In a small blurb in the Saturday evening paper, President Watkins says he’ll be happy to rent out Nicollet Park for high school football games. And they can use the clubhouse! And at “a moderate rate”! (Not a modest rate. A moderate rate.) Last year the football teams used the North High field, where there was no protection from the elements before the game and during halftime. I’m sure they’ll enjoy using the clubhouse. Good move, Watty!
Elsewhere in the paper, it sez here on page 9 that the Miller’s look “Pretty Strong” this year – Watty’s signed 22 players, 10 of them pitchers, “…of Whom Five have Proved Their Ability in Fast Company….” With the other 12 players, the non-pitchers, there seems to be a bit of uncertainty as to who will play where. Fox may get shifted to third base, if Watkins can sign a “first-class second sack man,” while Maloney can either catch or play outfield: “…it is quite probable that he will be used in the garden, as there are to good big mitt men without him.” Apparently the outfield is also known as the “garden,” which presents a pleasing bucolic image, I think. Catchers are known as “big mitt men,” I guess, or, perhaps, “windpad artists:”
“Roach, the catcher secured from Columbus, is a good fast man, a clever windpad artist, and a good thrower.”
Given the presence of a windpad artist like Roach, it looks like Maloney will wind up in the garden, with Sullivan and Lally; the reporter says that Maloney is “lightning fast in the field and on the sacks,” while Sullivan is “very fast.” Lally, remarkably, is “slow on the sacks” — he is apparently the only slow runner on the team – but he “covers a lot of ground in the garden” (perhaps he is very fat?) and is also a good stick man.
All the pitchers seem sure to make good. Munch is expected to become a great twirler and Converse should “make good” with a bit more experience with “fast company.” Baily, Stimmel, Ford, Thomas, Owens, and Case all are known to be good. There are only two notes of hesitance:
“Jack Katoll will be one of the best in the league if his arm is right.” (Red Flag Warning.)
“Koukalik is a more uncertain quantity… but comes highly recommended by Harley Parker…” (Possibly a Red Flag Warning.)
The reporter closes, though, with a pretty enthusiastic summation on the Miller’s chances in ’04.
“The team… promises to be an exceedingly fast one. The hitting is an unknown quantity, but… the pitchers are strong enough to pull out a big majority of the games. The club should be a topnotcher in fielding… In fact, there are few teams in the league which look as good as Minneapolis to-day.”
Undoubtedly bolstered by this confidence boosting report from the impartial journalist, President Watkins has left for Chicago to attend a meeting of the Association Magnates. Perhaps they will nail down the schedule at this meeting – so far we know that the season will start on April 20th, with the western clubs opening in the east, but it’s not yet set where Minneapolis will open. Columbus? Indianapolis? In any event, the home opener won’t be until the first week of May. (Which is just around the corner!)
Elsewhere in the news, the Dreyfus affair turns a corner: