Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Baseball Mystery in Five Post Cards - Part Two.

The second in a series of post cards that seem to be telling a story.  Back track for the earlier post(s).

An attractive post card, but a bit confusing.  The suggestion is that the successful athlete is finding even greater success with the ladies.  But the ladies appear first and the ball game second.  Also, if this is supposed to depict a stolen base, well the runner was safe by a mile.  He did not even have to slide! There is clearly some dunderheaded defense going on here.  And talk about confusing, it looks as if the player in blue has just stolen a base.  Fine.  But the other runner charging in is in the white uniform of the defensive team!  Very odd, and not suggestive of any particular athletic glory.  If you stare at this illustration long enough it becomes even more surreal.  From the positioning of the players it looks as if the fellow in blue has either just stolen first base or almost as likely, has stolen third by running in from somewhere out in left field.  Or did he run backwards?  Now that would have been impressive.

This one is addressed to a Ben Christianson.  The last name is identical to our first entry as is the small southwest Wisconsin town of Viroqua.  It is reasonable to assume Ben and Carl were related, perhaps brothers.  The "Ping Bodie" addition is another joke, that was the name/nickname of a major league slugger of the day.  The text is dense and a bit hard to read.  I make out:

"Well Shieth, have you located my base ball pad yet?  If not crawl under your porch or into the chimney + get it.  How's your salary arm?  Am going to call on you to twirl against the Cubs soon.  Am enjoying my good health with the paint brush these days.  How are you making it?  Any school maam there yet?  Go swimming for me.
Cy   Cy   Cy   Cy

Oy, where to start.  Shieth is a word I had never encountered.  It is an archaic word for "shy".  I infer a degree of kidding throughout the message, Cy seems to be sending Ben on some kind of wild goose chase.  Ben might be a pitcher, hence the reference to salary arm and pitching against the Cubs.  Or it might just be more kidding around.  Perhaps the salty nature of our first card is still on my mind, but the references to paint brushes and school maam sound a bit off color.

I am no expert in such matters but despite the similar tone I do not think that our "Cy" from this card and our enigmatic "I.No." from the previous one are the same person.  The hand writing looks different.

Cy of course is a reference to the famous Cy Young.  More kidding around.  This writer sounds like a brother but the reference to "your porch" instead of  our or the porch makes it more likely they are friends and probably former team mates.

More from "Cy" tomorrow.

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