Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1)


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Baritone, composer, improviser

Pennsylvania law stipulated that boys had to be at least 12 years of age to work in the coal breakers and 14 to work down in the mines. As each coal car emerged from the mine, it was pulled to the top of the breaker by a long, steel cable, where the car was tipped and the coal rushed down long chutes. The breaker boys separated the coal from the rock, slate, and other refuse as it streamed down, spewing black clouds of coal dust and smoke. To keep from inhaling the dust, the boys wore handkerchiefs and chewed tobacco in order to keep their mouths moist and prevent the dust from going down their throats.

After a year in the breaker, John joined his father in the mine as a laborer, working an early shift so he could play baseball in the afternoon. Early in life he developed a combative personality, often challenging his stepmother who would not allow him to keep much of the money he earned for fear he would spend it on chewing tobacco.

For a while young Picus worked as a blacksmith, which helped develop his muscles, but he regarded it as an unhealthy occupation because it required him to breathe sulphur and charcoal fumes. So the teenager and an older companion hopped a freight and headed west, riding the rails as far as Montana sometime in the s. In many cases he had to fight to survive. Quinn later recounted that his only possessions at the time were dirty, ragged clothes, a tattered cap, and his two fists.

On the morning of the Fourth of July probably in the year he arrived in the town of Dunbar, where the big event of the day was a baseball game between semipro teams of Dunbar and Connellsville. While he was watching the pre-game practice, a ball rolled toward him and he was instructed to throw it back, which he did with such velocity that the Dunbar manager offered him a job on the spot as a pitcher, promising him five dollars for a victory and two and one-half dollars if he lost.

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He won the game, pocketed the five dollars, and started a semipro career that lasted seven years, pitching for teams from Pennsylvania towns such as Dunbar, Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant, Berlin, and Washington. He later claimed that he was getting thirty dollars a month for pitching ball when he was fourteen years old, but he was probably at least sixteen or seventeen at the time.

When Quinn started employing the spitball is, like many other aspects of his life, a mystery. In the decade starting in he twice led the league in fewest bases on balls per game and ranked in the top five 8 times in 10 years. No pitcher led more than twice, and no other ranked in the top five more than five times. According to Zbick, Quinn did not consider his spitters to be as messy or repulsive as were those of the tobacco juice variety.

Jack worked up his saliva with chewing gum, and he applied the juice by slightly touching two fingers to his lips. He kept batters guessing by faking the spitter on every pitch he threw, of course. He also used a no-name pitch that was a cousin to the knuckler. He threw it without using the index finger. He also developed an excellent change-up pitch. In Quinn pitched for Connellsville in the Pennsylvania State League before returning to semipro ball for a few years. In he posted a record with Macon of the South Atlantic League in part of a season.

In that same year he also pitched a few games for Pottsville in the outlaw Atlantic League, using the pseudonym Johnson. In he had an undefeated season, going or sources differ with the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association and then winning all of his 14 decisions for Richmond, including a no-hitter in defeating Norfolk 8 to 0 on August In the first inning he gave up two hits and one run, then settled down and pitched three-hit, scoreless ball the rest of the way.

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He pitched a complete game, allowing a total of five hits and no bases on balls in a victory. Among those in attendance at this game were James S. The win was the first of many over Washington by Quinn. In Quinn had a strong season, winning 18 games against 12 losses for the Highlanders. He seemed well on his way to becoming a star. However, he slipped in , winning only eight games while losing ten. Things went from bad to worse for Quinn in In relief of the beleaguered Hippo, Quinn entered the game with the bases loaded and two out.

Facing his first batter, he unleashed a wild pitch, allowing a runner to score from third. Then he buckled down and got out of the inning without further damage by striking out Oscar Stanage. In the next frame Quinn fanned Jean Dubuc for his second consecutive strikeout. Next up was Donie Bush.

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Silk ejected Quinn from the game. When protests by catcher Gabby Street and manager Harry Wolverton became too vigorous, they too were banished from the field. At this point some rowdy fans began hurling pop bottles from the stands toward the umpire. The New York Times reported that it was the first time in the history of Hilltop Park that a demonstration of that kind had taken place there. American League President Ban Johnson suspended Quinn indefinitely for throwing his glove at the umpire. The suspension did not last long.

