Baseball joe at yale; or.., p.1
Baseball Joe at Yale; or, Pitching for the College Championship, p.1Lester Chadwick
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Baseball Joe at Yale
Pitching _for the_ College Championship
_By_ LESTER CHADWICK
"BASEBALL JOE OF THE SILVER STARS," "BASEBALL JOE ON THE SCHOOL NINE," "THE RIVAL PITCHERS," "BATTING TO WIN," "THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN," ETC.
NEW YORK CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY
=BOOKS BY LESTER CHADWICK=
=THE BASEBALL JOE SERIES= =12mo. Cloth. Illustrated=
BASEBALL JOE OF THE SILVER STARS Or The Rivals of Riverside
BASEBALL JOE ON THE SCHOOL NINE Or Pitching for the Blue Banner
BASEBALL JOE AT YALE Or Pitching for the College Championship
(_Other Volumes in Preparation_)
=THE COLLEGE SPORTS SERIES= =12mo. Cloth. Illustrated=
THE RIVAL PITCHERS A Story of College Baseball
A QUARTER-BACK'S PLUCK A Story of College Football
BATTING TO WIN A Story of College Baseball
THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN A Story of College Football
THE EIGHT-OARED VICTORS A Story of College Water Sports
(_Other Volumes in Preparation_)
=CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, New York=
Copyright, 1913, by CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY
=Baseball Joe at Yale=
Printed in U. S. A.
CHAPTER PAGE I JUST IN TIME 1 II A HOME CONFERENCE 15 III ONE LAST GAME 23 IV A SNEERING LAUGH 30 V OFF FOR YALE 37 VI ON THE CAMPUS 48 VII A NEW CHUM 55 VIII AMBITIONS 66 IX THE SHAMPOO 73 X A WILD NIGHT 84 XI THE RED PAINT 93 XII JOE'S SILENCE 100 XIII EARLY PRACTICE 107 XIV THE SURPRISE 116 XV HIS FIRST CHANCE 126 XVI JOE MAKES GOOD 135 XVII ANOTHER STEP 144 XVIII PLOTTING 158 XIX THE ANONYMOUS LETTER 164 XX THE CORNELL HOST 170 XXI EAGER HEARTS 178 XXII THE CRIMSON SPOT 185 XXIII JOE'S TRIUMPH 193 XXIV HARD LUCK 200 XXV AT WEST POINT 210 XXVI A SORE ARM 216 XXVII THE ACCUSATION 223 XXVIII VINDICATION 230 XXIX BUCKING THE TIGER 236 XXX THE CHAMPIONSHIP 239
BASEBALL JOE AT YALE
JUST IN TIME
"Joe Matson, I can't understand why you don't fairly jump at thechance!"
"Because I don't want to go--that's why."
"But, man alive! Half the fellows in Riverside would stand on theirheads to be in your shoes."
"Perhaps, Tom. But, I tell you I don't think I'm cut out for a collegeman, and I don't want to go," and Joe Matson looked frankly into theface of his chum, Tom Davis, as they strolled down the village streettogether that early September day.
"Don't want to go to Yale!" murmured Tom, shaking his head as if unableto fathom the mystery. "Why I'd work my way through, if they'd let me,and here you've got everything comparatively easy, and yet you'rebalking like a horse that hasn't had his oats in a month. Whew! What'sup, Joe, old man?"
"Simply that I don't believe I'm cut out for that sort of life. I don'tcare for this college business, and there's no use pretending that I do.I'm not built that way. My mind is on something else. Of course I know acollege education is a great thing, and something that lots of fellowsneed. But for yours truly--not!"
"I only wish I had your chance," said Tom, enviously.
"You're welcome to it," laughed Joe.
"No," and the other spoke half sadly. "Dad doesn't believe in a collegecareer any more than you do. When I'm through at Excelsior Hall he'sgoing to take me into business with him. He talks of sending me abroad,to get a line on the foreign end of it."
"Cracky!" exclaimed Joe. "That would suit me down to the ground--that isif I could go with a ball team."
"So you haven't gotten over your craze for baseball?" queried Tom.
