In the Wake of the News, France
Note that Ring Lardner wrote this hilarious column the day after the Reds’ Fred Toney and the Cubs’ Hippo Vaughn combined to pitch the only double no-hit game in baseball history. For background, see: http://goo.gl/F9qx5O.
IN THE WAKE OF THE NEWS
Ring Lardner, Chicago Tribune
M. Joffre une Balle Eventail
Aboard the French Special, May 3, 1917—A Wake correspondent had a pleasant chat today with M. Joffre in the observation car of the special which is bearing the French commissioners to Chicago. As the correspondent’s French is extremely limited and the great general’s English almost as much so, the conversation must have sounded queer to chance listeners.
“I see by one of the Chicago après-midi newspapers,” said the correspondent, “that you are coming out here for the purpose of seeing a ball game.”
“En partie,” replied M. Joffre. “Of course, we are in les États-Unis for le plaisir, and with so much temps to kill, I thought it would be bon to visit la belle Chicago, shake hands with my old camarade, Maire Guillaume Robuste Thompson, et see the boys jouer à la balle. I have always been dérangé to see Les Cincinnati Rouges jouer à la balle.”
“Cincinnati is your favori neuf?”
“Certainement,” said M. Joffre. “But I like the Petits de l’Ours also. That must have been une grand jeu journée. It was tough luck for Jacques Vaughn, though.”
“What happened?” inquired the correspondent.
“Why M. Vaughn et M. Toney each pitched une non frapper jeu for neuf innings. Then les Rouges got two hits in le dixième and copped. Are the Petits l’Ours a bon team?”
“Bien,” replied the correspondent. “But they have too many artists who frapper gaucher.”
“I read that M. Saier broke un jambe,” said the visitor.
“Oui. M. Merkle is now le premier basehomme.”
“M. Roland Zeider has been doing pretty damne bien at le court-arrêter,” said M. Joffre. “How have M. Rigler et M. Orth been getting along?”
“Not very bien,” the correspondent answered.
“All empires are putride,” said the Frenchman.
“Did you ever jouer à la balle yourself?”
“Oui. I was l’attrapeur for a semi-pro club in Paris. Also I played awhile in le cham gauche.”
“Well, I won’t bother you any more,” said the correspondent. I’ll see you at the ball park tomorrow.”
“Oui. And I hope they faire bien la partie,” said M. Joffre.