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Today in Baseball Joe, Pt. 2
Posted By Mississippi Matt Smith On November 27, 2012 @ 1:30 pm In Uncategorized | 4 Comments
The madcap adventures; the uproarious hijinks; the wholesome schoolyard violence; the uncannily articulate young men continue! — in the second installment of “Baseball Joe.” Published in 1912, Baseball Joe on the School Nine, or, Pitching for the Blue Banner is summarized thusly by determined chronicler Tim Morris: “Suspenseful scenes include the smuggling of pies and soda pop into dorm rooms late at night, a snowball fight, a rescue from a burning building, and the unjust suspension of Joe, right before the big game, under suspicion of his complicity in toppling the school’s sacred Statue of the Founder.” Here I include an excerpt; it is, in fact, the first excerpt:
CHAPTER I: HITTING A TEACHER
“Look out now, fellows; here goes for a high one!”
“Aw come off; you can’t throw high without dislocating your arm, Peaches. Don’t try it.”
“You get off the earth; I can so, Teeter. Watch me.”
“Let Joe Matson have a try. He can throw higher than you can, Peaches,” and the lad who had last spoken grasped the arm of a tall boy, with a very fair complexion which had gained him the nickname of “Peaches and Cream,” though it was usually shortened to “Peaches.” There was a crowd of lads on the school grounds, throwing snowballs, when the offer of “Peaches” or Dick Lantfeld was made.
“Don’t let him throw, Teeter,” begged George Bland, jokingly.
“I’ll not,” retorted “Teeter” Nelson, whose first name was Harry, but who had gained his appellation because of a habit he had of “teetering” on his tiptoes when reciting in class. “I’ve got Peaches all right,” and there was a struggle between the two lads, one trying to throw a snowball, and the other trying to prevent him.
“Come on, Joe,” called Teeter, to a tall, good-looking, and rather quiet youth who stood beside a companion. “Let’s see you throw. You’re always good at it, and I’ll keep Peaches out of the way.”
“Shall we try, Tom?” asked Joe Matson of his chum.
“Might as well. Come on!”
“Yes, let ‘Sister’ Davis have a whack at it too,” urged George Bland. Tom Davis, who was Joe Matson’s particular chum, was designated “Sister” because, in an incautious moment, when first coming to Excelsior Hall, he had shown a picture of his very pretty sister, Mabel.
Tom and Joe, who had come upon the group of other pupils after the impromptu snowball throwing contest had started, advanced further toward their school companions. Peaches and Teeter were still engaged in their friendly struggle, until Peaches tripped over a stone, concealed under a blanket of snow, and both went down in a struggling heap.
“Make it a touchdown!” yelled George Bland.
“Yes, shove him over the line, Peaches!” cried Tom.
“Hold him! Hold him!” implored Joe, and the little group of lads, which was increased by the addition of several other pupils, circled about the struggling ones, laughing at their plight.
“D-d-down!” finally panted Peaches, when Teeter held his face in the soft snow. “Let me up, will you?”
“Promise not to try to throw a high one?” asked Teeter, still maintaining his position astride of Peaches.
“Yes—I—I guess so.”
“That doesn’t go with me; you’ve got to be sure.”
“All right, let a fellow up, will you? There’s a lot of snow down my neck.”
“That’s what happened to me the last time you fired a high snowball, Peaches. That’s why I didn’t want you to try another while I’m around. You wait until I’m off the campus if you’ve got to indulge in high jinks. Come on now, fellows, since Peaches has promised to behave himself, let the merry dance go on. Have you tried a shot, Joe? Or you, Sister,” and Teeter looked at the newcomers.
“Not yet,” answered Joe Matson with a smile. “Haven’t had a chance.”
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