“The Cleverest bit of Quick Thinking I ever Witnessed”

26 Nov

Hugh Fullerton was one of baseball’s most influential writers; his career began in 1889 and he was active into the 1930s.  Widely credited as the first writer to directly quote players and managers, he is the source of hundreds of stories. Some, like the story the story of Bill Lange’s fence-crashing catch, are likely untrue.  Others may be apocryphal, or exaggerated.

Hugh Fullerton

Hugh Fullerton

This one is about Hall of Famer John Alexander “Bid” McPhee:

“The cleverest bit of quick thinking I ever witnessed was years ago in Cincinnati, and Bid McPhee, the ‘King,’ pulled it off.  How fast he thought only can be guessed.  It must have been instantaneous.  Bid was on first base with nobody out, when somebody drove a ball straight at ‘Wild’ Bill Everitt who was playing first for Chicago.  Bill dug up the ball, touched first, and made one of his copyrighted throws to second to catch Bid, having plenty of time for the double play.

Bid McPhee

Bid McPhee

“The ball disappeared.  (Bill) Dahlen, who was on second, never saw it.  He thought the ball had hit Bid.  The umpire, crouching to see the play at the base, lost the ball.  Bid hesitated at second, glanced around, saw the entire Chicago infield running around wildly and tore for third.  At third, after turning the base, he hesitated again, looked back, and then tore for home.  From his actions both at second and third any spectator would have sworn Bid was as ignorant of the whereabouts of the ball as were the Chicago players.

“The Chicago team was wild with excitement and the crowd was mystified.  No one knew where the ball was.  The only clue was a yell of amusement from the Cincinnati bench.

“The ball had disappeared utterly and the umpire threw out a new one.  After the game we learned what had become of the ball.  Everitt hit Bid with it.  The ball had struck him under the arm, and holding it tight against his body Bid carried it entirely around the bases and to the bench while acting as if he didn’t know where it was.”

Advertisements

7 Responses to ““The Cleverest bit of Quick Thinking I ever Witnessed””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Spring Training, 1900 | Baseball History Daily - June 16, 2014

    […] with twenty-three players from West Baden, Indiana on March 23—two more players, Jimmy Ryan and Bill Everitt would be joining the team in a few days.  The Chicago Tribune said “Loftus is pleased with the […]

  2. “Baseball is now Played by certain Mathematical rules and Regulations” | Baseball History Daily - July 16, 2014

    […] out easily  There are some modern players who make the slide something as it was done then, but Bill Dahlen of New York really is the only one in either big league who executes it regularly and […]

  3. “First thing I know they had the Cushions Populous” | Baseball History Daily - August 15, 2014

    […] was taught to Griffith by Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourne—as a result The Chicago Tribune’s Hugh Fullerton said Griffith held “practically a monopoly on the slow ball and (used) it with wonderful […]

  4. The Wealthiest Ballplayers, 1894 | Baseball History Daily - September 19, 2014

    […] “(John “Bid”) McPhee, (William “Buck”) Ewing, (Harry) Stovey, (Paul) Radford, (Ned) Hanlon, (Jack) Glasscock, (Tim)Keefe, (Charles “Chief”) Zimmer, (Charlie) Buffington, (Charlie) Bennett, and (Fred) Pfeffer are players who are worth from $10,000 to $15,000, which has all been made by playing ball.  There are only a few more players who have much in the ‘stocking.’” […]

  5. “Go Back to Old Kentucky” | Baseball History Daily - September 26, 2014

    […] After loading the bases and scoring two runs, catcher Tim Donahue fouled out, and third baseman Bill Everitt grounded out; Jim Connor, the Colts second baseman appeared to score from third on the play, but, […]

  6. “He’s a Loafer and a Drinker” | Baseball History Daily - December 3, 2014

    […] who continued to write about both long after their careers were over. Another favorite subject was Bill Dahlen, who spent eight of his 21 big league seasons in Chicago, and received numerous mentions in […]

  7. “People who saw the Sport are still Laughing” | Baseball History Daily - December 17, 2014

    […] threw a ball:  (Bill) Dahlen hit it.  He threw another: (Bill) Lange hit it.  He threw one more: (Walter) Thornton hit it.  […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s