25 March 1904 – Ford Comes Aboard


excerpt - Minneapolis Journal - 25 March 1904 - Ford will Twirl b

Eugene Ford, 1905 bJust when you think things are all set, someone shows up from out of nowhere. In Friday evening’s paper Watkins discloses that he has received Eugene Ford’s signed contract in the mail. Ford’s been out in California, and, as he had a good-paying position, it was thought that he might not even play ball this year. But, lo, the lure of the horsehide sphere could not be denied. He’ll be coming back to town on Monday, only to head immediately to join the Millers in Champaign.

Meanwhile, Jack Katoll writes Watkins that he has been throwing for a few days, and that his throwing wing seems in good shape. In fact, “Katoll is now confident that he will be able to twirl in his old time form.”

Jack Katoll - 1901

Jack Katoll – “no signs of weakness”

This gives Watkins seven slab artists “certain to make good.”

Watkins heads down to Champaign tonight for spring training, stopping off in Chicago and Louisville, and reaching training camp on Monday or Tuesday. It would not surprise me in the least if the Wiley Watkins signs six or seven additional fast players before he gets to camp. He will neglect no opportunity to improve the already high quality of this club. Lally and Sullivan, the only two players still currently in town, will be heading to camp on Monday. Look out, Champaign. It’s been a long cold winter, and the boys will undoubtedly be in high spirits once they are back on the grassy field.

Meanwhile, from across the river, the association champion St. Paul Saints’ manager Mike Kelly says he has nearly all his players lined up for the season, and expects to be in the fight again this year. The salary dispute with their great twirler, Ferguson, has been mostly settled, and Ferguson will be wearing the Saints uniform again this season. Kelly expects that the Millers will also be in the hunt this season.


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