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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 09, 1917, LAST EDITION, Image 10

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-02-09/ed-1/seq-10/

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By Mark Shields
If Cap. Huston's plan to have the
"ballplayers try military drill in spring
training camp is adopted the Mack
men, Cardinals, Reds and a few oth
ers will have a big ""advantage in
knowing how to dig themselves in.
And there are more than a few
pitchers who would do well in the
aviation corps.
The umpires need no war drill.
- They know all about murder and
sudden death.
American baseball stars could play
a big part in the effectiveness of the
United States army in case of war
with Germany and if an expedition
ary force was sent into the trenches !
Trench fighting has reverted in a
sense to the primitive and the hurl
ing of hand grenades and bombs
1 plays an important part in the battles
being waged between the men in the
first-line dugouts.
"A great pitcher would be worth
his weight in radium to the armies
on the western front," says Paul Ver
dier, a French officer, now in the
United States. "Baseball stars, men
who are accurate throwers, would be
of inestimable value.
"French soldiers can throw fairly
accurate, but-a man trained in base
ball would be able to throw further
and with much greater accuracy.
"The allied troops on the western
i front have far exceeded the Germans
in bomb hurling, but there is much to
be desired."
This brings to mind the new hand
grenade, suggested by baseball and
invented by an army officer, formerly
a West Point pitcher.
The grenade is the size of a base
ball and is so made it cannot be de
tonated unless thrown from an at
chment in the thrower's hand
'ch resembles a device made a
few years ago to develop an arti
ficial spitball.
The attachment slips off the ball as
it leaves the hand after it has given
the ball a spin and sets the plunger
which causes the bomb to explode
on contact.
The invention is regarded as one of
the most important developments in
bomb warfare.
Hand grenades now used in Eu
rope are dangerous. They explode
easily and are not equipped with
safety devices to protect the throw
er. They are often dropped with
disastrous results in the trenches or
in charges.
The American invention may be
thrown or dropped without explod
ing unless the plunger is set by the
hand attachment.
The 'formula for the explosives in
the bombs and the secret of the de
tonator are carefully guarded secrets
of the ordnance bureau of the army.
There will be lively battles on three
American league teams this season
for the first base job.
With the White Sox Ness and
Fournier will have to show their
wares are better than the goods of a
couple of youngsters who will be out
after the job. Two youngsters are
trying to break into the game on the
initial saok at Cleveland and will
keep Chick Gandil and Louis Guisto
busy. Guisto, by the way, is the
promising Italian slugger Cleveland
obtained from the coast last year.
He didn't show much in the few
games he played at the fag end of
last season.
Griffith may switch Howard
Shanks into Joe Judge's place at
Pipp, Mclnnis, Sisler, Hoblitzel and
Burns are in no danger of losing
their jobs this year. v
Manager Donovan of the New
York Yanks is reported to have of
fered Fritz Maisel to the Browns for
Derrjll p' Welder Jones has not

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