The Young Pitcher

Zane Grey
The Young Pitcher, by Zane

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Title: The Young Pitcher
Author: Zane Grey
Release Date: September 11, 2006 [EBook #19246]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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The Young Pitcher
By Zane Grey


I. The Varsity Captain
II. A Great Arm
III. Prisoner of the Sophs
IV. The Call for Candidates
V. The Cage
VI. Out on the Field
VII. Annihilation
VIII. Examinations
IX. President Halstead on College Spirit
X. New Players
XI. State University Game
XII. Ken Clashes with Graves
XIII. Friendship
XIV. The Herne Game
XV. A Matter of Principle
XVI. The First Place Game
XVII. Ken's Day

XVIII. Breaking Training

Ken Ward had not been at the big university many days before he
realized the miserable lot of a freshman.
At first he was sorely puzzled. College was so different from what he
had expected. At the high school of his home town, which, being the
capital of the State, was no village, he had been somebody. Then his
summer in Arizona, with its wild adventures, had given him a
self-appreciation which made his present situation humiliating.
There were more than four thousand students at the university. Ken felt
himself the youngest, the smallest, the one of least consequence. He
was lost in a shuffle of superior youths. In the forestry department he
was a mere boy; and he soon realized that a freshman there was the
same as anywhere. The fact that he weighed nearly one hundred and
sixty pounds, and was no stripling, despite his youth, made not one
whit of difference.
Unfortunately, his first overture of what he considered good-fellowship
had been made to an upper-classman, and had been a grievous mistake.
Ken had not yet recovered from its reception. He grew careful after that,
then shy, and finally began to struggle against disappointment and
Outside of his department, on the campus and everywhere he ventured,
he found things still worse. There was something wrong with him, with
his fresh complexion, with his hair, with the way he wore his tie, with
the cut of his clothes. In fact, there was nothing right about him. He had
been so beset that he could not think of anything but himself. One day,
while sauntering along a campus path, with his hands in his pockets, he
met two students coming toward him. They went to right and left, and,
jerking his hands from his pockets, roared in each ear, "How dare you

walk with your hands in your pockets!"
Another day, on the library step, he encountered a handsome
bareheaded youth with a fine, clean-cut face and keen eyes, who
showed the true stamp of the great university.
"Here," he said, sharply, "aren't you a freshman?"
"Why--yes," confessed Ken.
"I see you have your trousers turned up at the bottom."
"Yes--so I have." For the life of him Ken could not understand why that
simple fact seemed a crime, but so it was.
"Turn them down!" ordered the student.
Ken looked into the stern face and flashing eyes of his tormentor, and
then meekly did as he had been commanded.
"Boy, I've saved your life. We murder freshmen here for that," said the
student, and then passed on up the steps.
In the beginning it was such incidents as these that had bewildered Ken.
He passed from surprise to anger, and vowed he would have something
to say to these upper-classmen. But when the opportunity came Ken
always felt so little and mean that he could not retaliate. This made him
furious. He had not been in college two weeks before he could
distinguish the sophomores from the seniors by the look on their faces.
He hated the sneering "Sophs," and felt rising in him the desire to fight.
But he both feared and admired seniors. They seemed so aloof, so far
above him. He was in awe of them, and had a hopeless longing to be
like them. And as for the freshmen, it took no second glance for Ken to
pick them out. They were of two kinds--those who banded together in
crowds and went about yelling, and running away from the Sophs, and
those who sneaked about alone with timid step and furtive glance.
Ken was one of these lonesome freshmen. He was pining for

companionship, but he
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