Trapshooting's Ancestry

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1 Edited by SAMUEL WESLEY LONG More Than a Century of Development Marks the Growth of "the Sport Alluring" P "Somewhere (or Anywhere) in the U. S." You'll Find a Group Like This Trapshooting's Ancestry RACTICALLY every game in the when freed. After serving his erstwhile list of American sports, like members master until the latter's death, Mose of the Sons of the American Revolution, and "Mose" has "ancestors." Of course, you know about the patriotic society, but, possibly, you are not acquainted with Mose's adopted ancestry. cast his lot with a son of the family and was assigned the duty of taking care of his employer's hunting dogs. During the gunning season, it was the habit of Mose's boss to go to Florida and, Mose, we are told, was an ex-slave of course, the colored man and the dogs who refused to leave the plantation went along. One day it came to the ears 93

2 94 THE BASEBALL MAGAZINE of the white man that the old darky had had a run-in with some young negroes and to show that he had "class" boasted that he was "owned" by "Massa Henry Browning Thomas de second" and had been owned by "Massa Henry's father befoah him. But who's you, who's you, anyhow?" he asked the young negroes. "Why you doan even know who owned yoah grandfathers." "Massa Henry" was enjoying the joke on Mose when that worthy came ambling up the path. "Good mornin', Massa." "Good morning, Mose. What's this I hear about your having ancestors?" Thomas inquired. " 'Deed, Massa, Ah ain't got nothin' like dat, an' Ah hain't had fo' moah 'an five yeah, an' den ah musta got em offen de doags, but de drug stoah man doan give me somethin' dat drove 'em all ahway." Trapshooting's "ancestry" runs back for more than a century. In the Sporting Magazine, London, 1793, reference is made to matches held at the "Old Hat," a famous roadhouse at Earling. Later, the Red House at Battersea, near London, became the rendezvous of the trapshooters. The targets in those early days were live pigeons, and muzzle-loaders and black powder were used. Just when the sport of pigeon shooting was introduced in the United States is a question, but records of the Sportsmen's Club of Cincinnati make mention of the game as early as In the early eighties, certain shooting enthusiasts apparently were as anxious to get rid of trapshooting "ancestors" as was Mose to part company with his, for the popularity of live-bird shooting began to wane and efforts were made to find a substitute for flesh-and-blood targets. Along about 1886, Charles Portlock, of Boston, suggested the use of glass balls, and, while many were glad to change to the more humane sport, yet the character of the targets was such that their popularity was short-lived. In some instances the balls were filled with feathers which were scattered by the wind when the balls were broken by the shot. Pasteboard discs with small rubber balloons inserted in the centers were employed for a short while. This type of target was a Philadelphia innovation. But as these targets were really not adapted to the purpose, the inanimate target game suffered a decline. However, the sport was revived by the introduction of the "clay pigeon" a saucershaped target of brick clay. This style of target eventually threatened to put an end to the sport, for the double reason that the traps used to throw the targets operated with great uncertainty, and because the targets themselves were of such varying degrees of hardness that a shooter's luck in being served soft or brittle targets, rather than his skill in hitting them, determined his score. In the meantime, laws forbidding livebird shooting were passed in a number of States, and as no satisfactory substitute had been invented to replace real pigeons, shooting matches were conducted sub rosa or abandoned altogether. In States where live birds were permitted to be killed, the so-called sport rapidly increased in popularity, and shooters from States that had put a ban on pigeon shooting swarmed to the matches held in States that had not passed laws to protect the birds. And then a composition target was invented. Just what this compound was was a secret of the makers, but river silt and tar were supposed to be the principal ingredients. At any rate, these targets or discs proved highly satisfactory because of their uniform hardness and brittleness, facts that placed all competitors in a shooting meet on an even basis so far as the targets were concerned. The "tar baby" is the target now in general use, and is practically the same as when first introduced. However, traps have undergone many changes and the ones in use today are regarded as mechanically perfect. The result of the virtual perfection of the targets and traps has been to make trapshooting the leader among sports of the kind that make primary appeal to the "players." It is to be remarked in passing that live-bird shooting is now prohibited by law in all but two or three of the States, and trapshooters are scarce, indeed, who refer with pride to the brutal ancestry of their favorite sport.

