Or has my memory been playing tricks?
J. B. CRAWFORD
? John McGraw was indeed the scourge of umpires in his day. Mrs. McGraw, whose memory goes back to the old Baltimore Orioles, cannot recall that her husband ever went so far as to try to bar them from his ball park. As a matter of fact, a club manager may not interfere with an umpire properly assigned to a regular game by the league president, to whom alone he is responsible, but we are still tracking down this and other possibly forfeited games.—ED.
In Baseball's Golden Decade I note that an alltime record is held by Grover Cleveland Alexander who in 1915 had an earned run average of 1.22. This struck my eye because I remembered that Ferdie Schupp of the Giants in 1916 had a record of 0.90 for 30 games.
J. B. F. YOAK, JR.
Beckley, West Virginia
?Mr. Yoak is correct, but Schupp pitched only 140 innings in those 30 games. According to custom, a pitcher is not considered eligible for a record if he has pitched fewer than 154 innings in a season.—ED.
I haven't been able to set your baseball issue down, though I should be hitting the law books. I was, however, somewhat "surprised" to note that Joe Gordon, listed at age 33, must have indeed been a "boy wonder" since a rapid calculation would put him in the Yankee infield at the tender age of 14.
WILLIAM E. SCHUMAKER
Oregon City, Ore.
?In scouting the Detroit Tigers SI said: "Coaches are Joe Gordon (33), one of the AL's greatest infielders, who handles first base...." The number after Gordon's name (and that of all other managers and coaches) is not his age (he is 41), but his uniform numerals.—ED.
Your baseball issue is a compact encyclopedia of the game. Thanks and congratulations on this accomplishment.
In addition to your other data about major league ball parks, I would nominate the one at Cleveland as the poorest operated of the dozen or so I have visited.
Direction signs are inadequate—nonexistent would be more accurate a word—especially for strangers. Ticket holders are restricted to certain turnstiles, and they don't find out they are in the wrong one until they reach the gate and then have to start all over again. And an army of sweaty, shuffling peddlers keeps up a steady parade before your view, hawking beer out of cartons, but actually more intent on watching the game than serving the paying customers.
GEORGE O. HACKETT
I've always liked Ernest Thayer's Casey at the Bat. I enjoyed it even more as I read it again in SI of last week (April 9).