Pegler Sees Yankees Toil

Westbrook Pegler

Chicago Tribune/March 16, 1927


Writer, Insulted by Gehrig, Greeted by Ruth

Watches Bambino Strike Out Batting for Ruether

Durst Slaps Out Homer With Base Paths Clogged


ST. PETERSBURG (Fla.) March 15. Returning to St. Petersburg after a year’s lapse, your correspondent discovers a great many news.

Mr. Babe Ruth has just thrown away his crutch, leaped from his wheelchair and dragged himself up to the plate to strike out in a ballgame between the Yankees and the Braves/

The Yankees won the ball game, 6 to 5, which was a sensational departure from their custom of losing games to the Braves, established last spring and carried to excess until Mr. Miller Huggins quit the real estate business and went into the baseball business again.

And, Mr. Walter Hagen, the golfer, has just been robbed of his entire wardrobe of double-breasted golfing bloomers.

Pegler Scared

Your correspondent approached St. Petersburg with misgivings because the last time he was here he composed an article for the papers reporting that Mr. Huggins was so busy chewing a sprig of alfalfa and discussing suburban lots with fellow realty men in the bleachers that he had no time to manage the ball club. Consequently, in their daily exercises the Yankees merely played catch and whenever they met the Boston Braves, the Braves licked them.

Mr. Huggins was seriously annoyed by the publication of these observations and, in fact, the annoyance does not seem to have been entirely assuaged even now, although the Yankees won the pennant last year and your correspondent is willing to let bygones be bygones.

When your correspondent entered the hotel where the Yankees are stopping, Mr. Lu Gehrig, the first baseman, called him “Mr. Piggly-Wiggly” with insulting intent. However, that only evened the score because during the last world series when Mr. Gehrig was getting his feet crossed in covering first base, your correspondent called him Tanglefoot Gehrig.

But not all of the Yankee staff were hostile to your correspondent for Mr. Mark Roth, the baggage master, walked up and extended his hand, saying that until Mr. Huggins became annoyed the Yankees did not appear to have a chance, whereas when Mr. Huggins read this criticism he began to manage the ball club and eventually landed in the world series.

Enlists Ruth

“You have my permission to be just as nasty as you desire this spring,” Mr. Roth said, “because I got $2600 out of the players’ pool for the series. If there are any unkind things that you would like to know about our Mr. Huggins do not hesitate to ask me.”

Not being quite certain as to how he would be received at the ball yard, your correspondent loitered around outside the park until the game was well under way, entering just in time to see Mr. Frank Wilson, the umpire, fire out two athletes connected with the Yankees. First he fired Art Fletcher, the coach, who was so giddy over his escape from the Phillies that he misbehaved in the coaching box, to the extent of calling Mr. Wilson a name.

“You look like the brother of a catfish,” Fletcher remarked, and Wilson ordered him to get out of the place.

There was no pleasing Mr. Wilson, though, because when Gehrig said he was sure there were uglier men than Mr. Wilson somewhere in the world, although perhaps not in St. Petersburg, Mr. Wilson fired him out too.

This the same Wilson who last year established a world record by firing eleven ball players, three members of the Braves and two St. Petersburg policemen out of the ball park, and the customers were tense with anticipation. But he desisted there and fired no more today.

Cedric Durst, the outfielder obtained from the Browns, hit a home run with the bases full in the fifth inning, but when Ruth came up to bat for the first time since he sprained a leg muscle in a practice game, he only waved his bat three times and withdrew without even fouling one. This failure was the more conspicuous because he hit for Dutch Ruether, the pitcher, who had previously knocked one for three bases.

Waite Hoyt, Ruether and a new boy named Wiley Moore pitched three innings apiece for the Yankees. Joe Genewich and somebody named Edwards and somebody else named Mills pitched for the Braves.

The loss of Mr. Hagen’s golf bloomers was reported to the police by his manager, Bob Harlow. Mr. Harlow says there were forty-nine pairs of bloomers, 150 neckties, two bales of fancy sweaters and a hat in the loot, which he values at $1500. Allowing for a manager’s natural enthusiasm it is safe to estimate that Mr. Hagen was robbed of $200 worth of clothing.

This seems to be a reviewing stand of the Florida zone because almost all the clubs training in the state will play here against either the Braves or the Yankees within the next two weeks. The drawback is, though, that the Braves hold the lease on the grounds so those who wish to watch the Giants, for instance, or the Reds will have to watch the Braves too.



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