Johnson lifted it on May On the next day Quinn started against Cleveland. The suspension had cost him one start at the most. However, he did not pitch effectively thereafter. After a short visit to Pottsville, he went through New York City on his way to report to his new club.


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Nevertheless, he made his way to Rochester in early August and won eight games for the Hustlers before the season ended. In Quinn won 19 games for Rochester and was acquired by the Boston Braves near the end of August.

He won his first start for the Beantowners on the last day of the month, defeating Brooklyn Claiming that Quinn had already agreed to pitch for the Braves in , the Boston club unsuccessfully sued Quinn, Terrapin officials, the Federal League, and its president for conspiracy. Undeterred by the suit, Quinn pitched Baltimore to a win over Buffalo in the opening game of the Federal League season before 30, ecstatic fans. The Chicago Tribune reported it was the largest crowd ever to see a game in Baltimore and the most enthusiastic.

The next year, however, saw a reversal of his fortunes. Jack led the league with 22 losses. After the Federal League folded, Quinn was unable to hook up immediately with a major league club and went back to the minors, signing with Vernon of the Pacific Coast League. The spitballer had three highly successful seasons with Vernon, winning 53 games and posting an ERA of less than 3. In he won 24 games for a last place club. In he led the Pacific Coast League with a remarkable 1.

He also led the league in complete games with 22 and in strikeouts with 99 in the shortened season of He won at least games in minor leagues affiliated with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. How many more he won in independent and semi-pro leagues is unknown. After the Pacific Coast League suspended operations on July 14, , because of the war, the National Commission announced that players in leagues which had suspended could join, during the emergency, any club willing to pay them a salary.

However, the original holding club was to retain rights to their services. Charles Comiskey signed Quinn to a White Sox contract.

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Quinn joined the Sox on August 1 and had a record for the Sox over the remainder of the season. After the season was over the New York Yankees lodged a claim for Quinn, and the National Commission had to decide whether the White Sox or the Yankees were entitled to his services. Meeting in December the Commission decided in favor of the Yankees, further strengthening the enmity between Comiskey and Ban Johnson, president of the American League and a member of the commission. Quinn won 15 games for the New Yorkers in and improved to an record in In he slipped to an record.

That October he got his first World Series experience, being battered by the Giants, as he relieved Bob Shawkey in the third inning of a loss. Winston turned to Richard, then back to the door, and then back to Richard again. The following day found Iris trapped in the drawing room with her mother and Daisy, waiting for the inevitable trickle of callers.

They had to be at home for visitors, her mother insisted. People would want to congratulate them on their performance. Her married sisters would stop by, Iris imagined, and most likely a few other ladies. The same ones who attended each year out of kindness. The rest would avoid the Smythe-Smith home —any of the Smythe-Smith homes— like the proverbial plague.

The last thing anyone wanted to do was make polite conversation about an aural disaster. But it was early still, and they had not yet been graced by a visitor. Iris had brought down something to read, but Daisy was still aglow with delight and triumph. Iris bit her lip. There were so very many ways she could respond.

It was as if her younger sister was begging her to use every sarcastic word in her arsenal. But she held her tongue. Well, not entirely.

star struck quinn collins mysteries book 1 Manual

Iris rolled her eyes. Of course their mother had seen. It was her job to notice every eligible gentleman in the room. No, it was more than that. It was her vocation. But then she turned to Daisy. And nor would we wish him to. Smythe-Smith did what she always did when she did not wish to reply. Her brows rose, her chin dipped, and she gave a disdainful sniff. And he was in the fifth row. Blast it all, she hated when people got the little details wrong. All that matters is that he was there.

click here This was correct, but still, so clearly not the salient point. Perhaps he has simply been waiting for the perfect young lady to come along.


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    Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1) Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1)
    Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1) Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1)
    Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1) Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1)
    Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1) Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1)
    Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1) Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1)
    Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1) Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1)
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    Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1) Star Struck (Quinn Collins Mysteries Book 1)

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