May The Best Man Win: The Black Ball Championships 1866–1923
This article was published in the Spring 2013 Baseball Research Journal.
During a playoff game in October 1905, Leland Giants pitcher Walter Ball rushed onto the diamond at Chicago’s West Side Park, and threw a punch “with all the force of his arm,” at Fred “Pop” Roberts’s face. The Chicago Union Giants second baseman wound up with a large lump over his eye and had to leave the contest, while Ball—who was not even playing that Sunday—broke his own hand. Only the interference of umpire George McGurn prevented the other players from “making a general battle royal.” The Union Giants . . .
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