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about the Danville game.
We all know that we seen him before, and it just flashed upon me 've only a small prospect of winning. We play where. He is just the man we want. Hurry, or just as good a game in the field as the Danville he 'll have gone ! ” fellows, but we can't begin to equal them at the “What if he has ? he can't play for us,” said Jack. bat. I went to see them play the Barnets on “I know that. But don't you understand ? Saturday, and I tell you they hit very hard. Be- Are you asleep yet? He 'll show you how to sides, they have a new pitcher, and he throws like curve !!” lightning."
“W-h-a-t!” Jack was wide awake now. “ Then we might just as well give it up in ad- “Curves, curves,—don't you see? He knows vance,” said Jack, whose small amount of courage all about 'em," said Win, eagerly. “Come on!” had already slowly oozed away.
It took Jack just ten minutes, by Win's watch, “ No, sir, we 're going to play 'em, anyhow," to dress, breakfast, and start on the run for the responded the resolute captain. “And we have summer hotel. just one chance of beating them; and that is to When they sent up their names, they received break up their batting.
in answer the message that “the gentleman was “ You 'll have to put in a new pitcher, then,” not up yet, but would they not wait ? " returned Jack.
“ Wait! well, I should say so !” replied Jack, “ Nonsense. There is no use in talking about with unnecessary energy. that,” said Captain Sanborn. You 're the best An hour later, a tall, pleasant-looking young pitcher in the nine, Jack, - by all odds the best. man sauntered into the office from the breakfastI do wish, though
It was the base-ball editor of the Trumpet, Well, what ?” said Jack, as the captain hesi- just arrived to spend a short vacation among the tated.
Green Mountains. “I wish you could learn to curve 'em. Don't Win was nervous, as he advanced to meet them. you pose you could ?
“Is this — the — Trumpet ? ” he finally burst out. “ I know I can't," was Jack's despondent answer. " What did you say ?” inquired the young “I've tried, and tried, but can not get the trick of it."
“I mean," corrected the stammering catcher, There was silence for a moment, and then began “is this the base-ball editor of the Trumpet ? " a long discussion, in which his fellow-players sought The young man finished lighting a cigar, blew both to cheer Jack's drooping spirits and to devise a whiff of smoke, and acknowledged his identity some plan of action that should promise to bring with a nod. them success in the great game to be played on “Well, sir, we want the 'curves, please,” said Saturday.
“Well, boys,” said the captain, finally, “let “ The what ? ” asked the young man wonderevery man do the best he can — that 's all. We ingly, while Jack sidled toward the door. must keep our courage up.
We've beaten them "It seems to me I never was so stupid ! ” once and we may beat again. And if not, we 'll replied Win, hastily. “Why, we came to ask make them earn the victory, at any rate.”
if you would n't show our pitcher how to curve So the sober conference was ended and the boys 'em. We're to play a match game next Saturwalked slowly to their homes. Late in the night day, and we 've got to do something desperate or Win heard Jack mutter in his sleep, “ If I only we'll get beaten out of our boots. Can't you could curve 'em!”
show him how to curve ?"
The now enlightened base-ball editor smiled, II.- THE CURVES.
blew another whiff of smoke, winked, and asked,
“ Where is he?" “ WAKE up, Jack!
“Who?" inquired Win. screamed Win in the ear of the sleepy pitcher “Your pitcher, of course. You don't want the the next morning “I have an idea-a great right fielder to curve, do you?” scheme! Come, come !”
“Of course not," said Win, laughing. “Here's “ What 's the row?” grunted Jack, rubbing his our pitcher. Jack, this is the base-ball editor of eyes.
the Trumpet." “ Did you see that tall fellow, in the checked Jack bowed and the base-ball editor held out his suit, at the hotel last night ?" asked Win.
hand and looked carefully at Jack's. Jack nodded sleepily.
“ Are you strong in the wrist ?” he finally “ Well, sir, he is the base-ball editor of the asked. Boston Trumpet. I 'm sure of it. I knew I 'd “Yes, sir, I think so,” said Jack.
“Let me feel your arm.”
my cigar, and will come out and see if we can Jack extended it toward him, saying: “I ought meet the emergency." to have some muscle; I 've worked on the farm Fifteen minutes later, the two eager boys, having all summer.”
carried out the young man's directions, saw the “ You did n't get that bunch there, in working tall form of their new friend emerge from the back on the farm,” observed the base-ball editor, press- doorway of the hotel. ing the muscle on the outside of Jack's fore-arm, “Now that piano box,” remarked the base-ball near the elbow.
editor, taking a league ball from his pocket, “ we 'll “No, sir, I did n't,” said Jack, in a surprised tone. say, is resting on the home base. This spot, fifty
“You got that by pitching,” continued the feet away, is the pitcher's place. I will stand here young man. “ You must have pitched a good facing the box and hold out my arm (with the ball while, for a youngster.”
in my hand) at right angles with a line running “ Yes, sir,” responded Jack, in unfeigned aston- straight from here to the box. Now, one of you ishment.
stand here behind me and take a squint over the “Well, my young friends," said the base-ball ball, with the stake as a sight,' and let the other
editor, after smoking for a minute in silence, “I mark the place on the box, which the 'squinter' take you to be in earnest, and I'll tell you what I'll says is in a straight line from the ball, as I am holddo. Out behind the hotel is an empty piano box. ing it." I saw it from my window, this morning. Go and Win“ squinted,” and Jack made a straight mark, prop that up on its sides, measure off fifty feet from toward the ground, on the piano box. Both boys it and mark the spot. Then, at about half-way were decidedly mystified. between the box and the marked spot, drive a “Now," asked the base-ball editor, “a ball stake five or six feet high into the ground. By the going straight from my hand and just missing the time you shall have done that, I 'll have finished stake will hit the chalk-mark on the box; will it?"
