The North American Review (vol. 224)
<<
124 THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW
I happened to be on the train with him when he departed for
Hot Springs, to take his ceremonial baths. It was his custom to
initiate spring baseball training by repairing to this place and
reducing his waist line. He was once more in a magnanimous
mood. He forgave everybody, including the man who had
designated him as a " bum. " He was bent on getting himself in
condition for another shattering of home runs records, including
his own. But that record was not destined to be broken. He
became stouter and more temperamental. Before the start of
last season he went through a rigorous regime of training, with the
result that while he did not break his own home run record, he
played great baseball and performed great feats with his bat in
the World Series.
The strangest ingredient in the strange mixture that makes up
the average baseball player thus caused the public to forget the
worst scandal in the national game. But while I do not wish to
appear cynical, there may develop other scandals, despite the
vigilance of Commissioner Landis and the sincerity of some of the
athletes. The national game can not be expected to develop any
higher ideals than the business or political life of the nation. Its
patrons have been expecting too much of it. It might be just as
well therefore to take the attitude of one fan who wrote when Cobb
and Speaker were accused: " Oh, well, the game is less than half
of one per cent, dishonest! " Now that these two have been
cleared, even that percentage is wiped out; and with Babe Ruth
and other stars still shining, the outlook for professional baseball
this year is, " Business as usual. "
>>