Author: Ring Lardner
First published: 1916
Locale: Chicago, Illinois
Time: c. 1915
Jack Keefe, a right-handed White Sox pitcher. In his letters to Al, Jack gives a full account of his adventures; he also reveals himself to be a shameless braggart and chronic self-excuser. With complete lack of reticence, he discusses his foolish episodes with his girlfriends, his troubles with his baseball career, and later his marital misadventures and his in-law troubles. Jack is a powerful pitcher, but his laziness, alibis, stinginess, and egotistical gullibility make him the rather pathetic hero of this satire.
Al Blanchard, Jack Keefe's correspondent, patronized and used by Jack. Al is the recipient of the letters that elaborate every detail of the pitcher's life. Apparently, Al never does see through Jack.
Florrie, Jack's wife and Allen's sister-in-law. Disgusted with Jack's stinginess, Florrie leaves him when he is sold to Milwaukee. She rejoins him when she learns she is pregnant. She names the baby after Allen.
Allen, Jack's brother-in-law, also a pitcher.
Marie, Allen's wife.
Violet, a girlfriend who abandons Jack when he is sent back to the minor league.
Hazel, another girlfriend, who marries a boxer.
Al, Jack's son.