"No, and I never shall. You know what I've always said--that I'd becomea professional some day; and I will, too, and I'll pitch in the worldseries if I can last long enough," and Joe laughed.
"But look here!" exclaimed his chum, as they swung down a quiet streetthat led out into the country; "you can play baseball at Yale, youknow."
"Maybe--if they'll let me. But you know how it is at those biguniversities. They are very exclusive--societies--elections--eatingclubs--and all that sort of rot. A man has to be in with the bunchbefore he can get a show."
"That's all nonsense, and you know it!" snapped Tom. "At Yale, I warrantyou, just as at every big college, a man has to stand on his own feet.Why, they're always on the lookout for good fellows on the nine, crew oreleven, and, if you can make good, you'll be pitching on the 'varsitybefore the Spring term opens."
"Maybe," assented Joe with rather a moody face. "Anyhow, as long as I'vegot to go to college I'm going to make a try for the nine. I think I canpitch a little----"
"A little!" cried Tom. "Say, I'd like to know what sort of a showingwe'd have made at Excelsior Hall if it hadn't been for your pitching!Didn't you win the Blue Banner for us when it looked as if we hadn't ashow? Pitch! Say if those fellows at Yale----"
"Spare my blushes," begged Joe, with a laugh. "Don't worry, I'm going tocollege for one reason, more than another, because mother wants me to.Dad is rather set on it, too, and so I've said I'll go. Between you andme," whispered Joe, as if he feared someone would overhear him, "I havea faint suspicion that my respected mother wants to make a sky pilot ofme."
"A minister!" cried Tom.
"Oh, don't worry!" laughed Joe, and then his face grew a bit sober as hecontinued: "I'm not half good enough--or smart enough. I'm not cut outfor that sort of life. All I want is baseball and all I can get of it.That's my one ambition."
"Yes, it's easy to see that," agreed Tom. "I wonder you don't carry ahorsehide about with you, and I do believe--what's this?" he demanded,pulling a bundle of papers from his chum's pocket. "Some dope on theworld series, or I'm a June bug!"
"Well, I was only sort of comparing batting averages, and making a listof the peculiarities of each player--I mean about the kind of balls itis best to serve up to him."
"You're the limit!" exclaimed Tom, as he tried unsuccessfully to stopJoe from grabbing the papers away from him. "Do you think you mightpitch to some of these fellows?"
"I might," replied Joe calmly. "A professional ball player lasts forsome time, and when I come up for my degree on the mound at some futureworld series I may face some of these same men."
"Go to it, old man!" exclaimed Tom enthusiastically. "I wish I had yourhopes. Well, I suppose I'll soon be grinding away with the old crowd atExcelsior, and you--you'll be at--Yale!"
"Probably," admitted Joe, with something of a sigh. "I almost wish I wasgoing back to the old school. We had good times there!"
"We sure did. But I've got to leave you now. I promised Sis I'd go tothe store for her. See you later," and Tom clasped his chum's hand.
"That reminds me," spoke Joe. "I've got to go back home, hitch up thehorse, and take some patterns over to Birchville for dad."
"Maybe I will--so long," and the two friends parted to go their ways,one to dream over the good fortune of the other--to envy him--whileJoe himself--Baseball Joe as his friends called him--thought ratherregretfully of the time he must lose at college when, if he had beenallowed his own way, he would have sought admission to some minorbaseball league, to work himself up to a major position.
"But as long as the folks want me to have a college course I'll takeit--and do my best," he mused.
A little later, behind the old family horse, he was jogging over thecountry road in the direction of a distant town, where his father, aninventor, and one of the owners of the Royal Harvester Works, had beenin the habit of sending his patterns from which to have models made.
"Well, in a few weeks I'll be hiking it for New Haven," said Joe, halftalking to himself. "It's going to be awful lonesome at first. I won'tknow a soul there. It isn't like going up from some prep school, with alot of your own chums. Well, I've got to grin and bear it, and if I doget a chance for the 'varsity nine--oh, won't I jump at it!"
He was lost in pleasant reflections for a moment, and then went on,still talking to himself, and calling to the horse now and then, for thesteed, realizing that he had an easy master behind him, was inclined toslow down to a walk every now and then.
