Pitches Look Like – “Nothing At All”

Marshall, Minnesota had a bitter rivalry with their neighboring town of Willmar. The ball clubs played a weekend series won by Marshall giving them a chance for a hometown series with the All Nations – and John Donaldson.

This was an opportunity to make the season a success and line the Marshall coffers for the 1915 season.

Marshall hired Paul Morse who would win 17 games in the Northern League the following season.
Paying Morse did not help, as John Donaldson was the star. Continuing his streak of 100-consecutive innings without allowing an earned run Donaldson dominated.

The local papers said “Smokey John Donaldson” simply “breezed along” striking out 13 and allowing 5 hits in an 8 to 0 win. Donaldson also stole home in helping his cause.

“Long John was all the more effective because of the atmosphere. On a bright day his fast one looks like a small bean but on a dark day, like last Sunday, it looks like – nothing at all.”

Donaldson was known as a drawing card. A single performance could attract a crowd large enough to support the entire season. Most times this was with only the losers share of the gate. In those days teams would take 60% for winning and 40% of the paid receipts for the loss.

Donaldson could pack the stands and line the pockets of promoters.