They All Look Good in Gentle Spring Time

Damon Runyon

El Paso Herald/February 29, 1912

Your Uncle Wilbur Robinson, who is of extensive notoriety along the shores of Maryland as a mallard and canvasback grabber, let out an excited cluck this afternoon when big Jeff Tesreau took him over in a corner of Emerson Park and proudly exhibited the “spitball” which gave the name of Tesreau social standing in the International League last season. 

“It’s quite a thing,” said young Uncle Wilbur after he had hefted the display with one hand and sighted down both barrels a few times. “I never did care much for them saliva deliveries, but this ought to come in handy.” 

When big Jeff first began occupying a great deal of space in the Giant sleepers and costing the Giant management much money for his board and keep he did not have much but a fast ball and a pleasant smile. Since that time he has picked up the slant that Elmer Stricklett discovered, and there is a prospect that he may be a second “Bugs” Raymond—minus the bugs and things, for Jeff is a steady-gaited young man with a habit of going to bed early and filling it from head to foot. 

Also Looks Over Evan Evans

Also your Uncle Wilbur took a look at Evan Evans, the Lone Star southpaw, and examined to some extent Jack Ferrell, the Virginia giant. Evans is built something like Rube Marquard, which is to say, on the perpendicular order, rising to great heights in his stocking feet. Ferrell is a big fellow with a wise grin. He heaves from the knife hand. Bert Maxwell loosened up a bit today, too. He is the Southern Leaguer who was with the Giants last fall; a quiet, earnest, big chap, whom everybody would like to see get by in the big league this time. He has made southern trips with the Athletics and Pirates, so all this is nothing new to him. Munsell, the Dallas right hander, who has a pair of legs that look like the first and second fingers of a thin man’s hand, also worked against the batters, and was booming them in with the kinks sticking out at every angle. 

Jacobsen Built on Heroic Lines

Jacobsen, A1 Palser’s double from the Three-I league, who plays the outfield, has made a strong impression on McGraw by his earnest desire to assimilate any knowledge that may be running around loose. He is taller than Tesreau, which puts him in Larry McLean’s class, but he is not as heavy as the Ozark landslide. His long suit is supposed to be hitting the ball, but he has been legging it around the bases with surprising speed, and he seems to be able to cover lot of ground. Still, they all look good in the gentle springtime. 

This young fellow, Jack Johnson, outfielder, who was with the Giants last spring and who was turned over to the San Antonio club, of Texas, for development, is a sweet-looking ball player. He is a cocky youth with a wonderful burst of speed and a way of smashing into the ball that appeals. Artie Bues—which he says is pronounced “Bewz” and not “Booeez” —little Hank Groh and young Milton Stock, the Wisconsin shortstop, who is about as tall as a split of a special brew, but has a pair of legs stuck under him resembling piano supports, were again flashing about the infield. Bues is not a little fellow; he looks rather small in his street clothing, but he strips bigger than Larry Doyle, whom he greatly resembles in actions on the field. 

Sore Muscles Follow First Work

Loud squawks of anguish filled the bases when the young athletes went to the cleaners, and practice was a lifeless affair, which is always the case on the third day, according to authorities. By the time the regulars get here, however, the clubs will be ready to make life a burden for them until they get limbered. 

Eugene Paulette, the Arkansas schoolboy who was with the Giants last fall, has filled out during the winter and looks much heavier. George Burns, the Utica boy, has also grown and appears much faster. Harry Devore, brother of Josh, has already been named after his distinguished relative. Nohowell, the Columbia collegian, and Thompson, the Pittsburg amateur, are getting warmed up to the work and showing better every day. 

Harry McCormick seems to have lost none of his ability to hit the ball, and, physically, he was never in better condition in his life. He appears to be thoroughly enjoying himself, and there is every prospect that he will pull a “Callahan.”


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