him only over the telephone. 



XXXIII A REPORTER GETS A BEAT 

k N JUNE 3 the Giants were at the Polo Grounds. They had not 
played for two days, although there had been only a light, spat- 
tering rain along about noon each day. Nor had McGraw been near 
the park. This day, which was a Friday, there was a double header 
scheduled with the Phillies. A small crowd had gathered early, but 
once more the "No Game" sign was hung out and the crowd began 
to disperse, although a few of the fans hung about, hoping to see 
the players as they departed. Most of the baseball writers, reaching 
the park and seeing the sign, turned back. One Tom Meany of the 

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World-Telegram went in, thinking to get a rainy-day story and 
walked into the biggest beat a baseball writer had got in years. 

McGraw had resigned 1 

As Meany neared the club house steps, one of Stevens's hot-dog 
vendors said to him : 

"Did you know McGraw is out?" 

"Out?" 

"Yeah. He quit and Terry is the manager." 

Meany kept going but faster. As he went up the club house steps, 
Tom Clarke came out of the door. 

"Is that right?" Meany asked. "Have you got a new boss?" 

Clarke nodded, then jerked his thumb toward the door. 

"Go on in," he said. "It's on a bulletin on the wall." 

Tom read the bulletin at a glance : McGraw had resigned. Terry 
was the manager. He raced for a telephone and got the flash into 
his office ahead of the release sent out by the club to the newspapers 
and press associations. 

The headlines screamed in the evening papers. In Philadelphia, 
Lou Gehrig hit four home runs to tie a record set by Bobby Lowe 
of the Boston Nationals away back in 1894, but that story was 
buried under the photographs of McGraw and the columns of type 
that were hurled into the forms. 

McGraw had prepared a full statement, which read : 

"For over two years, due to ill health, I have been contemplating 
the necessity of turning over the management of the Giants to some- 
one else. My doctor advises me, because of my sinus condition, that 
it would be inadvisable for me to attempt another road trip with 
the club this season. So I suggested to Mr. Stoneham that another 
manager be appointed, inasmuch as it is impossible for me to manage 
the club unless I accompany it, to which Mr. Stoneham agreed. 

"It was my desire that a man be appointed who was thoroughly 
familiar with my methods and who has learned baseball under me. 
We therefore agreed on Bill Terry who, I think, has every qualifica- 
tion to make a successful manager. 

"While my illness may be but temporary, I want it fully under- 
stood that Terry will have full and complete charge of the team 
and will have to assume entire responsibility therefor. 

"I do not intend to retire from baseball but will continue with 
the Giants, not only retaining my same stock holdings but also as 

258 



vice president and as general adviser and counselor, in business as 
well as in baseball matters. 

"I am turning over a good team to Terry who, I believe, will capa- 
bly handle it. If at any time lie wants my help he has only to call 
for it. I shall be on hand at all times when needed, my health per- 
mitting. 

"During my thirty years with the Giants, the fans have been 
extremely loyal to me, for which they have my heartfelt thanks and 
I hope they will give to Terry the same loyalty and support. " 

McGraw was not to be found by the reporters that afternoon. He 
had gone direct to his home in Pelham. Mrs. McGraw, unaware that 
he had resigned, was surprised when he walked into the house. 

"What are you doing home so early?" she asked. "Was the game 
called off again?" 

"Yes," he said. "But that isn't the only reason I came home. I 
quit." 

"You quit?" she asked, startled. "You quit what?" 

"I quit my job," he said, laughing. 

For a moment she was unbelieving. Then she realized he was 
speaking the truth. 

"You mean you're no longer managing the ball club ?" she asked. 

"That's right. I resigned today." 

He laughed again. 

"But don't worry, I'm not completely out of work," he said. "I'm 
still the vice president and I'll be a sort of well, general manager, 
I guess." 

And now his face was grave. 

"I just didn't feel up to going on as manager," he said. "I'm not 
well enough." 

"I know," she said. "I'm glad you quit, John. Without the team on 
your mind constantly, you'll get well sooner." 

He didn't say anything, but walked into the living room and took 
the evening papers off a table and sat down to read them. It was 
too early for any of them to have the story of his resignation. The 
big story on the front pages in those editions was a statement from 
Samuel Seabury that he was about to forward to Governor Franklin 
D. Roosevelt a report and analysis of the testimony taken in the 
case of Mayor James J. Walker which would be a demand for the 



Mayor's removal. McGraw, a close friend of Jimmy's, was reading 

the story when the telephone rang. 
"If that's for me," he said, "I'm not here." 
The telephone rang all afternoon . . . and far into the night. 

Terry had gone from the Polo Grounds to the residential hotel in 
the West Seventies where he lived when in New York and was 
trailed there by reporters and photographers. Newsreel cameras with 
sound tracks were set up and lights blazed. 

Bill seemed a little dazed by his elevation to the management and 
the excitement it created. 

"I can't get over that Schumacher," he said, laughing. 

He and Hal Schumacher shared the suite. 