3 T The G. A. H. Shot Gunnery's Annual Classic HE Grand American Handicap now called the Grand American Trapshooting Tournament is to the gun sport what the Army and Navy game is to football, the World Series to baseball or the Futurity to horse racing the classic event of the year. Sixteen times in as many years, the G. A. H. has claimed the attention of the sporting fraternity in general and the trapshooting section in particular. The Seventeenth Grand American Trapshooting Tournament will be staged at St. Louis, Mo., August 21-25, inclusive; a few days too late to cover its records in this issue of BASEBALL MAGAZINE. The history of the big annual meet of the shooting clan is replete with facts and figures that prove beyond doubt that the trap game has come to stay and that its popularity is rapidly increasing. The First G. A. H., held at Interstate Park, N. Y., in 1900 had an entry list of 74, while the 1915 affair, held at Chicago, numbered 884 entrants. The grand total of entries for sixteen years is 5,808 with an average of 363 participants. True, there have been years when the number of shooters fell below that of a preceding year or years, but, despite an occasional falling off in attendance, the G. A. H. has gone steadily forward as is shown by dividing the sixteen years of its existence into periods of four years each, when we find the average number of shooters was as follows: , 108; , 335; , 408¾; , 598¾. The quality of the shooting is attested by the following summary of scores and distances at which the event has been won: 3 times from 16 yards with scores of 92, 94 and 99; 3 times, 17 yards, scores, 94, 96 and 97; 3 times, 18 yards, scores, 94, 96 and 96; 4 times 19 yards, scores, 95, 96, 96 and 100; 1 time, 20 yards, score, 99; twice 22 yards, scores, 91 and 98. (Continued on page 98) TRAPSHOOTING 95 "Dal" Richardson A Tribute to a Shooter and Gentleman A In Memoriam DISPATCH from Wilmington, Del., on August 5, telling of the death of "Dal" Richardson, carried with the news a feeling of personal loss to tens of thousands of trapshooters throughout the United States. The accident that resulted in Mr. Richardson's death occurred at Dover, Del., Sunday evening, July 30. The following account of the deplorable affair is from a Delaware newspaper: "It was last Sunday evening that Mr. Richardson went down the steps of his home to his car and pulled out the seat cushion to get (Continued on page 104)

4 96 THE BASEBALL MAGAZINE F Fred E. Slear Once Made Faces Now "Straights" Fred Slear, Shooter-Cartoonist IGURATIVELY speaking, Fred E. Slear's popularity is doublebarreled, for Frederick is not only a trapshooter of national repute, but is equally well known as the one and only cartoonist the trap game has ever had. Unfortunately, Slear is not working at the cartoon art, except occasionally as his services in the role of professional are in so great demand that Fred and his magic crayons are hardly on speaking terms in these busy days. Incidentally, it may be said that, in addition to doing the shooting act, Fred "doubles in brass" as a salesman and booster of a popular make of gun and ammunition. Time was when Fred drew a fat salary for drawing pictures of the great and near-great of gun-bugdom. Slear has been identified with shooting for so long that an important meet without his smiling, good-natured presence is like a ham sandwich without the ham, or a schooner of suds that has stood too long flat, very, very flat. Fred E. Slear shoots a Remington gun and U. M. C. shells. Of course, this is to be expected, for Slear is a representative of the Remington Arms- Union Metallic Cartridge Co. HILE the October list of registered trapshooting tournaments is decidedly shorter than those of the spring and summer months, by no means does this indicate that the game declines in popularity during the fall and winter. The real reason is that with the coming of cooler days less incentive need be offered the gun bugs to turn out. As a matter of fact, the regular shoots at thousands of trapshooting clubs show a larger number of entrants as the year grows older. Too, the increasing interest in shooting leagues inter-club, intercity and inter-state keeps many shooters at home or with their home clubs on the league circuits. Though comparatively short, the October schedule of registered affairs shows as fine a lot of meets as could be desired. The events of the month, corrected up to the time of closing this form, follow: W Fall Shoots October Offers a Limited But Select List Oskaloosa, Iowa, Mahaska County G. C. F. F. Everett, Pres. Toledo, Ill., G. C. C. M. Brady, Pres. Wolcott, Ind., G. C. A. R. Jones, Sunbury, Pa. Sunbury-Selingsgrove G. C. J. W. Schoffstall, Princess Anne, Md., G. C. B. H. Dougherty, Pres. *Gilman, Ill., Eastern Illinois Trapshooters' League Tournament. A. H. Ammann, *Cincinnati, Ohio, G. C. R. F. Davies, (Continued on page 98)

