Since it’s World Series time, your humble Justa “Can of Corn” Mason is marking the season by posting the following cute little news item from 80 years ago this month. Freemasonry only plays a coincidental role in the story but, being a baseball history fan, I thought it was worth passing on.
This is from the Ludington (Michigan) Daily News of October 11, 1929.
Jack Pegs 6 Balls Over Masonic Hall So ‘Pitts’ Pays Bet
An argument about the relative merits of World Series pitchers cost Milton (Pitts) Stalter $5 this morning when Jack Varner backed up his argument with a demonstration of just what he meant by “pitching.”
“Say, listen, some of this stuff about pitchers in the Series gives me a big pain,” Jack is reported to have said. At this point, Stalter differed vociferously with him with the result that Varner could not throw six balls over the Masonic Temple from the sidewalk in front of J.B. Smith Recreation hall.
The balls were secured and a crowd gathered to witness the show. Jack took his coat off, rubbed his hands in the dirt, spit on the ball, wound up and let fly. It cleared the top of the building by at least 30 feet. In quick succession the remaining five balls followed, whereupon Jack collected his bet, remarking “I hate to take this because I failed to tell you that I pitched on the Oklahoma City team for four years.”
The photo of the building in question is from Google Maps. You can’t see it due to the sun’s reflection, but it says “Masonic Temple” at the top and there are symbols in the arches above the windows.
I suspect neither gentleman in this story was a Mason. After all, we all know if one of them was a member of the Craft, six balls wouldn’t have been used. The number would have been three, five or seven.
Coming soon.. a post on baseball and Lodge events.