by Damon Runyon
March 11, 1926
Dodger Squad Will be Crew of Antique Veterans
Another Mile in Old Flivver; Robinson’s Theory
Pitching Staff is Strongest Part of Outfit
The Brooklyn Dodgers, who are hobbling about the vast property of the best baseball training campus in Florida, tripping over their whiskers and losing their specs, will soon be organized for another demonstration of Wilbert Robinson’s theory that there’s always another mile in an old flivver, another catch in a tattered mitt, another single in an antique bat and another day tomorrow.
The Dodgers are an elderly ball team. They are so elderly that one of the young baseball writers assigned to cover the camp looked over at Joe Kelly of the old Baltimore Orioles, and “Tronman” McGinnity, who were brought down as coaches, and remarked that with a few years’ seasoning these recruits might be ripe for the Dodgers. The infield, in tentative line-up, consists of Jack Fournier at first, Milton Stock at second and Rabbit Maranville at shortstop, and Johnny Butler at third base.
Milton Stock has not come to Clearwater. He wants $12,000 to play ball for the Dodgers this season, and the boys say the club refuses to pay him more than $9000. Old men grow stubborn, and Robinson is even older than Stock, so the Dodgers might have to move Butler over to second base or shortstop, and use a juvenile named Jerry Standart at third. This would disrupt Robinson’s plan of campaign if he had any campaign, but having none, he will not be seriously inconvenienced.
Hank Deberry will catch the staff of accomplished pitchers who will do the throwing for the Dodgers. Unless the children’s society steps in, as he is very young for a Dodger. Of course, the most prominent thrower of the team is Dazzy Vance, a mighty octogenarian, who came up to the various major-league teams six times before he matured sufficiently to qualify for the Dodgers. His chief assistant will probably be Burleigh Grimes. Then there will be Tony Osborne, Jess Barnes, Rube Erbhardt and Jess Petty, whose talents range from pretty good to not so good.
Rob McGraw, who had a career somewhat like the adventures of Vance, has been called in to try for a job, and Doug McWeeney, who won twenty games for San Francisco last year, may be placed on the regular payroll.