Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Black Sox and Edd Roush

His name was Horace but they called him Hod and I've been thinking about him and Edd Roush lately. That's because Eliot Asinof died a week or so ago. He wrote a great book, Eight Men Out, about the 1919 World Series.
Hod Eller and Edd Roush were key players for the Cincinnati Reds that year. They won the National League pennant and faced the Chicago White Sox in the Series. That was the Chicago team that became known as the Black Sox because seven of them set out to lose after being offered money by gamblers. An eighth player knew about the plan but failed to report it.
Hod Eller was a pitcher for the Reds. Edd Roush, a member of baseball's Hall of Fame, played center field. One day in 1976 when I was covering a Reds game in Cincinnati, word spread that Roush was watching from the press dining room. I ignored the game and spent two hours talking with him. A rough and tough guy typical of his era, Roush didn't know you could complete a sentence without including at least one expletive. His stories would have held almost any listener spellbound.
He had suffered a heart attack a year earlier. While recuperating, his doctor told him to take an aspirin daily to help prevent a second attack. Roush said, "Well why in hell didn't you tell me that before I had the first one?"
Eventually he got around to talking about the infamous World Series. All the Reds knew something funny was going on with the White Sox. Roush was standing in front of his hotel one night when a shady character he knew slipped up beside him and said, "Edd, the words around that gamblers have been talking to some of your boys."
Roush told Reds manager Pat Moran so before the next day's game he gathered the players in the club house and asked, "Any of you been approached by gamblers?
"Yep," replied Hod Eller, another tough guy. A man of few words, he was scheduled to pitch.
"Well what happened?"
"Guy come up to me in the elevator and said he'd give me five thousand bucks if I'd throw the game today."
There was a lengthy silence finally broken by Roush saying, "Well goddammit, Hod, what did you tell him?"
"Told him if I ever seen him again I'd bust his nose."
Hod Eller from Muncie, Indiana was the winning pitcher that day. It was one of two complete games he pitched. He won both.
Of the heavily-favored White Sox and the conspiracy that saw eight players banned for life, Roush said, "Hell, we woulda beat 'em anyway."


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