SI Vault
Jerry D. Lewis
September 24, 1984
If you think Earl Weaver and Billy Martin—those Ph.D.s in the arts of kicking dust and shouting unprintable epithets—were rough on umpires, well, they were a couple of Peter Pans compared to Henry (Heinie) Zimmerman, who played every infield position for the Chicago Cubs from 1907 to 1916. Unfortunately for Zimmerman and his contemporaries, though, the umps had shorter fuses and quicker thumbs than they have today.
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September 24, 1984

Hush Money Kept Heinie Zimmerman's Mouth—and At Times His Bat—quiet

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On June 26 Heinie survived another scare before the opener of a four-game series in Cincinnati. While ex-teammates Joe Tinker, the Reds' manager, and Mordecai (Three Finger) Brown visited with him, Zimmerman showed them the half-yellowback. Tinker had read about it, but thought it was some kind of practical joke. When Zimmerman handed it to him, Tinker tore it in half. Zimmerman leaped and grabbed the two pieces of paper, but the incident may have shaken him, for he went hitless that afternoon.

After rating an A for deportment on Day 8, Zimmerman had earned, according to a Tribune communiqu� from Cincinnati, $57.14 of the hundred, and "is so sure now of winning that he has planned just where most of it will be spent."

An article in the following day's Tribune said that "Heinie Zimmerman lost his temper today and went into a tantrum right on the ballfield, but it wasn't because he was mad at an umpire." Two Cincy fielders vexed Heinie by turning in spectacular plays, contributing to his going hitless once more.

On Day 10, Zimmerman stroked a double on his second at bat. Breaking out of his slump made him so happy, he never uttered a cross word to either the umpire behind the plate or the one on the bases.

Tinker handed home-plate umpire O'Day three new balls before the last game in Cincinnati. Neither Zimmerman nor any of the other players hit a single foul ball out of the playing field, and though the final score was 9-6, only one ball was used during the entire game.

On June 30—Day 12—Zimmerman and Al Bridwell tried a double steal that almost proved disastrous. As Bridwell started from first, Pittsburgh pitcher Harry Camnitz spun and threw to second. When he did, Zimmerman broke for the plate. He came in sliding, spikes high, just as catcher Bob Coleman got the ball.

"It was close," the Tribune reported, "but umpire [Ernest] Quigley called Heinie out. The star clouter simply got up, brushed the dirt off his clothes and walked to his position at third base." Twelve down and two to go!

Ring Lardner's sports column in the Tribune's next edition included an offering called Heinie's Soliloquy. It began:

The C, or not the C, that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler for the dough to suffer
Mistakes and errors of outrageous umpires,
Or to cut loose against a band of robbers,
And, by protesting, lose it? To kick, to beef,
To beef! Perchance to scream.

On Day 14, with the other half of the hundred almost in his pocket, Zimmerman tried to steal home, showing he wasn't afraid to tempt fate. He streaked for the plate as the Pittsburgh pitcher went into the windup. Heinie and the ball arrived together. Umpire Quigley jerked his thumb over his shoulder. Out!

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