Back to His First Love
None of the Eastern teams seemed to want Harry J. Ratican so when Harry completed his first season as a coach at West Point, he packed up bag and baggage and beat a hasty retreat for St. Louis, his native heath, and his debut with the Ben Millers, a professional team of that city. Eastern clubs apparently thought Harry was through and for that reason no attempt was made to sign the former Bethlehem and Robin Dry Dock star. At least that is the gossip that was heard around here. As late as Saturday, a former local player with a visiting clan, remarked that Ratican was "all burnt out" because he had never recovered from a torn ligament in his let. It was also said that after competing his season at West Point, Harry made overtures for a berth on the Bethlehem F. C., but no effort was made to sign him. Undoubtedly the local management entertained the opinion that seems to be the general impression among all other Eastern managers. Returning to St. Louis where he was born and developed, Harry immediately hopped into a berth with the Ben Millers, which is indicated by the following press advices:
"Harry Jay Ratican, West Point Military Academy soccer coach, and in recent years Bethlehem Steel, Robins Dry Dock and Todd Shipyard's star center forward, having procured his release from the Fall River F. C., has returned to his home city -- St. Louis -- to await the spring season at West Point, and has signed to play with the Ben Millers, of the St. Louis Professional League, in the interim. The Ben Millers are owned by the widow of Harry's brother, the late Peter J. Ratican, and their business affairs are being handled for her by Walter J. Devoy. Ratican returned to the game in his native city after an absence of six years or more, and proceeded to star in the center forward position, by his fine individual performance handing the national champions a 2-1 defeat -- their first beating of the season, in a league game. Ratican scored both of the Millers' goals. The Ben Millers were the 1919-1920 national champions, defeating Fore River, of Quincy, Mass., in the national final, at St. Louis, by 2-1.
Going too Fast for Pepper
Fred Pepper, a veteran of soccer and former star with the Bethlehem Steel gang now sporting the colors of Fall River apparently is finding the going rather hard sailing these days. That the old timer is hitting the slide was apparent in the game against Bethlehem on Saturday afternoon when Fred very much in the game failed to prove very effective. For Pepper lets say the spirit was willing and he made a desperate effort to do his bit but the body failed to respond. After all Father Time seldom fails to get in his handiwork and it looked as though Pepper has been selected as his next victim.
Too Few Cash Customer
If there was one peeved gentleman on the Bethlehem F. C. field on Saturday afternoon, that individual was no other than the manager of the Fall River club. Taking a slant at the size of the crowd, the gentleman from Fall River failed to understand where all the rest of the cash customers were hiding. And furthermore he did not fail to make his disappointment known, feeling apparently somewhat insulted that the turnstiles did not total thousands instead of a few hundred. Not that the financial return made any difference for the team received their guarantee, but he surely thought the crowd should be bigger with the Fall River champions the attraction. Incidentally it was the biggest attendance of the season. The habit of playing before five and six thousand people which is said to be an ordinary crowd at Fall River certainly does have a tendency to rile some people. Fall River has one more game to play in this city and inducement was made to transfer the game to the grounds of the "down easters." A fabulous guarantee, that is fabulous for a soccer clan, was offered the Bethlehem team to make that transfer which of course the local management immediately refused. Playing on the home field may be an advantage and local management no doubt was not prone to realize this. Furthermore, Fall River is at the top fighting for the honors and it now looks as though the bunting is a toss up with Bethlehem the other principal.