The Wide World of Baseball – New Yorker (blog)

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  • 1_Baseball_World_Tour.jpgThe White Sox catcher Tom Daly, second baseman Herman (Germany) Schaefer, and pitcher Urban Clarence (Red) Faber during a 1913-4 world tour. The White Sox played exhibition games against the New York Giants on five continents. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
  • 2_Baseball_World_Tour.jpgThe New York Giants at bat against the Chicago White Sox in London. Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 3_Baseball_World_Tour.jpgA baseball team from New South Wales plays the Chicago White Sox in an exhibition at Sydney Cricket Ground, on January 3, 1914. Courtesy of the Australian Baseball League.
  • 4_Baseball_World_Tour.jpgMembers of the New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox with members of the Keio University baseball team in Japan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
  • 5_Baseball_World_Tour.jpegPlayers pose during a visit to Vatican City. Courtesy of Ted Sullivan’s History of the World Tour.
  • 6-Baseball-World-Tour.jpgAmerican baseball players in Giza, Egypt. Courtesy of Illinois at Chicago.
  • 7_Baseball_World_Tour.jpgWhite Sox players before a game in Paris. Courtesy of the Bibliothéque Nationale de France.
  • 8_Baseball_World_Tour.jpgA dinner at the Biltmore Hotel, in New York, at the conclusion of the world tour. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The 2014 Major League Baseball season opens this weekend, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in Australia. The two-game series, between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks, will mark the anniversary of an exhibition that was played at the same facility, in front of ten thousand fans, a hundred years ago. The 1914 visit was part of an ambitious world tour organized by Charles Comiskey, the owner of the Chicago White Sox, and John McGraw, the manager of the New York Giants, which began in Cincinnati, in October, 1913, and continued on to Japan, China, Australia, British Ceylon, Egypt, Italy, France, and Great Britain. The White Sox and the Giants toured for five months, playing exhibition games against local teams and against each other. (In Sydney, the White Sox beat the Giants twice: 5-4, on January 3rd, and 10-5, two days later.) A postgame report in the Sydney Morning Herald complimented the “American Baseballers” on their fielding (“beautifully sharp and clean”) and batting (”some of the balls must have lodged close on 400 feet on the full”). Even the umpires came in for admiration:

It was delightful to hear the umpire yell, “Heez out!” or “Yure out!” and at the same time point with his right hand and index finger to the unfortunate individual who had failed to “make good;” it was like the stern deliverance of a judge recording the death sentence.


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