As a ball player, I Ieft much to be desired—according to Ralph and Harry—he, especially was very scornful of the way I pitched a ball.
I threw a ball “overhanded” (whatever that was.) and I couldn’t “throw straight” or put the ball over the “plate,” in fact, I couldn’t “hit the side of a barn” and, besides, I couldn’t “throw a ball hard enough” for him to hit it.
All very convenient excuses when he struck out, and I was the pitcher. But I could outrun either of them on home runs. They said it was because I was so “skinny.” I was a skinny little kid. It was just natural. Grandma Burns said I was a “thin little thing,” and Aunt Em swore if she had me for a while, she could “put some meat on my bones.” I was perfectly healthy, and I ate plenty—I was just skinny.
Well, one day we were playing ball, Harry was up to bat, and had two strikes against him—I was pitching, and he was complaining to Ralph that I wasn’t throwing the ball hard enough and that was the reason he couldn’t hit it. So, just as I threw the ball as hard as I could—Harry looked at Ralph instead of the watching the ball—and it hit him squarely in the face, which I had not intended, though he claimed I did it on purpose—and that I broke his nose—it wasn’t broken, but he did have a nose bleed, and a very sore nose for a few days. Ralph asked him it I threw it that ball hard enough to suit him?
Harry said I was a dangerous menace and he was never going to play ball with me again—but he did, and after that, he watched more and talked less. He said a baseball in my hand was a deadly weapon and it should be against the law.
I was a little better at pitching horseshoes, tho they claimed it was pure accidental luck when I pitched a “ringer” and would tell each other to “stand clear,” that I “pitched wild.” Which I didn’t. It was just their way of pestering me. To get even, I would ask Harry if he would like me to hang a horseshoe on his nose? That usually shut him up—he was just a little afraid if he pushed me too far, I just might do it.