Except to the
players, the outcome hardly mattered. Printers' baseball harks back to the days
when the annual tournament in Boston meant a stag at St. James Hall for the men
and a ladies' party at Keith's Theater, when the 1911 championship week in St.
Louis meant a downtown parade, visit to a brewery, a moonlight excursion on the
steamer Gray Eagle, with as many as 8,000 fans crowding the stands for the
final game. Games last week were played in such a pleasant atmosphere of
meaningful tradition that the conclusion appeared to be obvious: if all
printers are not athletes, it might be a good idea for all athletes to become
printers—or at least for all amateur athletic organizations to preserve their
traditions as the printers have.
Take 1 Gal.
A man who spent a
recent rainy day browsing in a library has emerged with an excerpt from Tobias
Smollett's Humphry Clinker, written in 1770, which is offered herewith as
hot-weather comfort for golfers and claret drinkers:
fields called the Links, the citizens of Edinburgh divert themselves at a game
called golf, in which they use a curious kind of bats, tipt with horn, and
small elastic balls of leather, stuffed with feathers, rather less than tennis
balls, but of a much harder consistence. This they strike with such force and
dexterity from one hole to another, that they fly to an incredible
others, I was shewn one particular set of golfers, the youngest of whom was
turned of fourscore. They were all gentlemen of independent fortunes who had
amused themselves with this pastime for the best part of a century, without
having ever felt the least alarm from sickness or disgust; and they never went
to bed, without having each the best part of a gallon of claret in his belly.
Such uninterrupted exercise, cooperating with the keen air from the sea, must,
without all doubt, keep the appetite always on edge and steel the constitution
against all common attacks of distemper."
The body of
Stefano Longhi is still swinging at the end of a rope high on the wall of the
Eiger. Last summer the doomed Italian climber and a companion, disregarding
warnings and official orders, made a desperate attempt to scale the sheer,
vertical 6,700-foot north face of the 13,036-foot Alpine peak that has claimed
18 lives in 20 years. Midway they met the one unforeseeable obstacle: another
party making an unauthorized dash for the summit. Storms closed in on them.
From the terrace of a hotel in the valley, watchers with telescopes followed
their hopeless clawing at the face of the rock. Rescue parties saved one man,
and recovered two bodies. Longhi lay on a ledge, plainly weaker each time the
clouds parted, and at last slipped over. All winter his frozen body swung with
Last week three
skilled climbers set out to scale the north wall of the Eiger and cut Longhi's
body down. They left at 1 a.m. On the terrace of the Schweidegg Hotel was their
adviser, Heinrich Harrar, who first climbed the Eiger 20 years ago. Their
equipment was superb, conditions ideal.
At 8 in the
morning they were over a third of the way up, 3,000 feet below the top of the
wall. The sky was clear. At 11:30 they were halfway up, on a narrow snowfield
that cuts across the whole wall, and where last year's climbers began to
falter. Here Herbert Raditschnig, a 24-year-old Austrian army guide, took the
lead from 22-year-old Lothar Brandler, who had led so far. Hias Noichl, 36,
another Austrian guide and an Olympic athlete, tried a more difficult passage
They were making
328 feet an hour—phenomenal speed. In the afternoon the rate slowed. At 4
o'clock Brandler slipped and slid 65 feet before he stopped himself with the
help of his ice ax. At 5 they were together again, within 2,000 feet of the
top. At 5:30 a rain of falling stones descended on them, one rock the size of a
man's head crushing Noichl's hand as he clung to his ice ax. He held on, but he
lost so much blood the others put a tourniquet on his arm and climbed to a
small rocky terrace just below Longhi's swaying body to spend the night.