"You may talk about Chris Von der Ahe's explosions of dialect. Chris did himself proud one Sunday, eleven years ago," says Ted Sullivan. "I was managing Henry Lucas' Union Maroons in St. Louis, and Jimmy Williams managed the Browns. Our team was scheduled for a game with the Chicago Unions, and the Browns and Brooklyns were the counter attractions scheduled to play at Chris' park. We advertised the game extensively in the Sunday papers. Both sides were fighting each other-the Association and Union-and we were hustling for a Sunday crowd.-The Washington Post, December 30, 1895
"I met Chris at noon on Sunday standing in front of his office, with an umbrella over his head. It was raining in sheets and buckets.
"'Are der Maroons and Chicago's going to play, Ted?' he asked.
"'Not much. Our grounds are afloat Chris.'
"'Neder are der Browns. It's too vet, Ted,' said Chris, and he began to toss bad words at the weather.
"I went over to our park and engaged a crowd of men and boys to unload sawdust all over the field.
"The rain held up, and at 3 o'clock our grounds were dry enough for a game.
"I sent Fred Dunlap, captain of the Maroons, over to Chris' office, instructing him to tell Chris that the Maroons wouldn't play-that the grounds were too wet.
"About an hour later the sky cleared and the crowd poured into our grand stand and bleachers. It wasn't till our game was half over that Chris discovered the job we had put up on him. After the game he was tackled by scores of his friends.
"'Great game over at Henry Lucas' park, Chris. Over 8,000 paid admissions,' said Fred Dunlap.
"'That was an awful job Ted Sullivan put up on you," said Henry Boyle.
"'My Gott, vot you tink of dot. Ted to giff me an inshoot like dot. He vos a foxy Irishman. Eight tousant paid admissions. Vot you tink?'
"And Chris drowned his troubles in cocktails."
Will I ever find a more perfect story to post than this? Seriously, we have one of Sullivan's Von der Ahe-as-buffoon stories and a mention of Fred Dunlap. This story gives me an excuse to go off on two of my favorite rants. I could do paragraphs here about the need to rehabilitate the reputations of VdA and Dunlap. I could do a week-long, multi-part series based on nothing more than this story. Good God, talk about coming right into my wheel-house.
Of course, I'm going to spare you the beating the dead horse rants and just ask that you appreciate the sublime perfection of this story.