Tuesday, July 2, 2019

On This Day - "Goshawhimmity if I Don't Get Some Help!"

On this day in 1944, seventy-five years ago, Milwaukee Sentinel sports editor and columnist James B. "Stoney" McGlynn (no relation to the 1909-1912 Brewers pitcher of the same nickname, who had died in Manitowoc three years earlier) opined about the challenges facing the Milwaukee Chicks at the Borchert Field box office.

McGlynn claimed support from a letter writer and All-American Girls Professional Ball League fan from Racine, who seconded McGlynn's concerns about the league.

Let's take a look at what Stoney and his pen pal had to say.

The scan loses a few words, but we'll try to recreate the relevant portion of the column in its entirety.



GOSHAWHIMMITY if I don't get some help today in hanging up the week's sports wash. And from Racine where the Racine Belles of the All-American Girls' Ball League hold forth in all their regal glory as champions. Racine fans take their Belles seriously, and if the following letter is any criterion it seems they like the Milwaukee Chicks, too, but at least the writer of the letter agrees with this corner that the Milwaukee prices are too steep.


Dear Stoney,

"I read your column every time I get the Sentinel, and I like your views. I am a fan of the All-American Girls Ball League, and I see things are not going so hot in Milwaukee. Here in Racine it is 74 cents while in Milwaukee the rates start at 95 cents. I always thought that all the cities charged the same rate, and I can't see why the Milwaukee club has to have such high rates. No one can blame the fans who have to pay the price. Here in Racine there is only one team, the BELLES. In Milwaukee you have the Chicks and the Brewers who are a lot of competition. All the Racine fans are great admirers of the game and hope Milwaukee Chicks will keep in there punching too. Incidentally, I like the Chicks next to the BELLES.

I have never seen Borchert field, but the comments make it sound pretty bad. I always thought Racine's Horlick field was bad, but from the reports going around it is one of the worst ball parks in the country for a major city.

*     *     *

FLAT WORK—Them's my sentiments. The Chicks have baseball ability and crowd appeal, but the prices ARE too steep for Joe Phann. Gen. Mgr. Eddie Stumpf and Ken Sells, league president, hope to find some solution to the problem today when they offer the first Sunday ladies day twin bill in the history of Borchert field. If enough Joe and Josephine Phanns turns out for the two for one bargain matinee it might prove that it's the high prices, not the lack of crowd appeal, that is keeping the crowds down.

On the current home stay to date the Chicks have played excellent ball and bid fair to continue. This department unhesitatingly advised to give 'em a try at the bargain rate. You'll love 'em for their hustle, bustle, sporting spirit and gameness to say nil of the sex appeal—and they have that, too.
Aside from the gratuitous digs at Bochert Field—which was admittedly showing its age, as the city well knew with its plans for the new County Stadium already in the works—Mr. Peterson isn't wrong. Asking Milwaukee baseball bugs to shell out the same ninety-five cents for the AAGPBL that they were for the Brews is a pretty steep ask. Can't help but think that whatever the league lost with a lower individual ticket price would have been more than made up for in volume.

McGlynn was an extremely influential figure in Wisconsin sports, then in his twelfth year as the sports editor of Milwaukee's morning paper, and his words might have had some weight with the league. Indeed, had they heeded his call, the Chicks might have been able to make a go of it in the Cream City.

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