FEATURES OF THE PLAY.
SPEED AND ACCURACY.
To those who were not acquainted with the inside science of the American na- tional game yesterday's exhibition of base- bull was nothing more than a won- derful display of big hitting and sen- sational catching, accomplished with speed and accuracy that were a re- velation, while some of the races round the diamond by runners who have reduced quick turning to a fine art recalled to many the dashes round the wings that marked Australian football in the old days. Those who did not know the rules and the little points of baseball missed a great deal of enjoyment in the contest between the New York 'Giants' and the Chicago 'White Sox,' and the majority of them went home wondering whatever the people of the United States could see in the pas- time to rave about.
From the point of view of the players — and there are something like 500 of them in Victoria — the games, too, were disappoin- ing. So much had been heard of the thrill and excitement of the big league matches in America, with their constantly recurring surprises and almost miraculous perform- ances with the bat and ball while thousand of people root themselves hoarse, that most of the members of baseball teams in the State went to the Melbourne ground
yesterday expecting to have their hair constantly raised by startling play while
they caught their breath watching men do the impossible. They went expecting too much, and felt there was something mis- sing. It will be admitted by all that the two American teams put up a clean and pretty game punctuated with plenty of amazing incidents, and it is certain at all events that Australian baseballers are satis- fied they have a long way to go before they can ever hope to meet 'crack' nines from the United States on level terms. In all 7,553 people paid for admission to the ground, and the takings amounted to £281 15/.
As one o£ the journalists travelling with the visitors stated at the official luncheon tendered by the Melbourne Cricket Club to the Americans, baseball games in the United States are never played just after the teams have been lavishly entertained. Most of the players after yesterday's games had concluded recalled those remarks and said, 'Hear, hear.' They fully appreciated the honour done them by the premier sport- ing club of Australia, but they blamed the luncheon for 'spoiling' their game. 'We seemed dead,' said one of the White Sox stars, as he pulled off his uniform; 'I have never seen the boys put less life into ther work before when the long, running caches, the sprints round the diamond, and the dashing rushes after batted and thrown balls are recalled, it will be wondered what the players are like when they have not dined. There were one or two who modestly kept out of sight while the luncheon was in progress — among them 'Jim' Thorpe, the Indian athlete, who won distinction at Stockholm at the Olympic games. Thorpe is only in the baseball learner's stage at present, but Mr. John McGraw, manager of the 'Giants,' expects to mould him into the greatest player in the world eventually. Meanwhile, he pays him a retainer of £1,300 per annum. Thorpe naturally takes baseball very seriously and he is alwiy 111 training He wanted to make a tliov yesterday, and that wis whj he stnjc uwaj from lunch His abstinence wis re m arded during the iftorooon when le wa constantly applauded for his work in th teld anti few will forget hu, rush mum the bises on two occasions p_.rticul-.rl; nilen he made 1 home run On the (luce tion of salaries it might be mtntioned her that all the phyers who showed their skil yesterday draw bet«ecu £400 and .COO vei nnnum for jlla.mg professional base bull Ibis will gi\e some mdieati in of tin popularity of tile pastime in the Unite«
lhere was 1 ery little interest in the matel between the _\ew iork team and the 'S icto nan nine The players representing tim btutc in physique seemed almost like unde vel iped and weedy vouths compared w itl the thickset stocl > athletes thej wen called upon to face Lven the well I nowi cricketer P McAhster who captained thi bide looked thin and narrow chested it Buch conipiny The visitors in their street clothes give nn impression of massiv cness but when thev put on their piddel plivinf costumes, the ttord Giants describes then well Hie 'White ^o. nie equillj big us tin
"New York men and thev take their nick 11,1ml fronl the eoloui trround ot then
] r uri lo ile cribo the gime ph. cd bj Victoria it unneces*. iv> J he side was ol course outclassed in all phases of _the sport and did not succeed 111 scoring a run wlnli then opponent) gamed l8 lhe Clncigc men lent a batten pitcher ind catcher te male the conditions more equul but even then the home team had never the remotest chance Later on *s eUon of f_t Kilda tool. ihc bill and Cant of litFroj went behind (he b it but ti ey w ere unequal to keeping the visiting batsmen from scoring base hits in endless succc-sion Kicrnin of Iitiroj, at short stop, brought off one fine phj when he threw out Lgaii iii the second 111
