Friday, June 27, 2008

1908 Chicago Cubs Vs. New York Giants

KVers Bob and Marty joined me at the Tenement Museum in hearing Kevin Baker talk about his upcoming book on New York baseball. Here's a slide show with 1908 Cubs and Giants to the tune Vive la Compagnie. I read the melody was sometimes used to accompany the famous Franklin P. Adams' poem about Tinkers and Evers and Chance
These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double --
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

* The term "gonfalon" refers to a flag or pennant, and Adams uses the phrase "pricking our gonfalon bubble" to describe the repeated success of the Chicago Cubs and their celebrated infield against their National League rivals, his beloved New York Giants.
About the poem
Myth and reality intersected a century ago at second base at West Side Grounds, the Chicago Cubs' pantheon in the early 1900s. The North Side chorus had for years hummed the praises of the heart of the National League terrors -- and then it was handed lyrics by a frustrated, short-winded New York reporter.
Franklin Pierce Adams' "Always In Good Humor" column in the New York Evening Mail ran short one mid-summer day. His editor, not a fan of white space, ordered him to fill it. So, on his way to the Polo Grounds, Adams jotted down a poem, his muses being the three thorns in the Cubs infield who eternally vexed his beloved New York Giants. Shortstop Joe Tinker. Second baseman Johnny Evers. First baseman Frank Chance. Certainly not the most prolific double-play combination in baseball history. However, the most creative, arguably. And the most famous -- that can't even be argued. The power of the poem: Adams' immortalizing words turned a trio of relatively modest ballplayers into Hall of Famers, and into the enduring icons of the Cubs' last World Series championship. Tinker, Evers and Chance first took the field together on Sept, 13, 1902. They collaborated on their first double play on Sept. 15, 1902. They last played together on April 12, 1912. From beginning point to end, they turned many a timely double, gladdened fans' hearts, broke opponents'. There is considerable confusion about the origins of Adams' epic 50 words -- the verse titled "Baseball's Sad Lexicon." Most references claim it first appeared in The Evening Mail on July 10, 1910, but others argue it surfaced between the covers of a 1912 collection of poems by Adams, "In Other Words."
However, there is no debate about the roles of Messrs. Tinker, Evers and Chance on the powerhouse Cubs of the turn of the last century, and thus their ranks in Cubs history.They are the Three Horsemen of this Apocalypse, the National League of 1906-1910.

Now I'm trying to remember whether LMRC had a Tinkers to Evers To Chance

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