Skip to main content

Collection Baseball Cards

"Tinkers to Evers to Chance!"

Chicago Cubs infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance formed the most memorable double-play combination in the history of baseball. Their consistently solid fielding and hitting led the Cubs to four National League pennants (1906-8, 1910) and two World Series wins (1907-8). The Hall of Fameinducted all three simultaneously in 1946. In 1910, New York newspaper columnist Franklin Pierce Adams immortalized the three ballplayers in a short verse entitled "Baseball's Sad Lexicon"

Left: Tinker Center: Evers Right: Chance

"Baseball's Sad Lexicon"

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,*
Making a Giant hit into a double--
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."**

* The term "gonfalon" refers to a flag or pennant, and Adams uses the phrase "pricking our gonfalon bubble" to describe the repeated success of the Chicago Cubs and their celebrated infield against their National League rivals, his beloved New York Giants.

** Reprinted in the book In Other Words by Franklin P. Adams (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1912), and other, more recent anthologies of his work.

Left: Tinker Back Center: Evers Back Right: Chance Back

Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance. Baseball cards produced in 1911 for the American Tobacco Company. Color relief halftones. Benjamin K. Edwards Collection. Gift of Carl Sandburg, 1954. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Call number: LOT 13163-25, no. 41 (Tinker), no. 26 (Evers), no. 25 (Chance). LC-USZC4-5772. Note: The front of all three cards appear in this single image.)

 Back to top