Clipped From Santa Ana Register
Hal Chase Bedridden. Apathetic to Game (By United Press) COLUSA. — The cry “play ball!” rings today throughout the iand and finds Hal Chase, perhaps the greatest first baseman of them all, particularly apathetic to the National game. Chase, bedridden for four months in the Colusa county hospital with a stomach disorder, doesn’t give a whoop in a rainbarrel for baseball if he can’t play the game. Along about the third inning his interest wanes and he wanders out of the ball-park. Despite his 58 years, Chase still is the outward picture of health, standing six feet and weighing 190 pounds. He is embarrassed to be termed “one of baseball’s immortals.” “Shucks,” he said today, “there were lots of first basemen who were better. There was Fred Tenny of the Boston Braves. I learned a lot from watching him.” Chase’s forte was sensational fielding and quick thinking. He claims to have introduced the “squeeze play” into the major leagues when he went to the New York Highlanders (now the Yankees) from the Los Angeles club in 1905. He learned the play, he said, from Charlie Graham when Graham was managing the Tacoma Tigers in 1904. Chase was born in Soquel, Cal., and played his first baseball for Los Gatos high school. When he went to Santa Clara college in 1903, he was a pitcher. He lost only two games during his college career. “Hell, no, I didn’t graduate," said Chase with a grin. “I only went to class twice. I was interested in baseball.’* This lack of education, Chase said once caused him to turn down a stage offer of $1500 a week. He joined the Los Angeles Angels in 1904, then was drafted by the Yankees, remaining with that club until 1913 when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. He .spent two seasons with the Sox before dropping to the minors and joining Buffalo of the old Federal league. In 1916, however, he was back with the Cincinnati Reds. He was traded to the Giants in 1918. By the time 1920 rolled around, Chase' felt he had been long enough in the big- leagues—15 years—so he sent his contract back unsigned to John McGraw and since has played off and on with San Jose, Porterville, Madera and in the Arizona-Texas league. As late as 1934 he was per forming for Tucson after managing the Nogales club from 1923 to 1928. In these days of astronomical salaries for ball players, Chase’s peak of $7000 a season seems picayunish. He figures he earned $150,000 from the game, but didn’t save it. He was too much a “good time Charlie,” ready to set up the drinks for the boys at the drop of h|s glove. Chase played most of his baseball under Clark Griffith and, naturally enough, thinks Griffith was the best of managers. McGraw also ranks high in his estimation. The toughest pitcher in the old days was Walter Johnson. “I never could get many hits off Walter,” said Chase. And that’s a confession and concession from a man who hit .341 with the Reds in the days before the rabbit ball.