Charming account of Cubs roommates in 1930

This delightful story, written by Edward Burns, appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sept. 7, 1930.

(Some paragraph breaks added for easier reading.)


Pittsburgh, Pa., Sept. 6. -- Every time the Cubs lose a couple of games in a row we get letters from bugs wanting to know if all the boys are getting a full quota of sleep.

They ask a lot of questions about who rooms with who and if it is true that so-and-so sits up till all hours of the night reading detective stories out loud, thus keeping his roommate awake, etc.

Now, there's one thing that a non-athletic attache or associate of a baseball troupe doesn't do and that's check up on the personal habits of ball players, especially checking up on what time one gets in evenings or whether he reads detective stories to his roomie or otherwise burns the oil past midnight.

Only One Fellow Who

Is Deprived of Sleep.

So far as we know, there's only one fellow on the Cubs ball club that has trouble getting his full sleep and that's not on account of his having any prowling or late reading habits.

We refer to Coach Ray Schalk. The reason Cracker has trouble getting in his slumber is because he rooms with Coach Jimmie Burke, the blushing man who stands out by first base when the Cubs are at bat.

Mr. Burke, awake, is a jolly companion, and is said to be an ideal roomie, tidy about the room, always putting his linen in the laundry bag, and hanging up his other suit and things like that -- an ideal roomie, until he goes to sleep.

Mr. Burke is one of the vertebrate school of snorers as contrasted with the mechani9cal or ripsaw type. When at the peak of his form, Mr. Burke reproduces faithfully the noises made by animal life from the cricket and frog to the various denizens of the sea and jungle.

Imitates Grunt of

Pacific Sea Lion.

Jimmie's best imitation, when he has a slight cold, is of the Eumetopias jubata, which, as you perhaps know, is a giant sea lion which disports in the Pacific. The Eumetopias jubata frequently grows to be 12 feet long and always is in fine voice.

Mr. Burke's art, however, is not given as an explanation for any lack of sleep accomplished by any one except Mr. Schalk, for he always is housed in a sound-proof room, so that he will not keep other members of the party awake.

Not that it's any of your or our business, we are going to give you a list which shows who of the Cubs rooms with whom, so you can figure for yourself how peaceful everything is around the hotel after curfew rings at 11:30 o'clock each night.

Capt. Charley Grimm and Cliff Heathcote have roomed together for years. Have a little banjo and guitar music around 9 p.m. and are sound asleep at 10:30.

Stevie Reads About Bridge,

Doc About Dentistry Gags.

Riggs Stephenson and Doc Farrell -- Stevie reads about bridge and Doc about new gags in dentistry. Go to sleep at about 10 o'clock.

Woody English and Clyde Beck -- Playful but quiet. Go to be early so they can get up early and drop banana peels for divers[e] parties to skid on.

Gabby Hartnett and Zack Taylor -- A noisy New Englander and a quiet Floridian, but both catchers, and catchers must have plenty of rest.

George Kelly and Jess Petty -- A couple of boys who like to sit in their room and congratulate each other on having been rescued by the Cubs. And they also could congratulate the Cubs, for that matter.

Kiki Cuyler and Clarence Blair -- They sit up till 10 o'clock, talking about the end of the season when they can break training by having a vanilla soda or a chocolate eclair.

Hack Wilson and Guy Bush -- Just a couple of pals.

Rogers Hornsby and Pat Malone -- Have a great time each evening telling each other about the time they played for McGraw.

Spread World Series

Money Each Evenings.

Al Shealy and Lynn Nelson -- Spend their evenings figuring out how they're going to spend their World Series dough.

Charley Root and Lester Bell -- Argue about the respective charms of Middleton, O., and Harrisburg, Pa. So far it's a draw.

Fred Blake and Bob Osborn -- Try to figure out the difference between an Ansted, W. Va., drawl and an El Paso, Tex., drawl.

Danny Taylor and Johnny Schulte -- The mildest mannered outfielder on the club and the hotheadedest catcher are a good team of roomies.

But Bud Teachout gets the best break of all. The scholarly and quiet Bud rooms with that dynamo of human energy, Dr. [Andy] Lotshaw, who is scholarly, but not so quiet. But withal Doc is the pal and servant of his friends at any hour, day or night.


The Sunday morning that this story appeared in the Tribune, the Cubs were in first place by 4 games.

They lost that afternoon, at home, then went 4-9, all on the road, to fall 3 games behind.

Although they won their final 2 on the 15-day trip, Manager Joe McCarthy was told he would not be retained the next season, so McCarthy resigned.

With Hornsby in charge, the Cubs swept their last 4 games, but still wound up 2 games behind the Cardinals.

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