"There are bound to be lessons, of course," said Joe. "And lectures onthings I don't care any more about than the man in the moon does. Isuppose, though, I've got to swallow 'em. But if I can get on thediamond once in a while it won't be so bad. The worst of it is, though,that ball playing won't begin until April at the earliest, and there'sall winter to live through. I'm not going in for football. Well, Iguess I can stand it."
Once more Joe was off in a day-dream, in fancy seeing himselfstanding in the box before yelling thousands, winding up to delivera swiftly-curving ball to the batter on whom "three and two" had beencalled, with the bases full, two men out and his team but one run aheadin the final inning.
"Oh! that's what life is!" exclaimed Joe, half aloud, and at his wordsthe horse started to trot. "That's what makes me willing to stand fouryears at Yale--if I have to. And yet----"
Joe did not complete his sentence. As he swung around a bend in the roadhis attention was fully taken by a surprising scene just ahead of him.
A horse, attached to a carriage, was being driven down the road, and,just as Joe came in sight, the animal, for some unaccountable reason,suddenly swerved to the left. One of the wheels caught in a rut, therewas a snapping, cracking sound, the wheel was "dished," and the carriagesettled down on one side.
"Whoa! Whoa!" yelled Joe, fearing the horse would bolt and that perhapsa woman might be in the carriage, the top of which was up. The lad wasabout to spring from his own vehicle and rush to the aid of the occupantof the other, when he saw a man leap out.
With one bound the man was at the head of his steed, holding him fromrunning away, but there was no need, for the horse, after a calm lookaround, seemed to resign himself to his fate.
"Jove!" ejaculated Joe. "That was quick work. That fellow is intraining, whoever he is."
Following his original plan, even though he saw no need of going to therescue, Joe leaped from his seat. His steed, he knew, would standwithout hitching. He approached the stranger.
"A bad break," murmured Joe sympathetically.
"Indeed it is, young man," replied the other in quick, tense accents."And it comes at a particularly bad time, too."
Joe looked at him. The man seemed about thirty-five, and his face,though stern, was pleasant, as though in the company of his friends hecould be very jolly. He was of dark complexion, and there was that inthe set of his figure, and his poise, as he stood at the head of thehorse, that at once proclaimed him an athlete, at least if not one inactive training, one who could get into condition quickly.
"A bad break, and at a bad time, too," the man went on. "I never knew itto fail, when I was in a hurry."
"I guess that wheel is past fixing," spoke Joe. "You might get one atthe barn here," and he nodded toward a farmhouse not far distant.
"I haven't time to make the try," said the man. "I'm in a great hurry.How far is it from here to Preston?"
"About five miles," replied Joe.
"Hum! I never could make that in time to catch the train for New York,though I might have run it at one time. A little too heavy now," and heseemed referring to himself. "I might ride the horse, I suppose," hewent on dubiously.
"He doesn't look much like a saddle animal," ventured Joe.
"No, and there isn't a saddle, either. I must get to New Yorkthough--it's important. I don't suppose you are going to Preston; areyou?" he asked of Joe quickly, referring to the nearest railroadstation.
"Well, I wasn't," replied the youth, "but if you're in a hurry----"
"I am--in a very great hurry. I just had about time to get the New Yorktrain, when, most unfortunately, I got into that rut. At the same timethe reins got caught, and I must have pulled on the wrong one. I'm notmuch of a horseman, I'm afraid. The animal turned too quickly, and thewheel collapsed."
"It wasn't very strong, anyhow," remarked Joe, as he looked criticallyat it. "But if you want to get to Preston I can take you."
"Can you--will you? It would be a very great accommodation. I reallycan't afford to miss that train. I came out here on some business, andhired this rig in Preston. I thought I would have ample time to getback, and I believe I would. But now, with this accident--I wonder if Icould leave this outfit at the farmhouse, and hire another there?" heasked musingly.
"I don't believe Mr. Murchison has a horse now," said Joe, noddingtoward the farmhouse. "He has about given up working his place. But youcould leave this rig here to be called for, and----"
"Yes--yes!" interrupted the man, quite impatiently. "I beg your pardon,"he added quickly. "I'm all upset over this accident, and I really mustreach New York to-night."
