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But civilization has come to La
guna Beach and pushed the game
country back. Now it's a ten-mile
hike to get birds, and over some of
the most rugged country in the
United States. --.
"Believe me, it'swork to hunt
here," he said. "I use up as much
steam on a single hunting trip as I
do in a dozen ball games. You don't
realize how much hill there is in some
of these mountains until you start
to climb them."
Ernie Johnson discovered Laguna
before he became an outlaw. He
was playing with Los Angeles two
years ago and happened upon the
little town at the edge of the sea by
'accident Now he goes each year
Cravath is one of the potentates
of the town. He owns four houses,
a "tin Lizzie" and three lots, which is
quite a portion of the city.
"They tell me," he said, "that La
guna is a summer resort, "but you
couldn't prove it by me, because I've
never been there in summer to see."
Cravath and Johnson are known
as the "Gold Dust Twins of Laguna."
They are inseparable.
No baseball for Cravath or John
son until next spring.
"I don't play winter ball," said
Cravath, "because I don't want to
cheat. It's like a man taking a-vacation
and working at the same time.
"I rest Next spring I shall go back
to the game fresh and enthusiastic.
What's the gain, anyway, to play ball
in some obscure league for about
one-sixth of what you get in the ma
jors? You keep in condition? Yes,
but I keep in condition in a better
way. Hunting and fishing keep me
in perfect physical trim."
Johnson and Cravath have a
unique way of fishing. They hunt
for fish. Shouldering their rods, they
walk along the high bluffs that rim
the ocean and peer down into the
clear water. When they see a school
of fish they stop. If birds are circling
close to the surface that, too, indi
There are 90 varieties of fish off
Laguna, so the baseball twins decide
which variety they want and then
bait their hooks accordingly. Bass,
perch and sheepsheads are the most
common. But now and then they
hook a shark.
"And, believe," Cravath exclaimed,
"a five-foot shark will break your
pole and burn your thumbs and give
you all the fun you want"
Both players are married. Cra
vath has one child, a girl of 10, and
Johnson has two, a boy and girl.
"The first duty of the wife of a big
leaguer," says Mrs. Cravath, "is to
get something into his stomach just
as soon as he gets up. That keeps
him from being as cross as a bear,
in which respect the big leaguer is
much like other men."
"The thing that appeals to me
about Laguna," said Ernie Johnson,
"is that there isn't a saloon within
30 miles. It's no place for a fellow
who wants the wild and riotous life
of the gay white way. But if it's a
home he's wanting, Laguna it is.
"We never get lonesome. Fishing
one day, hunting the next, and may
be gouging abalones off the rocks an
other day is the sport for us."
"And in the "winter," Cravath said,
"on days when you can't get out, you
sit in the window and listen to the
crack of the surf and watch those
big waves hit the headlands. They
slam the bluffs and send their spray
clear over them. As far as the eye
can see the ocean is a streak of
But the Laguna twins don't hunt
and fish all the time. They lay ce
ment sidewalks, plant rosebushes,
doctor "Lizzie" (the auto) and per
form many household duties. At
night there are card parties, not
poker games, just cards; sometimes
at Cravath's, sometimes at John
son's, sometimes at a neighbor's.
"It's the life," say the big leaguers,
"believe us, it's the life."