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ladiesDear Hank,

The days in the cellar here at this farmer’s house are dark and long, but Markie and I spend much time hitting ball bearings, large nuts, and dried cow dungs back and forth to each other, and my batting eyesite has gotten very good.

It makes me want to give you an extra hitting advice tip, because I remember you were struggling. Pretend the ball is much smaller than it is when the pitcher throws it and that way you will focus more on making the contact. Like I say this has worked for me good. One day this week I hit five straight cow dung balls over Uncle Zeb’s head and off the stones on the back wall!

I can’t wait until we can get out of this house and leave the country so I can go join my family again in the east of here. I worry about them and especially my sister, who I don’t think has emotions for this kind of horrible time.

Your friend,

July 1, 1938


Dear Markie:

I almost didn’t see this letter you sent but our clubhouse man found it in a pack of many other envelopes from fans when we got back to Briggs Stadium today. I guess it means you haven’t received the money envelope I sent  a week ago. Which of course has me worried all over again. Please let me know when it does arrive, and also the last letter with all my game accounts.

Thanks for the extra tip but I’ve actually been swatting the ball pretty darn well. Not so much today though. We played a holiday twinbill with the Indians and dropped both games, meaning it wasn’t much of a July 4th celebration. Feller smoked us in the opener 10-2 and I went nothing-for-4 again! Starting to hate that boy. Vern Kennedy and Roxie Lawson got crushed for an eight-run 7th inning, so maybe it didn’t matter.

In the second game I managed a lousy single but Bridges got his pants yanked over his head this time and they took a 9-0 lead and beat us easily again.

So at the All-Star halfway break we are 36-39 and in fifth place, 16 games out of first. At least Boston had a bad week for a change and lost four games to the charging Yanks in the standings. Plus I lead my pal Jimmie F. by eight in the home run race. And I was picked by Joe McCarthy for the All-Star Game in Cincy so I’ll be sending you a full report about that.

But instead of feeling all red white and blue today I guess I’m mostly blue. This country should be stepping it up to save people like you right now instead of sitting on their rumps, and it’s frustrating when all I can do is send money that I hope is getting there.

Smack a few more of those cow patties for me.



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