Letters

Dear Sirs,
Your article on the old baseball animal league (8/12/09) brought back a lot of memories. My father played shortstop for the old DeBuque Elephants in the E.A.L which was the Exotic Animal League a kind of sister league to the Midwest Animal League. The Elephants baseball team started when the old Cutler Brothers Circus went bust and there were a lot of elephants that could be had on the cheap. So the DeBuque chamber of commerce ponied up the money and they had a team. It was 1906 and my dad was a gandy dancer, made good money too but every young man it seems wanted to play ball, even if elephants were involved. Anyhow the only other team he ever talked about was the Texarkana Giraffes. Their name was a bit of a lie, they started out with real giraffes but a couple of high spirited boys took ‘em to a rodeo and well, giraffes weren’t made for rodeos and they died. So the team rounded up some deer and made papier-mache giraffe heads for ‘em. Nobody was fooled but folks appreciated the effort. To get back to my dad, he played a couple of years with the Elephants until a real elephant stepped on his foot and flattened it. Flattened it real good, looked like a cartoon foot, like something you’d see on the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. He eventually got a job with the police and he used to joke that he was a flat foot with a real flat foot. Now I don’t want to be an old fogey, I like todays baseball but there’s something about the spectacle of an actual elephant stealing second base that can never be matched.
Sincerely, Buzz Capra

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