“Said–Tinker to Evers to Chance”

5 Jul

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Franklin Pierce Adams’ famous poem “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon” appeared in The New York Evening Mail in 1910 and immortalized Chicago Cubs shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance—within three years, the above cartoon appeared in newspapers along with a new, less well-known, poem written by Adams’ colleague at The Evening Mail, James P. Sinnott.

By 1913, baseball fans became aware that Tinker and Evers had barely spoken to each other since 1905, and the rivalry among the three exploded in public.  The former teammates, now all managers, Tinker with the Cincinnati Reds, Evers with the Cubs, and Chance, the recently deposed Cubs manager, with the New York Yankees.

In February Chance told reporters that Tinker was a better player than Evers; Evers responded and accused Tinker of trying to “tamper” with pitcher Larry Cheney and other members of the Cubs, as for Chance he said:

“I do not know whether Chance is jealous of my getting the position of leader, and I do not like to think so, but from the remarks he is making, I am forced to.”

By March, Hugh Fullerton said in The Chicago Examiner that Evers was unable to control his players; he said “Chance could whip any man on (the) team—Evers can’t,” and predicted a fourth place finish for the Cubs (they finished third).  Tinker’s Reds finished seventh in the National League; Chance’s Yankees were seventh in the American.

Sinnott’s poem appeared at the end of September:

“A Manager’s life is tough!

Said Tinker to Evers to Chance—

‘A manager’s road is rough!’

Said Tinker to Evers to Chance—

‘Here are we three, a lookin’ on

The big world’s series game,

In which we once were principals,

In which we gained our fame’

‘A manager’s life is no cinch!’

Said Tinker to Evers to Chance—

I’d almost as soon be Lynch!’

Said Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

“Lynch” was Thomas Lynch, who was about to be replaced as president of the National League.

It would not be until 1924, shortly before Chance’s death that the three reconciled.  Chance had been hired to manage the Chicago White Sox, but became too ill and returned home to California; he was replaced by Evers.

Chance summoned his former teammates to California that spring, where the three spent several days together.  Chance died in September.  Tinker, Evers and Chance, were inducted into the Hall of Fame together in 1946.

Tinker, Evers and Chance

Tinker, Evers and Chance

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12 Responses to ““Said–Tinker to Evers to Chance””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. “Is the Best Game has known” | Baseball History Daily - July 23, 2013

    […] Tinker, Evers and Chance were inducted into the Hall of Fame together in 1946 by the veterans committee; Maranville was elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America in 1954. […]

  2. “Another Phil Pitcher was Sacrificed on the altar of a Futile Attack” | Baseball History Daily - August 6, 2013

    […] was, according to The Pittsburgh Press, visited by many of baseball’s biggest stars, including Frank Chance, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and John McGraw.  At the same time he was condemned by Ohio physicians who […]

  3. Things I Learned on the Way to Looking up Other Things #5 | Baseball History Daily - August 8, 2013

    […] 1910, writing for “The Columbian Magazine”, Fox interviewed Johnny Evers of the Chicago Cubs about the “almost unbelievable efforts made by ballplayers to offset what […]

  4. Tinker to Evers to Chance | Today in Sports History 365 - October 15, 2013

    […] greatest double play trio to ever play the game Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance were a major contribution to the […]

  5. “Father isn’t Disappointed because I took up Dancing” | Baseball History Daily - April 4, 2014

    […] he named several Cubs, Tinker did not include his former teammate Johnny Evers.  In 1914 Evers had famously slighted Tinker, with whom he was engaged with in a long-term feud, […]

  6. Matty and the Federal League | Baseball History Daily - September 3, 2014

    […] liberally,” but placed the credit for the success the league had in inducing players to jump with Joe Tinker.  Tinker had jumped the Cincinnati Reds to join the Chicago Feds as player-manager.  Mathewson […]

  7. Lost Advertisements–Pat Moran for Sloan’s Liniment | Baseball History Daily - May 22, 2015

    […] former Cubs teammate Johnny Evers came to his bedside.  According to The Associated Press, he […]

  8. Murphy’s “Billion Dollar Team” | Baseball History Daily - August 17, 2015

    […] second base, Eddie Collins in the potentate.  Johnny Evers, Larry Doyle, and Larry Lajoie occupy seats in the second sackers’ hall of fame, but Collins […]

  9. Clark Griffith, “How I Win” | Baseball History Daily - March 14, 2016

    […] it quick.  Holler.  ‘No, no’ real quick and beat the umpire to it on every close play a la (Johnny) Evers.  The umpire may be perfectly honest and square but on a close play the fellow who yells quickest […]

  10. Things I Learned on the Way to Looking Up Other Things–Lost Quotes | Baseball History Daily - June 30, 2016

    […] The previous year’s celebration of Wagner’s birthday included this quote in a letter from Johnny Evers: […]

  11. “We had to take a Bath with the Cows and the Pigs” | Baseball History Daily - July 6, 2016

    […] Johnny Evers was another in a long line of former players who felt baseball began to decline sometime around the day they stopped playing. […]

  12. “He Used to Knock Down Infielders” | Baseball History Daily - July 23, 2016

    […] did (the most widely disseminated versions appeared in “The American Magazine” in 1909 and in Johnny Evers‘ book “Touching Second,” coauthored by Fullerton), but inserted themselves into […]

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