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       Baseball Joe in the World Series; or, Pitching for the Championship, p.1

           Lester Chadwick
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Baseball Joe in the World Series; or, Pitching for the Championship


  Produced by Donald Cummings and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net (This file wasproduced from images generously made available by TheInternet Archive/American Libraries.)

  HE WAS A GLORIOUS FIGURE OF YOUNG MANHOOD.]

  Baseball Joe in the World Series

  OR

  Pitching for the Championship

  _By_ LESTER CHADWICK

  AUTHOR OF

  "BASEBALL JOE OF THE SILVER STARS," "BASEBALL JOE IN THE BIG LEAGUE," "THE RIVAL PITCHERS," "THE EIGHT-OARED VICTORS," ETC.

  _ILLUSTRATED_

  NEW YORK CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY

  =BOOKS BY LESTER CHADWICK=

  =THE BASEBALL JOE SERIES=

  =12mo. Cloth. Illustrated Price per volume, 75 Cents, postpaid=

  BASEBALL JOE OF THE SILVER STARS BASEBALL JOE ON THE SCHOOL NINE BASEBALL JOE AT YALE BASEBALL JOE IN THE CENTRAL LEAGUE BASEBALL JOE IN THE BIG LEAGUE BASEBALL JOE ON THE GIANTS BASEBALL JOE IN THE WORLD SERIES

  (_Other Volumes in Preparation_)

  =THE COLLEGE SPORTS SERIES=

  =12mo. Cloth. Illustrated Price per volume, $1.00, postpaid=

  THE RIVAL PITCHERS A QUARTERBACK'S PLUCK BATTING TO WIN THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN THE EIGHT-OARED VICTORS

  (_Other Volumes in Preparation_)

  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, New York

  Copyright, 1917, by CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY

  =Baseball Joe in the World Series=

  CONTENTS

  CHAPTER PAGE I AN INSOLENT INTRUDER 1 II GLOWING HOPES 12 III A POPULAR HERO 20 IV THE SPOILS OF WAR 30 V GETTING READY FOR THE FRAY 37 VI JOE GIVES FAIR WARNING 45 VII THE THOUSAND DOLLAR BANKBILL 52 VIII RECKLESS DRIVING 61 IX A BRUTAL ACT 69 X THE OPENING GUN 77 XI SNATCHED FROM THE FIRE 84 XII THE TABLES TURNED 92 XIII A GALLANT EFFORT 106 XIV MORE HARD LUCK 113 XV FLEMING TURNS UP AGAIN 121 XVI A CAD'S PUNISHMENT 128 XVII PLANNING FOR REVENGE 134 XVIII THE PLOT 140 XIX WEAVING THE WEB 147 XX A STIRRING BATTLE 155 XXI EVENING UP THE SCORE 163 XXII A HOLE IN THE WEB 169 XXIII TAKING THE LEAD 176 XXIV PLOTTING MISCHIEF 187 XXV A RANDOM CLUE 193 XXVI A BLUFF THAT WORKED 200 XXVII STEALING SIGNALS 212 XXVIII A BLOW IN THE DARK 217 XXIX QUICK WORK 223 XXX A GLORIOUS VICTORY 232

  BASEBALL JOE IN THE WORLD SERIES

  CHAPTER I

  AN INSOLENT INTRUDER

  "Here he comes!"

  "Hurrah for Matson!"

  "Great game, old man."

  "You stood the Chicagos on their heads that time, Joe."

  "That home run of yours was a dandy."

  "What's the matter with Matson?"

  "_He's all right!_"

  A wild uproar greeted the appearance of Joe Matson, the famous pitcherof the New York Giants, as he emerged from the clubhouse at the PoloGrounds after the great game in which he had pitched the Giants to thehead of the National League and put them in line for the World Serieswith the champions of the American League.

  It was no wonder that the crowd had gone crazy with excitement. All NewYork shared the same madness. The race for the pennant had been one ofthe closest ever known. In the last few weeks it had narrowed down to afight between the Giants and the Chicagos, and the two teams had comedown the stretch, nose to nose, fighting for every inch, each strainingevery nerve to win. It had been a slap-dash, ding-dong finish, and theGiants had won "by a hair."

  Joe Matson--affectionately known as "Baseball Joe"--had pitched thedeciding game, and to him above all others had gone the honors of thevictory. Not only had he twirled a superb game, but it had been his homerun in the ninth inning after two men were out that had brought thepennant to New York.

  And just at this moment his name was on more tongues than that of anyother man in the United States. Telegraph wires had flashed the news ofhis triumph to every city and village in the country, and the cables andwireless had borne it to every American colony in the world.

