“If You Can’t Make A Hit In A Ball-Game, You Can’t Make A Hit With Me”

vintage-baseball-postcard-a-chance-play

circa 1910

There are many weird stories about Valentine’s Day. I’ll share just one with you.

St. Valentine – there are three St. Valentine’s if you’re keeping track, and this St. Valentine was one of the three – was imprisoned by the Romans for either a) helping Christians escape from the Romans, or b) marrying young couples when the Roman emperor expressly told him not to. Either way, St. Valentine ended up in prison, fell in love with the jailor’s daughter, and, before being put to death, sent her a card signed, “From Your Valentine.”

In this world of “Alternative Facts,” I’m sure this story is absolutely true.

Saint Valentine’s romantic act of love was mooshed into Lupercalia, the Roman festival of fertility. And, yada yada yada, today we call it Valentine’s Day.

Pitchers and catchers report this week, many on Valentine’s Day.

College baseball opens its season this weekend.

What a week for love!

vintage-baseball-postcard-catching-a-hot-one

circa 1910

(Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, the O’s need a starter with an ERA ’round 2.00.)

Embed from Getty Images

Kyle Hendricks, 2016 World Series Champion, 2.13 ERA

Not so much these days, but there was a time when baseball and love were glued together like barneymugging prom dates in a borrowed jalopy. (What? Barneymugging? Google it.)

vintage-baseball-postcard-sacrifice

circa 1910

They even wrote songs about it.

Like this one …

baseball-game-of-love-1909

1909.

And, this one …

if-you-cant-make-a-hit-in-a-ballgame-you-cant-make-a-hit-with-me

“If You Can’t Make A Hit In A Ball-Game, You Can’t Make A Hit With Me” was a 1912 song – lyrics by William Welzel, music by William Held.

if-you-can-make-a-hit-in-a-ball-game-sheet-music

(It would be lost to the ages if not for Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary.)

Held wrote other music and has his own bio here. But, his ode to a flirty baseball girl with clear standards didn’t even make his bio. A shame.

Happy Mary Ann McCann, a crazy “Base-Ball Fan” / Rooted hard for Dan Moran; Dan Moran her “Base-Ball Man.”

When he came to bat one day, and saw her smile so gay, his Irish heart was thumping when he heard her yell “Hooray!” / She loudly cried “Oh! Danny mine! A hit! And Mary Ann is thine!”

Score was tie, the bases full, the crowd began to cheer. / Poor Mary almost fainted when she heard these words so clear: “Strike one! Strike two! Strike three! The batter’s out!”

Then Dan heard Mary Ann in frenzy shout:

If you can’t make a hit in a ball-game, you can’t make a hit with me.

But the man who can hit in a ball-game can be my affinity.

I’m simply base-ball wild, Oh! How I yell!

Slam out a home run, Kid! I’ll yell like [Whoo!]

If you can’t make a hit in a ball-game, You can’t make a hit with me.

Mary cried “Go on, you fake! Go home! For goodness sake! / Don’t believe you’re half awake! Sure! This ain’t an Irish wake!”

Next man up was Joe McCoy, the heavy hitting boy. It hurt poor Dan when Mary shouted, “That’s the boy! Oh joy! Joe! Oh Joe! Come show your foe how far that little ball can go!”

Everybody on their feet and making lots of noise. While every eye was staring at that bat of Joe McCoy’s. A crash! Fair ball! A run! The game is won!

Then Mary turned to Dan and loudly sung:

If you can’t make a hit in a ball-game, you can’t make a hit with me.

But the man who can hit in a ball-game can be my affinity.

I’m simply base-ball wild, Oh! How I yell!

Slam out a home run, Kid! I’ll yell like [Whoo!]

If you can’t make a hit in a ball-game, You can’t make a hit with me.

Now, you can sing along …

 

Women were still fighting to vote in 1912 (don’t blame us for Franklin Pierce), so an empowered woman – even if it was just a flirty girl choosing her baseball boy – was rare indeed. It was the “No Scrubs” of its day.

 

(Didn’t expect TLC here, did ya?)

So, Happy Valentine’s Day!

And, Happy Baseball Season! May your team (and by your team, I really mean my team) be filled with strong pitchers (ERA’s round 2.00) and free of air-swingin’ scrubs like Dan Moran.

vintage-baseball-postcard-balk

circa 1910

 

11 thoughts on ““If You Can’t Make A Hit In A Ball-Game, You Can’t Make A Hit With Me”

  1. A purely delightful post! I, too, checked out barney mugging for its definition, but there was no explanation of its origin. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Randy.

  2. Happy Baseball Season and Happy Valentine’s Day! This post is all kinds of wonderful. I love the saucy cards (makes me want to run around in a uniform like hers) and ol’ Mary Ann McCann for “whoo”ing and telling it like it is.

  3. What a fun post and those cards! Swoon! Loved them. Thanks for the new word! Don’t know how fast they will become mainstream again…!

    • It just takes a couple of us to use one or two old slang words in a sentence … and maybe they’ll catch on again! :)

      I know, I love those postcards, too! I just found a couple more from the same era. I’ll have to start poking around in those big boxes of postcards you always find gathering dust at junk stores and see what I can find!

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