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Newspaper Page Text
WINTER SPORTING DOPE FROM EVERYWHERE
Willie Ritchie to Go to Australia
. Fights Murphy First.
Ellis Johnson Signs with the Sox
He Is Some Pitcher.
Willie Ritchie, lightweight chani
(0 pion, has -agreed to go to Australia in
the late spring for a series of bouts
to be arranged by promoters of the
Before departing for the ocean voy
age, however, Ritchie will fight Har
lem Tommy Murphy at San Francis-
co some time in April.
These two announcements are the
latest from the camp of the titlehold
er. The Murphy fight will be carried
out unless Ritchie injures his other
Apparently Willie realizes, that he
must giyje Murphy a chance before he
picks up with any other man. Fans
. . i j, -i i -no.
. at nome are demanding n, aim xvil
chie would be a poor drawing card
anywhere if he did not keep his obli
gations to the New Yorker.
Why Ritchie is so reluctant to fight
is one of the mysteries of the ring
game. Before every mill he has en
gaged in lately, and they have been
almighty few, the champion has
backed and filled until the impression
got abroad that he was afflicted with
a saffron streak. But his work after
he actual climbed through the ropes
was a strong contradiction of this be
lief. Take his last fight with Leach
Cross. Willie's action before that
fight caused unrest even among his
j) , most ardent supporters, and the ma
jority of critics were predicting hard
time for him when he faced.,the New
York dentist. But when they began
to swap blows Ritchie became a
fighter instead of a business man,
Leach has not yet forgotten the ter
rific licking handed to him.
This fighting ability of Ritchie's
makes his backwardness about de
fending his title all the harder to explain.
' Buried away down in the baseball
news in the morning papers is the in
formation that Ellis Johnson of Ra
cine, Wis., a young pitcher, has sign
ed a contract with the White Sox and
will leave with the training squad for
There is no blare of trumpets. to
announce the signing of this boy, and
in- the advance notices he will draw
about half the attention that Ed
But lend an ear to the prediction
that this Johnson fellow will be
heard from before he gets through
with his fling-at the national pastime.
He is a real pitcher and only misfor
tune has kept him out of the lime
light to this date.
Back in the fall of 1912 Johnson,
unheralded, was picked up by Man
ager Jimmy Callahan. He was raw
material and the manager grabbed
him as a gamble. Johnson was kept
on the bench.
Then one afternoon another John
son, first name Walter, who pitches
for the Washington team, and has
gained some reputation for so doing,
opposed the Sox out on the South
Side. Callahan sent one of his good
pitchers to the mound and Washing
ton mauled him in the first three in
nings. In the meantime, Walter John
son, of course, was holding the Soy
to a standstill.
Callahan thought it was a good
spot to try out his own Johnson. He
sent him in to oppose Washington.
And the local Johnson, for the final
six innings of that game, clearly out-:
pitched Washington Walter.
A record book is not handy, and the
exact details of the game do not stick
in memory, but Ellis did not allow a
National to cross the plate and yield
ed only about three hits. He seemed