  Joe's hand had been shaken and his back pounded by exulting enthusiastsuntil he was lame and sore all over. It was with a feeling of reliefthat he had gained the shelter of the clubhouse with its refreshingshower and rubdown. Even here his mates had pawed and mauled himin their delight at the glorious victory, until he had laughinglythreatened to thrash a few of them. And now, as, after getting into hisstreet clothes, he came out into the side street and viewed the crowdthat waited for him, he saw that he was in for a new ordeal.

  "Gee whiz!" he exclaimed to his friend and fellow player, Jim Barclay,who accompanied him. "Will they never let up on me?"

  "It's one of the penalties of fame, old man," laughed Jim. "Don't makeout that you don't like it, you old hypocrite."

  "Of course I like it," admitted Joe with a grin. "All the same I don'twant to have this old wing of mine torn from its socket. I need it in mybusiness."

  "You bet you do," agreed Jim. "It's going to come in mighty handy forthe World Series. But we'll be out of this in a minute."

  He held up his hand to signal a passing taxicab, and the cab edged itsway to the curb.

  The crowd swept in upon the players and they had all they could do toelbow their way through. They succeeded finally and slammed the doorshut, while the chauffeur threw in the clutch and the taxicab dartedoff, pursued by the shouts and plaudits of the crowd.

  Joe sank back on the cushions with a sigh of relief.

  "The first free breath I've drawn since the game ended," he remarked.

  "It's been a wonderful day for you, Joe," said Jim, looking at hischum with ungrudging admiration. "That game will stand out in baseballhistory for years to come."

  "I'm mighty glad I won for my own sake," answered Joe; "but I'mgladder still on account of the team. The boys backed me up in greatshape--except in that fifth inning--and I'd have felt fearfully sore ifI hadn't been able to deliver the goods. But those Chicagos certainlymade us fight to win."

  "They're a great team," admitted Jim; "and they put up a corking goodgame. But it was our day to win."

  "Did you see McRae and Robson after the game?" he went on, referring tothe manager and the coach of the Giant team. "Whatever dignity they had,they lost it then. They fairly hugged each other and did the tango infront of the clubhouse."

  Joe grinned as the burly figures came before his mental vision.

  "They've been under a fearful strain for the last few weeks," hecommented; "and I guess they had to let themselves go in some fashion orthey'd have burst."

  "Do you realize what that home run of yours meant in money, to saynothing of the glory?" jubilated Jim.

  "I haven't had time to do much figuring yet," smiled Joe.

  "It meant at least fifty thousand dollars for the team," pursued Jim."We'll get that much even if we lose the World Series, and a gooddeal more if we win. And if the Series goes to six or seven games themanagement will scoop in a big pot of money, too--
anywhere from fifty toa hundred thousand dollars."

  "That's good," replied Joe, a little absent-mindedly.

  "Good?" echoed Jim, sharply. "It's more than good--it's great, it'sglorious! Wake up, man, and stop your dreaming."

  Joe came to himself with a little start.

  "You're--you're right, Jim," he stammered somewhat confusedly. "To tellthe truth, I wasn't thinking just then of money."

  Jim gave him a quick glance, and a sudden look of amused comprehensioncame into his eyes. Joe caught his glance and flushed.

  "What are you blushing about?" demanded Jim with a grin.

  "I wasn't blushing," defended Joe, stoutly. "It's mighty warm in thiscab."

  Jim laughed outright.

  "Tell that to the King of Denmark," he chuckled. "I'm on, old man. Youtold me in the clubhouse that you were going to the Marlborough Hotel,and I know just who it is that's stopping there."

  "My friend, Reggie Varley, is putting up there," countered Joe, feebly.

  "My friend Reggie Varley," mimicked Jim, "to say nothing of his charmingsister. Oh, I'm not blind, old fellow. I've seen for a long time how thewind was blowing. Well," he continued, dropping his light tone for amore earnest one, "go in and win, Joe. I hope you have all the luck inthe world."

  He reached over and slapped his friend cordially on the shoulder. Thenhe signaled for the chauffeur to stop.

  "What are you getting out here for?" asked Joe. "We haven't got to yourstreet yet."

  "I know it," answered Jim, preparing to jump out. "I want to give you achance to think up what you're going to say to the lady fair," he added,mischievously.

  He ducked the friendly thrust that Joe made toward him and went awaylaughing, while the cab started on.

  Joe knew perfectly well what he intended to say when he should meetMabel Varley. He had wanted to say it for a long time, and haddetermined that if his team won the pennant he would wait no longer.

  He had met her for the first time two years before under unusualcircumstances. At that time he was playing in the Central League, andhis team was training at Montville, North Carolina. He had saved Mabelfrom being carried over a cliff by a runaway horse, and the acquaintancethus formed had soon deepened into friendship. With Joe it had nowbecome a much stronger feeling, and he had dared to hope that this wasshared by Mabel.

