Sunday, July 23, 2000
Five questions with Bid
McPhee's quotes are taken from newspaper accounts during his
career. He actually said these things at one time or another, so we didn't think he would have minded have them repeated here.
1. You didn't start wearing a fielder's glove until 1896, 10 years after they first came out. What did you tell a reporter in 1890 when he asked you why you weren't wearing a glove, even though everybody else was?
I have never seen the necessity of wearing one, and besides, I cannot hold a thrown ball if there is anything on my hands. This glove business has gone a little far. True, hot-hit balls do sting a little bit at the beginning of the season, but after you get used to it, there is no trouble on that score.
was the toughest town to play in?
Baltimore. Why we used to lay on the floor of the horse car taking us to the ballpark, because the kids used to throw tomatoes, rocks and assorted vegetables at us before the game. And the fans were just about as bad. If you came to town and beat their club, it was as much as your life was worth. Boy, they were tough!
3. Why did Cincinnati drop out of the National League before the 1881 season and then resurface in a rival major league (the American Association) in 1882, your rookie season?
William Hulbert was president
of the league, then. He was an ardent prohibitionist, and he put in a tough rule against liquor even beer being sold in the parks. Well those Germans in Cincinnati wouldn't go without their beer, so they quit!
4. What did you say in spring training in 1900 in New Orleans just before you retired?
I still have a touch of rheumatism in my throwing arm, and I am fearful as to my ability to get into playing form before the season opens. I do not want the club to carry me as dead timber.
5. Anything else to say, Bid? This is a big day, you know.
I wish I
could give you some real dope, but I never could seem to get around to keeping clippings and that sort of thing. I wish I had, but I never did ... (But) baseball is improving little by little every year. So, you see, I'm not an 83-year-old fellow who thinks the game was better way back when. Chances are the boys would bunt me out of the league if I were playing today.
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