During the 1910 season, the Chicago Tribune regularly published funny, sometimes hilarious, poems that it said were written by Frank Schulte, the Cubs' colorful, hard-hitting, lefty-swinging right fielder.
The poems actually were written by Ring Lardner, destined to become one of the great humorists of the early 20th Century, who was assigned by the paper to cover the Cubs that season.
This story, culminating in a poem, appeared 111 years ago today.
NO GAME FOR CUBS
AT GUNTHER PARK
Ball Players on Ground, but
No One Else, So Contest
Is Called Off.
WILL TRY AGAIN TODAY.
Schulte Poetically Tells of Motor
Race in Which He Acts as
No one will be surprised to learn that there was no game between the Cub barnstormers and the Gunthers at Gunther park yesterday afternoon.
The ball players and gate men were the only ones besides Jack Hendricks, Al Tearney and Ald. Couglin brave enough go near Mr. Niesen's playground. A forty mile gale was blowing across the field and when the several managers called it off no one was sorry.
There won't be a double header this afternoon, but there will be one game if the weather relents a trifle. As an added attraction, there will be a fungo hitting contest between Harry McIntire of the Cubs and Fred Bergmann of the Gunthers.
Fred has something of a reputation, but will need more than that when he gets mixed up with Harry, who certainly can lift that ball high and far away in a stunt like this.
Also, there is scheduled a base running race between Frank Marvelous Schulte and any one Billy Niesen dares start against him. Frank doesn't look so terribly fast usually, but he can go when he wants to, and he took a workout yesterday that he will remember for a long time.
Schulte Tells About Race.
Frank didn't go around the bases and he didn't go on foot. He was engaged as mechanician for [teammate] Herman Schaefer's car and there was a race from Gunther park downtown between Herman and Al Tearney. Let Frank tell it himself:
Listen my children, and you shall hear
Of the daylight ride of Dutch Schefeeer [sic]
With Schulte along as the mechanish
Knowing less of a car than a deep sea fish
The ride was a race, not a common journey,
And the other contestant was Turk Al Tourney;
The ride was a race, and a race for fair,
And the Germans won with a lot to spare.
Just north of the river, a block or two,
A turn was made by the Turkey crew;
Said I: "They're turning." Said Schaef: "They ain't."
And we missed a spill by a coat of paint.
And while they were pausing to gasp for breath
We crossed the bridge in the face of death,
And sped neath the wire at Adams street --
The Dutch had won and the Turks were beat.
And if wasn't the speed of the Schaefer car
That made us win and win so far;
'Twas the nerve of our noble German chauffeur,
The wonderful, dunderful Herman Schefer.
Asked about "dunderful," Schulte said it was a Syracuse word meaning awfully funny. The result of the ride was a determination on the part of Herman and Frank to quit baseball and go into automobile racing.
That was the last Schulte poem published by the Tribune in 1910.
As described in previous posts in this series, Lardner left the Tribune soon thereafter, for the Sporting News, but by Opening Day of 1911 he was working for the Boston American.
He returned to the Tribune in 1913, overseeing its "In the Wake of the News" column, and soon resumed the Schulte poems.
The 1913 poems appeared in this series on the anniversary of their original publication dates, from July through early October.
In all of 1914, there were only 5 Schulte poems. They will appear on their 108th anniversaries in 2022.