Good morning. It’s Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. Baseball is back. Yes, while you (and I) were obsessing over the New Hampshire primary, spring training began in Arizona and Florida, at least for pitchers and catchers. It’s easy to forget about baseball in midwinter while living on the East Coast. As a kid in California, however, February was when the rains stopped, the birds started singing, and the “thud” of a baseball hitting a mitt was a ubiquitous sound in my neighborhood as kids took up the backyard ritual of playing catch.
These days, the news coming out of the “hot stove league” is about trades, free agent signings, salary demands, and — this year, cheating. But some of the news carries good tidings. Such was the case 101 years ago today when Leon Cadore, one of “Black Jack” Pershing’s brave “doughboys,” was coming home.
Before the war — and afterwards, too — “Caddy” Cadore was a major league ballplayer. And it was on Feb. 12, 1919 that New York baseball fans learned he had mustered out of the service and would be trading the khakis of the U.S. Army for his old uniform as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
I’ll have more on this war hero in a moment. First, I’ll point you to our front page, where we aggregate stories and columns spanning the political spectrum, and to a complement of original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors, including the following:
* * *
Trump Got Impeached — But Is Biden’s Campaign the Casualty? Phil Wegmann has this analysis of how the onetime 2020 front-runner has been wounded by his own party’s efforts to bring down the president.
Six Takeaways From New Hampshire. Sean Trende assesses the impact of the results.
And the Winner of the N.H. Primary Is … the President. Kimberly Guilfoyle also weighs in.
A Constitutional Nightmare Looms. Nancy Jacobson lays out the likely scenario should a third party candidate keep a Democrat or Republican from reaching the threshold 270 Electoral College votes.
U.S. Energy Dominance: The Case for Unbridled Optimism. In RealClearEnergy, Jason Isaac argues that American gains will help an impoverished world.
Our Industrial Base Can’t Meet Our Defense Needs. Klon Kitchen sounds the alarm in RealClearDefense.
Book Review: “The Power of Bad.” In RealClearMarkets, John Tamny has high praise for John Tierney and Roy Baumeister’s new book, subtitled “How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It.”
How Children Shape Parents. In RealClearPolicy, Brent Orrell and Caleb Seibert report on research findings that show becoming a parent or getting married appears to reduce criminal behavior.
A “Galapagos” in Israel. RealClearScience editor Ross Pomeroy spotlights the lessons that abound in an area dubbed “evolution canyon.”
Promoting the God-Given Spirit of Innovation. In RealClearReligion, James Edwards cites the biblical underpinnings of an inventor’s new water purification system.
* * *
After sailing from France to America, Leon Cadore was met in New York by his father and Wilbert Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ manager and future Hall-of-Famer. Although Cadore himself is not enshrined in Cooperstown, one of his deeds on the pitcher’s mound is one of the most untouchable feats in major league history.
In a May 1, 1920, road game, Cadore dueled Boston Braves pitcher Joe Oeschger for 26 innings. The game, which ended in a 1-1 tie, was called on account of darkness by the umpires — despite entreaties from players on both teams who wanted to be able to say they’d played the equivalent of three full games.
“The less hardy of the fans began to show signs of the strain by moving restlessly in their seats and babbling about perpetual motion and eternity,” wrote the New York Times beat reporter. “Joe Oeschger and Leon Cadore were the real outstanding heroes among a score of heroes in the monumental affray of this afternoon,” the paper continued. “Instead of showing any signs of weakening under the strain, each of them appeared to grow stronger. In the final six innings neither artist allowed even the shadow of a safe single.”
This colorfully written story is a reminder that civilians often try to forget war as soon as it is over. It was only one year earlier, however, that New York scribes were interviewing Caddy about genuine heroism, a conversation he tried to deflect. “Lt. Cadore is the same modest, unassuming chap he was before he won his shoulder straps and the French cross of war,” reported George B. Underwood of the New York Sun.
How did he win the Croix de Guerre?
“Oh, a couple of us went out into No Man’s Land one night and bagged a few prisoners that gave us a little valuable information,” Cadore replied. “None of us were killed or wounded. It wasn’t much, you know.”
Cadore also claimed, however dubiously, that the game of baseball was taking “a strong hold” in France. “Wherever a ball or glove can be found, one can see the French lads playing the game,” he said. “In a little village in Alsace we saw some youngsters trying to play the game with apples.”
“Needless to say, when we were in the thick of the fighting in the Vosges and the Champagne we got mighty little time for baseball,” he added matter-of-factly. “We had to play it with hand grenades.”
Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics