The work of the University baseball squad is now well under way. Although it is yet early, the material is beginning to shape itself, and the merits and faults of the candidates are beginning to appear. The most general fault is inaccuracy in throwing. The spirit of the men is all that can be desired, and the greatest danger is that of overwork.
Now that Morse is no longer in College the pitcher must be selected this year from practically inexperienced men. Among the most promising of these are Coburn, who pitched on last years' Freshman team, MacDonald, who pitched last year for the second team; Dudley, a left-hander who has had little experience outside of scrub work; Winsor, substitute on the 1902 nine; G. C. Clark, third baseman on last year's nine; and Stillman and Kernan, Freshmen.
Coburn is a tall, heavily-built man with a style much resembling that of Willis of the Boston team. He has fair speed, but is not steady. MacDonald has steadiness, good control, and a quick curve, but is handicapped by a very short waist which renders it difficult for him to attain high speed. Dudley is one of the hardest workers on the squad and has improved steadily. He has fair speed and good control, but has difficulty with his curved balls. Winsor has fair control and shows good promise. Of the eligible Freshmen, Stillman and Kernan have been doing the best work. Both have an easy swing, fair speed, and fairly good control, and with judicious handling should become valuable men.
Reid will not doubt play his old position behind the bat. As substitutes Milne, Wendell, and J. D. Clark are available. All are good backstops but, with the exception of Clark, poor throwers. Wendell, however, is at present trying for an outfield position, and Clark for first base.
The other first basemen are Lewis, Jaynes, and Kendall. Lewis and Jaynes have as yet done so little work that criticism would be unfair. Of Clark and Kendall the former seems to be doing the better work. Both are hard workers, though Kendall shows a tendency to carelessness.
On second, Putnam, Fincke, and Keene are leading. Fincke has the advantage of a year on the 'Varsity, while both Putnam and Keene, who have had less experience, are more lively and eager. Batting alone will probably be the deciding point.
For third base also the competition will be close. Ewer, Clay and G. C. Clark have all showed good form. Clark has had one year in the position, but is very slow. Ewer and Clay are perhaps quicker, and, like Clark, throw well. Should Clark pitch, the question will probably be one of batting ability.
The vacancy at shortstop will probably prove hardest to fill. Devens, Coolidge and George are the only candidates. Coolidge fields well and plays a heady game, but is weak in batting. Devens does not field so well but bats better. Of George, little can be said, as he is working with the pitchers. Some of the men now trying for second and third will later be available, and the outcome cannot be predicted.
For the outfield there are Loughlin, Wendell, Stewart, Wood, Farrington, Quincy, George, and Parton. Loughlin seems reasonably sure of retaining his place. Wendell, because of his batting ability and willingness to work seems a likely man. Stillman and Kernan both came to College with preparatory school records as fielders and may be tried in the field. Stewart, Parton, Quincy, Wood and Farrington show promising agility, but little can be said of them until they are tried at batting.
The five positions left vacant from last year must be filled largely from raw material, but because of the often contradictory performance of veteran teams, this is not to be regarded as a discouraging circumstance.