Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jim Thorpe as a Giant -- August 8, 2012

This cartoon by Robert W Edgren, from the 11-February-1913 San Francisco Call talks about Jim Thorpe's career with the New York Giants. Manager John McGraw predicts that he will be a regular this season. Christy Mathewson was a great Giants pitcher.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.  Please excuse the 1913 racism. 


Indian Figures Out Every Move in Advance

NEW YORK, Feb. 10. —Jim Thorpe, the great Indian athlete who has become a Giant, has one characteristic that will be a strong point in his favor even before his physical dexterity or knowledge of the game begins to develop.

"Did you notice," said McGraw enthusiastically, "that trick or habit he has of looking out the corner of his eye and taking in the surroundings before he expresses himself on a subject?"

After talking with this wonderful athlete a few minutes one couldn't help noticing it.

"That is a sure sign of a calculating athlete." added McGraw. "I guess you have observed Mathewson doing it
when apparently he was paying no attention."

According to McGraw, the ball player who studies out details is nearly always successful.

That Thorpe is an observant fellow was shown when I asked him why he preferred to join the Giants. He glanced out of the corner of his eye at a large framed picture of the New York team which included all the substitutes last spring.

"I could have gone to St. Louis and, according to what the scout told me, could have been a regular." he said.  "But it occurred to me that I had never seen any startling newspaper stories about what the St. Louis team had done. That is what decided me in favor of the Giants. If the St. Louis club was willing to put an untried man like me on the regular team they would likely put other untried men on it and it wouldn't be much of a team. I think I would rather sit on the bench with a good team than to be on the field with a bad one. After seeing what good players do I might be able to do it myself.

"I have never heard of a ball player who sat on the bench with the Giants turning out badly," he added. "A lot of good coaching, I figure, is worth more to a young player than a little bad playing."

Thorpe explained that he had a small income from his property in Oklahoma, but that it was not sufficient for a good living. In other words, he is going into baseball purely for the money there is in it.

Contrary to the general impression, Thorpe is not a full blooded Sac and Fox Indian. His parents are both half breeds. His father is a well to do farmer in what was formerly Indian Territory. Jim was born near a little place called Prague. He is a ward of the United States government and owns a tract of land which is a part of the grant to the Indians.

Though there is a general impressionthat McGraw signed Thorpe purely for the sake of having a worldwide famous attraction for the Giants, the New York manager is really enthusiastic over his chances as a player.

"Thorpe is the ideal build for a ball player," says McGraw. "He is broad shouldered, clean limbed and. weighs 176 pounds. His mind is quick and his record is ample evidence of his gameness.  I like the way he has of studying things out. Of course. I realize that he will be a big novelty for the public, but I also expect to turn him into a good player."

No comments: