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

  • The Soul Purger

    From the Evening Public Ledger, May 29, 1915. By Grantland Rice.

    Two out—and the bases full—
        Three runs to win and two to tie;
    And then, amid the boding lull,
        Looms Crawford of the batting eye;
    I watch the pitcher writhe and whirl
        And shoot one from his mounded pen—
    I see the white pill dart and curl
        As Crawford’s bludgeon swings—and then—

    In that one moment through the stands
        There runs—before the groans and cheers—
    The taut grip of ten thousand hands—
        The pulse leap of a thousand years;
    The one great throbbing human call
        Above all science, war or love,
    As crashing bat meets speeding ball
        Or speeding ball meets waiting glove.

    Here end the sorrows of the race—
        All want and wretchedness and crime;
    Where Care must seek another place—
        Where Sin must bide another time;
    Here where the heart’s wiped clean and dry—
        The drudge soul lifted from the pit
    For those who wait for the reply—
        A strike-out—or a two-base hit?