Frank Luther Mott,
the commissioner of the Iowa Baseball Confederacy, walks to the mound. He is
joined by Arsenic O'Reilly, captain of the All-Stars and manager of the
league-leading Big Inning Corn Kings, and Frank Chance, the player-manager of
the Chicago Cubs. The crowd hushes. Mott introduces the managers, who doff
their caps to the crowd. Both teams receive rousing applause. O'Reilly throws
his final warmup pitches and Mott, dressed in a black suit and a high silk hat,
takes his place behind the pitcher; from there he will call the game. The
starting lineups are as follows:
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ball!" shouts Mott.
The leadoff man
for the Cubs is the Human Mosquito, Jimmy Slagle, the centerfielder. Henry
Pulvermacher, the Confederacy catcher, holds up a beefy finger as a signal;
one," intones Mott. The crowd roars its approval.
curveball breaks in for strike two. The fans roar louder. O'Reilly must appear
10 feet tall as he winds up, leaning back so far it looks as though he might
topple backward. He fires a fastball down the middle of the plate. Slagle
strikes out. I imagine the crowd can be heard all the way to Iowa City.
the Cub leftfielder, taps the first pitch, an easy roller to Oilcan Flynn at
third. Two out. O'Reilly strikes out Evers on four pitches. The fans both roar
and sigh, an eerie, animal-like sound, hollow, wild.
the lithe young left-fielder, is the leadoff batter for the All-Stars. On the
fifth pitch from Three Finger Brown, Stiff strikes out, a mile in front of a
"slowball," what I would call a changeup. Ezra Dean pops up. Flynn taps
back to the pitcher.
Chicago Cubs 0,
IBC All-Stars 0.
There is still no
score when, with two out in the fourth inning, Flynn gets the first hit for the
Confederacy. He slams a single up the middle under the glove of a diving Evers.
Orville Swan, the long-legged first baseman, hits a weak looper to rightfield
that drops in for a single, Flynn going to third.