Tinker Day

(Frank) And we’re back again. Tinker to Evers to Chance. That was a poem
written by a newspaper man about the world series of 1909 when again the
Chicago Cubs and New York Giants played. Anyway Joe Tinker is from Kansas,
from Muscotah and on his birthday or around thereabouts which is the 27th
of July, they have Joe Tinker Day. And they invited some teams in to play
on Joe Tinker Field in Muscotah. And one of the teams is the Topeka
Westerns. Now the Topeka Westerns is a vintage baseball team, they play by
rules, it depends, they know before they get there what rules they’re
gonna play by. It could be 1860 rules, 1880 rules, 1890 rules. They may
wear gloves, they may not wear gloves. But anyway, Joe Tinker Day this
year they played 1860 rules. In other words, no gloves and you didn’t tag
somebody to put ’em out, you threw and hit ’em with a ball. Now the ball
is not a hard ball like it is today, it’s much softer, but it’s still
about the same size. Anyway, we’re gonna pay a visit to Joe Tinker Days in
Muscotah. Joe Tinker Day was celebrated this year on Saturday, July 25th,
in Muscotah. Joe Tinker is one of two Baseball Hall of Famers from Kansas.
Joe was born in Muscotah, July 27th, 1880. Joe played baseball for the
Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Whales of the Federal League, but most notably
for the Chicago Cubs. He was on the last two Cubs teams to win the World
Series in 1907 and 1908. His last game with the Cubs was in 1916. Joe was
part of the double-play combination that was made famous by the poem
Baseball’s Sad Lexicon. As a tribute to Joe Tinker, the Cubs sent dirt
from the infield of Joe’s last game in 1916. The dirt is in a bucket in
Muscotah today and is ceremoniously thrown on Joe Tinker Field prior to
each Vintage Baseball Game played there on Joe Tinker Day. Baseball’s Sad
Lexicon was written by a New York Sportswriter from the viewpoint of the
NY Giants, the Cubs’ opponent in 1907 and 08. Here it is. These are the
saddest of possible words, Tinker to Evers to Chance. Trio of Bear Cubs
and fleeter than birds – Tinker to Evers to Chance. Ruthlessly pricking
our gonfalon bubble, making a Giant hit into a double. Words that are
nothing but trouble – Tinker to Evers to Chance. The Topeka Westerns
Vintage Baseball Team played the Lincoln Olympics in 1860’s style baseball
at this year’s Joe Tinker Days in Muscotah, Kansas.

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