Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • The Old Fan

    From the Evening Star, April 26, 1914.

    He comes every day to see them play
        Where the noisy bleachers shout.
    From the first of May in the thick of the fray
        You find him day in and out.

    He once had wealth and he once had health,
        But they both went long ago;
    He’s lost his wealth and comes in stealth
        To the game he used to know.

    He works in the fall just enough to call
        Together a hundred or two,
    That shall average all the days of ball
        And take him the summer through.

    He never is seen in the winter keen
        From the day of final fly
    ’Til spring is queen and the diamond’s green
        And the crack of the bat is nigh.

    Then a little more pale and a little more frail
        He creeps out to the ground,
    And leans o’er the rail when the flies they sail
        And studies the bushmen found.

    By the first of May, at least so they say,
        He begins to get his voice,
    And talk of the play in a running way
        And cackle about his choice.

    His mind disturbed, he never is heard
        Until that first of May
    To utter a word, then his heart is stirred
        And he shrieks at every play.

    So every spring we are wondering,
        ’Til we see him creeping out,
    If death’s dark wing has been hovering
        And fanned his life spark out.

    He’s shriveling thin, the spirit within
        Is all that keeps him about;
    When the home nine wins his cheek bones’ skin
        Shows a hectic flush without.

    And I often think that a breath will wink
        That frail life spirit out
    And break the link at death’s near brink
        If the home team’s put to rout.

    So here’s to the Fan, to the also ran,
        May he live on the bleachers here,
    And stretch life’s span and cheat death’s ban
        For still another year!