Thursday, August 6, 2020

Batter Up!

Hi, Kit Morgan here and today I'd like to talk a little bit about baseball! 

The English language has changed over the last century and a half, including the terminology of the sport of baseball. In the 1880s, baseball was referred to as "base ball," two words. "Krank" was the contemporary term for what we would call a "fan," and "manager" meant the business manager of a club (what teams now call a general manager or a vice president of operations), whereas "captain" referred to whoever ran the team on the field, what we'd now call the manager.  Whew!

Ball clubs didn't have nicknames until after World War I, and while sportswriters often gave them unofficial ones, the teams were usually known by their city name or that of the athletic club they were part of (like a track or a swimming club today).

So why am I telling you this? Because I'm involved in a series with another author who is a baseball history buff. And he wrote a book in which the heroine is involved in, you guessed it, base ball! When reading over the manuscript I was astounded at the baseball history, the way the clubs were run and how they traveled from city to city to play. Not unlike today. I'd never heard the term "krank" and it took me a minute to figure out what it was. But soon I was enjoying the heroine's story of her life as told to the hero in bits and pieces throughout the book, not to mention her own inner dialogue. Here's a little excerpt that sums her life up before she meets our hero:

She’d known well-bred ladies in the cities her father worked in, and she’d never really fit in with them. Papa, he was considered a businessman, a sportsman, and the local nobs in Windsor and Helena had embraced him as one of their own. The gentry of Silvertown probably would too.

But between his departure from Philadelphia and his second trip to Windsor, it was another story. When he was a player – a paid player, a “ringer” in the kranks’ parlance – he was admired and even cheered from a distance, but looked down on from close up. Never mind that he’d always acted like a gentleman – he never got into scraps on the field, never abused umpires, never yelled back at inebriated fans. He was one of “them,” the unwashed who made their living by physical labor, no different from a coal miner or trash hauler in the eyes of the elite.

And she had taken his side. She spent her time for the most part with the players and their families, enjoying their rough humor and earthy affection. She filled in around the park, cooking food or maintaining the grounds or whatever was needed. During games, she was on the field, sitting next to or on the players’ bench when she wasn’t grabbing a bat for a hitter or aiding a pitcher who was warming up his arm. She wasn’t afraid of hard work, and she enjoyed being a part of the fun.

Needless to say the heroine, Philadelphia (yes, she was named after the city) led an interesting life, which made the hero, Alfonso, an Italian farmer in the Washington territory take notice!

You can find Alfonso on Amazon

Until next time!


No comments:

Post a Comment