Washington Loyal To Their New Senators

Topeka Daily Capital
June 25, 1961

Washington – this city is made up of so many itinerants it has few basic loyalties. But it has at least one – the new Washington baseball club. The Senators became the New Senators when Calvin Griffith, owner of the Old Senators, moved out to start the Minnesota Twins.

The New Senators are almost a religion among baseball fans here, and they have one goal – to finish ahead of the Twins. Fans here starved for a winner for so many years they worked up an active dislike for Griffith.

When he moved out it was made clear to him nobody was sorry to see him go. Fans hated to see some of his good ballplayers go, but on the whole they liked the move.

They expected nothing of the New Senators, mostly castoffs and rookies. But right now, they’re running ahead of the Griffith’s Twins, and this is a baseball-happy town. Continue reading

Boys of Summer: 1959

Topeka Daily Capital
October 4, 1959

When the Dodgers were kicking the ball around in the third inning Thursday against the White Sox, it recalled the classic play Solly Hemus once engineered in the midst of similar disaster.

Hemus was at the plate with a runner on third when the catcher lost a low pitch and started looking frantically in all directions. Hemus pointed toward a distant dugout and said to the catcher, “Over there.”

As the catcher raced toward the dugout, Hemus waved home his teammate from third. The catcher discovered the trick — and the ball — too late. The runner scored while the ball lay within arm’s length of home plate.

Walter Johnson once hit Eddie Collins in the leg with one of his famed fireballs, and Collins dropped like he’d been shot. Johnson was genuinely concerned, and even helped Collins as he limped, painfully, to first.

On Johnson’s next pitch, Collins, running without a trace of a limp, stole second.

Trying to trick the opposition is old stuff in baseball, although it seldom works. I recall one occasion when it backfired. I’ve told this story often, but I still regard it as a classic. Continue reading

When Radio Ruled

Dick Snider
Topeka Capital-Journal

Radio ruled the airwaves for 30 years, just as television has reigned for the last 50, but if you weren’t there at the time it may be difficult for you to imagine a family gathered around a talking box, listening to “One Man’s Family,” Fred Allen, Jack Benny or some other top show. If you were there, you remember this Benny classic:

Holdup man: “Your money or your life?”

Benny: (Silence).

Holdup man: “I said, your money or your life?”

Benny: “I’m thinking it over.” Continue reading