August 1, 2021

Lunch With Connie Mack

February 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Tom Erickson grew up in the Chicago area, but spent some of his summers during his youth visiting his Uncle Pete Husting in Mayville, Wisconsin. Tom grew close to his uncle, and highly admired him. Uncle Pete’s feelings were mutual, supporting his nephew Tom during his participation in sports, and years attending Yale.

Tom was only11 years old, but his vivid memory at nearly the age of 92 allows him to recall the day his Uncle Pete took him to lunch, and Game One of the 1929 World Series at beautiful Wrigley Field.

It was Monday October 7, 1929, which was a school day for Tom, but he was given permission from his teacher to take the day off. Uncle Pete, who was former major league pitcher Bert “Pete” Husting, drove from his home in Mayville, and arrived early to pick up his nephew.

Before the game, lunch was planned with Uncle Pete’s lifelong friend of the Philadelphia A’s, Connie Mack. Mr. Mack sat at the head of the table with Pete to his right followed by Tom, with two other men joining them. To this day Tom can still vividly picture the cordial, handsome, well-dressed man sitting there.

Tom brought along a soiled baseball from home, in hopes to get a signature from Mr. Mack. However, when he asked Mr. Mack to sign it, the answer was no. At the moment, he did not see Mr. Mack give his Uncle Pete a wink. One week later, he received a new ball in the mail signed by the entire World Champion A’s. Tom still has that ball today, claiming that five Hall of Fame members’ signatures are included.

Mr. Mack gave Uncle Pete and Tom tickets to that first ever World Series game played at Wrigley Field. The seats were great, right down near the field where they could see the players up close.

Tom was a White Sox fan, holding his allegiance to the American League, and was heavily cheering for the A’s along with his uncle. Husting was a member of the Philadelphia A’s when they won their first American League pennant in 1902 under Connie Mack’s guidance. The two, could not have wished for a better game.

Philadelphia won the game 3 to 1. Connie Mack had two pitchers that won 20 or more games during the regular season, George Earnshaw and Lefty Grove, but he decided to go with veteran pitcher Howard Ehmke, who had only pitched in eleven games in 1929. Ehmke pitched the full nine innings, and set a new World Series record at the time, with 13 strikeouts. Tom recalled the game’s only home run, which came off the bat of slugger Jimmie Foxx. The A’s went on to win the series 4 games to 1.

Pete Husting passed away September 3, 1948. Tom was unable to attend the funeral, but he does recall how pleased the family was with a roomful of flowers that Connie Mack sent to the funeral home. Pete’s obituary states that it was 70 roses, representing one for each year of Husting’s life.

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