The Gang’s Skidoo Day

In the Pennsylvania’s Governor’s race in 1906,  Edwin Sydney Stuart ended up besting Lewis Emery, Jr. to win the election, graft or no graft, skidoo or no.

The Gang’s Skidoo Day.

This is the day the ring will get
Its dues, without a doubt;
The people have arisen and
Are bound to knock it out.
The bosses who have ruled the
State so long with iron hand,
Will get a solar plexus blow
That they cannot withstand.

Our gallant leader, Emery
A fighter without fear —
Will whip the gang and bring them
To their very knees in fear.
And Acheson, who’s striving hard
To save his bit of bacon,
Will be forced to give up his seat
In congress to “Bob” Aiken.

The grafters who have fattened off
The taxpayers, ’tis plain,
In battle of the ballots will
Be numbered with the slain.
And ’tis a fate they well deserve,
All know that this is true —
Hark! Do you hear that funny noise?
‘Tis “23” Skidoo!

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Nov 6, 1906

Pittsburg baseball team images and excerpt from the Baseball Legends Revealed website. (Scroll down passed Bill Richardson.)

In 1890, a new baseball league opened up, and they had a Pittsburgh team, as well, the Pittsburgh Burghers. This new team essentially pirated away all of McKnight’s best players. After the worst season in Pittsburgh history in 1890 (finishing 23-113), McKnight was forced to abandon his team back to the National League.


How are these two topics related? 23 SKIDOO, of course! I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this 1906 newspaper article. I didn’t see this theory listed in Wikipedia’s article on the origins of 23 Skidoo, but since I ran across it, might as well put it out there as an option:

ONLY 23 PAID TO SEE BALL GAME

Pittsburg Holds Record for the Smallest Attendance at a Championship Contest.

One often hears of the skidoo number “23” and how it really came to be the hoodoo number, etc., but all the guesses regarding its relations to baseball are wrong. The number really started in Pittsburg and proved conclusively that it was really the skidoo number, but of course it was not thought of at that time.

It was back in 1890 when Pittsburg had two baseball teams, one in the Players’ league and the other in the National league. It was the National league club that failed to make good and started “23” on the way. In a game of ball there September 26 of that year, but 23 persons paid to see the Pittsburg and Boston teams struggle for the nine long innings. That year Pittsburg was hopelessly in last place with no chances of ever getting out. That was the smallest crowd that ever paid to see two National league teams play.

Pittsburg struggled along for some time with the two teams, but both could not be supported, and the National soon won out. During the season when the 23 people paid to see the game there  Pittsburg made every effort-in-its-power to get up the ladder without success. That year over 100 players were tried out and yet the club finished last. Never before nor since have as many players ever been given a trial by one team in a season. Thus it will be seen that Pittsburg beside finishing in last place held two records — one for the smallest attendance and the other for trying out the greatest number of players.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 29, 1906

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