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Newspaper Page Text
There Is less drunkenness now than there was years ago, but I don't ,
give long-nosed, hypocritical reformers any credit for it. The development -,
of business and outdoor sports have done more to promote the cause of
temperate drinking than all of the reformers and reform organizations In
this country. Baseball, our national sport, has been one of the most
powerful educational influences for temperance.
The booze-fighting baseball player is no longer a hero. He doesn't
last ' The clean-living young player who knows what excessive eating,
drinking and sporting does to him as an athlete is the player who goes to
the top and lasts.
And that influence works all the way down from the big league stars, .
through the minor leagues, the colleges, the high schools, the public
schools and the back lots.
That is, American boys have been learning how to takecare qf them
selves physically. And not only as to boozing, but as to Intemperate
smoking and eating. It is my belief that more ill-health, misery and un
happiness is caused by intemperate eating than by intemperate drinking.
I think many doctors will agree with me.
Lake Michigan and the Chicago parks do more good for tQ cause
of temperance than all of the reformers in Chicago. They do more to
Jceep boys and men out of saloons than all the temperance laws on the
btatutes of Illinois.
The most efficient temperance workers Chicago ever had were the men
who had the vision to provide bathing beaches and playgrounds for the
people. They gave young peoplex some place to gto besides the saloon.
And the young folks go to the bathing beaches and the parks because they
want to, and not because a bunch of chicken-livered, cold-blooded, hypo- '
critical reformers preached sermons at them and told them to go. Or be
cause fool legislators passed laws MAKING tfiem go.
You had the nucleus for one of the finest and most wholesome tem
perance organizations in Chicago In that Sportsmen's club. Gee whiz.
Bill, just think of what an organization it would be if all the amateur
sportsmen got together the baseball, tennis, golf and players of other
And you had that bunch with you when you ran for mayor. I wouldn't
trade them for all the preachers in "town for they are red-blooded, big
. hearted human beings who want the joy out of life.
Reforming has become a trade, BilL Some folks, a bit ruder than I
want to be, might call it a graft Professional reformers make a living at
this graft, supported in part by contributions from some of our wealthiest
citizens. And, of course, boosted along by newspapers that have axes to
grind. Billy Sunday has got rich playing the reform game for big labor
exploiters; and an army of professionals headed by Perley Baker are making
a fat living out of the Anti-Saloon league.
Reformers have even made a profession of begging. We have a -school
right here in Chicago that -takes dollege graduates and makes
trained beggars of them trained to go out and shake down the public for
funds for organized charity and then try sociological experiments on the
There Is about the same difference between these educated and re
spectable beggars and the crippled -panhandlers in the loop as there is be
tween the respectable stock and grain gamblers and crap shooters. There
is no difference In principle it's only in degree. Personally I think more