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       Baseball Joe on the Giants; or, Making Good as a Ball Twirler in the Metropolis, p.1

           Lester Chadwick
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Baseball Joe on the Giants; or, Making Good as a Ball Twirler in the Metropolis


  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.)

  JOE CAUGHT IT SQUARE ON THE END OF THE BAT.]

  Baseball Joe on the Giants

  OR

  Making Good as a Ball Twirler in the Metropolis

  _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, 60 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

  (_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

  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, New York

  COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY

  =Baseball Joe on the Giants=

  CONTENTS

  CHAPTER PAGE I PUTTING THEM OVER 1 II A FEARFUL SITUATION 10 III A CRACK SHOT 17 IV THE TELEGRAM 25 V AT THE JAIL 34 VI GLORIOUS NEWS 44 VII GREAT EXPECTATIONS 52 VIII THE COMING OF REGGIE 62 IX A TRUSTING DISPOSITION 73 X REGGIE CONFESSES 80 XI A STARTLING DISCOVERY 90 XII THE CALL TO BATTLE 98 XIII OFF FOR THE TRAINING CAMP 106 XIV DIAMOND HEROES 113 XV A CHARMING VISION 123 XVI THE GIANT TEAM 134 XVII AWAY DOWN SOUTH 144 XVIII IN HARNESS 150 XIX DRIVING THEM HARD 157 XX A TEST OF NERVE 164 XXI MAKING GOOD 174 XXII A HOT CAMPAIGN 181 XXIII AN EVIL INFLUENCE 186 XXIV A CLOSE CALL 192 XXV FIGHTING FOR THE LEAD 201 XXVI THE SLUMP 207 XXVII FROM BAD TO WORSE 212 XXVIII LOCKING HORNS 218 XXIX AN UNEXPECTED MEETING 226 XXX A GLORIOUS SUCCESS 235

  BASEBALL JOE ON THE GIANTS

  CHAPTER I

  PUTTING THEM OVER

  "Now then, Joe, send it over!"

  "Show us what you can do!"

  "Make the ball hum!"

  "Split the ozone!"

  These and a host of similar cries greeted Joe Matson as he carelesslycaught the ball tossed to him by one of his friends and walked over to acorner of the gymnasium that was marked off as a pitcher's box.

  "All right, fellows," he answered, laughingly. "Anything to oblige myfriends."

  "And that means all of us, Joe," cried one of the boys heartily.

  "You bet it does!" chorused the others, with a fervor that spoke volumesfor the popularity of the young pitcher.

  It was a cold day in late winter and a large number of the villageyouth had gathered at the Riverside gymnasium. Riverside was Joe's hometown where his people had lived for years, and where he always spent themonths between the ending of one baseball season and the beginning ofthe next.

  Joe wound up, while the spectators stretched out in a long line andwaited with interest for the first ball.

  "Not too hot at the start, Joe," cautioned Tom Davis, his old-time chum,who stood ready at the receiving end. "Remember I'm out of practice justnow and I don't want you to lift me off my feet."

  "All right, old scout," returned Joe. "I'm not any too anxious myself topitch my arm out at the start. I'll just float up a few teasers to beginwith."

  He let the ball go without any conscious effort, and it sailed lazilyacross the sixty feet that represented the distance between himself andTom, who stood directly behind the plate that had been improvised forthe occasion. It was a drop that broke just before it reached the plateand shot downward into Tom's extended glove.

  "That was a pretty one," said Tom. "Now give us an upshoot."

  Joe complied, and then in response to requests from the crowd gave themspecimens of his "knuckle" ball, his in-and-out curves, his "fadeaway,"and in fact everything he had in stock.

  Then with a twinkle in his eyes, seeing that Tom by this time was prettywell warmed up, he cut loose a fast one that traveled so swiftly thatthe eye could scarcely follow it. It landed in Tom's glove with a reportlike the crack of a whip, and a roar of laughter went up from the crowdas Tom danced around rubbing his hands.

  "Wow!" he yelled. "That one had whiskers on it for fair. Have a heart,Joe. I'm too young to die."

  "Don't worry about dying, Tom," piped up Dick Little. "Only the good dieyoung, and that makes you safe for a while."

  "Is that the kind you feed to old Wagner when he comes up to the plateand shakes his hat at you?" asked Ben Atkins.

  "It doesn't matter much what you serve to that tough old bird," answeredJoe grimly. "He lams them all if they come within reach."

  "How fast do you suppose that last ball of yours was traveling anyway,Joe?" asked Ed Wilson.

  "Oh, I don't know exactly," answered Joe carelessly. "Something over ahundred feet a second."

  A buzz of astonishment went up from the throng and they crowded closeraround Joe.

  "A hundred feet a second!" ejaculated Sam Berry, who was connected withthe railroad. "Why a railroad train traveling at the rate of a mile aminute only covers eighty-eight feet a second. Do you mean to say thatthat ball was traveling faster than a mile a minute train?"

  "According to that, Joe could throw a ball after the Empire StateExpress when it was running at that speed and hit the rear platform,"was the incredulous comment of Ben Atkins. "I knew that ball was goingmighty fast but I didn't think it was as swift as that."

  "It's a pity that there isn't some certain way of finding out,"commented Tom.