5 98 THE BASEBALL MAGAZINE Here's a New "Pro" Trap shooting Has "Utility Players" B Henry M. Winchester ASEBALL has its utility players, and so has trapshooting. However, in the case of the gun game, ability to "play" most any old position has its great value in the handling of other "players" rather than to do allround "playing." A newcomer in the ranks of trapshooting "utility men" is Henry M. Winchester. Now, let us explain that this particular Winchester is not a gun maker, but the son of a prominent Delaware banker. Several months ago, Henry M. joined the professional squad of the Hercules Powder Co. and gives every promise of eventually being considered one of the "assets" of the explosives-making concern. At all the shoots, big and little, in his territory, Winchester has been on the job every minute of the time helping in every possible way to popularize the trap sport and, incidentally, the Hercules Powder Co. Oh, yes, Henry M. can shoot and the records he is making, shooting in "fast company," are quite as creditable as his cheerful helpfulness. (Continued from page 96) 6 Lincolnville, Kan., G. C. Fred Munsterman, 6 Tipton, Ind., G. C. J. E. Wert, 7 Chicago, Ill., Lincoln Park T. C. Louis B. Clarke, Pres. 10 *Rising Sun, Md., G. C. ington, Mgr. H. L. Worth- 10 Medford, Okla., G. C I. V. Hardy. 10 Goldfield, Ia., G. C. John M. Lilly, Sec Indianapolis, Ind. G. C. John M. Lilly, Mt. Pulaski, Ill., G. C. Henry J. Mayer, Wyoming, Pa., Rod and Gun Club. Vicksburg, Miss., Hill City G. C. J. J. Bradfield, *Lock Haven, Pa., Susquehanna Trapshooters' League Tournament. Frederic A. Godcharles, 12 Bradshaw, Neb., G. C. C. E. Trump, 14 S. Bend, Ind., St. Joe Valley G. C. C. J. Morris, 14 Wilmington, Del., Wilmington Trapshooting Ass'n. W. A. Joslyn, Omaha, Neb., G. C. Ray C. Kingsley, Treas. Elkton, Md., G. C. H. L. Worthington, Mgr. Logansport, Ind., G. C. D. C. Rogers, *Hutchinson, Kan, G. C. W. E. Hubert, *Tampa, Kan., G. C. P. H. Meehan, Jackson, Miss., G. C. A. Geo. Hilzein, Pres. Cullison, Kan., G. C. Geo. I. Toews, * Registered. Registered, old policy. THE G. A. H. (Continued from page 95) The First G. A H. was won by R. O. Heikes from 22 yards with a score of 98 by 100. The highest score 100 straight was made at the Eleventh G. A. H. by Riley Thompson from the 19- yard mark. (Continued on page 100)

6 100 BASEBALL MAGAZINE ADVERTISER THE G. A. H. (Continued from page 98) Several times the winner has been decided by two, three and four-cornered shoot-offs among contestants who tied with one, two or three other shooters. Another point of interest is that no winner of a G. A. H. has ever repeated. Other high spots of Grand American Handicap history follow: Yds. Bk June 14. Interstate Park, N. Y., 74 entries. Won by R. O. Heikes June 18. Interstate Park, N. Y., 75 entries. Won by E. C. Griffith May 8. Interstate Park, N. Y., 91 entries. Won by Chas. Floyd April 16. Kansas City, Mo., 192 entries. Won by M. Diefenderfer June 23. Indianapolis, Ind., 336 entries. Won by R. D. Guptill Tied by W. M. Randall (17 yards). In shoot-off at 20 targets, Guptill 17, 17, 19; Randall 17, 17, June 29. Indianapolis, Ind., 352 entries. Won by R. F. Barber June 21. Indianapolis, Ind., 290 entries. Won by F. E. Rogers June 20. Chicago, Ill, 495 entries. Won by J. J. Banks Tied by M. J. Maryott and C. M Powers. In the shoot-off at 20 targets, Blanks, 18; Maryott, 17; Powers, June 25. Columbus, O., 362 entries. Won by Fred Harlow Tied by Woolfolk Henderson (19 yards). In the shoot-off at 20 targets, Harlow, 18; Henderson, June 24. Chicago, Ill., 457 entries. Won by Fred Shattuck Tied by G. E. Burns (16 yards), J. R. Livingston (19 yards), W. Wettleaf (19 yards). In shootoff at 20 targets, Shattuck, 20; Livingston, 19; Burns, 18; Wettleaf, June 23. Chicago, Ill., 383 entries. Won by Riley Thompson June 22. Columbus, O., 418 entries. Won by Harvey Dixon June 20. Springfield, Ill, 377 entries. Won by W. E. Phillips Tied by H. D. Duckham (19 yards). In shoot-off at 20 targets, Phillips, 17; Duckham, June 19. Dayton, O., 501 entries. Won by M. S. Hootman Tied by J. A. Blunt (18 yards) and F. A. Graper (18 yards). In shoot-off at 20 targets, Hootman, 20; Blunt, 19; Graper, 19.

