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The 'Varsity baseball candidates have now been working hard for three weeks in the cage of the old Carey Building.
The new Carey Building is almost completed, and although it will be two weeks or more before the work will be completely finished, the cage will probably be in good enough condition to permit its being used next week.
The ground floor of the cage will be large enough to permit the regular throw from the home plate to second and base running. Needless to say, it is a great improvement over the old cage, which was so small that the men were greatly hampered in base running and batting and even in fielding grounders. The building is 150 feet long by 60 feet broad and 30 feet high in the centre, and in appearance is neat and substantial.
The in-door work of the 'Varsity this spring has been a little more severe than usual on account of the southern trip which necessitates the early rounding out of the team and the choice of a nine. It is also the policy this year to start the men in hard and give them less work as the season advances. It is though that this southern trip will be one of the best means of selecting the nine early. All of the best men will be tested on this trip with the result that there will undoubtedly be a great change in the make-up of the team after the trip.
The first game of the season will be played with Tufts on April 6.
Owing to the graduation of several members of last year's team the competition for the various positions this year has from the first been spirited. The outfield will probably be the same as last year, as of the possible candidates for field positions none combine the qualities of good fielding and batting to the extent that Rand, Burgess and Lynch do. Sears is a fine fielder but is rather weak at the bat. He is the most promising candidate for a field position next to the three men above mentioned. In the infield Foster, Haughton and Lewis are doing good work, but Haughton seems to have the best chance for first if his batting continues of a high standard. The most promising men for the other infield positions are: For second base-Vincent, Haskell, Maguire, Farrington, Chandler, Holt and Davis; for third-Bergen, Clark, Litchfield, and Ewer; for short stop-Laughlin, Pote, McVey, Galbraith, Beardsell and Stevens. At second Chandler seems to be a better man than at short, which is his old position. He is a good hitter and fielder but is nervous and easily overtrained. Holt is an erratic batter and is inclined to fight the ball in fielding. The other candidates for this position are practically new men whose abilities can hardly be estimated at this time in the season.
At third, Litchfield, last year's substitute third baseman on the 'Varsity is the most promising candidate. He is a good fielder but only fair at the bat. Bergen, a Medical School man, is a hard hitter, but fields awkwardly and is slow in handling thrown balls. Clark, a Freshman and captain of the Groton School team last year, has proved himself a good batter and steady fielder. He is nevertheless very slow in getting the ball off.
Of the candidates for short, Laughlin, substitute on the 'Varsity last year, and Pote, substitute catcher the year before seem to be the best men. Both are good, lively players, though by no means strong at the bat.
The battery candidates have now been working a month under Mr. Lewis, but not until recently have they been given the more practical work of pitching to a batter. With the exception of Cozzens and Fitz, the squad is for the most part raw material and little can be told of the men individually until they have been tried in games. At present there seems to be no one who can quite fill the places left vacant by the graduation of Paine and Scannell.
The most promising candidates for catcher are Buckman, Davis, Pote and Reid. All are fairly good back-stops and fair throwers but are rather uncertain hitters.
Yesterday afternoon the nine practiced on Soldiers Field.
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