November 7, 2014

"By virtue of the authority vested in me as mayor and police judge of the City of Medford, I hereby order and command all citizens of the City of Medford above the age of 10 years..."

"... to repair to Court Hall's ball grounds tomorrow afternoon, June 23, at 4 o'clock p.m. to witness the titanic struggle that will there take place between the Leans and the Fats. The Chief of Police is instructed to arrest anyone found violating this order. A minimum fine of the price of admission to the game will be imposed in all cases. The parade will start from the Natatorium at 4:15, headed by the band, which will play a funeral march."

When the Fats played the Leans in 1911.

13 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

I took that photo of a photo that's displayed in a glass case at the basement level of the Stoughton Opera House.

Had to look up "Fats vs. Leans" to get some info.

RecChief said...

Big Government has been with us for a long time I guess. Forward!

Also, it's too bad that town team ball ended in so many places.

David said...

Fix Baltimore and I'll be impressed. It's sad what has happened in Baltimore.

virgil xenophon said...

Lets not beat around the bush, David. What has "happened" in Baltimore is the same thing that happened to Detroit, East St. Louis, Ill. Camden NJ .and is slowly happening in places like Milwaukee, Chicago, Memphis, L.A., Sacramento, Houston, etc., and even places like Orlando and Tampa, i.e., an irreducible critical mass of illiterate militant blacks that (for a myriad of disparate but intertwined reasons) cannot and/or utterly resist being trained, educated or integrated into "normal" (or, for want of a better phrase, "polite society") as productive members of the larger civic culture. Almost all cities which have long been under Democrat control for the past 70 yrs--the 1st half white democrats, the second half black.

tim in vermont said...

Not Mehfuh Mass, the place where you can now sell a BM for $40?

m stone said...

When newspapers were entertaining...

I see the word "utilize" and although the origins supposedly date to the early 19th century, the word use experienced a resurgence in the mid-20th and is now embedded in many people's vocabulary.

Utilize is a target of Strunk and White who call it showy. "Use" says the same.

One of my hated words and never allowed in papers by my students. (They still used it at risk.)

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
H said...

The good natured jocularity of this is catching -- even over the 103 year gap. The mayor might as well have said, "25 cent fine for not wearing a funny hat: all proceeds go to the Ice Cream for Children fund."

John Tuffnell said...

Hooray for the Fats! Victory! But, so sad, "there was no room on or around the base for the irish." Poor Irish!

I think I will borrow (without attribution) the following quote for use in describing Gov. Walker's reelection: "His strides were not especially graceful, but they were far-reaching."

The especially fine plays made were so numerous that space will not permit us to mention them all. Dr. Pickel as a pitcher is a truly swift one, and his down curves were always stopped by the pedal extremities of catcher Wolfer. Lawton also twirled the sphere with the skill of an oldtimer, and those of the balls that catcher Jones could not dodge went up against some parts of his (Jones') anatomy and were caught. Lawton's especial features were the catching of the ball between his knees and his handiness in utilizing his back for a backstop when a swift one came his way that could not be dodged. Sam Richardson made a home run, but just whose fault it was we are not going to say, because of the fact that the ball followed him very closely from base to base, but it was not fleet enough to land at any one base in advance of his coming. Mose Alford is a good first baseman, and there were few if any balls that came his way that he did not stop, while as a batter and base runner he excelled the fleetest of them all. His strides were not especially graceful, but they were far-reaching. Mahoney's run from first to second was very pretty as a sprinting exhibition, but when he reached second there were six of the opposing nine's men standing on the base, and he was declared out because there was no room on or around the base for the Irish.

traditionalguy said...

OK, Medford, Oregon wins. But why is their photo in Stoughton?

mccullough said...

That hitter is dumping the barrel of the bat big time. No way he gets around on a decent fastball.

Ann Althouse said...

"OK, Medford, Oregon wins. But why is their photo in Stoughton?"

Maybe the Fats and the Leans traveled around the country doing exhibition games. The date on the Stoughton picture is the same year but not the same day as the event in Oregon. That's as close as I could get googling.

Ann Althouse said...

I found this article in the NYT from 1912 about fat and lean men playing baseball.

I found this article, with a clue: "His last known involvement with baseball came in 1899 when he took part in a “fat versus lean” game in Pocatello. Appropriately, the man who had been known for roaming the field at will started the contest with the “fat” side but ended it with the “leans.” One can imagine one of his fellow players exclaiming, “Look here, Bob Addy, do you want to play the whole game?”

And this: "A few other local baseball organizations used West End Park for their baseball games. In August the Fats and Leans of the city faced each other for the benefit of the Industrial School. The team uniforms must have been enough to make the 2,000 in attendance remember the day. The hefty team wore red flannel shirts, blue drilling pants, straw hats with long peaks, and particolored hose. The Lean ‘Uns took the field in tight white pants, red shirts, blue hose and gray caps. The Lean team won, 37-19, and all the players were treated to supper at the Plankinton House for their efforts. About two weeks later the South Side Turners beat the West Side Turners 22-11 at the baseball grounds to claim the Turner championship of Wisconsin."

And this.

It must have been a thing in the old days, a way to choose teams and maybe get them equal in a weird way!