Giants Leave NY in Happy Mood

Damon Runyon

Washington Herald/October 13, 1917

 Salle Likely Slabbist in Game with White Sox Today.

Song and story enlivened the journey of the New York Giants from Highbridge to the LaSalle Street Station. “Hype” Igoe, the famous wandering troubadour of the Roaring Forties, got the old ukulele out of the icebox at Jack’s and brought it on the trip.

A washroom quartet was promptly organized and it distributed enough sour notes along the right of way of the New York Central to curdle all the milk in Indiana and Illinois.

It was reminiscent of the good old days of the open town in New York to see “Hype” curled up over the “uke,” snatching melody from its strings with his prehensile fingers, while Ferdinand Stubblefield Schupp chased the harmony with a fast curving voice.

Ferdinand is one of the most musical guys in the league. When the jazzing begins Ferd can’t keep still.

Arthur Fletcher, the short fielder, also has a fine air-cooled voice, which he dearly loves to play with, and he took an active part in the close-up stuff today.

Then there is Heinie Zimmerman. Heine has a voice which reminds one of pastoral scenes, such as the lowing herd winding slowly o’er the lea, especially the lowing part.

The world’s worst tenor came to light from the lungs of Harry Fink, the milk-fed boy from the Catholic Protectorate of the Bronx. When Fink suddenly hurled his voice into an opening in “Silver Threads Among the Gold,” the engineer brought the train to a stop at La Porte, Ind. He thought the conductor had stepped on the emergency brake.

Finally a terrific rivalry in song developed. The gang of correspondents who are with the Giants, and who have a car to themselves, laid claim to “Hype’s” services, and took him away to their end of the train, where they organized another distressing scene of vocal violence.

The ball players, bereft of their music, hunted up Frank Belcher, of “Sweethearts” and “Miss Springtime” fame, who is traveling with the club, and got him to sing for them. This was taking an unfair advantage of the correspondents as they had no bass singers with them. They had nothing but sopranos.

This morning, somewhere in Indiana, the train passed through a young blizzard, which pasted snow against all the telegraph poles and trees. It was cold and wintry all along the route, and it is by no means summery in Chicago tonight.

The Giants left New York on the hop. They went directly from the Polo Grounds after the game in taxicabs to the station at Highbridge. A big crowd hung around the clubhouse waiting for them to appear and when Benny Kauff came out he was followed around by a mob, like a champion fighter.

Benny wore a green hat, a green suit, fancy topped shoes, and rainbow necktie. He had a handful of mail, which he read in the taxicab en route to the station, showering scraps of paper along the route. Benny does not keep a letter file.

Most of the correspondence contained advice to Benny how to hit. By the time the advice reached Benny he didn’t need it.

Bill Farnum, of the movies, came with the club, still wearing that big yellow leather coat which is the envy of all beholders, and claiming to be $7,000 ahead in his betting on the series.

Little Bill McAuliffe, who served as the Giant’s mascot this season, also made the journey. Bill has a uniform, and everything. The ball players took up a collection for Bill, which netted him $51.15.

It is believed that McGraw will start Sai Sallee against the Sox in the next game. It will almost surely be old Sal or Benton. The Sox will probably never get another peek at a Giant right-hander.

Having had a look at him on two occasions, the Giants are more than ever convinced that the stories about Eddie Cicotte’s “shine ball” are nonsense. If he has anything freakish in the way of curves, they do not know it.

Davy Robertson says he hit a high fast ball and two spitters on Cicotte in the last game in which Eddie appeared.

“He’s got a dandy spitter and a slow knuckleball,” says Davy, “but there’s nothing extraordinary about his delivery.”

The players are inclined to the belief that Danforth used some sort of “sailor,” however. The ball Kauff hit on the left-hander was high and fast. The ball he hit on Cicotte was high and inside.

“All I regret,” says Benny, “is that I didn’t catch hold of that ball the time I almost swung myself off my feet when I missed. That would have traveled some.”

Benny never did think much of anything less than a home run, anyway. A single is his idea of zero in the batting line.

The Giants would not be greatly surprised if Rowland started some pitcher who has not been expected to figure in the series at all against them.

“We didn’t look for Bedient in 1912,” remarked Charley Herzog when this possibility was suggested. “We’d hardly even heard of him before the series. But it was Bedient who stopped us.”

The last time the Giants saw Bedient he pitched against a little town upstate this season for a semipro club.

(Source: Chronicling America,