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Apr 16

Don’t Mess with Hoy

Early September 1889. Washington is once again a tail-ender. The Cleveland League team is in Washington under their manager, Tom Loftus, to play the Senators. The Spiders win their third straight game, 9 to 6. George Keefe’s effort in the box is called “wretched.”

The batteries were Keefe, George Haddock and Connie Mack, and Henry Gruber and Chief Zimmer. George Haddock played right field in Ed Beecher’s absence. Tom Daly played first for John Carney, who is still troubled by a lame knee. In the first inning he allows two runs to score and then in the fourth inning he walks in three men. George Haddock takes his place and is effective until the ninth inning when he allows three runs to score. Haddock and Keefe each both walk four batters. Washington plays a good game in the field but is unable to figure out Henry Gruber. Cub Stricker tires to pull the hidden ball trick on Dummy Hoy. Hoy knocked the ball out of his hand and stole a base. There was a great kick but Umpire Knight refused to send him back. Ed Beecher is out, his son is ill.

The Hoy – Stricker Play. In the seventh, with John Irwin out, Dummy Hoy reached first on balls and went to second on a passed ball. The occurred a bit of “funny business” that but few people understand. There was a short wait, the ball being held at second. All of a sudden Hoy was off like a shot for third, which he reached safely, while half of the Cleveland team charged upon Umpire Knight with their mouths open and making noise, Jay Faatz leading. They talked for five minutes, telling the umpire in the loudest style that Hoy had slapped the ball out of Cub Stricker’s hand. Mr. Knight “couldn’t see it” and waved him back. Hoy, meanwhile, was sitting on third and telling Patsy Tebeau, by motions, how it happened. For a wonder Tebeau did not enter the talking match at the plate, which was ended at last by Faatz taking a drink of water and going back to his bag. Walter Wilmot hit a bounder to Faatz after several vicious fouls, and Hoy was run down between third and home, Wilmot taking second; Arthur Irwin flied to Larry Twitchell ending the inning.

Later it turns out that Stricker had hid the ball thinking to catch Hoy napping, but the mute was up to his little game and seized an opportunity to juggle it out of his hands and run. It takes a mighty smart man to fool Hoy. While Jay Faatz, Ed McKean, Henry Gruber and Chief Zimmer were jawing at the umpire about the play; Captain Irwin quietly distracted Umpire Knight’s attention and showed him the interesting tableau on third. Hoy was squatting on the bag grinning like a Cheshire cat and showing Tebeau how the thing was done. This kept the umpire in good humor and possibly saved Faatz from a good solid fine for his imprudence.

Trivia, Loftus would one day manage in Washington. Cub Stricker and Larry Twitchell would both play for Washington, as would another Spider, Sy Sutcliffe.