DIAGRAMS SHOWING HOW TO HOLD THE BALL FOR “CURVING."
“ Yes, sir,” replied Win, promptly.
“Then, if it strikes to the left of the mark, it will have to curve ; will it ?" was the next question.
“Yes, sir,” answered Win, again.
“ Then, here goes !” said the base-ball editor ; and taking the ball in his right hand, he pressed it an instant with his left, and then threw it sharply. The ball passed about six inches to the right of the stake, and yet struck the box two or three inches to the left of the chalk mark. “It must have curved eight inches," observed 1. FOR THE 'out'-CURVE.
II. FOR THE 'IN '-CURVE. Win with “scientific" accuracy.
Jack tossed back the ball, and the young man threw again. This time the ball just missed the
“Now again, and pinch tight," was the comstake on the right, and struck at least a foot to the mand. left of the mark.
Again Jack threw, and this time he made the ball “ That was better,” remarked the base-ball strike two or three inches to the right of the mark. editor, in a satisfied tone. “Now, come here,
“ That is much better than I expected,” said Mr. Young Pitcher, and I 'll show you how to the base-ball editor. “Why, you 're a natural do it.”
pitcher! Now all you want is practice. Use the “I don't believe I ever can,” responded Jack, stake awhile and then pitch over a base. Pracbut with a face as eager as a child's.
tice as much as you can without laming your arm. “Oh, yes, you can!” said the young man. There are other curves, the 'up,' and the 'down,' “There 's nothing like knowing how. First, besides what is called the shoot,' but these two take the ball between your thumb and forefinger. will be enough for you to learn between now and Don't let your other fingers touch it. There, Saturday.” that's right! Now, press it down so it will just
“I'm everlastingly obliged,” said Jack, warmly. touch the cord connecting your thumb and finger.
“ You need n't thank me,” responded the baseCorrect! Now, pinch it tight with the end of your ball editor. “ But I shall be interested in your thumb and throw from your hip.”
work on Saturday. Will you let me know the The ball struck to the right of the mark. result of the game when you come back ?”
“No curve to that,” said the instructor. “Pinch “Yes, indeed!"answered Jack, heartily, and the tighter and give a sharp, quick jerk when you two boys bade a grateful adieu to the young man, throw."
and went gayly off to the base-ball grounds for The ball struck the mark.
further practice. “ That 's better," was the encouraging com
“I tell you, Jack," said Win, as they walked ment. “ Try again and don't hurry about it! rapidly along, “science is the thing that wins.” Keep cool !"
III.— THE GAME. Jack had now almost overcome his nervousness and did as he was told. The ball just missed the
SOMEWHAT to Win's stake and struck the box six inches to the left of
surprise, the great day the mark.
arrived on time. And so “Hurrah ! You've caught the trick !” cried
did the rickety old country Win, throwing up his cap.
stage, as it drew up with a Jack tried again and again, finally making the
flourish at the Danville ballball strike nearly as far from the chalk-line as his
ground, and was greeted teacher had sent it.
with a cheer. Out clam“Very good, indeed, for a beginner !” said the
bered the Stafford nine. base-ball editor, heartily. " That is called the
They looked very neat in 'out' curve. Now we'll try the 'in' curve.
their bright new uniforms; You 'll find it harder to manage. Bend your thumb
but the spectators could at the first joint, place the ball on your knuckle
not help remarking the and hold it firmly with your first two fingers.
physical superiority of the Don't let your other fingers touch it. Throw from
Danville players. near your knee, at first, and on the left side of the “We 're going to have a perfect 'walk-over,'' stake."
remarked one of the Danville nine, lazily twirling Jack threw swiftly, and the ball struck the mark. a bat, as the Stafford boys threw off their coats.
Jack's quick ears caught the remarks, and his ball passed at least six inches from the end of his blue eyes flashed with indignation.
“ We 'll see bat. Win smiled. Another ball followed, with about that !” he muttered.
the same result. Jack's confidence had now Jack had followed his instructions faithfully, returned, and Win's black eyes flashed re-assurand he felt confident of his ability to puzzle his ingly behind the catcher's mask. The next ball opponents. Win, however, was less certain, and started directly toward the striker, who stepped he whispered to Jack:
quickly back to avoid being hit. But his act was “Don't lose your head.”