  "It has been found out," said Joe calmly.

  "Is that so?"

  "How was it done?"

  "Why," replied Joe, in answer to the volley of questions fired at him,"it wasn't a hard thing at all. You know the big arms factories have acontrivance that tells them just how fast a bullet goes after it leavesthe gun. They have two hoops set in a line say two hundred feet apart.These hoops are covered with a mesh of fine wires that are connected byelectricity with a signal room. The bullet as it goes through the firsthoop cuts a wire which registers the exact fraction of a second at whichit is hit. The bullet strikes another wire as it goes through the secondhoop and this also registers. Then all they have to do is to subtractthe first time from the second and they have the exact time it has takenfor the bullet to go that two hundred feet."

  "Seems simple enough when you come to think of it," remarked Tom.

  "Then," went on Joe, "it struck somebody that it would be perfectly easyto rig up a couple of hoops sixty feet apart and let a pitcher hurl astraight ball through both and then measure the different times at whichit struck the two hoops. They did it down at some Connecticut plant andgot two of th
e swiftest pitchers in the big leagues to try out theirspeed. One of them put it through at the rate of one hundred and twelvefeet a second and the other at the rate of one hundred and twenty-twofeet a second. That's why I said that that last ball of mine was goingat over a hundred feet a second."

  "Guess you knew what you were talking about, old boy," said Tom, as hewalked back to take his place again at the receiving end. "But afterthis, cut down the speed to eighty or thereabouts. That'll be richenough for my blood at present."

  "All right," grinned Joe. "We'll cut out the fast straight ones and workout a few of the curves."

  "Just what do you mean by curves?" asked a rather gruff voice.

  Joe turned and recognized Professor Enoch Crabbe of the RiversideAcademy, who had been strolling by, and having caught a glimpse of theunusual number present through the open door, had concluded to addhimself to the spectators. He was a man generally respected in the town,but very positive and set in his views and not at all diffident aboutexpressing them.

  "Good afternoon, Professor," said Joe. "I didn't quite understand whatyou meant by your question. I was just going to curve the ball----"

  "That's just it," interrupted the professor with a superior smile. "Youthought you were going to curve the direction of the ball, but you weregoing to do nothing of the kind. It can't be done."

  "But Professor," expostulated Joe, a little bewildered, "the proof ofthe pudding is in the eating. I've done it a thousand times."

  "I don't question your good faith at all, Mr. Matson," said theprofessor, still with that smug air of certainty. "You undoubtedly_think_ you curved the ball. I positively _know_ that you didn't."

  "Well," retorted Joe, who was getting a little nettled, "they say thatseeing is believing. Just watch this ball."

  He gripped it firmly and sent in a wide outcurve. The ball went straightas a die for perhaps forty feet and then turned swiftly outward so thatTom had to jump to get his hands on it.

  "Now," said Joe triumphantly, "if that wasn't a curve, what was it?"

  "An optical delusion," replied the professor blandly.

  "If a batter had been at the plate, he'd have broken his back reachingout after it," Joe came back at him. "He wouldn't have thought it was anoptical delusion."

  "My dear sir," said the professor smoothly, "the first law of motion isthat a body set in motion tends to move in a straight line. Neither younor anybody else can change that law. You might as well tell me that youcan shoot a gun around a corner as that you can throw a ball around acorner."

  "I _can_ throw it around the corner," maintained Joe stoutly. "Notat right angles, of course, but I can make the ball go into the sidestreet."

  The theorist smiled in a way that was exceedingly irritating. But Joe,by a great effort, mastered his annoyance.

  "We won't quarrel over it, Professor," he remarked good-naturedly. "AllI can say is that I must be getting my salary under false pretences,because the men who pay it to me do so under the impression that I cancurve the ball. I've always had that impression myself, and so have thebatters who have faced me. Rather odd, don't you think, that so manypeople should be so misled?"

  "Not at all," replied the professor pompously. "Truth is usually on theside of the minority."

  "I'll tell you what I'll do," said Joe thoughtfully. "I know a movingpicture operator, who's an old friend of mine and who'd be glad, if Iasked him, to do me a favor. I'll get him to come down some day and takea picture of the ball in motion. Then we'll study out the film and Ithink I can prove to you that the ball _does_ curve on its way from thepitcher to the catcher."

  "How do you think you could prove anything from that?" asked ProfessorCrabbe cautiously, as though he were looking for a trap. "They can workall sorts of tricks with moving pictures, you know."

  "I know they can," admitted Joe. "But this would be 'honest Injun.'You'd have my word of honor and the operator's, too, that there'd be nomonkeying with the pictures."

  "Well," said Crabbe, "admitting that the pictures were honestly taken,how could they show whether the ball curved or not?"

  "I'm not sure myself exactly," answered Joe, "but it seems to me that ifthe ball moved in a straight line all the way, it would look the same atany point. But if it curved, it would be farther away from the camerathan when it was going straight and there'd be a different focus. Theball would look flatter, more oval shaped----"

  Just then came a wild diversion.

  Into the gymnasium crowd burst a shock-headed boy, his eyes blazingwith excitement, his breath coming in gasps. All looked at him inastonishment and alarm.

  "A crazy man," stammered the boy. "He's stolen the Bilkins baby and runoff with it!"

 
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