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Slants on Sports

Judge Emil Fuchs, owner of the Boston Braves and one of the most colorful men in the game today, may leave baseball. The Judge said so the other day. Friends, however, who are close to one of the grand old men of a grand old game, say that the Judge didn’t mean it. Baseball means too much to the Jewish magnate to quit at this stage of the game.

The Judge bought the Braves way back in 1922. Baseball was his sole interest then and has been for the past eleven years. This year the Judge is of a different opinion. He stuck to the national pastime as long as he thought he could make money and even after he saw there could be no profitable financial return he still remained the big shot of the Boston Braves.

For some years Judge Fuchs was able to put baseball in the Bean City on a paying basis. He had to because that sport was his only source of revenue. He didn’t have a beer plant or a gum factory to tide him over the lean periods.

The Judge wanted to leave the game two years ago but the big shots of the ball game asked him to stick. He did and took it on the chin. This year he came to the meeting of the baseball owners and requested that they permit him to run dog racing at the Boston ball park. Judge Landis said no. Judge Fuchs said, “I’ll quit and devote all my time to dog racing. There’s money in that.”

THE MAGNATE IS VERY SENTIMENTAL

It has been only the Judge’s great sentiment for the game that has kept him in it so long in the face of great financial reverses. He is known as the most sentimental man in baseball today. Yet he doesn’t let his love for ‘the pill, the resin and the hickory’ sway his pocketbook too long. His proverbial sense of humor was evident last year when he said: “It’s funny how baseball has changed since Rube Waddell’s time. In these days the managers and owners had to get the players out of hock. Now they have to get the owners out of hock.”

The Annie Oakleys issued to the Braves’ ball park this past season had printed on the backs the pictures of Maranville, Gowdy and Evers, with the following legend underneath: “1914-1934 And Still Together.”

When Rabbit Maranville suffered a broken leg as result of a slide during the training season in the southlands, no man was more hurt than the Judge.

The Rabbit was an idol of the Jewish magnate and the latter realized that such an injury at this stage of the game meant curtains for the oldtimer.

THINKS DOG RACING WILL SOLVE DIFFICULTIES

Very few of the major league clubs were on the black side of the books at the end of this season. Their ledgers looked like Christmas tree decorations. The Judge, realizing that something had to be done to relieve this situation and still keep the grand old game alive, took to dog racing. The greyhound sport has proved exceedingly popular wherever it has been introduced and the Judge figured that if he could install this sport in his stadium during the summer nights baseball in Boston would be something more than a cellar occupation.

There were a few difficulties in the way. One was an old Massachusetts law prohibiting such sport. Another was the consent of the National League and Judge Landis. The first was the more difficult. But the Judge showed his astuteness, strategy and baseball sense by backing the right man for governor—a man who was close to the Judge and who was committed to the abolition of the racing ban.

Nevertheless, a few short days ago the so-called Great God Brown of the baseball game, upon whom the Judge had banked to come through, put the skids under his plan. It was no wonder that the Judge said, “I’ll quit baseball.”

BROKE INTO BIG LEAGUE IN 1922

This Jewish fan, because at heart he’ll be a baseball fan first and last, and who desires to be known as a rooter rather than an owner has had a varied career. His ambition on the East Side of New York was to be a ball player. However, he didn’t have the natural ability to get further than a catcher’s post on a semi-pro outfit in the gashouse district. Yet all the time his first love continued to flicker in his sentimental soul.

Like many other youngsters of the nineties who played in the shadows of bridges and gashouses, Fuchs turned to the law profession and had a most successful career. His perspicacity accounted for the fact that he never lost a case before a jury. He served as a public official for a time, rising to the magistrate’s bench in the Criminal Courts in 1916.

In 1922 he purchased the Braves from George Washington Grant and brought Christy Mathewson out of retirement to become president. The fact that Fuchs was a New Yorker and used a former Giant man as an executive was too much for Boston fans. The bleacherites harbored a dislike against the Judge for many years and this resentment still persists in the form of rumors that the Giants own or control the Boston Braves.

COULD PUT BASEBALL OVER IN BOSTON

Fuchs, however, was not a New York politician for the love of it. He had been scooled in the old Tammany regime of Boss Murphy and though he didn’t kiss every baby in the Bean City, he attended one dinner after another. At one occasion he attended a tea with the high caste of the Boston Back Bay society present. Which proved how eager the judge was to put baseball across in the land of the codfish.

Despite the fact that the Bostonians were as much thrilled by the Jewish magnate’s purchase of the Braves as nudists by a strip poker game, they finally came around to his way of thinking. Last year when the Judge needed money the Hub fans came across with 150 grand. This year the Judge wants to have dog racing supply the money to keep baseball going. The question is will he leave baseball to gain his ends?

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