ninga, and the Amencins joined with the <!rowa in applauding lum Questioned after the match the vibitors slated that tiley w ero surprised that Victorian pljj ers should possess such a good knowledge of basebnll, and said that it w is not to be expected that men w ho only saw the diamond at week-ends could have anv 1 md of a chance against those who made their living bl the game practising and plajing prictieally every day foi nine months of the xear
When the pieliminiry game had been completed the Giants and White Sox com meneed to winn up for the more serious contest In e\erj part of the space in front of the gnnd stand men in uniform played 'catch wath each other tal mg the white ball in then tloved hands with a certamtj that became monotonous It 13 said that ?wherever Americans meet together thej tike out their baseball nuts, and toss i ball from one to the other rather thin have their meals Having roacherl such it stan dart of skill ad wis seen \e erchj it is dillicult for the casual onlookct to under stand the virtue of so much throwing be fore a game commences Vt evcrj oppor -unit- too the pitchers wind up md shoot the ball with the full force of then bodies behind it hoping alwavs to discover by accident some new tuck or twist which mn\ puzzle the viutsmen and prevent hits being «cored, against them The victors are experts it quid bj plnj passing the bill round with lightning speed and snapping it from one to the other in ill 1 mels of une\ pectcd directions J he long throning is nil done from the elbon the bill being seldom lifted above the shouldei line in the net of deinen but the muscle-, of the bid inda big bodj swing ne used is much is possible to tal e the strun off the arm Speed and iccuracv which even .urtialu s best « nd eters cannot approach hn\ e como to bo feittires of biscball ind o\eij plivei must possess them before 1 e can hope to be con radered in the fust flight These quilifica tiona aro onh developed, by cultivating i ' throwing arm ilmost from the 1 mdergar ten dijs
lindow phv forms another feature of tue pnetice woil before games commence n,nl the Chicago team gave a pretty and amusing disphv \esterh\ which was im menselv popular \ i ball is used but all the pla)ers on the held work exactly as if a game was in progics lal mg imaginan catches and inis ing others with well feigned disgust Sometimes the men app irentl. al low the spectre ball ti .ass through their legs and they trot after it w th all the Benousness of a man who Ins made a mis
tal e and must pa\ the penalty by chasing the overthrow This shadow phj has been reduced to such perfection that spec tators on distant paits of the ground were on te unaware jestcrdnj that no ball was being handled
It w is just 4 o clock w hen His Lxcellencv the GovernorGencnl (lord Denman) ne coi pinied b\ ti e Mimstct foi Defence (Senator Millen) theAtlornej Genera] ("Mr Ii vine) and other» walked out on to the phv ng space His T-xcellenej standing m the pitch« s position tossed the first ball of the more import int game It did not rcioli the catcher on the full but the crowd anpl Hided enthusi istieallj The ball was 11 ft em aids returned to Lord Denman as a keepsake It was nnnounced thnt the sarac umpires-Messrs Klemm and Westwood would igiln tike charge and Mr hiern who has a deep bas voice of wonderful joluinc introduced each plujer to the spec J itois is he came up to hit The New York team WOie crenm flannels tel ex ed b\ a fine blue stripe and white stncl ing strapped with i band of violet Their opponents up reared in nan blue with the word Chi ei(,o across the ehest while their wot Id lamed white so\ woie relieved with red and liluc The Stars and Stripes nppeired on either arm Mike Donlin the Ne v iori center fieldu who had severelj wrenched h s knee in the game against \ ic tori 1 w is unable to pi ij in the later
\s soon is the exhibition game commenced There w is Bomo fcclinc, of disappointment lhe mijoiitv of the speclntois li id armed hehcvim. that no bill could c\ci piss through the held without being quicklv snipped up and sent wheie it could do most d 1111 (,e to the opposing side Viircelv had the guue commenced however than Doyle cisilv found nn opening between first and second bise und Speaker who is regarded na one of the safest men in the game, threw
it wildly past third base, where no one tried
to stop it The spell had been biokrn1 It
wnsrcilited that the visitors could mnltemi« tnkes Uko out own cricketers und Knob ill fihycrs Another rix. it illusion which had
ivcd for j para hadto go Almost imme diately afterwards Doohn hit ii fust grounder right to Crawford, inothci of the mo'-t e\poit ficl-_mcn in the (rime, and lie let it run through his legs Toi a time the prestige of the visitors lind been completely destroyed, and it took home staithng out
field catches und a gre it deal of clever pick- ing uj) to re establish it Hi the time the last innings l_id been completed, however, fen faults could be found with then form
Jn fimilnr term» and .tenuoniin toned the vi itchers soon got .cquaintcd with the men 'J hero »is ' Hooks" Wilts, pitchei, and gencnl i - round pluvei. "ho plajed
J * " IJUCIC " WEAVER, ' (
Chicago's sensational short-stop. |,
first base with a finger plovc when th Giants' regular player was in trouble in th championship scries, there vvere ' Lee' .Io gee, Larry'' Dojk, "Mil e" Doolan, Jim' ahorne Lli.mpion athlete of the vvoild
Ivy Wingo, 'Bunny' Kearn, Buck Weaver, Iriss ' Spealer, Geiiuany' Schaeiei, and all the others were unuouncei by their first names Schaefer 1» the rocog ni=ed funnv man of tin. partj, mid hi« min cipal duty is to stand on the coaching line and talk to the players on the other aide si .is to make them annoved ot good humourei -whichever is the bettei designed to muk them careless He was off his garni vestcrdaj, and was unable to I ilk ii] to his UBtiil form, but now and then hi urged his friends to 'Lean on the hull, am sm ick it hird To hit it on the lióse,' and lo keep that old head cool " Tie wa Partien!irli merciful to opponents, and, be vond mentioning tint Heran, the Giants pitchei, ' couldn t pitch out a blind gil with her irms tied behind hei back" hi said verv little Hie game wa« pliivcd al terrific spo*d, and the closeness oî the de cisión* at the bases it times left a gren deal to the discretion of the timpiic lum after time the bull beat the runner to firs bite onlj bv inches, ind this feature ivns
splendid evidence of the scientific porfectior to which the game h is been reduced lu nt pha e of the sport has the fieldsman anj pronounced advantage over the mnnor, 01 the rev erse It is tmial for the pitcher to be in n poMtion to puzzle the batsman considei ablj with his m shoote und out curves, spit balls and "fade away s " but taking yes tcrdaj's hitting as an example, it would not ieem that even the pitcher s advantage le by anv means pronounced Never befoic has such solid hitting been seen on the Mel bourne Cricket ground as was witnessed \es terdav it was like a temi of Cottero punish ing the bowling of a public schoolboy
Perhaps the outstanding feature of the gime on the fielding side ivns the faillit} for cov cung ground displavcd bj the Chicago shoi t stop \\ ni cr He seemed te know where the ball was hkelv to be hit, and he was llwavs there to receive it On one occasion he raced across to second base, and, t ii ing a it* grounder on the run whipped it underhand down lo first base m time to catch the surpnood rannet Jlerkle the >*ew Vork hint bisetnan, too showed how quick the trained fielder can think A bill was thrown to lum from second base at lightning speed H he put two hands to it he would have had to leave Ins base but, renehitig across he intercepted it with the left wide out, just as though it had been gently tossed Uhe consummate case with which f .tit throws were handled made difii cult chances seem easj, and when a mis take did occur, it was accentuated by its noveltj
There were \orj fen attempts to 6teal ba=es and the score-book shows that in not one single instance did a runnel succeed in heating out a throw Ihe fall awaj ' shdi when going into a base, vi hire thi chances were against the runnel, w-is .bown again and agiin, and its efiic-icj was proved be yond a doubt The "place ' hitting of the pla}era on each slue with the awkward round bats might have done credit to international cneketeis and the visitor, showed also that thov could tap the ball lightlv when it was nece-ä.ry just as surelv is the} could hit it awav out where an outfieldet was iisti all} vv aitrog to giib it So min} left handed batsmen nave seldom been collected on one ground before and m explanation of this pceuharit} the \isitoi_ siv that by hatting south i in, ' as thc\ describe it, a
two \ lids start e in he gained foi first base, j and this often mean» winning ii game whin j
the scores are iloso lhat is "inside ' ba=o , ball There were few oppoitunitie. for ob j serving the signalling sv stems it"-id b> the j players, but it ma} be mentioned hcie tint
" F_.ED." MERKL-, '
Who haï. pla} ed first base for-the "Giants" for many years.
« I'RISS " _PI_AKI__-,
The Chicago centrc-fieldct, one of the highest salaned plajei. m the American
. World-famed as manager of the îvevv York National League leam. I
not a bingle move of am importance i> mude on the diamond without ill the hcldeis being informed befotehind bv some known movement on the mit of the cntehei
\esterda> s ¡jume w is rathol onesided the Ginnts tal ing the lead fiom the fii'l innings, und remuining in fi out to the end On two occasions with onlv one min out, and the buses full, the Chineo temi had oppoitunities of evening up tile sioies but then opponents took cire tint tlu} did not avail tliemsclvis of them Hie second miitih will be plavod tins afternoon, it _ o iloik A letona meeting i Chicago inn.
befoiehand Hie visitors intend catching j the express foi Adelaide íatei m the nftci I