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Newspaper Page Text
BASEBALL SPORTS OF. ALL SORTS BOXING
CUB CHANCES DEPENDENT ON
DEVELOPMENT OF CATCHERS
k By Mark Shields
-A chain is no stronger than its
weakest link, and a ball -club is no
stronger than its weakest position.
' Which is another way of saying
I the Cubs are in bad straits for catch
ing material, and will have to limp
; along in the National league proces-
I sion unless unexpected marvels de-
t velop during the spring training trip.
S ' Art Wilson is the only backstop
with experience. He reached camp
yesterday, but it will be a few days
before he is able to undertake hard
work. He is behind in his condition
, ing and must catch up with the peo-
! pie who have been trying out since
the first day.
f To help Wilson with the work
i Manager Mitchell has Dilhoefer and
i Elliott. Benton, the University of
h Michigan man, is not ready for big
league company, or even for a job in
the higher clas minor -leagues. El
liott had a little experience in the Na
tional last season. Dilhoefer, with
Milwaukee, worked comparatively
, With ine exception of Wilson the
f staff is green, probably the greenest
combination that ever started the
( season with a big league club. Of
' course, these youngsters may de-
: velop into phenoms, but that is a
. . long shot.
Ray Schalk, now hailed as the.
t crack catcher of baseball, was not a
f regular during his first season on the
f South Side, and it isa long time since
f such a line prospect came to the nia-
'i jors. Playing in the big leagues is
t far different from the minors, 'and
; the catching department is the most
', I responsible of the .entire works.
r It is a job that requireshigh me-
chanical ability and mental agility.
A catcher must know opposing bats
men in order to call for the proper
brand of pitching. He must have
steadiness and a spark or two of in
spiration in order to keep the re
mainder of the team on its toes. !
It is too much to expect a green ,
catcher to have all these requisites.
It is impossible for him to know the
weakness of batters he has never .
Dilhoefer is out temporarily be
cause of an injured wrist He hurt it
last year playing ball, and again this J)
winter. The bones are not broken,
but are badly jammed.
Mitchell's present plan for the out
field is to start Mann, Williams and
Wolter as regulars, with Max Flack
as first relief man. Wolter has been
hitting a. trifle better than Max so
far. But this plan is subject to re
vision and is apt to be upset Cy Wil
liams had trouble with his batting -eye
during the latter part of the 191G
season, and was practically helpless
before, a good left-handed pitcher..
Flack was considerably more effec
tive. There is no longer a low wall
on the North Side fbr lunging hitters
to aim at " -
Douglass and Perry tried to pitch
against George Stovall's club and
were sadly bumped. That is to be
expected at this time. On the other
hand, the Cub clouters connected ac
curately with the Vernon pitchers.
Vic Saier hit a home run.
If Swede Risberg, the California
infield recruit, lands a regular job
with the White Sox it will probably
be at third base and Buck Weaver
will return to his old post at short.
If Risberg lands it will be because
more batting power can be put forth.
The new combination could not
maintain-a stronger defense.
Weaver is a remarkable infielder,
no matter where he is played. In the
time he worked at short he- was a
sensation in his ability to cover J)
ground and throw from impossible
positions. But Terry is his equal at
that job, and a trifle steadier. He