Tinker to Evers to Chance

 

These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

By Franklin Pierce Adams
New York Evening Mail July 10, 1910

 

Even to this day “Tinker to Evers to Chance” suggests well-oiled teamwork to baseball fans.  However, explosive personality conflicts were seething just below the surface.  The following is a condensed excerpt from The Best Team Ever, a Novel of America, Chicago, and the 1907 Cubs: 

While Johnny Evers and Joe Tinker clicked as a double play combination on the field, the two could not stomach each other outside the lines.  By 1905 they spoke not at all, except when absolutely necessary while playing.  Tinker blamed it on an incident where Evers grabbed a taxicab without waiting for him.  Evers blamed it on a ball Tinker heaved at him from ten feet away, breaking his finger.  Whatever precipitated their split, the pair refused to acknowledge each other’s existence off the diamond.  At times Evers wanted to beat the crap out of Tinker, but held back, having witnessed Joe’s handiness with his fists.

When he realized he was dying, Frank Chance asked both Tinker and Evers to come to the Pacific Coast to visit one last time.  Husk’s motivation in summoning his former double-play combo to California had as much to do with repairing their relationship as it did with making his farewells.  They both made the trip, and it marked the first time Tinker and Evers had spoken off the diamond since 1905.

Tinker, Evers and Chance--a “trio of bear Cubs”--were voted into the Hall of Fame as a unit in 1946.

To learn more about the famous Chicago Cubs poem, Tinkers to Evers to Chance – get your copy of The Best Team Ever, a Novel of America, Chicago and the 1907 Cubs today!