"He acted as though he was scared at finding he was living with 
the manager. He took one look at the bulletin in the club house and 
tore right out, I haven't seen him since." 

As the reporters and photographers elbowed each other in the 
crowded living room, he said that he was surprised at his appoint- 
ment but, naturally, was very pleased. He added that he hoped to 
succeed as manager and felt that he could count on the support of 
the baseball writers. 

Later, when the lamps set up by the newsreel photographers had 
been turned off, the cables coiled and taken away, and the crowd 
gone, he said: 

"I was in the club house yesterday and Mac came in. He went into 
his office and was there for a while and then he came to the door 
and called me. I went in and he closed the door behind me. I stood 
there looking at him and he walked toward his desk and said : 

" 'Turn this way. I don't want you to be facing the door when 
you talk because your words might be heard outside.' 

"And then he said : 

" 'How'd you like to be the manager of the Giants?' 

"That nearly floored me. When my head stopped spinning, I said : 

" 'Why? Are you going to quit?' 

"And he said: 

" Yes, and I'd like to have you succeed me. How do you feel 
about it? 3 

" 'It would be great, on one condition,' I said. 'That is that I shall 
be the real manager and not just a front for you. You know how I 

260 



feel about you and how highly I regard you as a manager, but I 
wouldn't take the job if you were going to sit in the background and 
be the real boss. I must be the boss or I don't want it.' 

" 'That's the way it will be/ he said. 'I mean, you'll be the real 
boss. I promise you that.' 

" Then it's all right with me/ I said. 

" 'All right/ he said, 'but don't say anything about it to anybody. 
Just hold still until you hear from me.' 

"Today, after the game had been called off, I was going up the 
steps into the club house when I heard somebody calling me. I looked 
up and it was the Old Man. He was in the window of Mr. Stoneham's 
office. 

" 'Come up here/ he said. 

"I went up and there were Mac and Mr. Stoneham and Jim Tier- 
ney and Leo Bondy. Mr. Stoneham did all the talking. He offered 
me the job and I told him, like I had told Mac, that I would take it 
if there were no strings attached to it. Mr. Stoneham assured me 
there wouldn't be and Mac nodded in agreement. 

" 'If I take the job/ I said to Mac, 'I may make some changes 
on the club and do things differently than you did.' 

" 'That's your business/ he said. 'You do exactly as you want to. 
If you take the job, youll be the boss and all the responsibility will 
rest with you. I never will interfere with you. I want you to know, 
however, that if you take the job it will please me greatly and I will 
always be willing to help you with any advice I can give you. But 
you'll have to come to me and ask for it.' 

" 'That's fine, Mac/ I said, 'and I am very grateful to you.' 

"So then I turned to Mr. Stoneham and I said : 

" 'I am honored by your offer and I accept it.' 

"Then we shook hands all around." 

"How do you think Mac really felt about all this?" a reporter 
asked. 

"He acted like a man who was glad to get a great weight off his 
back," Terry said. 

McGraw's decision to resign had been one of the most carefully 
guarded secrets in the history of baseball. As Terry had said, not 
even he was aware of it until McGraw told him of it. All over town 
they were talking of it. They said those who professed to know 

261 



the inside story that he had not resigned willingly. That pressure 
had been put upon him, presumably by Stoneham and Tierney, and 
that, after resisting it for some time, he had succumbed to it because 
he was ill and tired. Those who had been close to him through the 
last few weeks of his command guessed that no pressure had been 
necessary to cause him to resign. It was and remains to this day 
their notion that he knew the state of mind of his ball players, knew 
that he would have to make many changes before he could get any- 
where and, with his health ragged and his nerves frayed, he had no 
heart for such a task. 

One of the baseball writers observed, at the time: 
"He said it all when he said: 'I am turning over a good team to 
Terry. 7 It is a good team but he couldn't manage it any more. A few 
years ago, he would have ripped that team apart and built a new 
one. But he's sick now and I guess he's had enough of it." 

Only one player had known that McGraw was stepping down. 
That was Freddy Lindstrom, and he was talking, too. He was talking 
bitterly to his friends because, he said, the job had been promised to 
him and that you could have knocked him down with a feather when 
he read on the bulletin board of Terry's appointment. 

Terry had said he might make some changes. He made one that 
night. He fired the trainer who, the players said, was McGraw's 
stool pigeon. 



XXXIV END OF THE LONG ROAD 

PEW DAYS LATER, McGraw was at his desk in the club offices. 
"Will you be here often, Mac ?" a cafller wanted to know. 
"Oh, sure," he said. He added, laughing, "I'm strictly an execu- 
tive now, you know." 

In the statement explaining his resignation, he had said : 
"I do not intend to retire from baseball but will continue with 
the Giants, not only retaining my same stock holdings but also as 
vice president and as general adviser and counselor, in business as 
well as in baseball matters." 