7 104 BASEBALL MAGAZINE ADVERTISER IN MEMORIAM (Continued from page 96) something underneath. He always carried a long-barreled, old-style revolver under this seat and pulling out the cushion the gun was caught up and fell to the seat of the car. "As it fell it was discharged, and the bullet entered Mr. Richardson's abdomen puncturing the intestines in eight places. He was doubled over by the shock of the bullet and stumbled up the steps into the house and asked for someone to call the doctor. "His brother, who lives a few doors distant, was hastily called. He found Mr. Richardson lying on the couch when he came in and the doctor not having arrived he ran out to get him. While he was gone, Mr. Richardson went upstairs to his room and when the brother came back he heard him fall to the floor. Running upstairs the brother and the doctor got the injured man into bed and made an examination. They decided that it was necessary to get Richardson to an hospital as soon as possible and accordingly they made a run to Delaware Hospital (Wilmington) from Dover by auto." With characteristic grit, Richardson, though suffering tortures, battled bravely for life until all hope was gone, then, sportsman-like, he faced the end calmly. Everything that money and medical science could do was done, but of no avail, except to retain the little spark of life for a few short days. While several hundred thousand knew, personally or by reputation, "Dal" Richardson, the trapshooter, comparatively few were aware that Colonel Alden B. Richardson, son of former United States Senator Richardson, was the vicepresident and head of one of the leading canning concerns of America, an important factor in a gas company, a director of "national bank, a colonel on the staff of Governor Miller, of Delaware, and otherwise played a big part in manufacturing, commercial, banking, political and military affairs. Mr. Richardson's funeral from his late home in Dover was attended by Governor Miller and staff, many noted trapshooters from about ten states, including Bandmaster John Philip Sousa, William Foord, Charles H. Newcomb, William Coyne, Vincent Oliver, Ralph L. Spotts and others, and hundreds of business and professional men. Mr. Richardson was the holder of a number of sectional, national and world's (Continued on page 106)

8 106 BASEBALL MAGAZINE ADVERTISER IN MEMORIAM (Continued from page 104) records at the traps. Among his notable achievements were the following: In 1915, Mr. Richardson clinched the trapshooting championship of Delaware by making 100 straight breaks. The previous year he had won the championship by making 96 breaks out of a possible 100. At the Independent Club shoot at Holmesburg Junction, Pa., on Memorial Day, he broke 200 straight, 175 from the sixteen-yard mark, and 25 from the twentyyard mark. With that event he had shot at 2,000 targets, with an average of better than 97. Before the Interstate Association's Eastern Handicap in July, Richardson challenged Allen Heil, holder of the eighteen-yard trophy, to a contest at Holmesburg Junction. He won by breaking 97 out of 100. Heil broke 95. Heil won the trophy at the Westy Hogan shoot in Atlantic City last year by breaking 97. He made a world's record of 99 from 22 yards at the Midsummer Summer Handicap, at Maplewood, N. H., in July, and tied for high amateur average at the Eastern Handicap. At the tournament of the Keystone Shooting League at Holmesburg Junction in April, Richardson won with a total of 341 points out of 350. He just nosed out R. L. Spotts, New York, who made 340. Mr. Richardson had consistently raised his records in recent years. In 1913 his average was 93.57; in 1914 it was 93.80, and in 1915, To meet Mr. Richardson was to respect him, to know him was to admire, to be his friend was to love him for his countless fine qualities. It is with a sense of heart heaviness that the Editor of this section of BASEBALL MAGAZINE joins with trapshooters everywhere in the parting words of "Farewell, 'Dal,' farewell." DRAPER-MAYNARD The Baseball Magazine is in receipt of the latest Draper-Maynard fall and winter catalogue. This catalogue is illustrated with all kinds of football and basket ball paraphernalia and includes boxing gloves, gymnasium goods, bathing suits, hockey goods, punching bags, etc. The Draper-Maynard people are just as famous for their fall and winter sporting goods as they are for their big line of baseball goods. Any concern who can make baseball gloves that are used daily by over 100 of the big league stars knows how to make sporting goods for every sport and every season of the year. Draper-Maynard have just issued a free rules book for football, basket ball and the book also covers soccer football laws. One of these will be mailed to any reader on request to the Draper-Maynard Co., Plymouth, N. H.