Saturday, March 28, 2009

A letter from Charlie Root's daughter

I've been having an e-mail exchange with Della Arnold (photo), the daughter of Cubs great Charlie Root. I told her that one thing I really admired about her dad was his toughness, and this is what she replied...

"The first batter Dad faced in the Majors was Ty Cobb,whom Dad had heard of for some time...It was l924 and he had just come up from Terre Haute....Cobb was hugging the plate, so Dad's pitch was under his chin...Cobb threatened him by yelling and waving his bat...the next pitch was in the same spot and Cobb stormed the mound calling Dad "a fresh bush bastard and threatening to kill him...Cobb was closely followed by catcher Hank Severeid who was yelling at Cobb.."You lay one hand on that kid and I'll beat you to death with this mask...which as you know in those days had a solid iron frame...Cobb returned to the plate and Dad struck him out....This was in 1924 when Dad his first chance with the St. Louis Browns.....He lost 4 games and won NONE...He then broke his right ankle sliding into third...So the Browns traded him to Los Angeles Angels, then in the Pacific Coast League....which was a farm team for the Cubs...When he told that story he always said he was nervous, and scared to death, but he always had a reputation for "dusting" when needed...."

How great is that?