Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Quentin as a Ball-Player

White House, March 8, 1908.

Yesterday morning Quentin brought down all his Force School baseball nine to practise on the White House grounds. It was great fun to see them, and Quentin made a run. It reminded me of when you used to come down with the Friend’s School eleven. Moreover, I was reminded of the occasional rows in the eleven by an outburst in connection with the nine which resulted in their putting off of it a small boy who Quentin assured me was the “meanest kid in town.” I like to see Quentin practising baseball. It gives me hopes that one of my boys will not take after his father in this respect, and will prove able to play the national game!

Ethel has a delightful new dog—a white bull terrier—not much more than a puppy as yet. She has named it Mike and it seems very affectionate. Scamp is really an extraordinary ratter, and kills a great many rats in the White House, in the cellars and on the lower floor and among the machinery. He is really a very nice little dog.

White House, March 15, 1908.

Quentin is now taking a great interest in baseball. Yesterday the Force School nine, on which he plays second base, played the P Street nine on the White House grounds where Quentin has marked out a diamond. The Force School nine was victorious by a score of 22 to 5. I told Quentin I was afraid the P Street boys must have felt badly and he answered, “Oh, I guess not; you see I filled them up with lemonade afterward!”

Charlie Taft is on his nine.

Did you hear of the dreadful time Ethel had with her new bull terrier, Mike? She was out riding with Fitz Lee, who was on Roswell, and Mike was following. They suppose that Fidelity must have accidentally kicked Mike. The first they knew the bulldog sprang at the little mare’s throat. She fought pluckily, rearing and plunging, and shook him off, and then Ethel galloped away. As soon as she halted, Mike overtook her and attacked Fidelity again. He seized her by the shoulder and tried to seize her by the throat, and twice Ethel had to break away and gallop off, Fitz Lee endeavoring in vain to catch the dog. Finally he succeeded, just as Mike had got Fidelity by the hock. He had to give Mike a tremendous beating to restore him to obedience; but of course Mike will have to be disposed of. Fidelity was bitten in several places and it was a wonder that Ethel was able to keep her seat, because naturally the frightened little mare reared and plunged and ran.