The Misadventures of Jack Boyle – circa 1907

August 17, 2015 at 9:36 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

In September 1964, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED published an article spotlighting George “Judge” Schilling, a respected official from the world of horse racing.  Schilling began his career in racing as a teenager in the opening years of the 20th century, exercising horses at the Emeryville track in Oakland.  The article offers the following anecdote about Jack Boyle:

[Schilling] began writing [about] racing for the old San Francisco Examinercovering the meet at Emeryville and enjoying a nice leisurely life, until one night his editor, Jack Boyle, who later wrote the Boston Blackie stories, had one drink too many at the Press Club in the company of his rival editors.  The result was a bet on which [San Francisco] paper could get its final edition, with the chart of the last race, down to the bay first to meet the returning horseplayers as they arrived on the ferry.  Not until the next morning, all too late, did Boyle stop to think that his plant was by far the most distant of all from the ferry slip and hopelessly out of the running.  Schilling saved the day.  Instead of waiting for the official chartmaker, he called the race himself, into a telephone, and at the other end a printer rushed it into type even while he was speaking.  Schilling’s chart got to the ferry first; Jack Boyle won his bet; and Schilling was launched on a new career.

So, while Jack Boyle’s own career was frequently plagued by scandal, his ill-considered wager kick-started the career of one of the most famously scrupulous officials in the history of racing.

JBF 8/17/15

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