"I'll drive you in!" offered Joe.
"But it will be out of your way, will it not?"
"That doesn't matter. I'm in no hurry, and going to Preston will nottake me many miles off my road. I'll be glad to help you."
"Thank you. Then I'll take advantage of your offer. Shall I----?" hemade a move as though to lead the horse up to the farmhouse.
"I'll attend to that," spoke Joe. "Just get in my carriage, and I'll bewith you in a few minutes."
The stranger obeyed, and Joe, unhitching the horse from the brokencarriage, quickly led the steed to the stable, stopping on his way toexplain to Mrs. Murchison, whom he knew slightly, the circumstances.She readily agreed to let the animal stay in their stall. Then Joepulled the tilted carriage to one side of the road, and a few minuteslater was sending his steed ahead at a pace not hitherto attained thatday.
"Think we can make that train?" asked the man, who seemed immersed inhis own thoughts.
"I'm going to make a big try," answered Joe.
"Do you live around here?" came the next question.
"At Riverside--about eight miles away."
The man lapsed into silence, and as Joe was rather diffident withstrangers he did not press the conversation. They drove on for severalmiles, and suddenly the silence of the country was broken by a distantwhistle.
"Is that the train?" exclaimed the man nervously, looking at his watch.
"Yes, but it's about three miles away. You can always hear it plainlyhere. We'll be in Preston in a few minutes now, and I'll have you at thestation in time."
"I hope so," murmured the man. "I must get to New York--it means a greatdeal to me."
Joe urged the horse to even faster speed, and when he reached the quietstreets of Preston more than one person turned to look at the carriage,which went along faster than vehicles usually did in that quietcommunity.
Once more the whistle sounded, and the man exclaimed:
"We'll never make it!"
"Yes, we will,"
"I'm sure I can't thank you enough," went on the man, and his handsought his pocket. "You say you'll notify the livery keeper?"
"Yes, I'll tell him where his horse is, and he can send for it."
"That's very kind of you. I wish you'd let me give you something--rewardyou for this service."
"No--no!" exclaimed Joe. "I couldn't think of it!" He saw a roll ofbills in the man's hand.
"But you don't know, young man, what it means for me to catch thistrain. I wish you'd let me pay for your time and trouble----"
"No, indeed!" exclaimed the young pitcher. "I would do as much foranyone, and I hope he'd do the same for me."
"That's a nice way of looking at it. But are you sure you won't let memake you----" The man again held out some bills, but the look on Joe'sface must have told him he was getting on dangerous ground, for hesuddenly withdrew them and said:
"Well, I can't thank you enough. Some day--is that the train?" he cried,as a puffing was heard. "I mustn't miss it now."
"Here we are!" cried Joe, swinging around a corner. Down a short streetwas the depot, and as they came in sight of it the train pulled in.
"I--er--I wish--I must run for it!" exclaimed the man.
"Wait. I'll drive you right up!" called Joe. "I'll take your valise. Youget right out and run. Have you a ticket?"
"Yes. This is exceedingly good of you. I----"
But he did not finish. Joe drove the horse up to the platform edge asthe train came to a stop with a grinding of the brake shoes. The manleaped out almost before the horse had ceased running, and Joe was not asecond behind him with the valise.
"Go on!" exclaimed the youth, as the man hesitated. He fairly flunghimself up the car steps, and the train began to move, for Preston waslittle more than a flag station for the New York express.
"Thank you a thousand times!" cried the man as Joe handed up thevalise. "I wish--I didn't ask your name--mine is--I ought to have acard--I--er----" he began fumbling in his pocket, and Joe half feared hewas going to offer money again. But the man seemed to be hunting for acard.
However his search was unsuccessful. He waved his hand to Joe, andcalled:
"Thank you once more. Perhaps I may meet you again. I meant to ask yourname--too much occupied--mine is----"
But just then the train gathered speed and the engineer, opening theexhaust, effectually drowned out all other sounds in the puffing of thelocomotive. Joe saw the man's lips moving, and realized that he wascalling out his name, but he could not hear it. Then, with a wave of hishand the stranger went inside the car. He had caught the train just intime.
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