Friday, November 4, 2011

The Brewers' Goat Had a Name

by Dennis Pajot

In a previous post I gave some history of the Brewer mascot goat, owned by Ralph Cutting and Larry Chappell.

The pennant-winning 1913 Milwaukee Brewers

In at least two recent books the goat was given the name "Woozy". In my research I did not run across this name, or any name for the goat in 1913. But in 1914 the goat had a name — Fatima.

Close-up: pitcher Joe Hovlik and Fatima

I first ran across this name in the Milwaukee Sentinel of April 19, 1914, during the newspaper's description of the previous day's game against the Minneapolis Millers. The article reads:
In spite of the weather it was also a good afternoon for goats. Fatima, Ralph Cutting's nanny, jumped out on the field in the sixth inning, and stopped the game while half the Brewer team chased it around the lot. Fatima has all the sly habits of her sex, and she led the athletes a merry chase. A handsome youth finally inveigled her into the grandstand with a bag of peanuts and the pastime proceeded after the bugs had been given a big laugh. Last night the club physician reported that Fatima was suffering from a stomach ache, the many peanuts having been stuffed into said stomach. She was put on a diet of tin cans and old baseball shirts and was resting easily, and is expected to be back on the job this afternoon.
Milwaukee Sentinel columnist A.J. Schinner even wrote a poem about Fatima this day:
Every ball player must obey
And listen to what he doth say.
For the umpire doth rule the play,
But not Fatima.

Most carefully she browsed and fed,
As if it were a clover bed.
And did she list' to what was said?
Nay, not Fatima.

When, advent'rous, she slipped her anchor,
Her soul was not filled with rancor
Until they tried to catch and spank 'er,
Our own Fatima.

Then she kicked up one great big fuss,
Evading every spurt and rush
For she was a real clever cuse,
Was our Fatima.

Around she flew like a to a bug
Until she spied Cantillon's nug.
And then beneath the stands she dug.
Wise Fatima.
Shinner said the only trouble with Fatima was that she had a New England education and was unable to comprehend the Milwaukee north side diction.

The Sentinel referred to Cutting's goat as Fatima again on numerous occasions. (See May 4, May 8, May 14, June 8, June 9, August 19, 1914.)

In the May 3, 1914, we learn the goat could communicate, although the Milwaukee Journal did not give the goat a name. The goat was meandering around second base after a Brewer win, explaining "Mah-ah-ah-ah". Luckily there was a goatologist at the park and translated what the mascot had said. The mascot had said it tickled his chin whiskers to see the Clarkmen win, but he was sorry that they were not hitting home runs as they used to. [It appears the goatologist was not very good with determining the sex of the mascot!]

In the Milwaukee Journal of June 25, 1914 , we learn the entire life history of the goat, written by none other than herself.
Written by A. Goat

I have been a goat all my life and I want the fans to know it. My father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Goat, always objected to my earning a livelihood in a sporting capacity, but through the poverty of my parents, I was forced into my present position. As a lad playing about the city dumps with my goat chums, I created an appetite for an outdoor life. My father had a hard time supplying tin cans for our large family, so one day, packing a few nails and some scrap in a sack, I started out to seek my fortune in the world.

I was quietly nibbling a barbed wire fence at a farmer's house on the outskirts of Milwaukee, when one of the farm hands sneaked up and made me a prisoner. My main work here was to keep the yard clear of rubbish and as a reward for my work, I was given every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon off. During my rounds of the yard one day I came upon a mess of fresh beer bottle corks, and, feeling extremely hungry, downed about twelve. For weeks I lay at death's door and every goat specialist in that part of the country had given me up. I lived on nothing but shingle nails for weeks and finally when my strength returned, I was sold to Ralph Cutting, now with the Milwaukee Brewers, and Larry Chappell, now with the Chicago White Sox.

They bought me on a fifty-fifty basis, the front half belonging to Cutting and the rear to Mr. Chappell. I have always been very thankful that they never decided to break up the partnership and each take their share. I was then moved into the Milwaukee ball park, where I have since made my home.

The flood of Monday completely upset me and with my nerves in a shattered condition, I was forced to witness the brawl of Tuesday. I have been given quite an amount of publicity and my parents have learned of my whereabouts and are pleased with my success. My mother's birthday was last week and I sent her a little remembrance in the way of a two pound box of rusty washers.

I am very happy in my present position but some days I find it rather hard picking for food at the ball yard. The fans seem to take a real interest in me and I would appreciate it very much if they would throw the soda and beer bottle corks out on the field so that I can gobble them up.

In conclusion I will say that I have but one worry; no matter what I do or where I go, I simply can't get away from it, I'm always the goat.
The next morning A.J. Schinner published another poem dedicated to Fatima. This one regarding the goat's behavior during of the speech of Mayor Gerhard A. Bading on the occasion of the Brewers' raising the 1913 American Association pennant flag in the outfield of Athletic Park.
Thoughtful she looked across the Timme field with titled head.
She alone did not smile or heed what G.A. Bading said.
What cared she for pennants, plaudits or blare of the brass band?
For Fatima was a goat, and goats do not understand.

And as I watched the Saints rake ye Brewer from stern to stern
And witnessed that old batting eye to Happy Felch return,
I laughed and roared, but she, complacent, never showed her hand,
For Fatima was a goat, and goats do not understand.

Once only did I envy her—that was early in the day—
She did not have to strain to hear what Bading had to say;
She did not have to fidget or sit silent in the stand,
For Fatima was a goat, and goats do not understand.
In the September 28, 1914, edition of the Milwaukee Sentinel a team photo was published. Sitting on the lap of Cy Slapnicka is the goat, named Fatima in the accompanying caption.

Top Row—Griesel, Braun, Smith, Powell, Jim Jones, Lewis, Tom Jones, McGraw, Skechan, Shakelford.
Middle Row—Randell, Dougherty, Felch, Beall, Hovlik, Young, Cutting, Miller.
Bottom Row—Bausch, Hughes, Clark, Barbeau, Berg, Slapnicka and Fatima, Carlson.

1 comment:

  1. What a great look into Milwaukee's baseball past. I applaud the exhaustive research carried out by Dennis Pajot on this piece and look forward to revisiting the article again soon. Just a super job. Now, just who, or what, was Woozy?? Could there have been a goat named Woozy in 1913 or at some other earlier time?