Usually it’s April showers bringing May flowers, but spring is early in the southerly climes of Champaign, Illinois, where everything is coming up roses.
The members of the team are a little stiff and sore as a result of their first few days practice, but they are in a cheerful mood and good fellowship prevails all around.
Lally is apparently quite stylish covering first base, and McNichol, “the coast player,” is doing some great work over at third base. The guy has an arm like a cannon, apparently. (I found a nice shot of Mr. McNichol in the Chronicling America collection, from 1901, the Salt Lake Herald.)
Out in the garden, the outfielders are frolicking, covering a lot of ground out there, even with muddy conditions, and pitchers Thomas and Owens are impressing the manager:
Both are now ready to go into a championship game and it seems certain that they will do better than ever this season… Minneapolis can be expected to have the best pitching staff of the association this year… in fact there will not be a weak spot on the team…
Also, Watkins tutelage around the batting cage seems to be having some effect:
All the men are stepping in to meet the ball, and all have their eye on the ball.
I imagine that Watkins stressed that point, as every manager does. Keep Your Eye On The Ball. I can remember my dad telling me that. KYEOTB. It’s that simple. I suppose you could generalize from this point, and think for a moment how important that is in the big picture, the game of Life. How can you expect to hit anything if you don’t keep your eye on the ball?
All you kids out there, reading this: Keep Your Eye On The Ball. It’s a simple game, really.