262 



But he was a lonely figure in "his office. No one appeared to seek 
his counsel, in business matters or anything else. His desk was clear 
and he would sit there, looking out across Bryant Park, watching the 
hurrying crowds on Forty-second Street, listening to the rumble of 
the elevated trains beneath his windows. When he went to the Polo 
Grounds, he saw the games from the offices above the club house, 
never appearing in the grandstand or the press box. When the Giants 
were on the road, he was at the race track frequently still playing 
3 to 5 shots. 

The season dragged on. Terry had managed to get the Giants out 
of last place, but could get them no higher than sixth, and they 
finished in a tie with the Cardinals for that position. 

McGraw went to Havana that winter. He and Stoneham had 
pulled out of the race track a few years before, and Stoneham didn't 
go to Cuba any more. But McGraw never lost his fondness for the 
old city and the pleasant atmosphere of the track. He returned to 
New York in the early spring, looking better than he had in some 
time. 

The season of 1933 was an exciting one for the Giants. At last 
they were paying off on the promise they had given in 1932. This 
was the team with which McGraw had believed he would win the year 
before. But now he sat somewhere in the background as that team 
drove on toward a pennant and the crowd roared for Terry. 

In July, the first All Star game was played in Chicago in conjunc- 
tion with the World's Fair, and for one day, as the manager of the 
National League team, chosen by vote of the fans around the coun- 
try, he sat in a dugout again, Connie Mack had been elected to 
manage the American League team, and memories of the great bat- 
tles they had fought with one another must have danced before the 
eyes of these veterans that afternoon at Comiskey Park. But the 
adventure was to lead only to frustration for McGraw : In the third 
inning, Babe Ruth hit a home run with Charlie Gehringer on base 
to win the game for the American League. In their final clash, Mc- 
Graw had been defeated by the Babe. 

The Giants won the pennant and beat the Senators in the World 
Series. The final game was played in Washington, and McGraw 
could have no part in it save that of an onlooker. But he could 
celebrate It, as he had celebrated Ms own triumphs in years gone by. 

263 



The Giants, rushing back to New York, were his guests at a party at 
the New Yorker that was as gay and that lasted as long as any he 
ever had given. 

That winter, he and Mrs. McGraw didn't go to Havana, but re- 
mained at their home in Pelham not the one they had bought back 
in 1922, but a new one, which they had taken some years later. He 
loved this house and was content now, as his health failed rapidly, 
to sit before the fireplace, reading or listening to the radio. Frequent 
invitations to dinner or theater in New York were refused by him. 
There was only one he accepted. 

This was a birthday dinner given for Joe Leone at his restaurant 
on Forty-eight Street on January 15, 1934. Mark the date, for it is 
the last on which McGraw ever appeared in public. Leone's had been 
a favorite rendezvous for him and his friends for him and Jimmy 
Walker and Sid Mercer and Bozeman Bulger and many of those who 
had been close to him and that night his thoughts must have gone 
back to those days and he must have missed Boze, who had died 
suddenly after a golf match a few months before. Especially in later 
years, no one had been closer to him than Boze. 

But Sid was there that night for some years now they had been 
friends again. And Joe Williams and Dan Daniel and Ken Smith 
and George Phair and many other reporters who traveled with him. 
And Mother Leone and Gene and Celestine and, of course, Joe. The 
diners stufied themselves on antipasto, spaghetti, speckled brook 
trout, chicken, salad, cheese, fruit, and spumoni. They drank Chianti 
and champagne and sang "Happy Birthday to You!" and no one 
had a better time than McGraw. He didn't look like a sick man that 
night. 

But he was. He was desperately sick, and he wasn't going to get 
well and he knew it and it was as if he had made up his mind he 
would have one last fling before he reached the end of the long road 
that had led from Truxton. 

On February 16 he was so ill that he was removed from his home 
to the New Rochelle Hospital. And there, on February 25, with Mrs. 
McGraw at his side, he died. 

The Giants were at Miami Beach. They weren't his Giants any 
more. They were Terry's Giants, and under Terry they had won the 
264 



pennant and the World Series. Some of the regulars at work down 
there that spring never had played for McGraw, and the rookies in 
the camp never had seen him. 

On a terrace beyond the windows of his suite at the Flamingo 
Hotel that afternoon, Terry talked of him and. of the day he had 
resigned : 

" 'I will never come into this club house again/ he said to me that 
day. He never did, either. But one day, coming back from a trip 5 
I noticed that the pictures of Matty and Ross Young that had been 
on the wall of his office were missing, and when I saw him again I 
kidded him about being there in my absence, and he shook his head 
and said: 

" 'No. But I thought you wouldn't mind if I had those pictures 
brought down here.' 

"He had them hung over his desk. ... I think he wanted to have 
them where he could always see them." 

They talked of him at Miami Beach . . . and in New York . . . and 
in London and Paris and Melbourne . . . and in all the other places 
he'd known in the long years since Truxton. Whether they loved or 
hated him, they knew in their hearts that a man had died. And that 
his memory would live as long as baseball is played. 



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