Prince Carol, great-grandson of Queen Victoria and heir to the Romanian throne, toured the United States in the summer of 1920. He was 26 years old and between marriages. During a stop in the Twin Cities, he took in a Saints doubleheader at St. Paul’s Lexington Park. At his side that day was 18-year-old Violet Oliver, “queen of California’s vineyard domain,” aka the raisin queen.
In a piece written exclusively for the Minneapolis Tribune, the sometime-actress described Carol as a “man’s man,” “a woman’s man,” a “bearcat” and, unlike the prince of Wales, whom she had met previously, “not a flirt.” “Prince Carol may flatter,” she wrote, “but he makes his eyes behave. That’s why I like him so.”
The future king and dictator had mixed luck with the ladies – and with governing his people. You can read about checkered career of the "royal rapscallion" here, here, here and here.
A Tribune reporter accompanied the prince to the ballpark and turned in a wonderful little piece that landed on page one. The raisin queen's personal account ran on the jump page.
‘Oh,’ Says Prince to Guide at First Ball Game,
Meaning, in Roumanian Slang, ‘I Don’t Get You’
Heir to European Throne Remains in Stand Until Last Man Is Out.
The St. Paul batter had two strikes called on him. The Indianapolis pitcher wound up and threw another. “Strike” said the umpire as the batter failed to swing, and the St. Paul player was called out. He had “fanned.”
“Well, now,” said Prince Carol of Roumania, who sat directly back of the catcher in a box seat at the ball game at St. Paul yesterday afternoon, “why didn’t that man strike at the ball?”
Thereby the prince displayed a keen analytical insight into the great American game, for that question of his probably was the same one Manager Mike Kelly of the St. Paul club was asking, only in more emphatic terms.
But there were many other intricacies of American baseball that were too much for the prince. He had never seen a ball game in this country before and [the] game was a revelation to him.
“You see,” patiently explained R.S. Bannerman, representative of the department of justice, who is conducting the prince’s tour of the country, “the pitcher threw the ball right over the plate.”
“Over the what?”
“The plate. The rubber thing in front of the batter. If the ball crosses the plate and the batter doesn’t hit it, it’s a strike.”
“Oh,” said the prince.
“Well now,” the prince broke in again a minute later, “why does that batter go to the base?”
“He was passed; he got a walk. The pitcher gave him four balls,” explained the patient Mr. Bannerman.
“He got a what?”
“A walk. When the pitcher fails to put four balls over the plate, the batter gets a walk.”
“Oh,” said the prince.
Another inning passed. An Indianapolis man was on second base and a batter hit a long fly ball to the outfield.
“That man should have run in,” commented the prince.
“Well, you see, he couldn’t,” Mr. Bannerman explained. “The fielder caught the fly.”
“He caught the what?”
“The fly; the ball; the runner had to stay on his base until it was caught.”
“Oh,” said the prince, and lit another cigarette.
“Despite his limited knowledge of what was going on, the prince was as enthusiastic as a schoolboy. He drank lemonade and pop, applauded every good hit and bit of fielding, and liked it so well he stayed for both games of the double-header.
One of the marvels to the prince was the excitement and wild cheering from the bleachers. And when one of the players almost came to blows with the umpire and the police had to interfere, he chuckled when he was told he had witnessed about all the frills to a baseball game.
“The poor umpire,” he sympathized. “He must have a hard job.”
And when someone told the prince the umpire was about as popular as Kaiser Wilhelm, he laughed uproariously.
More from Star Tribune
More From Yesterday's News
A link between brain damage and anti-social behavior has been well-documented. It's unclear how well-documented the link was in 1920, when a court sent a robbery suspect to a St. Paul hospital for a bit of cranial surgery to cure his "criminal tendencies." Did it work? There's no mention of the suspect in subsequent issues of the Minneapolis Tribune, and no record of a Nobel prize for the surgeon.
Through protests and shareholder engagement, the Honeywell Project (1968-1990) sought to persuade Honeywell Inc. to start beating cluster bombs into plowshares. Molly Ivins, then a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, was on the scene when Jerry Rubin, one of the Chicago Seven, joined peace activist Marv Davidov and poet Robert Bly to lead the charge in Minnesota in April 1970.
Michael Welters, an old and highly respected resident of Chanhassen, was struck and instantly killed by a work train on the C M & St. P. road, west of the village of Chanhassen, about five o'clock Saturday afternoon, November 2, 1912. The old gentleman was on his way home from the village, and was walking along the tracks, and as he has been partly deaf for some time, it is supposed he did not hear the oncoming train in time to escape being hit.
In a convoy of six jeeps accompanied by a police escort, RCA Victor's Television Caravan rolled into Minneapolis in October 1947. Several hundred spectators packed the Donaldson's department store on Nicollet Avenue to see demonstrations of the new technology. The next year, KSTP became the first TV station in Minnesota to broadcast regularly, beaming 12 to 14 hours of programming a week to about 2,500 television sets in the metro area.
The syndicated Mary Haworth advice column added color and spark to the dull society pages of the Minneapolis Morning Tribune during the war years. Haworth (pronounced hay-worth) was the "slender, well-tailored, attractive" Elizabeth Young of the Washington Post. Hundreds of letters a week poured into her burlap-screened nook in the Post newsroom.