An advertisement for the final day of Rube Foster and the Chicago American Giants’ 1919 barnstorming tour of the East Coast–an August 24 doubleheader against Guy Empey’s Treat ‘Em Rough at Dyckman Oval
The “Treat ‘Em Rough,” also occasionally called the Treat ‘Em Roughs, were a barnstorming team composed of some current and former professional players–including Jeff Tesreau, Pol Perritt as well as East Coast semi-pro players. The team was a promotion for “Treat ‘Em Rough Magazine,” published by Arthur Guy Empey, an American cavalry sergeant who, opposed to the United States neutrality during the early stages of WWI, left the country to join the British Army. Empey returned to the United States after being wounded in the Battle of the Somme and became a national celebrity after the publication of his biography, “Over the Top,” which was turned into a film–written by and starring Empey–in 1918. Treat ‘Em Rough was a reference to what had become Empey’s famous tagline: “Treat ‘Em Rough Boys.”
Empey’s team spent the 1919 season playing against local clubs and Negro Leaguers, including the Bacharach Giants:
Empey’s team, with Tesreau and Perritt on the mound, faired no better against the American Giants. In an August 17 Doubleheader, Smokey Joe Williams pitched a one-hitter, beating the Treat ‘Em Rough and Tesreau 2 to 0.
Oscar Charleston started the second game for the American Giants but was hit hard and relieved by Dave Brown. The Giants came back to win 9 to 7 in 11-innings. Perritt pitched 11 innings and took the loss.
The next meeting went about the same for Treat ‘Em Rough.
The New York Age said “The stands were filled to overflowing” for the final doubleheader, “The last two games of Rube Foster’s Chicago American Giants’ Eastern tour.” The paper also noted that:
“The majority of the fans were supporters of the Chicagoans.”
Tom Johnson started the first game for the American Giants, beating Tesreau and the Treat ‘Em Rough 2 to 1, and Williams outpitched Perritt in the second game, the American Giants winning 7-1.
The American Giants returned to the Midwest the following day. Empey’s Treat ‘Em Rough baseball team appears to have disbanded sometime in 1920.