2 April 1904 – and let the games begin…

2 April 1904, Saturday Evening

More optimism from Champaign. The boys will play split squad games today, against the University boys and also the 3i team from Decatur.

the boys from Decatur

the boys from Decatur









Most of the regulars will be playing against the school boys, which seems like good strategy by Watty. (Unless they lose.) There’s a chance of taking both games, but the University boys are “hard hitters” and they are used to playing against the pros, as a lot of teams have trained here over the past few years.

Everyone has finally arrived but for Stimmel. (Where the heck is Stimmel?) Dermont and Ford arrived around noon, and Captain Fox and Katoll “drifted in this evening.” (Way to set an example, Captain Fox. I picture Fox “drifting in” with a cig on his lip and a fancy bottle of gin in his portmanteau. Perhaps you had more important things to do, Mr. Fox?) Katoll’s arm is fine, and both Fox and Katoll seem to be in “splendid” condition. McNichol continues to impress at third; he is covering a lot of ground around third, his throws are fast and on target, (a key point, it would seem,) he’s a fair batter and, of course, “a fast man on the sacks.” Meanwhile Dan Lally appears almost overconfident at first. “Dan says first base is a cinch after playing the outfield, and he has not the slightest doubt himself of his ability to make good.” (Oh, Lally. Pride cometh before what?)

Billy Phyle b

Billy Phyle

Meanwhile, scouts tell us that the Toledo team is looking “considerably stronger than it did a fortnight ago.” However their pitching still appears weak, and so does their outfield, where they have a guy named Frisbee, who played in the Southern league last year. So how much stronger could they really be? They also may have a player named Phyle – “who, it is reported, will be allowed to play with Toledo if he apologizes to the Southern league for his statements that games were thrown in that league last year. Phyle is a valuable man if he can be kept in good order.”

I’d be willing to bet that Mr Phyle was right, I’ll be there were games thrown in the Southern league last year. He looks like a guy who knows whereof he speaks. But it kind of sounds like he hurt the feelings of the whole Southern league, and I suppose he will apologize and play, now that all the leagues are “peacefully co-existing,” and he thus has nowhere else to go.


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