RACE MEETS A'PLENTY - The Minneapolis Journal - Minneapolis, Minnesota - Thursday, May 13, 1897

From Wooljersey


The L. A. W. Racing Board Has a Pro- gram of Its Own


A Plan to Knock the Secession Movement Higher Than a Kite.

If there is any man in the United States who is supposed to know things about the national circuit races, that man is F. Ed Spooner. They call him "Well Fed" Spooner where he is best known, because there isn't such a persistent string fiend to be found elsewhere in this country as in the sumptuously furnished office of this journalistic autocrat of the cycle path. Yesterday a letter was received here from Spooner by Art Stackpole, who happens at present to be sojourning in Minneapolis, which let go of a few very pretty little secrets from the inner governmental chambers of the big league.

There has been a good deal printed in some of the eastern wheeling publications to the effect that secession in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Iowa amounted to nothing - that the league had practically nothing to defend up here in this region anyway, and that Messrs. Smith, Wirtensohn et al. were sure to get caught in their own nets. One paper even suggested, with the utmost unkindness, that Smith's efforts to down the L. A. W. in Minnesota would result as did that of the fat pig to swim a river - before he got across he had cut his throat with his own pointed toes. In the face of such attacks Mr. Smith goes to meetings of the United Wheelmen, coughs twice with much dignity and says things that are cordially intended to give Mott and his giddy cohorts ingrowing toenails. Meanwhile the first sanction for a race meeting has been issued by the United Wheelmen of America, and some man in South Dakota wants to ride round the world under its auspices, which shows him to be possessed of admirable hardihood.

While the big league is popularly supposed (by members thereof) to be taking no notice whatever of the secession movement up here, it may be set down as a fact that if Mott is fit for the place to which he has been elected, he is too good a general to view with indifference an insurrection in any part of his army. The result is that he has been conferring with other members of the racing board, and "Well Fed" Spooner as to the best and most expeditious manner of putting down the "minor disturbances that have grown up in f the middle west."

There is very good authority for the statement - in fact, Spooner's letter is the authority - that the league will put in meets this season at Minneapolis, St. Paul, Mankato, and one day at St. Cloud, with a possible day at Faribault. The St. Paul and Minneapolis meetings will be three days apiece, and all the crack racing men of the country will be here. Three of the best men turned out in France and England during the last five years are to be with the bunch, and of the American cracks there will be included Jimmy Michael, Eddie Bald, Otto Ziegler, Tom Cooper, Walter Sanger, the two Butlers, John S. Johnson, who will very likely begin his actual racing for this season right here on the home track; Becker, Mertens, McFarland and Stevens.

It is to be remembered that no application has been made for a sanction from this city or St. Paul, and that the determination to hold meetings throughout the state and a couple in the Dakotas is purely a decision reached by the racing board itself. In his letter to Stackpole, Spooner points out that it is believed the holding of meetings up here with all the best men in the country participating will have the effect of knocking secession sentiment higher than Gilroy's famous kite and of "relegating the secessionist leaders to the black obscurity which is rightfully theirs." The Minneapolis members of the league are jubilant at the prospect of a good meeting here, and owing to the feeling that exists there will be more than the usual effort to make this meet a big success. It is confidently expected that in the course of a month or two, observing the drift of wheeling opinion, the secession people will be tendering regrets and wanting to be taken back into the fold, but there are two sides to every question, and the secessionist leaders do not view the matter in the same light, by any means.