Kid Elberfeld Time Line - February 20, 1917 Fitchburg Daily Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts)


"You Haven't the nerve to umpire" said fan; then Billy Evans started on road to fame

By Bill Purman

There is perhaps no more interesting figure in baseball than Billy Evans, the American league umpire and author of the Sentinel's great baseball problem.

In his first big league game he got into a bad hole when he made a close decision on Kid Elberfeld at Second base.

The kid was a fiery, peppery little bundle of nerves in those days, a veritbale umpire baiter.

That a kid umpire, fresh from the bushes whould have nerve enough to give him the wrong end of a close decision was the height of impertinence, Elberfeld thought, and he started to rag Evans.

Elberfeld, disregarding the fact that Evans outweighed him 50 pounds and had it on him in height and reach, began to ride all over Evans.

Billy listened to him for a while.

"Train down to my weight and I'll take you on," he grinned.

Elberfeld regarded him an instant and burst out laughing. Afterward they were great friends.

That indient cemented Evan's position in the American league. Players learned that her would not be bluffed, also that he was not the "hard-boiled" type, then so common. They afterward learned that he was eminently fair and that he knew baseball as well as the man who invented it.