April 24 1909 — Herriman’s back in harness after a month-long layoff from major cartlooning duties at the Examiner. I’m assuming this has something to so with the strip Mary’s Home From College, which he produced for Hearst’s New York papers at this time.
This cartoon refers to newcomer Johnny Beall, brought to the Los Angeles Angels by Hen Berry. Beall was awfully old to be a rookie at age 27, which is probably why the fans thought maybe Berry had lost his marbles. Turns out that Beall was a perfectly decent player, turning in a good performance in his single year with the Angels. Later on Beall would spend some time up in the bigs, but never made much of an impression at that level, and he appeared in just 58 games over a span of five years. His one claim to fame is that he was the first player to hit a home run at Wrigley Field, one of only three he hit in his major league career. Sadly Beall died young at age 44, less than a decade after he retired from baseball.