Cieradkowski: Alta Weiss, the wonder girl

From SABR member Gary Cieradkowski at Studio Gary C on January 6, 2019:

It was a warm summer morning, 1907. The well-to-do vacationers in the resort town of Vermilion, Ohio were just emerging from the cabins and bungalows, preparing for another lazy day of swimming, rowing and picnicking along the banks of Lake Erie. That morning, two teenage boys were whiling away the time by tossing a baseball around when they suddenly became aware of a blonde teenage girl watching their game. Accordingly, the boys began tossing the ball with a bit more English on it now that there was an audience of a pretty girl. After a while, the girl approached and asked if she could join in. Bemused, the boys agreed, and the girl jogged towards the vacation bungalows to get her glove.

Within minutes she was back, her long blonde hair pulled back with a baby blue ribbon, her fist pounding the pocket of a well-used mitt. The two boys shuffled their positions into a triangle to make room for the newcomer. Shrugging, the first boy unloaded a throw to the second boy who caught it, the ball making a sharp pop as it hit the pocket of the leather glove. The second boy now looked at the blonde girl, gauging how best to throw the ball without hurting her. Adjusting his stance, the boy lobbed the ball to the girl who casually caught it as it arched harmlessly through the air and dropped into her mitt. Clutching the ball with her right hand, the girl quickly pivoted, reared back and fired the ball at the first boy who, though surprised, caught the ball as it smashed into his mitt with a stinging pop. The two boys looked at the blonde girl who now had a deadpan expression on her face, her feet adjusted into a textbook fielder’s stance, waiting for the next throw.

The boys had met Alta Weiss.

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Originally published: January 8, 2019. Last Updated: January 8, 2019.