Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, July 27, 1913, SEMI-MONTHLY MAGAZINE SECTION, Page 5, Image 37

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

T5hrouin Some X Rays on the Manorial Game
Illustrations y HORACE TAYLOR
"Yah, you champeent"
f o r statistics ? 0 p o,
tlii'ii, whilst 1 pour:
year in those United
States fourteen bil
lion, two hundred mil
lion and so forth half
dollars were paid out
by goodness k n o v s
how many billion or
trillion of men, women
and g r a n d sons of
grandmothers to see
the game of baseball.
Eighteen billion base
balls were used up;
three trillion splinters
v e r e carried away
from bleacher seats in
the trouser seats of
the setters who gne
pointers on the dog
gone game; nineteen deeillion times the word llone
htttd was either chanted or moaned. So many pea
nuts were consumed that if piled together they
would make u mountain range as high as the Him
alayas and would completely till thrice over the
trunks of nil the elephants in India. Fourteen thou
sand boxes of Old Whiff generally good cigars
were given away to batsmen who swore at the ball
for not going over the fence. Nineteen hundred
men died of pneumonia from attending the game in
the cold days of April to please the magnates.
Eighty-five million doped roses were palmed off by
get-rich-once florists in floral offerings for Opening
Day. The nickels spent for carfare would, if laid
side by side, go four times around the earth and
eventually into the pockets of the Money Trust.
Seven hundred and eight thousand, two hundred and
ninety-six clerks, weighing an average of one hun
dred and ten pounds each, called eighty umpires,
weighing two hundred pounds each the epithet Hob
hrr at least forty times each. Five hundred mayors
and one President of the United States tossed the
"first" ball. Seventy billion
YOU know, all of this means something. It means
that baseball is the great National fiame. Fig
ures can not lie. There are the figures. Raseball. as
somebody has so well, so very well, said, is the Na
tional Pastime. It is the most popular game in the
United States. Why?
Everybody knows why, but nobody likes to go
on record as telling. All the sporting writers for
the newspapers know why; nil the psychologist
philosophers know why; all the fans know why.
Wo all go and we all like to go, but we hate to tell
on each other. The reason, briefly, and in two
chunks, why baseball is the national game is, be
cause this is the Laud of Let George Do It and also
the Land of Public Opinion. First and foremost,
any discussion of the national game must, argal, in
clude a discussion of the nation's prominent charac
teristics; and any successful business man, from
the magnate down to Mickey, the office boy, will
admit that this is a nation firmly entrenched in the
belief, practice and triumph of Letting George Do It
George being anybody except yourself. This is
what makes us the busiest nation on earth. It lakes
a lot of hustling to pass it on to Riley. Any man
who has worked in a big American business odice
knows this. He knows how he has spent days and
shoe leather and lungs, dictating memos to some'
other slave in the oflice asking him to
"take this matter up"; and how that
slave has passed the memo to still an
other, saying, "This seems to be in
your line, George; you do it"; and so
on, until lo, you, and behold, you,
just as the original passer-on has for
gotten such a matter ever existed,
here conies the old original mourn
back to him with a full set of side-
burns and a crutch. Then that makes
him mad; and he divides to complain to
the boss about the lunk-hcaded laziness
of the oflice force. Most of the work
seems to be finally done by the oflice boy.
any way.
Humbling thus along the rambling
highway of philosophy, plucking here a
lemon and there a quince, come we devi
ously to the topic of baseball, and we
sen that even in our athletics and in the matter of
our faking exercise, we let George do it. This is the
great secret of the popularity of baseball in this
country: that we can sit in the grandstand and
watch the other fellow do the work. If the doctor
tells the average American that what he needs is
fresh air and exercise, the first thing the patient does
is to buy a dollar's worth of cigars and a ticket to
the baseball game. Filling his lungs alternately with
tobacco smoko and advice to the home team, he
watches eighteen hirelings use their wits
clcs, and conies away from his afternoon
of fat content declaring himself greatly
refreshed. Exercise by proxy. Just what
the doctor ordered. I know this fact lo
be strangely true, because 1 have done it
myself and taken my doctor along
with me.
The emperor Coininodiis, they say, used
to put on the gladiatorial armor plate and
climb down into the arena himself, there
to take a hack at some meek old girnlTe.
or puncture the neck of an ostrich with an
arrow from his bow. Even at that he
look a chance of the giraffe getting a
foot in the imperial face or the ostrich
suffocating him with its feathers.- Hut in
the modern Colosseum we take no such
chances. There are parts of the stands
where, to be sure, we might get n swift
foul tip full in the feeding npparatus;
but. we are partly screened even from that
possibility. No. Our part is simplv the
imperial part of sitting, with thumbs
n-twiddlo, while our hired gladiators and
slaves (see pending bills in Congress
anent baseball peonage) refresh us with
their skill or lack of it, as the case may
be. The best we can do to palliate our
dulcet decline is to hark back to the olden
GEE thoso fingers," says the adipose
old fan next to you, "every one of
'em bunged up. I used to piny third on
my college nine. This game here takes
nie back to the halcyon When." Now he
could n't catch a street car without the aid
of a trafllc cop. Hut he can give the boys
Yes. He can give (he players a tip or
two on how to piny the game. For one
vice closely follows on another.
Along with the effort of getting George
to do it has come the American
habit of giving George advice
on how to do it. We are the
greatest little nation of advice
givers now occupying a red
spot on the inn p. So far most
of our advico has been in
tramural and hasn't gotten us
into much trouble with the rest
'See thole fingeri'
of the earth; but the future lies before us just ns
suiely as Italy lies beyond the Alps. A good deal
of our home-grown advice is called Public Opinion.
It is a fine large phrase and covers everything from
Anthony Comstock bloodhoiindinir down lirondvvav
after a postal card
to recalling the jus
tices of the Supreme
Court. All of this,
as lfube Goldberg
would say, comes un
der the head of Pub
lie Opinion. It is
really and truly a
ice, genuinely i
cious, but it is so
common we never
think anything of it.
We all do it, every
one of us from Al
pha .lones lo Omega
S in i t h. Preachers
preach advice; Vice
Presidents and other indigenous fauna fill the laud
with advice; on all sides is a joyful, giddy tumult
of advice. More than one well-meaning newspaper
prints almost every day an editorial begging and
pluading for less noise in the laud. It might as well
try to sweep buck the
stormy fields of rest
less tide. After we
have got George to do
our work for us, we
arc ready and willing
to sit back and tell
each other How Things
Ought to He Done.
Here is where base
ball pnuders to our
vicious taste. Edison
himself could not have
invented a better ex
pedient for the high
uute-iiKo tooting or
bellowing roar of good
old vox populi. At a
baseball game eciy
Inst member of the au
dience gets a good
chesty chance to tell
'em all How. None so
lowly but he enn shoot
the waves of ether full
of advice to Mathew-
son ns to what the next ball should he.
You can be cent to jail'
i' V.jC Consider the ancient grandmother fib
The modest clerk men set Ihrir feet Hymn
Tunis demon, wildly rayes, and mum
(iivimj Ty Cobb mi earful of advice,
Itenmrks: "I told yuh," when the yame is
A nervous little man silting next to me
at a recent game attracted my attention.
Artie Shnfer, a very fast man
on the hases, was caught nap
ping off of first. As Shnfer
drugged himself up out of the
dirf of defeat and
plodded toward the
lieiicli. my neighbor
suddenly jumped
(Ciiiiluiuid on
I'nye 11)