OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 07, 1917, NOON EDITION, Image 6

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-04-07/ed-1/seq-6/

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By Mark Shields
Now that war has been declared,
-what will be the outlook for sport in
the immediate future? What will
happen to the baseball races, what
will the golf bodies do with regard
to championship competition, and
how will the colleges act?
Those are big questions now, and
aL least two of them are speculative
matters that must wait longer for an
answer. The collegians have already
acted, practically in concert, cancel
ing all forms of athletic endeavor and
employing the time in military drill.
Yesterday the golfing peoplpe were
of the opinion that their champion
ship fixtures would not be interfered
with. A day may change this opinion.
The war to us is not the same per
sonal thing it is to the British, com
parable to us in sport, but the best fu
ture line on the American conduct
of sport during wartimes can be
gleaned from the way in which the
English have handled the question.
England's cricketers put away
their bats and the golfers locked
their bags. They went to war. The
cricketers compare closely to our
college form of athletics, the wicket
game being England's highest form
of amateur athletic endeavor. And
golfers are about on a par the world
over. Therefore, it is reasonable to
believe that college sport will die dur
ing the war.
The golf bodies will assuredly cut
down their list of events and may
cancel entirely. That doesn't mean
golf will be abolished. It will still be
played, but not with official sanc
tion and in large tournaments.
To gain a comparative idea of what
the organized baseball people will do
we must look across the water to
England's football teams. Football is
England's professional game which
comes nearest to our baseball in the
way it is conducted.
And the footballers have been go
ing on much as they did before the
war. Crowds of 80000 are nothing
unusual for a big match in the Brit
ish isles. The authorities decided that,
football was a good thing, because it
took the minds of the spectators
from the war momentarily and gave
them relaxation which is necessary
to a nation so closely involved and
suffering so heavily, as are the Brit
ish. Therefore, it is reasonable to be
lieve our baseball leagues will play
out their seasons unless finances
cause hitches. Certainly the majors
and the higher rank minors will go
through with their 1917 campaigns.
No better trained set of men could be
found than the diamond athletes, so
far as physiques are concerned. They
would be valuable fighting units.
But they also have their place in
entertaining the nation, in giving it
an interest to offset the dread news
of fighting and carnage. The play
ers of the big leagues will be drilled
each day by army men, and, at the
close of the season, if such a things
is necessary, they can be fused into
the" army, hardened by several,
months of active work in the open"
and fantiliar with the manual' of
The nation which has some inno
cent sport with which to refresh its
mind in war times is the nation
which will do the best fighting and
also at home bear the burdens that .
wholesale bloodletting entails.
Today the Cubs are in St Paul
putting the finishing touches to the
training trip. Next Monday the
team will be home for a day's rest
before setting out against the Pitts
burgh Pirates Wednesday on the
North Side.
Mitchell has done as well as could
have been expected. Considering the
mapping of his tour, he has per-

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