  Reggie Varley, Mabel's brother, was a rather affected young man, whoran chiefly to clothes and automobiles and had an accent that hefondly supposed was English. Joe had met him at an earlier date thanthat at which he had formed Mabel's acquaintance and under unpleasantconditions. Reggie had lost sight of his valise in a railway station,and had rashly accused Joe of taking it. He apologized later, however,and the young men had become the best of friends, for Reggie, despitesome foolish little affectations, was at heart a thoroughly good fellow.

  The brother and sister had come to New York to see the deciding gamesand were quartered at the Marlborough Hotel. Mabel had waved to Joe froma box at the Polo Grounds that afternoon, and her presence had nervedhim to almost superhuman exertions. And he had won and won gloriously.

  Would his good luck continue? He was asking himself this question whenthe taxicab drew up at the curb, and he saw that he was at the door ofthe Marlborough.

  He jumped out and thrust his hand in his pocket to get the money for hisfare, but the chauffeur waved him back with a grin.

  "Nuthin' doin'," he said. "This ride is on me."

  "What do you mean?" inquired Joe in surprise.

  "Jest what I said," returned the chauffeur. "The fellow that won thechampionship for the New Yorks can't pay me any money. It's enoughfor me to have Baseball Joe ride in my cab. I can crow over the otherfellows that wasn't so lucky."

  "Nonsense," laughed Joe, as he took out a bankbill and tried to thrustit on him.

  "No use, boss," the man persisted. "Your money's counterfeit with me."

  He started his car with a rush and a backward wave of his hand, andJoe, warned by a cheer or two that came from people near by who hadrecognized him, was forced to retreat into the hotel.

  He did not send up a card, as he was a frequent caller and felt sureof his welcome. Besides, he was too impatient for any formalities. Hewanted to be in the presence of Mabel, and even the elevator seemedslow, though it shot him with amazing speed to the fifth floor on whichthe Varley suite was located.

  His heart was beating fast as he knocked at the parlor door, and it beatstill faster when a familiar voice bade him enter.

  He burst in with a rush that suddenly stopped short when he saw thathe was not the only visitor. A young man had stepped back quickly fromMabel's side and it was evident that he had just withdrawn his hand fromhers.

  For a moment Joe's blood drummed in his ears and the demon of jealousytook possession of him. He glared at the visitor, who stared back at himwith an air of insolence that to Joe at that moment was maddening.

  The stranger was dressed in a degree of fashion that bordered onfoppishness. He wore more jewelry than was dictated by good taste, evengoing so far as to carry a tiny wrist watch. His eyes were pale, hischin slightly retreating, and his face showed unmistakable marks ofdissipation. His air was arrogant and supercilious as he took Joe slowlyin from head to foot.

  Mabel rushed forward eagerly as Joe entered.

  "Oh, Joe!" she cried. "I'm so glad you've come! I never was so glad inall my life."

  Before the joyous warmth of that greeting, Joe's jealousy receded. Hecould not question her sincerity. All her soul was in her eyes.

  He took her hand tenderly in his and felt that it was trembling. Had shebeen frightened? He turned her about so that he stood between her andthe visitor.

  "Tell me," he commanded in a low voice. "Has this man offended you?"

  "Yes, no, yes!" she whispered. "Oh, Joe, please don't say anything now!Please, for my sake, Joe! It's all right now. I'll tell you about itafterward. He's Reggie's friend. Don't make a scene, please, Joe!"

  Joe's muscles stiffened, and had it not been for Mabel's earnestpleading, he would have thrown the other fellow out of the room. ButMabel's name must not be mixed up in any brawl, and by a mighty efforthe restrained himself.

  The visitor during this brief colloquy had been moving about uneasily.He evidently wished himself anywhere else than where he was. Then, asthe two turned toward him, he put on a mask of carelessness and drawledlazily:

  "Won't you introduce me to--ah--your friend, Miss Varley?"

  Mabel, recalled to her duty as hostess, had no option but to comply.

  "This is Mr. Beckworth Fleming, Joe," she said. "Mr. Fleming, this isMr. Matson."

  The two men bowed coldly but neither extended a hand.

  "Mr. Fleming is a friend of Reggie's," Mabel explained to Joe.

  "And of yours also, I hope, Miss Varley," said Fleming with aningratiating smile.

  "I said a friend of Reggie's," returned Mabel, coldly.

  It was a direct cut, and Fleming felt it as he would have felt the lashof a whip. He turned a dull red and was about to reply, when he caughtthe menacing look in Joe's eyes and stopped. He muttered something abouta pressing engagement, took up his hat and cane, and with a pretence ofhaughtiness that failed dismally of its effect, swaggered from the room.

 
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