The ball curved neatly over the The base-ball editor's parting injunction, that base and lodged safely in Win's hands. morning, had been:
“Three strikes, and out!” cried the pleased “Keep cool and pinch tight.”
umpire. Captain Sanborn of the Staffords won the toss The batsman was puzzled. He looked at the and chose the field. The boys scattered quickly umpire, at his bat, and finally at Jack. But Win to their various positions, and the ball was thrown understood. It was the “out”-curve. to the pitcher. But no sooner had Jack received “Science is the thing that wins," the catcher the signal to play than he had an attack of“ stage- whispered softly to himself. fright.” His nerves tingled, and his knees shook. Two more strikers were retired in quick order, It was really not to be wondered at, for he had one having struck a foul ball, which was easily never pitched before so large a crowd, and he caught by Win. It was a whitewash for the Dancould not help feeling that the game depended on villes. Not a man had reached the first base or him. It was a trying position for any lad, and had even left the home base. What could it mean? especially so for Jack, who, as Win said, was apt The Danville players looked at each other wonderto “lose his head.”
ingly, and the audience smiled and concluded that Low ball ! " called the umpire.
it might be an interesting game, after all. Jack threw quickly, and the ball whizzed away From that time on, the Staffords steadily won. over the striker's head, striking the catcher's fence. The swift pitching was hard to hit, but they had A titter ran through the opposing nine. This bit regained their courage and they did very well. of discourtesy was too much for Jack in his ner- The Danvilles soon saw how the balls were curving vous condition. He threw wildly again, and be- from them and they batted more prudently. Then came first excited and then reckless. Two men Jack tried the "in"-curve. But they would hit went to first base on called balls, and five made even his curves occasionally, and in trying to vary safe hits. When the wretched inning was finally his delivery, he let two or three strikers take bases ended, the Danvilles had scored five runs. Jack on called balls. The game became interesting. did not try to conceal his mortification.
At the end of the eighth inning the score stood Abe Blanchard was the first Stafford batsman. twelve to eleven in favor of the Danvilles. They He was considered a good hitter, but he retired went to the bat for the last time, and Jack was on on three strikes, saying that the pitching was too his mettle. The strikers retired in one,-two,swift for him.
three order. Steele sent an easy fly to the second baseman, The Staffords came in to close the inning. But was caught out, and Win stepped to the plate. the history of that half-inning was best told by He was not embarrassed or nervous, and he hit a Jack to his friend, the base-ball editor, late that sharp grounder between the short stop and the night. third baseman. The left fielder was over-confident “Well," began Jack, when he reached this and let it pass him, and Win made two bases. point in his narrative, “Am Ricker went up first “ Hunt to bat !" called the scorer.
for us, and he was so flustered, he struck out. Jack's face still burned, but his teeth were Abe Blanchard hit a good grounder to third, but clenched. He struck the first ball pitched with the ball got to first before he did. Then Steele all his strength and sent a fly just over the center went in and was given his base on called balls. fielder. Win got in and saved a whitewash. The And there we were ! If they whitewashed us, we next striker was put out, but the cheering of the were beaten, but if we could get in one run, we crowd brought Jack to his senses. He walked should tie 'em; and two runs would give us the steadily to the pitcher's box, perfectly cool and game. Win was next, and he never fails. He collected.
“daisy” hit. It was a liner just over the “Play!” called the umpire.
short-stop's head, and the left fielder fumbled Jack pressed the ball into his right hand, again, so Win got his second. Then it was my pinched it tight, took a deliberate step forward turn. Well, sir, it was so still when I stepped to and threw it. The batsman struck at it, but the the plate that I honestly believe you could have heard a pin drop on the grass. But I was just as reached around instantly to touch Win. But he didn't cool as a cucumber. I'd mastered all my non- touch him. For, just as he stooped, Win made one sensical nervousness.
of his famous jumps, and went clear over the catch“ Well, I waited till I got a ball that juster's back, striking both feet on the home base ! suited me, and then I sent it right down by the “Well, sir, you should have seen that catcher's first base. The baseman did n't capture it, though; face when he turned round and saw Win behind
and Steele came in from third and Win started from him. I just lay down on the grass, and kicked my second. I never once thought of his trying to get feet in the air and screamed! And the crowd, home, for the right fielder had the ball in quick didn't they cheer! I never heard such a noise on time, though I was safe on first. But, sir, Win the Fourth of July, or at any other time, and I never stopped at third; and jimimy!—how he did never saw Win's eyes so big and bright. But all run! The catcher saw him coming and yelled for he'd say was what he always says: 'I tell you, the ball. He was a short fellow, that catcher, but boys, science is the thing that wins!' Oh! you he was so afraid that Win would slide under him that ought to have been there!” he stood right in the line about three feet from the “ I wish I had been there, I'm sure,” said the home base. The right-fielder had thrown the ball base-ball editor, regretfully. “But I 'll tell you to the second-baseman, and he threw it home when what I am going to do.— I'm going to write out a he heard the catcher call for it. The ball came right report of that game.” to the catcher's knees; he stooped and caught it, and And he did. This is it.
VOL. XII.— 59.